Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro
Price & Availability
Xiaomi has aimed the Mi 8 Pro at the UK market specifically, with the features backing up the high claims made by the company. It is available in 6 and 8 GB RAM variants, which present themselves as viable options for both casual and power users out there. With a dual rear camera, both clocking in a 12 MP, and a 20 MP front shooter, image quality is expected to be very good, and owing to the resolution of the phone, video and image viewing should be a joy to behold.
The phone packs all features that you would expect from a phone of this range. The only downside, perhaps, is the battery capacity, which is by no means low at 3000 mAh, but is lower than two phones by the same company, the Mi 8 and the Mi 8 lite. Another minute disadvantage is the absence of a headphone jack, which, admittedly, is becoming more of a feature in flagships these days, to make the device thinner. Colour options include gold, black and transparent black.
So, if you are ready to compromise a bit on battery, while enjoying all the other excellent features of the Mi 8 Pro, then this one is a definite buy for you. On the other hand, if battery life is your priority, then you might want to dig in a bit more and get your hands on other models.
Xiaomi has made it large in the UK market, with the Mi 8 Pro being a sub-GBP 500 phone loaded with features you would expect from premium flagships. Released in September 2018, the phone comes packed with Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box, and picks up on the notch design which has since become popular and a standard for all flagships.
The display is quite large, coming in at 6.21 inches, and the resolution being 2248 by 1080 pixels. The big screen size and resolution makes for great viewing pleasure, and the glass body packed into the aluminium frame makes the phone a joy to hold in the hand.
With Gorilla Glass packed into an aluminium frame, the Mi 8 Pro does give a premium feel comparable to any top tier flagship. In the transparent version, somewhat of a processor and circuitry is visible on the back, though this is not the real deal. The original, real, working processor is hidden out of sight, quietly plying its trade.
No headphone jack might be an issue for some, as can the in-display fingerprint scanner. No waterproofing is also a drawback, albeit a minor one. These are most likely implemented by Xiaomi to keep the cost of the phone in check.
The display of the Mi 8 Pro does not let down, not at all. Sizeable bezels and the notch are present, but the AMOLED screen is a thing of beauty. Owing to a resolution of 2248 by 1080 pixels, the screen is just a joy to watch. Excellent contrast, brilliant viewing angles, and no colour distortion are some of the standout features of the display, which, as mentioned before, also contains a fingerprint sensor. Typical modes such as double tap to wake, raise to wake, and always on modes are available, with face recognition features also a part of the notch’s IR camera setup.
With performance backed up by a Snapdragon 845 processor (probably the best in the business as of now), a generous helping of RAM at 6 or 8 GB depending on the variant you choose, and the Adreno 630 GPU, the Mi 8 Pro does not slip up when it comes to multitasking. Snappy performance on all day to day tasks is delivered, as is expected.
But where the phone lags behind is gaming performance. Frame rate drops have been reported, from which the phone only recovers when the game is minimized or paused. This is reflected in different benchmark scores of the phone, such as Geekbench. This is probably a result of Xiaomi not having optimized the software and hardware to dole out the best possible performance.
Xiaomi has attempted to compete with the iPhone XS on camera placement and specs here. The results are not too discouraging, to say the least. On paper, the Mi 8 Pro only loses out because of the lack of PDAF and optical image stabilization on its secondary rear camera. Images in well lit situations are some of the best out there, giving tough competition to those from the Samsung Galaxy S9 or the iPhone XS.
Low light imaging, which is almost always a problem for smartphone cameras, is handled well by this phone. The noise may increase slightly, but images are largely clean and blur-free. The camera does lack video recording at 60 fps, but can record slow motion videos at 240 fps and 1080p.
Now, with the reduced capacity of the Mi 8 Pro, one would expect that the phone would need to be charged more often than not. However, due to clever optimizations, the phone squeezes every last bit of juice from the battery before it calls quits. Geekbench estimated the battery life at heavy usage to be 6 hours 45 minutes, whereas hands-on reviews have resulted in much longer battery life.
The Mi 8 Pro supports fast charging, namely Xiaomi’s Quick Charge 4.0 technology, but no support for wireless charging.
The Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro is one smartphone that is certain to turn some heads. With features in competition to most flagships, and a competitive price, the phone is almost set to sell some serious units. The lack of a headphone jack, waterproofing and the low battery capacity might set some people off, but if you can handle the MiUI, and have no problem in ignoring the aforementioned “drawbacks”, then this phone is certainly for you.