Xiaomi Malaysia just announced that their latest Mi 8 flagship smartphone will officially go on sale in Malaysia next week. However, its most fascinating feature is the device’s price tag, as this full-on flagship smartphone can be yours for below RM1,600.
Two variants will go on sale in Malaysia. The base model Mi 8 with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage will retail for RM1,599 while the high-spec version with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage will be priced at RM1,899. The base 64GB model will go on sale on the 16th of August 2018 online at Lazada and Shopee while the 128GB model will go on sale on the 18th of August 2018 at Authorised Mi Stores, Shopee and Lazada. Yup, the base model is going to be a Shopee/Lazada exclusive for now.
Both spec variants will be available in Black, Blue and White colourways, but the White models will only be available in September. Unfortunately there is no word on the availability of the Mi 8 with 256GB of storage nor is there any word on the Mi 8 Explorer edition.
Don’t let its affordable price tag fool you though, lest you forget that the Xiaomi Mi 8 is a full-on flagship smartphone. It’s got a 6.21-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display up front that’s flanked by slim bezels and has a notch in it. Inside, it’s got a top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 flagship processor and a 3,400 mAh battery keeping everything running. It charges via USB Type C and supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ fast-charging technology.
The phone itself is a glass and metal unit that looks fairly similar to an iPhone. Mostly, that similarity is down to its vertical camera module that houses the Mi 8’s dual 12MP sensors — the same kind of hardware you’d find on the company’s Mi MIX 2s. The main sensor has large 1.4-micron pixels and an f/1.8 aperture lens with 4-axis optical image stabilisation (OIS). The secondary sensor comes equipped with an f/2.4 aperture short telephoto lens that enables depth effects and optical zooming. As usual, the cameras support AI scene recognition and various lighting effects too.
Meanwhile, you’ll find the Mi 8’s 20MP selfie shooter with f/2.0 aperture lens in front, tucked into the notch. But its not the only thing there as Xiaomi’s also equipped the Mi 8 with an array of infrared scanners that enables face-unlock. Of course, if you prefer, there is a fingerprint scanner at the back too.
It’s also the world’s first phone to feature Dual-frequency GPS which you can read all about here. We’ve also got a more detailed announcement post with specs and all the goodies you’d find on the Mi 8 here.
I think Xiaomi’s given the Mi 8 a killer price tag. With the RM1,599 base model, the Mi 8 usurps the ASUS ZenFone 5z as the most affordable smartphone with a Snapdragon 845 processor officially launched in Malaysia. However, it is worth noting that the ZenFone 5z’s RM1,899 base model already comes with 128GB of internal storage, so that puts it on par with the Xiaomi Mi 8’s own RM1,899 high-spec variant.
With both of these Mi 8s, Xiaomi’s also put devices like the honor 10 (RM1,599), Nokia 7+ (RM1,600) and Huawei Nova 3 (RM1,899) right in its crosshairs. It will be interesting to see how the premium mid-range segment will play out now that more flagships have begun encroaching on their space.