The Redmi Note 8T has the heavy task of taking over from the Redmi Note 7, one of the best value for money of 2019. To do this, it has a more powerful chip and greater versatility in Photo. What become the new benchmark for less than 200 dollars? This is what we will see in this Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T Review.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T
After the Redmi Note 8 Pro, Xiaomi finally launches the Redmi Note 8T. Sold at 50 dollars less than its big brother, it has especially the heavy task of replacing the Redmi Note 7 of the beginning of the year in the ranges of Xiaomi thanks to its price of less than 200 dollars. But after a smartphone as popular as the Redmi Note 7, can the Note 8T really take control? This is what we will see in this comprehensive Review.
This Review was carried out using a smartphone loaned by the brand.
At first glance, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T looks like two drops of water to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 released in China. On the technical sheet, we can nevertheless note a first difference in size: the support of NFC on the Note 8T, unlike the Chinese model.
Above all, the two smartphones, despite almost identical characteristics, offer a slightly different design. Let’s be clear, we find the same lines, the same materials and the same positioning for each element. However, the Redmi Note 8T launched in France is slightly larger than the Chinese Redmi Note 8, despite a screen of the same diagonal. Whether in height, width and even in terms of weight, the Redmi Note 8T is a little more massive because of the wider borders.
From the front, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T thus incorporates a 6.3-inch screen with a small notch in the shape of a teardrop, after all very classic in 2019. Around this screen, there are nevertheless rather wide borders with 1 cm below for the chin, 7 mm at the top for the forehead and 3.5 mm on each side. The result is a smartphone that is far from borderless, but it makes sense for a device launched at less than 200 dollars.
We will nevertheless appreciate the choice of quality materials by Xiaomi with Gorilla Glass 5 on the front, but also on the back. For the rounded contours, the Chinese brand has integrated a good quality metal (or metal effect plastic).
For the back, the Redmi Note 8T incorporates a photo module positioned at the top left vertically as well as a fingerprint reader. Unfortunately, this one is positioned a little bit too high and is a bit small to be really easy to access. For its smartphone, Xiaomi offers three colors: blue, dark gray and white. We were able to Review the white model and if the iridescent reflections will not please everyone, they at least have the merit of being fairly successful.
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On the left edge, we will find the classic volume and standby buttons. On the left, there is access to the microSD and dual nano-SIM card door. At the top, the smartphone has a microphone for noise cancellation during calls as well as an infrared port. Finally, on the bottom edge, the Redmi Note 8T has a USB-C jack, a speaker and a jack.
Overall, it’s almost flawless in terms of design from Xiaomi. We can certainly criticize the Redmi Note 8T for a somewhat imposing size for a screen that is limited to 6.3 inches, but the smartphone has the merit of offering USB-C and headphone jacks, an infrared port, the possibility of integrating both two SIM cards in addition to additional storage and even a splash resistance claimed by Xiaomi, even without IP certification.
If the Redmi Note 8 Pro had a screen diagonal of 6.53 inches, the Redmi Note 8T has a slightly more compact display. We thus find a 6.3 inch screen for a similar definition of 2340 × 1080 pixels at 19.5: 9 ratio. What nevertheless allow a higher density of pixels with 409 pixels per inch.
In addition, like the Redmi Note 8 Pro, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T does not offer an OLED panel, but a simple LCD display.
In use, the smartphone screen nevertheless offers a perfectly adequate contrast with sufficient brightness to read content in broad daylight, even in strong sunshine. However, we can note a tendency of the screen to draw a little too blue.
Impressions confirmed with our screen measurement Review. By default, the smartphone is configured with the default color and automatic contrast settings. The contrast measured with a probe and the Calman Ultimate software is then 1495: 1. A result all in all suitable for LCD. The same goes for the maximum brightness which can go up to 484 cd / m². However, it is with the color temperature that the problem is, since the smartphone rises to 8160K, much more blue than the 6500K of neutral sunlight.
By switching to the “warm” color mode while retaining the automatic contrast, it drops slightly to 7464K. However, it is by configuring the “default” contrast that we will approach the best colorimetry with a temperature of 6242K.
With this setting, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T can display 101% of the sRGB spectrum and 67% of the DCI-P3 colors. Above all, the color fidelity is also excellent there, since in seeking to reproduce the colors of the sRGB spectrum, the smartphone obtained a delta E of only 1.73. However, it rose to 3.7 while trying to reproduce the colors of the DCI-P3 spectrum which it cannot – necessarily – all reach.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T comes with Android 9.0 Pie out of the box, as well as Xiaomi’s MIUI 10.3.1 interface. Regarding the proposed security patch, it is that of September 2019. Too bad: without going so far as to ask for Android 10, we would at least have appreciated taking advantage of MIUI 11 or even a more recent security patch than deployed two months ago by Google.
However, the follow-up of Xiaomi in terms of update is no longer to demonstrate and there is no doubt that the manufacturer will offer regular follow-up, even for a smartphone sold at such a low price.
