The Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro can be a little reversible – it's a "shaow-me-me-eight-pro" – but its launch in the UK is a historic moment. The biggest event that the home scene of the smartphone recorded was the fact that from 2016 OnePlus was back.
This is because Xiaomi, as the world's fourth-largest smartphone maker, has what it takes to violently shake the status quo smartphone. It is a company that has the muscles to produce high-quality phones for unprecedented prices – exactly what OnePlus has done so successful in recent years.
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Xiaomi Mi 8 Review: What You Need to Know
The Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro encapsulates everything you need to know about Xiaomi as a company. It's a 6.22in flagship smartphone, a tall OLED display, a Snapdragon 845 processor, and a dual-mode 2x optical zoom camera, but at a lower cost than you'd expect.
The question is, can Mi 8 Pro respond to our current OnePlus 6T favorite for overall performance and value?
Xiaomi Mi 8 Review: Price and Competition
The Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro is exactly the same as the OnePlus 6T in terms of price. For £ 499, you'll get a truly top-of-the-line phone – something that few manufacturers can compete for in total value for money.
One obvious opponent is Pocophone F1 330 pounds, but it also happened to have become Xiaomi. Among the other smartphone builders that make the most of this type of performance for money are the Honor phones with the Kirin phone. For example, Honor Play, which has only £ 280 in the former Kirin 970 flagship processor,
Xiaomi Mi 8 Review: Design and key features
Why not just select Pocophone F1? Especially because the Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro is a more attractive device. In fact, the Mi 8 Pro must be one of the most unusual phone designs we saw in 2018.
Not that it looks different than the front. Here is a 6.2 inch high, narrow varieties display that fills almost the entire front of the device, with an edge that fits into the top edge. The volume knob and the red power button sit on the right edge, the bottom edge of the C type USB socket between the speaker grid pair and the double SIM card slot on the right. You also get a fingerprint reader on the screen and the infrared face unlock the front camera that works in the dark and in daylight.
It's the most important back part of the phone: instead of colored or textured glass, the transparent panel displays phones, internal processors and circuit boards for everyone and more. I appreciate it is not for all, but it is definitely a significant departure from the norm. Unfortunately, if you do not like it, you are stuck: this is the only Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro design that will be officially available in the UK.
Impressively, the phone is also equipped with Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back, so it has a beautiful slippery feel under the fingers and it is easy to wipe fingerprints and other dirt.
However, there is no degree of dust and water resistance and the Mi 8 Pro has no 3.5 mm headphone jack. Most disappointing is that there is no expansion for data storage, although 128GB on board as standard is less of a problem than it could otherwise be.
Xiaomi Mi 8 Review: View
Another area in which Mi 8 Pro is impressive is a display that measures a lot of 6.2 inches diagonally. It's not the sharpest display on a block with a resolution of 1,080 x 2,280 pixels (with a pixel density of 402ppi), but the real message is that it uses AMOLED technology. In these layers of the smartphone world, you would expect to have a lower IPS view, but not here.
Make sure the Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro screen is not as good as the AMOLED screen on Samsung or Apple's high flyers, but you get the same perfect black and extraordinary contrast that all AMOLED screens deliver. Additionally, if you turn off the adaptive contrast and eye comfort, the screen is colorful enough. It is capable of reproducing 97.7% of the sRGB color range, and the color accuracy (if measured by the sRGB target) is impressive.
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro reviews: Performance
Raw power is the place where the Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro really shines. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 internal cover, accompanied by Adreno 630 GPU, 8 GB RAM and 128 GB generous storage space. This assembly means that the phone is exceptionally sensitive and smooth in normal use. It is evaluated just like any phone that was released this year, save Apple iPhone XS, XS Max and XR.
Battery life is remarkable but not top-notch. That is, it is not with OnePlus 6T, but among other rivals Mi 8 Pro brings more than remarkable performance. Our videohoving test took 15hrs 40mins, which means it's comfortable day-to-day moderate use.
