❤ Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro review

 

 

The Redmi lineup has been one of the most sought-after budget smartphones for years now, but with competition heating up in the segment, Xioami needs to step up its game to stay relevant. The Redmi Note 8 Pro is an attempt to do that and has a lot to offer for the price delivering new hardware and a set of much-needed features.

Packing the brand new Helio G90T chipset along with a huge 4,500 mAh battery with fast charging and a quad-camera setup on the back, the Redmi Note 8 Pro has all that it takes to be a competitive handset. At first glance, performance is comparable to flagships from last year while the camera setup aims to provide a versatile experience on the cheap.

 

 

 

 

 

Moreover, Note 8 Pro is one of the first devices to incorporate the brand new 64MP sensor from Samsung with native pixel-binning technology. We are expecting good low-light performance and competent Night mode to complement the overall camera performance.

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro specs

  • Body: 161.4 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm, 200g; plastic frame, Gorilla Glass 5 front and back.
  • Display: 6.53″ IPS LCD, HDR support, 1080 x 2340px resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 395ppi.
  • Rear camera: Primary: 64MP, f/1.9 aperture, 1/1.7″ sensor size, 0.8µm pixel size, PDAF. Ultra wide: 8MP, f/2.2, 1/4″, 1.12µm pixels. Macro camera: 2MP, f/2.4, 1/5″, 1.75µm Depth sensor:2MP; [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] video recording.
  • Front camera: 20MP, f/2.0 aperture, 0.9µm pixels. 1080p/30fps video recording.
  • OS: Android 9 Pie; MIUI 10.
  • Chipset: Mediatek Helio G90T (12nm): Octa-core (2×2.05 GHz Cortex-A76 & 6×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55), Mali-G76 MC4 GPU.
  • Memory: 6GB of RAM; 64/128GB storage; shared microSD slot.
  • Battery: 4,500mAh; 18W MediaTek Pump Express and USB Power Delivery support.
  • Connectivity: Dual-SIM; LTE-A, 4-Band carrier aggregation, LTE Cat-12/ Cat-13; USB-C; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; dual-band GPS; Bluetooth 5.0;
  • Misc: Rear-mounted fingerprint reader; single down-firing speaker; NFC; FM radio.

Skimming through the specs sheet reveals only one drawback so far, and that’s the choice of cameras. In the quad-camera array on the back, a telephoto unit is missing. Instead, you get a dedicated macro lens, and it remains to be seen whether the macro camera makes any difference compared to taking a standard close-up shot with the main camera and then cropping. Those 64MP can be put to work.

 

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro review

 

 

Then again, you can say the same for the telephoto. The 64MP sensor could very well be enough for more than decent 2x stills, so why would anyone need a dedicated lens when you have so many pixels to work with? Let’s delve deep into the phone itself and try to answer the questions at hand.

 

Unboxing the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro

Unfortunately, our unit came barebones so we can’t be sure what the original package contains, but we can confirm that it ships with the appropriate fast charger in the box. Or that’s at least what Xiaomi‘s official website says. The charging brick is capped at 18W and supports USB Power Delivery, which in turn means that you get a USB-C to USB-C cable for data transfer and charging in the box.

 

Design

In terms of design, the Redmi Note 8 Pro isn’t a big departure from its predecessor, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Redmi Note 7 Pro had Gorilla Glass 5 for its front and back, and the new Note 8 Pro has the same configuration. The side frame is made of plastic, which is more shock-absorbent than metal if you look on the bright side of things. Also, at roughly the same dimensions (the Redmi 8 Pro is negligibly wider and taller, of course), the new Note offers more screen – 6.53″ vs. 6.3″.

 

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro review

 

 

However, the same cannot be said about the weight. The Note 8 Pro is measurably heavier, and it’s easy to notice. At 200 grams, the handset is one of the heftiest around, and it’s top-heavy too. It interferes with the grip a little as the phone tends to lean to the front when holding it with one hand. Perhaps the camera stack adds to the weight more than the 4,500 mAh battery does.

