Xiaomi’s 2018 flagship smartphones – The Details

Chinese manufacturing giant, Xiaomi, has released no less than five flagship smartphones this year. Earlier in the year, there were rumors that the company was going to lunch the Xiaomi Mi 7 and Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S. In fact, netizens were expecting the Xiaomi Mi 7 before the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S. However, the company surprised Mi fans by releasing the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S in March 2018 and this was Xiaomi’s first flagship for the year. On May 31st, 2018, Xiaomi held a huge launch event in Shenzen where it launched the Xiaomi Mi 8 series (skipping Mi 7) to celebrate its 8th anniversary. On this launch event, three smartphones were launched – Xiaomi Mi 8, Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition and Xiaomi Mi 8 EE. However, the Xiaomi Mi 8 EE is a quasi-flagship smartphone thus it’s not regarded as a “full-fledged” flagship device. Thus, as of May 2018, Xiaomi had three flagship smartphones.

On August 22nd, 2018, Xiaomi surprised the world with its new brand – Pocophone. The Xiaomi Pocophone F1 is a flagship smartphone which is one of the cheapest SD845 devices till date. In September 2018, Xiaomi upgraded the Xiaomi Mi 8 series with two more smartphones but only the Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro (on-screen fingerprint version) is a flagship device. Thus, as of September 2018, Xiaomi had five flagship smartphones. Finally, in November 2018, the company released its last flagship for 2018, the Xiaomi Mi MIX 3. This smartphone is stuffed with innovative features and it is the first in many ways. For the year 2018, Chinese manufacturing giant, Xiaomi, released six flagship smartphones. Let us look at the details of these smartphones and how they have fared in the market so far. We will start from the oldest (Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S) down to the youngest (Xiaomi Mi MIX3).

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Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S

This smartphone prides as one of Xiaomi’s most relevant 2018 flagship because besides the recently released Xiaomi Mi MIX 3, it is the only other Xiaomi flagship that does not use the recently popularized notch design. This smartphone was released for 3299 Yuan ($484) but the arrival of several other flagships have seen its price decrease significantly even in third-party stores.

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S Jade Art Edition

The Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S uses a four-curved ceramic body, with basically 6GB of RAM, up to 128GB of internal storage and its lights are kept on by a 3400 mAh battery capacity which supports wireless charging (Qi standard) at 7.5W fast charge option. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC and an Adreno 630 GPU. The graphics processor capacity is increased by 30% and power consumption is reduced by 30%. Thanks to this hardware the phone scores over 277K at AnTuTu. It’s one of the fastest smartphones around the globe.

The biggest highlight of this smartphone is its camera department. It uses a 12MP wide angle + 12MP pixel telephoto dual rear camera of which 12MP wide-angle lens aperture is F/1.8, supports four-axis optical image stabilization, Dual PD dual core Focus and its unit pixel area is 1.4?m. For selfies, this smartphone comes with a 5MP shooter. Smartphone camera evaluation agency DXOMark scored this smartphone 97 points just like the iPhone X. This makes it one of the best camera phones around. For Android users who detest the notch display design, you may want to consider the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S as it uses a tri-bezeless design.

The market performance of this device has been amazing. In the first flash sale which took place on April 3rd, all units were sold out within a few minutes. On April 6th, the company organized another sale and this time, all units were gone in 58 seconds. Till date, over two million units of this smartphone has been sold. This is pretty impressive for a smartphone which was “oppressed” by the Xiaomi Mi 8 series after about two months.

Xiaomi Mi 8

On May 31st, Chinese manufacturing giant, Xiaomi, launched its latest flagship, Xiaomi Mi 8 in Shenzhen. This smartphone was launched with 6GB of RAM and it has 64GB, 128GB and 256GB memory options. As of today, millions of the regular version of this smartphone has been sold and all the reviews so far have been positive. This shows that this smartphone is performing quite well in the market.

This smartphone is equipped with a notched 6.21-inch Samsung AMOLED display. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor while its battery capacity is 3400 mAh. On Antutu benchmark, this smartphone managed 271,164 points. In the camera department, it uses the same dual-camera module as Xiaomi MIX 2S. It adopts a 12MP wide-angle + 12MP telephoto sensors on the rear. The main lens is the Sony IMX363, which supports Dual DP dual-core focusing and four-axis optical anti-shake. On DxOMark, this smartphone rear camera scored 105 points which is 8 points higher than the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S 97 points. However, we have a 20MP selfie shooter.

