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Xiaomi Mi8 SE Review: The Perfect Midranger?

xiaomi mi8 SE review
Lava International

Xiaomi recently released a set of devices, namely the MI8, the Mi 8 explorer and the Mi 8 SE. Well, today we have with us the Mi8 SE. Now, this device has made headlines because it has quite a list of impressive specifications on paper. But how does it perform in real life? Well, let’s dive into the Mi8 SE review.


When you look at the Mi 8 SE, you can’t help but notice how premium it looks. The device has a glass back that looks quite elegant. The metal frame around the display certainly sets it apart. The phone is slim and lightweight which makes it even more appealing.

It is protected by some sort of Gorilla Glass, but Xiaomi has not revealed exactly which one but the presence of Gorilla Glass is always welcoming. Although the phone looks premium, the glass back, unfortunately, is a fingerprint magnet. I am using the red version which is an eye candy.

Xiaomi Mi8 SE Design

There is no Micro SD card slot meaning that you will not be able to expand the storage. There’s also no headphone jack, and the sound for the single speaker is just about average.

But the top of the phone, you get an IR blaster, which I must say, other manufacturers, miss out. Like all the other phones nowadays, you get a notch that is actually a little wider than the others. But like it or not, the notch is there!


Up front, the MI 8 SE features a 5.88-inch AMOLED display with very minimum bezels. As the word AMOLED suggests, you get a display with deep blacks and good color reproduction. The display is also bright and vibrant.

Xiaomi Mi 8 SE display

Having said that, the brightness it provides is satisfactory. I mean, outdoors too it gives good visibility. The viewing angles of this device have got me impressed and display wise I have no complaints whatsoever.


The camera set up on the back of the MI 8 SE is a dual 12+5 MP shooter, where the secondary sensor works for depth sensing only.

The camera app is friendly enough on use, meaning it’s not confusing when trying to tweak some settings. There’s AI mode which detects the scenes and enhances the color and dynamic range.

Talking about the quality of images, for the price, I must say they look nice and vibrant. The colors are good and punchy, but I found it to be a little bit oversaturated to my liking.

Taking still Portrait shots, they are satisfactory if not the best. Low light images have noise with limited dynamic range, but for the price, it’s not that bad. Selfies are great with good dynamic range, color accuracy, and details.

Something I am, well a little disappointed with is the video recording of this device. There’s no OIS or 60fps, but Xiaomi has included EIS which helps to get stabilization to some extent. There is native shakiness in 4K videos. The videos in 1080p are stabilized in comparison so, I recommend you use the latter for best outcomes.

Check out all the high-resolution camera samples here


The Xiaomi Mi 8 SE offers you a 3,120 mAh battery with USB Type C port for fast charging and data syncing. The fact that this device packs an energy efficient SD 710 processor and an AMOLED display has also helped it have a good battery life.

The battery lasts for almost a day at normal usage like for social media usage, surfing the internet, occasional gaming, etc. I had to put this device on charge every morning and return home with around 15% juice in it.

xiaomi mi8 SE usb type C port

So, I would say that the battery life not so great but keeps you going for at least a day’s use. To balance it out, the device supports fast charging, so I had very less to whine about in the battery department.


The insides of the device are handled by one of the fresh lineups of Qualcomm’s chipsets, the Snapdragon 710 along with 4GB of RAM. This is also one of the reasons the device is getting so much attention and I was very eager to test it. The chipset comes with AI capabilities and supports Quick charge 4+.

On use, the performance is no less impressive. The device handles all your multitasking needs and gaming needs very efficiently. I played the Asphalt 9, which ran smooth as a breeze. Similarly, everyone’s favorite PUBG also ran with minimum hiccups. Talking about app opening, it does a commendable job here too.


Moving on to the Software, you get the latest Android Oreo 8.1 coupled with MIUI 9.5 and the MI8 SE is waiting to get the MIUI10 update. I reviewed the Chinese version as the Global version is not there yet in my part of the world. Due to that reason, the absence of Google apps is evident here, so I had to download them by myself but that is a not a major issue.

Other than that, you get a nice clean feel in the UI. Likewise, the fingerprint sensor is swift and accurate. I usually prefer the fingerprint sensor to be located in front, but the sensor on this one is located at the back. However, it is in a comfortable distance at the back so I didn’t have any problem, but it totally depends upon your choice. The facial unlock is fast too but in low lighting conditions, it took a relatively longer to recognize me.


The MI 8 SE seems to beat most of the other mid-range devices. It’s not officially available in Nepal, but you can get it from Gear Best. With the new SD 710 onboard, you get power-packed performance, a good if not best cameras, decent enough battery life with fast charging, stunning premium looks and an excellent AMOLED display. There are very few reasons why I should not recommend this device to anyone. I think Xiaomi has got another winner here with the Mi8 SE.

Pros Cons
Attractive Looks No MicroSD support (64GB option only available)
Great Display Average Audio Output
Excellent Performance
Good Cameras
90 %
90 %
90 %
Back Camera
80 %
Front Camea
80 %
90 %
90 %
80 %
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