Xiaomi Mi 8 Review

12 June 2018, 16:35:13

Xiaomi Mi 8 Review
You can get a Xiaomi Mi 8 from Geekbuying with a $6 coupon based on the sale price, if you subscribe to their newsletter from the 6th Anniversary discounts page.

Design, build and controls

Unlike the Mi MIX series of smartphones, which has a very distinctive design character that is inherited from the very first device and simply evolves, Xiaomi's annual Mi flagship does not follow a strict design philosophy but keeps up with current trends instead. That's why if you put side by side the Mi 5, Mi 6 and the Mi 8 you won't see any major resemblance between the three. The only thing the Mi 8 inherits from the Mi 6 is the four-sided curve of the backplate. However, there's a perseverance in the type of materials used - high-end aluminium alloy for the frame and glass for the back are not a first for Xiaomi and have found their way on its annual flagship models ever since the Mi 5. It is this smartphone that also marks the beginning of Xiaomi's experience in using ceramics for the bodies of its models. And while the Mi 8 has a flawless build combining 7000-series aluminium alloy for the frame and glass for the front and back, many might have expected the top version of the model should have a ceramic back. The Explorer Edition has a transparent glass back instead. The Mi 8 has a waistline with a water-drop arc, perfectly rounded corners and a four-sided 3D curved back panel, which not only make the device visually appealing but also improve ergonomics. The 2.5D curved Corning Gorilla Glass on the front and the rear glass panel do attract fingerprints but not so much as we expected and being glass - it can be easily cleaned without smudges. However, using a protective case is highly recommended as glass might be resilient to scratches but can be easily broken. The big screen of Xiaomi Mi 8 fits in a body of a traditional smartphone with a 5.5-inch display. This model is one of the most compact mobile phones with a 6.2-inch display. It is only 74.9 mm wide and 154.9 mm high. When you add the 3400 mAh battery in the equation, it turns out that the Mi 8 is the most compact handset among models with a display and battery capacity like its own. It is also one of the thinnest smartphones among those with a waistline of 7.6 mm. The model's weight is 175 grammes, which is below average for devices of that size class and is due to the ultra-light 7000-series aluminium alloy. The model is available in white, black, gold and blue colours. We are reviewing a black unit. Mathematical calculations show that the Xiaomi Mi 8 display takes up 84.09% of the total front surface of the device. It has a notch that houses a number of elements, including the 20MP front camera, light/proximity sensor, earpiece, LED notification light, an infrared emitter and an infrared camera. The last two elements are used for storing and recognizing your face ID, which allows you to unlock the smartphone even in the dark. This type of screen unlocking is far more secure and quicker than the standard facial unlock feature. The chin is minimized and the navigation bar is onscreen only. In case you want to enjoy unhindered screen real estate, you can hide the navigation bar and use intuitive onscreen gestures that will become mainstream very soon. The side and top bezels are not as thin as expected and the top one is thicker than the top bezel of OnePlus 6, for example. The notch can be hidden but not really. This just makes the background dark and this area continues to serve as a status bar. When you hide the notch on OnePlus 6, this not only removes the bangs but disables the whole area and the status bar is moved downwards. The top and lateral frames of the Mi 8 have the same design and elements as the ones on the Mi MIX 2S. The dual Nano-SIM card tray is placed on the left-hand side frame, while on the right one, the volume and power buttons are placed. They are made of the same wear-resistant 7000 series aluminium alloy as the frame. The buttons protrude minimally and provide excellent tactile experience. On the top frame, there is a single microphone hole. The bottom frame has two speaker grilles placed on both sides of the USB Type-C 2.0 port. The placement of elements on the back of the Mi 8 is identical to the one on the Mi MIX 2S. The two rear cameras are placed vertically in the top left corner of the body with a monochrome-LED flash between them. This is a single module that protrudes significantly from the surface of the device. The round fingerprint sensor is centrally positioned along the vertical followed by the MI logo at the bottom. The sensor is slightly indented and positioned well enough for a comfortable reach.

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