Xiaomi Mi 8

In addition, the Mi 8 is also the world’s first smartphone that supports dual-frequency GPS positioning. It supports L1+L5 dual-frequency positioning, which can effectively solve the problem of inaccurate positioning of single-frequency mobile phones. Well, the individual sale performance of the  Xiaomi Mi 8 (regular version) is not available but within the first two weeks of release, the Xiaomi Mi 8 series sold over a million units. The the first four months, the company sold over six million units of this series. These values include all the smartphones first batch of Xiaomi Mi 8 series that was released on May 31st.

Xiaomi Mi 8

Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition

The Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition is just a slight modification in design and hardware from the regular Xiaomi Mi 8. It has a transparent rear and all the internals can be seen. In fact, a fan made a DIY Explorer Edition from the regular Xiaomi Mi 8 version, that’s how similar both smartphones are. It also uses an on-screen fingerprint sensor making it the first Xiaomi device with the feature.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition

The Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition is the world’s first pressure-sensitive screen fingerprint phone. According to Xiaomi’s official introduction, compared with ordinary on-screen fingerprint phones, this one comes with a highly sensitive pressure sensor. The main advantage of this technology is that it doesn’t require a strong pressure on the screen to ‘take’ the fingerprint.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition

As for the screen and hardware, the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition sports a 6.21-inch Samsung AMOLED screen with 2248 x 1080 resolution, a 402ppi pixel density, a brightness of 600nit, a 60000:1 contrast ratio and supports AOD Extinguishing technology as well as Eye protection mode. Under the hood, the phone carries a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor clocked at 2.8GHz paired with an Adreno 630 GPU with a frequency of 710MHz. The handset also gets 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM along with 128GB of UFS2.1 storage. It is packed with a 3000mAh battery supporting QC4.0+. The camera department of this smartphone is identical to the regular Xiaomi Mi 8.

Xiaomi Pocophone F1

Take it or leave it, the Indian smartphone market is the most important market to Xiaomi presently. It is the second largest smartphone market in the world and compared to China, it has lesser competition.  Xiaomi specially developed the Pocophone brand to bring cheap flagship devices to the Indian market. However, its maiden Xiaomi Pocophone F1 has been sort after all over the world. The only turn-off for this smartphone may be plastic build but everything else seems just fine especially as the Android world has finally adapted to the notch design.

Image result for xiaomi 2018 flagship

Under the hood of the Xiaomi Pocophone F1, we have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset clocking 2.8GHz coupled with 6GB of RAM and 64GB/128GB of internal storage which is expandable up to 256GB. This processor is kept in check by Xiaomi’s LiquidCool technology, a feature that is reserved for hardcore gaming smartphones like the Xiaomi Blackshark gaming phone. With LiquidCool tech, intense gaming, videos, and live streaming do not affect the temperature of this smartphone and the frequency output remains high.

Image result for xiaomi pocophone f1

The Xiaomi Pocophone F1 is equipped with Corning Gorilla Glass protected 6.18-inch (2246 x 1080) display and an aspect ratio of 18.7:9. This display is highly resistant to wear and tear thus the Poco F1 display is built to last. For a full-screen experience, this smartphone comes with a notch display which happens to be the trend in the smartphone industry presently. The Xiaomi Pocophone F1 comes with a camera setup which enhances photo brightness, clarity, and quality. It boasts of a 12.0MP + 5.0MP dual rear camera setup with a massive 20.0MP front camera for perfect selfies.  The rear camera is AI assisted and with its dual pixel autofocus, you get instant autofocus even in dark environments. Furthermore, the camera AI feature can intelligently identify 206 scenes and automatically adjust the exposure, saturation and other photo optimization for a perfect image. Furthermore, this smartphone is equipped with an infrared light sensor and an infrared camera which permits face unlocking and instant secure of the phone even in the dark.