Who says MIUI says functionality that divides. The interface of Xiaomi does not appeal to everyone and yet it is difficult not to see the number of MIUI aficionados. It must be said that it is particularly rich in features and customization options. Even for certain points which can disturb at first sight, it is possible to modify them without any concern. This is the case of the navigation buttons, reversed compared to AOSP. You can easily configure the smartphone with the back button on the left and the options button on the right by deactivating the “mirror buttons” option in the settings. The same goes for the security analysis that is performed each time a new application is installed, even from the Play Store. This can easily be deactivated. Another concern with the MIUI interface is the default absence of notification icons in the status bar. Fortunately, it is possible to activate them later, at least in theory. In practice, the smartphone seems to be the victim of a bug which only shows notifications in the status bar when they are received or when they wake up from sleep, before they disappear again.
Once you get your hands dirty and look a little bit in the MIUI settings, you can discover navigation or gestural shortcuts, and a whole lot of pretty practical features. Nothing can be changed on the Xiaomi interface. Or almost. Indeed, we always regret that it is necessary to install a launcher alternative to take advantage of a real application drawer and not find all the icons scattered on the health health health home screen.
Regarding the biometric unlocking features, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T offers the two most common functions, namely fingerprint and facial recognition. For the fingerprint reader, this is relatively fast, although we’ve been used to better with regard to fingerprint readers on the back. We have about the same unlock speed as on a fingerprint reader built into the screen, just under half a second.
For facial recognition, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T simply uses the front photo sensor. The unlocking is then a little longer, of the order of a second. However, it’s nice to be able to choose between accessing the lock screen or the health health health home screen.
Regarding DRM support, the Redmi Note 8T is equipped with Widevine at L1 level, which therefore allows it to play videos from Netflix, myCanal or Molotov in Full HD.
If the Redmi Note 7 was powered by the Snapdragon 660 and the Redmi Note 8 Pro by the Helio G90T, the Redmi Note 8T is logically in between. The smartphone is thus equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 backed by 4 GB of RAM and 64 or 128 GB of storage depending on the version. For information, the model we tested was equipped with 64 GB of storage.
In use, the Redmi Note 8T wants to be rather efficient in most tasks, provided that it does not ask too much. When you accumulate open applications in the background, the smartphone comes to row slightly even in simple navigation. For games, the Xiaomi device is not compatible with Fortnite as the game reports: “Sorry, your device is not powerful enough to launch Fortnite. We are working on it ”.
For its part, PUBG Mobile launches by default in “low” quality, that is to say with “fluid” graphics and an “average” frame rate. It is not possible to switch to “HD” graphics, but to push the smartphone a bit, we tested it with “Balanced” graphics and an average frame rate while activating anti-aliasing and deactivating the ‘automatic graphic adjustment. With these parameters, the Redmi Note 8T does without difficulty, even managing to remain fluid in the phases of the vehicle at high speed.
Finally, Call of Duty Mobile launches by default with high graphic quality and high frame rate. We pushed the frequency to max while activating the anti-aliasing and despite this increase, the game remained quite fluid, enough in any case to finish the game’s MVP.
To compare the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T to other smartphones, we also subjected it to several benchmarks also launched on the Redmi Note 8 Pro, Redmi Note 7 and Honor 9X.
Logically, the Redmi Note 8T does better than the Redmi Note 7 at the start of the year, but it is a thread and depends on past tests. Overall, it should be noted that the smartphone achieves scores similar to those of the Honor 9X launched recently and marketed at 50 dollars more.
Like the Redmi Note 8 Pro, the Redmi Note 8T has four cameras on the back. Here, from top to bottom, the proposed configuration:
120 ° f / 2.2 ultra wide angle lens with 8 megapixel sensor
79.4 ° f / 1.75 wide-angle lens with 48 megapixel sensor
2 megapixel f / 2.4 portrait camera
2 megapixel f / 2.4 macro camera
We therefore find the same configuration as on the “Pro” model, but with a slight difference. On this Redmi Note 8T, Xiaomi replaced the 64 megapixel sensor with a 48 megapixel sensor.
As on the higher-end model, this sensor is nevertheless capable of taking brighter photos, with reduced noise, using the pixel binning. In fact, the 0.8 micron side photosites will be merged in groups of four to record more light and simulate 1.6 micron side photosites. This will therefore result in photos not of 48 but of 12 megapixels. A dedicated mode, without pixel binning, is however suggested if you want to take advantage of more detailed pictures.
In addition to these four devices, Xiaomi also offers a 2x hybrid zoom. It actually uses the main 48-megapixel sensor, but cuts the photo in the center. So we end up with a 12 megapixel photo, the same size as a photo without a hybrid zoom, but with pixel binning. Below, you can discover the difference between the ultra wide angle x0.6, the wide angle and the long focal length x2:
It will be logically noted that the snapshot taken by the ultra wide-angle camera has a different shade from that of the other two optics and for good reason, it is a different sensor where, as we have seen, the wide-angle and the x2 zoom actually use the same optics and the same sensor. In addition to this difference in image processing, the ultra wide angle tends to strongly modify the shape of the image on the sides. Pity.
