The moment that we are all waiting for, the release of the successor to the great Mi 6, finally the Mi 8 has arrived! Hey, why did they skip Mi 7? Well, to be exact, the official statement is said to be the phone is for the 8th anniversary of Xiaomi ,so MI8.
Good thing always comes in 2, so I decided to buy 2 units instead of one for me to compare the colors, the first 2 available to be purchased are the black and white variant. One clear change in the flagship series is the screen size, Xiaomi bumped it up to even bigger than the standard 5.99 inch of the Mi Note series. The Mi 8 is now sporting a The Mi 8 is now sporting a Samsung Amoled screen with a size of 6.21 Inches.
Tech Specfications of Mi 8:
- ·Qualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon 845 Octa-core processor (4×2.8GHz Kryo 385 Gold and 4×1.8GHz Kryo 385 Silver)
- Adreno 630 GPU 710Mhz
- 6GB of RAM LPDDR4
- 6.21-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display, (~83.8% screen-to-body ratio)
- 1080 x 2240 pixels FHD+ (~402 ppi pixel density), 60,000:1 contrast ratio, 18.7:9 Ratio
- DCI-P3 color gamut, high color saturation, 430nit
- Blue, Gold, White, Black
- 64GB / 128GB / 256GB of storage
- 12 MP, wide angle lens, 4 Axis OIS, f/1.8, 1.4µm Dark Light Enhancement, Phase Detection Autofocus, Dual-LED flash
- 12 MP, telephoto lens, portrait lens, f/2.4, 1.0µm, AI
- 20 MP front camera, f/2.0, 1.8µm, 3D Beauty, Mirror Function, Portrait Mode, Front HDR
- Finger print scanner
- Dual SIM (nano sim size)
- 3G, LTE, 4G+ Carrier Aggregation, VoLTE Calls
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, World’s First DUAL Band GPS Phone, A-GPS, NFC
- 3400mAh battery, Quick Charge 4.0 Supported
- 2×2 MIMO Technology to support MU-MIMO
- Sensors: Ultrasonic distance sensor, Ambient Light sensor, Gyro, Vibration Motor,Accelerometer,Barometer, Electronic
- Compass, Hall Sensor
- Android Oreo 8.1, MIUI 9.5
- USB-C port, UFS 2.1
- 154.9 mm x 74.8 mm x 7.6 mm
- 175 Grams
I honestly liked the Mi 6 design from last year, but the Mi 8 is a significant step up on every angle. Whereas the Mi 6 sported a 5.15 inch screen, the Mi 8 has bumped it up significantly to 6.21 inches. One common attribute of the Mi 6 and Mi 8 is that its slippery when you let it lie flat on the table, it will slip on its own a bit, not as much as the Mi 5 though. The design especially the notch is copied from the Iphone X as well as the protruded rear dual camera as well. The screen to phone ratio is even better than the Mi MIX 2S at 83.8%. This year, Xiaomi has let go of the Ceramic Edition that I personally look forward yearly since Mi 5, they have deployed the transparent glass back on the Mi 8 Explorer Edition which we will review later as we get our hands on it.
Two Mi 8 Boxes
After being able to hold both colors, the white for me is not as luxurious as the black, though its a good color to have if you are a fan of white color, its very neat to look at, it reminds me of the Mi MIX 2S. I still personally prefer the black color, cant wait to get my hands on the other 2 remaining colors.
Display and Audio
We were expecting a lot from the display side as we discovered that its sporting a Samsung Super AMOLED, the first in any Xiaomi phone, the nearest one was the Mi Note 2 sporting a OLED back then. The Full HD display did blew me away with its awesome rendering of photos and videos, and probably one thing that is not good with AMOLED is the burn in problems like those on the Samsung Galaxy Flagship Series that we have heard about. We watched several movies and I can say its pretty different from Mi MIX 2S as it displayed it better. The sound was excellent, we have no problem kicking the sound to the max inside a small room and it can fill the room with sound. Bluetooth connectivity of headset is also no problem on this unit.
Playing games is such a breeze on a flagship like this one, we played all the heavy games on this unit and it didnt even break a sweat.
