This is my first time using a smartphone from Xiaomi and I really didn't know what to expect with the Redmi Note 8 Pro. Thankfully, the experience was a pleasure.
The 6.53in Full HD+ (2,340 x 1,080 pixels) display, though not Amoled, still brings vivid colours and clear images to the screen. It is protected on the front and the back with Corning Gorilla Glass 5, so fingerprint smudges will happen a lot.
The device is pre-loaded with several tools and I was really surprised to see FM Radio there! It also has "voice note" capability where you can add a verbal memo to your important notes and keep for reference or share with contacts.
But the most useful one would probably be the Feedback function, where you can report bugs that you encounter or even give suggestions on how to better Xiaomi's own MIUI interface.
There is no denying the fact that this device takes pretty impressive photographs, especially when one uses the 64-megapixel main camera with f/1.9 wide-angle lens.
You have to manually choose this mode when you launch the camera app, and exactly when would you need such high resolution? Perhaps if you want to print a billboard image that is 3.26m high, that's when.
For "regular" purposes, the rear quad-camera set up – together with 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera, 2-megapixel macro camera and 2-megapixel depth sensor – use pixel binning technology to produce better images especially under low light settings.
The cameras are lined up on the back, where you would also find the fingerprint sensor, which for some reason doesn't sit flush with the body of the device, and instead is mounted.
This is where it gets a bit annoying because even when you're just holding the phone, and your fingers brush against the sensor, it will read your fingerprint and after a few failed attempts, will ask you to enter your password manually instead.
There is also a 20-megapixel camera on the front for the usual selfie needs.
The inner workings
Running on MediaTek Helio G90T octa-core processor, the Redmi Note 8 Pro gives a pretty fast and smooth performance. Supposedly, it can sustain the requirements of graphics-heavy videogames, but the most "hardcore" one that I played on the device is The Powerpuff Girls Monkey Mania.
I am happy to report that there isn't any lagging when I play that game, on top of the usual Solitaire, Minesweeper, Boggle With Friends and more.
The 4,500mAh battery can last for over a day with basic usage – and when it's drained, it can be charged as fast as a 18-watt fast charger could go. The device runs on Android 9 Pie, with MIUI 10 interface, which takes a little getting used to if this is your first experience with this Chinese-brand handset.
It has 6GB RAM and comes with two storage options – 64GB like the review device, or 128GB that is expandable to up to 256GB with a microSD card (sharing the SIM slot).
The device comes in Mineral Grey, Forest Green and Pearl White for both versions.The 64GB Redmi Note 8 Pro is priced at RM1,099 while the 128GB variant goes for RM1,199. Oddly enough, the price difference between the two variants is only RM100, so it's obvious which is worth the money here.
REDMI NOTE 8 PRO
OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 9
PROCESSOR: MediaTek Helio G90T (2x Cortex-A76 2.05GHz + 6x Cortex-A55 2.0GHz) CPU
MEMORY: 6GB RAM; 64GB storage expandable with microSD memory card (up to 256GB)
CAMERA: Quad rear cameras – 64-megapixel wide angle camera, 8-megapixel ultra wide camera, 2-megapixel dedicated macro camera, 2-megapixel depth sensor; front – 20-megapixel camera
CONNECTIVITY: WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth, USB Type-C slot
OTHER FEATURES: Rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, NFC
DISPLAY: 6.53in FHD+ (2,340 x 1,080 pixels
DIMENSIONS (H x W x D): 158.1 x 73.1 x 8.8mm
Review unit courtesy of Mi Malaysia (https://www.mi.com/my/)
PROS: Excellent cameras; 3.5mm headphone jack
CONS: Fingerprint magnet