Xiaomi turns up its Mi flagships to 8

Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi showed off all kinds of shiny new devices at a launch event in Shenzhen today, chief among them the Mi 8, the latest in the company's series of line of high-end Android handsets. Xiaomi says the glass-backed Mi 8 is the first Android phone with dual-frequency GPS (using the L1 and L5 bands) for finer-grained location and navigation services. The manufacturer also claims the special Mi 8 Explorer Edition is the first Android smartphone with 3D face recognition and a pressure-sensing fingerprint sensor below the display for authentication. The company also showed off the smaller Mi 8 SE, the first phone with Qualcomm's just-announced Snapdragon 710 upper-midrange SoC.

Xiaomi Mi 8

The most obvious feature of the Mi 8 is the notched 6.21″ (15.8 cm) Samsung AMOLED display with a resolution of 2248×1080, which translates into an odd-duck 18.7:9 aspect ratio and a pixel density just over 400 PPI. The screen covers 87% of the phone's front side area. All that glass surrounds an aluminum frame that in turn envelops a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC and 6 GB of memory and up to 256 GB of onboard storage. Older members of the Mi family lack microSD card slots, and Xiaomi didn't mention one, so buyers should probably pick their storage option with an eye toward the future.

Xiaomi Mi 8

The Mi 8 has a pair of 12-megapixel cameras on the back side and a 20-MP snapper on the front. Xiaomi says the front camera has some pixel-binning secret sauce that can team four pixels together to create a larger 1.8-µm pixel for enhanced clarity in low-light scenarios. The company says the rear-facing camera team earned a photo score of 105 from DxOMark, good for fourth-place on the outlet's leaderboard, though we saw a score of 99 and a fifth-place position at the site.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition

The fancier Explorer Edition (EE) version of the Mi 8 moves the fingerprint sensor under the display. The pressure sensing baked into the Synaptics sensor turns on the actual reader in order to save power. The EE version also gets 3D face authentication. Xiaomi says both of these features are firsts for Android handsets, though we've already seen 3D face-mapping technology on the iPhone X. The regular Mi 8 also has face unlocking, but it uses a more commonplace IR camera with its own IR illuminator. The EE also gets a bespoke transparent glass backside that shows off the internals.

Xiaomi Mi 8 SE

The manufacturer provided less detail about the smaller Mi 8 SE. That phone will get a 5.9″ Samsung AMOLED display with the same resolution and aspect ratio as the bigger Mi 8. Xiaomi says the SE will be the first phone based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 710 and that the freshly baked SoC is faster than the previous-generation Snapdragon 660 while using 30% less power. The SoC is paired with either 4 GB or 6 GB of memory and 64 GB of storage space. The smaller phone gets a 20-MP user-facing camera and a 12-MP main camera on the rear that's augmented by depth information from a 5-MP sensor.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition

All three Mi 8 phones will get Xiaomi's MIUI 10-skinned version of Google's Android mobile OS. MIUI 10 got a new driving mode for voice-activated control of features like navigation and text messaging while its owner shepherds several tons of steel, aluminum, and glass at high speed. The new version of the OS can also perform bokeh effects on photos using a single camera. The company said it will offer MIUI 10 for a number of existing models, but didn't say what version of Android is churning beneath that custom skin. The company didn't have anything to say on the subject of water resistance or headphone jacks for all three handsets, so we assume neither feature is present.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition

Xiaomi also showed off what it calls the largest LED TV ever made, the 75″ Mi TV 4, along with a third-generation Mi Band wrist fitness tracker and its self-branded version of the Oculus Go for the Chinese market. Chinese buyers will be able to lay hands on the Mi 8 on June 5 for ¥2699 (a bit over $420) and on the Mi 8 SE on June 8 for ¥1799 (about $281). The manufacturer said the Mi 8 Explorer Edition would cost ¥3699 ($580), but didn't provide a release date.

Comments closed
    • GrimDanfango
    • 1 year ago

    Does anyone else read Xiaomi Mi as “Chao, Mimi!” ?

    • Chrispy_
    • 1 year ago

    I’m looking forward to when the extra screen space either side of the notch is replaced with something more sensible like a backlit e-ink display that uses almost zero power, is readable in direct sunlight and can show me battery/signal/clock/unread notifcations counter.

      • GrimDanfango
      • 1 year ago

      Nonsense! The mobile market is no place for genuinely useful, well-thought-through features!

