Xiaomi has announced its new flagship phone, the Mi 8 — and yes, it’s the company’s first phone with a notch. The Mi 8 has a 6.21-inch OLED screen from Samsung, wrapping around a fairly large notch that houses a 20-megapixel selfie camera.
The phone has a four-way curved glass back panel and an aluminum frame. Inside there’s Qualcomm’s high-end Snapdragon 845 processor, and the new 12-megapixel dual camera setup apparently scores 105 on DxOMark, for what that’s worth. Xiaomi also says that this is the first phone ever to use dual-frequency GPS, which is supposed to give more accurate location data.
Xiaomi’s numbered Mi flagships tend to be extremely good phones for the price, if not especially cutting edge. For that, the company is going all-out on the Mi 8 Explorer Edition. The Explorer Edition has an in-display fingerprint sensor that, for the first time in a phone, uses pressure sensitivity. Xiaomi also claims that the Explorer Edition is the first Android phone in the world to use 3D face recognition technology, like the iPhone X’s Face ID — and of course there’s an Animoji equivalent on board.
Perhaps most importantly, the Explorer Edition has a transparent back panel that looks hot as hell.
The final entry in the Mi 8 lineup is the Mi 8 SE, a smaller, slower, and cheaper version of the Mi 8 that clearly takes naming cues from Apple’s own fun-sized model. It’s the first phone to use Qualcomm’s brand new midrange Snapdragon 710 processor, and has a 5.88-inch OLED screen.
The 710 is said to save 30 percent in power consumption over the previous-gen 660 while offering around 20 percent greater performance; that could give the Mi 8 SE a strong position in the Chinese market, where several more expensive 2018 phones like the Oppo R15 Pro and Vivo X21 are based on the 660.
We don’t have final pricing information on the Mi 8 line just yet — all we know is that the Explorer Edition will be under 3,999 yuan (~$625), the regular Mi 8 will start at under 2,999 yuan ($468), and the Mi 8 SE will be available from under 1,999 yuan ($312). That’s enough to confirm that the range is very competitively priced, but stay tuned for more details.
The Mi 8 will be available on China from the 5th of June, with the SE following on the 8th and the Explorer Edition coming at a later date. No word on availability for India or any other markets just yet.