Abhimanyu GhoshalManaging Editor
Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and culture. Hit him up on Twitter, or write in: [email protected].
At an event in Shenzhen today, Chinese hardware giant Xiaomi launched its 2018 flagship phone, the Mi 8 – and it’s hard to tell it apart from the iPhone X.
The Mi 8’s 6.21-inch display has a large notch cut out of the top for its front camera and sensors, and the dual camera system is stacked vertically – just like Apple’s flagship from last year. Here, look:
Sure, there have been plenty of iPhone copycats in the Android world in the past – and Xiaomi’s guilty of this with previous models, too – but this is about as similar a design as we’ve ever seen from a mainstream brand.
Not that this will deter Android fans from checking it out. The Mi 8 boasts the latest Snapdragon 845 processor, an FHD+ (2248 x 1080 pixels) AMOLED display, dual 12-megapixel rear cameras with AI-powered features for improving your pictures, and a 20-megapixel snapper in the front.
Imaging benchmark firm DxOMark gave this handset a 105 for photo capabilities and 99 overall, which sees it beating out the iPhone X by a few points. On overall scores, the Mi 8 loses out to the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, the Huawei P20, HTC’s new U12+, and Huawei’s four-camera P20 Pro.
There’s also MIUI 10 – the latest version of Xiaomi’s Android skin – to look forward to, though many of the new features this update will bring are intended for users in China. Here’s what the interface looks like, set to Mandarin:
The Mi 8 will launch in China first, with a price tag of ￥2,699 ($421) for the 6GB RAM + 64GB storage variant; 128GB and 256 GB versions will also become available.
That’s a really good deal for a device with hardware like this; for reference, a similarly specced OnePlus 6 costs $529.
If you’ve got a bit more cash to spend, you might want to consider the Mi 8 Explorer Edition, which comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage, an in-display fingerprint sensor, 3D face unlock, and a gorgeous-looking transparent back.
And if you want a smaller device, there’s the new Mi 8 SE, which comes in 5.88 inches. It features a less powerful Snapdragon 710 chip, a 12-megapixel + 5-megapixel dual camera system in the back, and a 20-megapixel selfie camera.
Hopefully, these devices will be available outside China eventually; Xiaomi recently began selling its phones in Europe and is quickly gaining on rival hardware brands. We’ve contacted the company to learn more and will update this post if there’s a response.
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