Xiaomi Mi 8 review

GSMArena team, 27 June 2018.

Notched 1080p Super AMOLED, 6.21 inches of it

Xiaomi doesn't like QHD screens - the Mi Note Pro in 2015 was a one-off in the company's 8-year history. So, it's no surprise then that the Mi 8 comes with a 1080p resolution on its 6.21-inch display. It's in an 18.7:9 ratio (so 2,248x1,080px) and pixel density is about 400 ppi.

Xiaomi Mi 8 review

In our testing, the Mi 8's display proved to be a top performer, pumping out a very respectable 624nits when in auto mode and exposed to bright light, and 458nits when manually setting the slider all the way to the right. There was a minor illumination of the blacks with the auto boost on, but it's barely detectable by the testing equipment, and certainly not the eyes. The minimum brightness of 1.2nits is also excellent.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Xiaomi Mi 8 0 458
Xiaomi Mi 8 (Max Auto) 0.002 624 312000
Xiaomi Mi 6 0.462 603 1305
Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S 0.375 453 1208
Apple iPhone X 0 679
Google Pixel 2 XL 0 420
Sony Xperia XZ2 0.431 618 1434
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 0 376
Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Max Auto) 0 631
Huawei P20 Pro 0 412
Huawei P20 Pro (Max Auto) 0 582
Oppo R15 Pro 0 410
Nokia 8 Sirocco 0 400
Nokia 8 Sirocco (Max Auto) 0.002 600 300000
OnePlus 6 0 456
HTC U12+ 0.2 366 1830
HTC U12+ (Max Auto) 0.214 389 1818
vivo NEX S 0 458
LG G7 ThinQ 0.277 502 1812

