Xiaomi Mi 8 Review - 50 shades of a top of the range

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Finally we have in our hands the flagship of Xiaomi, the 8 Mi, eagerly awaited and on which curiosity and expectations are at a very high level. I purposely did not read or see any reviews (except after writing mine) regarding this smartphone, so that I could get a personal idea without being influenced by the opinions of others. Without putting off too much this wait was worth it, because we could bring a different review from the pile, because we have gutted defects and merits of the new Mi 8 using the latest ROM release of xiaomi.eu based MIUI 10, actually the last three releases because I've got to test them all. But do not waste any more time and start with our full review made possible by the store Gearbest.com that we thank for making the sample available.

The essence of this smartphone is perceived already from the sales package, proposed in a elegant black coloring distinguished by a reflective 8 number on the front, while inside we can find the user manual in Chinese language, a soft one silicone cover in smoky color and finished with the writing DESIGNED BY MI, the Type-C to jack adapter from 3,5 mm for earphones, lo pin for extracting the SIM cart, il USB Type-C charging and data transfer cable and finally the wall charger, with Chinese attack (for which you will have to equip yourself with an adapter for European plugs), with output from 5V / 3A - 9V / 2A - 12V / 1.5 A, so full support for fast charging.

Many have criticized the design of Xiaomi Mi 8, judged by many a copy-paste of the iPhone X both for the conspicuous notch and for the dual vertical camera on the rear, but originality or not this Mi 8 is really nice to look at. Soft and tapered lines on the profiles that help the grip with the phone (154,9 x 74,8 x 7,6 mm for a weight of 175 grams), but above all the freshness of a glass cover on the back which houses a dual camera and the fingerprint sensor also covered by a thin layer of glass finished by one circular milling. As always Xiaomi, equips its quick and efficient sensor devices and Mi 8 is no exception, because the fingerprint release is done reliably and quickly.

It is the aluminum instead to be used on the profiles of Mi 8, which house the power button and volume rocker on the right, while on the left we find only the slot for two SIM cards in nano format with absence of memory expansion support via micro SD card. At the top is placed the second microphone for the suppression of environmental noise and finally at the bottom there is the main microphone, the entrance Type-C 2.0 with OTG support and that through the adapter will allow to convey the sound and the system speaker.

Well let's take away from the audio aspect, as Xiaomi decided to opt for one mono and non-stereo speaker as seen on other models proposed by the company, belonging to a lower market segment. This does not mean that the returned sound is of the highest quality, well balanced on all frequency ranges, volume from high levels, but Mi 8 is a top of the range and can not be lacking compared to lower models, such as the lack of certifications related to impermeability.

On the front of Mi 8 the magic happens and not only because we find frames well optimized and quite contained but above all because the company has modernized the design by proposing the novelty of the notch in its own way, a showy notch on the top of the display che incorporates the proximity and brightness sensors, the headset capsule, a small monochromatic LED in white color for notifications, the selfie camera and a room with 2D infrared scanning system used exclusively for facial recognition. The sensor used is an OmniVision model OV7251 and his task is done in an excellent, fast, effective, professional way ... In short, you will have understood that I was pleasantly surprised by the possibility of to be able to unlock the 8 Mi completely in the dark, a situation in which the face previously recorded in the settings is recognized without problems.


At the bottom of the display we do not find any physical or soft-touch buttons as these are made available at the software level, with the possibility of being inverted to each other, deactivate automatically for certain applications (it will be necessary to plug twice to reactivate them) or to eliminate them completely, using the gesture on the screen that will make the experience of using this Xiaomi Mi 8 even more immerse. Always from the settings moreover it is possible to hide, or rather to camouflage, the notch: the area around the notch will be darkened thus simulating the upper frame.

