A decent all-around smartphone.
The Redmi series has always been synonymous with premium design and affordability. The new Redmi Note 8 Pro launched last week here in the UAE continues that trend, and it’s easily one of the best mid-range smartphones we’ve played, despite some minor flaws.
The Note 8 Pro is big and bulky, which joins the increasing list of smartphones that get bigger with every iteration. From the outside, it’s a glossy material that’s still a fingerprint magnet, so we’d suggest getting a case when using it (fortunately, the Note 8 Pro already comes with a TPU case inside the packaging). Hardware buttons are on the side, with the USB-C port located below for charging. We’re also happy to say that the Note 8 Pro still comes with a 3.5 mm audio jack. The front-facing camera is located inside a tear-drop notch, and a new quad-camera setup is located at the back that sits just above the fingerprint sensor.
The Note 8 Pro has a 6.53-inch screen with a 2340-by-1080 pixel resolution. Inside, the device is powered by a Mediatek Helio G90T processor along with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. You can, of course, use a microSD to add up to 256 GB more storage to the device.
The display is big and bright and while it doesn’t match the deeper color brilliance by OLED screens, it still supports HDR, so expect those HDR videos on YouTube to still look brilliant.
The hardware inside the Note 8 Pro is fast enough to play games and even handle the most intensive tasks. In fact, the Helio G90T was dubbed as the ‘gaming processor’, meaning that it optimizes games so you’ll have improved performance by allocating specific resources.
It runs MIUI 10, which is based on Android 9 Pie. While the interface is clean and well-built, we’ve had issues about how MIUI is, especially with ads running inside the operating system. We’d prefer a more stock Android approach like the ones found on Xiaomi’s line of Android One devices.
But probably the main highlight of the Note 8 Pro is the quad-camera setup at the back. The setup consists of a 64-megapixel ultra-high-resolution camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle lens camera that can capture a 120-degree field of view, a 2-megapixel ultra-macro lens camera that can capture images as close as 2 cm, and lastly a 2-megapixel depth sensor to aid with those fantastic bokeh effects when shooting in Portrait mode.
The camera often does the job when shooting images especially in daylight: retaining detail without making the colors too washed out. From my time with the Note 8 Pro, it feels like the main 64-megapixel is the star of the setup since it produces better images. You’ll only get this result if you choose the 64 MP option on the camera app, and while the images look great, keep in mind that file sizes can hit around 20 MB per image so make sure you have an SD card inside the smartphone. Low light photography is strictly okay and while it’s not the best it’s still nice to find an option like this on a midrange device.
Inside the Note 8 Pro, you will find a 4,500 mAh battery that should give you more than a day’s worth of juice. On a normal day where I would casually browse social media along with the occasional messages and phone calls, I’d still have around 40 percent by the time my day ends at 6 pm. Really impressive in my opinion. What’s great is that the Note 8 Pro ships with an 18W fast charger inside the box, this will allow you to charge the smartphone at a faster rate.
The Redmi Note 8 Pro’s performance and design are already impressive, which is why it is surprising that the price only starts 949 AED for the 6 GB RAM/64 GB version and 1,049 AED for the 6 GB RAM/128 GB version (tested here). If you’re looking for a mid-range device that doesn’t compromise on performance, the Redmi Note 8 Pro is the top choice.
+ Decent performance
+ Great design
– Ads inside MIUI
– Image quality could be better especially on the ultra-wide-angle camera
Final Rating: 3.5/5