Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro assessment: Pro ambitions, amateur mistakes

When Xiaomi introduced within the U.Okay., it introduced a brand spanking new telephone for the worldwide marketplace — the Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro.

Essentially the Mi 8 Explorer Edition for patrons out of doors of China, the Mi 8 Pro tacks a couple of bells and whistles directly to Xiaomi’s common Mi 8 flagship, in addition to a novel clear glance.

We already know the telephone is constructed on a cast basis. A large number of what makes the Mi 8 Pro tick is in its vanilla sibling, which we praised in our Mi 8 assessment previous this 12 months.

Does the Mi 8 Pro do sufficient to earn its fairly upper price ticket? How does it rise up towards the remainder of 2018’s very best reasonably priced flagships? Find out in our Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro assessment.

Buy Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro

About our Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro assessment

I wrote this assessment after spending slightly below three weeks with a Mi 8 Pro assessment unit provided via Xiaomi. The telephone (style M1807E8A) ran MIUI 9 and Android 8.1 Oreo out of the field, however was once unexpectedly up to date to MIUI 10 (Global model 10.0.1.0) with the October 2018 safety patch. I used it most commonly on my house Wi-Fi community, in addition to O2’s 4G community within the U.Okay.

I encountered problems getting the always-on show to paintings in any respect, which is a matter I perceive different Mi 8 Pro customers have additionally encountered. We have contacted Xiaomi relating to this factor and can replace this Mi 8 Pro assessment when the function turns into to be had.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro rear

Design

We’ve opined that the common Xiaomi Mi 8 bears a placing resemblance to the iPhone X and XS on more than one events. It shouldn’t be unexpected that the Mi 8 Pro — which stocks the similar dimensions and general design because the Mi 8 — additionally seems to be love it may just’ve fallen off Apple’s meeting line.

Xiaomi is a long way from the one Chinese logo to elevate design components from the Cupertino large, in fact, however it’s via a long way the absolute best profile OEM to nonetheless depend so closely at the “Android iPhone” search for its marquee sequence.

Read extra: Best Xiaomi telephones

The Mi 8 Pro does diverge slightly farther from its glaring affect than the Mi 8, alternatively.

While blue and gold and red colorways are to be had in China, the worldwide Mi 8 Pro handiest is available in clear titanium. This see-through glass genre isn’t precisely new — the HTC U12 Plus opted for the same glance — however it’s eye catching with out bordering at the ostentatious.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro side

The identical can’t be stated, alternatively, of what lies underneath the rear glass. Unlike HTC’s as-you-see-it way, the Mi 8 Pro’s sparsely built visual elements are simply that — built.

What you’re seeing isn’t all faux, however maximum of it’s. If you’ve ever taken a telephone aside or watched an amateur repair video, you’ll know telephone part forums don’t glance this tidy.

One factor this is actual (Xiaomi assures me) is the oblong NFC chip. Emblazoned with the word “Innovation for Everyone,” it’s a long way from the one little bit of atypical branding.

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Scattered between the meticulously organized faux-ponents are references to the onboard Samsung flash garage and the Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC, in addition to a number of Xiaomi in-jokes and inspirational slogans.

If you’re anything else like me, your mileage with those hidden messages will range. I will abide the subtly nerdy hexadecimal illustration of the Mi 1 release, however the sledgehammer-to-the-face flinch of the “be the best corporate within the hearts of our customers” line plastered close to the ground is stomach-churning.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro slogans

The Mi 8 Pro additionally options delicate crimson accents across the digicam lenses and within the USB Type-C port, and it has a chrome crimson energy button at the proper facet simply above the black quantity rocker. I’m a sucker for tech that contrasts crimson and black so I like those minor touches.

As for the glass itself, Xiaomi caught Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on each the back and front with a brushed, gently curved aluminium chassis keeping apart the two. It’s a long way from the slipperiest telephone I’ve used, however all that cup lead to a few gasps because it slid off my settee on a couple of events.

The rear glass additionally has a plastic really feel on your palm and plenty of hairline scratches have seemed on either side from basic use. In brief, purchase a case (or use the one supplied within the field).

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro notch

I will’t communicate design with out citing that notch, which is shorter than the worst offenders (hi, Pixel 3 XL), however somewhat somewhat wider than the reasonable notch. There’s a variety of tech filled in there, like a 20MP selfie shooter and an infrared digicam, however it might nonetheless be a deal breaker for lots of, particularly with the morning time of waterdrop notches and different choices at the horizon.

