There is no doubt that Xiaomi's Redmi series is very popular in India. This series was only intended for the lower market segment when it was launched, but has since expanded to include high-end devices at aggressive prices. While it now includes phones like the Redmi K20 Pro (Review), it is also suitable for price-conscious buyers.
The Redmi 7A (Review), dubbed the "Smart Desh Ka Smartphone", had a lot of expectations to be met when it hit the market with relatively low Rs three months ago. 5,999 price points. Surprisingly, Xiaomi released an update for this smartphone just three months after launch and aptly called this new model the Redmi 8A. The new Redmi 8A has a USB Type-C connection and is housed in a large 5,000 mAh battery. Will these impressive specifications lead to a high quality user experience? We put the new Redmi 8A through its paces to find out.
Redmi 8A design
A look at the Redmi 8A and it is hard to believe that this is such an affordable smartphone. Xiaomi has done a good job developing this device. 7000. The front of the Redmi 8A has a large 6.22-inch display with a water drop notch on the top. This is much larger than the 5.45-inch display of the Redmi 7A. Xiaomi has pushed the earpiece towards the frame of the device. The Redmi 8A has striking bezels on all sides. The chin is quite thick and Xiaomi has attached a Redmi logo here.
Xiaomi has bent the sides of the Redmi 8A, making it comfortable to hold. The on / off and volume buttons are on the right and are easy to reach. Xiaomi has positioned the otherwise empty SIM compartment on the left. The top and bottom of the phone are flat and there is a second microphone at the top. The Redmi 8A has a USB Type-C port in the lower area, which can be seen particularly well on a smartphone in this price range. The 3.5 mm headphone jack, the main microphone and the speaker are also on the bottom.
There is only one camera with LED flash on the back of the Redmi 8A. There is no fingerprint sensor on this device, which we may be able to apologize for due to its price.
Redmi 8A specifications and software
Xiaomi chose an HD + display with a resolution of 720 x 1440 pixels and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection. The Redmi 8A is equipped with the same Snapdragon 439 SoC as the Redmi 7A. This is an octa-core processor with eight ARM Cortex-A53 cores that are clocked at 2 GHz. The smartphone is available in two versions; one with 2 GB of RAM with 32 GB of storage for Rs. 6,499, and the other with 3 GB of RAM with 32 GB of storage at Rs. 6,999. We had the basic variant for this check.
Xiaomi has slowly increased the battery capacity of the phones in this series. The Redmi 6A (Review) was shipped with a 3,000 mAh device, and now the Redmi 8A is housed in a much larger 5,000 mAh battery. The Redmi 8A also supports 18W quick charge, but Xiaomi only ships a 10W charger in the box.
The Redmi 8A has two nano-SIM slots and a dedicated microSD slot for memory expansion. Both 4G and VoLTE are supported on SIMs as well as Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11b / g / n and four satellite navigation systems. The Redmi 8A also has a wireless FM function, so you don't need to connect a headset to listen to FM radio.
In terms of software, the Xiaomi Redmi 8A MIUI 10 runs on Android 9 Pie. Our unit ran the August security patch. The user interface is similar to that of other Xiaomi phones. There is no app drawer and all app icons are placed on the home screens. A whole bunch of bloatware is preinstalled, including Mi Community, Paytm, Mi Credit, Mi Store, Amazon, Facebook, WPS Office, Dailyhunt, Gaana and Opera Mini. The games Ludo Master, Block Puzzle Guardian, Pop Shooter Blast and Dust Settle are also preinstalled on this phone. There's even an app store called GetApps that can be used as an alternative to the Google Play Store.
The Redmi 8A is plagued by the same spam notifications as other Xiaomi devices. We saw advertisements while installing new applications and noticed that standard apps like Mi Music and Mi Video were constantly generating spam notifications. On the other hand, MIUI has some useful features like Dual Apps that allow you to run two instances of supported apps. Google’s Digital Wellbeing feature lets you monitor how much time you’re spending on your smartphone, and you’ll also be able to set up parental controls through Google’s Family Link.
Gesture navigation is an option that you can use instead of the traditional three-button navigation layout. The app lock is integrated and you can lock apps with a passcode or face recognition. There is also a Game Speed Booster app that is supposed to optimize performance and give the app running in the foreground more bandwidth. You can also turn off the automatic brightness and notification shadow swipe gesture while playing.
