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Quiông chồng verdict

There's a lot that the Mi 8 does right for its asking price. While there are compromises, the experience is positive overall. It's only really the more established competition from OnePlus that poses much of an issue.Read full verdict

Against MIUI software needs refinement Low-light shooting not the best Battery life could be better

(bboomersbar.com) - At the top of the Xiaomi line-up is the Mi 8 series. While there"s a pricier Pro mã sản phẩm - not to lớn mention the altogether different Mi Mix 3 slider phone - it"s the "standard Mi 8 that"s the most conventional flagship of all.

The Mi 8 is also the most affordable of these leading Xiaongươi devices, almost laughably cheap should you have sầu the opportunity lớn take it on contract - which is something that Three in the UK offers, at around £20 a month. That"s a giảm giá khuyến mãi for a flagship phone, although as it"s about lớn be replaced by the Xiaomày Mi 9 does the current model make sense?

Xiaomày Mi 8 vs Mi 8 Pro

Before we get into lớn the meat of this review, it"s worth pointing out the differences between this & the Pro version of this handmix. While both have the same core hardware, same display and the same cameras, the real difference is in three areas: the Mi 8 Pro has an in-display fingerprint scanner (the Mi 8 has a conventional scanner on the rear); the Pro has a so-called translucent baông chồng, so there"s added geek appeal from those "exposed" internals (they"re not really exposed though); và the Pro gets 8GB RAM và 128GB storage. All of which bumps the price up by £50.

Premium design

No dust- or water-resistant IPhường ratingBlue or black colour options155 x 75 x 7.6mm; 175g

The Xiaomày Mi 8 offers good quality kiến thiết & build. It"s a comfortable phone khổng lồ hold, balancing fairly slyên ổn bezels around the display to lớn give sầu you plenty of space for play, while remaining easily pocketable.

Coming in xanh or blaông chồng finishes, the Mi 8 has a glass rear, curved towards the edges, with the dual camera arranged on the back in the same fashion as the điện thoại Apple iPhone. Flip it over và there"s a wide notch khổng lồ the top of the display và a slim chin.

The bottom sees the USB Type-C flanked by grilles, one of which contains the speaker - it"s a mono affair, easily covered by a hvà, so sound chất lượng is limited compared to say, a Pixel 3 XL. If you"re a gamer, it"s far too easy to cover this Xiaomi"s speaker, so just be warned. There"s also no headphone socket, so you"ll need Công nghệ Bluetooth headphones if that"s how you intkết thúc to listen.

Hardcore hardware for the price

Qualcomilimet Snapdragon 845, 6GB RAM, 64/128GB storage3400mAh battery with Quick Charge 4+ fast-charging6.21-inch AMOLED (2248 x 1080 pixels, 402ppi)

The Mi 8 runs Snapdragon 845, which is Qualcomm"s flagship platform of 2018. While this is about lớn be supplanted by the SnapLong 855 in a wave of upcoming new phones for 2019, it"s still fast, powerful & has been a great performer in every device we"ve sầu seen it in.

That platkhung is paired with 6GB of RAM, perfectly adept at running games lượt thích PUBG di động with aplomb. It"s the same hardware that lives in the Mi Mix 3 (but not the special editions), and seeing as we"ve sầu mentioned Xiaomi"s slider phone, we bởi vì find the Mi 8 easier lớn handle - especially when it comes khổng lồ playing games - because it"s much lighter và thinner.

While 64GB of storage means you get the lowest price, the 128GB version is £40 more in the UK. You"ll need to lớn make that choice, though, as about the only downside to the hardware configuration is that there"s no microSD card for expansion in this phone.

When it comes khổng lồ the battery life, the Mi 8 isn"t stellar either. The 3400mAh battery is fairly capacious, but we manage lớn hit the over of most days needing khổng lồ connect it khổng lồ the power before an evening gaming session. In lighter use we"ve sầu got through the 24 hours, but this isn"t the longest-lasting phone around - with devices lượt thích the Honor View 20 offering a larger battery capađô thị for greater endurance overall.

The display on the Mi 8 is an AMOLED panel with a wide notch, a fairly typical elongated Full HD resolution, meaning nội dung looks sharp enough. It"s not the best display out there and compared lớn some of the leading phones - like the Samsung Galaxy S9+ - there"s a noticeable difference. The Xiaomày just isn"t quite as punchy (although some colour tuning is offered) - but that"s not a critical thing unless you"re comparing the two phones side-by-side.

What"s a little more annoying is the Xiaomi"s handling of auto-brightness. It loves lớn rest on the dark side (insert Star Wars quip here, eh?) và we"re forever disengaging auto-brightness khổng lồ bump things up a little lớn make it pop a little more - in games & in movies or when using the phone in the dark. Even though it"ll use more battery, we think it"s needed - as auto-brightness leaves things a little dull as it stands.

The whole MIUI thing

Android 9 Pie with MIUI 10Some duplication & bloatware

The experience of a phone is very much defined by the software. For Xiaongươi that means MIUI. Since we"ve been using the phone it"s has moved from Android 8 Oreo to Android 9 Pie &, in turn, skipped to lớn MIUI 10. As a result the software has improved, moving along some of the things we found a little dated in the previous version of the software.

