Xiaomi, currently the number four smartphone-maker worldwide behind Samsung, Huawei and Apple, has officially entered the UK market, spearheading its latest European expansion with the global debut of a new flagship handset, the Mi 8 Pro.
The company will also open its first authorised Mi Store in the UK on 18 November, in London’s Westfield shopping centre. This will showcase not only Xiaomi’s smartphones, but also a range of smart home and lifestyle products, including fitness tracking bands, an electric scooter and more.
Xiaomi joins a number of smartphone manufacturers seeking to offer premium features at a competitive price, and has officially committed to limiting its net profit margin to 5 percent on hardware products. The new Mi 8 Pro starts at £499 — the same entry price as the OnePlus 6T, from another would-be smartphone market disruptor.
Standout features of the Mi 8 Pro are a 6.21-inch AMOLED display with an in-screen fingerprint sensor, a Snapdragon 845 platform with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, a transparent ‘Titanium 3D glass’ back, dual 12MP rear cameras and a 20MP front camera, plus IR face unlock.
Here’s a specs comparison with the OnePlus 6T:
|Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro||OnePlus 6T|
|Display||6.21 inches, AMOLED, 1080 x 2248 pixels (402ppi)||6.41 inches, AMOLED, 1080 x 2340 pixels (402ppi)|
|Dimensions||74.8mm x 154.9mm x 7.6mm||74.8mm x 157.5mm x 8.2mm|
|Colours||Transparent Titanium||Mirror Black, Midnight Black|
|OS||Android 8.0 (Oreo)||Android 9.0 (Pie)|
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845|
|Rear camera||12MP (wide-angle f/1.8 with OIS), 12MP (telephoto, f/2.4)||16MP (wide-angle f/1.7 with OIS), 20MP (wide-angle f/1.7)|
|3.5mm audio jack||no||no|
|GPS||dual-band GPS, Galileo, QZSS, GLONASS, Beidou||GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo|
|Fingerprint reader||yes (in-screen)||yes (in-screen)|
|Fast charging||QuickCharge 4+||yes (5V, 4A)|
|Price||£499.99 (8GB/128GB)||£499 (6GB/128GB), £529 (8GB/128GB)|
The Mi 8 Pro is available from today (9 November) via Three, Amazon, Argos, John Lewis, Carphone Warehouse, Currys PC World, Very, Go Mobile, Mobile Phones Direct, Katana and Mi.com, and — from 18 November — in the London Mi Store.
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Other Mi Ecosystem products whose UK availability was announced yesterday were: Redmi 6A (affordable 5.45-inch smartphone, £99); Band 3 (fitness tracker, £26.99) and Mi Electric Scooter (£399).
“Today we witness a new chapter in Xiaomi’s global expansion journey, underpinned by our global ambitions. We are thrilled to make great strides by announcing our arrival in the UK. By bringing a range of our amazing products at honest pricing we want to offer more choices and let everyone in the UK enjoy a connected simple life through our innovative technology,” said Wang Xiang, senior vice president of Xiaomi Corporation, in a statement.
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