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Mi 8 Pro: Xiaomi early buyers wait for modern firmware

Xiaomi your underpants: When will the UK market get its branded undies?

Prospective phone buyers may want to wait before plumping for a new Xiaomi. The newcomer’s flagship ships with MUIU 9 firmware, which is stuck on 2017’s Android Oreo.

Up-to-date global firmware, MIUI 10, isn’t yet ready for the UK yet - although Xiaomi told us it will be forthcoming soon.

“The Mi 8 Pro still runs on firmware 9, and we are in the final steps making it stable to offer the best user experience. You will see MIUI 10 on Mi 8 Pro very soon via a system update,” a company spokesperson told us.

Brave buyers may wish to experiment with a DIY firmware upgrade - although this is the Chinese version.

“MIX 2S currently has a MIUI 10 build based on Android P. [O]ther models including Redmi Note 5, MIX 2, Redmi S2 and POCOPHONE F1 are all on firmware 10 based on Android O,” the company added.

Mi 8 Theme wrinkele

Click to enlarge

Xiaomi’s long anticipated and aggressive entry into the UK is being closely watched for a few reasons. The biggest is that the UK is by far the largest mature market Xiaomi has entered; although it claims to be the No 4 phone maker globally, its growth to date has come from shipping large volumes in China and India, largely at the expense of small local brands. Any wrinkles in marketing or execution are unlikely to be forgiven - particularly in such a sophisticated market.

Wrinkles like the one illustrated are more likely to be noticed, even when selling on price.

Hutchison’s Three network is distributing two devices, and offers the cheapest way to acquire one outright: £389 up front for a PAYG deal.

The launch has not been without other wrinkles. Just a few days ago, the company apologised for a misleading “Flash Sale” luring you to click a “Buy” button and get a phone for £1. This was actually a lottery, with only 10 phones available - but you needed to check the small print to find out.

Xiaomi UK website

And the company's UK website bizarrely lists many products only available as wholesale. Sadly, there's no word yet of the formaldehyde-free mattress ... or underpants. Allegedly, you may have more luck on its dot-com here. ®

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