The Redmi Note series was very important for Xiaomi. The Redmi Note 4 (Review) was the first model that was sold in large quantities and helped the Chinese smartphone giant to consolidate its position in the Indian market. Xiaomi's Redmi Note 7 Pro is another highlight of the series, according to the manufacturer. The Redmi Note 7 Pro was introduced in February of this year and offered impressive performance and good cameras at an aggressive price. Of course, this puts his successor, the Redmi Note 8 Pro, under great pressure. While this new smartphone was launched nine months after its predecessor, it claims to be better in every measurable way. Will the Redmi Note 8 Pro be the new benchmark for its segment? We are testing it to answer that.
Redmi Note 8 Pro design
Xiaomi has changed the design of the Redmi 8 series smartphones, and the Redmi Note 8 Pro also benefits from it. The new smartphone offers a larger display with 6.53 inches compared to the 6.3 inch display of the Redmi Note 7 Pro (test). At the top is a water drop notch in which the selfie camera is located. The earpiece sits directly above the display and is black, which camouflages itself well with the black bezel at the top. Corning Gorilla Glass 5 is available for protection.
Xiaomi has managed to reduce the thickness of the Redmi Note 8 Pro's lower bezel by opting for a flexible chip-on-film display driver that bends down. The power and volume buttons are on the right side of the device. We found that the on / off switch was well positioned, while the volume rocker took a certain distance to reach.
There are two compartments on the left side of the Redmi Note 8 Pro: one has only one nano SIM slot, the other the second nano SIM slot and a dedicated microSD card slot. Xiaomi has specifically added the microSD card slot for the Indian market as the Chinese version of this phone does not offer this feature.
The back of the phone is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and is curved on the sides for easy access. The camera module is in the middle and is slightly raised. Xiaomi has also moved the fingerprint scanner into the raised camera module, which initially feels a bit strange. Fingerprint scanners are usually embedded in the housing of smartphones, and this is exactly the opposite. However, it's not a big problem and it didn't take us long to get used to it. We also noticed that the fingerprint scanner is slightly higher than ideal. Next to the camera module is the LED flash and a separate macro camera, which is positioned underneath.
On the bottom of the Redmi Note 8 Pro there is a USB Type-C port, a speaker and a primary microphone, while the IR emitter and the secondary microphone are on the top. Xiaomi comes with a clear plastic case along with an 18W quick charger.
Redmi Note 8 Pro specifications and software
The Redmi Note 8 Pro has a large 6.53-inch display with a Full HD + resolution (1080 x 2340 pixels) and HDR support. It has a vivid output and gets bright enough outdoors with a maximum brightness of 500 nits.
Xiaomi opted for the MediaTek Helio G90T SoC, which apparently was specially developed for games. This processor competes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G SoC, which is expected to power the Realme XT 730G. The Helio G90T is an octa-core processor with two ARM Cortex-A76 cores clocked at 2.05 GHz and six Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 2.0 GHz. For graphics, it has a GPU integrated in ARM Mali-G76 MC4, which is clocked at 800 MHz.
In order to maintain the operating temperature of this processor, Xiaomi has implemented a so-called liquid cooling together with double pyrolytic layers. Xiaomi informed Gadgets 360 that it uses a larger steam cooling chamber than that of the Poco F1 (review).
Xiaomi has launched three versions of the Redmi Note 8 Pro, with the basic version offering 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage at a price of 5 euros. 14,999. The second variant has 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage and costs Rs. 15,999. The top version of the Redmi Note 8 Pro has 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage and costs Rs. 17,999.
Xiaomi offers the Redmi Note 8 Pro with UFS 2.1 storage instead of EMMC 5.1, which is common in these price ranges. The memory can be expanded with a microSD card of up to 512 GB.
Connectivity options on the Redmi Note 8 Pro include Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Dual 4G VoLTE and four navigation systems. The phone is housed in a 4,500 mAh battery. Xiaomi also mentions that the Redmi Note 8 Pro has a self-cleaning speaker that emits a low frequency sound to try to throw off dust.
