Mi 8Through the 8th annual product launch event today, Xiaomi has introduced the Xiaomi Mi 8 as the 8th anniversary flagship phone to succeed the Mi 6 phone from last year. The Mi 8 has arrived as the most powerful Snapdragon 845. Also, it is blessed with amazing dual rear cameras and a display that offers a huge screen space. The Chinese manufacturer has also launched the advanced Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition and Xiaomi Mi SE alongside the Xiaomi Mi 8.
Design and Display
The Xiaomi Mi 8 is the first phone from the company to feature a notched display that offers an aspect ratio of 18.7:9. The backside of the phone is made out of glass that has a unique “water drop arc” design. It features a 7000-series aluminum frame. The device measures 154.9 x 74.8 x 7.6mm. The dimensions of the phone are equivalent to a 5.5-inch smartphone which makes it suitable for one-handed use. The color variants of the Xiaomi Mi 8 include Black, Blue, White and Gold.
The Mi 8 is fitted with an S-AMOLED screen that produces Full HD+ resolution of 2248 x 1080 pixels. It delivers a screen-to-body ratio of 88.5 percent. The AMOLED display is equipped with features like support for DCI-P3 color gamut, 60000:1 contrast ratio, up to 600nits brightness, HDR support, Eye protection mode, and Always-On Display.
Infrared Face Unlock and Fingerprint Scanner
The notch present at the top of the display comprises of a 20-megapixel front-facing camera, proximity sensor, earpiece, infrared lighting and infrared lens. The advanced facial recognition feature has been dubbed as Infrared Face Unlock which indicates that it will offer better facial recognition than other Android phones with face unlock feature
However, it is not as advanced as the Face ID feature on the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition and iPhone X’s Face ID that offer 3D facial scanning. Hence, the Xiaomi Mi 8 also features a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner for added security.
Performance and Variants
The Snapdragon 845 chipset powered Xiaomi Mi 8 is the first smartphone to break average benchmarking score of 300,000 on AnTuTu. The handset recorded a stunning score of 301,472 on AnTuTu. The 64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB storage editions of the phone respectively feature 6 GB of RAM. The handset receives power from 3,400mAh battery enabled with Quick Charge 4+ fast charging. The handset is preinstalled with Android 8.1 Oreo that is skinned with the latest MIUI 10.
Cameras and Connectivity Features
In terms of photography, the Xiaomi Mi 8 features a wide-angle Sony IMX363 12-megapixel primary sensor with f/1.8 aperture and 1.4micron pixel size and a secondary 12-megapixel S5K3M3 sensor with f/2.4 aperture and 1micron pixel size. The dual cameras offer features like 4-axis optical image stabilization, optical zoom and dual pixel autofocus.
It is packed with some exciting AI features for photography. The Studio lighting portrait photography which enhances the appeal of the subject to appear like a celebrity. The dual rear cameras also offer AI scene detection and video editing. In DxOMark mobile photography platform, the Mi 8 has salvaged highest score of 105 for photo shooting and its overall DxOMark score is 99. Here are some camera samples that were shown at the unveil event:
Coming to the front camera of the Mi 8, it includes a 20-megapixel sensor with f/2.0 aperture with a massive pixel size of 1.8micron. It supports AI portrait selfies and AI Beauty.
The Xiaomi Mi 8 is the world’s first smartphone to come with dual-frequency GPS. This helps in reducing inaccuracies in GPS tracking caused due to interfaces like buildings and signal delays. The other features of the Mi 8 include dual-SIM support, 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac NFC, Bluetooth 5.0 and 3.5mm audio jack.
Pricing and Availability
The 64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB editions of the Xiaomi Mi 8 are respectively priced at 2,699 Yuan (~$421), 2,999 Yuan (~$468) and 3,299 Yuan (~$515). The pre-orders of the black and white editions of the smartphone will start today at 6 PM (local time) in China with a deposit of 100 Yuan (~$16). Its shipment will begin from June 4.
Mi TV 4
What is a Xiaomi launch without a new TV? At today’s event, Xiaomi announced a new Mi TV 4 with a large 75-inch display. This is the company’s largest LED TV to date.
The Mi TV 4 75” as it is officially known not only comes with a large screen but also packs some impressive specs and smart features.
Speaking of design, the TV follows the ultra-thin tradition of its predecessors. It is just 11.4mm thick and measures 104.3cm tall. The screen itself is a 4K HDR LCD panel.
