Review

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro review May, 2020

Everything You Need to Know about Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro is a different version of the Redmi Note 8 which is designed for video games. It is equipped with a Mediatek Helio P90T SoC, a 6.53 inch Full HD + screen, a 4500 mAh battery and 4 back cameras.

xiaomi redmi note 8 pro Reviews
xiaomi redmi note 8 pro Reviews

With the Redmi Note 8 Pro, Xiaomi promises once again a smartphone with excellent value for money.  Here is our full test!

The Redmi Note range represents what Xiaomi can do best in terms of quality/price ratio while remaining very accessible with a price under 30000 BDT. At the start of the year, the Redmi Note 7 amazed us with the quality of its design, its performance and its autonomy. 

At the end of the year, Xiaomi Bangladesh reverses its strategy. The Redmi Note 8 officially exists in Bangladesh, but the Redmi Note 8 Pro comes to us with an official price of 25000 BDT. This price places it right between the Mi 9 Lite and the Redmi Note 7, within a now very large family of smartphones available from Xiaomi Bangladesh.

TECHNICAL SHEET

ModelXiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro
OS versionAndroid 9.0
Manufacturer interfaceMIUI
Screen size6.53 inches
Definition2340 x 1080 pixels
TechnologyLCD
SoCHelio G90T
Graphics chip (GPU)ARM Mali G76
Random access memory (RAM)6 GB, 8 GB
Internal memory (flash)128 GB, 64 GB
Camera (back)Sensor 1: 64 Mpx
Sensor 2: 8 Mpx
Sensor 3: 2 Mpx
Sensor 4: 2 Mpx
Camera (front)20 MP
Video recording1080p
WirelessWi-Fi 5 (ac)
Bluetooth5.0
networksLTE, HSPA, GSM
Supported bands2100 MHz (B1), 800 MHz (B20), 1800 MHz (B3), 2600 MHz (B7), 700 MHz (B28)
NFCYes
Fingerprint sensorYes
Ports (inputs / outputs)USB Type-C
Drums4500 mAh
Dimensions76.4 x 161.35 x 8.79mm
Weight200 grams
ColoursBlack, White, Blue

This test was carried out using a Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro

DESIGN

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro picks up where the Redmi Note 7 left off. We find the same design features, but with increasing manufacturing quality. The borderless screen with a drop notch is still there, but with a shorter chain and a more discreet notch. It became rare in 2019: a small notification LED is integrated into the notch.

xiaomi redmi note 8 pro Design
xiaomi redmi note 8 pro Design

The back is no longer flat but slightly rounded with a Gorilla Glass 5 glass surface. A hard plastic frame with a shiny effect as if to blend with glass. The device fits the hand perfectly. Fortunately, because it has clearly gained in weight compared to the Redmi Note 7; we go from 186 to 200 grams. The weight of the smartphone stands out whether in the hand or in a pocket. This is not a template that will appeal to everyone, and I can not advise you too much to test the smartphone in-store.

Back Side of Xiaomi Note 8 Pro
Back Side of Xiaomi Note 8 Pro

Concerning myself, I could get used to it and I find the design of the smartphone very successful for a device at this price. Only one point really bothered me: the camera and the fingerprint reader. The latter is indeed integrated into the photo module that really stands out clearly from the smartphone. In other words, when you place the smartphone on a desk, the weight of the smartphone crushes the photo module against the surface and the device becomes quite wobbly.

xiaomi redmi note 8 pro Finger Print Reader Androids
xiaomi redmi note 8 pro Finger Print Reader Androids

The fingerprint reader requires a little gymnastics to get used to, but it falls quite easily under the finger. You simply have the impression, quite counter-intuitive, of having to put your finger on the camera to unlock the smartphone.

Connectivity side, we remain in the known territory with USB Type-C (2.0). The 3.5mm headphone jack is still there, as well as the dual SIM hybrid tray that can accommodate a MicroSD card.