 

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro review

 

 

Speaking of grip, as one would expect, the Redmi Note 8 Pro doesn’t receive any bonus points here. The glass back is slippery like any other glossy back, and while the frame successfully imitates metal, it doesn’t help with the grip either. The curved panel to the sides does help with ergonomics and usability with one hand though.

The camera bump on the back makes a strong impression, though. It sticks out more than we would like, and the phone wobbles when lying flat on its back. Interestingly enough, the macro lens isn’t on the bump, but it keeps the company to the LED flash on the right side of the array. Also, the highlighted camera is the 2MP depth sensor, and then comes the main 64MP shooter and then the ultra-wide. Finally, the fingerprint reader is sitting on the same bump.

 

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro review

 

 

It does make sense to put it there in a way as the bump helps you find the scanner by touch, but it also forces you to stretch your finger a bit higher to reach it, and you can sometimes smudge the ultra-wide camera with your attempts to unlock the phone.

We had no such trouble with the power button and the volume rocker, though. Both seem adequately placed on the right side, within thumb’s reach.

The bottom offers the usual speaker grille, USB-C connector, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The left side of the frame is reserved only to the SIM card tray while the top houses an IR blast – neat feature.

Which brings us finally to the front of the phone. It’s not something out of the ordinary as it houses a familiar screen design with a minimalist waterdrop-style notch and rather thin bezels around. At least considering the price range.

 

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro review

 

 

The lip appears to be smaller than before, the side bezels look the same, and the top one also seems a bit trimmed. Combined with the notch, however, is still big enough to house the front-facing camera, the ambient and proximity sensors. The earpiece is there too.

 

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro review

 

 

All in all, there are no major complaints about the design. It’s just as slippery as you’d expect from a glass sandwich handset, but it’s nicely built with premium feel in hand. The notch isn’t obtrusive, and the bezels are adequately thin. Only the fingerprint placement and the camera bump leave something more to be desired.

 

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro review

 

 

Bright LCD panel with a minimalist notch

The Redmi Note 8 Pro features an LCD panel with a small notch on the top. The panel measures 6.53″ in diagonal that fits 1080 x 2340px resolution with 19.5:9 aspect ratio. It’s also protected by Gorilla Glass 5 and supports HDR – a rare find in this price range.

 

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro review

 

 

It’s apparent that Xiaomi didn’t cut corners with this particular display as it’s sufficiently bright and delivers high contrast. Our tests show that with the brightness slider cranked up, the panel will peak at 460 nits but with auto mode turned on, the screen can go as high as 640 nits. That’s more than enough for sunlight legibility outdoors.

In terms of uniformity and color accuracy, however, things aren’t exactly stellar. This is especially true to the latter. The default color mode returned an average dE2000 of 6.8 and a maximum of 12.7 with overblown dark blues, cyans and blue-ish whites. Unforutnatley, the “cool” color preset was even worse while the “warm” one didn’t contribute much – the whites are still blue and the dark blues and cyans are over-saturated. The average dE2000 is 5.7 and the maximum is 10.6.

And as far as uniformity goes, we did notice some small halos around the lower bezel and especially around the notch at the top. Still, we can say they are hardly noticeable and a lot less prominent than the in other competing smartphones.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro 0.347 460 1326
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro (Max Auto) 0.486 640 1317
Motorola Moto G7 Plus 0.332 473 1425
Motorola Moto G7 Plus (Max Auto) 0.469 590 1258
Realme XT 0 447
Samsung Galaxy A50 0 424
Samsung Galaxy A50 (Max Auto) 0 551
Samsung Galaxy A60 0.369 485 1314
Samsung Galaxy A60 (Max Auto) 0.498 661
Huawei P30 Lite 0.39 480 1231
Huawei P30 Lite (Max Auto) 0.413 501 1213
Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 0.358 479 1338

 

Battery life

Having a generous 4,500 mAh battery and a rather power-efficient SoC, one would expect good battery life. However, we were even more surprised with the results. The handset got stellar results on the screen-on tests as well as on the standby and 3G talk time. The phone’s overall rating is 114 hours, which puts it in top 20 in our battery ranking.