Redmi 8A performance and battery life
The Redmi 8A has enough hardware to offer a user-friendly experience. We rarely saw slowdowns while using the smartphone, but it took longer to load heavy apps. We had the basic version with 2 GB RAM for our test and not many apps could run in the background, which meant that they had to be restarted every time we tried to use them. There's no fingerprint sensor, but face recognition is fast enough to conveniently unlock the smartphone.
The Redmi 8A's display offers good viewing angles and the loudspeaker is loud enough to play back content. However, the legibility of the sunlight could have been better as we often shielded the phone to see what was on the display outdoors.
Thanks to our experience with the Redmi 7A (test), we already have a good idea of the performance of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 SoC. The Redmi 8A does not differ significantly. We had problems running our standard benchmarks. This is most likely a limitation for early units to prevent performance related information from being lost.
The Redmi 8A was able to run AnTuTu benchmark and achieved a score of 76,509. It also managed 4,594 in PCMark Work 2.0. These values are in the same range as the Xiaomi Redmi 7A. The Snapdragon 439 SoC's values were higher than those of phones with the MediaTek Helio P22 SoC, such as the Realme C2 (review). No graphics benchmarks could be performed on the Redmi 8A.
We were looking forward to testing the large 5000 mAh battery in the Redmi 8A. In our usage, which consisted of an active WhatsApp account, where we took some camera examples, navigated with Google Maps for two hours and ran some benchmarks, we were able to survive a whole day and still had a little more than 50 percent in the tank , The phone managed to keep power consumption low when idle, which helped the battery to perform excellently. In our HD video loop test, the Redmi 8A lasted 16 hours and 31 minutes.
With the included 10 W charger, the phone was charged 25 percent in 30 minutes and 46 percent in one hour. It took approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes to fully charge the phone. The Redmi 8A supports 18W fast charge and Xiaomi sells an 18W charger for Rs. 449. We believe that you should invest in one of them when you buy this smartphone.
Redmi 8A cameras
The Redmi 8A has a single camera on the back, which is based on the Sony IMX363 sensor. This is a 12-megapixel sensor that is used, among others, with Google Pixel 3 (review) and Poco F1 (review). This camera has an aperture of 1: 1.8, a pixel size of 1.4 micrometers and an auto focus with two pixels. On the front of the Redmi 8A is an 8-megapixel selfie shooter with an aperture of 1: 2.0 and 1.12-micron pixels. As always, Xiaomi used the same camera app and, in addition to the usual photo and video modes, also offers recording modes such as portrait, pro and short video. There is both HDR and AI scene detection.
We found that the Redmi 8A focused quickly during the day, but slowed down in low light. The Redmi 8A delivered some good pictures in favorable light, details were missing when we zoomed in on the sample pictures. HDR is automatically activated when shooting in bright surroundings. However, ghosting has occurred on some shots taken during the day.
In close-ups, we found that the camera managed to achieve a decent natural depth of field. The AI in the camera app quickly recognizes what it is aimed at and helps you choose the ideal settings. Photos had a lot of details for a phone at that price, but we would have loved it if the pictures were a little sharper.
Portraits taken with the Redmi 8A showed average edge detection, but some of our samples had overexposed backgrounds. In poor lighting conditions, there is a noticeable loss of detail and a slight watercolor-like effect. The Redmi 8A managed to keep the noise low, but sacrificed sharpness in low light conditions. When shooting objects with a bright backlight at night, we noticed that the device could not correctly capture the colors.
Selfies taken during the day had good details and you can apply beautifying filters before taking a picture. In poor lighting conditions, there was a loss of quality because the images looked grainy when zoomed in. The maximum video recording resolution for the primary shooter is 1080p, but it lacks stabilization, so you won't get smooth videos directly from the device.
The Xiaomi Redmi 8A was launched only a few months after the Redmi 7A (test). While the Qualcomm Snapdragon 439SoC remains the same, many other hardware components have been improved. The Redmi 8A has a larger display and improved cameras. Xiaomi has definitely taken a few steps in the right direction by opting for a USB Type-C port and inserting a large 5,000 mAh battery.
It looks like Xiaomi is repeating the story here. It quickly launched the Redmi Note 7S (Review) after the Redmi Note 7 (Review) and did the same with the Redmi 8A. Yes, this new model is slightly more expensive at Rs. 6,499 as the introductory price of the Redmi 7A, which was Rs. 5999. Buyers of the Redmi 7A could be disappointed when you consider that the Redmi 8A does everything better with only minor price increases. Aside from that, if you want a cheap smartphone or an inexpensive second device, the Redmi 8A is a solid phone that you can buy for less than Rs. 7000.