Xiaomi delivers the Redmi Note 8 Pro with MIUI 10 on Android 9 Pie. Our unit ran the security patch for September. Like most other Xiaomi smartphones, a number of apps are preinstalled on the Redmi Note 8 Pro. In addition to some Google apps, the Redmi Note 8 Pro offers Amazon, Facebook, WPS Office, Netflix, Dailyhunt, Gaana and Opera Mini, among others. Xiaomi has also preloaded games like Ludo Master, Block Puzzle Guardian, Pop Shooter Blast and Dust Settle.
The Redmi Note 8 Pro has a GetApps app store that suggests new apps to try out. Xiaomi's own apps such as Mi Community, Mi Pay, Mi Store and Mi Credit are also preinstalled on the device. When setting up the device, be sure to disable personalized ad recommendations and the background image carousel. The smartphone continues to show ads when new apps are installed, which can be annoying. Apps like Music and Mi Video send spam notifications all day.
With Xiaomi, you can switch from conventional three-button navigation layout to swipe-based navigation. Since the MediaTek Helio G90T supports dual wake, Xiaomi also supports Amazon Alexa in addition to the Google Assistant. Right, there are two assistants on the device who are ready to hear their respective wake-up phrases and take action.
While both the Google Assistant and Alexa were working as expected, we first found that Alexa would take over the screen, causing it to stop responding. We had to press the back button to use the smartphone again. An Alexa app update that we received during our review fixed this issue. The advantage of the dual wake function is that you can call up any assistant at any time, even if the device is locked.
Redmi Note 8 Pro performance and battery life
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro is the first smartphone in India to be equipped with the new MediaTek Helio G90T processor. We test the top version with 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage. Of course we were curious to see how it compares to the Snapdragon rivals. We did not notice any lag or jerking on this device when it was subjected to heavy loads. It starts apps quickly and 8 GB RAM ensure that the smartphone can multitask without having to end apps in the background.
We found that the fingerprint scanner unlocks the smartphone quickly. Face recognition is also available and only needs one look to unlock the Redmi Note 8 Pro. The display becomes bright enough outdoors and the speaker is loud enough to enjoy the content displayed.
We ran our standard benchmarks for the device to measure its performance. In AnTuTu, the Redmi Note 8 Pro managed to clock 2.27.626, which is higher than the 2.14.687 that the Redmi K20 (review) achieved with its Snapdragon SoC. The Redmi Note 8 Pro also managed 273 and 943 in Geekbench 5's single-core and multi-core tests. These values are higher than those of the Snapdragon 730 SoC and come very close to those of the Snapdragon 730G. The Redmi Note 8 Pro managed 58 fps and 15 fps in the GFXBench tests T-Rex and Car Chase in graphic benchmarks.
We couldn't do without testing games on a cell phone that has a game-optimized processor. So we played PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty Mobile to measure performance. PUBG Mobile has set the default setting "High" with graphics to "HD" and the frame rate to "High". The smartphone could run the game with these settings without any problems. We played the game for 36 minutes and found that the battery consumption was 12 percent. The Redmi Note 8 Pro was warm at the end of this game session. We raised the graphics to HDR and the frame rate to Ultra, and the smartphone could run the game with these settings without protest. However, after 20 minutes of play with these settings, it got pretty hot.
The Redmi Note 8 Pro's battery life is reasonable if you take into account the performance it offers. The 4,500 mAh battery in this device lasted about 14 hours in our HD video loop test. With our use, which consisted of an active WhatsApp account, some camera samples and the playback of PUBG Mobile and Call Of Duty Mobile, we still had around 40 percent after 24 hours. Xiaomi comes with an 18 W charger that charges the large battery to 32 percent in 30 minutes and to 62 percent in one hour.
Redmi Note 8 Pro cameras
The Redmi Note 8 Pro has a significant decline in camera hardware compared to the Redmi Note 7 Pro (test). Xiaomi has effectively doubled the number of cameras compared to its predecessor. The Redmi Note 8 Pro has a 64 megapixel primary sensor with an aperture of 1: 1.79 and 0.8 micrometer pixels. In standard mode, this sensor takes 16-megapixel pictures, as does 4-in-1 pixel binning.
