Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro 6.21 inch in-display fingerprint 4G LTE smartphone
Chinese tech giant Xiaomi is finally ready to push into the UK market, making a statement with its launch device, the Mi 8 Pro (pronounced “me”). In fact, the company has brought a volley of hardware alongside a range of smartphones to British shores. UK tech-lovers can also expect to get their hands on the Mi Electric Scooter, Xiaomi Band 3 fitness tracker and much more.
As the name implies, the Mi 8 Pro is an enhanced version of the company’s 2018 flagship, the Mi 8, with the UK the first market outside of China where consumers could get their hands on it.
The phone sets itself apart from the crowd with a transparent-backed design, but also delivers other competitive touches such as a Snapdragon 845 processor, a dual 12-megapixel rear camera and an in-display fingerprint sensor.
Originally launching in China and subsequently rolling out into 25 other markets in which Xiaomi is already established, starting with the UK on November 9, the Mi 8 Pro has made a splash with the price/performance balance it strikes.
In the UK, the phone can be bought for £499. In select European markets, such as France and Spain, it’s now available for €599.
The Mi 8 Pro’s body is a sandwich of Gorilla Glass 5 with a polished 7-series aluminium filling. It’s wider and squatter than the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, say, but covers a similar surface area, with a fit and finish that’s comparable to any top-tier handset.
The back glass curves in four directions (through processes that Xiaomi explained are particularly challenging to achieve at scale), meaning that despite its dimensions, the Mi 8 Pro is comfortable in one hand, while the materials offer plenty of grip too. However, as its Gorilla Glass, fingerprints are an issue, even after just a brief handling.
Xiaomi has pulled the same trick we first saw with the Mi 8 Explorer Edition, although this time the unique design has been refined somewhat. You can actually see what look like components and circuitry beneath the phone’s rear glass, with a Qualcomm-branded “chip” sitting front and centre. These aren’t the actual components, mind, they’re more there to show off the power of the phone, kind of like the way you might see ‘16v’ badged on the size of a sports car.
Along with this, there are some little mottos, which Xiaomi describes as ‘easter eggs’ relevant to the company and the device. One of these reads ‘Always Believe That Something Wonderful Is About To Happen’. Uh huh.
It’s a rather characterful design, and surprisingly frivolous in an industry where every millimetre counts. The visible components are simply ornamental, but achieving this see-through finish is a nice touch by Xiaomi’s design team. Note that red highlights on the camera, power button and USB-C also add to the premium and interesting finish of this phone.
In the UK, at least, the Mi 8 Pro is only available in this one finish right now – but it’s easily the best option anyway.