Redmi Note 8 Pro – Smartphone with 64 MP Quad Camera for $246.99

Hey, guys! Just a heads up: The linked offer is already a bit older and the price of the gadget might have changed or it might not be available anymore.

The Presale is finally over. The Redmi Note 8 Pro is currently available for $246.99 from Geekbuying.

The Redmi Note series from Xiaomi is undoubtedly one of the most popular, if not the most popular smartphone series from the manufacturer. After the Redmi Note 7 sold more than 20 million copies, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 and Redmi Note 8 Pro were introduced at the end of August. Both are equipped with a quad camera, the Note 8 Pro even offers a 64 megapixel resolution and raises the smartphone middle class to a new level.

Redmi Note 8 Pro Smartphone

Technical data of the Redmi Note 8 & 8 Pro

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro
Display6,3″ IPS LC-Display6,53″ IPS LC-Display (2340 x 1080p), Gorilla Glass 5
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 665 @ 2 GHzMediaTek Helio G90T Octa-Core @ 2.05 GHz
Graphic chipAdreno 610ARM Mali G76
Main memory4/6 GB6/8 GB LPDDR4X RAM
Internal memory64/128 GB64/128 GB
Main camera48 MP with ƒ/1.79 aperture + 8 MP wide-angle + 2 MP depth sensor + 2MP macro camera64 MP Samsung GW1 + 8 MP wide-angle + 2 MP depth sensor + 2 MP macro camera
Front camera20 MP20 MP
Battery4.000 mAh with Quick Charge 3.0 18W4.500 mAh with Quick Charge 3.0 18W
ConnectivityLTE Band 1,3,5,7,8, WLAN AC, GPS/GLONASS, Bluetooth 5.0, Dual SIMLTE Band 1,3,5,7,8, WLAN AC, GPS, Bluetooth 5.0, Dual SIM, NFC
FeaturesFingerprint Sensor | USB Type-C | Face Unlock | Headphone JackFingerprint Sensor | USB Type-C | Face Unlock | Headphone Jack
Operating systemMIUI 10.3, Android 9MIUI 10.3, Android 9
Dimensions / Weight159,21 x 75,21 x 8,1mm / 186 g161,3 x 76 x 8,8 mm / 199 g

This test is mostly based on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro. Even though the differences are not huge, the Pro version offers the decisive advantages over its predecessor. Nevertheless, there are of course references to the normal Redmi Note 8, which we haven’t yet been able to test.

Redmi Note 8 and Redmi Note 8 Pro

It is not the first time that there are two versions of the Redmi Note series: the Redmi Note 8 and the Redmi Note 8 Pro. The Redmi Note 7 Pro from the last generation has never been released as a Global Version. There aren’t many differences between the two new devices in the Note series, but the differences in size and camera arrangement are particularly noticeable. Although both versions are equipped with a quad camera, i.e. with four camera sensors, the Note 8 has the camera module as usual in the upper, left corner, with the Note 8 Pro it sits centrally at the top.

Redmi Note 8 vs Redmi Note 8 Pro Colors
Left: Redmi Note 8, Right: Redmi Note 8 Pro.

Especially the size of the Redmi Note 8 Pro is new, with a 6.53 inch screen diagonal one is 0.23″ bigger than the predecessor and even half an inch bigger than the popular Redmi Note 5. The screen edges are very thin according to the current standard, as in the case of the Mi 9T Pro the lower edge with a width of 4 mm is still relatively thin. The waterdrop notch on the top of the screen is a bit different than on the Redmi Note 7. The drop is softer rounded and reminds of the Oppo Realme 3 Pro for example.

Redmi Note 8 Pro Waterdrop Notch

Both devices differ above all in their colours. The Redmi Note 8 is available in the classic black, but also in the aurora blue Colorway, which we know from the Redmi Note 7. In addition, there is the new white Colorway, which was only released later for the predecessor. The emerald green color variant of the Redmi Note 8 Pro is new in the Note series and reminds us a bit of the Oppo Reno 10X Zoom. It replaces the blue color version of the Redmi Note 8, but the Pro version is also available in black and white, as is the Redmi Note 8.