Its lights are kept on by a decent 4000mAh battery. This battery has the endurance to keep your phone as you game, watch videos, snap pictures or perform any intense task. It provides enough power for 30 hours calling and 146 hours of music time. It also supports Quick Charge 3.0 which means that you get charged up quickly and no need to worry. Xiaomi tailored a special MIUI specifically for POCO products to make it lighter, faster and smoother. This smartphone is equipped with a turbocharged engine which gives you a faster app startup experience, more sensitive swipe movements and more. The brand new customizable App Drawer for POCO Launcher intelligently categorizes your apps and makes searching for them easier and faster. MIUI for Poco also keeps your phone secure with the latest patches and updates from Google. The Poco Launcher App is currently available on Play Store for download. In the first few weeks of its release, this smartphone was the hottest device in the industry just like every other good flagship. Flipkart confirmed that it sold 150 units every second before the device sold out within five minutes. Pocophone F1 is currently the cheapest Snapdragon 845 device and offers good value for money.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro

Its easier to visualize the Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro as the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition but this time, the Pro model does not have a transparent rear. After the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition (released in May) spent four months in the market, Xiaomi soon realized that many people needed the specs of the Mi 8 Explorer Edition but not the transparent rear which makes it look sleek to some and ugly to others. Just like the name suggests, the Pro model comes with all the latest tech as at the time of its release. It has an on-screen fingerprint recognition, 3D structured face unlock, and a few other amazing features.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro

The Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro is equipped with a 6.21-inch Samsung AMOLED Full HD+ resolution display. It is powered by the Snapdragon 845 chip coupled with 6GB LPDDR4X RAM and a 128GB UFS flash storage. On the back, it sports a dual-camera, using 12MP wide-angle and 12MP telephoto sensors. The former one is the Sony IMX363, which comes with a unit pixel area of 1.4?m and supports dual PD dual-core focus, four-axis optical image stabilization and more. A 20MP camera is placed on the front. Finally, it is equipped with a 3400mAh battery. For the first time, Xiaomi has a cooperation with Unreal Engine to boost the performance and power consumption while improving the display quality. With this cooperation, the heaviest games can be played at continuous 39fps+ rate.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro

The GPS of this smartphone is another very interesting aspect of this device. The Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro supports dual-frequency GPS positioning. Through the L1+L5 dual-frequency combination co-location, the problem of inaccurate positioning of single-frequency smartphones can be effectively solved. Finally, this device comes with a highly sensitive on-screen pressure sensor on the screen that gives the finger a vibration feedback while increasing the unlock rate. The unlocking speed is increased by 29% and the unlocking success rate is increased by 8.8%. It is also equipped with infrared face unlock function as an alternative. With all these features packed in this smartphone, this is one of the most innovative smartphones in the market presently.

Xiaomi Mi MIX 3

The Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 is truly a revolution for Xiaomi. This smartphone was released earlier this month and on the Double 11 sales, it stood out as one of the most sought after flagship smartphones. One of the major features of this smartphone is its magnetic slide-screen design which leaves the entire front as a screen. During the official launch of the Xiaomi Mi MIX 3, Xiaomi stated that the slide-screen of the Mi MIX 3 can take about 300,000 slides. However, physical tests by individual have confirmed that this smartphone can take 600,000+ slides and will still work normally.

The Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 uses a magnetic slide structure which converts the magnetic force into a mechanical force and provides the sliding resilience of the screen. With the slide-screen feature, the Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 achieves a faster and more comprehensive screen interaction. Actually, the officially stated 300,000 slides are more than enough for phone users. If you slide the display 100 times per day, you will use this device for 8 years without issues. Technically, nobody slides a screen up to 100 times per day and most phones don’t need to survive up to 8 years.

The Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 uses a 6.39-inch FHD+ AMOLED screen (Corning Gorilla Glass) while its screen ratio 93.4%, this is actually lower than we expected but it is definitely decent.  According to the company, this is the first slide-screen full-screen phone. A soft down-slide of the display reveals a 24MP+2MP deal selfie camera. This smartphone is powered by a Snapdragon 845 SoC coupled with 6GB/8GB/10GB of RAM and 128GB/256GB of internal storage. The 10GB of RAM model is called “Forbidden City”, named after the place it was released. The battery is a bit disappointing – 3200 mAh.  However, with all the optimizations that come with Android 9 Pie, we are certain that it will seamlessly take an average phone user through a day. Moreso, it supports 10W wireless fast charge.

Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 comes with a dedicated AI button. However, XiaoAi only relates in Chinese thus global users are shut out of that feature. In the camera department, we have a dual camera setup on both sides. The front has a 24MP+2MP configuration while the rear has a 12MP+12MP configuration. On DxOMark, Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 scored 103 points, the best Xiaomi camera phone so far. This smartphone camera comes with the handheld super night scene mode and 960 frames super slow-motion shooting.



I have been a strong follower of Android devices since the release of Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Right now, Chinese tech completely fascinates me because they are probably the only manufacturers who tries to merge budget and specs.

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