Xiaomi Mi 8 SE review… with the SEs and the MAs, history is not made

Xiaomi the 31 May launched well 3 smartphones belonging to the 8 series, My 8, Mi 8 Explorer Edition and the Mi 8 SE, the latter on paper less desirable and for this taken little consideration by users who love the brand, but the mid-range winks at the high end keeping an unbeatable price. So let's find out together Xiaomi Mi 8 SE in our full review, made possible by sending the sample from the store HonorBuy.it.


The difference in the Xiaomi band makes it stand out from the sales package, in fact we find the classic anonymous white color that however inside offers us:

  • Xiaomi Mi 8 SE
  • User manual in Chinese language
  • Chinese guarantee sheet
  • Pin for removing the SIM cart
  • Type-C adapter with 3,5 mm jack
  • TPU protection cover
  • USB Type-C charging and data transfer cable
  • Mains charger with Chinese connection with 5V output - 3A / 9V - 2A / 12 V - 1,5 A

The first thing you appreciate about Mi 8 SE is ergonomics thanks to profiles made of aluminum decidedly curved to facilitate the grip of the device, which host as the script SIM cart on the left can accommodate two SIM cards in nano format without the possibility of memory expansion inside, while on the right are the volume rocker and the power button with knurled texture which facilitates their recognition. As you may have guessed from the bundle of unboxing we do not find the jack from 3,5 mm for earphones but you can use the adapter in the package via the USB Type-C input with support OTG placed in the lower profile where there are also the main microphone and the system speaker while on the upper profile we have the second microphone for the reduction of ambient noise and the IR transmitter.

Signal reception antennas break the design of aluminum profiles with plastic inserts, but returning to ergonomics this is also guaranteed by equal measures 147.28 x 73.09 x 7.5 mm and a weight of 164 grams which takes the form of a square design that at times recalls the first generation of Mi Mix and that make Mi 8 SE a smartphone the size of an 5,2 inch.

The back made of glass certainly raises the attention on this smartphone, which on the whole transmits one feeling of excellent construction once you hold it in your hand, but be careful because the material is as beautiful as slippery. On the back we also find a dual camera, slightly protruding that unfortunately gives movements "dancers" to the terminal if resting on a flat surface (it is solved by inserting the cover supplied), accompanied by a dual tone LED flash and a fingerprint sensor, also covered with glass and that really turns out lightning fast, precise and reliable to which we can associate some functions such as photo shooting or blocking access to applications.

The details made me really fall in love with this Mi 8 SE, just like that the glass covering the backcover with a small mention of 2.5D processing or the milling that runs along the profiles as well as the display covered with a protective glass Corning Gorilla Glass 5 with 2.5D processing that incorporates the much hated / loved notch.

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Inside it we find the sensors of brightness, proximity, capsule, Monochromatic white notification LED, front camera and a LED flash that will serve to ensure selfie shots in low light conditions. No physical buttons as they are incorporated at the software level in the display, with the possibility of being reversed or completely eliminated, using the screen gestures. And this guarantees reduced frames that leave space for one 5,88 inch panel with AMOLED technology provided by Samsung and resolution Full HD + 2244 x 1080 pixels, with form factor in 18,7: 9, 423 PPI, 600 nits, 60000 contrast: 1. No vision problems with polarized glasses.

It seems almost useless to praise its beauty, but it is right to do it. Perfect viewing angles, colors faithful to the original and color tones that you will hardly find on a smartphone at a cost equal to that of Mi 8 SE. Excessive brightness even under direct sunlight. Finally, there is no lack of it reading mode with the possibility of varying the intensity of the filter, adjust contrasts and temperatures color up to 16 million possibilities, activate the screen with a double tap or by lifting the smartphone but also to take advantage of the Always On feature.

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The only flaw we can find at this display is the notch that someone could create serious problems related to receiving notifications. Indeed as seen on older brother Mi 8, even Mi 8 SE badly exploits the area of ​​the display next to the notch, showing us on the left side only the clock and on the right only the battery icon, the network signal and eventually the active Bluetooth or WiFi connection. A problem with which one can live together also because the notifications are signaled by the small LED positioned inside the notch. Furthermore the Always On mode is quite useless because although we have shown that there are notifications, or rather the presence of notifications via an icon, with these you can not interact in any way.

But all this takes second place if we begin to analyze the hardware of the Xiaomi Mi 8 SE, which offers a world preview of the brand new Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor, octacore made at 10 nm with AI engine and Kryo 360 Cortex A75 dual-core module with maximum clock from 2.2 GHz to which is added a Adreno GPU 616 @500 MHz, 4 GB of RAM memory LPDDR4X dual channel e 64 GB of internal storage XMMUM eMMC unfortunately not expandable. IS the performances are the best thing about this smartphone, that turned out to be always snappy in every situation. Mi 8 SE can easily compete with a top of the range and it will not make you regret the purchase. Daily use is guaranteed but even under stress I have never encountered particular overheating and the gaming experience was beyond expectations and fully satisfactory. The only drawback is the lack of support for streaming HD content due to an L3 level found in the Widevine protocol.