Redmi Note 8 Pro Redmi Logo

The fingerprint sensor is located on the back of both smartphones. The camera module looks almost like the Pocophone F1, but has been enhanced with a sensor. The sensor for unlocking the phone is located at the bottom. To the right is the macro sensor of the quad camera. Horizontally below is the reference to the “64 MP AI Super Camera”, further below the Redmi lettering completes the mobile phone. Unfortunately, there is no CE-mark, as our test device is a China version.

RN8 Pro Camera Close-Up

Handling & Processing

Already when unpacking the Redmi Note 8 Pro, you notice that Xiaomi has managed to reach a new level of processing quality. Like its predecessor, the Redmi Note 8 Pro comes with a glass back that is rounded on the sides. But the plastic case frame in particular looks massive, which, in combination with the larger size, gives it a proud weight of 199.8 grams. Surprisingly, this is only 8.8 grams more than the same size Realme X, but the workmanship is on a higher level.

And the $250 smartphone also doesn’t have to shy away from comparison with the industry giants. We would even go so far that the Redmi Note 8 Pro is better processed than the OnePlus 7 Pro. This is already noticeable in the transitions between the case frame and the glass back. Gap dimensions here are as small as possible, with the OnePlus a slight edge cannot be concealed. Due to the rounded sides, the ergonomics are above average and the whole device is a real hand-catcher – we are impressed.

Redmi Note 8 Pro Smartphone Display in Hand

Xiaomi has attached great importance to high stability. Even though the advertising videos published by the company are entertaining, I buy it from the Chinese. A weightlifter, for example, has placed himself on two Redmi Note 8 Pro during weightlifting, which the devices supposedly survived undamaged. We can’t recreate this, but it looks much more stable than its predecessor.

Thick Camera Bump

Nevertheless: The Redmi Note 8 Pro does not get off unscathed. Unfortunately, the quad camera module on the back spoils the otherwise thoroughly positive impression. The camera bump of the quad camera protrudes too far from the 8.79 mm thick housing. It stands out just as far as the Xiaomi Mi 9 and also consists of two “rings”. Only the first “ring” can be compensated by the included silicone case, the second “ring” still stands out a bit.

Redmi Note 8 Pro Fingerprint Sensor Backside
Unfortunately, the fingerprint sensor and the whole module just stick out too far.

For the camera this is not the big problem, only with the fingerprint sensor it is unpleasant and a little annoying. If you don’t use the case, it’s easy to get annoyed. Too bad, this is much more pleasant with the predecessor.

Display unfortunately only average

Both models use the Waterdrop Notch again, which is located above the IPS LC-Display Full HD+ Display. The Redmi Note 8 measures 6.3 inches in the diagonal as usual, while the Redmi Note 8 Pro is slightly larger with a diagonal of 6.53 inches. It offers the same size as the Realme X and also the same Full HD+ resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels. This results in a pixel density of 394 ppi – a still average value. As with the predecessors, one relies on an IPS LCD panel, in this generation with a 500 nit brightness and a 1500:1 contrast ratio. AMOLEDs from Xiaomi can be found in this price class for example in the Xiaomi Mi A3.

Redmi Note 8 Pro Smartphone

We don’t want to use the term “backlight bleeding” at all, but the Note 8 Pro reveals slight weaknesses at the edges of the screen. As for example with the much more expensive Honor View 20, the display is somewhat darker at these points, which can also be seen around the notch. This doesn’t disturb in everyday use, but should be mentioned, as there were also some problems with the Pocophone F1.

Since the Redmi Note 8 and 8 Pro “only” have to do with an IPS panel, there is no possibility of a fingerprint sensor in the display. Furthermore, there is no Always-On mode, as it is for example integrated in the Xiaomi Mi 9T with an AMOLED display. Since an LC display is always completely illuminated, the entire display would have to be switched on for an AOD mode and glow black, which would significantly reduce the battery life.

