Redmi Note 8 Review

In a launch event in Delhi, Xiaomi launched two new smartphones – Redmi Note 8 and Redmi Note 8 Pro. Redmi Note 8 is a successor to Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 7 which was launched earlier this year. The smartphone packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor which is coupled with 4/6 GB of RAM and starts at just Rs.9999. Is the Redmi Note 8 worth your money? Read our review to find out.

Redmi Note 8 Specifications

  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 octa-core SoC
  • GPU: Adreno 610 GPU
  • RAM: 4/6 GB
  • Operating System: Android 9 Pie with MIUI 10
  • Display: 6.3-inch Full HD+ dot notch display with 2340 × 1080 pixels screen resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, and 90% screen to body ratio
  • Rear Camera: 48 MP primary sensor, an 8 MP 120-degree ultra-wide lens, a 2 MP macro lens, and a 2 MP depth camera
  • Front Camera: 13-megapixel with AI Beautify features
  • Internal Storage: 64/128 GB
  • Connectivity: Dual 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11ac dual-band, Bluetooth 5, GPS/GLONASS/Beidou, and USB Type-C port
  • Other: Fingerprint sensor, IR sensor, P2i nano-coating
  • Colors: Neptune Blue, Moonlight White, Cosmic Purple, and Space Black
  • Battery: 4000 mAh with 18W fast charging

Design, Display, & Ergonomics

The Redmi Note 8 comes in an Aura Fluid Design and looks exactly like a premium smartphone. The device is available in three colors and we got the Neptune Blue variant to play around with. The glass back comes in a gradient finish and the Neptune blue variant has an ‘S’ curve on the back which looks beautiful. The device is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back which means that you don’t have to worry if the smartphone falls out from your hand.

The quad-camera setup is placed on the left and right next to it you get the fingerprint scanner in the middle of the smartphone which unlocks the smartphone in a second. The fingerprint scanner placement on this one is better when compared to the Redmi Note 8 Pro as its flat which makes it easy to unlock the device. The volume buttons along with the Power button are placed on the left just like what we’ve seen on a lot of Xiaomi smartphones. In addition to this, you get a triple card slot with the Redmi Note 8 which means that you can expand your storage via MicroSD card as well as use Dual SIM Cards on the device. There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom along with a Type-C port for charging the device. IR Blaster is also present on the Redmi Note 8 which means that you can control your TV, Air Conditioners and other gadgets directly using your smartphone as a remote.

When it comes to the Display, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 comes with a 6.3-inch Full HD+ dot notch display with a resolution of 2340 × 1080 pixels. It comes with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and 90% of screen to body ratio. The notch on the front houses a 13 MP camera for your selfies. The display is similar to what we have seen on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro as it touches 500-nits max brightness and produces vivid colors. You can easily use the device outdoors as the display quality is really good. Overall when it comes to the design and display the smartphone offers you won’t be disappointed.

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User Interface and Software

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 runs on Android 9 Pie which is based on MIUI 10.3.1 and hence it brings us a lot of additional features. The MIUI 10.3.1 brings you the Digital Wellbeing feature which was missing from Xiaomi devices earlier. In addition to this, Xiaomi has also confirmed that the Redmi Note 8 will be receiving the latest MIUI 11 update in the third phase of the rollout so you can expect it between 13-19th of November.

The device comes with minimal bloatware and mostly every pre-installed app can be uninstalled except the ones from Xiaomi and Google. MIUI’s popular features such as Screen Recorder, App Lock, FM Radio and Themes are present on the device. You still get the Ads on MIUI but you can disable them manually. The dark mode on the device is improved and enabling that will also change your Instagram to a dark theme if you are using the latest version. It also comes with a feature known as ‘Clear Speaker’ that plays a 30-second audio and cleans the dust inside your speaker. This is something that we saw for the first time and you should definitely check it out if you get your hands on the device.

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Home Screen, Lock Screen, and Pre-Installed Apps on Redmi Note 8 Pro
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Settings on Redmi Note 8 Pro
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About Phone on Redmi Note 8
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Themes on Redmi Note 8 Pro

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Hardware Performance, Benchmarks, and Gaming

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 octa-core SoC and an Adreno 610 GPU that handles your gaming needs. The device is further coupled with 4/6 GB of RAM and comes in two storage options – 64 GB and 128 GB. This is the same chipset that we’ve seen on devices like Mi A3 and Vivo U10 and Realme 5 and hence when it comes to performance you won’t be disappointed as the chipset is powerful enough to handle your day to day tasks easily. You can multitask without any issues and the device easily keeps up to 7-8 apps in memory.

