Xiaomi was the first company to introduce a smartphone with a 48-megapixel rear camera in the mid-range segment. There were two models, the Redmi Note 7 Pro and the Redmi Note 7S, both featuring a 48-megapixel dual camera sensor at the back. Now, the company has taken another leap by introducing a 64-megapixel quad-camera setup on the new Redmi Note 8 Pro.
But it’s not just the photography aspect that Xiaomi is targeting. The smartphone also aims to offer a powerful gaming experience to users. Compared to the Redmi Note 7 Pro, the battery capacity has also been bumped. Xiaomi is also offering a refreshed new design. I have spent some time with the Redmi Note 8 Pro, and here are my first impressions.
Redmi Note 8 Pro: Design and display
The Redmi Note 8 Pro comes with a front and back glass design. It has a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection to keep scratches at bay. The back is curved towards the sides, and the metal frame has smooth, rounded corners to offer a comfortable grip.
The front is dominated by a 6.53-inch FHD+ LCD display with support for HDR content. The screen can attain max brightness of 500nits. While the Redmi Note 7 Pro featured a dot-notch display, the Redmi Note 8 Pro comes with a waterdrop-style notch.
Turning to the back, you have the vertically aligned camera module and a fingerprint scanner at the center. There is Redmi branding at the bottom, and the rest of the back is rather clean. The bottom has a Type-C port and a 3.5mm audio jack, whereas the IR blaster is on the top. The left side has two separate dual-SIM slots, and a dedicated microSD card slot, whereas the power button and volume rocker are on the right.
Redmi Note 8 Pro: Cameras
The highlighting feature of the smartphone is the 64-megapixel primary camera (Samsung GW1 sensor). It uses pixel binning feature, and default photos are shot in 16-megapixel resolution. If you want a high-resolution picture, there is a dedicated mode that you need to activate. There is also a night mode that promises better low-light photography.
Xiaomi has also packed in an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera with 120-degree field of view, a 2-megapixel macro lens for closeups and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. With the Note 8 Pro, Xiaomi is bringing 4K video recording, and 960fps slow-motion video recording features to the mid-range. For selfies and video calling, you have a 20-megapixel front camera.
Redmi Note 8 Pro: Chipset and Gaming
The Redmi Note 8 Pro draws its power from a 12nm MediaTek Helio G90T SoC. MediaTek has designed the chipset keeping gamers in mind. The smartphone will be offered in 6GB RAM with 64GB / 128GB storage, and 8GB RAM with 128GB storage. Xiaomi is using UFS 2.1 to offer faster read-write speeds. There is also liquid cooling feature to keep thermal levels at low, and then there is 2-layers of graphite sheet as well. Xiaomi says it can cool down the device by up to 5 percent.
Xiaomi has also worked on the software front. It comes with Game Speed Booster which optimizes the gaming performance. It does this by allocating all resources to the game, while killing other background apps. You also get in-game shortcuts to quickly reply to WhatsApp chats, surf something on the internet explorer and more.
Redmi Note 8 Pro: Other features
Talking about other features, the smartphone comes with dual assistants where you get both, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Xiaomi will also offer deeper integration of Alexa with an OTA update. This will allow you to control AC and other appliances using voice commands, and change settings using the IR blaster.
The Note 8 Pro also comes with P2i coating, making it splash resistant. To keep things ticking, the smartphone is armed with a 4,500mAh battery with 18W fast charging tech. On the software front, you get Android 9 Pie with MIUI 10 stable ROM.
Redmi Note 8 Pro: Initial impressions
The Redmi Note 8 Pro looks like a solid upgrade on paper over the Redmi Note 7 Pro. You get more cameras, powerful chipset, and a bigger battery. With a starting price of Rs 14,999, the smartphone will compete with the Realme XT and Galaxy M30s. I will be using the phone for the next few days to put it through the paces. If you are wondering whether the Note 8 Pro is worth buying or not, stay tuned for my review.