What has the company got for us?

The Xiaomi Mi 8. MIUI Forum

The Xiaomi Mi 8 launch event has kicked off in Shenzhen, China, set to give us a glimpse of the firm’s next flagship, the new MIUI 10 Android skin, and Mi Band 3 fitness tracker.

The Xiaomi Mi 8 took center stage at the event, yielding a design that was true to the rumors. And yes, that includes the dreaded notch. But much like Huawei and OnePlus, the company has included a setting to hide the feature.

Fortunately, that notch plays host to more than just an earpiece and camera, as Xiaomi has included facial recognition technology here too. The feature uses an infrared camera, mounted on the notch, to scan the face and unlock the phone. There’s no word on how it compares to iris scanning and Apple’s Face ID, but given that it’s not solely reliant on the front-facing camera, it could be a notable improvement.

The Xiaomi Mi 8 and its notch sensors. MIUI Forum

Otherwise, expect a Snapdragon 845 chipset, a 6.21-inch 2,248 x 1,080 AMOLED display (18.7:9 screen ratio), 20MP selfie camera, and a 12MP/12MP AI-assisted dual camera setup.

The camera pairing consists of an f/1.8 primary shooter and an f/2.4 telephoto shooter to get those zoomed in pictures. Xiaomi adds that four-axis optical image stabilization is available here, but it’s unclear if the secondary telephoto camera receives the feature too.

Xiaomi Mi 8 camera. Xiaomi

Nevertheless, Xiaomi claimed a DxOMark photo score of 105, beating the iPhone X and Mi Mix 2S’s 101 score. As for overal DxOMark scores, the company claims a rating of 99, besting the Apple device and Mi Mix 2S by two points.

The company has also been touting the Mi 8’s performance prowess in benchmarks, touting an Antutu score of over 301,000 points. Of course, DxOMark and Antutu scores mean nothing if the actual user experience is lacking, so we look forward to getting our hands on the device.

MIUI 10 embraces AI, tall screens

MIUI 10 from Xiaomi. Xiaomi

As for MIUI 10? Xiaomi has marketed the update as the “best full screen experience.” The multitasking menu has seen an overhaul, for starters, now scrolling vertically to take advantage of the tall screen ratio of today’s phones. The multitasking menu also allows you to tap and hold on an app to view all options (e.g. close, lock).

Perhaps inspired by the Pixel 2 duo, Xiaomi’s new update also brings a portrait mode to the table, allowing single-camera phones to take portraits as well.

The new update also brings a driving mode to the table, allowing users to give voice commands instead of operating the phone in a conventional manner.

Finally, taking a page from Huawei’s book, Xiaomi is marketing MIUI 10 for its AI-enhanced performance management. Much like EMUI 8, the new Xiaomi update is supposed to predict your next move and allocate system resources accordingly.

Impressive growth in Europe and India

Xiaomi co-founder Lei Jun kicked off the event by highlighting the company’s impressive performance in India. He cited IDC statistics, that found Xiaomi to beat Samsung to number one in the market.

The executive also touched on the company’s performance in Europe, noting growth of over 999 percent.

This is a developing story…

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