Mi 8 SE: Your New Midrange Champion!
After the global debut of the highly anticipated flagship of the year, Mi 8, we were surprised that it has launched 3 Mi 8 variant and not only 1. This time there is the Mi 8, Mi 8 SE and Mi 8 EE, on this review we are taking on the smaller Mi 8 which is the Mi 8 SE (probably known as the Small Edition). Xiaomi has been releasing smartphones at a very high speed rate this year, probably they are geared toward globalization soon. Mi 8 SE is definitely targeted at the midrange section of the consumer market.
Lucky that we are, we had our hands on 3 colors of the Mi 8 SE, Red, Gold and Grey are in the house for an awesome unboxing. Have yet to get the blue one to complete the roster. I try to bring you as many photos as I can for your utmost appreciation of this smartphone, rest assured that it will consume a bit of your data, this is better read with WiFi to prevent you from draining your mobile data.
Tech Specs of Mi 8 SE:
- · Qualcomm SDM710 Snapdragon 710 Octa-core processor (2x2.2GHz Cortex A75 and 6x1.7GHz Cortex A55)
- · Adreno 616 GPU 500Mhz
- · 4GB/6GB of RAM LPDDR4
- · 5.88-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display, (~81.3% screen-to-body ratio)
- · 1080 x 2244 pixels FHD+ (~423 ppi pixel density), 60,000:1 contrast ratio, 18.7:9 Ratio
- · DCI-P3 color gamut, high color saturation, 430nit
- · Blue, Red, Gold, Grey
- · 64GB of storage eMMC 5.1
- · 12 MP, wide angle lens, f/1.9, 1.4µm Dark Light Enhancement, Dual Pixel PDAF, Dual-LED flash, EIS
- 5 MP, telephoto lens, portrait lens, f/2.4, 1.12µm, AI
- · 20 MP front camera, f/2.0, 1.0µm, 3D Beauty, Portrait Mode, Front HDR, Autofocus
- · Finger print scanner
- · Dual SIM (nano sim size)
- · 3G, LTE, 4G+ Carrier Aggregation, VoLTE Calls
- · Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, A-GPS
- · 3120mAh battery, Quick Charge 3.0 Supported
- · 2x2 MIMO Technology to support MU-MIMO
- · Sensors: distance sensor, Ambient Light sensor, Gyro, Vibration Motor, Accelerometer, Barometer
- Electronic Compass, Hall Sensor, Infrared
- · Android Oreo 8.1, MIUI 9.5
- · USB-C port, UFS 2.1
- · 147.3 mm x 73.1 mm x 7.5 mm
- · 164 Grams
White box with rainbow lettering on the "8" similar to the 6X
first look at the Mi 8 SE
Manual, USB C Cable, QC 3 Charger, Audio Jack Adapter, Sim Ejector Pin, Protective Case and Mi 8 SE rounds up the item inside the box.
Not a bad squarish design
Yolu know what? As soon as I opened this phone, there was a familiar design that this phone has copied from the previous Xiaomi Phones that was released, I couldnt think of it coz it was not really that popular, and guess what, it resembles much of the Mi 4S back then!
The squarish design is quite a design of its own to be honest with you, I like the way it was presented as it wasnt a copy of any other phones in the market well except for its own, its quite a revival of the Mi 4S only with beefed up hardwares under the case. The glass back finish is very elegant but quite fragile like the Mi 5 which can probably shatter when you are not careful. The front is similar to the Mi 8 with the notch, the AMOLED display is another plus for this phone but be wary of the possible burn in problem that may occur in the future. The screen size is a little smaller than the Mi 8 at 5.88 inches compared to the 6.21 of the Mi 8. The protruded camera is probably a design already that is present with most Xiaomi phones lately in the market.
The AMOLED Display makes the display so good
The back really reminds me of Mi 4S
Loud speaker, Mic in and USB C Charging port at the bottom
Sim Ejector Tray at the left side
Infrared Blaster, Noise Cancellation Mic on top
Power button and the volume rocker at the right side
Dual Camera that is protruded
Finger print scanner also at the back
The edges are pretty round and nice.
Display and Audio
We were expecting a lot from the display side as we discovered that its sporting a Samsung Super AMOLED, the first batch in any Xiaomi phone together with the Mi 8 and Mi 8 EE, the nearest one was the Mi Note 2 sporting a OLED back then. The Full HD display did blew me away with its awesome rendering of photos and videos, and probably one thing that is not good with AMOLED is the burn in problems like those on the Samsung Galaxy Flagship Series that we have heard about. We watched several movies and I can say its pretty clear to watch 1080p shows here. The sound was excellent, we have no problem kicking the sound to the max inside a small room and it can fill the room with sound, we tested the loudspeaker and it can kick up to 77 decibels. Bluetooth connectivity of headset is also no problem on this unit as well as the USB C to Audio Jack connector using a wired headset.
