Xiaomi Mi Band 3 release date, price and specs

Xiaomi Mi8

Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi showed off all kinds of shiny new devices at a launch event in Shenzhen today, chief among them the Mi 8, the latest in the company's series of line of high-end Android handsets.

Xiaomi is known for affordable phones, and the Mi 8 is no exception: It will retail for around $421 in China (but there's no word on the price in other markets, including the U.S.) yet. The Mi 8, says Xiaomi, is "the first ever Android device in the world that comes with 3D face unlock", using "an infrared camera paired with a dedicated infrared illuminator". The Mi 8 Explorer Edition will arrive later, priced at 3,699 yuan (around $577). The Mi 8 actually has many selling points: high RAM, large storage, dual-frequency Global Positioning System, and AI-powered camera.

Xiaomi launched the Mi 8 to celebrate its 8th anniversary at an event in China.

The Mi Band 3 is the company's third iteration of its fitness tracker lineup, with its predecessors having gained a good deal of popularity for their pricing.

Right off the bat as you can see in the image above, the Mi 8 is a very impressive looking handset in terms of design. "It sports a 0.78" OLED screen, a marked jump in size from the Mi Band 2's 0.42" one. The company said it will offer MIUI 10 for a number of existing models, but didn't say what version of Android is churning beneath that custom skin. The Mi 8 SE is a less powerful member and it features a Snapdragon 710.

The Mi 8 Explorer Edition also comes with a pressure-sensitive in-display fingerprint scanner.

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On the specifications front, the phone looks a lot like Mi 8 and sports a notch display.

Firstly, the regular Mi 8 is fairly self-explanatory. Tucked in the notch is a 20-megapixel selfie camera with f/1.8 aperture. Meanwhile the rear takes advantage of a dual-12 megapixel camera setup.

Some of the features of MIUI 10 include a revamped task manager, gesture controls and AI portrait mode for enhanced Bokeh shots. The standard Mi 8 has a face unlock feature as well, but it misses out on the 3D tech. There's 6GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage. It is also expected to come with IP68 certifications and a bevvy of sensors including altimeter, biometric heart rate monitor, NFC (Near Field Communication), Bluetooth 4.2 and more.

Meanwhile, the more premium Explorer edition will cost 3699 yuan, or approximately £433.

The Mi 8 SE has a 5.88 inch Super AMOLED display with a 2248 x 1080 px resolution. Xiaomi disclosed a schedule, but it only applies to open and closed beta tests, so we are months away from the actual release of MIUI 10 for the majority of devices. The Mi 8 SE will be available in two variants, one with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage and the other one with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage.

The smartphone will be available with 4/6 GB RAM options along with 64 GB storage for the price of 1799 and 1999 Yuan, respectively.

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