While the ground bezel is a cheap dimension, it’s disappointing to peer such moderately thick bezels surrounding the show, in particular across the height the place the display screen’s pressured bunny ears are squeezed in via the encroaching bezel void.

Considering the broader issues I had with notifications at the telephone (extra on that later), I’ve to surprise why the makers of the leading edge Mi Mix 3 couldn’t juggle area extra successfully to permit further room within the left “ear” for greater than only a tiny virtual clock.

Otherwise that is Mi 8 trade as same old. The backside fixed speaker grill has an unpleasant dependancy of being precisely the place you need to position your index finger, particularly if you happen to like enjoying cell video games. The handiest different main diversion from the Mi 8 sequence’ design is the lacking fingerprint sensor, which is now below the show.

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Xiaomi’s determination to keep on with the present Mi 8 template so intently additionally extends to the loss of an IP ranking for water and dirt resistance. There’s additionally no headphone jack, and in spite of the glass construct, the Mi 8 Pro does no longer give a boost to wi-fi charging.

All of the cultured adjustments don’t do sufficient to cover the iPhone similarities, however I’m no longer going to reside on comparisons past this level. If you need an Android telephone that no less than seems like an iPhone, the Mi 8 sequence is arguably the most productive try up to now. The Mi 8 Pro tweaks it simply sufficient to ship an extra wow issue, which might flip the heads of a couple of iOS customers.

Just don’t allow them to learn the ones nauseating fragrance ad-like slogans.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro display

Display

The Mi 8 Pro sports activities a 6.21-inch, Samsung-made Super AMOLED show with a solution of 1,080 x 2,248 (402ppi) and HDR give a boost to. Very few telephones on the Mi 8 Pro’s worth vary stand out within the show stakes and Xiaomi’s telephone is not any other. That’s to not say it’s dangerous, it simply meets the already excessive bar of high quality established in 2018.

Brightness is rated as much as 600 nits and viewing angles are nice basically. As with any Xiaomi telephone, the colours veer against chillier temperatures, which enhances the muted hues of the MIUI launcher. There are a variety of choices to vary the distinction if you happen to favor a punchier glance, however don’t be expecting the deep blacks you’ll to find on Samsung’s personal top-tier telephones.

Performance

As with the common Mi 8, the Mi 8 Pro is powered via Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 SoC, handiest this time you get 8GB of RAM usual.

I had no court cases with the telephone’s general efficiency in the true international. It treated the whole lot I threw at it comfortably. Considering the telephone prices part up to probably the most height flagships, Xiaomi obviously didn’t minimize any corners tuning its core .

Related: Best of Android 2018: very best appearing telephones

In phrases of benchmarks, the Mi 8 Pro carried out marginally higher at the entire than its non-Pro sibling. Here are the consequences:

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro geekbench
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro geekbench
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro geekbench

The Mi 8 Pro got here out at 2,395 within the Geekbench 4 Single-Core check and 8,969 within the Multi-Core check. For comparability, the OnePlus 6T (6GB) scored 2,368 and 8.843, whilst Xiaomi’s Pocophone F1 scored 2,492 and 9,072, respectively.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro antutu
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro antutu

Antutu gave the Mi 8 Pro a rating of 288,330, touchdown slightly below Xiaomi’s Black Shark gaming telephone (291,099), the OnePlus 6, (293,745), and OnePlus 6T (295,181), however above the common Mi 8 (287,142). Meanwhile, the Pocophone F1 scored 266,264.

3DMark’s Sling Shot Extreme (OpenGL ES 3.1) check delivered an general rating of 4,612, which is an development over the Mi 8 (4,233) and Pocophone F1 (4,216), however under the OnePlus 6T (4,697).

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro USB-C port and speaker

Hardware

As neatly because the RAM bump over the Mi 8, the Mi 8 Pro additionally has two times the ROM, with 128GB non-expandable garage to play with.

The battery, alternatively, drops from 3,400mAh to 3,000mAh. I consider the offender in the back of the scale relief is the extra area taken up via the in-display fingerprint sensor.

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The Mi 8’s battery efficiency was once already underwhelming and sadly the Mi 8 Pro comes off even worse.

It’ll get you via an afternoon of reasonable use, however if you happen to’re on a protracted trip and need to circulate anything else or play a couple of video games you’ll be expecting to be dashing round for a charger whilst you arrive at your vacation spot.

