Xiaomi announced the Mi 8 in May 2018. At first available only in China. The Xiaomi Mi 8 offers strong performance, a tidy design, a nice AMOLED display, and a competent camera, all at a reasonable price. In common with several Chinese phones, the quality Mi 8 has an incredible specification at a crazy-low price, but it lacks some of the features we were so looking forward to in the lead up to its announcement. Thus the standard model has no in-display fingerprint scanner, which would have given it a lead over better-known rivals such as Samsung, Apple, and LG, there's no waterproofing and, despite its inclusion within the Mi combine 2S, there is no support for wireless charging - in any of the 3 editions.
Design and Display
The Xiaomi Mi 8 seems like an iPhone X, there’s no means around it. From the positioning of the dual cameras to the size of the notch and even the speaker grills, it’s hard to tell the two apart side by side. Multiple phones have been accused of copying Apple over the years, but the Mi 8 is probably the closest resemblance we’ve seen so far. Even the software looks similar, though that’s par for the course on Chinese Android skins.
The body of the Mi 8 is created of Gorilla Glass 5, that is shatter-resistant however doesn’t handle scratches fine. Mi 8 received a number of small hairline scratches and one fairly deep scar on the back during my time with it.
Mi 8 is instantly set excluding all Mi flagships before it by the most important new upgrade to the present phone: the screen. It brings the new Xiaomi flagship kicking and screaming into the longer term, that is precisely wherever it deserves to be.
Okay, thus it's still not got a better than full-HD resolution, and we're starting to surprise if we'll ever see Quad-HD or Ultra-HD on a Xiaomi phone, but the Mi 8 has a gorgeous AMOLED panel that is rich in contrast (up to 60000:1, so the company claims), with punchy colors and excellent brightness. We measured 408cd/m2 with the Spyder, creating this a perfect device to be used in direct daylight.
The screen is fairly large at 6.21-inches, and sports a resolution of 1080 x 2248 with a 402ppi. It’s nothing really special. It looks Xiaomi created clever use of the HDR display to urge around extremely lit areas. Instead of bumping up the screen brightness, the phone simply enables the HDR mode to brighten dark areas on the screen. Xiaomi calls this the “Sunlight Display,” and it is supposed to keep the colors more accurate in sunlight and save battery life. If what you’re doing doesn’t require punchy colors, this is a nice way to keep your phone running a bit longer.
This screen is also a bit colder in color temperature compared to a lot of other phones right now. I compared this screen directly to a Samsung Galaxy S8 since they both have Super AMOLED displays produced by Samsung, and the Mi 8 had a noticeably more blue color temperature in comparison. Xiaomi tunes its displays personally to a temperature it thinks can satisfy the widest audience. I personally enjoy it, but those more used to the punchy warm tones may be turned off.
Xiaomi Mi 8 features a dual-camera at the rear with two 12Mp lenses. One of the lenses is a Sony IMX363 with four-axis OIS, dual-PD focus, f/1.8 aperture, 1.4um pixels, and a dual-LED flash; the other a 12Mp Samsung S5K3M3 lens with 1.0um pixels and an f/2.4 aperture, which enables telephoto and portrait capabilities. As well as 12Mp stills it will shoot 4K video, however, OIS is supported on just one lens.
It's really a similar camera module as on the Mi Mix 2S, although it's running newer and improved firmware. Xiaomi says the Mi Mix are going to be upgraded consequently.
It uses artificial intelligence to spice up the photography skills of the primary camera, and as we have a tendency to saw on the Mi Mix 2S the camera is ready to mechanically choose one of 206 preset scenes to assist you to get the most effective shot. It isn't always clear what it's doing, but that doesn't perhaps matter if you're the type of person who would rather pick up and shoot than fiddle around with manual modes.
It's all modification at the front, with a 20Mp selfie camera replacement the previous 8Mp lens. Xiaomi is seriously talking up its selfie-shooting skills, with a 'Micro-Plastic' Beauty mode that also uses AI for deep learning of facial features. It supports fine adjustments, image background blur, and real-time previews.
Colors are bang-on, with sharp lines and great detail. At 100% a very small amount of grain is visible at the far edges of shot, but the level of detail is otherwise incredible, Low-light photography is generally very good, with plenty of detail on the text and the camera able to pick out different shades of black. Viewed at 100 percent, again, some noise is visible, however the general image quality is powerful.
There is also a front-facing IR blaster inside the notch that allows for infrared face-unlocking, but sadly this is omitted from the global version. We’ve only really seen this in the iPhone X and Oppo Find X so far, so this is a nice addition to the device.
You can also grab 1080p video at an impressive 120fps, or 4K at 30fps. There’s also a slow-motion mode that records footage at 240fps for super-silky slowed-down playback.
Xiaomi’s most up-to-date MIUI 10 update continues to be supported Android 8.1 Oreo, however it tries to emulate the sensation of Android 9.0 Pie by adding variety of rounded elements throughout the UI. Notifications are now rounded off to match the new Google Material Design 2.0 update, and you can access Google search with a simple swipe up anywhere on the display.
Storage and Ram
Xiaomi Mi 8 included three types of internal storage 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB with 6 GB and 8 GB of RAM. That platform is paired with 6GB of RAM, perfectly adept at running games like PUBG Mobile with aplomb. It's the same hardware that lives in the Mi Mix 3 (but not the special editions), and seeing as we've mentioned Xiaomi's slider phone, we do find the Mi 8 easier to handle - especially when it comes to playing games - because it's much lighter and thinner.
The Xiaomi Mi 8 provides strong performance, a tidy design, a decent AMOLED display, and a competent camera all at a reasonable price. The Mi 8 is a great phone for the money, but there are compromises that you'll have to accept. The software isn't as refined as a Samsung or as convenient as pure Android, the camera isn't quite class-leading in all areas, there's no waterproofing, the speaker could be better, and battery life isn't as long as some competitors.