Powering the Mi TV 4 75” is Amlogic’s 6th gen quad-core processor clocked at 1.8GHz. It also has a Mali-T830 GPU, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of built-in storage. It also has support for Dolby audio and DTS-HD audio, dual-band Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth Low Energy. The TV also comes with an AI voice assistant.
Xiaomi has slammed a ¥8999 (~$1405) price tag on the Mi TV 4 75”. While that is a bit pricey for a TV, Xiaomi says it is the cheapest 75-inch TV in the market right now. The average price for a 75-inch TV in the Chinese market is over ¥10,000. The cheapest models used to be from Changhong and Konka and sold for ¥9999 (~$1561) but the Mi TV 4 sells for less and has a better display and packs more powerful features.
After weeks of teasers and leaks, Xiaomi has kicked off its 8th Anniversary event by making MIUI 10 official. Xiaomi has made some changes in the UI visually, to make it look cleaner and more optimised for full screen usage. The company also reveals that the OS is being used by over 190 million users worldwide.
Here are the notable updates in the new MIUI 10 OS:
New Recent Apps Menu
The new recent apps menu is designed to better utilise the full screen design on newer Xiaomi devices. Instead of arranging recent apps like a stack of cards, the app cards lie side by side on the screen. This enables you to see as much as six recent apps on the screen at one time. The company states that this provides more information to the users and also enables gesture friendly actions for a improved user experience. You can swipe to delete the app or long press for more actions.
AI has become an important part of smartphones this year, and Xiaomi is making sure that its MUI 10 OS integrates this technology at the core level. Some of the highlighted advantages of AI in MIUI 10 is “up to zero” loading times by studying your app usage behaviour and anticipating actions. Another advantage is that MIUI 10 brings single camera bokeh mode to old Xiaomi smartphones including Xiaomi Mi 5 and Xiaomi Mi Note 2. So, after updating to the new OS, these old phones will be capable of capturing bokeh photos with its front and back cameras.
New Driving Mode
MIUI 10 also brings a new driving mode which relies on voice commands to avoid distractions. Users will be able to easily use maps for navigation and attend phone calls, all with the help of simple voice commands in this mode.
Smart Home Manager
You can now easily control all your connected smart home gadgets right from the MIUI 10 interface. The controls for each smart home device is on its respective widget on the home screen. This makes it extremely easy to access and control each of the devices without having to open up the Mi Home app. There are over 590 brands that’ll support MIUI 10 and the company promises more additions.
The MIUI 10 developer ROM will be available to download to over 33 Xiaomi smartphones. The first batch of Xiaomi devices including the Xiaomi Mi 8 will get the ROM in June and the second batch will get it in July
A basic summary of the new features on MIUI 10 are shown in this video below.
Mi Band 3
At a launch event in Shenzhen, China, Xiaomi has today launched its flagship smartphone — Mi 8, Mi 8 SE, as well as the latest version of its operating system, MIUI 10. Along with that, the China-based manufacturer has also launched its next-generation fitness tracker — Mi Band 3.
The Mi Band 3 comes with a 0.78-inch OLED capacitive touchscreen. The company says that the display is designed with an aim to offer a better experience for viewing / rejecting calls and messages.
Earlier, Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun had said that the wristband of Mi Band 3 has been redesigned to ensure that the tracker doesn’t fall off from the strap, which a lot of users complained about for its predecessor.
The device supports many new functions compared to the Mi Band 2. Along with the addition of viewing messages and call view/ reject feature, it can also provide weather forecast as well as an alarm clock, which can be turned off from the touchscreen. Other features include heart rate monitor, daily steps count and sedentary reminder as a part of the health management functions.
The Mi Band 3 comes with water and dust resistance, and is completely waterproof for up to 50 meters, ensuring that it works perfectly even when the user is swimming. The company has also announced another variant of the fitness tracker which comes with NFC support.
Earlier, there were reports suggesting that the Mi Band 3 will come with support for a tilt-to-wake feature. However, it is not yet confirmed if the device indeed supports such functionality.
One of the crucial thing for a wearable device is the battery life. The Xiaomi’s newly launched Mi Band 3 comes with an improved battery, which the company claims can last for up to 20 days on a single charge.
The Xiaomi Mi Band 3 has been priced at 169 Yuan, which roughly converts to $26. The NFC variant of the fitness tracker, which is named Mi Band 3 (NFC) is priced at 199 Yuan, which is roughly $31. It will be available in three color options — Black, Red, and Blue.
