Mi 8 SE Review: The new Mid-Range player

The Mi 8 SE was launched in China in July 2018 for just 1899 RMB, somewhere between 20-22K INR. Beebom has been testing the device from quite a few days and has released their views now. The device has been priced at $456.99 and you can buy it from GearBest or can wait for the launch in India.

The review covers the Mi 8 SE’s performance, camera, build quality, and more.

Mi 8 SE Specifications

Dimensions147.3 x 73.1 x 7.5 mm
Weight164 grams
Display5.88 inches (1080 x 2244 pixels) Super AMOLED
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 710
GPUAdreno 616
RAM4/6 GB RAM
Storage64 GB
Primary
Camera
12 MP (f/1.9) + 5 MP (f/2.0)
Secondary
Camera
20 MP (f/2.0)
Battery3120 mAh
Operating
System
MIUI 10 based on Android 8.1 (Oreo)
Sensors Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass

Mi 8 SE img-1

Design and Build Quality

Talking about the design and build quality, Xiaomi has left no stone unturned to give the device a premium look. It features an industrial design with a notch and to some, they may see it as an iPhone X’s copy but overall the phone gives a great look in almost every dimension. The in-hand feel of the device is nice and stable.

With Mi 8 SE, the company opted to use the premium quality materials. The smartphone has a glass sandwich design, with the glass both on back and front within an aluminum frame. The testing company has used a gold color variant and finds it absolutely beautiful.

Mi 8 SE img-2

Display

The best feature of the Mi 8 SE is its 5.88-inch Super AMOLED display which has a resolution of 1080 x 2244 pixels, gives a pixel density of 423 PPI. The OLED displays are always amazing as they give true blacks and other colors and is definitely preferred over the IPS panels. There’s a ton of contrast and colors, text looks crisps, and pictures and videos just pop out.

Mi 8 SE img-3

The OLED panels are also battery efficient especially when the dark mode is enabled. The only issue that some users may feel is the notch on the top. Notched display design has a both liked & disliked reviews as of now but, you can always hide the notch area from the settings menu. Considering the fact that most of the 2018 smartphone features a notch one should get used to getting as the Notch display inventers, Apple Inc. has no plans to ditch the notch in their upcoming devices of 2018.

 

 User Interface

Putting aside the MI’s A1 series every smartphone of Xiaomi runs on the MIUI, the company’s custom UI based on Android OS. The Mi 8 SE runs on the latest MIUI 10 which is currently available in beta version for the Indian devices. Considering the sales growth of Xiaomi India it is pretty sure that the customers are happy with the MIUI.

Mi-8-SE-user-interface-img-4

The MIUI 9 runs flawlessly and with the upcoming MIUI 10, the company is about to bring tons of extra features, customizability, and theming capabilities. On the one hand, Xiaomi MIUI is a joy to use but on the other hand is terribly slow at receiving updates.

 

Performance

Mi-8-SE-gaming-img-6

The Mi 8 SE is the world’s first smartphone to run on the Snapdragon 700 series processor. According to the Qualcomm, the 700 series processor was developed to bridge the gap between their mid-level 600-series processors and high-end 800-series processors. The new processor inside the Xiaomi 8 SE is built on the latest 10nm architecture. In the Day to day usage of the phone, it performed pretty smoothly and had no performance lags. The phone may time more time while loading heavy graphics game as it does not sport the 800 series of Qualcomm processor.

 

Camera’s

Camera’s in the Mi 8 SE packs a 12MP (f/1.9) + 5MP (f/2.0) primary camera set up along with a 20MP (f/2.0) front-facing shooter. The cameras perform well in the daylight and good lighting conditions. The color reproduction was on point and the dynamic range is pretty good. These cameras are way ahead in picture quality as compared to the other phones in this price range.

Mi-8-SE-camera-img-7

Primary camera in Lowlight conditions

As mentioned the camera performs exceptionally well in the day-light but when it comes to Lowlight conditions the images captured has a little noise and the overall image is a bit softer side.

Primary camera: Portrait mode

Featuring a dual lens setup in the primary camera makes the device eligible to click some great portraits as well. The phone unexpectedly captures really good portrait shots & the edge detection was on point. The depth effect enough that it does not make the picture look artificial.

Front facing camera

Mi 8 SE’s primary camera is no doubt an above-expected shooter but the front-facing camera is just near to average. The selfies are softer than you think and not sharp enough. The camera does not capture enough details to make a picture look realistic. Although the camera is a 20MP shooter when you upload your pictures on social media, the selfies will get blurred drastically.

Videos

The camera’s on the Mi 8 SE performs strongly when you record a video. The smartphone can record videos up to 4K resolution at 30 fps. The sad part is that there is no OIS and the EIS doesn’t work at 4k resolution recording. There is a slow-motion video recording option at 240 fps at 720p. Overall the cameras are quietly acceptable at this price point.

 

Battery

Mi-8-SE-img-8

The MI 8 SE comes with a 3120mAh battery. In the day-to-day usage which involves calling, using social media apps, listening to music & about 30-45 mints of gaming drained approx 80% of the battery which is considered to be good.

The Snapdragon 710 along with the OLED screen helps in reducing the excessive battery drain but your usage may vary according to in terms of network strength of your carrier/wifi, apps running in the background at a time, screen brightness and much more. There’s also Quick Charge 3.0 support which helps to top-up the battery very fast.

Do check out: Xiaomi brings notch to the budget smartphones with Redmi 6 pro

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