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Hands-on: The controversial Xiaomi Mi 8 offers incredible value for money

Xiaomi announced the Mi 8 a couple of weeks ago, sporting some specs that would probably make you raise an eyebrow.

The Mi 8 comes in three variants: First up, the “regular” Xiaomi Mi 8, then the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition, which is very similar to the Mi 8, but comes with a see-through glass back, pressure-sensitive in-display fingerprint scanner, and 3D face unlock. Finally, the Mi 8 SE is a cheaper, smaller variant with a 5.88-inch screen and Snapdragon 710 processor, versus the 6.21-inch/Snapdragon 845 on the larger Mi 8 and Mi 8 Explorer Edition.

That is some serious bang for your buck, and comes in at a price that undercuts even the likes of OnePlus 6.

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 (for the 64GB model). That is some serious bang for your buck, and comes in at a price that undercuts even the likes of OnePlus 6.

xiaomi mi 8 white version

The ~$575 Explorer Edition is the model you should really be looking at though, because it adds a couple of features that you’ll only find in a handful of phones on the market right now.

the transparent back of the xiaomi mi 8 explorer edition

Here’s what you need to know about the phone as we take a quick Xiaomi Mi 8 hands-on look.

The Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition features an in-screen fingerprint reader, which is something we’ve only seen on a the Vivo X21 and one or two other devices. This fingerprint reader is pressure sensitive too, so the phone will only scan your finger when you press down on the display. Xiaomi tells me this should significantly help save on battery life, since the phone will not have to be scanning for a fingerprint constantly.

the xiaomi mi 8's oled display

The other addition to the Explorer model is a 3D face-scanning mechanism similar to the one found in the iPhone X. It uses infrared light to make a 3D map of your face, and is able to identify the user much accurately than solutions that use the front-facing camera. Thanks to the infrared emitter, this mechanism can also be used to do portrait lighting effects and animated characters similar to the Animoji on the iPhone X.

the xiaomi mi 8 comes with a notch similar to the iphone x

Xiaomi Mi 8 specs

  Xiaomi Mi 8 Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition Xiaomi Mi 8 SE
Display 6.21-inch AMOLED
2,248 x 1,080 resolution
18.7:9 screen ratio
6.21-inch AMOLED
2,248 x 1,080 resolution
18.7:9 screen ratio
5.88-inch AMOLED
2,244 x 1,080 resolution
18.7:9 screen ratio
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Octa-core, up to 2.8Ghz
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Octa-core, up to 2.8Ghz
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710,
Octa-core, up to 2.2Ghz
GPU Adreno 630 Adreno 630 Adreno 616
RAM 6GB
LPDDR4x
8GB
LPDDR4X
4/6GB
LPDDR4X
Storage 64/128/256GB
UFS
128GB
UFS
64GB
eMMC 5.1
Cameras Rear cameras
Main: 12MP with 1.4 micron pixels, 4-axis OIS, f/1.8 aperture
Secondary: 12MP telephoto with 1.0 micron pixels, f/2.4 aperture
Video: 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 240/120/30fps, 720p at 240/30fps

Front camera: 20MP with 1.8 micron pixels, f/2.0 aperture

Rear cameras
Main: 12MP with 1.4 micron pixels, 4-axis OIS, f/1.8 aperture
Secondary: 12MP telephoto with 1.0 micron pixels, f/2.4 aperture
Video: 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 240/120/30fps, 720p at 240/30fps

Front camera: 20MP with 1.8 micron pixels, f/2.0 aperture

Rear cameras
Main: 12MP with 1.4 micron pixels, f/1.9 aperture
Secondary: 5MP telephoto with 1.12 micron pixels, f/2.0 aperture
Video: 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 120/30fps, 720p at 240/30fps

