Introducing the Mi 8, Mi 8 SE and Mi 8 Explorer
Xiaomi has announced the all-new Mi 8 in three variants, “regular”, “Explorer Edition” – which differentiates itself with a transparent glass back and a pressure-sensitive in-display fingerprint scanner. Finally, the Mi 8 SE (Notably similar to the iPhone SE) is a smaller variant, offering a 5.88” screen and Snapdragon 710 processor, versus the 6.21” and more powerful Snapdragon 845 processor on the larger Mi 8 and Mi 8 Explorer Edition models.
The standard edition of the Xiaomi Mi 8 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, 6GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage and a 3,400 mAh battery for a base price of around $420, converting to around £315 (for the 64GB model), providing serious value for money. The Explorer Edition however, is the model tech fanatics are most excited about.
The in-screen fingerprint reader has only featured on one or two other devices in smartphone history. The reader is pressure-sensitive so that the device will only scan your finger to press down on the display. This is designed to save battery life, as the Explorer will not have to constantly scan for your fingerprint. The second stand-out feature is the 3D facial scanning mechanism, similar to the technology used in Apple’s iPhone X. The mechanism uses infrared light to create a 3D map of your face. This means it is able to identify you far more accurately than solutions that only use a front-facing camera. This mechanism can also be used for portrait lighting effects and animated characters similar to the Animoji on the iPhone X.
The standard Mi 8 will also provide 3D Face Unlock, combined with a whopping 20MP front camera. The camera is also provided in the iPhone SE however various other specs such as the processor have been downgraded to compensate for the budget price. However, as recently featured on some of the latest smartphones such as the HTC Desire 12+, iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus and BlackBerry’s all new KEY2, all the new Mi 8 variants will feature a rear dual camera (12+5MP rear dual camera for the SE, 12MP for the Explorer and Mi 8). Impressively, all models run on the latest version of Android Oreo and feature Quick charging technology, but can be faulted for the lack of a headphone jack.
Too good to be true? Unfortunately those looking to purchase the new device from Xiaomi will be subject to import fees which may take the price up a notch, however, the value for money is still worth the extra effort.