Comparison with Realme 3 Pro

The Redmi Note 8 Pro has to put up with the comparison with our current #1 for less than $200, the Realme 3 Pro. Unfortunately, this comparison cannot be won by the grade 8 Pro. It’s still a very decent display, but it’s not as bright as the competition. This is noticeable at the maximum setting, but also in the middle range, at least in rooms.

In strong sunlight, the cooler panel of the Redmi Note 8 Pro performs better at full brightness. But at medium brightness, the Realme 3 Pro benefits from the better contrast, especially the fonts of the MIUI operating system appear too flat and thin to be legible.

MIUI adjustment possibilities

The fact that the panel as a whole is significantly cooler is in principle not worse, but noticeable. Of course, this can also be adjusted, MIUI leaves some setting options here. These include the color palette for the color temperature, as well as three presettings for the contrast. Theoretically, it’s also cool that the manufacturer also offers a dark mode for the relatively inexpensive Redmi Note 8 Pro. But in our opinion it only makes sense for the optics, because of the IPS panel it is not recommended to save electricity.

Redmi Note 8 Pro MIUI settings
Finally it is possible to remove the Notch again!

Enemies of the Notch will be pleased that one can hide it simply. In the meantime, Xiaomi had removed the feature from the operating system, now you can switch off the Notch again. Even better is that the Xiaomi Mi 9‘s notification problem has been solved. Under the menu item “Notch & Status Bar” you can set whether you want to display the icons for notifications or not, instead of them disappearing automatically after a short time.

Pro Version with MediaTek CPU

Very surprising is the choice of processor. In fact, Xiaomi uses the new MediaTek Helio G90T processor for the Redmi Note 8 Pro, which is specifically designed for gaming. A Redmi Note smartphone with a MediaTek processor sounds unusual at first. Nevertheless, the processor is quite energy-efficient thanks to the 12 nm manufacturing technology. The Octa-Core CPU consists of an ARM Cortex-A76 cluster and a Cortex-A55 cluster with a clock frequency of 2.05 GHz. In combination with the ARM Mali G76 GPU with 800 MHz, the in-house HyperEngie technology is supposed to provide a butter-soft gaming experience. So it doesn’t really matter whether a MediaTek or Qualcomm chip was installed, does it?

Redmi Note 8 MediaTek CPU

Our test device is the 6/128 GB version, but in China you can also get the Redmi Note 8 Pro with 6/64 GB or 8/128 GB. Redmi uses LPDDR4X memory and UFS 2.1 mass storage. The fact that you don’t use the newer UFS 3.0 standard like the OnePlus 7 Pro is understandable considering the price.

The normal Redmi Note 8 is equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665. This CPU can also be found in the Xiaomi Mi A3, for example, but is only a slight upgrade to the SD 660 from its predecessor, the Redmi Note 7. But that’s not uncommon, the Redmi Note 5 and the Redmi Note 6 Pro also used the same CPU. The performance is still more than sufficient for all everyday applications.

Note 8 Pro meets gaming standards

Bringing the Redmi Note 8 Pro to its performance limit is likely to be difficult. Even if the Redmi Note 7 already performs well with the Snapdragon 660, the Note 8 Pro adds an extra touch. Multitasking is also child’s play with 6 GB RAM. Switching from a 60fps HDR video from YouTube to the camera to record in 4K while downloading a 2 GB file in the background to quickly answer a WhatsApp is no problem at all. Apps start and close quickly, there were no delays except for the first boot.

Redmi Note 8 Pro PUBG Graphics Settings
PUBG automatically adjusts high settings for the Redmi Note 8 Pro!

The fact that Redmi and Xiaomi even focus on gaming can be seen not least in the gamepad for the Note 8 Pro and the separate World of Warcraft version. But also when gaming itself, this quickly becomes apparent. PUBG runs like on a flagship like the Mi 9 on high settings with a stable, fluid frame rate. You don’t really notice here that you’re dealing with a $250 smartphone. This is only noticeable in the cooling, which is not as effective as he hopes. The Redmi Note 8 Pro gets noticeably warmer.

