Xiaomi’s high-end smartphone, the Mi 8 is the answer of the Chinese manufacturer to its model of always, Apple. But does the Chinese brand manage to match its degree of finish?
Since its inception in 2010, Xiaomi has regularly been likened to a copier from Apple. It must be said that aesthetically, the products of the Chinese brand very often resemble those launched by Cupertino. A similarity that Xiaomi assumes, to the point of reproducing the same advertising visuals, or to recover the exact names of certain functions. Asked by 01net.com in Shenzhen, a vice president of the brand told us even to have “created an iPhone, but better”.
With the Mi 8, it is the iPhone X that Xiaomi attacks. Similar aesthetically, does the smartphone hit hard? Sold from 499 euros (64 GB) to 549 euros (128 GB), the Chinese device already leaves with an advantage over the price.
A beautiful glass back … very slippery
With its curved glass back on the sides, the Mi 8 is undeniably a beautiful device. As pleasant to watch as to hold, the smartphone, to our surprise, takes only very few fingerprints. Xiaomi is once again demonstrating its know-how, and proves that it continues to improve year after year.
It is at the level of the back that the resemblance with the iPhone X is most striking. The dual camera module is identical to that of Apple and oriented vertically just like him. Xiaomi knows how to be as minimalist as Apple. Only a few inscriptions are written at the bottom of the box, and a fingerprint sensor is busy at Xiaomi instead of the apple. The rest is empty. Simple but effective.
Unfortunately, the back of the Mi 8 is also one of its biggest flaws. We have noticed that the device tends to slide on its own as soon as it is placed on a flat surface like a table. Ten centimeters from the edge of an office, our test model managed to move on its own and to fall, all in the space of twenty seconds. Fortunately, no breakage is to be deplored, which tends to reassure us about the strength of the smartphone. We still recommend the use of the hull provided to avoid the stupid accident …
An almost perfect AMOLED screen
Few Xiaomi smartphones have an AMOLED panel. The brand generally favors LCD panels, which are cheaper and easier to produce. The only exception is the Mi range from which this Mi 8 comes, which has benefited for several generations from a Super AMOLED screen from Samsung factories.
At a diagonal of 6.21 inches, the screen of Mi 8 will not necessarily offer an ideal compactness to the case to be easily handled by all hands. It nonetheless provides a very valuable display surface for watching movies or series. AMOLED technology requires, the contrast of the slab is infinite and makes the video playback even more immersive. With a delta E measured of 3.82, the screen has a good colorimetry, especially for an AMOLED device. Only downside, its brightness of 483 cd / m² is a little lower than that measured on the screen of iPhone X (585 cd / m²), although it remains satisfactory in most uses.
At the top of the smartphone, we obviously notice the presence of a notch size almost identical to that of the iPhone X. It houses a speaker, a front camera and an infrared sensor to allow facial recognition including in the dark (a technology called “Face ID” in China, but not in Europe). This function of Xiaomi has also bluffed us. Apart from OnePlus, no one had reached this level of speed. We lift the smartphone, and it unlocks almost instantly. This is still less secure than the authentic Face ID Apple.
The power of a high-end
With a Snapdragon 845 and 6 GB of RAM, there is not really much to doubt about the performance of the Mi 8. But after all, the Mi Mix 2s, equipped identically had managed to disappoint us with its Too many software bugs that hurt the user experience.
If we omit the few translation errors present in MIUI (the overlay used by Xiaomi), the smartphone did not pose any problem. Everything is fast not to say immediate in terms of navigation. The device manages to run resource-hungry games without overheating and handles multitasking beautifully. There are few times when we had to wait to launch an application. In short, there is the best side of Xiaomi, which seems to take to heart the software optimizations, and really offers, with this Mi 8, one of the fastest smartphones on the market.
One of the best autonomies of the moment
Generally, high-end smartphones are not champions of autonomy. more powerful and equipped with better screens, they logically consume more energy and are outdistanced by less powerful midrange devices. The Mi 8 is the exception that confirms the rule. The software optimization of the Chinese seems to have paid enough for the device to take the 7th place in our ranking of the most enduring smartphones.
According to 01net.com’s lab, the Mi 8 has an excellent versatility of 14 hours and 15 minutes, which guarantees the maximum score. In communication, we approach the day close with 22 hours and 21 minutes of autonomy. In short, the Mi 8 is the ideal smartphone for those who do not like to charge their device during the day. To give you an idea, we managed to leave on a trip with two days without connecting it once, and using it as the main smartphone.
This device is obviously compatible with fast charging, but we still regret the lack of wireless charging, despite the glass back of the smartphone. It’s a shame, since Xiaomi Mi Mix 2s supports technology, and Xiaomi sells its own Qi charger for 19 euros.
Photo: Very good day, good night
With his Mi Mix 2s, Xiaomi had managed to surprise us with a mobile capable of doing very good pictures, as we reported in our top 10 photo smartphones. No need to tell you that we hoped so much of this Mi 8.
Equipped with a dual camera module of 12 Mpix (the second sensor offers a 2x zoom and can create a bokeh effect), the Mi 8 is, according to the brand, its smartphone with the most talented photo. All is not perfect yet, but we must recognize that Xiaomi plays, again, in the big leagues and offers a very good device.
The highlight of Mi 8: the impressive level of detail of his shots. You can easily zoom in on the elements and the colors are very realistic. The only flaw, its software tends to smooth the faces a little too much, and to remove certain images from the natural.
If the level of detail is good, the Mi 8 fishing on autofocus. Which is not very fast, and which sometimes lets itself be in certain light conditions.
If by day, the Mi 8 easily competes with the best devices like Samsung’s Galaxy, it is a little less exceptional at night. The light is pretty well managed, but the autofocus of the camera takes a little too long to trigger. The result is nevertheless very suitable, especially at this price level.
We also tested the video function of Mi 8, and here we are more nuanced. The quality is there, but the stabilization is much too forced to obtain a natural rendering. Too bad, we were not much of excellence!