Xiaomi Mi 8 with Snapdragon 845 chipset, 3D face unlock launched

Xiaomi Mi8 SE

Xiaomi Mi 8 is the flagship smartphone by the company for 2018.

The Mi 8 Explorer Edition comes in at 3,699 CNY while the Mi 8 SE starts at 1,799 CNY. Xiaomi says both of these features are firsts for Android handsets, though we've already seen 3D face-mapping technology on the iPhone X. The regular Mi 8 also face unlocking, but it uses a more commonplace IR camera with its own IR illuminator.

The Mi 8 and Mi 8 SE will go on sale in China June 5 and June 8 respectively.

Unlike Apple's flagship, the Xiaomi Mi 8 runs Google's Android operating system and will sell for a considerably lower price.

Pricing for the Mi 8 line is competitive.

EXPLORER EDITION. The Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition comes with extra bells and whistles for discerning phone lovers. The Mi 8 SE retains the glass back panel and the aluminium frame, which means that even though it has downgraded hardware, the design and build quality is as good as the flagship Mi 8.

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The Mi 8 is the main handset in the series, but it's not quite the most impressive.

All of these are powered by MIUI 10, the latest iteration of Xiaomi's custom flavor of Android 8.1.

The Mi 8 Explorer Edition features similar specs to the Mi 8, but comes with several special features, including a couple of industry firsts. It will also come with infrared cameras located at the notch for face unlocking, a feature also available on the iPhone X.

A Xiaomi spokesperson declined to comment when we asked if the company wanted to talk about the Mi 8's similarity to the iPhone X.

The Mi 8 also is probably the first smartphone with dual Global Positioning System. The front-facing camera is a 20-megapixel shooter with f/2.0 aperture, 1.8-micron pixels and shoots Full HD videos.

There's a lot going on with the new phones, and we'll be very interested to see if they make their way to the west. The front camera has features such as AI-enabled bokeh mode, beautification features, etc. The processor is the new Snapdragon 710, Qualcomm's chip for upper-mid-range devices that was just introduced the other week. There's 6GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage. The successor to the Mi Band 2 which was released a couple years ago features a 0.78-inch OLED monochrome screen that Xiaomi claims will offer a better experience when viewing messages and notification. On the standard Mi 8, it's the old-fashioned rear fingerprint reader. Older members of the Mi family lack microSD card slots, and Xiaomi didn't mention one, so buyers should probably pick their storage option with an eye toward the future. The Mi 8 SE will be available in two variants, one with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage and the other one with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. And all that for a starting price of 2,699 yuan (US$421).