Redmi Note 8 Pro review: Xiaomi’s best Note with note-worthy upgrades

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Xiaomi has launched several smartphones in India this year. This includes the impressive Redmi 7 series, the Redmi Note 7 Series and the Redmi K20 phones. Of all the Xiaomi phones we reviewed this year, the ones that we liked the best was the Redmi Note 7 Pro. Surely, the Redmi K20 Pro is more impressive phone, but the Redmi Note 7 Pro is a better deal and more monumental in our opinion because of its lower price. Now, there is a new phone out and that is the Redmi Note 8 Pro. This one is the best phone Xiaomi has launched this year.

Let me say it at the beginning: If you are hoping to purchase a phone for around Rs 15,000, the Redmi Note 8 Pro is the best choice you can make. It has some drawbacks, but nothing significant enough to put it down. The Redmi Note 8 Pro is available in flash sales in the country.

Xiaomi launched the Redmi Note 8 Pro in India last week. As the name suggests, the Note 8 Pro is the successor to the Redmi Note 7 Pro. After using the Note 8 Pro for some days now I can say that it is a great upgrade over the Note 7 Pro. Design, performance, display, cameras, battery. The Redmi Note 8 Pro is an improvement over the Note 7 Pro.

Redmi Note 8 Pro design

It seems Xiaomi has started taking designs of its phones very seriously. All new Xiaomi phones sport attractive designs. If you recall, until the Redmi Note 6 Pro all Note phones from Xiaomi looked dull and boring. The Redmi Note 7 Pro changed it all. The Redmi Note 7 Pro came with Dot Drop notch, Dual Gorilla Glass 5 build, and gradient finish. As I said in the full review, the Redmi Note 7 Pro was one of the best looking Note phones. The design of the new Redmi Note 8 Pro is even more upmarket as it is inspired by the Redmi K20.

The Redmi Note 8 Pro looks nothing like a Rs 15,000 smartphone. It looks premium. It looks classy. It looks expensive. The credit for the premium design of the Note 8 Pro goes to dual Gorilla Glass 5 protection and Aura Design that Xiaomi is using for a while in its phones. I really like the design of the Redmi Note 8 Pro. The smartphone not only looks elegant and premium but its well-curved edges add to the overall look of the smartphone.

Though there is one bit I miss here: the compact form factor of the Redmi Note 7 Pro. The Redmi Note 8 Pro is rather big and unlike the Redmi Note 7 Pro that I could use single-handedly, this surely requires two-handed use most of the time. The camera bump too is somewhat more prominent compared to what we saw on the Redmi Note 7 Pro. The phone includes a fingerprint sensor on the back panel within the camera module itself. I feel the fingerprint sensor should have been placed beneath the camera setup for users to reach it easily. With this phone mostly I used the AI face unlock.

In India, the Redmi Note 8 Pro comes in three colour options – Halo White, Gamma Green, and Shadow Black. The Halo White version of the Redmi Note 8 Pro is showcased in this review.

Redmi Note 8 Pro display

The screen used in the Redmi Note 8 Pro is almost as good as the screen of more expensive Redmi K20 Pro. In the last several days I have used the phone in all lighting scenarios – day and night. The screen of the Note 8 Pro offers great multimedia and viewing experience in all lighting conditions. In good light 40 per cent screen brightness level is fine for me. Outdoors keeping the brightness around 80 per cent works.

The Redmi Note 8 Pro comes with a bigger screen compared to the one in the Note 7 Pro. It sports the biggest ever screen in the Redmi Note series. The Redmi Note 8 Pro packs a 6.53-inch FHD+ display with screen resolution of 2340 x 1080p and a screen-to-body ratio of 91.4 per cent. Similar to the Redmi Note 7 Pro, the Note 8 Pro also comes with Dot Drop notch but the design of the notch is different and better. For users who don’t like the notch can head to the Settings and disable it.

I played games, watched videos on YouTube and movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, and browsed social media apps like Facebook and Twitter on the Redmi Note 8 Pro. In all scenarios, the screen of the Redmi Note 8 Pro appears to be great.

