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Xiaomi Mi 8, analysis and opinion

Xiaomi Mi 8

Our analysis of the Xiaomi Mi 8 comes with opinions after having thoroughly tested it: we tell you what we think about this high-end mobile that arrives in  India at a price of 29000 INR . They say it’s the clone of the iPhone X, so let’s see if it’s true and if it’s worth buying.

The jewel in the crown of Xiaomi arrives in India: in the middle of a frantic year of launches in national territory, the Asian brand surprises us with the Spanish launch of the Xiaomi Mi 8. It is its flagship, its reference, its mobile TOP in the mobile telephony market: with it, they seek to offer a cheaper but equally complete alternative – this last one we will discover in this analysis – to the high-end phones of Samsung, Apple, Huawei and Co.

The Xiaomi Mi 8 is not cheap: it comes with a starting price of 29000 INRs,

Index 1

Until now it had only been presented in China -, the Mi 8 of Xiaomi dethrones the Mi MIX 2S as the highest range phone of the Mi range: it has a better screen, a better camera (at least in the front), has facial recognition technology … the best thing is that you see the table, where we summarize its technical characteristics.

Therefore, it is not too out of tune to say that the one we have had the opportunity to test is Xiaomi’s best mobile right now. It has no competitor in the catalog of the Chinese brand, and what we will see in this analysis of the Mi 8 is if it is up to its main competitors: the Samsung Galaxy S9, the Huawei P20 Pro and even the iPhone Apple X

The analysis of the Xiaomi Mi 8 starts from this paragraph. Discover our opinions by reading the test that starts on the next line.

Although the design Mi 8 does not bring anything especially differentiating from what we have been seeing for some time in the Chinese mobile phone market (and not so Chinese), that does not mean that it is a phone with a few finishes. excellent quality. It is true that it lacks some personality, something that differentiates it from all the other mobile phones of the brand (even from the Mi A2 itself, which seen from the back is identical), but that is already duties that are in the hands of Xiaomi.

Mi 8

In terms of quality, the Xiaomi Mi 8 transmits from the first moment the feeling that it is a mobile phone with a well-finished design in every way. It is comfortable to use in the hand, and the black version that has gone through our laboratory looked really elegant.

If we take a look at its characteristics, we will see that this phone reaches a thickness of 7.6 millimeters – the dual camera protrudes slightly above – and its weight stays at 175 grams. The only thing we will miss the whole set is the headphone output, which this year has disappeared not only in this flagship of Xiaomi, but also in more affordable models of the brand as the own Mi A2.

Regarding connections, in the lower part of the Mi 8 we find a USB Type-C output, while the Dual-SIM tray is located on the left side of the mobile. Below is also the only speaker that incorporates this phone, since what we can see on the other side of the charging port is not another speaker, but it is the microphone (although it imitates the same design as the speaker, in the style of iPhone).

In the back is located the fingerprint reader, placed in a very comfortable position to reach with the index finger of the hand. It is a reader that works as a touch surface, so there is no need to press it to unlock the phone. And it works wonders, recognizing our footprint instantly. The fingerprint can also be used to block applications and make payments (do not forget that this phone has NFC).

In case you have come to this analysis waiting to know more details about a function that Xiaomi has given a lot of hype since the presentation of the Mi 8, we have bad news to give: our version -MIUI Global 9.5.13.0- did not bring the Face ID technology activated, and we are not the only ones, so we are left with the desire to try it. By installing a different ROM, or even with the arrival of MIUI 10, it should be possible to activate this technology. The brand has already confirmed that this functionality will soon reach India via OTA.

In this sense, we would like to point out one thing: remember that this Mi 8, which we have tried, only brings facial recognition through infrared technology; The Mi 8 Explorer Edition, the highest-end version, is the one that complements that technology with one more addition: the 3D facial scanner. And it has the fingerprint reader integrated into the screen. About his arrival in India, yes, now nothing is known.

Has anyone asked for Super AMOLED?

Even the best of Xiaomi’s high-end phones until now, the Mi MIX 2S, did not bring Super AMOLED screen: this year, the company had already accustomed us to having all their phones come with a panel with IPS LCD technology – the only ones exceptions we saw years ago with the Mi Note 2 and the Redmi Pro, but that has already rained a lot. But with the Mi 8 it is different.