Perhaps the chipset is more efficient than we thought it was in the first place because phones with similar scores usually carry at least 5,000 mAh units.

When it comes to fast charging, though, the phone didn’t impress. Of course, given the price range, it’s a huge advantage to support USB Power Delivery but the 18W standard can take you only so far. In 30 minutes, the phone charged from flat to 39% using a compatible PD charger with USB-C to USB-C cable. We are pretty sure that the original charger will be performing similarly.

We tried to investigate whether the chipset also supports Quick Charge 4.0+ since MediaTek’s Pump Express charging tech and Qualcomm’s QC 4.0+ are based on USB Power Delivery, but we weren’t able to confirm for sure. All of the compatible chargers in our office support Power Delivery and Quick Charge 4.0+ simultaneously and perhaps you won’t be able to find a pure QC 4.0+ as well. One thing is for sure, though, if you are near a PD-capable charger, you can use it for quick top-ups for your Redmi Note 8 Pro.

 

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro review

 

 

Loudspeaker

The handset has a bottom-firing loudspeaker that’s a bit on the quiet side. Most of the phones nowadays achieve an Excellent score easily so “Good” in this case isn’t enough in our books. You might miss a call or notification if you are in a noisy environment.

Speakerphone test Voice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Samsung Galaxy A60 66.8 68.0 69.7 Average
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro 64.8 71.2 82.2 Good
Samsung Galaxy A50 68.9 71.3 82.7 Very Good
Moto G7 Plus (Smart Audio) 70.8 72.4 84.9 Excellent
Huawei P30 Lite 71.5 73.8 83.1 Excellent
Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 69.8 71.5 90.5 Excellent
Realme XT 68.9 74.3 89.8 Excellent

 

Audio quality

The Redmi Note 8 Pro performed brilliantly with an active amplifier, delivering the perfectly accurate output you can expect in this scenario at some of the highest volume levels we’ve measured. And we are not taking just its price range here – it’s louder than most flagships too.

Unfortunately the clarity of the output takes a significant hit when headphones come into play – stereo crosstalk spikes a lot, intermodulation distortion comes into the picture and the frequency response gets a slight shakiness to it. Volume drops a bit, but the Redmi Note 8 Pro remains one of the loudest handsets out there, so nothing to worry there, at least.

Test Frequency response Noise level Dynamic range THD IMD + Noise Stereo crosstalk
Redmi Note 8 Pro +0.07, -0.07 -93.6 93.9 0.0022 0.0068 -91.9
Redmi Note 8 Pro (headphones) +0.26, -0.29 -92.7 93.2 0.027 0.413 -48.5
Samsung Galaxy A60 +0.04, -0.16 -93.6 93.3 0.0011 0.010 -94.1
Samsung Galaxy A60 (headphones) +0.05, -0.16 -93.5 93.0 0.0031 0.020 -69.9
Realme XT +0.08, -0.08 -92.2 92.1 0.0012 0.0081 -91.4
Realme XT (headphones) +0.50, -0.16 -92.1 91.9 0.007 0.363 -48.9
Xiaomi Mi A3 +0.02, -0.01 -93.7 90.7 0.0015 0.0098 -93.0
Xiaomi Mi A3 (headphones) +0.53, -0.22 -90.6 88.8 0.0048 0.302 -50.8

 

 

MIUI 10 based on Android 9.0 Pie

Xiaomi‘s MIUI 10 is in a familiar state, and we’ve reviewed a couple of phones with the new software so far. Only a couple of new features have been added since then. So without further ado, let’s dive in to see what’s new and what’s not.

 

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro review

 

 

The user interface retains the rather simplistic look and offers system-wide dark mode. But by system-wide we don’t mean the Android 10 type of system-wide dark mode as the OS won’t force dark mode on apps that don’t support but all the system menus and sub-menus will appear in black. Unfortunately, you won’t get any of the power savings since the display is LCD and not OLED. It might be easier on the eyes when using it in the dark, though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home screen, notification shade and recent apps menu

 

 

While we are still in the Display sub-menu, it also offers a reading mode changing the color temperature to a warmer one for night reading and you can even schedule it. This is where you customize your status bar and also hide the notch. The toggle, however, isn’t exaclty hiding the notch – it just turns the status bar into black to blend with the notch. Notification and status icons are still appearing next to the notch – it’s just less obtrusive. Interestingly, you can also swap the Settings icon in the upper-right corner of the notification shade with a Search icon. Tapping on the search icon will bring out the Google search bar and it’s not a search box for the phone.