When it comes to the Gaming Performance, the Redmi Note 8 handles games on medium/low settings with minor frame drops. We tried playing Mario Kart, Super Mario Run, PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty Mobile on this one and the Gaming Performance was good. Call of Duty, Mario Kart and Super Mario Run run flawlessly on the device whereas PUBG Mobile has some minor frame drops. PUBG Mobile runs on Balanced with Medium Frame rate and these are the maximum supported Settings for the game on this device. On the other hand, you can set your frame rate and graphics all the way up to ‘High’ with Frame Rate set to ‘Max’ and Call of Duty will still run smooth.

Moving on to the Benchmarks, the device manages to get a score of 170669 on the latest AnTuTu Benchmark v8.0.1-OB. As AnTuTu has added new tests in its latest update, the new performance ranking list will be out approximately in a month and hence because of that comparing this result wasn’t possible. On Geekbench 5 the Redmi Note 8 gets a single-core score of 312 whereas the multi-core score is 1320. We also ran the Androbench Benchmark for testing the storage speeds and the results we got were good considering the price it comes at. The Sequential Read speed was up to 301MB/s whereas the Sequential Write speed was up to 176MB/s. You can have a look at the Benchmark results below.

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AnTuTu Benchmark on Redmi Note 8
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Androbench on Redmi Note 8
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PCMark on Redmi Note 8
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Geekbench 5 on Redmi Note 8
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3DMark on Redmi Note 8
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PUBG Settings on Redmi Note 8

Talking about the Battery Life, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 comes with a powerful 4000mAh battery that supports 18W fast charging via USB Type-C port. For the first time in the Redmi Note series, Xiaomi has given the 18W fast charger inside the box. The battery easily lasts up to a day with regular usage and by the time it turns dark you still have 25-30% battery remaining on the device. Gamers can play their games up to 7-8 hours without any issues.

On the connectivity side, Redmi Note 8 Pro supports Dual 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11ac dual-band, Bluetooth 5 and GPS/GLONASS/Beidou.

Camera

Redmi Note 8 comes with a quad-camera setup at the back. The camera setup on the back features a 48 MP primary sensor with f/1.79 aperture, an 8 MP ultra-wide lens with f/2.2 aperture, a 2 MP macro lens, and a 2 MP depth camera. The picture quality is amazing and the primary camera does its job well. You get pictures with amazing details and the colors produced are natural. The wide-angle lens comes with 120° FOV which is good considering the price it comes at.

The rear camera comes with features like Portrait Mode, Ultra-wide angle video recording, Macro Mode, Night Mode, Panorama Mode and more. It is capable of recording videos in 4K with 30 FPS and you can go up to 60 FPS if you are shooting video in 1080p.

When it comes to the selfies, the Redmi Note 8 comes with a 13 MP Selfie Snapper with an aperture of f/2.0. The edge detection on the device is really good and the portrait mode works well too. The front camera comes with AI Beautify features from which you can change your skin tones and apply filters directly from the App. It also comes with a Palm Shutter mode that allows you to take selfies just by doing a palm gesture towards the lens. We took a few shots with the Redmi Note 8 and you can have a look at the Camera Samples below.

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Portrait Selfie on Redmi Note 8
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Shot using 48MP Mode on Redmi Note 8
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Portrait Mode on Redmi Note 8
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Shot using 48 MP Mode on Redmi Note 8
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Shot using 48 MP Mode on Redmi Note 8
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Shot using Ultra Wide Lens on Redmi Note 8
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2x Zoom on Redmi Note 8
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Shot using 48 MP Mode on Redmi Note 8

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Verdict

The Redmi Note 8 is a complete all-rounder and its probably the best smartphone under Rs.10,000 available in the market right now. It offers you an amazing display, the performance is good and so are the cameras. We tried hard to find some flaws in the smartphone but we failed as the device truly impressed us. If you are looking for a smartphone that allows you to multitask with ease, handles your games and comes with a good camera then Redmi Note 8 is your perfect choice under Rs. 10,000. Avoid the 6 GB RAM variant because at that price range there are more devices available that offer better specs but under Rs.10,000 this smartphone is a perfect choice for you. Overall the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 gets a thumbs up from us.

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