To all this we add a complete connectivity characterized by the presence of a Dual bandwidth 802.11a / b / g / n / ac WiFi (2.4 / 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, GPS / AGPS / GLONASS / Beidou / Galileo and though it is absent the NFC chip, the FM radio and the 20 band to 800 MHz, Xiaomi Mi 8 If you offer one LTE connectivity of Cat. 15 with support Dual 4G and which on the whole has proved to be free of problems. I have never suffered loss of signal or headaches in closed places or areas where rural, indeed I was pleasantly surprised by the general quality of the call signal and the smooth navigation.

And speaking of calls the audio is the one that convinced me less, not really for the quality that is realized with a clean and crystalline sound but because of the volume in my opinion too low and for which sometimes I struggled to understand the dialogue with my interlocutor. On the other hand, the sound returned by the system speaker is excellent. Although it is mono, it offers a good level of volume and balance of the sound frequencies.

Xiaomi Mi 8 SE has one battery from 3120 mAh that to judge the performances seems to have a greater capacity. I only tell you that on a standard day I arrived in the evening with the 31% of remaining charge and 5 hours and 16 minutes of active screen. It all depends on the real use you make of a smartphone, but with Mi 8 SE you might even get to not having to recharge for two whole days. In short, a praise to Xiaomi who was able to optimize the processor quality. Finally, the support for the 3.0 Quick Charge charging standard. A full charge via the included charger takes place in about 1 now and 15 minutes.

Unfortunately Xiaomi Mi 8 SE is a smartphone that may never officially arrive in our markettherefore, the official ROMs at the moment are only belonging to the China branch, and therefore no Google services, Play Store and Italian language. For Google services and the Play Store it is actually a breeze to install them and for the Italian you can partly overcome with the installation of More Locale 2. Another solution is to flash the ROM of xiaomi.eu but apart from that it must be said that within a week I received two updates, of which the last one brought the MIUI 10 in stable version on my Mi 8 SE with 01 July 2018 security patch.

By now we know everything about the skin proposed by Xiaomi and the features offered, like the dual space possibility to clone the applications etc .. are one of the reasons why opt for buying a smartphone Xiaomi in general and in the case of Mi 8 SE I must say that the MIUI 10 makes this smartphone fly.

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And as scheduled I left the camera last. Xiaomi Mi 8 SE can count on a double photographic module on the back consisting of a '12 megapixel main lens, Sony IMX363 sensor, f/ 1.9 and pixel surface from 1,4 um combined with a 'secondary optics from 5 megapixel, Samsung S5K5E8 sensor, f/ 2.0 and pixel surface from 1,12 um, which acts as a support in the collection of image depth data.

A solution already seen in other models of the brand, but that I personally could not appreciate. The bokeh effects are quite successful, but the quality of the shots in general did not satisfy me. In my opinion, the details of the image suffer from a pasted effect, not to mention the nocturnal rendering where everything is emphasized in a negative way. On the other hand, the presence of AI is good which allows to go to identify up to 206 different types of photographic scene setting automatically the parameters of shots for a better performance. Also presentAutomatic HDR, different filters in real time, as well as a sort of Google Lens but Chinese while at the video level we can shoot both time lapse and slow motion in Full HD at 120 fps. Standard videos go as far as not 4K is 30 fps stabilized or we can choose whether to entrust our memories to Full HD resolution to 120 fps or Full HD at 30fps but stabilized at the EIS software level.

At the video level the overall quality is definitely better than the one offered by the photos and maybe with the help of a gimbal with the FHD 120fps resolution you can pull off the clips almost at a professional level also thanks to a more than discrete audio capture and a Dual PD autofocus, quick and soft in the changes even if the detachment is evident. On the front we have instead a 20 megapixel optic, sensor Samsung S5K2T7, f/ 2.0 e pixel surface from 2.0 um and Super Pixel 4 in 1 technology based on pixel binning, which gives photos almost better than those captured by the rear camera, as long as you disable the many options related to beauty filters that honestly I have never appreciated or used. With this in mind we can also entrust the unlocking of the face of our terminal, the Unlock Face, that seems to work rather quickly and accurately with the only precaution of being in environments with good lighting.


The price at which Xiaomi Mi 8 SE is proposed is undoubtedly interesting, and you can find it at the store HonorBuy.it (do not forget to use the discount code XT5OFF), considering a highly respected hardware and fluidity and speed that make this smartphone one of the best in the price range in which it fits. The problem could be that as we suggest the name Xiaomi Mi 8 SE is afflicted by too many SE: and SE had support for the 20 band, and SE had a software like Global, and SE had a more powerful camera ... So I can not define it a best buy, but not even discard it even if the price drop we have witnessed in these days of Mi 8 make the 8 SE Mi an unwise choice.

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8.6 Total score

Xiaomi Mi 8 SE is a smartphone with a high quality / price ratio, which may find little appeal from users because of the lack of support for the 20 band combined with the probability that the device will never see an official ROM type Global. The notch could be better managed at the software level but the price and the excellent hardware in a certain sense make Mi 8 SE an alternative solution to the various toDISPLAYp of the range in circulation, albeit the price drop we are witnessing in this period on Mi 8 makes the SE variant less attractive.

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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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2 years ago

With the if it is with the but not the story is very sad. A little imagination at least ...

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