The Xiaomi Mi 8 brings a Super AMOLED screen of 6.21 inches that reaches Full HD + resolution, that is, the usual 1,920 x 1,080 “stretched” by the format of 18: 9 to 2,248 x 1,080 pixels. And here we have the first “but” of this mobile phone: its resolution does not reach the Quad HD + that other references from the high range like the Galaxy S9 + or the LG V30 do. But that does not mean that the screen admits any criticism.
Screen of the Mi 8

Remember that we are not talking about any screen: its image quality is supported by its compatibility with HDR – a format that is very fashionable nowadays, and will go for more – and also by the color spectrum of DCI-P3 . This means that it is a high-end screen, with all of the law.
Detail of the screen of the Xiaomi Mi 8

Now that the main multimedia applications are already compatible with HDR in mobile phones, I would not consider buying a high-end phone that did not bring this technology. Believe me it shows when you see a content in HDR: everything looks much more alive, and once you try it weird it would be that you want to see content without HDR … at least if you like minimally enjoy the image quality of a movie or series.

The one on this mobile is a screen that looks great. I have the feeling that high-end mobiles have somehow already peaked in terms of the image quality of the screen, and unless we change to a new technology, few developments – and, therefore, few disappointments – we will see this year in the high range. This also applies to the viewing angles and the brightness of the screen both indoors and outdoors, both worthy of a good evaluation.
Shine from the screen of the Xiaomi Mi 8

What can be said, as you can see in the screen test of the Xiaomi Mi 8 that we leave below, is that we are not facing the screen with the highest brightness in the market: it is far behind its competitors, since the best phones from Samsung, Apple or LG can even offer about twice the brightness of this Xiaomi phone

On the part of the viewing angles, our laboratory test confirms the good sensations of use experience that the screen transmitted to us during the analysis.
Viewing angles of the Mi 8

That the resolution of the screen is Full HD +, and not Quad HD +, is a detail more merely technical than practical: in reality it is not noticeable (it is impossible to see it through the human eye), so that if Xiaomi had to cut back on Some section of the screen to keep the price of this phone in a reasonable range, have not made a bad decision to put the scissors in the resolution.

In terms of screen calibration settings, from the phone configuration menu we have both the option to customize the color temperature and to choose the contrast between three different levels (Auto Contrast, High Contrast and Predefined). Likewise, we also have a reading mode, which reduces the emission of blue light to facilitate reading (especially at night).
Xiaomi Mi 8, analysis and opinion

What has disappointed me most of the screen is that Xiaomi has been forgotten? add some kind of compatibility to the 18: 9 format of this phone. While in a Galaxy S9 + or an LG V30 you can make a video occupy the entire screen with the simple gesture of zooming with your fingers, in this My 8 that is not possible: neither on YouTube, nor on Prime Video, which are the two applications with which we have tested it.

This means that all the videos that you reproduce of those applications will have two black stripes painted on the screen. There is no way to take advantage of that space. The good news is that it is something that can be solved with an operating system update, so it’s better for the company to start working on it as soon as possible.
Eyebrow of the Mi 8

Regarding the notch, it should be noted that in the adjustments we have an option that will allow us to hide the eyebrow in case we prefer to have a frame
The design of MIUI can be improved in the Xiaomi Mi 8
MIUI in the Xiaomi Mi 8

This section will be by far the most subjective, impartial and personal of all this analysis of the Xiaomi Mi 8: I have to say that for me MIUI – the customization layer – has no place in a mobile of this caliber. It may be a matter of taste, but the icons that this layer has by default for applications are simply too simple, too flat. They take away much of the essence of flagship that this phone could have in its entirety.

It is clear that it would be too much to ask for Android One, like the Mi A2, but a flagship of this size deserves an interface to match its specifications. The same thing happened to Samsung years ago with its Galaxy S3 and S4, and it ended up solving it by making TouchWiz a layer more in line with the times. That is not that TouchWiz is precisely an example to follow, but the idea should be understood.
Icons in MIUI

It really is difficult to say what is wrong with Xiaomi’s cloak. In my opinion, the problem is that the company wanted to unify too much the design of the icons of the applications: it wants that all the icons of the apps are represented by a cube of the same size, without exception, and that causes that there are applications whose real icon (Instagram, Ivoox, Apple Music …) appears with a white background on the home screen. What is not exactly very aesthetic.