I averaged slightly below five hours screen-on time in keeping with plenty of samples and 15-17 hours between fees. It’s no longer the worst staying power I’ve observed from a telephone, however it’s a vulnerable spot Xiaomi may just’ve simply have shyed away from via including slightly extra bulk to the Mi 8 Pro’s general construct to raised are compatible the in-display sensor and a tight dimension cellular.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro in-display fingerprint sensor

Let’s communicate in regards to the in-display fingerprint sensor.

I hate it.

The scanner is it sounds as if constructed from the similar Goodix tech discovered within the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and the OnePlus 6T. I’ve used either one of the ones telephones (albeit only for two weeks a work) and neither had me swearing as my finger did not sign in for the umpteenth time.

The Mi 8 Pro fingerprint sensor labored possibly 40 p.c of the time, neatly under the hit price I’d need for function that will get such a lot use throughout any given day. I remapped it more than one occasions, altered my finger place, used other arms, attempted various quantities of power, and the end result was once virtually continuously me having to kind in a PIN as an alternative.

I if truth be told somewhat just like the sci-fi-esque halo impact across the fingerprint icon whilst you practice power at the sensor and when the article if truth be told works it does unencumber the telephone in seconds. Yet as chances are you’ll be expecting, those minor consolations weren’t sufficient to forestall me from turning it off and forgetting about it utterly. That’s no longer a super state of affairs for one of the telephone’s headline options.

The Mi 8 Pro fingerprint sensor labored possibly 40 p.c of the time.

Mercifully, the Mi 8 Pro’s implementation of face unencumber — added in just lately by the use of an OTA replace — is infinitely higher.

The gadget is determined by the myriad sensors within the telephone’s elongated notch, together with the infrared digicam, which means that you’ll depend at the biometrics even in dimly lit prerequisites. I examined this at night time with the entire lighting off and it nonetheless unlocked the telephone comfortably.

It’s extremely rapid and really dependable, which means that there’s no explanation why to even contact the wonky fingerprint sensor.

On the audio facet, the Mi 8 Pro has two speaker grills at the backside of the telephone, however handiest one if truth be told properties a speaker. It additionally lacks an earpiece speaker. While the readability is usually applicable, the loudspeaker quantity is annoyingly quiet even at max. There’s additionally no 3.5mm jack, so customers with a trusty previous pair of stressed headphones may also wish to spend money on a brand new set of cans or use the adapter integrated within the field.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro MIUI 10

Software

The Mi 8 Pro runs MIUI 9 out of the field, however it just lately up to date to MIUI 10. While the newest model of Xiaomi’s customized pores and skin certain seems to be love it’s in keeping with Android Pie, it’s if truth be told nonetheless operating 8.1 Oreo. Xiaomi did a tight activity replicating Pie’s UI adjustments, you actually simply fail to notice the AI smarts Pie provides in the back of the scenes.

Before the replace, this phase would’ve long gone very, very another way. MIUI 10 solves essentially the most heinous problems with MIUI 9 — maximum particularly the loss of threaded notifications, which was once riding me up the wall.

Read extra: Android 9 Pie replace tracker: When will your telephone get Pie?

MIUI is usually somewhat barebones, which at this level seems to be a mindful determination via Xiaomi. Visually It’s someplace between LG’s UX and Huawei’s EMUI. The square-shaped default apps and muted colour palette gained’t be to everybody’s style, however it’s no less than purposeful and in large part inoffensive.

While there’s some app redundancy — reproduction browsers and the like — Xiaomi’s inventory equipment apps are in large part helpful and so they all function the similar easy font and cushy colour schemes to create a pleasing sense of consistency. As a Mi Band 3 wearer and Mi Fit app consumer, I felt somewhat at house.

I additionally somewhat just like the Xiaomi Guide, which sits at the left house display screen panel, the place the Google Discover feed could be on a Pixel telephone. It isn’t as cluttered as any other third-party feed-style choices available on the market and it’s moderately customizable.

Other neat inclusions are Dual Apps, which duplicates supported apps so you’ll run two accounts whilst with separate app icons and information, and Second Space, which necessarily means that you can mirror all of your telephone so you’ll retailer delicate knowledge in a password safe clone. MIUI 10 additionally provides full-screen gesture give a boost to, despite the fact that positive distinctive gestures — gaining access to fresh apps via swiping up and maintaining specifically — don’t really feel all that herbal.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro Android

Unfortunately, if truth be told discovering all of MIUI 10’s higher options is an absolute ache. The Settings app is a labyrinthine maze of arbitrary sub menus. If there wasn’t a seek bar on the height, I’m no longer certain I might’ve ever labored out methods to un-mirror the again and up to date apps buttons.

