Redmi 8 has been launched in India starting at Rs 7,999.
- Redmi 8 price starts at Rs 7,999 and will go on sale on October 12.
- Redmi 8 comes with a waterdrop display and dual AI cameras.
- It is powered by a Snapdragon 439 SoC and packs a 5,000mAh battery.
Xiaomi has rarely failed when it comes to delivering value budget smartphones. The company has remained consistently strong in the sub Rs-10,000 segment by offering Redmi phones that look good and perform better than you would expect. There's no denying that this is a segment that Xiaomi feels extremely confident. It already offers the Redmi 8A, Redmi Y3 and Redmi Note 7S. On Wednesday, Xiaomi added the Redmi 8 to the list, which has been launched in India starting at Rs 7,999.
The Redmi 8 is Xiaomi's latest budget smartphone that follows the Redmi 8A. The two phones have the same DNA and share a lot of the same features from design to hardware. In fact, you might struggle to find major differences between the two smartphones.
I got some brief hands on time with the Redmi 8 and here are my initial thoughts.
Talking about the design, the Redmi 8 looks good for its budget pricing. The phone offers a seamless finish with a single, unibody plastic panel that covers the back and frame. The rear panel feels solid and offers a glossy, mirror-like finish that makes it look almost glass-like. The panel will gets smudged and attract fingerprints easily. It comes in Sapphire Blue and Ruby Red colours
The Redmi 8 is a handy smartphone that rests nicely in the palm. The curved body gives it a good grip and reaching the power button or the fingerprint sensor on the back feels natural.
Xiaomi has been one of the only brands to offer a Type-C port on entry-level smartphones. The Redmi 8A has it and now so does the Redmi 8. This also means you can expect future budget Redmi phones to come with a Type-C port as well. Redmi 8 gets a 3.5mm headphone jack, a single speaker grille and a triple card slot for two nano SIM cards and a microSD card.
Moving on to the display, the Redmi 8 gets a 6.22-inch HD+ IPS Dot Notch display much like the Redmi 8A. The display gets a smaller waterdrop notch on the top to house the selfie camera and a fairly thick chin with the Redmi branding. On first glance, the display looks decent with pleasant colours on screen. Brightness levels are fine for indoor usage but may not be bright enough outdoors.
Xiaomi is hyping up the cameras on the Redmi 8 and this is because the phone gets the same 12MP Sony IMX363 primary sensor as seen on last year's flagship Poco F1. The Redmi 8A gets this sensor as well. But while the Redmi 8A only comes with a single rear camera, the Redmi 8 gets an additional 2MP depth sensor for portrait shots. The Redmi 8 also gets an 8MP AI selfie camera with support for face unlock.
Keeping in mind that the Redmi 8 is a budget smartphone, the camera configuration sounds impressive. Daylight photos look bright and attractive, but don't expect details to look exceptionally sharp. We'll have more to say about the cameras on the Redmi 8 in our full review so stay tuned for that.
Under the hood, the Redmi 8 gets the same Snapdragon 439 processor as the Redmi 8A and the Redmi 7A before. This sounds like a downgrade when compared to the Snapdragon 632 chipset that powered the Redmi 7. Both the Snapdragon 632 and Snapdragon 439 chips were launched in mid-2018 for budget devices. On paper, the Snapdragon 632 is marginally faster than the SD439 in CPU and GPU speeds. But the Snapdragon 439 is a more efficient processor as it is based on a 12nm process.
We will talk about benchmarks, gaming and other performance-related concerns about the Redmi 8 in our in-depth review. Out of the box, however, the Redmi 8 feels snappy and quick. Apps open quickly with fast animations and browsing through the UI felt smooth. With the Redmi 8, Xiaomi is offering more RAM and storage as the top-end model gets 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage.
Redmi 8 packs a 5,000mAh battery, which is again similar to the Redmi 8A. Compared to the Redmi 7, this is a 1,000mAh increase in battery capacity which is impressive. The Redmi 8 should deliver a solid battery life when combined with a power efficient processor and HD+ display, but we can only know for sure after spending more time with the device.
Notably, the Redmi 8 comes with 18W fast charging support over Type-C. Fast charging support is great, but you will have to buy an 18W charger separately. With the box, Xiaomi is only offering a 10W charger.
The Redmi 8 looks good for its price. It offers an attractive design combined with a large 5,000mAh battery. It does come with a few upgrades over the Redmi 7, but the phone largely feels similar to the Redmi 8A. The differences between the Redmi 8 and Redmi 8A are too few, so it will be interesting to see which of the two phones will be the more popular choice for consumers going forward. We will be out with our review of the Redmi 8 soon, so you may want to wait for that until you make you make up your mind.