Xiaomi Mi 8 Review: Overview & Price

The Xiaomi Mi 8 release date was the 5th of June 2018 here in the UK, and it still sells extremely well to this day.

Xiaomi is known for bringing flagship phones to the market for a cheaper price than their competitors.

Cheap Xiaomi phones are common in China and that’s why they sell so well, they are also doing very well here in the UK with the release of the Mi 8.

In this Xiaomi Mi 8 review we will be going over everything you need to know before make a purchase decision on the device, also showcasing the best Xiaomi Mi 8 contract deals in the UK for the phone.

The Mi 8 offers some amazing specifications;

  • 6GB of RAM
  • 128GB of internal storage
  • Snapdragon 845 CPU 

Check out the best Xiaomi Mi 8 contract deals in the UK…

Priced at £459 in the UK, the Xiaomi Mi 8 offers some incredible specifications all for a budget price in comparison to its competitors, the Samsung S9, Huawei P20 Pro and iPhone X.

Let’s take a look at what makes the Mi 8 special…

Xiaomi Mi 8 Review: Design & Display

The Xiaomi Mi 8 has a curved glass body design; it has a curved aluminium frame around the edges too.

The surface of the Mi 8 is extremely reflective; therefore it is a fingerprint magnet.

We recommend investing in a skin or a case to stop your fingerprints making the phone look grubby.

So you may be wondering if the Xiaomi mi 8 is waterproof?

Unfortunately, the Mi 8 doesn’t have any IP rating, meaning you will need to be very careful when using the phone around water or in the bathroom as it will more than likely damage the device.

Xiaomi Mi 8 64GB - Black
  • 6.21 inches, Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 1080 x 2248 pixels, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • Dual-SIM, Network Compatibility : SIM CARD 1 [ 2G GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 and/or 3G 850(B5) / 900(B8) / 1700|2100(B4) / 1900(B2) / 2100(B1) and/or 4G LTE 700(B12) / 700(B17) / 800(B20) / 850(B5) / 900(B8) / 1700|2100(B4) / 1800(B3) / 1900(B2) / 1900(B39) / 2000(B34) / 2100(B1) / 2600(B7) : TD-LTE : 2300(B40) / 2500(B41) / 2600(B38) ] and SIM CARD 2 [ 2G : GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 ]
  • 64GB Storage, 6 GB RAM, No Memory Card slot
  • Android 8.1 (Oreo), Qualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon 845, Octa-core (4x2.8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 385 Silver)
  • Primary Dual Camera (12 MP, f/1.8, 1/2.55", 1.4µm, 4-axis OIS, dual pixel PDAF, 12 MP, f/2.4, 56mm, 1/3.4", 1.0µm, AF, 2x optical zoom, 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/120/240fps), Secondary Camera 20MP, f/2.0, 0.9µm, 1080p@30fps

Weighing in at 175g the Mi 8 actually feels nice to hold in your hand, feeling extremely premium thanks to the glass and metal combination.

Around the back of the device is where you will find the fingerprint sensor, this works really well and although it almost seems like step backwards to the in-display sensors on most smartphones.

We found the Mi 8’s sensor to be extremely responsive and reliable, it is in a nice position too meaning it’s not going to strain your fingers every time you want to unlock your phone.

Just next to the sensor you will find the dual-camera setup, the lenses are slightly raised from the back of the display, which usually annoys us but on this phone, it really looks cool and gives the phone a slick look.

At the bottom of the phone is where you will find the single speaker, this is really easy to cover so if your recording video footage or listening to music then you will need to make sure your hand isn’t blocking the speaker as we found ourselves accidentally blocking it a lot more than we would of liked.

There is no 3.5mm headphone jack on the device either, interesting to see that Xiaomi has followed suit too and removed this from there devices.

This is also a major factor in why the Xiaomi Mi 8 is not waterproof, as the headphone jack is the easiest way for water to damage the internals of this phone.

