Xiaomi Mi 8 SE unveiled – the first Snapdragon 710-powered smartphone

As expected, Xiaomi unveiled more than one smartphone on its event today but no one saw three devices coming at once – after the Mi 8 and Mi 8 Explorer Edition the company introduced the Mi 8 SE (Special Edition). Despite the name, it’s actually a toned-down Mi 8 with a mid-range price and slightly downgraded hardware. On the positive side, the chassis still features high-quality materials like an aluminum side frame and glass back, so it offers the best value of all three.

The Xiaomi Mi 8 SE features a 5.88″ Super AMOLED display with FHD+ (1080×2244) resolution. The aspect ratio is 18.7:9. And unfortunately for some, the notch is here to stay, although the Mi 8 SE doesn’t have the fancy tech for 3D Face ID feature that the standard Mi 8 has. You have to rely on the fingerprint sensor placed on the back for your biometric security.

The screen also boasts an 86.12% front coverage thanks to the skinny side bezels and the fairly small chin at the bottom. The company claims that the Mi 8 SE is just as big as a standard 5.2-inch phone. DCI-P3 color gamut support is another noticeable feature but more importantly, the panel is capable of 600 nits peak brightness for better outdoor visibility.

Xiaomi Mi 8 SE in gold and black
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE in gold and black

Xiaomi Mi 8 SE in gold and black

At the heart of the Mi 8 SE is the recently announced Snapdragon 710 that’s built on the 10nm node with emphasis on AR and AI. It packs an octa-core Kryo 360 CPU clocked at 2.2 GHz and an Adreno 616 GPU.

According to Xiaomi, this should account for 20% better overall performance compared to the Snapdragon 660 in various tasks like web browsing and opening apps while delivering 40% lower power consumption when playing games or during 4K video playback.

Xiaomi Mi 8 SE in red and blue
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE in red and blue

Xiaomi Mi 8 SE in red and blue

The Antutu benchmark score is 174,333 and just crushes the similarly-priced vivo X21 and Oppo R15 Pro. Anyway, the chip is paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage with the more expensive version offering a 6GB + 64GB memory configuration.

On the camera front, we have a 20MP front-facing sensor with large 2µm pixels for better low-light selfies. On the back, we have a 12MP main sensor plus a 5MP secondary unit for depth information. The usual AI enhancements are in place – beautification, bokeh and scene recognition.

A 3,120 mAh battery powers the Mi 8 SE and it supports 18W Quick Charge 3.0 over the USB-C port for quick top-ups.

The Xiaomi Mi 8 SE starts at CNY 1,799 ($281) for the 4GB version and CNY 1,999 ($312) for the 64GB model coming in black, gold, red and blue colors. Global launch or Chinese availability are yet to be confirmed.

Source (in Chinese)

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