Xiaomi’s Mi 8 and Mi 8 SE are official with dual rear cameras, MIUI 10, and full-size notches

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.

Mi 8

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.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition officially unveiled

Specifications for Xiaomi’s Mi 8, Mi 8 SE, and Mi 8 Explorer Edition

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About the Author: Peter Holden

He's been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being his first phablet. He currently carries a Pixel 2 XL, Huawei P20 Pro, and a Huawei MediaPad M5 (8.4) in his pockets and thinks nothing of lugging a 17-inch laptop around in his backpack. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, he's an avid sports fan, and like all South Africans, he loves a good Braai (BBQ).