The Xiaomi Mi 8 has a beautiful 6.21-inch SUPER AMOLED display, we found colours to really pop and the fact that the phone supports full HDR10 meaning the phone gives an amazing media experience.

It is 1080p resolution with an 18.7:9 aspect ratio, it doesn’t quite compete with the QHD displays in the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S9, although it is a solid display which is ideal for watching Netflix or YouTube.

Users of the Xiaomi Mi 8 can adjust the colour temperature and contrast in the settings if they find that they would like a more natural look to the display.

There is an awesome ‘reading mode’ too, which essentially displays warmer colours to be a little easier on the eye when viewing the display for long periods of time.

This can be scheduled in to come on automatically at night-time as well, which means your not going to singe your eyelids off when viewing media past 10 pm.

At the top of the display there is a clean looking notch, just like is found on the iPhone X.

This notch houses the front-facing camera and other vital components of the phone, the notch can be covered up in the settings if you find it does get annoying or is hindering the displays experience.

There is an always-on display which means you can simply glance at your phone screen to view the time and date, this can be turned off in the settings too if you would prefer to check your watch instead.

The display is incredible and thanks it being an AMOLED, colours look great, deep blacks that areas to be expected from an AMOLED.

Brightness is strong on the Mi 8 too; you won’t have any issues using the phone in direct sunlight as the device can be lit up extremely bright.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Review: Performance

So when it came to the Xiaomi Mi 8 release date, it really didn’t disappoint.

The Mi 8 comes with the Snapdragon 845 chipset and 6GB of RAM, making for a seamless gaming experience.

We found that the Mi 8 would power through anything you throw at it, from graphically intense games to multi-tasking.

The phone feels exactly what you would think it feels like when looking at the spec sheet, extremely fast and responsive with no lag or freezes when gaming or navigating through the UI.

We tested out a couple of our favourite games on the Mi 8 and were pleasantly surprised; first, we tried PUBG that is a graphically intense game, to say the least.

The Mi 8 breezed through without any lag or performance interruption at all, next we moved onto our all-time favourite, the MMORPG Runescape.

This game is a multiplayer game and is extremely taxing on smartphones, the Mi 8 handles the game perfectly and there was no sudden drop in fps or any lag when in high graphics.

The single firing speaker at the bottom of the phone performs rather well, we did find our fingers accidentally covering the speaker now and then but after we got used to where it was, this stopped becoming an issue.

Sound is clear and loud which enhanced the overall experience on the phone especially when gaming on the device. We did notice than when gaming for extended periods of time, the Mi 8 would become rather hot and it does a poor job at managing the heat inside the phone.

xiaomi waterproof
Image: GEEK KAZU

The Mi 8 comes with either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage here in the UK, these are both big numbers for the average user and this means that users have plenty of storage for there music, photos and applications.

We would have like to have seen a microSD, so the gamers do have an option to add more storage if needed, but for the most part, we think 128GB is more than enough for the everyday user.

The Xiaomi Mi 8 boasts dual-frequency GPS too, meaning that it has 2 signals which work together to find the best signal strength in the area, so you can definitely rely on the GPS of this phone.

The Mi 8 runs Android 8.0 Oreo with its own custom MIUI on top, its one of the main downfalls of this phone in our opinion as the UI is strange and hard to get used to.

There is no app drawer to keep your applications in one place, however this can be implemented manually through the settings.

The good thing about the MIUI is that it is highly customisable, so you can re-wire most of the confusing UI making it a lot more user-friendly once configured.

Users can customise shortcuts in order to open the camera faster, turn on the torch and split the screen for when watching YouTube videos and texting at the same time.

There are plenty of swipe gestures too helping you navigate around the UI a lot quicker, simply swipe up for home, up and hold for the task switcher and either edge to go back to the previous page.

