The Redmi Note series phones in any year are among the bestselling phones, if not the highest-selling models, and there’s a very good reason behind that- Xiaomi has mastered the art of pleasing budget-oriented customers ever since the first Redmi Note 4G started selling online. This year, Xiaomi revealed two Redmi Note series phones, both of which proved to be exceptional phones in either half of 2019. The latter one, which is the Redmi Note 8 Pro, impressed us the most and is easily our pick if you are determined to not spend a penny over Rs 15,000.
Wonder how the Redmi Note 8 Pro made it to our ‘best of 2019’ list despite the segment seeing some great phones from Realme, Vivo, Oppo and Motorola? Unlike previous years, it wasn’t smooth sailing for the newest member of Redmi family as the market has spoiled consumers looking to buy an affordable phone. In fact, the Realme XT, Realme X2, Realme X, Vivo Z1X Pro, Oppo K3 and Motorola G8 Plus have offered great alternatives to the Redmi Note 8 Pro in late 2019.
However, Xiaomi knows a thing or two about making phones that appeal to all and after the impressive Redmi Note 7 Pro in early 2019, the Redmi Note 8 Pro offered everything what Mi fans and the regular consumers demanded- raw power, versatile cameras, big battery with fast charging, premium design, glass body, big display- the list goes on. Most importantly, Xiaomi has somehow managed to make the Note 8 Pro better and still keep the starting price at Rs 14,999.
How has Xiaomi edged out the competition?
It’s easy for Xiaomi- simply bring features from a segment above and compromise in areas where it doesn’t matter. Since Xiaomi has greater control over the economies of manufacturing, it can manage to keep the costs lower than what other manufacturers can achieve.
Let’s start with what the Redmi Note series has always been known for- display. The Note 7 Pro had a fairly big display but with the Redmi Note 8 Pro, Xiaomi offers its biggest display. Even though it’s an LCD panel, it’s a very good LCD panel with high contrasts, vibrant colours and a small notch. Whether you are watching movies on Hotstar or playing PUBG MOBILE, the display never comes in between you and your content.
As I have spoken about games, the Note 8 Pro comes with one of the most powerful chips in its class. The MediaTek Helio G90T chip helps the Note 8 Pro goes easy with resource-intensive games such as PUBG MOBILE, Call of Duty Mobile, Asphalt 9: Legends and more. Xiaomi has optimised its MIUI interface well and that translates into no noticeable lag or hiccups. MIUI still has ads but if you choose to switch them off while setting up the phone, the user experience isn’t as bad. With MIUI 11, the phone feels fluid and natural.
Battery life on the Redmi Note 8 Pro is also good enough for an entire day, and that can be attributed to a highly optimised MIUI interface and a large 4500mAh battery. The 18W fast charging system doesn’t make you wait at the sockets for ages while filling up the battery.
Cameras have been the focus for Xiaomi since the Redmi Note 5 Pro and the Note 8 Pro offers one of the most versatile camera setups of any phone. You get a 64-megapixel high-resolution main camera along with an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera, a 2-megapixel macro camera with 2cm focal length and a depth camera at the back while the front relies on a 20-megapixel sensor for selfies. You won’t get iPhone-matching quality with this camera but for most lighting conditions, the Note 8 Pro does a good enough job, especially for a sub-Rs 15,000 segment.
What makes it the best among the rest?
It has to be the phone’s design. The Redmi Note 7 Pro maintained a beautiful glass body with stunning gradients but the Note 8 Pro brings more design flair that you find on phones from OnePlus and Samsung. The curved rear glass panel feels luxurious and the camera hump has been done tastefully. The display has surprisingly narrow bezels for an LCD panel and the small notch makes it even better.
What impresses, even more, is the overall fit and finish that you seldom see in phones under Rs 15,000. The Redmi Note 8 Pro feels solidly built and it’s hard to pinpoint any section on the phone that feels cheap. Even the gradient colours are done tastefully, something which rival brands need to learn from Xiaomi.
The Redmi Note 8 Pro does everything right that customers seek from an affordable phone. It looks great, feels luxurious, is powerful enough to keep your PUBG-loving fingers happy and has cameras that won’t leave you red-faced in front of your iPhone or OnePlus-toting friends. At Rs 14,999, the Redmi Note 8 Pro gives you the best all-round package and hence, it’s our pick for 2019 as the best mainstream phone.