Xiaomi’s latest 8 series device shines in the ultra-competitive budget market
Chinese vendor Xiaomi has already made a splash in Indian markets with their consistent budget smartphones. Their most recent entry to the 8 series keeps up their streak and is already proving to be a major player on the budget scene.
The Note 8T features very few differences over the ‘regular’ Note 8 and is the first device from the 8 series to be released in western markets.
Data from Canalys indicated that the Redmi Note 8 was the best-selling Android device of the year and the Chinese Vendor is hoping to replicate this success in Europe. The device claimed the top spot in Q4 in global sales beating the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy A10s, Galaxy A20’s, Galaxy A30s and Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 8 Pro.
The Redmi Note 8’s success is perhaps largely down to its budget price. It retails for £169 and punches well beyond its weight in terms of specs and general usage and will undoubtedly continue to prove to be one of the most competitive budget smartphones on the market.
In terms of design, there is little that differentiates the Redmi Note 8T in terms of pure aesthetic. It looks almost identical to most other budget smartphones on the market, but the back of the phone, with its four cameras, gives it more of a flagship feel. It looks very similar to the Realme X2 Pro when comparing the back of the phone, except the primary logo isn’t awkwardly located in the middle and is instead found on the bottom corner of the phone.
The fingerprint scanner is located on the back too. This is an approach that more manufacturers are taking with their budget devices and I find this to be way more convenient than only having a face ID option (looking at you Apple). It does work very quickly and I had no problems with it during the time I had with the device. There is also a headphone jack located on the bottom of the device which is certainly a welcome addition.
Unlike the budget Moto devices, the Redmi Note 8T isn’t prone to tiny scratches but I would recommend getting a glass screen protector as it can prone to smudges despite the gorilla glass covering the phone on the front and back. The smudges may feel a bit disruptive when using the device on a day to day basis, but this wasn’t too much of an issue I had during my time with the smartphone.
The Note 8T is one of the few devices on the market that features a quad-camera set up at a budget device. The quad-camera at such a low price is certainly a statement from Xiaomi to vendors marketing four cameras as a revolutionary innovation reserved for the flagship devices.
The main camera has a resolution of 48MP and actually holds up very well for a budget device. It captures quality snaps, miles better than my iPhone XR which retails for more than triple the price of the Note 8T. Of course, Apple isn’t renowned for its cameras but it speaks volumes that Xiaomi can deliver a device that competes with mid-range smartphones in this segment.
The zoom function also worked well. The 2X zoom captures detailed snaps that weren’t too dissimilar to the original camera quality. The camera also allows users to capture snaps at 48MP and below you can see the differences between the images.
- OS: Android 9.0
- Screen: 6.3 inches
- Resolution: 1080×2340 pixels
- Memory: 3GB RAM, 4GB RAM
- Internal storage: 32GB, 64GB, 128 GB
- Water resistance: Splash resistant
- Rear camera: 48MP
- Front camera: 13MP
- Video: 1080p @ 30fps
- Battery: 4000mAh
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2
- Dimensions: 161 x 75 x 8.6mm
- Weight: 200g
Key selling points
- Great price
- The camera holds up well
- Fast-charging and long battery life
- Reliable for day to day use
The Note 8T’s performance was a very reliable day to day device.
The battery life of the phone was certainly a high point. It comes packed with an 18W fast-charging cable which charged to 100 per cent in just over an hour which was a nice surprise. The 4,000 mAh battery comfortably lasted me a full day with some light browsing and gaming.
It runs on the Snapdragon 665 processor which is expected from this price bracket and usually delivers a great gaming experience. However, in this case, I experienced quite a few bugs while playing PUBG and Call of Duty, so while it was dependable in most aspects, gaming was definitely not one of them.
One of the best features about the device was the one-handed mode which shrinks the screen to allow for users to use the device using one hand. This is a great example of the kind of innovation that Xiaomi brings to the budget market on a regular basis.
The display of the phone certainly delivers for its modest price. The full HD resolution means it certainly competes with pricier smartphones as it delivered sharp visuals for Netflix and Amazon Prime.
At a glance
- Speed: 3/5
- Camera: 3.5/5
- Battery: 4/5
- Design 3.5/5
- Value: 4/5
Overall, the Redmi Note8T gives you a largely dependable device that will hold its own in the budget sector. The Note8T delivers a good user experience for a fraction of the price of most flagships nowadays and will continue to be one of the most popular phones around.
The phone retails for £169.