The company announced not one, but three different variants of its Mi 8 flagship smartphone, but unlike the mess of branding and ill-conceived technobabble expected with such a move, there's actually a very clear and well-defined distinctions between them, as you'll read below.
In fact, according to the score, the Mi 8 is probably one of the best value smartphones if you are looking for good camera performance.
The Xiaomi Mi 8, which incidentally skips the 7 in favor of the number 8 to mark the company's eighth year, shares a similar notch design and vertical rear cameras. We reported about the purported specs of the Mi 8 and a possible Mi 8 SE variant yesterday and most of that info has come true. It's a midrange phone with a smaller 5.88-inch screen (2,444 x 1,080 resolution), a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor, 4GB or 6GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a 3,120 mAh battery. 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. This means it has an equivalent feature to Face ID on the iPhone X. The Mi Band 3 features a 0.78-inch (128 x 80) OLED display, and unlike the Mi Band 2's panel, this display is actually touch-sensitive. Xiaomi went the extra mile with its Mi 8 Explorer Edition by showing alleged real parts on the logic board, and such fine details add a lot to this look.
The Mi 8 is also Xiaomi's first phone to feature dual-frequency Global Positioning System, which uses a combination of two satellite frequencies instead of one to compute its position. Xiaomi Mi 8 SE will also run the MIUI 10 with Android Oreo on top.
The analysis also notes that the Mi 8 camera comes with fast and accurate autofocus that results in a smooth blur and pleasing bokeh. The Mi 8 will have a starting price of 2,699 Chinese yuan (which converts to about $420, £315 and AU$555) while the Mi 8 SE's base price will start at 1,799 Chinese yuan (approximately $280, £210 and AU$370).
At the Shenzhen event, chapters of Xiaomi fans carrying colourful banners cheered Lei onto the stage, the device maker's charismatic founder who has developed a cult status with the so-called "mi fans" akin to the late Apple founder Steve Jobs.
In the photography department, Xiaomi Mi 8 sports a pair of 12-megapixel AIdual cameras at the rear. It's not surprising since we've been hearing about the new Xiaomi Android phone the past few months. Mi 8 Explorer Edition is priced at RMB 3699 ($577) and will be available at a later date. The device will also come with water resistance to a depth of up to 50m, and a hefty 20-day battery life, and will cost you a paltry RMB170 ($27).