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Redmi Note 8 Pro first impressions: a powerful mid-ranger with an affordable price tag

Earlier this year, 48-megapixel cameras were all the rage, but the fad has since faded and you can pick up a smartphone featuring the same under Rs 10,000, like the Redmi Note 7s (review). The latest trend is the more powerful 64-megapixel camera, which we have already seen on the Realme XT (review). The phone impressed everyone with its sheer imaging prowess. Xiaomi launched its latest Note series phone called the Redmi Note 8 Pro today with the same camera and a loaded spec sheet. Pricebaba was present at the launch event held in New Delhi and here’s our hands-on experience of the latest launch.

The Redmi Note 7 Pro was a major detour for the brand, as it featured a glossy glass-sandwich design and a U-shaped notch display. With its successor, the brand is building upon the same design with slight improvements. For starters, the cameras have doubled on the Redmi Note 8 Pro, and are situated vertically towards the center this time around in a rather tall pill-shaped module, the likes of which we have already seen on the Redmi 8. You will find three main cameras and a fingerprint scanner matching the colour of the module inside the pill, and an LED flash with a depth sensor to the right of the setup. Personally, I am a fan of the stealthy fingerprint scanner situated inside the vertical camera band as it gives the rear panel a nice, clean look. The capacitive biometric module and the integrated face unlock are both pretty fast and accurate.

Redmi is offering the Note 8 Pro in Gamma Green, Shadow Black and Halo White colourways, which are all head turners. However, I personally prefer the Halo White variant as it looks classy and doesn’t attract smudges as much. Speaking of which, the Redmi Note 8 Pro features Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back panel, sandwiching a polycarbonate frame. As for the buttons and ports, the top edge houses the ubiquitous IR sensor with a single noise-cancelling mic and on the bottom, you will find 3.5mm headphone jack, speaker grill and USB-C charging port.  You will find the physical buttons on the right and on the left, there are two separate SIM trays. The primary slot can take a microSD card and your main SIM, while the second tray houses a single SIM card.

In terms of display, the Redmi Note 8 Pro has a curvier dewdrop shaped notch and this might be subjective, but I prefer the new implementation over the Note 7 Pro’s sharp U-shaped notch. The display itself is an LCD panel measuring 6,53-inches with a screen resolution of 2,340 x 1,080 pixels. The tall 19.5:9 screen flaunts an impressive screen-to-body ratio of 91.4 percent and support for HDR. For an IPS LCD panel, the display on Redmi Note 8 Pro is plenty bright and offers impressive punchy colours. However, there is a noticeable blue tint while looking at it from the sides.

Speaking of MIUI 10, the software is based on Android 9 Pie and comes with Google’s Digital Wellbeing feature integrated. Apart from that, you get standard Mi apps like Mi Drop, Mi Pay and Mi Credit among others. Thankfully the Note 8 Pro doesn’t have a lot of bloatware, which is a plus. The Redmi Note 8 Pro is also the first in India to come with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant built-in. This will help users to control Mi TV, Mi LED bulb and more Mi ecosystem products as well as any Alexa-compatible device from their phone by simply using voice commands.

Driving the performance is MediaTek’s latest gaming-focused chipset, Helio G90T, backed by a Mali-G76 GPU and 6GB or 8GB RAM. The 6GB variant will be offered with either 64GB or 128GB storage and the 8GB model comes with 128GB space onboard. The phone also gets gaming features like Game Turbo, HyperEngine game optimisations and LiquidCool vapour chamber for heat dissipation. The battery on the Redmi Note 8 Pro is a beefy 4,500mAh unit and supports USB-PD and Quick Charge 4.0 fast charging technology.

The quad-camera setup on the back comprises of a 64MP f/1.9 primary sensor, 8MP f/2.2 wide-angle lens with a 120-degree FoV, 2MP f/2.4 macro camera and 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor. As is the norm, you will have to manually toggle on the 64MP mode by swiping to the left on the viewfinder. Other modes include Portrait, AI scene recognition, HDR, macro and more. The front camera is a 20MP unit and gets only portrait, HDR, AI and beautify mode.

Xiaomi has launched the Redmi Note 8 Pro in India with prices starting at Rs 14,999. At this price, the smartphone comes across as a value for money offering with powerful cameras, solid gaming processor, good-looking design and long-lasting battery. It might face a slight resistance from Realme XT, which brings a better Super AMOLED screen and an in-display fingerprint scanner, but the Redmi Note 8 Pro comes at a cheaper starting price.

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