But we are turning around and it is time to talk about a real and welcome news. Xiaomi Mi 8 in the display is renewed in a superlative way adopting a 6,21 inch panel with Super AMOLED technology, provided by Samsung, with a shape relationship in 19,5: 9, pixel density of 402 ppi, resolution Full HD + 2248 x 1080 pixels, 600 nits of brightness, 60000 contrast: 1 and protected by a fifth generation Corning Gorilla Glass. To be honest, those coming from IPS panels do not immediately appreciate the quality and performance of this panel, but with the passage of time and made the habit we can see the chromatic nuances that this technology makes available thanks to the chromatic HDR support. Faithful brilliant, black and white colors, general brilliance and well-tuned contrasts. In short, the vision of multimedia content on Mi 8 receives a very high qualitative leap.

Furthermore, the possibility of software is present at the software level enable the reading mode by varying the intensity, set the color temperature up to 16 millions of combinations, wake up the display with a double tap or with the gesture of lifting the smartphone, as well as enabling the Always-ON function that will allow us to view at a glance date / time information, call notifications and applications but it is not possible to interact with them. Moreover, once the display has been activated, even if there has not been a specific action on the notifications, these are not repeated in Always-ON mode which will show only the new contents, which are limited to calls and SMS.

And this could prove to be a problem, for the maniacs of the notifications that find a further one bad surprise related to the news of the notch, of which I will tell you my thoughts in terms of functionality and design, without fear of insults: I find it decidedly sexy, an icon of sensuality like a female tongue that is slowly passed on to the lips. But removed this parenthesis porno-tech, this showy notch is perhaps mishandled by the software as on the sides of the same we can only view the notches of the signal, icon related to the possible active connection (4G / WiFi etc ..) and icon of the battery with residual charge on the right while on the left of the notch we will practically display the clock. It will not be possible in any way to realize the presence of notifications or simply to show the battery percentage, GPS / Bluetooth / NFC connection in progress, etc.

my 8

Personally more than a problem I would call it a lack, obvious with a future software release, and I'll explain why I do not think it's a problem. My friends must be honest, and admit the fact that we spend too much time in front of our smartphone, fiddling in many ways including that of the continuous search for notifications by pulling up and down the panel of the same. in conclusion Mi 8 does not report them but I'm sure none of you will lose any content. On the other hand, users of iPhone X live with this thing for months yet no one has complained. Furthermore many have criticized the poor optimization of the notch that in the application interface shows a line of a few millimeters, positioned lower than the notch position. Are you kidding? Is this a fault? They are only tastes and values ​​from reviewers, but it's not nice what's nice but what you like ... and I like it. To end with the display topic, I would like to point out that this one has one correct polarization, quality not to be taken for granted while the oleophobic treatment is a little less quality.


Well, Xiaomi Mi 8 knows how to make amends thanks tohardware from true top of the range with which it is equipped. We find under the hood the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, octa-core with structure distributed with 4 core Kryo 385 Gold clocked by 2.8 GHz and 4 core Kryo 385 Silver clocked at 1.8 GHz. Adreno GPU 630 a 710 MHz, 6 GB of LPDDR4X dual channel RAM memory and in my case 64 GB of internal storage of type UFS 2.1, unit that can go up to 256 GB.

Needless to say, we are dealing with a performance monster, resulting agile and fluid in every situation. I made about ten consecutive benchmarks and the terminal has never given any sign of lag, particular uncertainties and overheating. Difficult to establish its merits: perhaps the honor is all of the hardware, or perhaps of the new MIUI 10 or maybe both. And it is really difficult to establish it by virtue of this intense use week I experienced three firmware releases including the last one that brings the MIUI 10 8.7.5 version on the 8 Mi, moved by the operating system Android 8.1 Oreo and security patches updated in June 2018. I do not suffer so much on the software because we did some dedicated articles and videos to the new interface of Xiaomi but especially because if until yesterday I was ready to reject the 8 Mi in this respect, with the new update that I'm practically using for a few hours I can say outside the teeth chand the smartphone has been reborn thanks to support for the AI ​​Precarity which increases the start speed of the app. The improvements that this Mi 8 can receive are so many, and this makes it even more palatable because con time its price is bound to decrease while the performances and optimizations can only increase.

