Redmi Note 8 Full Review | The Best Smartphone Under Rs. 20,000 in Nepal?
Xiaomi's Redmi series phones have always offered great value for money to consumers. They are quintessential mainstream phones: good, solid hardware paired with an attractive design and priced for affordability. But even by the Redmi Note standards, Xiaomi has managed to make the Redmi Note 8 series better. The starting price of Redmi Note 8 is Rs. 18,999 in Nepal for a 4/64GB variant. So is it the best phone under 20000 in Nepal? Let’s find out this in our full review.
The Redmi Note 8 is the typical Xiaomi you can get these days. The box looks decent for this price range and contains some paperwork along with a 10W charger, a USB-C cable, SIM ejector tool, and a transparent silicone case.
Design & Build Quality
The design of the Redmi Note 8 is inspired by the Redmi Note 7. Though the Redmi Note 8 is a cheaper version of Redmi Note 8 Pro, there is no compromise on the build quality. The build quality of the phone feels great and is a glass smartphone with no fancy curves. The Redmi Note 8 comes in three color options -- Neptune Blue, Space Black and Moonlight White. The phone has Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection of both the front and back. Talking about the in-hand experience, it feels good for a budget phone like this and I am happy with it.
On the back of the phone, it features a quad-camera set up along with a physical fingerprint sensor which is quite fast as you expect from a physical sensor. On the right-hand side, it has volume keys and power buttons and SIM tray on the left side.
The Redmi Note 8 has a bit smaller display than the Redmi Note 8 Pro's but gets to keep the same notch, resolution, and protection. Indeed, the Note 8 packs a 6.3" IPS LCD panel of 1080p resolution behind a Gorilla Glass 5. The screen of the Redmi Note 8 is not just big but is also bright enough in all lighting situations. I used the Redmi Note 8 to watch videos on YouTube and play games along with browsing some social media Apps and the phone has good light, color and is bright. Though it is an IPS panel, the screen is quite good. But it can’t be compared with the AMOLED panel.
Software & Performance
The Redmi Note 8 boots the MIUI 10 ROM based on Android 9 Pie but allegedly, Xiaomi has already started seeding the MIUI 11 update. This means we can expect the phone to get MIUI 11 anytime. The review unit we are using is still running on MIUI 10. For now, there are no reports whether the Note 8 will get Android 10 or not.
The Snapdragon 665 chipset powering the Redmi Note 8 is the same as that of the Realme 5. As far as general performance is concerned, the phone is usually able to keep up with whatever you throw at it. Jumping between apps will on occasion cause frame drop and a bit of jitter.
The gaming experience is not amazing. Pushing the graphics setting in PUBG results in noticeable lag and dropped frames. It doesn’t help that the phone heats up a fair bit over just a few minutes of gaming.
Similar to the Redmi Note 8 Pro the Note 8 also comes with the quad rear camera setup. The phone comes with a 48MP primary lens with f/1.8 aperture, 1/2.25" sensor size, 0.8µm pixel size, PDAF, 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens, 2MP Macro lens, and 2MP depth sensor. By default, the Redmi Note 8 clicks pictures in 12MP image resolution and the images turned out to be very good. The resolved detail is plenty, the noise levels are quite low, and the colors stayed mostly true to life. The dynamic range is wide, and even though it's not the best we've encountered - we never used the HDR option.
The phone struggles to capture detailed photos in low-light, although the Night Mode helps here. With the night mode switched on the Redmi Note 8 camera captures more light and that results in brighter and better-looking pictures in low-light situations.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 has a 13MP f/2.0 selfie camera, and the focus is fixed as usual. On the software side, there three beatification enhancement options - skin smoothing, eye enlargement, and face slimming.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 captures videos up to 4K @ 30fps and 1080@30fps is available. The 1080p@60fps option is coming via a firmware update, and at the time of publishing, it was still unavailable.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 is powered by a 4,000mAh Li-ion battery. It supports Qualcomm's 18W Quick Charge, but the provided charger is only 10W. It fills 30% of the entirely depleted battery in 30 mins, while a full charge requires about 2 hours and 15 mins. With my admittedly heavy usage, I was regularly getting more than one day of battery life, with around 25-30% juice still left in the tank at the end of the day. With moderate usage that doesn’t include a lot of heavy gaming, I would imagine you can comfortably squeeze out a few more hours and get close to two days of battery.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Specs
- Body: Gorilla Glass 5 front and back, plastic frame, splash-resistant nano-coating, 190g.
- Display: 6.3" IPS LCD, 1080 x 2340px resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 409ppi.
- Rear camera: Primary: 48MP, f/1.8 aperture, 1/2.25" sensor size, 0.8µm pixel size, PDAF. Ultra wide: 8MP, f/2.2, 1/4", 1.12µm pixels. Macro camera: 2MP, f/2.4, 1/5", 1.75µm Depth sensor: 2MP; 2160p@30fps, 1080p@120fps, 720p@960fps video recording.
- Front camera: 13MP, f/2.0 aperture, 1.12µm pixels. 1080p/30fps video recording.
- OS: Android 9 Pie; MIUI 10.
- Chipset: Snapdragon 665 (11nm): Octa-core (4x2.00 GHz Kryo 260 Gold & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 260 Silver), Adreno 610 GPU.
- Memory: 3/4/6GB of RAM; 32/64/128GB storage; dedicated microSD slot.
- Battery: 4,000mAh; 18W fast charging.
- Connectivity: Dual-SIM; LTE-A, 4-Band carrier aggregation, LTE Cat-12/ Cat-13; USB-C; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; dual-band GPS; Bluetooth 4.2; FM radio; NFC (8T model only);
- Misc: Rear-mounted fingerprint reader; 3.5mm jack; single down-firing speaker.
Should You Buy Redmi Note 8?
Under Rs 20,000, I believe this is the phone to buy. In fact, if you're looking for a good overall smartphone under Rs 20,000 in Nepal right now, the Redmi Note 8 is the best option to consider. As for the competition, the recently launched Realme 5i is another phone that goes up against the Redmi Note 8. Another option you go other than Redmi Note 8 is Samsung M20 which is also a great value for money phones in the budget segment.
- Striking design, dual Gorilla Glass 5
- Large screen, bright and with excellent contrast
- Impressive battery life
- MIUI 11 comes in a matter of days
- Good all-round camera
- Standalone microSD, 3.5mm jack, FM radio, IR blaster
- Shady HDR10 support seems non-existent
- The performance is actually a downgrade since the Note 7
- We expected better video quality
- The 1080p capturing at 60fps is missing at launch