First of all, let’s look at the dedicated macro camera on the Redmi Note 8T. As we have already seen on the Note 8 Pro or among the competing Honor 20 and 20 Pro, it turns out to be quite limited in use. It must be said that with a very small aperture of f / 2.4, it struggles to manage the lights as dim as an office interior. It’s better outdoors, but this time it’s the definition of 2 megapixels that is fishing. Again, what is the point of offering such a lens when it would be just as effective to take a picture with the 48-megapixel sensor and zoom in to take advantage of the details. We will nevertheless appreciate the possibility of focusing manually, unlike the Honor models.
In broad daylight, the Redmi Note 8T does well, but does not shine particularly well. The smartphone offers well-lit pictures with good respect for colors, even if they can sometimes be dull. Note, however, on the last photo, a slight concern with the HDR – configured automatically – which comes to illuminate the building a little too much at the end of the street, leaving it almost to melt in the sky. To the naked eye, the building was much darker.
Indoors, we’re starting to feel the shortcomings of the Redmi Note 8T. If he manages to offer correct brightness, without adding white veil as is sometimes the case to artificially increase exposure, the pictures are far from perfect. Despite the functionality of pixel binning, we feel that the smartphone had to increase the ISO sensitivity in order to provide good brightness. In return, the photos are not free from digital noise. The same goes for the blurring that is felt when you don’t have the device completely fixed.
The photos above were taken with night mode on. Overall, however, there is little difference between automatic and night mode. This allows you to further contrast the image to bring out the dark and light areas. If it allows indeed to see in the dark, the details are however with the absent subscribers, as with the leaves of the trees. We will also note a lot of digital blurring. However, given the price range, we appreciate the ability of the Redmi Note 8T to allow a shot fairly faithful to what you can see with the naked eye.
For portraits, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T is doing well there too. It manages to maintain good exposure most of the time even if the HDR mode can be undermined. It should be noted that, as often, the smartphone does not manage to combine HDR mode and portrait mode, so you will have to choose one or the other.
For selfies, the teardrop notch at the top of the screen houses a 13-megapixel sensor with a lens opening at f / 2.0. This one proves to be effective enough to manage the strong dynamic ranges. In portrait mode, it manages to cut the face relatively well, even if too many strands of hair are also blurred in the process.
Regarding the video, note that the Redmi Note 8T is capable of shooting in 4K, but only at 30 FPS with the main camera on the back. It can mount in Full HD up to 60 FPS. With the ultra wide-angle camera, however, video is limited to Full HD at 30 FPS.
For the front camera, the highest quality is also 1080p at 30 FPS, with no option to switch to 4K definition or 60 FPS.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T is equipped with a comfortable 4000 mAh battery. In use, I was able to use the smartphone for more than 28 hours before falling to 10% battery. During this time, the screen has been on for more than four hours. I also played PUBG Mobile for half an hour and Call of Duty Mobile for 20 minutes. Above all, the camera consumed the most, with more than fifty photos captured.
On our personalized ViSer autonomy Review, which simulates an identical mixed use for all the smartphones we Review, the Redmi Note 8T was able to hold for 12:18 before dropping to 10% of battery. A result that places it among the top of the basket of smartphones in terms of autonomy. It is thus better than the 11:57 am of the Honor 9X, but less than the Redmi Note 8 Pro with its 2:22 pm. It must be said that his big brother has a 4,500 mAh battery.
For charging, the smartphone is supplied with an 18W charger (9V, 2A). Thanks to the supplied USB-C cable, it can increase the Redmi Note 8T from 10 to 46% in 30 minutes. It goes up to 81% in one hour and it will take a total of 1h43 for a full charge from 10 to 100%.
The smartphone is however not compatible with wireless charging.
Network and communication
Unlike the Redmi Note 8 sold in China, the Redmi Note 8T also benefits from an NFC chip which can be used for online payment, Bluetooth pairing or validation of dematerialized transport tickets. The smartphone also has Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, an FM radio, an infrared port and Wi-Fi 5 (802.11a / b / g / n / ac). For geolocation, the Redmi Note 8T is compatible with GPS, Glonass and Beidou satellites, but not Galileo.
Regarding voice calls, the noise reduction of the Redmi Note 8T does its job here very well. Despite the traffic on the Paris boulevard, our correspondent heard my voice clearly and did not detect the noise of motorized vehicles. However, the processing of the voice can be a little too strong at times, making it particularly muffled for your interlocutor.
Price and availability
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T is already available at a price of 199.90 dollars for the 4/64 GB version. For the model with 4/128 GB, you will have to spend 30 dollars more, at 229.90 dollars. The smartphone is available in three colors: white, blue or gray.
Faced with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T, at a relatively similar price, we find the Redmi Note 8 Pro, sold at 50 dollars more, but also the Honor 9X or the Xiaomi Mi A3.