Review: Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro

Stephen Watson
March 19, 2019

Super phone – but please give it a better battery Xiaomi people

Xiaomi dropped a host of smartphones on the UK last year but it was the Mi 8 Pro that the up and coming Chinese vendor made a proper fanfare of. And for good reason. This was Xiaomi’s most powerful device on the market. That has now changed with the Mi Mix 3 with its novel slider. But the Mi 8 Pro should not be ignored. Despite the lack of a clever Mix 3 slider to house the front-facing camera, it’s a device that gets a lot of fundamentals right such as design, screen and camera. But it does have a glaring and obvious shortfall. The 3,000mAh battery will feel very restrictive to those who are used to charging just once a day on a 3,500mAh and above the battery. People, the feeling of being down to your last one per cent while miles away from the nearest charging point is an awful feeling (sarcasm). Considering Energizer will soon be bringing out a phone with an 18,000mAh battery you can see the room for improvement. If the Mi 8 Pro was packed with a faster-charging plug, the battery issue would be minimal.


Hardware Spec:

OS: Android 9.1 (Pie)

Processor: Snapdragon 845

Screen: 6.21 inches

Resolution: 1080 x 2248 pixels

Memory: 6GB / 8GB

Internal storage: 128GB

External memory: None

Water resistance: None

Rear camera: 12 + 12 megapixels

Front camera: 20 megapixels

Video: 4K

Battery: 3,000mAh

Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, USB-C

Cellular Speed: 1.2Gbps download

Dimensions: 154.9 x 74.8 x 7.6 mm

Weight: 117g


What the manufacturer says:

In addition to the impressive spec of the Mi 8 which boasts Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, AI dual camera, IR face unlock and 6.21 AMOLED Full-Screen Display, the Mi 8 Pro upgrades the popular Mi 8 smartphone with a pressure sensitive in-display fingerprint sensor and a transparent glass back cover. Xiaomi has shipped more than 100 million smartphones this year, and the Mi 8 series, with a total shipment over 6 million and counting, has been a major contributor to this global success. Mi 8 Pro shares the same great performance and photography capabilities with Mi 8 and adds a pressure sensitive in-display fingerprint sensor and a transparent glass back exposing a decorative cover crafted using electronic components, making it one of the most unique-looking smartphones on the market. Xiaomi’s entry into the UK follows its arrival in France and Italy in May, and the official entry last November into Spain, its first Western European market, where it had already become the number three smartphone vendor as per Canalys”.


What We Say:

The body is lightweight at 117 grams (incredibly easy to guide back to pockets) and has a unique look with the Snapdragon 845 processor peeking through the transparent back. Whether that’s actually the processor running the show being placed incredibly close to the outer layer of the phone is another question. But it does give it an atheistic edge. The camera is incredible with great detail and colour contrast through the dual lens 12-megapixel shooter. In low light, the main snapper does well to render detail, something that would no doubt get better over time with artificial intelligence embedded. It scored 108 on industry photography benchmarking website DxOMark that ranks it higher than the recently released Mi Mix 3 (103) and ranks it second in the charts behind the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. It is an incredible phone, one to definitely get your hands on if you’re okay with a few missing features such as a headphone jack, water-resistance and micro SD card support. But again, it’s the fundamentals it gets right through the display, camera and design. We just wish the battery was beefier.

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