Xiaomi Mi 8 ARCore phone

Time for an ARCore Android Phone: Xiaomi Mi 8 or Pocophone F1

Everything you see on my blog so far, including the reviews, articles, guides, photos and videos-almost all of them were done using my Apple iPad 9.7-inch ARKit-enabled device. All of the reviews are ARKit apps and games.

I am on a very tight budget, but it comes a time where I had to purchase an ARCore-enabled device for several reasons.

  • I want to be able to review ARCore dedicated apps as well
  • The ability to use ARCore shared experiences using both my iPad and a secondary device, which is the ARCore one as ARCore 1.5 supports shared experience between Android and iOS (ARKit).
  • I needed a device that has a better camera, so my videos will look better when I capture footage indoors. The iPad camera is not that good and indoor videos appeared noisy.
  • I also preferred a camera that can record at 16:9 aspect ratio so videos will look native on YouTube, compared to the iPad’s camera that records videos at 4:3 aspect ratios, which leaves some black bars on the sides of the screen. I can enlarge the video in video editing, but this means hiding part of the app UI elements, which is not what I want to achieve.
  • The ability to experience AR on a smaller device. Until now, I experienced it through the large display of my iPad, and it was amazing. I did experience AR on phones, but when I review apps, I also want to be able to asses the app when used with a smaller display.
  • Same goes for ergonomics. With the iPad, I had problems with some apps because of the large size of the device. In some apps, I found it uncomfortable to use the app with one hand because of the iPad’s weight and size or play an AR game for a longer period of time. Having an ARCore-enabled device will allow me to better asses and judge the design of the app for phones, not just on my iPad.
  • Some app had non-native support for iPad with black borders, which impair the experience. With an ARCore enabled device, I will be able to have a better experience for those type of apps.
  • My iPad doesn’t have built-in cellular connectivity. I needed use to create a hotspot on my iPhone 5S to make it work. This obviously leads to higher battery consumption and uncomfortable experience in general.
  • My iPad doesn’t have a GPS built-in as well. Some apps require it and because of that, I didn’t review some apps because of that. As a reviewer, this feels like a missed opportunity and I just can’t allow myself to have that.
  • I also wanted a phone that has a better camera in general, so I can shoot better footage in low light and have a camera with optical image stabilization so I can produce stable videos for my YouTube channel.
  • I also want to add WebXR features to my blog, and I can’t do it efficiently (e.g. test and debug) without having an ARcore enabled device. An emulator isn’t the way I like to do things. I want to deliver great experiences, and I have to check them on a device to make sure they work well (I am a web developer)
  • As we progress, each technology is going to have its own unique features (ARkit vs ARcore),  and this means that we might see apps that are built for a single platform. which is why I want to make sure that I am more future-proof in that aspect. It would be really frustrating seeing a great ARcore app and not being able to check it out or review it.

These are just a few reasons I need an ARCore-enabled device. I needed it from day one, but I just couldn’t afford to buy one.

I am positive that once I get that ARCore-enabled device, I would be able to deliver even better content. I am currently debating between the Xiaomi Mi 8 and Pocophone F1. Both are powerful yet affordable devices and both are ARCore supported devices.

I am leaning towards the Xiaomi Mi 8 because it has an AMOLED display that supports to have better outdoor visibility (When I use apps outdoors). The Mi 8 also has a higher-quality camera (ranked one of the highest on DxOMark) that can perform better in low-light situations (I need it mainly for indoor use)) and it has optical image stabilization. I am not worried about the battery being less powerful (3400mAh vs 4000mAh) because I always carry my 10,000mAh external powerbank. The Mi 8 also supports QuickCharge 4.0, which means I can charge is faster compared to the POCO F1 that supports QC3.

One of the Mi 8’s caveats is that it doesn’t come with a 3.5mm headphone jack, there is no option to extend the built-in storage using microSD memory cards but it’s not a deal-breaker for me. 64GB is sufficient for my needs and I have no problem using a 3.5mm-to-USB-C adapter if I need to use headphones, which I don’t use frequently anyways.

The difference in price between those two devices aren’t high, and considering the fact that I don’t upgrade my phone every year (remember, I have the iPhone 5S), those extra features, that I find useful, worth the extra price. Of course, it depends on which technology are released and I might need to buy a new device more frequently. that being said, I don’t see Google coming up with a new technology that will render all those ARCore devices useless, at least not in the foreseeable future. The next technology that I will need to focus on is AR Glasses, and this will definitely have a higher cost, so I need to be conscious of where I put my investment in.

That’s it, I just want to update you on that matter.  If I eventually buy an ARCore-enabled phone, I will, of course, let you know and share more information about it.

If you have any recommendation for me, by all means, please let me know.

Thanks for all my supported, this website visitors and those who follow me on social channels. Cheers.