While the company has not revealed when the device will go on sale, we expect it to be available in China in the coming days. Currently, there is no information about Mi Band 3’s availability in other regions.
Mi 8 SE
Xiaomi has officially announced its next-generation flagship models today in China. The Xiaomi Mi 8SE was launched alongside the Mi 8 and Mi 8 Exploration Edition. Basically, the Mi 8 SE is a mini version of the Mi 8, designed for users who are attracted to small screen phones.
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE Specifications & Features
The Mi 8 SE comes with a 5.88-inch AMOLED display which is equivalent to the traditional 5.2 inches smartphones. That is because it utilises the 18.7:9 aspect ratio. The design is similar to that of the Mi 8 which includes a notch display design. The quality of the display is same as the Mi 8 but the screen resolution is 2244 x 1080 pixel while the device has an 86.12% screen to body ratio. The screen supports DCI-P3 colour gamut, has a 60000:1 contrast ratio and up to 600nits of brightness. The Mi 8SE also comes with a 2.5D curved glass body, with an enamel mirror finish. The device comes in four different colour options; Bright Red, Bright Blue, Gold, Dark Gray colours.
In terms of configuration, the Xiaomi 8SE debuts as the world’s first phone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 chipset. The SD 710 chipset is Qualcomm’s first chipset outside the flagship series built on the 10nm process. The Snapdragon 710 chipset includes two cores of Kryo 360 Cortex A75 that clocks at 2.2 GHz and six cores of Kryo 360 Cortex A55 that offers a processing speed of 1.7 GHz. The octa-core processor is coupled with Adreno 616 graphics that promises 35% better rendering of graphics. The chipset garnered more than 170,000 points on AnTuTu benchmark which places it above the Snapdragon 660 chipset. The processor is paired with 4GB RAM and there is a 6GB RAM. Both RAM versions come with 64GB storage which can be expanded.
On the camera aspect, the Mi 8SE sports a 12MP + 5MP dual camera setup at the rear. The rear camera comes with a 1.4um pixel size on the main sensor as well as dual-core, 206 AI scenes recognition, as well as portrait mode support. The front camera is a 20MP camera with self-timer which is still active even in low light condition. It can also capture bokeh shots using AI. In addition, there is AI scenes recognition. The Mi 8SE also comes with Bluetooth 5.0, X15 LTE baseband, 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi, while a 3120mAh battery keeps the light on. The handset is preinstalled with Android 8.1 Oreo that is skinned with the latest MIUI 10.
As for the price, Xiaomi Mi 8 SE is priced at 1799 yuan (~$280) for the 4GB + 64GB version while the 6GB + 64GB version come at just 200 yuan higher at 1999 yuan(~$312).
Mi 8 Explorer Edition
Apart from launching the Xiaomi Mi 8 as its 8th Anniversary flagship and Mi 8 SE smartphones today through an unveil event in Shenzhen, Xiaomi has also launched the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition which is nothing but an advanced version of the Xiaomi Mi 8. At the launch event, the Chinese manufacturer said that the Mi 8 Explorer Edition smartphone offers a number of world premiere features. It’s the first Android smartphone that supports 3D facial recognition. It is also the first phone along with Mi 8 to feature dual-band GPS technology. Also, it is equipped with an pressure-sensitive in-display fingerprint reader.
Design and Display
Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition features a 2.5D translucent glass rear that is curved towards the edges. The translucent back gives a clear view of the innards of the phone such as the new design for the NFC coil, Kevlar texture for the battery and other components. The handset measures 154.9 x 74.8 x 7.6mm and it weighs 177 grams. The size of the phone is similar to a traditional 5.2-inch phone.
The Xiaomi Mi 8 EE also features a 6.21-inch S-AMOLED display like the Mi 8. It produces 18.7:9 aspect ratio and FHD+ resolution of 2248 x 1080 pixels. and it delivers a screen-to-body ratio of 86.12 percent. The screen is enabled with features like DCI-P3 color gamut, 60000:1 contrast ratio, up to 600nits brightness, HDR support, Eye protection mode, and Always-On Display.
