Some 6 to 7 years ago, domestic brands were still a prominent force and MediaTek chips reigned the entire affordable and (then) midrange segment. Xiaomi wasn’t the first OEM to bring Snapdragon chips to affordable phones (that was Motorola), but it was the first to understand the importance of using powerful and popular chipsets across its entire portfolio. (Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro review हिंदी में पढ़िए)
At a time when most offline players firmly believed that consumers don’t really understand chipsets, Xiaomi’s use of Snapdragon chips at affordable prices gave the brand instant fame and a headstart that they could successfully leverage to attain the number one spot on the podium. This of course made a huge dent in MediaTek’s market share, almost wiping it off in the online domain.
Fast forward to 2019 and you will notice that even prominent offline players like Oppo and Vivo are now aggressively pushing powerful Snapdragon chipsets online in the affordable space, and Xiaomi is facilitating MediaTek’s grand comeback with the Redmi Note 8 Pro.
Last year, Xiaomi did give MediaTek’s affordable chips a change in its entry-grade Redmi 6 series, but that proved to be a disaster. Of course, the gaming-focused MediaTek Helio G90T that powers the new Note is a lot more powerful, and yes, the Note 8 Pro has a lot more to look forward to than just the chipset.
Now that we are finally done with our testing, here’s our detailed Redmi Note 8 Pro review!
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro Review: Design and Build
- Redmi Note 8 Pro Review: Display
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro Review: Performance and Software
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro Review: Camera Performance
- Redmi Note 8 Pro Review: Battery and Audio
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro Review: Verdict with Pros and Cons
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro Review: FAQ
Redmi Note 8 Pro India Price and Specifications
|Models||Redmi Note 8 Pro|
|Display||6.53-inch 2340×1080 91.4% screen to body ratio|
|Software||MIUI 11 based on Android Pie|
|Rear Camera||64MP+ 8MP ultra-wide lens+ 2MP macro lens+ 2MP depth sensor|
|Processor||12nm MediaTek Helio G90T octa-core (2x Cortex-a76 + 6x Cortex-A55)|
|RAM||6GB/ 8GB LPDDR4x RAM|
|Storage||64GB/ 128GB UFS 2.1 storage; Dedicated MicroSD card slot
|Battery||4500mAh battery with 18W charger in the box|
|Price in India||6GB + 64GB – Rs. 14,999
6GB + 128GB – Rs. 15,999
8GB + 128GB – Rs. 17,999
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro Review: Design and Build
The Redmi Note 8 Pro has Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and rear and Xiaomi is making a really big deal of using real glass on its phones. The use of glass does make the phone feel premium, but we’d say that design can’t be reduced to such labels as plastic and glass. The fact that the regular glass-body Note 8 that launched alongside looks so much cheaper and unergonomic in comparison should be evidence enough.
Anyways, the Redmi Note 8 Pro is quite comfortable to hold and operate and looks quite premium for its price. The bezels around the display (and even at the bottom) are extremely narrow and the selfie camera is housed within a v-shaped notch.
The quad-camera module on the back juts out quite a bit and there’s a capacitive fingerprint sensor that you can easily pass off as the fourth camera sensor from a distance. This elevated camera system isn’t prone to scratches (so far) but accumulates too much dirt and grime around the edges.
Speaking of dirt, the Note 8 Pro is IP52 certified, but don’t confuse it for water resistance. The rating certifies it to be “protected from limited dust ingress” and “protected from water spray less than 15-degrees from vertical”. In other words, the Redmi Note 8 Pro is only partially protected against dirt and cannot withstand low-pressure water jets or immersion. That doesn’t sound very assuring, but it’s at least something. Right?
The charging port is USB Type-C and the phone retains both IR Blaster and the 3.5mm audio jack. The Indian variant also gets a dedicated micro SD card slot (a first for the Redmi Note series).
Redmi Note 8 Pro Review: Display
The Redmi Note 8 Pro has an IPS LCD display that can get up to 500 Nits bright and is HDR certified. The software has dark mode and color adjustment options. We have heard reports of weird touch issues on the Note 8 Pro screen, but we didn’t face any with our retail unit.
The 6.53-inch extra-large screen is sharp and readily visible outdoors. Whites are bluish and the warm mode does little to fix that. The MIUI has quite a few display customization options and you should be able to tune the screen to your liking. Colors and contrast are reasonable when compared to other phones in this segment.
The Redmi Note 8 Pro has DRM L1 certification but currently doesn’t support HD or HDR streaming on apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro Review: Performance and Software
Let’s first talk about the chipset. MediaTek’s Helio G90T is a 12nm process based chipset that can be viewed as a successor to the Helio P90. The most prominent upgrade is the use of the latest Cortex-A76 performance cores and Mali G76 MP4 GPU. The 6 power cores, that you will be using more often, remain the same Cortex-A55.
The chipset is backed by ample LPDDR4x RAM and UFS 2.1 storage (up to 8GB RAM and 128GB storage).
