Xiaomi Launches the Mi 8, Mi 8 SE, and Mi 8 Explorer Edition in China

Xiaomi today unveiled the Mi 8, its latest budget flagship, at an event in Shenzen, China. After skipping the Mi 7 last year, the Mi 8 is Xiaomi’s flagship handset for 2018 and it has been launched on the occasion of the company’s eighth anniversary.

The Mi 8 comes with a 6.21-inch FHD+ Samsung AMOLED display panel with an 18.7:9 aspect ratio display. This means the handset has a notch, which is quite a bit bigger than that of the iPhone X. The side and bottom bezels have been greatly reduced in size, though unlike the iPhone X, the handset is still not truly bezel-less. The AMOLED display is capable of reaching brightness levels of up to 600 nits with Always-On display support. The front and rear of the Mi 8 use Gorilla Glass 5 panels.

Other specs of the Mi 8 include a Snapdragon 845 chipset running at 2.8GHz, up to 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage space. Other usual bells and whistles like dual-SIM LTE connectivity, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, and NFC are also onboard. The Mi 8 also has dual-frequency GPS which eliminates interference from buildings and reduce signal delays.

As for the cameras, the rear of the phone features a dual 12MP camera setup, with the primary 12MP shooter featuring 1.4um pixels, 4-axis OIS, Dual pixel autofocus, and AI portraits. Xiaomi says the Mi 8 has a camera score of 105 which is higher than that of the iPhone X, Google Pixel 2, and most of the other major flagships. Xiaomi is particularly proud of the AI mode as it allows the camera to capture better photos.

At the front, there’ is a 20MP selfie shooter with a f/2.0 shooter. It uses pixel binning for an effective pixel size of 1.8um. Like the rear camera, it also has some AI tricks up its sleeve: AI portrait selfies and AI Beautify. The notch on the Mi 8 includes infrared light and infrared lens for accurate facial recognition even in low-light scenarios.

The Mi 8 is priced at RMB 3,699 for the 8GB RAM/128GB storage variant, with the base 6/64GB variant starting from RMB 2699.

Alongside the Mi 8, Xiaomi also launched the Mi 8 Explorer Edition, a more premium version of the handset. The handset also comes with a 3D facial scanner which Xiaomi claims is the first Android phone to do so. There’s also an Animoji-like feature on the handset. Another highlight of the Mi 8 Explorer Edition is that it comes with a transparent back panel.

Finally, there’s the Mi 8 SE. The handset features a 5.88-inch AMOLED Full Screen Display along with a 12/5MP AI camera at the rear. The handset is powered by a Snapdragon 710 chipset which marks the global debut of the chipset. It also comes with an in-display fingerprint scanner. All the three handsets are running MIUI 10 that comes with a number of AI features.

The Explorer Edition is priced at RMB 3,699, with the SE edition priced at RMB 1,799. The Mi 8 goes on sale in China from June 5th, with the Mi 8 SE launching on June 8.