Bringing the crazy busy month of May to a close is Xiaomi with not one, not two, but possibly two and a half phones and the Mi Band 3 wearable. You’ve probably read about the Mi 8 Explorer Edition with its supposedly transparent rear panel, but the regular Mi 8 and diminutive Mi 8 SE shouldn’t be sneezed at.
Let no one ever say that Xiaomi is unwilling to draw inspiration from other brands because on the outside at least, the Mi 8 looks a heck of a lot like Apple’s iPhone X thanks to the metal and glass design, similar camera layout and even the full-size notch.
Unlike the iPhone, though, the Mi 8 sports the Snapdragon 845 processor that the Mi 8 Explorer Edition and most other 2018 Android flagship smartphones are powered by, and has 6GB RAM with 64GB/128GB/256GB of internal storage. The Mi 8 touts a full-size notch on its 6.21-inch AMOLED display that houses the camera, proximity and infrared sensors, earpiece, and IR lighting module. The panel has 2248 x 1080 resolution (FHD+), 600nits, and 88.5% screen-to-body ratio. In case you were wondering, the Mi 8 still has a chin despite the presence of the notch and the fingerprint residing on the rear panel.
There are dual 12MP rear cameras, with the primary sensor boasting OIS and 1.4-micron pixels, F/1.8, and 26mm wide-angle lens while the second sensor has a 2x optical zoom with F/2.4 and 1.0µm pixel size. On the front is a 20MP sensor with AI Beautify (portrait mode).
While the Mi 8 Explorer Edition makes do with a 3,000mAh battery, the regular Mi 8 battery surprisingly has a larger capacity of 3,400mAh, also with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ technology via the USB Type-C port. Other notable features include IR Face Unlock, Dual 4G VoLTE, Dual Frequency GPS to aid inner-city navigation, Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC, oh the omission of the audio jack.
As you might expect, the Mi 8 will launch running MIUI 10 which is based on Android 8.0 Oreo. The Mi 8 is priced from ¥2,699 ($422) in China, and we are awaiting details on when and where it will become available globally.
Mi 8 SE
The Mi 8 SE is the first phone to launch using Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 710 octa-core processor that promises to bring premium features such as AI functionality at a more affordable price. The SE model sports either 4GB or 6GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in storage. There’s a 5.88-inch AMOLED display with FHD+ resolution (2240 x 1080), 18:7:9 aspect ratio and 424ppi. As with its two larger siblings, there is a notch present. The dual rear camera setup boasts a 12MP primary sensor with F/1.9 and a 5MP secondary lens with 2x optical zoom. There’s a 20MP front-facing camera with Xiaomi’s AI Beautify function which is basically Portrait Mode.
Providing the juice is a 3,120mAh battery which you can charge up using Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3 technology. As with the Mi 8, the Mi 8 SE will run MIUI 10 out of the box. Xiaomi has priced the Mi 8 SE from ¥1,799 for the 4GB/64GB base model in China which converts roughly to around $280. For the moment at least, there are no details available on when, or even if, the Mi 8 SE will launch globally.