Benchmark results

Unfortunately, our test device refused both the Geekbench 4 and the new Geekbench 5 benchmark. All the more surprised we were when it spat out a value of over 10,000 points in the PCMark benchmark, which is almost 1,000 points higher than in the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro with the Snapdragon 855 flagship processor! On the other hand, the AnTuTu benchmark is much lower than that of the 9T Pro, but better than that of the Xiaomi Mi 9T with the Snapdragon 730 processor. That’s really amazing. Even though there might be some objections to MediaTek regarding the custom ROMs, there’s nothing to be said against the performance.


Redmi Note 8 Pro Benchmarks

4,500 mAh for the Pro version

The Redmi devices are known for their large rechargeable batteries and the corresponding battery life. The Redmi Note 8 Pro is even equipped with a 4,500 mAh battery. This is another 500 mAh more than in the Redmi Note 8 with 4,000 mAh and also more than in the last generations. The predecessor proved that you can achieve a very good battery life with this capacity.

However, we were already surprised why the battery is much larger than with the Note 8. In fact, the Note 8 Pro can’t tie in with the record runtimes of its predecessors, even though we were still able to tickle out almost 10 hours of battery life. In any case, one gets through the day well, for most users it probably wasn’t enough for two days. Gaming in particular has a good battery life, here one loses about 25% of the battery life in half an hour at high settings. If the battery life is particularly important to you, you’ll probably get by better with the normal Redmi Note 8.

Redmi Note 8 per battery benchmark

Both smartphones can be charged with 18W via the USB Type-C port. Since the Note 8 Pro is equipped with a MediaTek processor, this is not called Quick Charge 3, but MediaTeks PumpExpress. Nevertheless, Xiaomi officially advertises with it, although Quick Charge is a trademark of the manufacturer Qualcomm. A complete charge takes about an hour and 30 minutes.

Redmi Note 8 Pro Charger

Apparently the Redmi Note 8 comes with only a 10W charger and the Note 8 Pro with an 18W Quick Charge 3.0 charger. This fits into Xiaomi’s release strategy, also the Mi CC9e (Mi A3) and Mi CC9 have different chargers included.

Both models with quad camera

Already the first leak on the back of the Note 8 revealed the probably most interesting feature, the quad camera. This leak also showed a new layout that strongly reminds us of the OnePlus 7 Pro. The main sensor is the new Samsung ISOCELL GW-1 sensor with a resolution of 64 megapixels, which Xiaomi announced in advance. It offers an aperture of ƒ/1.89 at a shooting angle of 79°.

Redmi Note 8 Pro Quad Camera

The other three sensors are also interesting. We are happy about an 8 megapixel wide-angle camera with ƒ/2.2 aperture and 120° shooting angle and a 2 MP macro camera with an amazing close-up limit of 2 cm. The lower sensor is only a 2 MP depth sensor, which is used for portrait shots. The normal Redmi Note 8 gets the same three sensors, but the main sensor is again the Samsung ISOCELL GM-1 sensor with 48 megapixel resolution as in the Redmi Note 7.

Test shots with the Redmi Note 8 Pro

GW-1 sensor produces really good shots in this price range. The sharpness and richness of detail can only be found in the Realme 3 Pro, but you can get a bit more out of it in the Xiaomi colors. The color profile is classic Xiaomi, with strong tones but not always accurate, slightly pale skin tones. The sensor already gets along well with artificial lighting, lacks a bit of it in the room itself, but quickly gets muddy. The autofocus actually works very quickly and accurately.

Redmi Note 8 Pro Main Camera Test Photo PersonRedmi Note 8 Pro Main Camera Test Photo ClockRedmi Note 8 Pro Test Photo Main Camera low light

But the big sensation with the Redmi Note 8 Pro is the 64 megapixel resolution of the main sensor. The normal camera only takes pictures with 16 megapixels, the higher resolution is only available in 64 MP mode. And as with the predecessor with the 48 megapixel sensor, we unfortunately can’t quite understand the hype. The image quality is not better, sometimes even worse. We see the only visible advantage when zooming in on the mobile phone itself. But on the other hand one also accepts 18 MB large files that quickly fill up the internal memory.