Overall we were extremely impressed with the Mi 8’s performance, it ran games effortlessly and navigating around the UI was a breeze and super easy when everything was configured to your liking.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Review: Camera

The Xiaomi Mi 8 camera is a dual-camera setup that is the same as what you will find on the Pro version of this phone.

It has a 12MP f/1.8 with OIS, 2x optical zoom and an AI mode, the second lens is f/2.4 but it does lack stabilisation.

Images from the Mi 8 look superb; colours are clear and vibrant whilst dynamic range is excellent.

See Related:

*Xiaomi Mi 9 Review*
*Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro Review*
*Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Review*
*Honor 10 Review*
*Honor 10 Lite Review*

We loved the scene detection too, much as you see on the Huawei flagship phone where the Xiaomi Mi 8’s camera will detect the scene that you are in and adjust the settings accordingly to give you the most optimal shot.

We found the AI mode to be awesome as it really ramps up the colour and contrast of the image, although this is down to personal preference and some users will not agree, the AI mode can be turned off manually in the settings.

We found the 2x optical zoom to be great too, not much detail is lost and the images produced are Instagram worthy.

Low light shots on the Mi 8 are strong too, there is a night mode that is available when the AI mode is turned on which draws in as much light as possible and really enhances low light shots.

We loved the portrait mode on the camera, as when blurring the background we found the subject of our image to look awesome and there is plenty of separation visible too.

xiaomi mi 8 release date
Image: GEEK KAZU

The 20MP selfie camera is an upgrade from last year, Xiaomi has really been shouting about its selfie-shooting abilities on this phone and we found the photos to be great.

There is a ‘beauty mode’ which uses AI technology to smooth over your face and make selfies look a little cleaner, again this can be turned off in the settings if it looks a little too edited for your liking.

Xiaomi Mi 8 64GB - Black
  • 6.21 inches, Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 1080 x 2248 pixels, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • Dual-SIM, Network Compatibility : SIM CARD 1 [ 2G GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 and/or 3G 850(B5) / 900(B8) / 1700|2100(B4) / 1900(B2) / 2100(B1) and/or 4G LTE 700(B12) / 700(B17) / 800(B20) / 850(B5) / 900(B8) / 1700|2100(B4) / 1800(B3) / 1900(B2) / 1900(B39) / 2000(B34) / 2100(B1) / 2600(B7) : TD-LTE : 2300(B40) / 2500(B41) / 2600(B38) ] and SIM CARD 2 [ 2G : GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 ]
  • 64GB Storage, 6 GB RAM, No Memory Card slot
  • Android 8.1 (Oreo), Qualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon 845, Octa-core (4x2.8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 385 Silver)
  • Primary Dual Camera (12 MP, f/1.8, 1/2.55", 1.4µm, 4-axis OIS, dual pixel PDAF, 12 MP, f/2.4, 56mm, 1/3.4", 1.0µm, AF, 2x optical zoom, 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/120/240fps), Secondary Camera 20MP, f/2.0, 0.9µm, 1080p@30fps

Colours are near perfect on the selfie cam and we were extremely impressed by the Xiaomi Mi 8 cameras overall performance.

Video recording can be shot in 4K at 30fps, colours look superb and contrast is great, the Mi 8 isn’t quite up to the standard of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro or iPhone XS, but the video recording here is great and will be ideal for the average user.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Review: Battery Life

The Xiaomi Mi 8 has a big 3400mAh battery, which you can expect to easily last you right up to the end of the day.

This is of course down to the individual using the device but for the most part, we found the battery to have great stamina and got us through a day easily.

We did use the phone pretty hard to by playing games, watching videos and scrolling through social media for long periods of the day.

The Xiaomi Mi 8 has fast charging, meaning that you can grab a speedy 50% before leaving the house for work without waiting hours, unfortunately the phone doesn’t support wireless charging but this was to be expected being as the phone is more budget than other flagships.

The charger supplied in the box will get your from 0-50% in around 40 minutes, which is impressive considering the phone has a big AMOLED screen to power.