We"ve sầu also found the software on the Mi 8 lớn be better than on the Mi 8 Pro we reviewed - và even though that phone has updated to lớn MIUI 10 & Android 9 too, there are still some differences. Ultimately the software experience of the Mi 8 has been better than the Pro for us.

With all that said, there"s still a lot in MIUI that you don"t need. There"s a lot of Mi applications that duplicate Google services. That might sit well in territories that don"t offer the full Google experience, but for those familiar with Android it can be a bit of a jolt - with doubling-up of applications lượt thích gmail & browser, say, or default applications not being as expected.

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As a result you"ll probably have sầu lớn unpiông xã some elements và make tweaks here & there khổng lồ get things singing, but MIUI is slowly getting better for the wider world. There are some pre-installed apps, lượt thích Facebook, although these can be removed if you don"t want them. Ultimately you"ll kết thúc up with a folder of apps you don"t ever use và, once tucked away, you can basically ignore them.

But make no mistake, MIUI runs roughshod over a lot of the finery of Android 9 Pie and that"s a shame, because this phone feels lượt thích it could potentially offer a better experience with a little less software. As it stands, we"re still drawn lớn Android One handsets from the likes of Nocơ, or the lighter touch offered on the OnePlus 6T - which is very cthua trận in price lớn this Xiaongươi, but offers a better experience (despite not offering pure Android software either, instead it"s Oxyren OS).

Commendable cameras

12-megapx f/1.8 main; 12-megapx f/2.4 zoom camera20-megapixel f/2.0 front camera

Cameras are where a lot the action is on smartphones these days. The Mi 8 pairs a 12-megapx f/1.8 main camera with a secondary zoom camera, giving 2x zoom at the tap of a button. We prefer this configuration lớn some of the more dubious second lenses that just provide "depth information", because this one actually does something.

The downside lớn the zoom camera is the change in aperture which means you can get a drop-off in quality if you"re not shooting in great conditions. Once in low-light settings the second lens (the top one) actually disables, using digital zoom from the main camera instead.
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The zoom lens is also used in portrait mode on the rear camera, which also limits the range of use for portrait mode to brighter conditions. Attempt to lớn use it in low light và you"ll get a warning that it"s too dark. In good light, though, it"s a lot more capable. There"s some edge confusion where things blur beyond where they should, but it will generally give good results.

HDR (high dynamic range) shots are pretty good and the AI (artificial intelligence) functions will tweak your shots to lớn be more aesthetically pleasing - and offering better results than some AI cams, like Huawei"s over-worked Greenery and Blue Sky results. You can toggle the AI on or off as you choose, although you can"t remove sầu the AI processing once a picture is taken.

In low light the Mi 8 isn"t so svào & it"s here you miss the remarkable offerings that some manufacturers have rolled out. Huawei and Honor have sầu a great night mode - with Honor being closest on price - and then the Google Pixel is something else with its Night Sight mode (but it"s much more expensive too). You"ll see image noise in shadow areas creeping up with the rising ISO on the Mi 8, with longer exposures leading khổng lồ blur when it gets too dimly lit.

The front camera offers lots of megapixels, but its limitations really come down khổng lồ processing. This is where the AI of the likes of Huawei & Google give much better results. The Mi 8"s portrait mode offers bokeh (that"s the blurred background) but is prone to lớn making some fridge mess, so the simpler the shot the better. As we found with the Mi 8 Pro, the standard Model also isn"t as adept taking selfies as it is photos with the rear camera, as things lượt thích HDR don"t work so well.

Xiaomày also offers a full range of face touch-up & beatification modes. Each to lớn their own we suppose, as there"s not a lot we can vày khổng lồ make this writer"s withered face look better. It"s just not for us.

There"s one other constant irritation too. There"s the option khổng lồ have sầu a double-press of the power button to launch the camera. It"s a standard Android feature và often the fasdemo way to open the camera. But on Xiaongươi phones it locks the phone before launching the camera. Huh.


On many levels the Mi 8 is a rival khổng lồ any top-spec phone out there, despite costing less than £500. Companies like Xiaongươi and Honor are following along a path that (for much of the west) was started by OnePlus - offering credible alternatives to lớn the big name phones, like those from Samsung.

The Mi 8 is a great phone for the money, but there are compromises that you"ll have sầu lớn accept. The software isn"t as refined as a Samsung or as convenient as pure Android, the camera isn"t quite class-leading in all areas, there"s no waterproofing, the speaker could be better, & battery life isn"t as long as some competitors.

If those things sound lượt thích acceptable compromises given the balance of price, then the Xiaongươi Mi 8 is definitely a phone worth looking at. But with the OnePlus 6T sitting so close in price & offering a much cleaner software experience, it"s clear where Xiaomi needs to focus its efforts khổng lồ increase the overall appeal khổng lồ a wider audience.

OnePlus 6T

Long established, OnePlus is the affordable flagship lớn beat, with many iterations under its belt seeing it improve step by step. It"s this kind of established success that Xiaomày has to contkết thúc against.

Writing by Chris Hall.
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