Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro evaluate: 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 outdoor 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 evaluate previous this yr.

Does the Mi 8 Pro do sufficient to earn its fairly upper ticket? How does it get up towards the remainder of 2018’s very best within your means flagships? Find out in our Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro evaluate.

Buy Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro

About our Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro evaluate

I wrote this evaluate after spending just below three weeks with a Mi 8 Pro evaluate unit provided via Xiaomi. The telephone (type M1807E8A) ran MIUI 9 and Android 8.1 Oreo out of the field, however was once hastily 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 reveal 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 evaluate when the characteristic 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 sudden that the Mi 8 Pro — which stocks the similar dimensions and total design because the Mi 8 — additionally seems to be adore it may’ve fallen off Apple’s meeting line.

Xiaomi is a ways from the one Chinese logo to raise design components from the Cupertino large, after all, nevertheless it’s via a ways the perfect profile OEM to nonetheless depend so closely at the “Android iPhone” search for its marquee collection.

Read extra: Best Xiaomi telephones

The Mi 8 Pro does diverge somewhat farther from its obtrusive affect than the Mi 8, on the other hand.

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

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro side

The similar can’t be stated, on the other hand, of what lies underneath the rear glass. Unlike HTC’s as-you-see-it manner, the Mi 8 Pro’s in moderation 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 element 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 ways from the one little bit of ordinary 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 be able to abide the subtly nerdy hexadecimal illustration of the Mi 1 release, however the sledgehammer-to-the-face balk 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 refined purple accents across the digital camera lenses and within the USB Type-C port, and it has a chrome purple energy button at the proper facet simply above the black quantity rocker. I’m a sucker for tech that contrasts purple 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 setting apart the two. It’s a ways from the slipperiest telephone I’ve used, however all that tumbler lead to a couple gasps because it slid off my settee on a couple of events.

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

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro notch

I will be able to’t communicate design with out citing that notch, which is shorter than the worst offenders (hi, Pixel 3 XL), however reasonably just a little wider than the reasonable notch. There’s quite a few tech stuffed in there, like a 20MP selfie shooter and an infrared digital camera, however it would nonetheless be a deal breaker for plenty of, particularly with the break of day of waterdrop notches and different possible choices at the horizon.

While the ground bezel is a cheap measurement, it’s disappointing to look such quite thick bezels surrounding the reveal, specifically across the height the place the display’s compelled 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 cutting edge Mi Mix 3 couldn’t juggle house 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 wish to have to place your index finger, particularly for those who like enjoying cellular video games. The simplest different main diversion from the Mi 8 collection’ design is the lacking fingerprint sensor, which is now below the reveal.

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Xiaomi’s determination to stick with the present Mi 8 template so carefully additionally extends to the loss of an IP score for water and mud resistance. There’s additionally no headphone jack, and regardless of the glass construct, the Mi 8 Pro does no longer toughen 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 wish to have an Android telephone that no less than seems like an iPhone, the Mi 8 collection is arguably the most productive strive thus far. 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 reveal with a solution of 1,080 x 2,248 (402ppi) and HDR toughen. Very few telephones on the Mi 8 Pro’s value vary stand out within the reveal stakes and Xiaomi’s telephone isn’t any other. That’s to not say it’s unhealthy, 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 usually. As with any Xiaomi telephone, the colours veer in opposition to less warm temperatures, which enhances the muted hues of the MIUI launcher. There are quite a few choices to change the distinction for those who favor a punchier glance, however don’t be expecting the deep blacks you’ll in finding 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, simplest this time you get 8GB of RAM usual.

I had no court cases with the telephone’s total efficiency in the true global. It treated the entirety I threw at it comfortably. Considering the telephone prices part up to one of the crucial height flagships, Xiaomi obviously didn’t lower any corners tuning its core hardware.

Related: Best of Android 2018: very best appearing telephones

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

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 take a look at and 8,969 within the Multi-Core take a look at. 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 under 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) take a look at delivered an total rating of 4,612, which is an growth over the Mi 8 (4,233) and Pocophone F1 (4,216), however beneath 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, on the other hand, drops from 3,400mAh to 3,000mAh. I consider the perpetrator at the back of the dimensions aid is the extra house taken up via the in-display fingerprint sensor.

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Some folks would possibly suppose that a very powerful characteristic in a smartphone is its reveal measurement. Others consider it comes all the way down to a telephone’s processor efficiency, or the volume of RAM, or how a lot garage …

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

It’ll get you by way of an afternoon of reasonable use, however for those who’re on a protracted travel and need to movement anything else or play a couple of video games you’ll be able to be expecting to be dashing round for a charger whilst you arrive at your vacation spot.

I averaged just 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, nevertheless it’s a susceptible spot Xiaomi may’ve simply have shyed away from via including somewhat extra bulk to the Mi 8 Pro’s total construct to higher are compatible the in-display sensor and a good measurement cellular.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro in-display fingerprint sensor

Let’s communicate concerning the in-display fingerprint sensor.

I hate it.

The scanner is it appears 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 didn’t check in for the umpteenth time.

The Mi 8 Pro fingerprint sensor labored possibly 40 % of the time, neatly beneath the hit fee I’d need for characteristic that will get such a lot use all through any given day. I remapped it more than one instances, altered my finger place, used other hands, attempted various quantities of drive, and the end result was once virtually consistently me having to kind in a PIN as an alternative.

I if truth be told reasonably just like the sci-fi-esque halo impact across the fingerprint icon whilst you follow drive at the sensor and when the object if truth be told works it does free up 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 perfect scenario for one of the telephone’s headline options.

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

Mercifully, the Mi 8 Pro’s implementation of face free up — added in lately by means of an OTA replace — is infinitely higher.

