Xiaomi announced the Mi 8 a couple of weeks ago, sporting some specs that would probably make you raise an eyebrow.

The Mi 8 comes in three variants: First up, the “regular” Xiaomi Mi 8, then the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition, which is very similar to the Mi 8, but comes with a see-through glass back, pressure-sensitive in-display fingerprint scanner, and 3D face unlock. Finally, the Mi 8 SE is a cheaper, smaller variant with a 5.88-inch screen and Snapdragon 710 processor, versus the 6.21-inch/Snapdragon 845 on the larger Mi 8 and Mi 8 Explorer Edition.

Read Next: MIUI 10 features: 7 improvements you should know about

That is some serious bang for your buck, and comes in at a price that undercuts even the likes of OnePlus 6.

The standard edition of the Xiaomi Mi 8 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, 6GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage and a 3,400 mAh battery for a base price of around $420 (for the 64GB model). That is some serious bang for your buck, and comes in at a price that undercuts even the likes of OnePlus 6.

xiaomi mi 8 white version

The ~$575 Explorer Edition is the model you should really be looking at though, because it adds a couple of features that you’ll only find in a handful of phones on the market right now.

the transparent back of the xiaomi mi 8 explorer edition

Here’s what you need to know about the phone as we take a quick Xiaomi Mi 8 hands-on look.

The Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition features an in-screen fingerprint reader, which is something we’ve only seen on a the Vivo X21 and one or two other devices. This fingerprint reader is pressure sensitive too, so the phone will only scan your finger when you press down on the display. Xiaomi tells me this should significantly help save on battery life, since the phone will not have to be scanning for a fingerprint constantly.

the xiaomi mi 8's oled display
The Xiaomi Mi 8.

The other addition to the Explorer model is a 3D face-scanning mechanism similar to the one found in the iPhone X. It uses infrared light to make a 3D map of your face, and is able to identify the user much accurately than solutions that use the front-facing camera. Thanks to the infrared emitter, this mechanism can also be used to do portrait lighting effects and animated characters similar to the Animoji on the iPhone X.

the xiaomi mi 8 comes with a notch similar to the iphone x

Xiaomi Mi 8 specs

Xiaomi Mi 8Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer EditionXiaomi Mi 8 SE
Display
Xiaomi Mi 8:
6.21-inch AMOLED
2,248 x 1,080 resolution
18.7:9 screen ratio
Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition:
6.21-inch AMOLED
2,248 x 1,080 resolution
18.7:9 screen ratio
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE:
5.88-inch AMOLED
2,244 x 1,080 resolution
18.7:9 screen ratio
SoC
Xiaomi Mi 8:
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Octa-core, up to 2.8Ghz
Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition:
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Octa-core, up to 2.8Ghz
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE:
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710,
Octa-core, up to 2.2Ghz
GPU
Xiaomi Mi 8:
Adreno 630
Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition:
Adreno 630
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE:
Adreno 616
RAM
Xiaomi Mi 8:
6GB
LPDDR4x
Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition:
8GB
LPDDR4X
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE:
4/6GB
LPDDR4X
Storage
Xiaomi Mi 8:
64/128/256GB
UFS
Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition:
128GB
UFS
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE:
64GB
eMMC 5.1
Cameras
Xiaomi Mi 8:
Rear cameras
Main: 12MP with 1.4 micron pixels, 4-axis OIS, f/1.8 aperture
Secondary: 12MP telephoto with 1.0 micron pixels, f/2.4 aperture
Video: 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 240/120/30fps, 720p at 240/30fps

Front camera: 20MP with 1.8 micron pixels, f/2.0 aperture
Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition:
Rear cameras
Main: 12MP with 1.4 micron pixels, 4-axis OIS, f/1.8 aperture
Secondary: 12MP telephoto with 1.0 micron pixels, f/2.4 aperture
Video: 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 240/120/30fps, 720p at 240/30fps

Front camera: 20MP with 1.8 micron pixels, f/2.0 aperture
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE:
Rear cameras
Main: 12MP with 1.4 micron pixels, f/1.9 aperture
Secondary: 5MP telephoto with 1.12 micron pixels, f/2.0 aperture
Video: 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 120/30fps, 720p at 240/30fps

