Smartphone

The flagship in the familiar style of Xiaomi. Review of “monobrovous” smartphone Mi8

The company Xiaomi introduced its next flagship smartphone Mi8 in late May. The manufacturer, by the way, “jumped” the figure in the name of the mobile phone – according to the logic to the world Mi7 should appear, but the company chose 8. It is exactly so many years the Chinese, let’s say, the startup turned in 2018. Model Mi8 habitually meets the traditions of the Chinese manufacturer: smart, in all respects top, but at the same time affordable in terms of prices. With regional reservations.

Content

  • Appearance, ergonomics
  • Performance and battery life
  • Sound and Screen
  • Camera, sample photos
  • Conclusions and assessment
  • Competitors
  • A few words about Xiaomi Mi Band 3

Most recently, we visited a ceramic Mi Mix 2s with a practically frameless display, a Snapdragon 845 processor and 6 GB of RAM. The top machine of unusual appearance, such a whole “laxtery” … Against its background, the Mi8 looks somehow quite simple, although it seems like an iPhone X (there is such an opinion).

The new flagship Xiaomi came in three versions: the “normal” Mi8, Mi8 Explorer Edition with a transparent case and a fingerprint scanner built-in under the display (both with a 6.21-inch screen), as well as a cheaper Mi8 SE with a Snapdragon 710 and 5 chip, 88-inch display.

Appearance, ergonomics

Yes, I would like to say that Mi8 differs from other smartphones externally, but not destiny. A trained eye, probably, sees certain features characteristic of the device, but this is unlikely. Is that the logo on the back panel hints.

Novelty received a metal case, wrapped in a glass. If in the case of the ceramic case the gloss is forgivable (the inner voice constantly reminds: “This is ceramics, it’s cool, there are not many who have it” ), then in the case of metal and “ordinary” Gorilla Glass, the 5 degree satisfaction is slightly reduced – the spattered lid does not look too much attractive. But should effectively resist scratches.

On the right and on the left the case is thinner – top models of different vendors (with rare exception) resort to this trick to add elegance to the appearance of phones and reduce the size. The dimensions of the apparatus are 154.9 × 74.8 × 7.6 mm, and its weight is 175 g.

The front panel is almost completely occupied by a 6.2-inch display with a ratio of 18.7: 9, a resolution of 1080 × 2248 pixels (a density of about 402 ppi) and rounded corners. At the top is a “visor”, in which the front 20-megapixel camera is hiding with “huge”, as Xiaomi writes, 1.8-micron pixels, a phone speaker and a set of sensors, including for face recognition. The Explorer Edition already has a 3D camera that works more efficiently than an optical system of a conventional photomodule.

“Monobroke” can be hidden in the system settings. In this case, the “ears” on the sides are closed with black fill, imitating the frame, but the graphic elements of the interface (battery charge, notifications, etc.) remain in place – on the sides of the “visor”. To hide or not hide, the user decides, but if necessary (for example, when watching a video), the system will automatically hide this constructive element.

The back panel was given for a dual photomodule in a 12 + 12 megapixel configuration, placed vertically on the left side. The fingerprint scanner is in the middle, a small diameter. With it, you can activate the screen without inserting fingerprints into the database, but you have to snap on the display to get to the desktop. With the protection enabled, the fingerprint sensor works instantly. Another thing to expect from the installed “hardware” and a fresh OS would be strange.

The smartphone allows you to simultaneously work with a fingerprint scanner and face recognition system with IR illumination. The face scanner will work with the active screen: in order to unlock the device, you must first touch the sensor on the rear panel or the power button, and then “look into the phone.” The camera responds to the host’s face as a trained dog on the team – without noticeable delays. So, if you normally press the button on the side and at the same time look at the screen of the smartphone, it will be unlocked instantly. When configuring this authentication method (camera), the system indicates that if desired, you can fool it with a user’s photo, that is, protection is not very effective.

Battery life and performance

The novelty received the latest from Qualcomm processors at the moment – Snapdragon 845. The company is 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory (it can not be increased, both slots are for SIM-cards). There are also modifications with 64 and 256 GB of internal memory, while the Mi8 Explorer Edition has 8 GB of RAM. Not that it’s necessary, but in synthetic tests such device will get more “parrots”.

The Mi8 in synthetics showed all the power of the 8-core chip with a clock speed of up to 2.8 GHz, beating 99% of other smartphones from the database of benchmarks. Nevertheless, the first places on the pedestal are occupied by other models. What does it mean? Absolutely nothing, because the race in artificial tests resembles the struggle for every horsepower in the car’s engine: whether the trip takes 20 minutes 32.5 seconds or 20 minutes 33 seconds, the usual driver does not matter.

It is difficult to imagine a modern flagship smartphone that would begin to slow down and show any weaknesses. At least, when after the first switching it was a couple of hours. The model runs on Android 8.1 Oreo with the proprietary MIUI 9.5 shell – and does it smartly (the copies that will go on sale will receive an international version of the software, the test device worked on the Chinese one). Longtime owners of iOS devices, however, noticed the nuance: the “shutter” with notifications pops up from the top of the screen is not sexy enough. Probably, this is due to the speed of the animation – the slower it is, the smoother it is perceived.

The capacity of the Mi8 battery is 3400 mAh, QC 4+ charging is supported, but the complete adapter is only QC 3 with the necessary adapter. The battery life is standard – it should be enough for a working day with active use. Nothing remarkable.

Display, sound

New received an AMOLED-screen with a resolution of 1080 × 2248 pixels from Samsung, the maximum level of brightness reaches a figure of 600 nits. It is enough to cope with the summer sunlight, but sometimes you need to strain to see the picture. There are no claims for contrast and color rendition, and in the settings, as usual, you can choose from the preset options the image temperature and its contrast, as well as turn on the “devouring” charge function “Always on screen”.

But with the sound of the smartphone pumped up – Xiaomi did not use the speaker as a speaker in addition to the main loudspeaker below. The latter, by the way, can not boast of basses, except that the sound remains clear and at maximum volume. Adjusting the intensity of sound in media applications also works in a peculiar way: it practically does not change at the bottom of the scale, but then it starts to increase dramatically.

So for the music you will definitely need headphones, which can be connected in 90% of cases only with the help of a complete adapter, since the device does not have a 3.5 mm connector.

Camera

As mentioned above, Xiaomi Mi8 is equipped with a dual 12-megapixel main camera and 20-megapixel front. For the preparation of the mode and the processing of photographs, a specially trained (and trained) AI is responsible, which by default is disabled. Sometimes he manages to surpass the usual automatic mode, sometimes not very much. As practice shows, without an AI the camera works better. On the screen of the smartphone, the pictures look almost perfectly as usual. On the computer screen – about the same. In general, everything is fine with details, color rendition, portrait mode and selfie. The latter, thanks to the “improvements” and the same artificial intellect, are worthy of any social networks.

You can, of course, rely on the popular DxOMark when choosing a smartphone with the best camera, but with caution – as in the case of benchmarks there are always loopholes in order to “optimize” the result. In addition, the final score of a commercial company that is interested in selling its services is like the average temperature for a hospital. In the case of Mi8, fans of DxOMark can relax – analysis of RAW images sent a new Chinese flagship to the top five.

Conclusions and assessment

Xiaomi Mi8 – a worthy flagship at an affordable price. The company has remained true to itself, and it pleases. In Belarus, the price of a smartphone is not as attractive as we would like. To the minuses we attribute the appearance of the model, since it is too ordinary and to some extent secondary.

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