That said, the news does not stop here, because at the hardware level Xiaomi Mi 8 integrates a NFC sensor (which I have never understood all this importance of having) that in the future it will support Google Pay's trmite payments and related Home Banking apps, a great Bluetooth 5.0 LE (Low Energy) with support to AAC / aptX / aptX-HD Audio protocols however enriched by the Sony LDAC support, a form WiFi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac dual band (2.4 / 5 GHz) 2 x 2 MIMO / MU-MIMO with support for WiFi Direct and WiFi Display and Dual 4G connectivity which allows you to have the 4G connection active on both SIM cards. Furthermore, the native 20 band support so you do not necessarily have to opt for the purchase of the Global version of the device, but above all we find a Dual frequency GPS module L1 + L5 / Galileo E1 + E5a / QZSS L1 + L5 / GLONASS / Beidou. In other words, better accuracy and stability of the GPS signal is guaranteed, displaying and hooking up more satellites. But you will not notice the difference in classic car navigation but in that on foot, although the currently available software does not yet perfectly match this new technology, and especially at least with the xiaomi.eu rom system must be perfected, as it happened to me that the signal was lost, something that had not happened to me even with the most basic range of Xiaomi devices. But the saddle will arrive the horse ...

And since we talked about connectivity, I can only say that carrying out tests with TIM, Iliad and Ho.mobile, the Xiaomi Mi 8 has always hooked the signal (4 antennne technology, 4 x 4 MIMO) persevering in an excellent reception that results in high responsiveness for the cell switch in web browsing and quality in call with a clear and clean sound. In short, the 8 Mi earns the praise.

I leave the camera topic last and then I talk about the battery that on Mi 8 turns out to be a 'unit from 3400 mAh with support for Quick Charge 4.0 + Quick Charge, even if the supplied charger stops at the Quick Charge 3.0 standard, which in about an hour and a half gives the full autonomy. The autonomy in my case turned out to be quite a ballerina, but of course this is due to software optimization that is gradually improving. Anyway my day has always been guaranteed and the next updates can only improve this aspect.


We already know the Xiaomi Mi 8 photographic module, as inherited from the previous top of the Mi Mix 2S range. Therefore the dual rear camera arranged vertically consists of a Sony IMX363 sensor from 12 megapixel, aperture f1.8 and pixel dimensions of 1.25 nm with optical stabilization OIS to 4 axis, while the second telephoto type sensor appears to be the Samsung S5K3M3 from 12 megapixel with aperture f2.4 and pixel dimensions of 1.4 nm all seasoned by a dual flash dual-tone LED flash.

The acquired shots result in most of the cases rich in color and details, with high dynamic range that of facts translates into one quality worthy of note although I regret to admit it we are not yet at the camera phone levels like Samsung Galaxy S9 + or Huawei P20 Pro. However Xiaomi Mi 8 defends itself very well offering unique features like the implementation of AI technology which allows you to automatically detect certain scenes and preset the best shooting parameters to highlight the typical features of buildings, animals, plants, flowers, panoramas against light etc .. I would have expected something better at night, by virtue of the presence of a luminous lens f/1.8, and instead the noise is evident and in some cases the subject poco defined. It should be recognized that Xiaomi in the last period has made a giant leap in the photographic sector and in software optimization, and I'm sure that Mi 8 also in this area can improve. However Mi 8 currently uses the better optics seen on a Xiaomi device, which even if at night still shows some uncertainty, it should be rewarded color fidelity even in low light conditions (I leave you some shots, within the video review you will find many more).


Xiaomi also provides the 2X Optical Zoom function, but also the possibility of PRO mode so you can set the individual settings of a photo by choosing also from which optics to make the shot. Appreciate a lot i real-time filters that allow you to bring out very interesting photos and the automatic HDR function that works very well. In terms of video things are definitely more interesting because we can get to record with resolution up to 4K with fluency up to 120 fps, speed in which, however, the focus works only manually by tap on the display. We can also decide the type of coding choosing between H.264 or H.265, while at the level of video stabilization, optical type on 4 axis, this only works in Full HD mode at 30 fps with sound overall good, clean and clear.