One of the few devices that sports the latest chipset from Qualcomm is Mi 8, the Snapdragon 845 SoC has 8 cores and can run up to 2.8Ghz of computing speed. Now of course powered together with the powerful Adreno 630, and of course a generous serving of 6GB RAM, it will give you the best experience in gaming up to date. Not mentioning that it can run even the most graphics hungry games like PUBG and NBA 2K18. This latest flagship by Qualcomm first appeared in MI MIX 2S for Xiaomi, then followed by Black Shark and now its running inside the heart of Mi 8. We ran several stress test on this unit and we did not see any lags nor any slowdown on the opening of any apps in the Mi 8, multitasking was a breeze. This SoC is supports the 64-bit architecture which means it can compute at a very fast phase. So good graphics, good multitasking plus fast processing makes Snapdragon 845 probably one of the most premium SoC after the 835 that was present in last year’s flagship.
The Mi 8 supports 15 different LTE bands and It’s pretty easy to switch to LTE network inside the settings, and it also supports Dual 4G mode as well. You can freely choose which sim you want to use your LTE data, since this is a Dual LTE, Dual standby smartphone. This unit also has the 4G+ equipped, and also supports multiple carrier aggregation technology (should your network provider have this feature), you can take advantage of it. Wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac is also smooth and it also supports Wi-Fi Direct. Wireless screen mirroring is also available via the Miracast protocol, tethering data is also working perfectly. Bluetooth 5.0,GPS, and GLONASS are all present, NFC (Near Field Communication) is also present to support Mi Pay, Android Pay and it enables you to send data to a fellow NFC user with just tapping your phones together. Transferring data from older phones using Mi Mover was also a breeze as well.
Supported frequency band:
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
Dual Frequency GPS
This is the very first phone in the world sporting this kind of technology, now there are many cases that we are having a difficult time getting proper GPS signal on our phones, Mi 6 was not exempted from this problem especially when passing over a tunnel or even an overpass, GPS connection gets lost. This technology would probably enhance it, as well as accuracy. I have tested it together with my Mi 6, when I loaded my position using Google Maps, the Mi 8 is roughly 2 seconds faster in pinpointing my current location.
The Mi 8 is one of the best camera that Xiaomi has released by far, getting the nod by DXOMark with 105 Points, this puts Mi 8 together with the elites like the Samsung Galaxy S9+. While Xiaomi has already unlocked another achievement so far, we can say that this camera performed very well under good lighting, and it has a great improvement on darker places as opposed to the Mi 6. The rear camera are both 12 Megapixels, one being the Sony IMX 363 Sensor and the other being the Samsung S5k3m3. They also incorporated the 4-AXIS OIS in this one so expect good shots in motion photos. The front snapper is a Samsung Sensor S5k3t2 with 20 Megapixel together with a Aux Camera Omnivision OV7251 and it took pretty good selfies and it also sported the bokeh portrait mode. The manual mode has an exposure time of 16S and ISO of 1600. Face Unlocking is also present as well and is very easy to use, they have deployed the infrared to detect face even in dark ambiance.
A.I. ON vs A.I. OFF
Mi 8 Battery and Benchmark:
The Mi 8 supports the Qualcomm Quick charge 4.0 but inside the box it only includes a QC 3.0 charger, and we tested it took in 5V 3.3 Amperes based on our testing using the supplied charger and cable, there was a moment it kicks to 12V 0.6A as well. We charged the phone from 11% to 100% in 1 hour and 12 minutes as I was able to closely monitored it. We recorded a 12 hour 38 minutes endurance test Mi 8 6GB/256GB version under the PC Mark battery stress test. If these statistics are true on a normal daily use, then it’s really a good sign for the said smartphone, and based on my daily usage for several days, the battery seems to last me a whole day on normal usage.
The Mi 8 scored a good 271,770 Points on AnTuTu out of the box, well this is a disappointment for some as they are expecting a score of the advertised 301k points, this probably is tested under MIUI 10 and probably using the Explorer Edition.
Conclusion:Mi 8, Flagship Worthy Phone!
As we come to our final conclusion on this awesome flagship, the Mi 8 did sported a lot of changes from the Mi 6 as I have personally observed, especially the camera that it has passed DxO Mark and was ranked with the elite phones, the venture toward AMOLED for me is still a questionable move, though it rendered great display, but having burn-in problems might be problematic moving forward. The overall finish of the phone is very much elegant well except for the notch (you can hide it in the settings under full display).
The 64GB variant retails for 2699 RMB(28700 RS,420$) 128GB retails for 2999 RMB ( 32,000 Rs, 466$)and the 256GB variant retails at 3299 RMB.(35000 Rs,520$)