The Mi 8 did really well in our sunlight legibility test, posting virtually the same score as the Huawei P20 Pro. It's a noticeable improvement over the Mi 6, though it was to be expected - the old model used an IPS LCD. Even so, the OnePlus 6 is superior under direct light.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Apple iPhone X
    5.013
  • OnePlus 5T
    4.789
  • Samsung Galaxy S8
    4.768
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    4.658
  • Samsung Galaxy S9
    4.63
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
    4.537
  • Motorola Moto Z2 Play
    4.459
  • Oppo R11
    4.454
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • OnePlus 6
    4.321
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Oppo R15 Pro
    4.251
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Nokia 8
    4.239
  • Google Pixel 2 XL (pre-update)
    4.234
  • OnePlus 3T
    4.232
  • Google Pixel XL
    4.164
  • ZTE Axon 7
    4.154
  • Samsung Galaxy Note8
    4.148
  • Meizu Pro 7 Plus
    4.147
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro (normal)
    4.096
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei P20 Pro
    4.087
  • Xiaomi Mi 8
    4.086
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    4.052
  • Google Pixel 2 (pre-update)
    4.023
  • LG V30
    4.022
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • vivo NEX S
    4.012
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro
    3.998
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Apple iPhone 7
    3.964
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 8 (True Tone)
    3.957
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    3.935
  • Lenovo Moto Z
    3.931
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • OnePlus 5
    3.914
  • Samsung Galaxy C5
    3.911
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    3.865
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)
    3.842
  • Sony Xperia XZs
    3.818
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)
    3.812
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
    3.804
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • LG V20 Max auto
    3.798
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    3.798
  • Sony Xperia XZ
    3.795
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Xiaomi Mi 6
    3.767
  • Sony Xperia XZ1
    3.765
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Nokia 8 Sirocco
    3.745
  • Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
    3.729
  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus (True Tone)
    3.725
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)
    3.688
  • Huawei P20
    3.683
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Huawei Mate 9
    3.68
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact
    3.675
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
    3.597
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    3.588
  • Sony Xperia XZ2
    3.58
  • LG G6
    3.556
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Motorola Moto Z Play
    3.526
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • Nokia 7 plus
    3.479
  • nubia Z11
    3.466
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    3.456
  • HTC U Ultra
    3.453
  • Motorola Moto G6
    3.448
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra
    3.445
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Motorola Moto G6 Play
    3.419
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • LG V20
    3.402
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018)
    3.397
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI Dual Camera
    3.393
  • Huawei P10
    3.379
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    3.378
  • Oppo R9s
    3.352
  • Honor 8 Pro
    3.341
  • Oppo F7
    3.333
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Lenovo P2
    3.316
  • Archos Diamond Omega
    3.305
  • Honor 9
    3.289
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s
    3.276
  • Nokia 5
    3.261
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    3.244
  • Nokia 6 (Global version)
    3.238
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 2
    3.228
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Oppo F3 Plus
    3.218
  • BlackBerry KEY2
    3.212
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    3.206
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2
    3.19
  • ZTE Nubia Z17
    3.159
  • Oppo R11s
    3.153
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • HTC U11 Life
    3.108
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • HTC U11
    3.089
  • HTC U12+
    3.085
  • Xiaomi Redmi S2 (Y2)
    3.077
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Asus Zenfone 4 ZE554KL
    3.019
  • Motorola Moto X4
    3.012
  • Sony Xperia XA1
    3.012
  • Sony Xperia L1
    2.994
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • LG Q6
    2.987
  • Huawei P10 Lite
    2.974
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Huawei P20 Lite
    2.952
  • Xiaomi Redmi 5
    2.951
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Sony Xperia XA2
    2.938
  • Oppo Realme 1
    2.932
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4
    2.92
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    2.913
  • Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus
    2.913
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • Huawei Honor View 10
    2.896
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime
    2.893
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    2.884
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium (sRGB)
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Nokia 3
    2.871
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Lenovo Moto M
    2.813
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • Honor 10 (Vivid)
    2.757
  • Nokia 2
    2.752
  • Meizu MX6
    2.751
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Huawei Mate 10 (normal)
    2.742
  • Motorola Moto G5S Plus
    2.737
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Huawei Honor 7X
    2.734
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    2.714
  • Meizu M5
    2.71
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    2.689
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    2.679
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    2.679
  • vivo V7+
    2.671
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix
    2.658
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite
    2.654
  • Oppo F5
    2.653
  • Doogee Mix
    2.642
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4a
    2.635
  • Xiaomi Mi 5X (Standard)
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    2.582
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus (max auto)
    2.582
  • Meizu M5s
    2.58
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Huawei P Smart
    2.563
  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL
    2.563
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Xiaomi Mi Max 2
    2.561
  • HTC U11+
    2.556
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A (Y1)
    2.556
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c
    2.506
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • BlackBerry Motion
    2.494
  • Oppo F1s
    2.481
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Huawei nova
    2.467
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Lenovo Vibe K5
    2.459
  • Meizu m3 max
    2.447
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2.424
  • Xiaomi Mi 5X (Auto)
    2.417
  • HTC 10 evo
    2.407
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Vivo V7
    2.404
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Oppo F3
    2.376
  • vivo V5 Plus
    2.371
  • Meizu m1 note
    2.362
  • Huawei nova plus
    2.329
  • Razer Phone
    2.328
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Sony Xperia L2
    2.266
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • HTC U11+ (EU)
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Meizu M5 Note
    2.189
  • Huawei Honor 6
    2.169
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (X20)
    2.145
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Xiaomi Mi 4S
    2.095
  • Acer Liquid X2
    2.084
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • vivo V5
    2.059
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1.996
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Meizu m3 note
    1.923
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Nokia X
    1.291
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215

Color reproduction can also be very accurate if that's your thing. Going for the 'Standard contrast' mode you'd be getting an average DeltaE of 1.8 (when compared against an sRGB target) and the most accurate whites of all modes, though they are still a little off with a slight shift to green. Out of the box, the Mi 8 is in 'Automatic contrast' mode with Default selected in the Default/Warm/Cool setting. That gives an average DeltaE of 4.0 (more than decent, actually) but with added punch in the reds and greens.

Audio quality

The Xiaomi Mi 8 went off to a flying start here, delivering outstandingly loud output with an active external amplifier. The clarity in this case was as clean as we’ve come to expect from smartphones these days with no nasty surprises either.