The Lock screen menu holds a couple of other useful settings like double-tap-to-wake, raise to wake and quick launch the camera when you double press the volume button. The raise to wake function comes particularly handy when coupled with the face unlock.

The facial recognition algorithm is pretty fast and even faster to set it up. The whole training process takes about less than a second as the moment you show your face in the circle, the software is ready. Of course, this means that it’s considerably less secure than the standard fingerprint reader but if you don’t care as much and speedier unlocks are more important, the phone’s face unlock does an excellent job.

The fingerprint reader is just as fast too. Aside from the little stretching and the awkward bump, it’s pretty accurate and super fast. Reminds us of the times when capacitive fingerprint readers just worked. No fancy under-display scanners but the Redmi Note 8 Pro‘s rear-mounted sensor works flawlessly.

A new Notification sub-menu can be found allowing for a more granular control of how notifications appear for each individual app. You can hide the notifications from the lock screen or just control the information that’s shown. The pop-up notifications, or as Xiaomi calls them “Floating notifications”, can be disabled for some apps and the same goes for the notification dots on app icons.

The Battery and performance menu doesn’t offer anything out of the ordinary, though – just the usual battery stats and the usual battery saving mode. There’s also the adaptive battery setting that comes along with Android Pie.

Something else that comes with Android Pie that wasn’t available in the first iteration of MIUI 10 is Digital Wellbeing. It’s now available and gives you tons of information regarding your app usage.

Since the phone packs a gaming-ready Helio G90T chipset, Xiaomi has included a couple of gaming-related features baked into the MIUI 10. The features in question are Game Turbo and Quick replies. The latter sends out quick replies to the supported apps when you receive a notification while gaming. The former is pretty self-explanatory, too – optimizes the phone for fluent gaming performance over time and you can disable this for some games if you want to. For your convenience, you can disable software buttons and gestures during gaming and also disable system features like auto brightness, reading mode, etc.

There’s also the performance mode ramping up touch response time and sensitivity of the touch panel and give more bandwidth to games during gameplay for more stable Internet connection.

The bottom line is that the MIUI 10 is as customizable as ever and runs great on the provided hardware. We didn’t notice any hiccups, hangs or lags. In fact, it ran very smoothly and all animations ran at buttery-smooth 60 frames per second. Now it’s time to see how the chipset fares in our tests.

Performance
The recently announced MediaTek Helio G90T is a gaming-centric SoC on the cheap, at least compared to its rival Qualcomm. It’s based on the 12nm FinFET manufacturing process from TSMC. It’s a small jump over the 14nm chips but it’s still more energy-efficient and more cost-effective compared to the current 7nm and 10nm solutions.

It packs an octa-core CPU with two large Cortex-A76 cores ticking at 2.05GHz and six smaller, energy-efficient Corext-A55 cores working at 2.0GHz. The Mali-G76 MC4 GPU takes care of graphically-intensive tasks. The so-called HyperEngine technology should ensure smooth gameplay and also improves on connectivity by combining WiFi and LTE for more stable and faster connection. It can also connect to two WiFi routers at the same time for the same benefits.

In this case, the chipset can be paired with 6GB/64GB or 6GB/128GB memory configurations on the Redmi Note 8 Pro.

So without wasting any more time, let’s put the MediaTek G90T to the test and see how it stacks to the competition in CPU and GPU-intensive tasks.

