Redmi Note 8 Pro first impressions: The Redmi Note brand is one of the most important products in Xiaomi’s portfolio. Just like last year, this year too a second variant has been launched in the same calendar year. So the Redmi Note 8 Pro is launching just eight months after the Redmi Note 7 Pro.
But there are some other big and noticeable changes in the new new Redmi Note 8 Pro. For one, Redmi Note 8 Pro gets the 64MP rear camera seen on phones like the Realme XT. The Redmi Note 8 Pro also goes for the quad camera trend, again first seen on Realme phones.
Like its rivals, Redmi Note 8 Pro adds a new ultra-wide sensor, a dedicated Macro Sensor and a depth sensor. But this time the Redmi Note 8 Pro is also powered by a MediaTek processor and comes with liquid cooling and a dedicated microSD slot, all of which are firsts. Here’s our detailed first impression of the Redmi Note 8 Pro.
Redmi Note 8 Pro: Design, Display
The Redmi Note 8 Pro follows a distinctly different design compared to the Redmi Note 7 Pro thanks to the 3D curved back, which fits nicely in your palm when using the device. It has a bigger 6.53-inches display, continuing the full HD+ resolution, though Xiaomi says it has increased brightness on the screen. The White Halo colour option does look very striking and manages to stand out. The metal frame on the side contrasts nicely with the back, and it feels like a solid phone.
Redmi Note 8 Pro first impressions: The phone is a little bulkier, which is expected given the 4500 mAh battery. It also comes with a splash proof rating of IP52, which is good to see, but don’t go soaking it in the water just yet. Another design change is the addition of a dedicated microSD slot plus a nano SIM slot and a separate slot for a second SIM. Xiaomi is finally giving into consumer demand with the addition of this feature.
But one thing about the Redmi Note 8 Pro’s design which is not so reassuring is the camera. The camera bump at the back is very prominent and the result is that the device never sits flat on a surface. Plus, with the fingerprint sensor placed right at the bottom of the camera module, I often found myself covering the touching the lens and covering it with smudges.
The macro camera is placed away from the other three sensors to the right with flash on top of it. Xiaomi says they did this deliberately, so that people can use the flash to add more light when taking macro shots. I’m not a big fan of using flash on smartphones because that doesn’t always yield ideal results, but then again I will have to test out the usefulness in some low-light shots.
Redmi Note 8 Pro: Performance, battery
The Redmi Note 8 Pro runs the MediaTek G90T processor, which the company claims is designed for offering the best gaming performance at this price point. We have the top-end 8GB RAM and 128GB version for review. There’s no 4GB RAM option this time and the series starts straight with 6GB RAM. On Antutu, the phone scored 220693, which actually puts it just below S9 and that’s impressive for a phone in this price segment.
So far in my daily usage, the Redmi Note 8 Pro lives up to all claims. There’s no lag, games like Asphalt 8 run smoothly, even with high quality graphics settings, and the device is a smooth daily driver as well. The big 4500 mAh battery means it will easily last two days with conservative usage, while heavy duty usage will last one and a half days. The 18W fast charger ensures a full charge in under two hours.
One issue I did notice was that the Redmi Note 8 Pro gets warm quickly, especially around the camera, when you are gaming or using the camera. We will have more details around the performance in our full review.
Redmi Note 8 Pro: Camera
This is the USP of the device. The 64MP camera shoots at 16MP default, and I would say this mode certainly produces bright photos with accurate colour tones. I used it to shoot some photos indoors at a wedding, and the results were pleasing. But if you were to ask if there was any noticeable difference in the 64MP and 16MP cameras, it is hard to call even when you zoom in.
The macro camera does give exceptional detail, provided your object is still and your hands very steady, though I’m yet to use it in low light. The ultra-wide mode is not impressive, and Xiaomi is not the only company struggling with this given what I have experienced on some other more expensive phones. The difference in quality is noticeable compared to the main camera. The Night Mode and selfie camera is something I have to test out to see if there is a big difference compared to the Redmi Note 7 Pro.
Redmi Note 8 Pro: Early verdict
The Redmi phones are usually accompanied by a lot of hype in the market, be it around the specifications or the camera or the design. The new variant does pack a lot of upgrades compared to the previous version, if one were to look at the specifications and features. But it also has a slightly higher starting price at Rs 14,999 though it comes with more RAM. So far Redmi Note 8 Pro looks promising, especially in terms of performance, but we need to use the camera more to give a final verdict.