In-Display Fingerprint Scanner and 3D Facial Recognition
The Mi 8 Explorer Edition has an in-screen fingerprint reader that enables users to unlock the phone simply touch and scan fingerprint sensor embedded that is embedded in its display. Xiaomi claims that since the display of the phone is equipped with highly sensitive pressure sensor, it can instantly scan and unlock the phone by touching on the screen gently. Hence, a user does not require to press harder on the screen to unlock it. Xiaomi claims it is the first smartphone in the world with pressure sensitive in-screen fingerprint technology.
Like the iPhone X’s Face ID feature, the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition features a complex structured light 3D module to enable 3D facial scanning. The notch of the Mi 8 Explorer Edition includes components like selfie camera, proximity sensor, ambient sensor, infrared lens, flood illuminator and dot projector.
The selfie camera captures the face data of the user by analyzing more than 33,000 invisible points of the face of the users to create a depth map. The infrared lens also captures the infrared image of the face at the same time. The AI engine of the SoC comes into play to convert the depth map and infrared image into a mathematical representation which is then matched the registered facial data stored on the phone to unlock it. Xiaomi claims that the probability of cracking the Face ID on MI 8 Explorer Edition is like one in one million. Even Apple said the same thing when it announced Face ID for iPhone X.
Dubbed as “Mi Meng” in Chinese is Xiaomi’s take on animated emojis that is also available on the iPhone X. With AI, the front camera can capture up to 52 facial muscle movements to create different animated characters that can imitate the face expressions and voice of the user.
Like the Mi 8, the Mi 8 Explorer Edition is driven by Snapdragon 845 that comes with an Artificial Intelligence Engine. The SoC is coupled with 8 GB of RAM and it comes with an inbuilt storage of 128 GB. It also features a 3,000mAh battery that is found under the hood of the Mi 8. The Mi 8 EE supports Quick Charge 4+ fast charging. It pre-loaded with MIUI 10 based Android 8.1 Oreo.
Cameras and Other Features
The dual camera setup that includes a wide-angle 12-megapixel Sony IMX363 primary sensor that is equipped with f/1.8 aperture and 1.4micron pixel size. It is accompanied by a secondary 12-megapixel S5K3M3 telephoto lens that has an aperture of f/2.4 and 1micron pixel size. It offers camera features like 4-axis OIS, optical zoom and dual autofocus, AI Studio Lighting for enhanced portrait shots, AI scene detection and video editing, 4K UHD video shooting and Full HD slow-motion recording at 240fps. Xiaomi revealed the camera prowess of the phone by saying that the Mi 8 has scored 105 in photography benchmarks on DxOMark.
The 20-megapixel selfie camera is placed inside the notch. Apart from 3D facial recognition, it offers features like 3D Beauty, 10 kinds of AI scene detection, mirror function and HDR.
The connectivity features available on the Mi 8 Explorer Edition include 4G VoLTE, dual-SIM support, Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C and 3.5mm audio jack. Like the Mi 8, the Explorer Edition is also blessed with dual-band GPS for accurate GPS navigation compared to conventional smartphones.
Pricing and Availability
The Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer comes in a single edition which features 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage and it is priced at 3,699 Yuan (~$577). Xiaomi is yet to reveal information on its availability.
Mi VR Standalone
The Mi VR Standalone headset has been priced starting CNY 1,499 (roughly Rs. 15,800) for the 32GB inbuilt storage version, and it is already up for pre-orders in the country.
The Xiaomi Mi VR Standalone headset is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC coupled with 3GB of RAM, and features a 2560x1440 pixels display Fast Switch LCD that supports 60Hz and 72Hz refresh rates - the higher refresh rates help reduce latency, the company added. It features a specially-modulated diffractive optical system, with Fresnel lenses designed by Oculus. It bears 32GB or 64GB of inbuilt storage. Sensors on board include a distance sensor and inertial sensor. The headset support 3DoF (degrees of freedom) and features a neck displacement solution.
Xiaomi says the headset has been designed for 'Asians', and says it will fit comfortably on faces. It weighs 425 grams without straps. Xiaomi is touting the availability of more than 100 games via the Oculus store. Finally, the company adds that Mi VR Standalone headset has built-in panoramic near-field headphones capable of delivering 360-degree surround sound.
The Mi VR Standalone headset also bears Wi-Fi 802.11ac connectivity, and is charged by a Micro-USB (v2.0) port. It ships with a motion-sensitive controller, weighing 40 grams, and bears an inertial sensor apart from supporting 3DoF. It has a home key, back key, touch panel, and trigger key.
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