Redmi Note 8 Pro camera

For the first time, a Redmi Note phone comes with five cameras in total — four on the back and one on the front that sits inside the Dot drop notch. It is the first smartphone from Xiaomi and second in India to come with 64MP camera. First one is the Realme XT. So how does the 64MP camera perform? Is it better than the already amazing 48MP camera of the Redmi Note 7 Pro? Well, it is. Clearly.

The Redmi Note 7 Pro clicks great pictures in all lighting conditions. This is what I said in the full review of the Redmi Note 7 Pro. I have the same to say about the Redmi Note 8 Pro. The primary camera uses a 64MP image sensor, secondary is an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens, third is a 2MP depth sensor and the fourth one is a 2MP macro lens. For selfies, the Redmi Note 8 Pro uses a 20MP camera.

The Redmi Note 8 Pro clicks detailed pictures with accurate colours in good lighting as well as in low-light. If the scene is too dark then there’s the Night Mode that allows the camera sensor to capture more light and create brighter result. I mostly used the default photo mode as it clicks great pictures with lots of details and spot-on colours. There’s a 64MP camera mode available on the camera app. Pictures clicked in the 64MP camera mode appear to be the same as photos clicked in default photo mode.

I clicked several macro shots with the Redmi Note 8 Pro and believe this is one area where the phone needs improvement. The macro pictures shot with the Redmi Note 8 Pro often tends to miss out on details and colours. Possibly Xiaomi can push out a software upgrade to improve macro photography of the smartphone.

The 20MP front camera of the Redmi Note 8 Pro also does a pretty good job with selfies. The smartphone clicks detailed selfies in good light but in low-light the camera tends to miss out on some details. For users who like to use filters on photos, Xiaomi provides a lot of them in the camera app itself so there’s no need to install any third party editing application.

Redmi Note 8 Pro performance and battery

This is one area where some consumers are doubtful about the Redmi Note 8 Pro. Why? It is due to the chipset that the company is using inside the Redmi Note 8 Pro. For the Note this time the company has opted for MediaTek chip and not Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. The Redmi Note 8 Pro is powered by MediaTek’s new gaming chipset G90T. The smartphone comes in three configurations – 6GB RAM and 64GB storage, 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, and 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. I am using the top-end model of the phone with 8GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The microSD card slot allows users to expand the storage space by up to 512GB.

So how does the MediaTek G90T chip perform? In my time spent with the Redmi Note 8 Pro, I found that the smartphone offers smooth performance. The phone is good at multi-tasking. I used the smartphone as my primary device. In other words, I watched videos, used several applications at the same time like Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, WhatsApp and others, played games, browsed the internet and so on. At no point the Redmi Note 8 Pro lagged or showed signs of stutters. I played graphic heavy games like PUBG and Asphalt 9 on the Redmi Note 8 Pro and both worked pretty smoothly on the smartphone. Here I must mention that the smartphone sometimes – during long PUBG sessions – gets slightly warm.

The Redmi Note 8 Pro runs MIUI 10 based on Android 9 Pie out-of-the-box. At the launch of the phone, the company confirmed that the Redmi Note 8 Pro would get upgraded MIUI by the end of 2019. With MIUI 10 on board the Redmi Note 8 Pro brings Ads – I feel the ads are slightly controlled in this one – dark mode, game turbo, and lots of pre-installed applications that users can delete if needed. Sadly, there’s no app drawer in the Note 8 Pro unlike the Redmi K20 Pro.

One of the best bits about the Redmi Note 8 Pro is its battery. The Redmi Note 8 Pro packs a 4500mAh battery – which is the biggest ever in a Redmi Note. The Redmi Note 8 Pro lasts easily for one full day in a single charge. The good thing about the battery department of the phone is the bundled 18W fast charger. The Redmi Note 8 Pro takes around 1.5 hours to fully charge – 0 to 100 per cent – which is pretty impressive. Similar to the Redmi Note 7 Pro the Redmi Note 8 Pro also comes with USB Type C support.

Should you buy the Redmi Note 8 Pro?

Yes. At Rs 14,999 the Redmi Note 8 Pro is a great deal.

The Redmi Note 8 Pro brings premium and classy design, offers powerful performance and long-lasting battery life and clicks great pictures in all situations. I believe the Redmi Note 8 Pro ticks all the right boxes to be called one of the best smartphones available in Rs 15,000 price bracket in India right now.

[“source=indiatoday”]