The second sensor in the array is an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with an aperture of 1: 2.2 and a field of view of 120 degrees. Xiaomi has also added a 2 megapixel macro camera. The fourth sensor is a 2 megapixel depth sensor. There is a 20 megapixel selfie shooter on the front of the phone.
Xiaomi hasn't made any radical changes to the Redmi Note 8 Pro's camera app. It is similar to the one we've seen on many other Xiaomi phones. It has a button that allows you to switch between the main camera and the wide-angle camera. This control also offers a double zoom, which is achieved digitally. The switch for switching to the macro camera is located at the top next to the AI button. This could easily be overlooked, and we would have preferred to group it with the other similar control.
There are symbols for HDR, AI, flash and filter at the top. In addition to the standard modes photo and video, the smartphone has the modes portrait, night, panorama, pro, short video, slow motion and 64 MP.
Photos taken with the Redmi Note 8 Pro in daylight were sharp and had good details, which became clear when zooming in. The camera automatically activates HDR for bright scenes and does a good job of getting the right exposure. Images taken with the wide-angle camera offered a wider field of view, but had no details compared to the primary sensor. However, they had no run distortion.
In low light conditions, the AI quickly recognized scenes and adjusted the camera accordingly. The phone took decent detail with its main camera at night. Text was readable some distance away, but we noticed a fine grain when zooming in. With night mode enabled, the smartphone was able to take brighter pictures with slightly better details, but we had to be absolutely calm to get a usable picture.
Close-ups taken with the main camera showed good background separation and a natural bokeh effect. We found that when taking close-up shots, the AI was inconsistent and aggressively intensified the colors in some scenes to make them look artificial. The main camera was quickly focusable even in poor lighting conditions and took good pictures with good details.
Pictures taken with the macro camera had good details, but the resolution is only 2 megapixels. Xiaomi informed Gadgets 360 that the macro camera was placed directly under the flash to use the flash as lighting and avoid shadows when taking macros with the phone in close proximity to the subject. We would have liked the possibility to adjust the intensity of the flash.
In portrait mode, the Redmi Note 8 Pro gives you the option of adjusting the blur before taking a picture. The phone made a good separation between the subject and the background. The colors were also correct when taking portraits.
The single selfie camera takes sharp pictures during the day, but we noticed that the contrast is slightly increased. You have the option to take selfie portraits, and these also showed good separation. Selfies taken in low-light conditions had slightly lower details, but were worth being right on social media.
Video recording is limited to 4K 30fps for the primary camera and 1080p 30fps for the selfie shooter. You can also record videos with the wide-angle camera or the macro camera. Videos recorded during the day were stabilized and the phone was able to measure the light correctly. 4K material has intensified the colors and the output has not been stabilized, which is acceptable for the price. Videos recorded in low light conditions had a visible shimmer in the output and could use an improvement.
The Redmi Note 8 Pro is already known, considering how popular its predecessor, the Redmi Note 7 Pro (review), was. Xiaomi equips it with powerful hardware that was previously not seen in this price segment. With the MediaTek Helio G90T you can easily meet your gaming needs. It outperforms both the Snapdragon 712 and Snapdragon 730 SoC in terms of performance and is an easy choice for someone who is looking at just that. However, there seems to be a little compromise as we found that this processor is not as power efficient as the Snapdragon 675 that powers the Redmi Note 7 Pro, and this became clear in our battery tests.
Xiaomi has improved the camera hardware to compete with other smartphones, especially Realme 5 Pro (Review) and Realme XT (Review), which offer good camera performance with a similar variety of sensors in the same price range. However, we think the Redmi Note 8 Pro could make the most of it with a few camera adjustments.
Overall, the Redmi Note 8 Pro is a suitable successor to the Redmi Note 7 Pro. Xiaomi has sweetened the deal by aggressively rating it and undercutting the Realme XT (Review). For those looking for a gaming device, the Redmi Note 8 Pro is an easy choice, but you should also check out the Poco F1 (Review), which offers the same cost and amount of RAM and memory that the Price offers have been reduced so often.
Is Realme XT the reason for Redmi Note 8 Pro's killer prices? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just click the play button below. In the event that you don't want to progress anymore