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro reviews: Cameras
Cameras are a weak place for cheaper phones, but Mi 8 is also starting to be strong here. It features dual camera settings on the back with both captured photos at 12 megapixels. The primary camera has a nice, bright aperture f / 1.8, 1.4 million pixels high and optical image stabilization; Secondary camera adds 2x optical zoom with f / 2.4 aperture but slightly smaller 1um pixels with less light collection capability. The front is a 20-megapixel camera with a f / 2 aperture.
This is well suited to the OnePlus 6T, which remains a benchmark in the mid-range smartphone. In fact, in some ways, Mi 8 Pro has an excellent set of features. In particular, I would take the Mi 8 Pro optical zoom and larger pixels through the OnePlus 6T Depth Mapper, higher resolution and smaller 1.22um pixels.
Camera software is quite well equipped and usable. Of course, it has the "AI" and manual mode for, but there are also a couple of add-ons you do not usually see: parallel and circular swing mode and automatic alignment that shoots horizontally corrected pictures depends on how your shot angle is.
The key question is whether the results match the impressive Mi 8 Pro specifications? The answer is, as always, yes and no. The Mi 8 Pro is most impressive in low light, where – shocking horror – the camera works better than OnePlus 6. Its larger sensor and sympathetic noise handling means slightly cleaner and less muddled images in low light conditions.
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In better light – I will not call it good light because my test scene was captured in a very gray London day – the OnePlus front edge, especially for HDR images. Photos captured using Xiaomi HDR mode look softer and excessively saturated compared to the same scene that was shot with OnePlus 6T. Even when the HDR is turned off, the higher resolution 6T still pays off. Photos look more natural and much sharper.
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The second area where Xiaomi lacks the mark is video. Yes, it can shoot at 4K and yes it can do that stabilized, but it can not shoot at 60fps as OnePlus 6T can. And even its video stabilization is not the finest. It sounds a bit shaky, but the shots do not look as shameless as the OnePlus 6T.
In general, however, the video looks natural and is full of sharp details. Together with excellent photo quality, it contributes to the camera, which is among the best for the price.
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro Review: Software
The only and only area where Xiaomi Mi 8 is significantly short is software. As with Huawei and Honor, Xiaomi insists on employing its own Android launcher, called MiUI, and running on Android 8.1 Oreo.
I'm not a fan of what it looks like or the way it works. Like Huawei EMUI, MiUI removes the app-draw icon from the bottom of the screen to remove all desktop icon icons. Unfortunately, there is no way to restore the application tray after downloading a third-party starter such as Nova. I do not like how Xiaomi has redesigned the icons of all major apps, and blocked off screen warnings looks absolutely awful.
In essence, however, it appears to be a general disorder. Yes, there is a usual list of duplicate apps that already contain basic Google software. And no, it's not as pure as Android on Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL or even OnePlus 6T. It's also smooth, fast and sensitive, and it's definitely enough to cope with its inconvenience.
Xiaomi Mi 8 Review: Verdict
Mi 8 Pro proves exactly why I'm so excited about entering Xiaomi to Great Britain. This means we have another manufacturer that focuses on delivering real value for money instead of boosting profit margins with each incremental release.
In short, if you like a contract and bored with OnePlus phones, the Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro is the smartphone you buy. It's a phone with a hardcore flagship internals, but at the mid-ranger price and goes toe-to -e with OnePlus 6T for the price.
For my money, OnePlus 6T is still a remarkable phone, but if you choose to choose the Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro instead you will not be disappointed. Not a bit.
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro specifications
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octave (4×2.7GHz, 4×1.8GHz)|
|Screen resolution||1,080 x 2,248|
|Front camera||20MP, f / 2|
|Rear camera||Dual: 12MP (primary), f / 1.8, OIS; 12MP (2 telephoto lenses), f / 2.4|
|Dust and water resistance||No|
|3.5 mm headphone jack||No|
|USB connection type||Type C|
|Memory card slot (included)||No|
|Mobile data||4G, Cat16 (1Gbit / sec DL, 150Mbit / sec UL)|
|Dimensions (WDH)||75 x 7.6 x 155 mm|
|Operating system||Android 8.1 Oreo|