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, though, we weren’t able to run Geekbench on the phone so we are lacking pure CPU benchmark results for the time being. The AnTuTu 7 test gives us a general idea how the Helio G90T is doing since it combines CPU and GPU workloads. The results are pretty impressive as it tops all of its competitors and goes as far as competing with Qualcomm’s last year flagship chipset – the Snapdragon 845.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expectedly, the Helio G90T falls short to all-powerful Adreno 630 GPU inside the Snapdragon 845 but it overtakes pretty much all of its direct rivals with superior performance in this regard. We are impressed with the overall performance of the Redmi Note 8 Pro and without getting hot too. No matter how many benchmarks we’ve run in consecutive order, the the body of the phone never got notably hot. Perhaps the vapor chamber inside the phone helps a lot with the heat dissipation.

 

Quad-camera array with a dedicated macro lens

Quad-camera on the back sounds impressive on paper, especially at this price range, doesn’t it? In reality, however, things aren’t as they seem because one of the cameras is used for depth sensing while the other 2MP sensor is used for macro shots, so there’s no telephoto lens either. On the other hand, there aren’t many – if any at all – that have a proper telephoto camera.

 

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro review

 

 

Anyway, the other two sensors are the standard 64MP plus an 8MP unit coupled with an ultra-wide lens. The 64MP sensor is new to the scene and should be a significant upgrade to the popular 48MP option in the last year or so. It’s a large 1/1.7″ sensor with 0.8µm pixels, and the lens has f/1.9 aperture. Native pixel-binning is at play here, so the image output is 16MP.

The ultra-wide camera is 8MP with f/2.2 aperture, and it’s 1/4″ big, 1.12µm pixels and no autofocus feature, though. The Dedicated macro lens is 2MP f/2.4 aperture and rather big 1.7µm pixels.

And finally, the front-facing camera sitting on the notch is 20MP with f/2.0 lens, so we expect sharp images coming out of this sensor.

But before we jump into the pixel peeping, let’s take a quick stroll through the camera menus.

 

Camera menus

Switching between modes is like in every other camera app – swiping left and right will take you through all modes while tapping in the upper right corner of the screen where the “hamburger menu” resides will expand the options. The real settings menu is in there as well, and it doesn’t offer anything out of the ordinary.

There’s also a dedicated 64MP mode as opposed to before when you had to go to Pro mode and tap on the 48MP icon to shoot 48MP resolution stills. Speaking of Pro, this one offers pretty much all the settings you’d need – white balance, focus, ISO, and shutter speed. The Pro mode works with the normal camera, the ultra-wide, and the macro. Manual 64MP pictures are also an option.

 

Daylight samples

The daylight photos with the main camera look nice at first, but upon closer inspection, some things need to be addressed. For example, there’s visible oversharpening, and while the HDR is doing a nice job, it leaves a bit more to be desired. Some highlights look clipped, but shadows, on the other hand, are okay. Still, we would say that the daylight photos are a win as they provide plenty of detail, juicy colors without being over the top and great contrast.

Compared to the Realme XT, the Redmi resolves more detail and images appear to be sharper in general. The HDR performance on both phones seems to be similar, but the Redmi tends to go for darker exposures. Also, the XT’s noise reduction algorithm acts up sometimes producing artifacts around high-contrast subjects and irons out some details along the way too. When pixel-peeping we like the Redmi Note 8 Pro‘s rendition of details better but the difference is not huge.

Interestingly, switching over to the 64MP camera, photos still look great. The level of detail is downright impressive, and gone are the sharpening halos. There is some noise when you look closely, but you get better detail in return. On the contrary to our usual recommendation, this time around using the full 64MP resolution might have its benefits if you are shooting well-lit scenes. You’d be impressed by the detail it achieves in this mode. File size however is a consideration, as these files clock in around 17MB each.

The Redmi continues to resolve more detail, although grainier in general. Also, the Redmi gets rid of the sharpening halos while the XT holds on to those halos and still looks less sharp than the Redmi. The difference in the exposure metering can be observed here as well.

Sadly, the ultra-wide camera is far from being as good. Of course, in some rare cases for social media posting and if you wish to fit something into the scene, sure, go ahead. But if you want a quality photo, the ultra-wide camera won’t deliver. The photos turn out to be soft even when there is enough light. Processing is rather similar to the one on the main camera in terms of color and contrast, but dynamic range is worse, the images are soft, and the rendition of detail reminds us of a toy camera.

