iPhone X clone? Xiaomi Mi 8 has notch, face unlock, top chipset but far lower price

Xiaomi's new flagship Mi 8 Explorer Edition is the first Android phone with the iPhone X's 3D face unlock.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Video: Huawei and Xiaomi smartphone shipments grow.

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has announced the Mi 8, its iPhone X lookalike with a notch and face unlock.

While it's hard not to see the similarities between the Mi 8 and iPhone X, from the notch to the positioning of the rear cameras, the Mi 8 Explorer Edition's eye-catching transparent glass back showing off its internals stands apart -- even though some have cast doubt as to whether it shows actual components.

In another Apple-like move, Xiaomi opted to hop straight from last year's Mi 6 to the Mi 8 to mark its eighth anniversary in the smartphone business.

Regardless of the comparisons to the iPhone X, the Mi 8 lives up to Xiaomi's tradition of cramming high-end features into its Mi flagships and selling them at a far lower price than Apple and Samsung flagships.

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The Mi 8 phone runs on Qualcomm's top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 processor, and features a 12-megapixel dual camera on the rear and a 20-megapixel front-facing camera.

It's got a 6.12-inch Samsung OLED screen with the notch at the top that houses the infrared camera and infrared illuminator for face unlock but also has a fingerprint scanner on the rear of the phone.

The Mi 8 Explorer Edition is a step up from the Mi 8, offering the world's first pressure-sensitive in-screen fingerprint scanner, which Xiaomi says will make unlocking faster.

The Explorer Edition also features 3D face unlock, a first for Android, and employs the same 'structured light' technique used by Apple's Face ID to project multiple measurement on the user's face. And like the iPhone X, the Mi 8 features Xiaomi's take on Apple's animoji.

Finally, Xiaomi launched a smaller Mi 8 SE with a 5.88-inch Samsung AMOLED display running on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 710 chip.

The Mi 8 and Mi 8 SE will go on sale in China in June and will cost RMB 2,699 ($420) and RMB 1,799 ($280). The Explorer Edition will cost RMB 3,699 ($575) but Xiaomi hasn't announced availability yet.


Xiaomi's Mi 8 Explorer Edition features a transparent glass back.

Image: Xiaomi

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