POORLY CALIBRATED FULL HD LCD SCREEN

Despite the move upmarket, Xiaomi continues to choose an IPS Full HD LCD panel for its smartphone. For AMOLED it will still be necessary to raise the price and look at the side of the Mi 9 Lite. The Redmi Note 8 Pro has a 6.53 inch screen with a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels. In 2019, poor quality screens almost disappeared from the market. That of the Redmi Note 8 Pro is pleasant to the naked eye, with good maximum brightness, and a minimum brightness which allows good readability in the dark.

The Screen of Xiaomi Note 8 Pro
The Screen of Xiaomi Note 8 Pro

Using CalMAN Ultimate Portrait Display software and our colourimetric probe, we were able to do our series of tests on the screen. We have performed the measurements with the default MIUI settings. The range of colours covered represents 121% of the sRGB for 81% of the DCI-P3. We then tested if the displayed colours were true to reality. The difference measured, the dE2000, was on average 4.59 compared to the colours of the DCI-P3, with a maximum noted at 11.63. This average drops to 3.9 if we compare the colours displayed to the sRGB spectrum. Colour calibration is therefore not the strong point of this screen.

The average colour temperature is 7970K, it is much colder than the 6500K sought (it is the temperature of white sunlight). The measured contrast ratio is 1412: 1, for a maximum brightness of 492 cd / m².

PERFORMANCES: GOLIATH AMONG THE LIGHTWEIGHTS

The Redmi Note 8 Pro makes the unorthodox choice to integrate a MediaTek Helio G90T chip instead of the Snapdragon chips from Qualcomm that we are used to finding in smartphones of the brand. This choice allows the manufacturer to integrate a very powerful chip for this price, which places particular emphasis on the graphics part ARM Mali G76 M4. For hackers, this means that the smartphone could be less followed by the community, this is historically the case for smartphones equipped with MediaTek.

xiaomi redmi note 8 pro Reviews 1
xiaomi redmi note 8 pro Reviews 1

In use, the smartphone is perfectly fluid in all circumstances. With 6 GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 64 to 128 GB of UFS 2.1 storage, applications install and launch very quickly. Xiaomi has made a reputation for offering smartphones with a staggering price/performance ratio, and the Redmi Note 8 Pro will not contradict this reputation.


Redmi Note 8 Pro
Redmi Note 7 Mi 9 Lite
SoC MediaTek Helio G90T Snapdragon 660
AnTuTu 7.x 226,322 points 144,013 points
PCMark 2.0 10037 points 6,310 points
3DMark Sling Shot Extreme 2,377 points 1,355 points
3DMark Slingshot Extreme Graphics 2,213 points 1,187 points
3DMark Slingshot Extreme Physics 3,213 points 2,688 points
GFXBench Aztec Vulkan High 6.5 FPS / 9.9 FPS
GFX Bench Car Chase (onscreen / offscreen) 15 FPS / 18 FPS 8.2 / 9.1 FPS
GFX Bench Manhattan (onscreen / offscreen) 43/48 FPS 21/23 FPS
Sequential read/write 524/192 MB / s 94/16 MB / s
Random read/write 38K / 42K IOPS 24K / 4K IOPS

As we can see on our benchmarks, the Redmi Note 8 Pro widens a performance gap with the Redmi Note 7, and even allows itself to do better than the Mi 9 Lite, however theoretically on the range above at Xiaomi. We also compared the phone with the Mi 9T Pro equipped with the Snapdragon 855, one of Qualcomm’s best chips, to illustrate the gap between the high and the mid-range.

These very good performances are confirmed in-game. The Redmi Note 8 Pro is capable of running Fortnite Chapter 2 at 30 frames per second with high details and 3D resolution set to 100%. Fluidity is stable overall, even if at the end of the game session I noticed some drops on slightly more intense moments of play with a lot of camera movements, but never below 20 frames per second.

Xiaomi Note 8 Pro Image
Xiaomi Note 8 Pro Image

A very fluid part of Call of Duty Mobile, and with the graphic details set to high, finish convincing us.