Front camera: 20MP with pixel binning, f/2.0 aperture

Audio Bottom-firing speaker
USB Type-C
No 3.5mm jack
Bottom-firing speaker
USB Type-C
No 3.5mm jack
Bottom-firing speaker
USB Type-C
No 3.5mm jack
Battery 3,400mAh
Non-removable
Quick Charge 4+
3,000mAh
Non-removable
Quick Charge 4+
3,120mAh
Non-removable
Quick Charge 3.0
Facial recognition Infrared facial recognition 3D facial recognition N/A
Sensors Rear fingerprint
Hall
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Proximity
Ambient Light
Electronic Compass
Barometer
In-display fingerprint
Hall
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Proximity
Ambient Light
Electronic Compass
Barometer
Rear fingerprint
Hall
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Proximity
Ambient light
Electronic compass
Infrared
Network GSM: B2/B3/B5/B8
CDMA: 1X/EVDO BC0
WCDMA: B1/B2/B4/B5/B8
TD-SCDMA: B34/B39
TD-LTE: B34/B38/B39/B40/B41 (120MHz)
FDD-LTE: B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B12/B17/B20
LTE B41 4 antenna technology supporting 4×4 MIMO
GSM: B2/B3/B5/B8
CDMA: 1X/EVDO BC0
WCDMA: B1/B2/B4/B5/B8
TD-SCDMA: B34/B39
TD-LTE: B34/B38/B39/B40/B41 (120MHz)
FDD-LTE: B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B12/B17/B20
LTE B41 4 antenna technology supporting 4×4 MIMO
GSM: B2/B3/B5/B8
CDMA: 1X/EVDO BC0
WCDMA: B1/B2/B5/B8
TD-SCDMA: B34/B39
TDD-LTE: B34/B38/B39/B40/B41
FDD-LTE: B1/B3/B5/B7/B8
Connectivity Wi-Fi: 2×2 MIMO, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4G/5G
Bluetooth 5.0
AptX/AptX-HD support
NFC
Dual frequency GPS (GPS L1+L5, Galileo E1+E5a, QZSS L1+L5, GLONASS L1, Beidu B1)
Wi-Fi: 2×2 MIMO, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4G/5G
Bluetooth 5.0
AptX/AptX-HD support
NFC
Dual frequency GPS (GPS L1+L5, Galileo E1+E5a, QZSS L1+L5, GLONASS L1, Beidu B1)
Wi-Fi: 2×2 MIMO, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4G/5G
Bluetooth 5.0
GPS, AGPS, GLONASS, Beidu, Galileo
SIM Dual nano-SIM Dual nano-SIM Dual nano-SIM
Software Android 8.1
MIUI 10
Android 8.1
MIUI 10
Android 8.1
MIUI 10
Dimensions and weight 154.9 x 74.8 x 7.6mm
175g
154.9 x 74.8 x 7.6mm
177g
147.28 x 73.09 x 7.5mm
164g
Colors Blue, Gold, White, Black Transparent Red, Blue, Gold, Grey

In a way, the Xiaomi Mi 8 is the ultimate iPhone clone. The notch is verysimilar, the dual 12 MP camera setup on the back is in almost the exact same placement as the iPhone X, and the standard black and white colorways look just about as close to an iPhone X as you could get.

The standard black and white colorways look just about as close to an iPhone X as you could get.

the dual camera seen on the back of the white xiaomi mi 8

The Mi 8 Explorer Edition has generated a significant amount of controversy over the last couple of weeks. The back of the device is transparent to seemingly show the components. As it turns out, the placement of the components shown may not be truly representative of what’s actually inside the phone. Instead, Xiaomi says it’s used a “decorative overlay” in order to showcase how artful technology can be. In other words, the components you can see under the glass are just for show. The real, less pretty ones are underneath the decorative ones.

For just $420, it’s hard to find flagship-level specs anywhere else on the market.

the components seen through the back of the Xiaomi mi 8 explorer edition

For your reference, here’s the Mi 8 Explorer Edition next to the HTC U12 Plus, which actually shows its real components beneath its translucent back.

xiaomi mi 8 and htc u12 plus side by side

Controversy or not, the Xiaomi Mi 8 still looks like a great device. For just $420, it’s hard to find flagship-level specs anywhere else on the market.

What are your thoughts on the Xiaomi Mi 8? Is the Explorer Edition piquing your interest? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Source of post: https://www.androidauthority.com/xiaomi-mi-8-review-876175/