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Xiaomi Mi 8 vs Galaxy S9+: not as easy a choice as you think

AndroidPIT galaxy s9p vs xiaomi mi 8
© nextpit

Xiaomi is ready to do battle. Its emergence in western countries has marked the beginning of what will likely be all-out war against the most famous and well-known brands. Will Samsung be the first to surrender? I doubt it, but in terms of quality, we all owe Xiaomi some respect after the debut of the new Mi 8. Will the Galaxy S9+, which isn’t as popular as it once was, be able to fend off this feisty newcomer?

For some, this might seem like an uneven battle due to the difference in price between the two devices and the fact that one is of much greater notoriety. But in fact, as you’ll see from this article, the Korean and Chinese flagships are closer than you’d imagine and the choice between the two models might be more difficult than you’d expect.

Xiaomi Mi 8 unboxing
The Mi 8 certainly isn’t afraid to show some muscle. / © NextPit

From the perspective of performance, the two smartphones are similar. Both have 6GB of RAM and in its US version, the S9+ uses the same SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 as the Xiaomi Mi 8. The international version of the Galaxy S9+ uses a chip produced by Samsung, the Exynos 9810, which is faster than the Qualcomm chip in terms of CPU, but it lags behind in terms of graphical power.

If you’re a gamer and outside the US, you’ll probably prefer the Mi 8. The differences are noticeable with the naked eye in high-quality games, even without measuring the frames per second.

The direct clash in benchmark tests

  Galaxy S9+
(Exynos 9810)
Xiaomi Mi 8
Geekbench CPU
Single core
3645 2380
Geekbench CPU
8820 8332
3D Mark
Sling Shot ES 3.1
3274 4608
3D Mark
Sling Shot ES 3.0
3873 6062
3D Mark
Ice Storm Unlimited ES 2.0
38488 61644
PassMark Memory
24721 11935
PassMark Disk
72538 70966

You should choose the Samsung Galaxy S9+ if:

Design is important to you

It’s undeniable, the Samsung Galaxy S9+ has an exceptional design. The two curved glass panels perfectly merge with the metal frame, giving the S9+ a pleasant, modern and elegant look. The workmanship is great and the “premium” feeling that this smartphone exudes is unparalleled.

samsung galaxy s9 lockscreen c2vx
The design of the S9 is objectively stunning. / © NextPit

The Samsung smartphone is comfortable in your hand despite the size of the display. You can still use it with a single hand with the support of the ergonomic lines of the device. In short, if what’s most important to you is what your smartphone looks like, the Galaxy S9+ is the choice for you.

You want the best display in the world and hate the notch

The notch trend just won’t go away. I don’t want to get too deep into the subject, but if you’re one of the people who can’t hand the notch in the display, you should choose the Korean flagship.

Not only does it have a notch in the display, the curved AMOLED panel with a resolution of 1440x2960 pixels (529ppi) was rated as the best overall among all smartphones: it’s definitely a better choice than the Mi 8 or any other device in this regard.

AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy S9 0684
Brilliant colors, high brightness and absolute contrasts. / © NextPit

You don’t want to compromise on security

Samsung’s devices are universally recognized as among the safest and are most popular in the business sector. Not only does the S9+ have a fingerprint reader, it also integrates the safest iris scanner, a unique feature of Samsung smartphones.

The Xiaomi flagship offers a faster and more reliable fingerprint reader and face recognition than Samsung, but its iris scanner is not as secure. Moreover, the Mi 8 also lacks the hardware and software security structure you’ll find on Samsung KNOX.

The audio experience is fundamentally important to you

The Xiaomi Mi 8 doesn’t have the same outstanding audio equipment that the S9+ does. Samsung’s latest Galaxy S still retains the coveted 3.5mm headphone jack and uses a pair of truly powerful stereo speakers made in collaboration with Harmon Kardon. You also shouldn’t underestimate the Dolby Atmos equalization support.

The Mi 8 offers only a mono speaker that faces downward. The sound is sufficient, but not excellent, and you’ll also need USB Type-C headphones or Bluetooth, unless you decided to you the additional USB-C / headphone jack converter that comes with the device.

samsung galaxy s9 connectors c2vx
Samsung said no to the dongle. / © NextPit

You’re a fan of accessories

Perhaps for some this might not be too important, but for others it clearly is. The Samsung Galaxy S9+ arrives in a world of easy accessories that make a real difference. I’m not just talking about the Pad for wireless charging or Samsung’s DeX accessories, I’m also talking about the myriad of covers and protective cases (whether they are official or not) which are practically available everywhere, both online and in physical stores.

AndroidPIT samsung dex station 7171
Samsung’s DeX Pad. / © NextPit

Unfortunately, the Mi 8 isn’t such a popular device, and at least for the time being, you’ll hardly find covers in stores that are created specifically for the Xiaomi flagship. The situation is improving online, but in most cases, you’ll have to be patient and wait for an incoming package from far away China.