MIUI 10: FLUID, BUT POLLUTED

The Redmi Note 8 Pro ships Android 9 Pie with the MIUI 10 interface and the September 1 security updates. We will not represent MIUI, especially since it is far from the first smartphone with version 10 of the interface. We will just remember that this is a profoundly changing Android interface, replacing several of Google’s functions. It is also very fluid, full of functions and is optimized to maximize the autonomy of the smartphone. We particularly appreciate the care taken by Xiaomi to the different MIUI animations which reinforce this impression of fluidity, whether by navigating between the applications or in the launcher by default, there is always a small animation to accompany the movement of the finger making the very natural whole.

Our complaints about this interface have not changed either. The number of functions makes it difficult to navigate the settings of the smartphone, whose general organization leaves something to be desired. We also do not like the pseudo antivirus scan that is triggered when each application is installed from the Play Store and must be deactivated as soon as possible. The app drawer is also for absent subscribers, but a change in launcher fixes the problem.

Update on October 22: we checked the DRM management on the Redmi Note 8 Pro. The smartphone is well certified Widevine L1. However, HD playback is still blocked on Netflix. At the time of writing, it is not possible to watch HD video on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.

PICTURES

Xiaomi offers a new photo module with its Redmi Note 8 Pro. It is equipped with four cameras, a first with a 64-megapixel sensor, a second of 8 megapixels with ultra-wide-angle lens (120 °), a third of 2 megapixels for Macro mode and the last of 2 megapixels to capture more ‘depth information.

Xiaomi redmi note 8 pro Androids
Xiaomi redmi note 8 pro Androids

By default, the camera application captures 16-megapixel images. The smartphone actually uses the 64-megapixel sensor and merges 4 pixels to 1, which divides the image definition by 4 and drops it to 16 megapixels. The application also offers a “64 MP” mode for capturing in the native definition. Last use found by the brand: the application includes a 2x digital zoom, which again uses the definition of the sensor to make an artificial enlargement of part of the image and creates the zoom effect.

xiaomi redmi note 8 photo 16 mp Photo
xiaomi redmi note 8 photo 16 mp Photo

In fact, the differences between the photos taken in 16-megapixel mode or in 64-megapixel mode are almost imperceptible. It is not clear why Xiaomi decided to offer a dedicated mode in the camera application when an option in the settings could have been enough.

xiaomi redmi note 8 photo 64 mp Photo
xiaomi redmi note 8 photo 64 mp Photo

For a smartphone sold at 25000 BDT, the Redmi Note 8 Pro is doing very well by day. The HDR activates correctly to offer rather controlled contrasts and a beautiful dynamic. Colour processing is also quite natural. Everything is not perfect, we note here and there a slightly burned cloud, or on the contrary, a building underexposed, but on the whole, it is good, and it will be necessary to invest in a more expensive smartphone like the Pixel 3a or the Oppo Reno 2 to take it to the next level in the photos.

ULTRA WIDE ANGLE

One of the characteristics of the Redmi Note 8 Pro is to integrate an ultra-wide-angle lens which results in the application by an option “0.6X zoom”. Unfortunately, this camera is really not convincing compared to the main camera. We certainly gain slightly in the field of vision, but at what price? Everything else in the photo is missed: the dynamics are poor, the colour management is poor and the noise becomes very present. In the end, we will always prefer to use the main device rather than this model.

redmi note 8 pro photo grand angle Image
redmi note 8 pro photo grand angle Image

MACRO MODE

After the ultra-wide-angle and the telephoto lens, the new fashion among smartphone manufacturers is to offer a camera dedicated to macro. We have already seen it on the Honor 20 for example. With a 2 megapixel sensor, the possibilities remain limited and we will keep the photos rather for sharing on social networks. The result is quite convincing, we really have a focus at 2 cm from the subject which the main camera of the smartphone cannot do. The relief and texture of the false plant are particularly well marked.

redmi note 8 macro Picture
redmi note 8 macro Picture

BY NIGHT

Taking photos in low light remains in 2019 the main discriminating criterion between a low-end smartphone and a high-end smartphone. The Redmi Note 8 Pro is no exception, and results at night are much worse than during the day. The rendering is most of the time very unrealistic, with a contrast ratio taken to the extreme. The effect will please or will not please, but ironically, the rendering “contrasts” with what we experience during the day.

