Xiaomi Launches Mi8 Smartphones Flaunting Real Internals

June 2, 2018, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Putting all rumors to rest, Xiaomi has finally taken the wraps off its much anticipated flagship device, the Mi 8. Previous leaks have given many glimpses of what it would feature, and the launch did resonate with those expectations.

Xiaomi has skipped the Mi 7 to align its flagship numbering with that of its 8th anniversary, and the company is celebrating it by launching not just one, but three new smartphones under the Mi 8 brand. We will start with the Mi 8, which is the pure flagship version from the Chinese manufacturer.

3D Face-Recognition in Android

With its work over the recent years, Xiaomi has acquired the tag of copying Apple products, and the Mi 8 is no different from that. With Mi 8, Xiaomi has attempted to produce its own version of the iPhone X. But that’s never quite a criticism, as almost every manufacturer has now got its own iPhone X rip off. In fact, Xiaomi can have the due credits for being the closes to the Apple device, all thanks to the inclusion of a 3D-face scanning system.

The Mi 8 is the first in Android to feature a real secure 3D-face scanning technology that would work well even in dark conditions. For that matter, Xiaomi’s Mi 8 does feature a broader notch above the 6.2-inch AMOLED display. Inside that display is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC paired with RAM of 6GB. The combination is claimed to deliver an unparalleled performance as hinted by the Antutu benchmark results.

Speaking of the camera, the Mi 8 features a 12MP wide angle primary sensor along with a 12MP telephoto secondary lens on its rear face. Xiaomi is betting big on the camera aspects this time. Like many other smartphone cameras, the Mi 8 counts upon AI to improve the imagery based on the scenario, and it does deliver good if the sample images are something to go by. And for those who bother, the Mi 8 also delivers a photo score of 105 on DXOMark, a score that stands among the top. The front-camera on the device is powered by a 20MP sensor.

For the other aspects, the Mi 6 features a 3400 mAh battery that comes with QuickCharge 4.0 support. The headphone jacks are absent in the externals, and the only port you can find is the USB Type-C port. Also, the Mi 8 is also the first device to feature dual frequency GPS which should give you better GPS signals by getting rid of distortions caused by structures.

‘It’s all Inside the Glass’

What caught the attraction of many during the event though was the Explorer edition of the Mi 8. The device features exactly the same specifications as that of the Mi 8, but what takes it a notch above is the use of an in-screen fingerprint scanner.

While the Mi 8 packs a fingerprint scanner on its rear, the Mi 8 Explorer edition takes to the inside of the display. This is something that we have seen in the Vivo X21. But couple that with the 3D-face unlocking feature and Xiaomi has definitely thrown in something big in the security front with the Explorer edition.

Additionally, Xiaomi Mi 8 has also taken the smartphone aesthetics to a new level with transparent rear casing. A glance on the rear face of the device would reveal the well-arrayed internals including the flagship SoC, and that should be a treat for the hardware lovers.

HTC has recently attempted a similar move, though we have to say Xiaomi has managed to come up with something stunningly beautiful than the one on HTC. There are however claims that the company is only disguising a transparent casing with visual trickery that doesn’t actually reveals the real hardware. The company however insists that the parts that are seen are part of the real motherboard. We will get to know more about that later on.

As with the availability, the Mi 8 Explorer edition will be out only in a single variant with 8GB RAM and 128 GB storage, while the Mi 8 base edition will be out with storage variants of 64GB, 12GB and 256GB. Quite stunningly, Xiaomi has also managed to price it at a much affordable range. The Mi 8 will be starting at $429, while the Mi 8 Explorer edition will be retailing at$577. Those are only the US$ equivalents of the original price in China, so we can’t say if that would vary in the global market. That said, we also don’t have any words on whether the device will make it out of China.

SE-Well, Apple Again?

Xiaomi’s love for mimicking apple doesn’t just stop with the notch design and 3D-scanning. In fact, they have also launched a smaller version of the Mi 8, which will be called the Mi 8 SE. That shouldn’t sound new; we have seen a couple of SE variants from Apple before. Just like the one from Apple, Xiaomi’s Mi 8 SE is a scaled down version of the main flagship.

The Mi 8 SE features a smaller 5.8-inch AMOLED display that does feature the notch. However, it comes sans any 3D-Face unlock technology. Also gone is the flagship processor, which is replaced by a less powerful Snapdragon 710 chipset. It should although deliver better than the mid-range SD 660 chipsets.

On the camera front, the dual-lens system will pack a 12 MP primary lens with a 5 MP secondary lens. The 20 MP front cam has been retained along with AI features to better the output of the images. The storage is limited to 64 GB, though it has RAM availability lined up at 4 GB and 6 GB. The pricing of the device starts at an impressive $280.

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