We go hands-on with Xiaomi’s two new phones
We’ve been wondering for quite a bit when we’d ever see Xiaomi’s transparent backed flagship in the Philippines, and it seems that we won’t have to wait long. Aside from showing us their Mi Mix 3 earlier today, the company also allowed us to test drive their Mi 8 Pro and Mi 8 Lite smartphones. The Mi 8 Pro is essentially the Mi 8 Explorer Edition with a few features nixed, though by and large you’re still getting the same flagship phone that generated such controversy when it launched a few months ago.
Controversy? Juicy! Do tell!
Well, one of the biggest design choices that make the Mi 8 Pro so interesting to look at isn’t real. The supposed components that you see are simply a decorative cover that hides the real components in the phone. Don’t believe us? Check out JerryRigEverything’s teardown of the Mi 8 Explorer Edition linked below (jump to 5:09 seconds):
Real or not, we like the fact that Xiaomi tried to do something different with the phone. Having that decorative design peeking through that transparent case makes the phone visually interesting, and is a nice change of pace from the glut of similar-looking glass backed flagships nowadays.
How about the Mi 8 Lite?
Speaking of glass backed phones, Xiaomi went for a more traditional approach with the Mi 8 Lite. The phone has a glass back, and what seems to be the new design bandwagon, at least for mid-range devices: a gradient color finish.
The phone has a metal frame to go along with that glass back, and has the fingerprint scanner on the rear, along with the dual-camera setup that’s arranged horizontally and tucked on the upper left side.
What’s the difference between the Mi 8 Pro and the Mi 8 Explorer Edition?
Only a few features that you’ll probably won’t miss. The biggest is the 3D face unlock which means you’ll have to settle with the IR face unlock feature instead.
Aside from that most of the features that are on the Mi 8 Explorer Edition is on the Mi 8 Pro as well, including that gorgeous 6.21-inch AMOLED display, in-display fingerprint scanner, dual 12-megapixel rear cameras, 20-megapixel front camera plus the 3000mAh battery and Snapdragon 845 processor with 6GB/8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
We’re unsure yet what exactly the configuration of the Mi 8 Pro will arrive in the Philippines, so we’ll have to wait until Xiaomi announces this themselves.
The Mi 8 Lite meanwhile, gets 6.26-inch full HD+ IPS display with a 19:9 aspect ratio, dual rear cameras composed of a 12-megapixel camera with a f/1.9 aperture lens and a 5-megapixel secondary sensor, 24-megapixel f/2.2 front camera, a mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chipset with a choice of either 4GB/6GB of RAM and 64GB/128GB of storage, plus a 3350mAh battery along with Android Oreo and MIUI 10.
Are they any good?
Xiaomi’s current crop of smartphones are pretty darn great, and the Mi 8 Pro and Mi 8 Lite are no exception to this. Both phones feel phenomenal in the hands. We’re drawn more to the Mi 8 Pro than the mid-range Mi 8 Lite though since there’s a lot more going on visually on the device compared to the Mi 8 Lite.
Don’t get us wrong, the Mi 8 Lite looks great and all, but the current glut of mid-range, glass-backed phones with gradient finishes lessens the impact of the phone’s design for us.
When are they launching in the Philippines?
Xiaomi’s been teasing the two phones for quite a bit in their social media channels, though both devices are expected to make their global debut in two days’ time. We earlier reported pricing for both devices through a leaked flyer provided to us, but apparently, Xiaomi says the price isn’t final yet and is still subject to change. So there’s still a chance that the price
tags for the 4GB/64GB variant (Php 14,990) and 6GB/128GB (Php 17,990 ) variant of the Mi 8 Lite, and the prices for the 8GB/128GB variant (Php 32,990) for the Mi 8 Pro can still change for the better.