You should choose the Xiaomi Mi 8 if:

You only want to recharge the battery once a day

Unfortunately, this is the truth. Despite its 3500 mAh of battery capacity, the Galaxy S9+ can’t keep up on more demanding days. The wireless charging is convenient and a Galaxy S9+ will charge quickly when you need it to, but the Xiaomi Mi 8 is certainly more durable despite its mere 3400 mAh battery. But for many users this is an important criterion, so you don’t always need a power outlet nearby to give your smartphone that little extra charge you need.

AndroidPIT Xiaomi Mi 8 8345
The Xiaomi Mi 8 is no autonomy champion, but it’s much better than the S9+. / © NextPit

If you can’t stand Samsung software

It’s no surprise here: the Samsung Experience is not one of the most popular Android skins. The Korean brand’s software isn’t optimized perfectly, and although it has improved in the later versions, it still causes devices to slow down occasionally, which can be annoying in the long run.

AndroidPIT Xiaomi Mi 8 8292
With an alternative launcher, you’ll forget all about the similarities between MIUI and iOS. / © NextPit

On the Xiaomi Mi 8 you’ll find MIUI, a version of Android that is even more deeply altered than the Samsung skin, but at least it’s optimized very well. In fact, MIUI is further from Android stock than the former TouchWiz. It’s fluid, fast, and snappy. You can tell that the designers paid attention to detail. The only impediment might be that the software closely resembles iOS, but that’s something you can sacrifice since it’s so speedy and fluid.

You want to save some money

Obviously, choosing a smartphone also includes the issue of cost. Not everyone is willing to spend 839 dollars (the list price from the 64GB version of the Galaxy S9+) for a smartphone will almost certainly be replaced after two or three years. This makes the price of about 455 dollars (current deal on Amazon) for the Xiaomi Mi 8 more palatable.

androidpit money cash 5
Don’t throw your money out the window! / © NextPit

It’s true that you can find Samsung smartphones for discounted prices on some online shops, but even if you find a better deal, purchasing a Mi 8 will still save you hundreds of dollars that you could save for a nice vacation.

Photo lover? You can go either way

A comparison between the cameras on the Mi 8 and S9+ doesn’t yield a real winner. The S9+ has a 12-megapixel camera with variable aperture between f/1.5 and f/2.4 and can capture video in 4K at 60 fps or in slow motion at 960 fps. The Mi 8 has a normal 12-megapixel f/1.8 camera without any particular tricks up its sleeve, at least on the surface.

AndroidPIT Xiaomi Mi 8 8322
Both smartphones use a dual camera with a 2x zoom telephoto lens. / © NextPit

The results are closer than expected. The Mi 8 manages to hold its own against the other smartphone cameras on the market without major problems. The S9+ certainly has a more elaborate manual mode and many shooting and recording modes that the Mi 8 doesn’t have, but the Xiaomi smartphone has a phenomenal automatic mode due to its software optimizations. And thanks to the much talked about AI, the Mi 8 changes the settings to give you excellent shots.

Xiaomi Mi 8 vs. Samsung Galaxy S9+ technical specifications

  Xiaomi Mi 8 Samsung Galaxy S9+

Which one should you choose?

It will be a subjective choice either way. Some people prefer to spend a little more and rely on well-known brands and there are others who want to save at any cost. Either way, if you choose one of these smartphones, you’ll get along just fine and won’t regret your decision.

I personally prefer the Xiaomi Mi 8, which I fell in love with while I was reviewing it. The Galaxy S series no longer has the same appeal it once did, and given its price tag, I would prefer to not compromise on buying a device with such mediocre battery life. If you choose the Mi 8 you’ll have to make some compromises as well, but in my opinion, these are more acceptable compromises when you look at the price.

On the other hand, the S9+’s unique qualities stand out, and despite their efforts, Xiaomi hasn’t quite made its flagship invincible. Whatever the case, I expect a harder fight from Samsung, Apple’s main rival. Instead, we’ll have to call this one a tie with a newcomer from China.

Have you tried either of these devices? Let us know how your experience has been so far!

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  • Jozsef Kolowrat 1
    Jozsef Kolowrat Jan 1, 2019 Link to comment

    S9+ is far better!!!
    -has ip68 so waterproof!!! I dunno why the writer forgot it?
    -better song
    -quality feeling!!
    Sansungs have 1 big problem:
    Xiaomi is cheaper so good for poor people.
    One of my friend bought a Huawei pro Mate 20 but he likes his old S6 much better!!

  • 25
    Deactivated Account Dec 17, 2018 Link to comment

    The choice is very simple, Samsung Galaxy S9. And I highly recommend Samsung Galaxy S9 over Mi8. You will get better Cameras, Display, Audio.


  • David Martrano 29
    David Martrano Dec 15, 2018 Link to comment

    I waited for black Friday with Verizon & picked up the s9+ for 529.00, no trade in required. Sold my s8+ for 400.00, so for me I couldn't refuse. The 6gb's of ram & stereo speakers were the deciding factor. The Mi8 is a very nice phone especially for the money but it's GSM only, that leaves me out! Hopefully 2019 will be the last year for CDMA?

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