The Xiaomi Mi 8 comes from the factory with MIUI 9.5 (based on Android 8.1 Oreo), and is a fixed candidate to be among the first to update to MIUI 10. We will see what’s new in terms of interface, although it’s already confirmed in advance that in that sense we will not see any radical change.

From the practical point of view, there is nothing that can be criticized to MIUI. It has all the functions that we could ask for an Android phone in 2018 (gestures instead of the virtual buttons of the system, dual applications, record of the megas spent on mobile data …), and any advanced user will know very well what It’s easy to find new ROMs on the Mi.com forums to try more features than the ones that come standard.

Of course there are factory installed applications: Cleaner, Xiaomi Store, MIUI Forum, Security … and also some of Microsoft (Word, Excel, PowerPoint …), but they can be uninstalled. In addition, the nearly 50 GB free space left after turning on the phone for the first time (64 GB) are enough to save all your files … and if not, to the cloud.
The Snapdragon 845 flies on this mobile
My 8 in my hand

In the performance section, there is little to say: the Snapdragon 845, which in this version that we have tested is accompanied by 6 GB of RAM, is unfold with absolute fluidity in all the tasks that we have spent in the head running in This My 8. It goes without saying that in the day to day, while navigating the menus, we have not noticed a single sign of fluency problems.

In the gallery that we leave below you can see for yourself the results achieved by this phone in the benchmarks of the three most important performance test applications of the moment: AnTuTu, Geekbench and PCMark.

For the part of wireless connectivity, except for the already defunct and almost disappeared of the FM Radio mobiles there is nothing that we especially miss: we have dual band WiFi (2.4 + 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.0 with NFC, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO and QZSS … everything we would ask a mobile in 2018, in summary.

And with regard to the battery, we can confirm that 3,400 mAh are more than enough to spend a full day of use without suffering from not having a plug by hand. In addition, it is compatible with Quick Charge 4+, and the box comes with a Quick Charge 3.0 18W charger that is more than enough to charge half the battery in about 30 minutes.
Double camera for results in the price line
Xiaomi Mi 8 camera

For its flagship, Xiaomi has opted for a configuration of dual camera that is working wonders in its current generation of mobile phones-remember that this terminal brings the same main camera as the Mi MIX 2S: a main sensor of 12 megapixels (f / 1.8) accompanied by another sensor of 12 megapixels (f / 2.4) that makes the telephoto lens function. If something works, why changing it? There the Asian company has been successful.

Although in my opinion the Mi 8 is a step below the cameras of flagships such as the Samsung S9 or Apple’s iPhone X-notes, for example, when trying to take a macro photograph: to the camera it is hard for you to focus on an object at a short distance – it is an all-terrain camera: it offers good results in almost all situations. For 29000 INR, that is exactly what any user will be expected to find.

Nothing wrong with portrait mode photos

Nowadays, the camera of a mobile where it has better to do is not in the landscape photographs, but in the photos of the portrait mode. That’s where a dual camera acquires all the sense of the world, since with the second lens you can get those pictures with the background out of focus (the so-called Bokeh Mode) that are so fashionable in social networks. In the portrait photographs that we have taken, the background blur has given us correct but not perfect results, and above all, where the camera is best defended in this section is in terms of image quality.

When shooting a photo with portrait mode, the mobile phone does not offer the possibility to edit the background blur in real time and therefore you will have no choice but to take the photo blindly. Then, once the image is immortalized, you can enter the gallery and manually edit the blur level (as well as play with lighting). In that sense, there are many – and quite good – post-editing options for portrait mode photographs.

The best

Excellent quality screen
A performance more than enough fluid
Good camera in almost all situations
It has no rival in price

Worst

Full HD + resolution, and not Quad HD +
There is still no zoom for your 18: 9
MIUI remains on a mobile like this
We could not prove the facial unlocking

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    Written by Sapna Verma

    Linguist-translator by education. I have been working in the field of advertising journalism for over 10 years.

    For over 7 years in journalism. Half of them are as editor. My weakness is doing mini-investigations on new topics.

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