Here are the supported audio and video file format by the Mi 8 SE
Support HDR10 when playing HDR10 video content
We triend to play PUBG but current settings is set to Low as this is still a new chipset and further support would be provided soon by the PUBG Developer Team.
The first ever device to sport the newly minted Snapdragon 710 from Qualcomm is Mi 8 SE, the Snapdragon 710 SoC has 8 cores and can run up to 2.2Ghz of computing speed. Now of course powered together with the Adreno 616, and of course a generous serving of 6GB RAM, it will give you one of the best midrange experience to date. Running heavy games might not be as good as Mi 8 but this would probably get the job done for your gaming satisfaction. Multitasking was definitely a breeze for this unit and we opened may apps all at the same time and did not experience any lags. This midrange SoC would probably be one of the better option should you have no budget to go for a Snapdragon 845 powered flagship.
The SD 710 scored a good record of 170,280 points out of the box on AnTuTu based on my test, which is a good score for any midrange smartphone.
For Google Play installation for Mi 8 SE, refer to this guide: [Device Team] Google Play Installation on Mi 8/SE Running China ROM!
The Mi 8 SE supports 10 different LTE bands and it's pretty easy to switch to LTE network inside the settings, and it also supports Dual 4G mode as well. You can freely choose which sim you want to use your LTE data, since this is a Dual LTE, Dual standby smartphone. This unit also has the 4G+ equipped, and also supports multiple carrier aggregation technology (should your network provider have this feature), you can take advantage of it. Wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac is also smooth and it also supports Wi-Fi Direct. Wireless screen mirroring is also available via the Miracast protocol, tethering data is also working perfectly. Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, and GLONASS are all present. Transfering data from older phones using Mi Mover was also a breeze as well.
Sorry to burst your bubbles, but wireless charging is not available on this unit.
The Mi 8 SE is one of the best midrange camera that Xiaomi has released by far, having the same main sensor with the Mi 8 flagship. We can say that this camera performed very well under good lighting, and it has a some improvement on darker places as opposed to the Mi 6X. The rear camera sports one 12 Megapixels uses Sony IMX 363 Sensor and the other being 5 Megapixel uses a Samsung S5k5e8. There is no OIS for this unit but EIS is present. The front snapper is a Samsung Sensor S5k2t7 with 20 Megapixel and it took pretty good selfies and it also sported the bokeh portrait mode. The manual mode has an exposure time of 16S and ISO of 1600. Face Unlocking is also present and it is pretty responsive as well.
Now to make it more fun, I took the shots side by side with a Mi 6 to see if this camera will live up to its expectations.
More Actual Shots from Mi 8 SE
It took awesome shots of people I would agree
AI Turned OFF
AI Turned ON
How to Hide the Notch
Go to settings, full screen display then you can opt to hide screen notch.
Mi 8 SE Battery and Benchmark:
The Mi 8 SE supports the Qualcomm Quick charge 3.0 and the provided charger is also a QC 3.0. We charged the phone from 12% to 100% in 1 hour and 6 minutes as I was able to closely monitored it using the provided charger and cable. We recorded a 11 hour 27 minutes endurance test Mi 8 SE 4GB/64GB version under the PC Mark battery stress test. If these statistics are true on a normal daily use, then it's really a good sign for the said smartphone, and based on my daily usage for several days, the battery seems to last me a whole day on normal usage.
Mi 8 and Mi 8 SE Comparison
We have the priviledge to put the two phones side by side, its obvious that the Mi 8 is bigger but the Mi 8 SE is more squarish. Both display are Samsung Super AMOLED and the notch is present on both units, lets take a look on their side by side photos.
More Colors of the Mi 8 SE, Gray, Gold and Red!
As i finally come to the conclusion of this great midranger, this is the first ever phone to sport the SD 710 and it did performed up to my expectation. I love the form factor of this phone as its almost the same size of my Mi 6 but display is definitely larger from 5.1 to 5.88 inches. The sounds are great and the display are also outstanding. The photos are not as good as the Mi 6 but its very above average already for its price range. This will definitely be a better buy compared to the Mi 6X.
4/64GB retails for 1799 RMB while the 6/64GB retails for 1999 RMB.