Redmi Note 8 Pro main camera test photo comparison 64MP mode
Do you like the normal mode better?

Ultra wide angle and macro mode

Much more important and better are the second and third sensors. The ultra-wide angle sensor is probably the same as in the Xiaomi Mi A3 with 8 megapixel resolution and ƒ/2.2 aperture. The shooting angle of 120° is 0.6 times the 79° shooting angle of the main camera. The Fish-Eye effect as with an Action Cam is definitely given, but you do without sharpness and details. Especially at the edges of the picture it quickly becomes grainy, especially in indoor shots.

Redmi Note 8 Pro Ultra Wide Angle

But my new favorite mode is the macro mode, despite the low 2 megapixel resolution. Due to the above average small close-up limit of 2 cm you can really get very close to objects. This allows new perspectives and possibilities, especially with detail shots of surfaces you can quickly alienate objects and create almost surreal photos. This works especially well with test prints from an SLA printer like the Anycubic Photon, for example, where the layer height is in the 0.01 mm range. If Redmi would integrate a high-resolution sensor here, the results could be printed as well. So the quality is unfortunately only sufficient for personal use or social media

Redmi Note 8 Pro Macro Mode

Redmi Note 8 Pro Macro Mode Tape Measure

Redmi Note 8 Pro Macro Camera Test Photo

Front camera

Xiaomi has been placing great value on Selfies for quite some time now and benefits from their strong software optimization. Even though the Redmi Note 8 Pro is equipped with all beauty filters, the 20 megapixel front camera in the Notch Selfies takes pictures like hardly any other mobile phone in the price segment. The resolution is high enough to get hold of many details, while the skin tones are usually better than with the main camera. The sharpness is just as good as the autofocus and the shutter speed.

Redmi Note 8 Pro front camera test photo person

Redmi Note 8 Pro Front Camera Test Photo Portrait Mode Comparison

The software I just mentioned will make it work. The edge detection in portrait mode plays on a level with the industry giants, the bokeh is pleasantly soft and doesn’t look artificial. In fact, you can even adjust the bokeh effect afterwards, but if you save it, you won’t have this option anymore.

Video mode

The main camera offers different video modes in addition to the photo mode. Recordings in 4K are even possible, but only at 30 fps, which only excludes smooth slow-mo shots. But there is an extra slow-motion mode available, which offers 120 fps and 240 fps as well as a 960 fps ultra-slow motion, as we also know it from the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3. I think it’s positive to mention that you can also film in macro mode. The resolution is accordingly low, but the effect is pretty cool. Unfortunately, the shots aren’t stabilized.

Finally with NFC

It has taken long enough, but finally NFC is also entering Xiaomi’s “middle class”. However, only the Redmi Note 8 Pro is equipped with the contactless payment module. Both smartphones are equipped with a USB type C port and a 3.5 mm jack connection. The SIM slot is located on the left side and is a hybrid SIM slot. That means you can either use two Nano-SIM cards or one Nano-SIM card and one microSD memory card for memory expansion. But we already know this before its predecessor.

Redmi Note 8 Pro NFC
Finally NFC is integrated.

Not all LTE bands are integrated in the China version we tested, but this is almost always the case with China versions of Xiaomi. Only LTE tapes 1, 3, 5 and 8 are integrated in the Note 8 Pro from China.

Redmi Note 8 Pro SIM slot

However, we would advise you to wait for the Global version unless you have experience flashing Xiaomi smartphones.

Redmi Note 8 Pro GPS Fix

The rest of the connectivity standards are also in place: Dual Band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 5, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS and Galileo. The GPS fix even takes place in rooms within one second and is even accurate to three meters. We also couldn’t complain about the speech quality. In recent years, Xiaomi has built up too much expertise to screw up such basics.

