Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro & Mi 8 Lite are official: powerful hardware at affordable prices

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro & Mi 8 Lite are official: powerful hardware at affordable prices
Back in June, Xiaomi announced the new Mi 8, Mi 8 SE, and Mi 8 Explorer Edition, all of which have seemingly performed pretty well when it comes to sales. But just three months later, the popular Chinese brand is back with two new devices: The Mi 8 Pro and Mi 8 Lite.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro

Physically, the Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro is a carbon copy of the original Mi 8 Explorer Edition thanks to its 7000 series aluminum frame that is sandwiched between two slabs of Gorilla Glass 5. Looking at the front, the same 6.2-inch OLED display complete with a chin down below and a notch up top is once again included. This notch is home to the in-ear speaker and an infrared facial recognition technology that will rival Apple's Face ID. Thankfully, those who prefer the more traditional fingerprint unlocking method are also in luck. After all, the Mi 8 Pro boasts an in-display reader.

Moving over to the rear, the exact same design as the original is also included. This means that a vertical dual-camera setup comprised of two 12-megapixel sensors has been fitted in the top-left corner – one of the sensors boasts a telephoto lens that will allow for 2x optical zoom and should also improve bokeh images. While on the topic of cameras, a 20-megapixel selfie sensor has also been included up front.

As with the original Mi 8 Explorer Edition, the Mi 8 Pro, which will eventually act as the international model, certainly doesn’t disappoint when it comes to hardware. After all, powering the smartphone is Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 845. This is then coupled with the choice of either 6GB or 8GB of RAM and a very respectable 128GB of internal storage. Interestingly, unlike most of Xiaomi’s recent devices, the Mi 8 Pro also offers expandable storage via a new microSD card slot.

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Elsewhere inside the smartphone, a relatively average 3,000mAh battery complete with support for Quick Charge 4+ has been included in order to keep the lights on. Lastly, completing the setup is MIUI 10 based on Android 8.1 Oreo.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite

Following in the footsteps of other Xiaomi Mi 8-line models, the new Mi 8 Lite sports a large display that boasts a chin towards the bottom and a slightly smaller notch up top. Unlike its more premium siblings, though, the Mi 8 Lite includes an LCD panel up front that sits at 6.3-inches in size. Unsurprisingly, due to the lower pricing of this offering, there is no in-display fingerprint scanner. Also, the notch is no longer home to facial recognition technology. However, a front-facing 24-megapixel camera has been fitted. 

Switching over to the rear, the overall design appears to be the biggest differentiating factor in comparison to the other Mi 8 smartphones. After all, while the previous four models have all made use of vertical setups, the new Mi 8 Lite opts for a horizontal dual-camera layout. This is made up of a main 12-megapixel camera that is accompanied by a second 5-megapixel one which will be in charge of depth sensing. Towards the middle of the rear Xiaomi has also placed a circular fingerprint scanner.

In regards to the internal characteristics, the Mi 8 Lite will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660. Alongside this, Xiaomi is then offering a total of three storage configurations. Kicking off the range is a base model complete with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. However, those who are looking for something slightly more capable can gain access to a 6GB of RAM model by spending a bit more money. Alternatively, if internal storage is a worry, the range-topping variant boasts 128GB alongside the higher RAM count. 

Rounding out the Mi 8 Lite is a 3350mAh battery complete with Quick Charge 3.0 support and MIUI 10 based on Android 8.1 Oreo.

Pricing & Release Date

Both smartphones are available to pre-order today in China with shipments for the flagship Mi 8 Pro starting this Friday. Coincidently, this is the same day Apple’s new iPhones start shipping. Separately, the Mi 8 Lite will begin shipping a few days later on September 25. Both smartphones should eventually be available on an international scale too, but no official release date has been provided.

When it comes to pricing, the Mi 8 Pro with 6GB of RAM costs the equivalent of $466, while $525 will get users access to the 8GB model. Regardless of the model chosen, though, three color options are available: Sunset Gold (gradient), Black, and Transparent Titanium. 

In regards to the Mi 8 Lite, the base model costs $204, with access to 6GB of RAM starting at $248. If customers also want 128GB of storage, then $290 is the price.

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