The magic is gone once we will turn the phone and look at the front. A sad, dark glass panel. When the display will light up it will be no better, because we will see a large notch and a slightly narrower bezel at the bottom. It is ok, but it should have been prettier.
And since I have already mentioned about the display - Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro has a good one, just like in Mi 8. This is AMOLED with a decent contrast, sharpness and colours representation. Besides the notch it is difficult to criticize anything.
The display works both in sunny days and at night, brightness levels are selected properly. There is an eye protection from the blue light (automated as well) and the possibility to control the intensity and colours’ temperature. The touch panel works as it should, I had no problems with polarization – the matrix works with numerous glasses. If it was not for this notch… I will tell you right away why I am so bothered with it.
Why this notch is such a big problem for me? The reason is simple. It is responsible for one of the features of the interface that irritated me in Mi 8, and here – they have repeated it.
The presence of the notch prevents the phone from showing any notification icons on the top bar. In order to see what we have missed, we need to unlock the phone and slide down the notifications bar. There is the Always-on-display function, but it is of not much help, because it does not show icons either. And the notifications LED is only a poor consolation…
Fortunately this is the only interface element which I can criticize. The rest is ok. The phone has MIUI – lately updated to the MIUI 10 version. Users familiar with this interface will feel like home, and those who are just beginning their adventure with the Xiaomi add-on, will not be lost.
The interface has a flat form – without the tray for apps. Icons are shown on consecutive desktops and we can of course group them in folders. From interesting features – we can navigate using gestures. This is comfortable, though it requires getting used to it.
I, for example – after being hesitant at the begging – got used to this solution so much, that after switching to another phone I was still trying to use MIUI gestures. For traditionalists – we can of course turn on virtual buttons on the screen, there is a possibility to hide the notch by dimming spaces on its sides as well.
There is a floating button, which enhances navigating through the interface, there is a one hand usage mode and the possibility to divide the screen. We can wake the display up with a double tap and change themes. We can personalize sounds and clone some apps – in order to use different user’s accounts, with a separate icon for each one.
In addition, we can ascribe shortcuts to different sequences of pressing phone’s buttons (unfortunately, when using gestures we have less of them), in addition, MIUI offers Second space – that is a place for our secret files and apps. Xiaomi offers their own cloud, to which we can export contacts or photos.
There is not much additional apps – still, Xiaomi adds something from itself. Among them we can, for example, record what is happening on the screen, there is a QR or business cards scanner, compass and miDrop for sharing files among other devices with the same app. Xiaomi adds its own browser, notepad, clock or a music player.
In addition, there are preinstalled weather app, files manager or a tool for managing the system. What is important – among preinstalled apps there is no bloatware, but in some – like in the “cleaning” app or in the player – we can find commercials. Fortunately, there are no aggressive pop-ups. Some additions – like a shortcut for the MIUI community – can be uninstalled.