Xiaomi is hosting its eighth-anniversary event in China on Thursday, where it is unveiling several new products and software. Xiaomi Mi 8 flagship is the star of the event as the company launched the 2018 flagship with eye-catching features to make sure it's well ahead in the premium smartphone race.
Xiaomi has picked the best features for its Mi 8 smartphone to ensure customers get the best deal for the money spent. From an AI-powered dual camera to edge-to-edge display, IR Face Unlock and under-display fingerprint scanner, Xiaomi Mi 8 has everything that consumers expect in a premium smartphone.
Xiaomi Mi 8 comes in three storage variants – 64GB, 128GB and 256GB – priced at ¥2699 (Rs 28,447), ¥2999 (Rs 31,600) and ¥3299 (Rs 34,770), respectively. Buyers can choose from four colours – white, blue, gold and black. The handset's availability is currently limited to China and we'll update when there are details on international launch, especially in India.
But what's worth mentioning is the Mi 8 Explorer edition priced at ¥3699 (Rs 38,900) that upholds the flagship image of the Mi 8.
As for the Mi 8 itself, here's what Xiaomi's 2018 flagship offers:
Design and display
Xiaomi uses both glass and metal to contribute towards the premium design of Mi 8. There is a 7000 series aluminium frame and a 2.5D curved glass on top. The ultra-sleek handset sports a 6.21-inch full-screen display with 2248x1080 pixel resolution and a notch at the top.
The overall design of the Mi 8 is well in line with the best flagships we've seen in 2018. But the Mi 8 Explorer edition is an eye-candy, with a completely transparent back and an in-display fingerprint scanner. The normal variant has a fingerprint scanner at the back, but both variants have a bunch of sensors in the notch area for advanced facial recognition.
IR Face Unlock challenges Apple's FaceID
Ever since Apple launched iPhone X with FaceID, there have been several mock-ups, but none of them offers the same level of security as Apple's flagship. That changes with Xiaomi's Mi 8, which packs IR sensor for advanced facial recognition. For those who have doubts, IR-based facial recognition will unlock the Mi 8 even in the dark and it cannot be fooled by a photo or a video.
The Mi 8 Explorer edition is slightly advanced in the facial recognition as it comes with 3D face unlock, which uses advanced structured light technology to accurately measure and verify facial details.
Xiaomi Mi 8 comes with two 12MP sensors on the back – one with f/1.8 aperture wide-angle and the other with f/2.4 aperture telephoto setup. The primary lens comes with 4-axis OIS and artificial intelligence (AI) integration for portraits, scene detection and video editing. The photo samples shared by the company's CEO ahead of the launch are proof that the Mi 8 can challenge the best camera phones out there.
Selfies are also improved in the Mi 8, thanks to a 20MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture, AI Portrait and Ai Beauty modes.
Xiaomi borrows more than just the FaceID tip from Apple, as the Mi 8 comes with Studio lighting option, which the company claims is powered by AI. So the results are likely to be better, but we shall reserve our final verdict until the handset arrives in our office.
Xiaomi Mi 8 comes with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset paired with 6GB RAM and MIUI 10 for optimum performance. The Mi 8 Explorer edition has a higher RAM configuration of 8GB that could boost the performance up by a notch.
The company claims the Mi 8 scored 301,472 on AnTuTu benchmarking test.
In addition, the Mi 8 supports dual-frequency GPS, which means there won't be any interference from buildings or delays in getting signal. Users are in for a better navigation experience on the Mi 8. Finally, the handset supports NFC payments in China, but its availability outside the country is not confirmed yet.