Xiaomi Mi Band 3 officially at CNY 169

Xiaomi Mi Band 3 officially at CNY 169

Lindsey Duncan
June 1, 2018

Today's event witnessed the launch of Mi 8 SE (Special Edition), Mi 8 Explorer Edition, Mi VRStandalone headset, Mi Band 3 and MIUI 10.

The Mi 8 Explorer Edition (EE) is the first Xiaomi phone to come with an in-display fingerprint scanner. The Mi 8 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC with 6 GB RAM and storage options ranging from 64 GB to 256 GB. Apple launched the iPhone SE and just like the iPhone SE, the Mi 8 SE is a smaller version of the flagship Mi 8. Xiaomi hasn't even bothered to do that with the Mi 8.

Going by recent reports, Xiaomi Mi 8 will be a worthy successor to the Mi 6 and will give a serious challenge to the recently launched OnePlus 6, Samsung Galaxy S9, Google Pixel 2 and HTC U12+, among others. With the addition of the new size, Xiaomi now offers the Mi TV 4 in four sizes: 55-inch, 65-inch, 49-inch and 75-inch.

The Xiaomi Mi 8 SE has a great price and design.

I only had very brief time testing the Mi 8 so I didn't get to try the facial scanning system, but if Xiaomi is promising to use it as a form of biometric security (which includes verification for online banking), it had better build it as well as Apple's.

Although specific feature details at this point are rather scarce, Xiaomi revealed a couple of features that are slated to make an appearance in MIUI 10. The Mi 8 SE is a less powerful member and it features a Snapdragon 710. It will also come with infrared cameras located at the notch for face unlocking, a feature also available on the iPhone X.

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On the specifications front, the phone looks a lot like Mi 8 and sports a notch display. The front-facing camera is a 20-megapixel shooter with f/2.0 aperture, 1.8-micron pixels and shoots Full HD videos. Furthermore, AI will be used to determine what apps are being used more by the user, and the OS will open them quickly. There's an Apple-like dual camera array that features two 12-megapixel cameras. The Mi 8 Explorer Edition comes with 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage only.

The phone is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor which brings flagship level performance at a mid-range cost along with an Adreno 616 graphics processor.

Chinese phones' beautifying modes tend to go overboard - they turn subjects into plastic Barbies, in my opinion - but the samples shown during the presentation and at a demo booth seemed natural enough.

Finally, the Xiaomi Mi 8 SE is smaller and cheaper than the other models. The new fitness band from Xiaomi comes with an updated design, added features like water resistance and heart rate sensor and an improved capacitive OLED touchscreen.

The Mi 8 and the Mi 8 SE will go on sale in China in early June, starting at 2,699 yuan (around $421) and 1,799 yuan (around $281), respectively.