Worse, the optics very easily create a “lens flare” effect, ie a kind of halo effect at the level of light sources. This is particularly noticeable in a street photo with streetlights and vehicle lights.

redmi note 8 pro ultra Wide Angle Night Picture
redmi note 8 pro ultra Wide Angle Night Picture (0.6 X zoom)

Once again, the ultra-wide-angle camera is not at all convincing. Photo rendering is much less successful than that of photos taken with the main camera. We lose in detail, the noise is very present, and we gain an aberration because of the shape of the optics. On the other hand, the false zoom which cuts into the 64-megapixel image is rather convincing.

SELFIE

The Redmi Note 8 Pro’s screen notch surrounds the 20-megapixel smartphone’s front camera, with an f / 2.0 lens. Compared to the 13-megapixel sensor of the Redmi Note 7, we gain in detail visibly.

Too bad the HDR is so finicky with the photos taken with the front camera. In some cases, it was simply impossible to get a correct photo with a successful exposure of my face and the landscape.

At night, the processing of the lights is much more complex for the camera, which will tend to burn them. These are photos that will be difficult to exploit other than for rapid sharing on social networks.

CHAMPION OF AUTONOMY

The Redmi Note 8 Pro incorporates a large 4500 mAh battery. With the usual MIUI optimizations and a chip engraved in 12 nm FinFET, we can expect a good autonomy. Our Viser test protocol which mixes several uses (SMS, video playback, calls, games, photos) gives us an impressive result of 14 hours and 20 minutes, one of the best to date for smartphones tested by Androids.com.bd since the beginning of 2018.

This score is confirmed by our results in use. I was able to hold without problems for 2 days and 13 hours before falling to 20% with fairly moderate use of the smartphone, but still a few peaks of use: an hour of videoconference on Facebook Messenger, a few hours on Netflix, and a little time on Twitter.

In a busier day, on a press trip, I was able to hold out without problem until the end of the day with intensive use of the smartphone combining several hours of Netflix, and especially several hours of use in Wi-Fi modem mode which consumes particularly on smartphones.

The smartphone is sold with an 18W USB-C charger. It allows to go from 10 to 48% in 30 minutes, then to 79% with 30 minutes more. In all, it takes a little less than 2 hours to go from 10 to 100%. However, with such a range available, recharging at 50% will already be enough to be quiet for the rest of the day.

THE 700 MHZ FREQUENCY BAND IS THERE

The Redmi Note 7 had been criticized for the absence of NFC, prohibiting the use of the smartphone as a means of payment, and of the 4G 700 Mhz. It is now a thing of the past. The Redmi Note 8 Pro displays full compatibility with the 4G LTE used in Bangladesh. The phone is dual SIM compatible, the two cards can access 4G simultaneously.

NFC is there, like Google Pay, with Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac). For a smartphone at this price in 2019, that’s all we expect. Wi-Fi 6 will have to wait. The geolocation systems are also all there: GPS, Galileo, GLONASS and Beidou.

THE XIAOMI REDMI NOTE 8 PRO VERDICT

Good Points

  • Good manufacturing quality
  • Performances! 
  • Monster autonomy! 
  • The camera (64 MP)
  • USB-C, jack, 18W charger, NFC and 4G 700 MHz

Negative Points

  • Uneven secondary camera
  • Integration of photo module and fingerprint reader
  • A little heavy template
  • No HD on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video

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Ahmed Noor

A subjective journalist by profession, I am also fond of video games and therefore a real geek. I was banished from this caste the day I confessed my dislike for Star Wars and Super Mario.

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