Front camera: 20MP with pixel binning, f/2.0 aperture
Audio
Xiaomi Mi 8:
Bottom-firing speaker
USB Type-C
No 3.5mm jack
Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition:
Bottom-firing speaker
USB Type-C
No 3.5mm jack
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE:
Bottom-firing speaker
USB Type-C
No 3.5mm jack
Battery
Xiaomi Mi 8:
3,400mAh
Non-removable
Quick Charge 4+
Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition:
3,000mAh
Non-removable
Quick Charge 4+
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE:
3,120mAh
Non-removable
Quick Charge 3.0
Facial recognition
Xiaomi Mi 8:
Infrared facial recognition
Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition:
3D facial recognition
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE:
N/A
Sensors
Xiaomi Mi 8:
Rear fingerprint
Hall
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Proximity
Ambient Light
Electronic Compass
Barometer
Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition:
In-display fingerprint
Hall
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Proximity
Ambient Light
Electronic Compass
Barometer
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE:
Rear fingerprint
Hall
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Proximity
Ambient light
Electronic compass
Infrared
Network
Xiaomi Mi 8:
GSM: B2/B3/B5/B8
CDMA: 1X/EVDO BC0
WCDMA: B1/B2/B4/B5/B8
TD-SCDMA: B34/B39
TD-LTE: B34/B38/B39/B40/B41 (120MHz)
FDD-LTE: B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B12/B17/B20
LTE B41 4 antenna technology supporting 4x4 MIMO
Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition:
GSM: B2/B3/B5/B8
CDMA: 1X/EVDO BC0
WCDMA: B1/B2/B4/B5/B8
TD-SCDMA: B34/B39
TD-LTE: B34/B38/B39/B40/B41 (120MHz)
FDD-LTE: B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B12/B17/B20
LTE B41 4 antenna technology supporting 4x4 MIMO
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE:
GSM: B2/B3/B5/B8
CDMA: 1X/EVDO BC0
WCDMA: B1/B2/B5/B8
TD-SCDMA: B34/B39
TDD-LTE: B34/B38/B39/B40/B41
FDD-LTE: B1/B3/B5/B7/B8

Connectivity
Xiaomi Mi 8:
Wi-Fi: 2x2 MIMO, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4G/5G
Bluetooth 5.0
AptX/AptX-HD support
NFC
Dual frequency GPS (GPS L1+L5, Galileo E1+E5a, QZSS L1+L5, GLONASS L1, Beidu B1)
Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition:
Wi-Fi: 2x2 MIMO, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4G/5G
Bluetooth 5.0
AptX/AptX-HD support
NFC
Dual frequency GPS (GPS L1+L5, Galileo E1+E5a, QZSS L1+L5, GLONASS L1, Beidu B1)
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE:
Wi-Fi: 2x2 MIMO, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4G/5G
Bluetooth 5.0
GPS, AGPS, GLONASS, Beidu, Galileo
SIM
Xiaomi Mi 8:
Dual nano-SIM
Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition:
Dual nano-SIM
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE:
Dual nano-SIM
Software
Xiaomi Mi 8:
Android 8.1
MIUI 10

Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition:
Android 8.1
MIUI 10
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE:
Android 8.1
MIUI 10
Dimensions and weight
Xiaomi Mi 8:
154.9 x 74.8 x 7.6mm
175g
Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition:
154.9 x 74.8 x 7.6mm
177g
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE:
147.28 x 73.09 x 7.5mm
164g
Colors
Xiaomi Mi 8:
Blue, Gold, White, Black
Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition:
Transparent
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE:
Red, Blue, Gold, Grey

In a way, the Xiaomi Mi 8 is the ultimate iPhone clone. The notch is verysimilar, the dual 12 MP camera setup on the back is in almost the exact same placement as the iPhone X, and the standard black and white colorways look just about as close to an iPhone X as you could get.

The standard black and white colorways look just about as close to an iPhone X as you could get.
the dual camera seen on the back of the white xiaomi mi 8

The Mi 8 Explorer Edition has generated a significant amount of controversy over the last couple of weeks. The back of the device is transparent to seemingly show the components. As it turns out, the placement of the components shown may not be truly representative of what’s actually inside the phone. Instead, Xiaomi says it’s used a “decorative overlay” in order to showcase how artful technology can be. In other words, the components you can see under the glass are just for show. The real, less pretty ones are underneath the decorative ones.

For just $420, it's hard to find flagship-level specs anywhere else on the market.
the components seen through the back of the Xiaomi mi 8 explorer edition

For your reference, here’s the Mi 8 Explorer Edition next to the HTC U12 Plus, which actually shows its real components beneath its translucent back.

xiaomi mi 8 and htc u12 plus side by side

Controversy or not, the Xiaomi Mi 8 still looks like a great device. For just $420, it’s hard to find flagship-level specs anywhere else on the market.