      • Kretschmer
      • 1 year ago

      Orrrrrrr MORE RGB LEDS!!!!

      *Pulls out the glowsticks and starts raving*

    • ronch
    • 1 year ago

    Notch screens flooding the high end overnight. Hey Apple, what makes you think you’re the only one who could pull that off?

      • Meadows
      • 1 year ago

      They didn’t “pull it off”, not for me, at least.

      It looks like rubbish.

        • ronch
        • 1 year ago

        I suppose, if you can’t find the next big thing, you try to find the next silly gimmick.

      • LoneWolf15
      • 1 year ago

      What makes you think they thought that?

    • NoWhiteKnight
    • 1 year ago

    You have an intern write this? The grammar and/or typos are rampant. You not have an editor? You ever try proofreading? Writing articles not your day job?
    Otherwise the phone is pretty but I agree with what uni-mitation said…

      • uni-mitation
      • 1 year ago

      I guess I am not the only crazy one. Good grammar is essential in all professional endeavors, including journalism. What we see is most likely an endemic lack of attention given to the written word because of the current business model of journalism. It pays more to get as much clicks than to take the time to proof-read and work on the draft like in the olden days when print was king.

      I will always appreciate a well-written piece. I haven’t brought the issue up not wanting to look like the only loony howling at the moon; an endangered species of sort if you would imagine. You don’t have all the facts? You are really interested in checking for yourself the validity of sources and claims? You are a fair jurist trying to portray the story in an engaging and informing way to the audience with useful information? You want to not be the first one to break the story, but to actually get the facts straight as much as possible? Then you got yourself a journalist!

      Unfortunately, this is part of the things the market does not care. A click is a click. Some time in the past, when you woke up and picked up that Sunday paper from your porch, you may have not gotten the news of Saturday, or Friday; however, you would have read work that took hours from different people to bring you journalism. I lament this model is no longer with us. Good journalism requires much time & effort.

      My two cents and change for the better.

      uni-mitation

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 1 year ago

        Publish now fact check later proofread never grammar rip

      • Meadows
      • 1 year ago

      I gave you the benefit of the doubt and finished reading it myself, and I’m sorry to say but you’re right.

      • ronch
      • 1 year ago

      I dunno if they already fixed this article but when I read it now it seems just fine. Or am I missing something here?

    • uni-mitation
    • 1 year ago

    Since I speak for the Jurassic demographics, allow me to say that this write-up shows the current driving trends in the phone market. From order of chronology & importance:

    -GPS & navigation
    -The quality of the display (with the Notch now being considered the “hip” thing)
    -Fancy-pants fingerprint sensor
    -Face recognition
    -Camera performance
    -Voice assistant
    -Audio jack is considered not a default feature (lack of information)
    -etc.

    And here I was expecting to read to about:

    -Battery life (including removable battery)
    -MicroSD slot expansion
    -Ergonomics (working your phone with one is very useful)
    -How rugged it is (glass + aluminum slabs are very pretty but not that rugged)
    -Long-term support & frequent updates to the Stock Android experience
    -Sound quality (we used these things to make calls)

    The Blackberry generation is gone. The glass-metal slab generation, I hope you guys know what you are doing.

    uni-mitation

      • meerkt
      • 1 year ago

      Nothing wrong with a decent camera, or GPS performance.

      More cons:
      * Non-removable battery.
      * Rounded screen corners.
      * Two sizes: oversized, and oversized XL.
      * No FM radio (probably).
      * Transparent back.
      * Glass back.

      Pros:
      * OLED.
      * 120fps video, maybe 240fps on the non-SE (but no more than that?).
      * Seemingly the Redmis’ non-removable battery isn’t THAT hard to remove, so maybe here as well?

    • tipoo
    • 1 year ago

    The cargo culting of the notch was pretty funny, but this one takes the cake for unabashed as-close-as-we-can-get clone. It’s not without appeal for the price, but one has to admit that.

    This one at least has IR face recognition, but the ones that did the notch, still had a bottom chin, didn’t have a FaceID equal, and then bragged about having a smaller notch, were the funniest.

    [url<]https://9to5mac.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/dxekbxoxcaizp2h-jpg-large.jpeg?quality=82&strip=all&w=1333[/url<]

      • leor
      • 1 year ago

      Yeah, if I was glancing at this and didn’t see the title, I would think that was an iPhone X. Pretty blatant cloning effort there!

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