Xiaomi – live from the UK launch

There’s a new kid on the block…

08 Nov 2018

You may never have heard of Xiaomi. And that’s fair enough – after all, we’ve never been able to get its phones in the UK. Until now.

We’re here at the Barbican Centre in London, where the Chinese phone maker has officially entered the UK market. It’s the fourth biggest smartphone brand in the world, and it joins the UK market with a selection of exciting and affordable phones. It’s fair to say that we were impressed. Well, with a whole load of great specs on show for less than you’d think, what’s not to like?

To start with, let’s focus on Xiaomi’s flagship, the Mi 8.


First thing’s first – how does it look?

The Mi 8 looks the business. It’s ultra-thin with a stunning curved-edge glass body. The screen is a thing of beauty too – you’d expect a phone this size to have a display around the 5.5-inch mark, but the Mi 8 dazzles with 6.21-inches of Full HD AMOLED amazingness.


This camera’s got the lot

Here are some of the headlines on this AI dual lens camera…

  • Super-detailed snaps thanks to optical zoom
  • Great pics in dark settings
  • Clear, bright selfies – Xiaomi explained how bigger pixels make for for a larger light intake, and brighter photos

There’s a lot of interesting AI stuff going on with smartphones right now, and the Mi 8 is no different, with its 3D Beautify feature which enhances your features and uses AI to blur your backgrounds.

Fast and furious

Xiaomi is excited about the performance of the Mi 8, and with good reason. It’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, which means you’ll be able to switch between apps quickly and smoothly, and when it comes to gaming, there’ll be no lag, just a great thrill-packed experience.


Big battery

Another great thing about the Xiaomi Mi 8 is its huge 3,400mAh battery. And if you haven’t long to charge up, but need a quick boost, Fast Charge will give you a full day of battery power in just 30 minutes.


Safe and secure

We did say that the Mi 8 is packed with lots of up-to-date features, and when it comes to security, it’s not found wanting. There’s a fingerprint sensor and Face Unlock, which will make sure you’re the only person who can get into your phone.


The verdict

If you’re one of those people that’s never heard of Xiaomi, consider yourself now in the know. And if you’re anything like us, you’ll have liked what you’ve heard. Really good specs, a terrific camera, all the security bells and whistles – and it looks good too. The price really is impressive, it has to be said.

But it’s not all about the Mi 8. The Xiaomi Pocophone and Mi A2 Lite are also well worth a look.

The Pocophone F1 is super-fast, making it a joy to use. There’s a breathtaking 6.1-inch FHD+ screen and like the Mi 8, it has iris recognition face unlock and an infrared light sensor, so it knows just who you are. There’s a clever camera that’ll always make sure you get the best shot possible. And we were intrigued by LiquidCool technology that keeps your phone cool.

And then there’s the Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite, which we reckon is one of the best budget phones around, yet which has a lot of features that would look at home on a more expensive phone. From the 5.84-inch Full HD+ display to the clever dual rear cameras and a long-lasting battery, the Xiaomi Mi A2 is a beauty.

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