The gaming performance on the Note 8 Pro is excellent. We didn’t face any issues while playing demanding games or with day-to-day usage. Xiaomi also adds ‘Liquid cooling’ and a copper heat dissipation plate, just so the performance throttling can be prolonged with extended gaming. We noticed that the temperature soared with extended gaming, but we didn’t notice any dip in performance. Xiaomi also talked about Wi-Fi X antenna, a feature that shifts Wi-Fi connection from the antenna that you have covered to a free antenna, to avoid latency.
Day-to-day usage experience wasn’t as smooth. We noticed frequent app crashes and freezes in our first week, which could be attributed to MediaTek or MIUI shortcomings.
The software is the familiar MIUI 10 that’s based on Android Pie. As for the MIUI 11, Xiaomi will be first upgrading the new UI to Snapdragon-powered phones and the Redmi Note 8 Pro will get it in the last phase between December 18 and December 26. MIUI updates over the last year haven’t been very reliable in terms of performance. We have seen many of these updates break more than they fix and thus don’t share the same optimism that we once used to.
The phone has a tonne of pre-installed apps and Xiaomi doesn’t make any ad-free claims as it did for the K20-series. These ads and bloatware on the phone rob it of a premium feel. The good thing is that users can still disable ads from most places and delete many of the pre-installed apps.
This time, the phone has Alexa built-in and it will respond to both hot words – Alexa and Ok Google – out of the box. Alexa is also integrated with Mi Remote app and can change channels on your TV using Mi Remote app and IR blaster on the Note 8 Pro.
Right out of the box we had an update waiting to improve Alexa performance on our phone. Apparently, that didn’t do much fixing. More often than not Alexa failed to respond even after we set it as the default assistant. On our second Redmi Note 8 retail unit, Alexa worked but the performance was still erratic.
Also Read: Realme XT Review – XTreme value
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro Review: Camera performance
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro has quad-rear cameras with the 64MP Samsung GW1 sensor in the lead. We have already tested the sensor in the Realme XT and the Galaxy A70s and in both instances, gains in image quality were marginal compared to the 48MP sensors that have been quite popular throughout the year.
This is understandable since the underlying technology remains mostly the same and with 64MP you are primarily getting a jump in resolution.
Software adjustments work quite well, though. We noticed that the phone bumps contrast and liberally oversharpens images, but the end result should mostly be pleasing to quotidian consumers in India.
In daylight, the Redmi Note 8 Pro can capture better details than other 64MP phones that we have come across. Surprisingly, the results are also impressive in the full 64MP resolution captures.
In low light, the camera performs reasonably well. The night mode isn’t the best in class, but it’s still quite good and we found ourselves using it a lot.
The macro mode lets you get real close, but it’s still challenging to shoot decent images, especially indoors.
The wide-angle camera and the telephoto sensor are run of the mill offerings and aren’t much to write home about.
The Redmi Note 8 Pro does well with the portrait mode, better than most rivals.
The selfie camera does a decent job in proper lighting.
Video recording is again good enough for the price, but not great. You can shoot 1080p slow-motion vides at 240fps. There is an option to shoot 720p@960fps slow-mos, but these videos are software interpolated and don’t really work for us.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro Review: Battery and Audio
The Redmi Note 8 Pro has a massive 4500mAh battery that can comfortably last for more than a day. Xiaomi bundles a fast charger in the box, but it’s only moderately fast.
The audio via loudspeaker and via headphone is loud enough, but the quality is about average.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro Review: Verdict
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro is quite an interesting phone and turned out much better than what our first impressions suggested. Is it better than Realme XT? Well, we’d say no. The Redmi Note 8 Pro offers a tad better gaming experience and we’d say it also has an upper hand when it comes to camera performance, but the XT with an AMOLED screen, faster VOOC charging, ad-free interface, and more manageable design still stands as a more premium offering.
That said, the Redmi Note 8 Pro is a very easy recommendation, especially for consumers who prioritize gaming.
- Elegant design
- Good quality display
- Powerful performance
- Camera performance
- Long-lasting battery
- HD streaming not supported
- Annoying ads in the interface
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro Quick Bytes
At the time of India launch, Xiaomi priced Redmi Note 8 Pro base variant of 6GB RAM and 64GB ROM at ₹14,999, 6GB RAM with 128GB ROM option at ₹15,999 and 8GB RAM with 128GB storage variant for ₹17,999.
Nope. Currently, there’s no 5G phone available in India.
Yes, Xiaomi bundles an 18W fast charger inside the box. It takes about two hours to fully refill the Note 8 Pro’s 4000mAh battery.
Yes, the Redmi Note 8 Pro has a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Yes, it is the first Redmi Note series phone to come with NFC support.
Xiaomi has used Gorilla Glass 5 on both sides to shield from accidental scratches.
The Redmi Note 8 Pro Indian retail unit has a SAR value of 1.130W/Kg for head and 0.634 W/Kg for the body.