Overall we were impressed with the Xiaomi Mi 8 battery life and had no issues to report here, wireless charging would have been the icing on the cake but for this price, we can’t complain.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Review: Summary

So is the Xiaomi Mi 8 worth your cash?

Well if your looking for a flagship device but don’t want to pay the hefty price tag of the iPhone XS or Huawei Mate 20 Pro then this could be the phone for you.

It offers excellent performance with insane gaming capabilities however after long periods you will find that the phone does overheat a little.

We wished the Xiaomi mi 8 was waterproof, as we feel this really is essential now in 2019, however it wasn’t a deal-breaker for us with the mi 8 performance making up for this.

Xiaomi Mi 8 64GB - Black 

The Xiaomi mi 8 camera is strong and has cool AI technology and plenty of modes to play around with to grab you that Instagram worthy shot without any hassle.

Cheap Xiaomi phones are becoming more common here in the UK and it’s great to see other companies releasing handsets that can compete with the likes of Samsung and Apple.

Battery life is strong too and will get the average user through a full day of usage without any struggles.

The much anticipated Xiaomi Mi 8 release date has finally hit us and we were delighted to get our hands on this phone for the review, we hope you have enjoyed this review as much as we have and feel free to leave a comment.

There are other alternatives though and you may want to check our out OnePlus 6T review, as this is very similar.

The Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro is also another great alternative to this phone.

You can check out the best Xiaomi Mi 8 deals at the top of this post.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Review: Full Specification

Launch: 2018, June

Body:

  • Dimension: 154.9 x 74.8 x 7.6mm (6.10 x 2.94 x 0.30 inches)
  • Weight: 175g (6.17oz)
  • Build: Front/back glass (Gorilla Glass 5), aluminium frame (7000 series)
  • Sim: Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)

Display:

  • Type: Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colours
  • Size: 6.21 inches, 97.1 cm² (-83.8% screen-to-body ratio)
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2248 pixels (-402 PPI density)
  • Protection: Gorilla Glass 5
    – HDR10
    – DCI-P3

Platform:

  • OS: Android 8.1 (Oreo), upgradable to Android 9.0 (Pie); MIUI 10.1
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon 845 (10nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core (4×2.8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 385 Silver)
  • GPU: Adreno 630

Memory:

  • Card slot: No
  • Internal: 64/128/256GB, 6GB RAM or 128GB, 8GB RAM

Camera:

  • Primary:
    – 12MP, f/1.8, 4-axis OIS, dual pixel PDAF
    – 12MP, f/2.4 (telephoto), AF, 2x optical zoom
  • Features: Dual-LED, HDR, panorama
  • Video: 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/120/240fps, 720p@960fps
  • Dual:
    – 20MP, f/2.0
  • Video: 1080p@30fps

Sound:

  • Loudspeaker: Yes
  • 3.5mm Jack: No
    – Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic

Comms:

  • WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11, a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot
  • Bluetooth: 5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD
  • GPS: Yes, with dual-band A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS
  • NFC: Yes
  • Radio: No
  • USB: Type-C 1.0 reversible connector

Features:

  • Sensors: Infrared face recognition, fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, barometer, compass

Battery:

  • Non-removable Li-Pro 3400 mAh battery
  • Charging: Fast battery charging 18W (Quick Charge 4+)

Misc:

  • Colours: Black, Blue, Gold, White
  • Price: As seen in the above post

Performance

  • Performance: Basemark OS ||: 4283 / Basemark OS || 2.0: 3858 / Basemark X: 43285
  • Display: Contrast ratio: Infinite (nominal), 4.086 (sunlight)
  • Camera: Photo / Video
  • Loudspeaker: Voice 68dB / Noise 72dB / Ring 82dB
  • Audio Quality: Noise -93.9dB / Crosstalk -93.7dB
  • Battery Life: Endurance rating 86h