If you have followed our videos on YouTube you will have noticed that too Mi 8 is equipped with a Dual PDAF focusing system that is not only the fastest I've ever seen but the transition from a macro focus to an infinite fire is really soft and never snappy. Having a dual camera available also allows you to take advantage of the Portrait mode, that on Mi 8 not only works in a rather professional way but provides a kind of software at the software level micro photo studio, with which go to enrich and personalize the photo with effects of blurred or with plays of light. The subject photographed in this mode is almost always perfectly contoured, but sometimes the processing agorism goes into crisis with subjects wearing glasses.

Here are some effects that Mi 8 makes available. What do you think? Do not judge the subject, that has no hope 😂😂😂😂

Nai-post ni XiaomiToday.it noong Linggo, Hulyo 8, 2018

The front room is instead entrusted to the Samsung S5K3T1 sensor from 20 megapixel with aperture f2.0. Unfortunately, the high number of megapixels does not identify an equally high quality value, because in low light conditions the final quality of the photo / video suffers from considerable background noise and sometimes mixed colors. Anyway also from this point of view we can get photos with a good quality cut-out effect as well as shoot videos with 1080p resolution 30fps. Also available the function of automatic HDR and real-time filters while I would have expected the support of an LED flash seen the available space exploited by the notch and instead this is a lack that can not be remedied. Let me be clear I'm not blowing the quality of the front camera, indeed this under certain conditions pulls out really good shots. Finally point out the possibility of carrying out some slow motion in Full HD to 240 fps: the effect is definitely guaranteed, it will seem like you have frozen the time and beyond the quality offered I can guarantee that the WOW effect of your friends is guaranteed.


Xiaomi Mi 8 is a top of the range net of some unmotivated deficiencies from the company. The software on this smartphone plays a fundamental role so much that the last update received has greatly changed my opinion on this device. The design is perhaps not entirely original but it is undeniable beauty, while nothing to complain at the display, a Super AMOLED able to give away unique sensations and emotions, which combines perfectly with the general fluidity of the system animated by a top-of-the-range processor such as the Snapdragon 845 and the rest of the top-quality hardware.

Important innovations, perhaps poco exploited, such as the Dual GPS while the unlocking with camera is of great effect which despite being in 2D has nothing to envy to the iPhone X system. In short, from whichever side you look at this Mi 8, he will talk about if he can convince even the most difficult of interlocutors. Xiaomi Mi 8 at the moment is perhaps not for everyone, as we need to go down to one compromise: to see grow in their hands a "son" who moves his steps every day, sometimes falling others stumbling but that soon, very soon, it will come to be that player during the final of the World Cup, on penalties, will give us the goal of victory. Mi 8 therefore represents the Xiaomi company at the top of the smartphone market which is joined by the Mi Mix 2S, which offers the same features but with different design, but I personally would opt right on Mi 8 that you can find on Gearbest.com and that I recommend you as a store for online purchase.

9.2 Total score

Someone has judged too much the appearance of Xiaomi Mi 8, comparing it to an iPhone X. Well he maybe looks like the Apple device, but it is better from every point of view even that of design proposing on the market about a third of the value required by iPhone X. In short, Mi 8 is a top of the range, with some lack, just like the rivals in the industry.

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Emanuele Iafulla

Nerd, Geek, Netizen, terms that do not belong to me. Simply myself, technology lover and provocative as Xiaomi does with his products. High quality at fair prices, a real provocation for the other most famous brands.

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Yuto Arrapato
Yuto Arrapato
3 years ago

nice review.
Should the GPS problems with the official Roma europe be eliminated?
European SAR values?
thank you

Mauro Giugliano
Mauro Giugliano
3 years ago

great review, good, I now wait for the one of me 8 if

Emanuele Iafulla
Emanuele Iafulla
3 years ago

CIao Mauro, thank you very much for the compliments. I hope to bring the review of Mi 8 SE soon… hoping to receive it soon

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