With versatile imaging and unmatched gaming experience, the Redmi Note 8 Pro has the makings of an all-round smartphone, says Khalid Anzar.
The Redmi Note 8 Pro marks several firsts for Chinese electronics manufacturer maker Xiaomi.
It's got a 64-megapixel, sensor-based quad-camera set-up at the back, HDR display, built-in Alexa and a gaming-centric MediaTek Helio G90T mobile processor.
It's a firecracker of a phone all right, but is it the best sub-15K phone you can buy?
Here's what I think.
Design and display: 3.5/5
The phone looks very different from its predecessor.
It has a new design theme inspired by Xiaomi's Android One platform-based Mi A3 smartphone.
It has a glass build with Gorilla Glass 5 protection at the front and back and a polycarbonate chassis painted in the same colour (we reviewed a Gamma Green unit) as the phone.
While the phone's overall build seems solid, there are some aspects that could have been better.
The rear-camera module, for instance, juts out of the body, making the phone unstable even on flat surfaces.
Besides, the capacitive fingerprint sensor, integrated in the module, is a little inconvenient to use.
The Redmi Note 8 Pro has a 6.53-inch waterdrop-shaped notch screen with fullHD+ resolution and a tall 19.5:9 aspect ratio.
The screen has minimal bezels around it and the bottom chin also seems a bit thinner than in other products in the same price segment.
This is Xiaomi's first smartphone with a quad-camera set-up at the back and a 64-megapixel primary sensor.
It seems to justify the pro shooter claim.
The primary sensor is a capable unit that takes detailed shots with a reasonable dynamic range and minimal noise in most conditions.
But the 16MP resolution and pixel-binning technology makes the sensor capture over-saturated, unnatural images.
For natural colours, you can set the sensor to its native 64MP resolution that results in detailed imaging with minimal post-processing.
The phone's ultra-wide sensor takes satisfactory, but not exceptional, shots.
These have noise, soft corners and a prominent barrel effect.
The macro lens, on the other hand, is one of the best going.
It supports auto-focus and takes detailed close-ups with ample background blur.
While the selfie camera in earlier Xiaomi phones added unnatural glamour to selfies through aggressive post-processing, this one strikes the right balance between natural shots and beautification.
The rear camera set-up has a night mode but only for the primary sensor.
The camera's user interface is intuitive but impractical.
It shows all modes in one place, even if the front camera does not support them.
Powered by the MediaTek Helio G90T mobile processor, the phone is a power-packed performer that delivers on most counts.
It handles everyday tasks with ease and shows no weakness in handling processor- or graphic-intensive apps.
It does heat up a bit, but not enough to cause any discomfort.
Though the phone's performance is top-notch, the user experience is tempered by advertisements and app recommendations that pop up randomly.
There is a setting that stops the pesky ads, but the process is lengthy and tedious.
The phone has a 4500mAh battery, which is good enough to keep the phone going for a day on normal use.
The device comes bundled with an 18W fast charger, which replenishes the battery from zero to 100 in around two hours.
For Rs 14,999 (6GB/64GB), the Redmi Note 8 Pro is a complete package.
From a capable HDR display to impressive imaging and power-packed performance, the phone checks all the boxes and sets a new benchmark for midrange smartphones.