The gadget will depend on the myriad sensors within the telephone’s elongated notch, together with the infrared digital camera, this means that you’ll be able to depend at the biometrics even in dimly lit stipulations. I examined this at night time with all of the lighting off and it nonetheless unlocked the telephone comfortably.

It’s extremely rapid and really dependable, this 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 simplest one if truth be told homes a speaker. It additionally lacks an earpiece speaker. While the readability is in most cases 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 will even want to spend money on a brand new set of cans or use the adapter incorporated within the field.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro MIUI 10

Software

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

Before the replace, this segment would’ve long past very, very in a different way. MIUI 10 solves probably 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 in most cases reasonably 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 received’t be to everybody’s style, nevertheless it’s no less than useful and in large part inoffensive.

While there’s some app redundancy — replica browsers and the like — Xiaomi’s inventory equipment apps are in large part helpful and so they all characteristic 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 reasonably at house.

I additionally reasonably just like the Xiaomi Guide, which sits at the left house display 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 possible choices in the marketplace and it’s quite customizable.

Other neat inclusions are Dual Apps, which duplicates supported apps so you’ll be able to run two accounts whilst with separate app icons and knowledge, and Second Space, which necessarily permits you to reflect all of your telephone so you’ll be able to retailer delicate knowledge in a password secure clone. MIUI 10 additionally provides full-screen gesture toughen, even supposing sure distinctive gestures — having access to contemporary apps via swiping up and protecting particularly — 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 find out how to un-mirror the again and up to date apps buttons.

This pointless complexity is at once 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 extraordinary taking into consideration the Xiaomi Pocophone F1’s Poco launcher no less than provides permits you to flip it again on.

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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 enough room for three icons at a time. Even the appropriate facet displays the battery, Wi-Fi, and cellular reception.

It leaves the consumer within the ridiculous scenario the place you’ll simplest see notifications at the lock display or within the few seconds once they arrive. Otherwise, that you must be giddily surfing your telephone, utterly unaware you will have a dozen messages and emails looking ahead to a answer till you swipe the notification bar down or lock your telephone and notice the LED gentle pulsing (even supposing a lot 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 reveal, which refused to paintings during my complete time with it. I’m it appears no longer on my own right here, although thus far Xiaomi hasn’t were given again to me in regards to the factor. However, even though it begins operating, it received’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 will have to word that I haven’t observed any of the debatable advertisements Xiaomi has slipped into MIUI, Trojan Horse-style, however chances are you’ll for those who pick out up the telephone for your self.

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

Don’t be fooled, although. As a lot as this is named 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 digital camera is the same to the module discovered on the usual Mi 8. You get a 12MP major 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 digital camera app itself seems to be remarkably very similar to the Google Pixel digital camera, with the similar carousel format and circular-style icons.

Aside from auto and handbook modes, the Mi 8 Pro digital camera app additionally helps landscape and portrait pictures, 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 choice may also be toggled on or off and Xiaomi says the telephone will acknowledge scenes to take the most productive picture and mechanically tweak bokeh for higher portrait pictures.

the Mi 8 Pro digital camera is in a position to generating nice pictures in all however the worst gentle stipulations.

I took a couple of replica pictures to match the effects with the AI digital camera off and on and simplest noticed minor colour, sharpness, and distinction changes. It’s unquestionably a ways from the overtuned mess we’ve observed some AI digital camera modes produce, nevertheless it’s no longer on par with the NPU-powered result of Huawei’s flagships.

The Mi 8 Pro additionally permits you to toggle HDR both on, off, or on auto. The latter produced spectacular effects all through my pictures periods and the digital camera has a pleasing knack of understanding 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 reality, the Mi 8 Pro digital camera usually is in a position to generating nice pictures in all however the worst gentle stipulations. Sharpness, colour copy, dynamic vary, and distinction are all cast and Xiaomi has incorporated quite a few choices to tinker with the picture within the Gallery app for those who’re no longer proud of the rapid effects.

My simplest actual grievance is the twin digital camera watermark, which is became on via default. Just take into account to show it off ahead of taking that first, best possible shot.

Below are a couple of compressed pattern pictures taken in quite a lot of other stipulations. 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 will have to additionally point out video recording (as much as 4K at 30fps) produces similarly dependable effects due to the onboard 4-axis OIS. The 20MP selfie cam is much better than you’d be expecting for a telephone at this value vary — simply don’t spend too lengthy within the complete good looks and reworking suites or chances are you’ll no longer acknowledge your individual face by the point you’re executed.

Specs

  Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro
Display 6.21-inch AMOLED
2,248 x 1,080 solution
18.7:9 display 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 digital camera: 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 means 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 generation 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 toughen
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 having 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 implausible price 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 simplest develop as the corporate expands additional into the sensible house marketplace, the Mi 8 Pro is doubtlessly the simpler wager. That’s additionally the case for those who actually want that further 2GB of RAM (I’d argue you don’t) and will’t belly spending anything else over the bottom asking value.

For everybody else, on the other hand, the intuitive tool, a ways higher battery efficiency, and swish hardware design of OnePlus’ newest is tricky to disclaim.

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

The Pocophone F1 and Xiaomi Mi 8 are each engaging possible choices.

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

You may additionally consistently imagine the common Mi 8 with its close to equivalent construct and have listing and revel in (marginally) higher battery lifestyles 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 unhealthy in-display fingerprint sensor, however I’d argue that’s honest when that you must save your self just a little of money and virtually manage to pay for each a Mi Band 3 and a few USB Type-C earphones (no longer incorporated 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 collection’ height canine? Let us know within the feedback.

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