Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 8 is an excellent phone for its price range. It has a quad-camera as well as 18W fast charging. While its design is appealing, it is starting to get a little boring as it is quite similar to its predecessors. This device deserves no less praise than it’s bigger sibling Redmi Note 8 Pro that has been very well received on the market.
List of Specifications
|Dimension||158.3 x 75.3 x 8.4 mm (6.23 x 2.96 x 0.33 in)|
|Weight||190 g (6.70 oz)|
|Display||6.3 in, IPS LCD, 16M colors, 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~409 ppi density)|
|Storage Options||32GB 3GBRAM, 64GB, 4GB RAM, 64GB 6GB RAM, 128GB
4GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM Internal Storage, micro SDXC (dedicated slot)
|Software||Android 9.0 (Pie), planned upgrade to Android 10, MIUI 12|
|Rear Camera||Quad: 48 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF; 8 MP,
f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm; 2 MP, f/2.4, (macro); 2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
|Front Camera||13 MP, f/2.0, (wide), 1/3.1”, 1.12um, HDR, panorama|
|Battery||Non Removable Li-Ion 4000 mAh, Fast Charging 18W,|
|Other Features||Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer|
- Price is affordable
- Cameras are excellent for its price
- The battery will last you all day
- High quality make
- Design is dated
- Camera module gets in the way
- Performance optimization is lacking
Design and Layout
The Redmi Note 8 is more similar to the Redmi Note 7S rather than the Redmi Note 8 Pro. You will be able to tell that this is a mid-range smartphone from the way it looks. The display is 6.3 inch, placed under Corning Gorilla Glass 5 with small bezels on three sides.
You will find the water drop notch cutout above the display. A small notification LED is located to the left of the water drop notch. The proximity and light sensor can also be found under the black rim near the notch area.
On the back of the phone is a fingerprint scanner in the centre. The camera module is housed in a black strip but sits too far above the surface. This results in the phone rocking when it is placed on the table. The primary camera has a silver ring around it to tell it apart from the rest. The rear of the phone is also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
For a mid-range phone, this device is one that is well built and of quality. Buttons are solid with excellent tactile feedback. The Redmi Note 8 even has an IR blaster from which you can use to control your air conditioner or television.
The Redmi Note 8 features a full HD+ display that is 6.3 inches with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels. This is way better than many phones that are in the same price range. Both icons and text look sharp and reading long articles from the phone’s screen will not cause your eyes to hurt.
Peak brightness is about 430 nits when the display is set to standard mode. It’s not Redmi’s brightest phone around, but it is bright enough for normal everyday use unless you spend a ton of time outside in direct sunlight.
While the display is not bad, the color tuning skews to the cooler tones and this, in turn, does have an effect on how images and videos come across. However, this problem can easily be overcome by switching to a more neutral color profile. Doing so will cause colors to look more neutral on the display.
This phone has a 4,000 mAh cell, which is quite a big battery even though several entry level phones now feature 5000 mAh batteries. However, as competitors such as Samsung have upped the ante with larger batteries on their devices, the Redmi Note series can no longer say that they are top of the class when it comes to battery performance.
Still, the battery on this phone is very reliable. You will be able to get more than one day of battery life with heavy use. Moderate use without heavy gaming will bring you almost two days of battery life.
The phone now supports 18W fast charging, and the charger comes in the box. With this charger, it takes only 40 minutes for a 50% charge. A full charge takes less than 2 hours. Unfortunately, there is no wireless charging, but this is to be expected for a phone in this price range.
Software and Performance
At the start of the onboarding process, a wide range of apps are recommended by Xiaomi to be downloaded. There are also quite a number of apps that have already been included on the phone.
While many of these apps are standard for MIUI, there are also a number of games and third-party music apps. Most of these apps cannot be deleted. Positive user experience further decreases with the ads and app recommendations from across the system apps.
However, there are smart additions that help to customize the phone’s interface, allowing you to personalize the device. The ShareMe app enables large files to be transferred between phone as well as to a computer.
Xiaomi has also recently introduced software updates and new features such as a quick share dialog box. There have also been improvements in general software stability.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 665SoC, which is a little bit better than the Snapdragon 660 that was used in the Redmi Note 7 and 7S. Graphic performance is improved and there is almost no performance degradation.
The phone is quick and apps can be opened quite fast unless they are storage sensitive.
It is, however, not the smoothest phone around. Navigation experience with MIUI sees visible frame drops when switching between apps and when scrolling through the App Vault. Using a third-party launcher seems to be the solution to this problem.
The primary camera of the Redmi Note 8 is able to capture images that reflect real life pretty well. Colors are natural, pictures are well exposed and images are sharp.
However, the camera has a habit of boosting shadows in order to pull out the details from darker regions. While this causes some low-level noise, it is barely noticeable and does not affect the pictures at all when they are being shared on social media.
The ultra-wide camera also oversharpens images and thus, the final picture gives a sense of more detail that actually exists. Darker sections on images have fewer details. Color tuning between the primary camera and the ultra-wide sensor is quite similar.
The macro camera on this phone is meant to be used for close-ups. It allows you to be as near as 2cm from your subject. This latest addition allows you to shoot from interesting angles albeit in low resolution.
This sensor also works quite well in limited light environments. It’s the best phone in this range when it comes to shooting close-up images. Capturing textures, flowers, eyes with the macro camera will give you excellent results.
As for selfies, the front camera is able to capture shots that are natural looking with details that are quite sufficient. The Redmi Note 8 imaging capabilities is about the best when compared to its competition on the market.
The Redmi Note 9 Pro is one of Redmi Note 8’s main competition. You might want to consider the Note 9 Pro as it has a better design as well as a newer Snapdragon 720G chipset.
Another alternative is the Realme 5i. The two phones are similar in many ways, but the Realme 5i has better image capturing abilities. Its design is also quite unique.
The Motorola Moto One Macro is another phone that offers many similar features as the Redmi Note 8. However, the Redmi Note 8 is way ahead in imaging capability.
The Bottom Line
This device is one that delivers in terms of hardware, design and features. While it doesn’t really stand out due to the huge amount of competition in the market, The Redmi Note 8 is a phone with good performance and reliability. The 4000 mAh battery packed in it means you will not have to worry about battery life and the camera on this phone is far more excellent than competing phones in the same price range.
You might want to check out RedMi Note 9 too!