To our surprise, the 2x zoom images look pretty decent given that they are cropped from the main 64MP camera. We don’t know whether the cropping is done from the native 64MP sensor readout or the downsized 16MP photo. Either way, the results are surprisingly good and will do just fine for social media posting. Sometimes you’d have a hard time telling it’s a cropped image and not something shot on a proper telephoto camera. It’s needless to say that the processing is identical to the standard photo mode.

The Redmi is a clear winner in the 2x zoom battle as XT’s photos are quite soft compared to the Redmi’s.

 

Low-light samples

At night, the performance of the main camera in the standard Photo mode isn’t stellar, but it’s comparable to its rivals. Images appear soft, but the dynamic range is rather good capturing enough detail in the highlights and shadows without noticeable noise. Colors are punchy, and the contrast is pleasant.

Surprisingly, the 64MP mode is still usable even if there’s not enough light. The photos are noisier, but there is still more detail than the regular 16MP images. The processing also seems slightly different than in the normal Photo mode – the HDR algorithm seems to be doing a better job in 64MP mode. Go figure!

Zoomed photos have the benefit of using the main sensor. Even flagships use a cropped photo from the main sensor when there’s no sufficient light. The resulting low-light images here have plenty of noise and the overall processing matches the one from the normal photos.

Switching on the Night mode allowed the camera to capture more detail in the shadows, while the highlights are the same. Best of all, the level of resolved detail becomes noticeably higher – the photos are sharper and more detailed.

There’s an overall appeal of the Night photos by the Redmi Note 8 Pro which made us appreciate it more than other competing solutions. It improves on key areas of the image without going overboard and make it look unnatural.

All in all, we recommend using the Night mode even if there’s enough light coming in as opposed to our usual recommendation of using it only when the scene is almost pitch-black. The Night mode is the way to go in almost all low-light situations.

And as for the ultra-wide lens, well, let’s just say that the night photos coming out from this camera are barely usable. While you may get okay daytime photos with the ultra-wide camera, you won’t have such luck at night. And there’s no Night mode to help either.

 

Macro samples

Of course, we took the macro camera for a short spin too, but the results aren’t impressive by any means. Our initial expectation was that the macro lens would probably be obsolete with the presence of the large 64MP sensor that can capture lots of detail. Also, the main 64MP sensor is capable of capturing more light, and it’s apparent from the photos you see below.

Yes, the macro lens allows you to get close to the subject and get everything in focus, but the results would be pretty much the same if you crop out the center of the photo from the primary camera and cut out the blur. That’s what you get when shooting with such a large sensor. The detail you get from the 64MP camera is unrivaled, though.

 

Portraits

Portraits are good with natural skin tone, wide dynamic range, and enough detail. The edge detection fails in more complex scenes. We would say it delivers less than we expected from a phone with a dedicated depth sensor.

And keep in mind that there’s a blur strength effect mimicking the aperture. By default, it’s set to f/4.0 (the first photo above), which isn’t enough to give the photo that dramatic effect so you might want to “open up the lens” with f/2.0, for example, to achieve a more pronounced bokeh effect.

 

Selfies

These are one of the best selfies we’ve seen on a midranger. The HDR works great, the camera produces sharp photos, and even the edge detection isn’t all that bad. When introduced to low-light scenarios, the 20MP camera did pretty well.

 

Video recording

The phone supports 4K recording at 30fps or 1080p at either 30 or 60fps. The slow-motion mode allows you to go as high as 960fps at 720p, but we are pretty sure there’s some interpolation at play there since there’s not nearly enough processing power in the chip to achieve those frames at that resolution.

Anyway, 4K video recording looks nice although they are a bit too contrasty and colors are over-saturated. Some may like it this way, but we felt compelled to point it out. The detail is good, though, and dynamic range is more than okay.

 

 

 

Switching over to 1080p will, of course, reduce the level of detail but maybe a bit more than one would expect. The rendition is identical to the 4K mode.

 

 

 

The phone also allows 1080p recording with the ultra-wide camera, but there’s nothing good to say about that mode.

 

 

 

The 2x zoom video, however, appears to be pretty nice too. It’s not “telephoto nice,” but it would do.

