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Five reasons to buy a Xiaomi phone: Seriously impressive and surprisingly affordable

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Expert Reviews Staff
13 Dec 2018
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Looking for a heavyweight handset that's light on your pocket? Xiaomi phones offer astonishing value for money

Since storming into the UK earlier this year, Xiaomi (pronounced "shh-OW-mee") has shaken up the smartphone scene by launching a series of high-spec handsets that are seriously affordable. The Chinese tech company is big across Asia (it's the world's fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer no less) and growing in popularity over here thanks to a trail-blazing pricing strategy that puts flagship-class phones within easy reach.

If you're on the hunt for a good-looking phone at a great-value price but you're unfamiliar with the brand, we've outlined five reasons to consider a Xiaomi handset below. And when you're ready to splurge, Carphone Warehouse has just launched three new Xiaomi devices on a SIM-free basis starting from £179. We've introduced each one further down the page, including the Xiaomi Pocophone F1, which scooped a 5-star rating in our product review as well as a prestigious Expert Reviews Best Buy award.

Five reasons to buy a Xiaomi phone

1. Amazingly affordable

Xiaomi has designed a range of high-performance handsets that undercut rival phones by some stretch. And rather than scrimping on specs, the phones are packed full of features that can be found in devices costing upwards of twice the price. By some feat of technical wizardry, a number of handsets are fitted with Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm's fastest-ever mobile processor and the same chip that powers some of this year's priciest flagships.

2. Dazzling displays

The Xiaomi phone displays really are as good as they come, with rich, vibrant colours that pop off the screen. The handsets follow the trend for tall, thin displays and even a cheaper model like the Mi A2 Lite is fitted with a jumbo 5.84in Full HD screen with a 19:9 ratio. The Mi 8 Pro features AMOLED technology so you'll get the exceptional contrast and ultimate black levels that these kind of screens deliver without the price tag that they usually command.

3. Solid battery life

In our review of the Xiaomi Pocophone F1, we highlight its long-lasting battery life and flagship-rivalling performance. This model storms through Geekbench's CPU benchmarks achieving near-identical scores to pricier rivals including the Pixel 3 and the OnePlus 6T, and ran for an impressive 15hrs 29mins in our video-playback battery test. The Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite and the Xiaomi Mi 8 offer 33 hours and 27 hours of talk time and 4,000mAh and 3,400mAh batteries, respectively.

4. Classy cameras

Xiaomi's flagship handsets all feature dual AI cameras that allow you to sharpen edges and blur backgrounds like a pro and there's a secondary depth-sensing lens for fancy bokeh-effect photos. And they benefit from a 12-megapixel sensor in the primary camera unit, with a bright aperture and optical image stabilisation setup. The cameras perform particularly well in low-light conditions and the handy auto-straightener feature neatens things up no matter how wonky your shooting angle.  

5. High-end handsets

The Xiaomi range offers a lot of bang for your buck. In just about every handset there's a standout feature that you'd expect to pay significantly more for, such as Qualcomm Quick Charge functionality, super-speedy processors and AMOLED screens, not forgetting the Mi 8's in-screen fingerprint reader with its infrared face-unlock. Xiaomi is a brand with the muscle to produce high-end, high-spec phones at previously unheard-of prices.

Our pick of the best Xiaomi handsets available now at Carphone Warehouse

Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite

A premium phone with a budget price tag, the Mi A2 Lite features a 5.84in FHD+ display with a wide 19:9 aspect ratio, a dual 12MP + 5MP AI camera and a 4,000mAh battery. It's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor and runs on Android One.
Carphone Warehouse
£179

Xiaomi Pocophone F1

"If you crave flagship performance at a budget price, it simply doesn't get any better than this" according to our 5-star review. The Pocophone F1 is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and comes with a monster 6.1in FHD+ display, a dual 12MP + 5MP AI camera and a 4,000mAh battery.
Carphone Warehouse
£279

Xiaomi Mi 8

A feature-packed flagship that offers astonishing value for money. It's powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and is fitted with a 3,400mAh battery, a 6.21in FHD AMOLED screen, a 20MP front camera and a snazzy in-screen fingerprint sensor.
Carphone Warehouse
£459

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