MIUI in a fresh robe

If you don’t grab a Xiaomi A-series smartphone, a Xiaomi smartphone with MIUI, Xiaomi’s proprietary operating system, comes onto the market. This is of course based on Android 9, but the MIUI interface is above it and is a strongly adapted operating system. The OS differs not only in the optics, but also in the functional range and in the pre-installed apps. Similar to Apple, Xiaomi built up its own infrastructure relatively early with its own services like the Mi Cloud or Mi Drop. These are slightly copied, but work well.

Redmi Note 8 Pro MIUI 10 China Version

In fact, the Redmi Note 8 Pro already appears  with MIUI 10.4.4 Stable, while the Global ROM is currently still hanging at 10.3. Although MIUI 11 will be released in autumn 2019, this version is still well adapted to the Note 8 Pro. This is not least due to the Notch settings, which we have already discussed under “Display”. Optically it reminds us of the Mi CC9 by the new theme, we hope that it will also appear for the global versions.

Redmi Note 8 Pro Google Services TS

If you use the China version you have to deal with the English language, Chinese is unfortunately the only alternative. There is also some bloatware pre-installed, many apps that only make in China, such as Beidou or WPS Office, occupy precious memory. Fortunately, they are easy to uninstall. The China version also works completely without Google services, fortunately they are easy to install. You just have to use the Xiaomi App Store, search for “Google” and download the Google Installer. This installs the Google Framework including the Google Play Store. Then you can install everything you need, the Play Store is unfortunately only not certified.

Install Redmi Note 8 Pro Google Play Store
Also with the China version you can easily install the Google services.

Meanwhile, we are waiting for the Global Version, which is expected to arrive in the West in October. That Xiaomi is currently working on this can already be seen on official social media posts.

Fingerprint sensor, notification LED & Speaker

Even if I would criticize the position and processing of the fingerprint sensor on the back, the fingerprint sensor is still good as usual. Just a short touch is enough to unlock the fingerprint sensor, which is much faster than with a fingerprint sensor in the display. In my opinion, the industry has now reached maximum speed, so the sensor is in principle just as good as that of its predecessor or the Realme 3 Pro.

In addition to the headphone connection, the notification LED is also an important feature of a mobile phone that some users hang on to. This is located slightly asymmetrically to the right of the Notch and is very small. Unfortunately, it’s not an RGB LED and the LED only lights up when charging and notifying, but only in white. In our opinion, the Xiaomi Mi CC9 or the global version of it in the form of the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite does this cooler, with the Xiaomi logo on the back.

Redmi Note 8 Pro Notification LED

We don’t want to neglect the loudspeaker on the underside either. Unfortunately, this is only a mono loudspeaker, which is completely compliant with the current status quo. It is relatively loud, but also sounds tinny. Especially in gaming, the sound from the auricle is unfortunately somewhat missing, which would make the experience a little more spacious.

Conclusion: Buy Redmi Note 8 Pro?

As with the Redmi Note 5 and Note 6 Pro, the release gap between the two current generations is very short, so many people wonder whether an upgrade is worth it. The Redmi Note 8 Pro is a step forward and a worthy successor of the very good Redmi Note 7.

Especially the workmanship and the design are really on an own level, in this price range no competitor can reach this quality. Also in terms of performance, you sometimes ask yourself whether you don’t have a flagship smartphone in your hand. Compared to its predecessor, the number of cameras on the back has been doubled, especially the ultra wide angle mode and the macro mode offer many creative possibilities, in addition there are great photos of the main sensor. The complete package is rounded off by NFC, USB-C and the jack connection as well as a large battery and the possibility of memory expansion – what more could you ask for?

Maybe a better display. I think it’s basically right to use an IPS panel here, but it could have been brighter and should have done without backlight bleeding. It’s still a decent display overall, but not at the same level as the other components. Also the fingerprint sensor is annoying in everyday life, which is just annoying because of the otherwise perfect workmanship. Apart from that, we probably have the king of the middle class in our hands again.

What is your opinion about the new Redmi Note 8 and Note 8 Pro?

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My special interests are smartphones from China and I am always keen to discover new smartphone accessories like smartwatches and headphones. 

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