This pointless complexity is immediately at odds with the simplicity of the remainder of the UI, which completely gets rid of plenty of Android staples. The maximum notable casualty is the app drawer, which is peculiar making an allowance for the Xiaomi Pocophone F1’s Poco launcher no less than provides means that you can flip it again on.

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MIUI

Xiaomi’s MIUI 10 replace is in any case rolling out this month, coming to the whole lot from the Redmi 3S and Redmi 5A to the Mi 6 and Mi Mix 2S. It’s no longer essentially the most vital …

The maximum inexplicable determination is the loss of any notification icons at the left facet of the notch. I’ve already discussed how the thicker bezel and stretched cutout house leaves little or no room, however there’s no less than sufficient room for three icons at a time. Even the fitting facet displays the battery, Wi-Fi, and cell reception.

It leaves the consumer within the ridiculous state of affairs the place you’ll handiest see notifications at the lock display screen or within the few seconds once they arrive. Otherwise, it is advisable to be giddily surfing your telephone, utterly unaware you will have a dozen messages and emails looking forward to a answer till you swipe the notification bar down or lock your telephone and spot the LED mild pulsing (despite the fact that lots of Xiaomi’s personal apps don’t cause the sunshine).

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro notifications

This was once exacerbated via the telephone’s always-on show, which refused to paintings all over my whole time with it. I’m it sounds as if no longer on my own right here, regardless that up to now Xiaomi hasn’t were given again to me in regards to the factor. However, although it begins operating, it gained’t repair the loss of icons, which is frankly inexcusable when there’s already an answer baked into Android to make sure notification icons paintings in tandem with notches.

I must notice that I haven’t observed any of the arguable commercials Xiaomi has slipped into MIUI, Trojan Horse-style, however chances are you’ll if you happen to pick out up the telephone for your self.

As my colleague David Imel famous in his assessment of the Mi 8, MIUI 10 appears like a cast base for Xiaomi to construct on, and expectantly the comments from its devoted neighborhood will assist with that.

Don’t be fooled, regardless that. As a lot as this is known as MIUI 10, it appears like 1.0.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro camera

Camera

In a operating theme for the Mi 8 Pro, the dual-lens rear digicam is the same to the module discovered on the usual Mi 8. You get a 12MP primary lens with an f/1.8 aperture and a secondary 12MP telephoto lens with an f/2.4 aperture that permits 2x optical zoom.

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The digicam app itself seems to be remarkably very similar to the Google Pixel digicam, with the similar carousel format and circular-style icons.

Aside from auto and guide modes, the Mi 8 Pro digicam app additionally helps landscape and portrait photographs, in addition to sluggish movement and time lapse movies.

It additionally has an AI taking pictures mode, all however a given for Chinese smartphones in 2018. This possibility may also be toggled on or off and Xiaomi says the telephone will acknowledge scenes to take the most productive picture and routinely tweak bokeh for higher portrait photographs.

the Mi 8 Pro digicam is able to generating nice photographs in all however the worst mild prerequisites.

I took a couple of reproduction pictures to match the consequences with the AI digicam off and on and handiest noticed minor colour, sharpness, and distinction changes. It’s indisputably a long way from the overtuned mess we’ve observed some AI digicam modes produce, however it’s no longer on par with the NPU-powered result of Huawei’s flagships.

The Mi 8 Pro additionally means that you can toggle HDR both on, off, or on auto. The latter produced spectacular effects throughout my pictures classes and the digicam has a pleasing knack of figuring out when to kick HDR into tools.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro photo sample

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro photo sample
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro photo sample
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro photo sample

In truth, the Mi 8 Pro digicam basically is able to generating nice photographs in all however the worst mild prerequisites. Sharpness, colour replica, dynamic vary, and distinction are all cast and Xiaomi has integrated a variety of choices to tinker with the picture within the Gallery app if you happen to’re no longer pleased with the speedy effects.

My handiest actual grievance is the twin digicam watermark, which is became on via default. Just take into account to show it off sooner than taking that first, absolute best shot.