 

 

 

 

 

Competition

There are quite a few options that show up when searching our database with similar pricing and screen size. However, only a few stand out and even fewer that we’ve reviewed. And still, the Redmi Note 8 Pro has all that it takes to stick out with a quad-camera setup and the brand new Helio G90T SoC onboard. Not many can offer optimized gaming experience on a budget.

 

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro review

 

 

The first two options that spring to mind are the Samsung Galaxy A50 and A60. Since Samsung’s Galaxy A-lineup is far-reaching, the Redmi Note 8 Pro was bound to fight one of Samsung’s mid-range offerings.

However, neither of them make a good case over the Redmi Note 8 Pro. The latter offers better build quality, better all-around camera experience, and killer battery life. Perhaps only the Galaxy A50 could be considered over the Redmi since it has a big Super AMOLED panel that’s hard to ignore.

 

 

 

 

The Nokia 6.2 is a viable and up-to-date option for the same price. It has the looks, it has the same cameras minus the macro and rocks a competent LCD with HDR10 support. The Note 8 Pro fights back with a bigger battery and considerably more powerful, recent, and efficient SoC. The Nokia 6.2’s Snapdragon 636 just doesn’t cut it in 2019.

A similarly-priced solution from Huawei’s camp would be the P30 Lite – the budget version of this year’s flagship P30. But don’t let the flagship name fool you because there’s nothing that the handset can do that the Note 8 Pro can’t. Xiaomi‘s offering excels in battery life, performance, display brightness, and also offers arguably better camera experience all-around. The differences aren’t all that prominent, though, so it all boils down to which user interface you prefer. Both handsets can be found at a matching price in most markets.

 

 

 

 

And finally, the direct rival from Realme – the Realme XT. On paper, both phones are pretty similar – identical quad-camera array on the back, big batteries, competent SoCs, and similarly-sized screens. Nevertheless, the Realme XT has one considerable advantage over the Redmi – the OLED panel with under-display fingerprint reader and the faster 20W VOOC charging are features that make a compelling case. Whereas in the other corner, the Redmi offers longer battery life and clearer low-light photos, especially with the Night mode on. During the day, the Redmi has a slight edge over the XT with sharper images.

 

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro review

 

 

There are some trade-offs for both models, and it depends on what you are looking for. This comparison is valid only if you are lucky enough to live in a region where both phones are on the market since the Realme XT is a rather exotic handset, and it’s held back by limited market availability. It’s how Realme rolls.

 

Verdict

For yet another year in a row, the Redmi Note Pro lineup brings a phone which is super easy to recommend. It’s a true “bang for the buck” kind of midranger and leaves almost nothing to complain about. Sure, the Realme XT has a banging OLED panel for the same price with arguably more convenient in-display fingerprint reader, but the Note 8 Pro‘s screen isn’t bad either. It’s bright, it’s crisp, and the only things that could use some improvement is its color accuracy, which may not be an essential point for many of the prospective buyers.

 

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro review

 

 

Other than that, the Redmi Note 8 Pro checks all the boxes with superb battery life, excellent performance on the cheap with the Helio G90T on board, and once again excellent camera performance if you don’t count the macro and the ultra-wide lenses. Also, the 64MP sensor is capable of some surprisingly good 2x zoom photos eliminating the need of a cheap telephoto lens.

The solid build and the use of Gorilla Glass 5 is a bonus if you can live with the big camera bump and the few extra grams. It’s a hefty device for the screen size – there’s no denying that.

Pros

  • Robust design with dual Gorilla Glass 5 panels.
  • Bright LCD panel.
  • The brand new MediaTek Helio G90T is snappy and efficient at the same time.
  • Outstanding battery life.
  • The main 64MP sensor is versatile and delivers excellent images at day and night.
  • The selfie camera is also pretty good.
  • Great video recording quality overall.
  • Supports USB PD charging, comes with USB-C to USB-C cable and appropriate charger in the box.

Cons

  • The macro and ultrawide cameras are uninspiring to say the least.
  • Video recording in 1080p leaves more to be desired.