Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro: Is it the New Go-To Smartphone Under Rs 15,000?

Xiaomi refreshed its Redmi Note lineup last week with two smartphones- the Redmi Note 8 and the Redmi Note 8 Pro. The Redmi Note 8 Pro, in particular, is an interesting smartphone because it has the MediaTek Helio G90T chipset, making it the most powerful smartphone in the segment after Poco F1 which has the Snapdragon 845 SoC. The Note 8 Pro also comes with several new upgrades compared to its predecessor- the Redmi Note 7 Pro. Xiaomi has set the bars high with the Redmi Note 7 Pro, and to succeed that, it has to offer something spectacular with the Note 8 Pro. Well, the Note 8 Pro is a prime example of how a successor can be built, despite making some brave decisions in the process. The Redmi Note 8 Pro goes on sale today at 12 PM starting at Rs 14,999, but the real question is: should you purchase the smartphone? Continue reading to know more.

What the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro Does Better

The Redmi Note 8 Pro has many advantages going for it. Firstly, let’s start with the design. Xiaomi ditched metal back panel with the Redmi Note 7 Pro earlier this year in favour of premium glass back. The Redmi Note 8 Pro also features a glass back with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. It’s the first smartphone in the segment to feature 3D curved glass design on the rear side; Xiaomi also says the four corners have been further strengthened to prevent screen cracking. This time around, Xiaomi has launched the phone in unique colours- Halo White, Gamma Green and the standard Shadow Black.

The phone feels premium when taken into the hands, but at the same time, it feels a bit heavy, thanks to the 4500mAh battery inside.

Moving on, the Redmi Note 8 Pro has a 6.53-inch Full HD+ display on the front with 19.5:9 aspect ratio and DewDrop notch on top that houses the 20MP selfie camera. It’s the first Redmi Note phone to feature HDR display that enhances the viewing experience. The display offers decent viewing angles and the brightness levels are also very good.

Coming to the major highlight of the Redmi Note 8 Pro, it has the MediaTek Helio G90T chipset underneath. In benchmark tests, the Helio G90T is capable of delivering better performance than the Snapdragon 730 chipset we get on the Redmi K20. Next to the Poco F1, the Note 8 Pro is the powerful smartphone under Rs 20,000 right now. As for the real-life performance, the Helio G90T does not disappoint- even in the heavy gaming department. I have played PUBG Mobile on the Redmi Note 8 Pro and the performance is really good. It’s the only phone under Rs 15,000 that offers Smooth+Extreme setting on PUBG Mobile and actually delivers 60fps. The Galaxy M30s also offers Smooth+Extreme setting, but the fps was less than 30 all the time of our testing.

The phone runs MIUI 10.4 based on Android 9 Pie; It will receive MIUI 11 update based on Android 10 in December 2019. The software experience is also pretty good on the Note 8 Pro and the phone handles day-to-day tasks with ease.

Lastly, we have the cameras on the Redmi Note 8 Pro which perform really well, considering the price point. The Redmi Note 8 Pro features 64MP quad-camera setup with the primary sensor being the Samsung GW1 which we earlier saw on the Realme XT. Other three sensors on the Note 8 Pro include an 8MP ultra-wide-angle shooter, 2MP macro lens and a 2MP depth sensor. The primary sensor captures images with a great amount of details, accurate colours and the 64MP shots enhance the details even further.

The Note 8 Pro also has a 2MP macro sensor which allows users to get up to 2cm close-up to a picture. While the macro shots do not offer a lot of details, the images come out pleasing to the eyes.

Connectivity options on the Note 8 Pro include Dual 4G, VoLTE, Wi-Fi X antenna, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS and GLONASS. It’s good to see Xiaomi offering dual-band Wi-Fi support and not cutting corners to save some costs.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro Doesn’t Stand Tall on These Fronts

The Redmi Note 8 Pro is a great smartphone, but there are some downsides as well. Firstly, the battery life. Despite having a 4500mAh battery, the Redmi Note 8 Pro fails to live up to expectations. The phone constantly offered over five hours of screen-on time, but considering the previous Redmi Note series of phones, it’s on the lower side. That said, the power-hungry Helio G90T chipset could be responsible for this. But we’re expecting the battery life to get better over the time with software updates. Also, Xiaomi is bundling an 18W fast charger inside the retail box this time around which is a good thing to see.

The fingerprint scanner sits below the triple rear cameras on the rear side and the placement is odd. The scanner itself is a tiny one and it will take every user sometime getting used to it.

Also, the display on the Note 8 Pro is an LCD type and not the AMOLED panel, like the Realme XT. Personally, we would’ve liked an AMOLED panel on the Redmi Note 8 Pro, but again, the IPS LCD panel on the smartphone is no slouch either.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro: Is it the Best Smartphone Under Rs 15,000?

The Redmi Note 8 Pro comes in three variants- 6GB+64GB, 6GB+128GB and 8GB+128GB, priced at Rs 14,999, Rs 15,999 and Rs 17,999, respectively. The Redmi Note 8 Pro goes on flash sale at 12 PM today via Amazon India, Mi.com and Mi Home stores. The price of the Note 8 Pro is Rs 1,000 higher than the price of the Redmi Note 7 Pro, but it’s the feature-packed smartphone you can purchase under Rs 15,000.

The phone offers excellent build quality, stellar performance and the cameras are also up to the mark. Also, Xiaomi has bumped up the RAM on the base variant of Redmi Note 8 Pro to 6GB, which is another welcome change.

The real question now is: should you purchase the Redmi Note 8 Pro? Absolutely. The Realme XT also offers a 64MP quad-camera setup, but the Note 8 Pro delivers on the performance front and it’s the best gaming phone under Rs 15,000 right now.

Chakri Kudikala

Chakri is a go-to guy for your next smartphone recommendation. Back in his engineering days, he used to play with smartphones by installing custom ROMs and that passion got him into the tech industry. He still goes nuts about a smartphone knocking his door for review. Currently managing everything at Telecom Talk, Chakri is trying to master PUBG Mobile in his free time.

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Chakri Kudikala