Below are a couple of compressed pattern pictures taken in a lot of other prerequisites. You can see the similar samples in complete solution right here.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro photo sample

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro photo sample
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro photo sample
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro photo sample
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro photo sample
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro photo sample
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro photo sample
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro photo sample
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro photo sample
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro photo sample
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro photo sample
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro photo sample
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro photo sample
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro photo sample

I must additionally point out video recording (as much as 4K at 30fps) produces similarly dependable effects because of the onboard 4-axis OIS. The 20MP selfie cam is much better than you’d be expecting for a telephone at this worth vary — simply don’t spend too lengthy within the complete good looks and transforming suites or chances are you’ll no longer acknowledge your personal face by the point you’re finished.

Specs

  Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro
Display 6.21-inch AMOLED
2,248 x 1,080 solution
18.7:9 display screen ratio
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Octa-core, as much as 2.8Ghz
GPU Adreno 630
RAM 8GB
LPDDR4X
Storage 128GB
UFS
Cameras Rear cameras
Main: 12MP with 1.4 micron pixels, 4-axis OIS, f/1.8 aperture
Secondary: 12MP telephoto with 1.0 micron pixels, f/2.4 aperture
Video: 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 240/120/30fps, 720p at 240/30fps

Front digicam: 20MP with 1.8 micron pixels, f/2.0 aperture

Audio Bottom-firing speaker
USB Type-C
No 3.5mm jack
Battery 3,000mAh
Non-removable
Quick Charge 4+
Facial reputation 3-D facial reputation (by the use of OTA)
Sensors Goodix In-display fingerprint sensor
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Proximity
Ambient Light
Electronic Compass
Barometer
Network GSM: B2/B3/B5/B8
CDMA: 1X/EVDO BC0
WCDMA: B1/B2/B4/B5/B8
TD-SCDMA: B34/B39
TD-LTE: B34/B38/B39/B40/B41 (120MHz)
FDD-LTE: B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B12/B17/B20
LTE B41 4 antenna era supporting 4×4 MIMO
Connectivity Wi-Fi: 2×2 MIMO, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4G/5G
Bluetooth 5.0
AptX/AptX-HD give a boost to
NFC
Dual frequency GPS (GPS L1+L5, Galileo E1+E5a, QZSS L1+L5, GLONASS L1, Beidu B1)
SIM Dual nano-SIM
Software Android 8.1 Oreo
MIUI 10
Dimensions and weight 154.9 x 74.8 x 7.6mm
177g
Colors Transparent Titanium

Gallery

Pricing and availability

The Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro is to be had within the U.Okay. priced at 499 kilos (~$634) and decided on European nations the place it retails for 599 euros.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro review

Final ideas and the contest

When taking a look on the Mi 8 Pro’s position within the wider marketplace, the obvious comparability is with the OnePlus 6T. The two “flagship killers” constitute fantastic worth for cash, each beginning at simply 499 kilos within the U.Okay.

If you’re already deep into Xiaomi’s Mi ecosystem of apps and products and services, which is able to handiest develop as the corporate expands additional into the sensible house marketplace, the Mi 8 Pro is probably the simpler wager. That’s additionally the case if you happen to actually want that further 2GB of RAM (I’d argue you don’t) and will’t belly spending anything else over the bottom asking worth.

For everybody else, alternatively, the intuitive instrument, a long way higher battery efficiency, and graceful design of OnePlus’ newest is tricky to disclaim.

However, the Mi 8 Pro’s actual rival isn’t any other Chinese logo. It’s Xiaomi itself.

The Pocophone F1 and Xiaomi Mi 8 are each attractive choices.

While it doesn’t glance or really feel any place close to as top rate, the Pocophone F1 is basically the similar instrument in lots of key spaces. It has a headphone jack, a greater local launcher, a miles higher battery, and crucially prices 170 kilos (~$215) much less.

You may just additionally continuously believe the common Mi 8 with its close to similar construct and have checklist and experience (marginally) higher battery existence whilst additionally saving 40 kilos as opposed to the Pro.

You’ll lose the clear rear glass, the additional 2GB of RAM, and the atrociously dangerous in-display fingerprint sensor, however I’d argue that’s truthful when it is advisable to save your self somewhat of money and virtually come up with the money for each a Mi Band 3 and a few USB Type-C earphones (no longer integrated within the field) with the financial savings.

In the case of the Mi 8 Pro, I’d stick to an “amateur” selection.

Buy Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro


What do you’re making of the Mi 8 sequence’ height canine? Let us know within the feedback.