Plugging in a pair of headphones didn’t drop the volume a bit, making the Mi 8 arguably the loudest phone we’ve tested this year. As far as quality degradation is concerned - we saw an average increase in stereo crosstalk, but that was mostly it. An impressive performance by the Xiaomi flagship, no matter how you look at it.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Xiaomi Mi 8+0.01, -0.03-93.993.90.00240.0067-93.7
Xiaomi Mi 8 (headphones)+0.04, -0.06-93.593.50.00860.105-60.3
HTC U12++0.02, -0.15-94.394.30.00210.0069-94.3
HTC U12+ (headphones)+0.18, -0.13-93.793.60.00240.104-52.7
Nokia 8 Sirocco+0.44, -0.12-90.190.20.00560.016-88.7
Nokia 8 Sirocco (headphones)+0.51, -0.12-89.889.90.00970.043-39.9
Samsung Galaxy S9++0.01, -0.03-92.692.50.00120.0076-93.4
Samsung Galaxy S9+ (headphones)+0.03, -0.03-92.292.20.00170.042-76.3
LG V30+0.02, -0.01-93.293.10.00080.0069-94.2
LG V30 (headphones)+0.03, -0.02-92.992.90.00570.051-68.1

Xiaomi Mi 8 frequency response
Xiaomi Mi 8 frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

Loudspeaker

The Mi 8 has a single loudspeaker - only so much stuff you can fit in that notch, so no earpiece/second speaker combo. The lone bottom-firing driver pumps out plenty of decibels to get a 'Very good' rating in our test (a couple of dB short of 'Excellent'). It's of the better sounding speakers we've heard, with clean and full-bodied output.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Google Pixel 2 XL 66.2 70.4 78.2 Good
OnePlus 6 70.2 74.7 70.0 Good
Sony Xperia XZ2 66.1 71.8 78.1 Good
Huawei Honor View 10 68.6 69.9 77.8 Good
BlackBerry KEY2 66.5 72.0 79.8 Good
Nokia 7 plus 67.5 71.3 79.7 Good
Xiaomi Mi 6 66.1 69.0 84.1 Very Good
Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S 68.1 70.1 81.5 Very Good
Oppo R15 Pro 69.7 73.5 76.6 Very Good
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 68.4 74.0 80.1 Very Good
Xiaomi Mi 8 68.1 72.3 82.2 Very Good
Honor 10 69.3 72.6 87.3 Excellent
Huawei P20 Pro 71.8 69.2 91.0 Excellent
HTC U12+ (Music) 76.0 73.6 88.5 Excellent
Nokia 8 Sirocco 83.6 76.4 80.7 Excellent
HTC U12+ (Theatre) 77.0 73.8 91.1 Excellent

Xiaomi Mi 8 battery life

The Xiaomi Mi 8 packs a 3,400mAh battery - the same capacity we saw on the Mi Mix 2S, which didn't perform too well in our testing. We may be missing the days of the 4,000mAh power pack of the original Mix, but, in all fairness, the 3,400mAh is quite in line with what you could expect to find elsewhere - the Galaxy S9+ (6.2 inches, 3,500mAh), HTC U12+ (6.0 inches, 3,500mAh), and OnePlus 6 (6.28 inches, 3,300mAh) are all in the same ballpark. There is an outlier though - Huawei P20 Pro does come with a 4,000mAh cell to light up a 6.1-inch display.

Unlike the Mix 2S, the Mi 8 did actually post excellent numbers in our tests. Fourteen full hours of looping videos should be enough for all but the longest transcontinental flights, while the 11 hours of browsing the web over Wi-Fi matches or beats most other flagships this year, the outlier being again the same. For those who still care about voice calls, we clocked 22:37h on the Mi 8. This used to be an average result, but as recent phones go, it's shaping up to mean 'pretty good'.

In the end, the overall Endurance rating of the Xiaomi Mi 8 works out to 86 hours.

Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018)

Our endurance rating denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Xiaomi Mi 8 for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We've established this usage pattern so our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

The Mi 8 is advertised as supporting QuickCharge 4.0+, but we're yet to see an actual charger that supports this latest standard, and even then, the benefits wouldn't be all that huge. The phone comes bundled with a QC3.0 charger that gets the battery from 0 to 100% in 1:35h with 44% showing on the screen at the half-hour mark, which is quite alright as far as charging speeds go.

Mind you, the Mi 8 lacks wireless charging even if the glass back allows for it. We'd say that's quite a bummer given that the Mi Mix 2S does have it. Oh, well.

Reader comments

  • Ryr321

Which one do you think is better the Mi 8 or the Samsung A70? Any reasons would be greatly appreciated.

For alternatives, why the Galaxy S8? It's from the year before, and isn't even really a good rival, compared to the S9s and even the S8+. I think the S9+ would've been a better option. Good review otherwise though.

  • TienBac

How? Why my score is only 230K?