Xiaomi built its mobile empire with iPhone knockoffs, and it looks the company hasn’t outgrown the habit.

The Chinese tech titan announced a trio of new phones on Thursday, including the new Mi 8. And would you look at that — it has a notch, its own Animoji ripoffs, and a Face ID unlock clone.

In other words: It’s an iPhone X that runs Android.

The three phones announced are the Mi 8, Mi 8 Explorer Edition, and the Mi 8 SE. Casual observers will be most interested in the bold choice of the Explorer Edition having a transparent back that lets you see the phone’s guts, but eagle-eyed Xiaomi followers are probably wondering what happened to the Mi 7?

And there’s a perfectly logical answer for that: Xiaomi skipped the Mi 7 in order to have the Mi 8 coincide with the company’s eighth anniversary.

But enough about the names, let’s talk new phones.

Mi 8

The Mi 8 may be a blatant clone of the iPhone X, but that doesn’t mean it’s not respectable in its own right.

The Android is packing a 6.21-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution (2,248 x 1,080).

Inside, it’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 846 chip, 6GB of RAM, 64/128/256 of storage, and a 3,400 mAh battery with support for Quick Charge 4.0.

For cameras, there’s a dual 12-megapixel system on the back. This one works just like the iPhone X’s dual cameras: a main 12-megapixel shooter with f/1.8 aperture and a secondary 2x optical zoom lens with f/2.4 aperture. Tucked in the notch is a 20-megapixel selfie camera with f/1.8 aperture.

And speaking of the notch, it appears to be pretty wide. For good reason, too: It’s got a bunch of special sensors, including an infrared sensor similar for more secure face unlock. Hmm… looks pretty similar to the iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera sensor, TBH.

What's inside the Mi 8's notch.
What’s inside the Mi 8’s notch.


Looks pretty similar to what's in the iPhone X's notch.
Looks pretty similar to what’s in the iPhone X’s notch.


Xiaomi says the notch’s infrared sensor enables more secure face unlock and better usage in the dark. It also allows for another trick the iPhone X: animated emoji that are mapped to your face muscles. Here’s what Xiaomi’s Animoji knockoff looks like:

How well they work is unclear. Hopefully, they’re more like Animoji and less like Samsung’s AR Emoji.

Xiaomi also claims the phone is the first to have “dual GPS.” Xiaomi says the advanced GPS sensor combines your standard L1 frequency with L5 frequency to improve location accuracy by up to three times.

Headphone jack lovers should also the jack does not exist on the Mi 8. You’ll have to go wireless or live the #donglelife.

The Mi 8 will be available on June and start at 2,699 yuan (about $421) for the 6GB RAM + 128GB of storage. The 6GB RAM + 128 GB storage will sell for $2,999 yuan (about $467). And the 6GB RAM + 256GB storage will go for 3,299 yuan (about $514).

Mi 8 Explorer Edition

Think the Mi 8’s specs are impressive? Wait until you get a load of the Mi 8 Explorer Edition.

It’s virtually identical to the Mi 8, with a few notable exceptions. First, it only comes in an 8GB version with 128GB of storage. Second, it has an in-display fingerprint sensor. And third, it’s got a transparent design. You can see what’s inside of your phone. How sweet is that?

It's see-through!
It’s see-through!


The Mi 8 Explorer Edition will cost 3,799 yuan (about $592).

Mi 8 SE

Rounding out the new phone lineup is the Mi 8 SE. 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.

The phone in the front is the Mi 8 SE. The phone in the back is the Mi 8.
The phone in the front is the Mi 8 SE. The phone in the back is the Mi 8.


Like their siblings, the Mi 8 SE has a notch, dual cameras (12-megapixel + 5-megapixel) on the back, and a 20-megapixel selfie camera.

Xiaomi hasn’t announced a release date for the Mi 8 SE, but pricing is as follows: 1,799 yuan (about $281) for the 4GB of RAM model and 1,999 yuan (about $312) for the 6GB of RAM version.



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