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Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T review: one more reference for the Chinese brand

The Redmi Note 8 Pro was the first to renew the catalog of the Chinese firm in France but it is not really the heir of the Redmi Note 7. It took a few weeks to see the arrival of the Redmi Note 8T, a worthy successor one that has quickly become a benchmark in the entry-level market. Far from being a simple update, the Redmi Note 8T has everything you need to follow the same fate as its predecessor.Read our Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T review.

Introducing the Redmi Note 8T

Xiaomi is known for selling all kinds of products at excellent value for money. Its smartphones are no exception to the rule including its Redmi range which continues to surprise us from year to year by integrating premium technologies for a contained price. The Redmi Note 8T is sold as “the most complete smartphone in its class”.

Marketed at 199.90 euros, the same starting price as the Redmi Note 7, the new entry-level smartphone intends once again to widen the gap with the competition in this price segment. To do this, the Redmi Note 8T takes all that made the success of the Redmi Note 7 and adds some rather interesting improvements especially on the side of the photo with a quadruple back sensor composed of a main sensor of 48 million pixels, an ultra wide-angle, a macro and a depth sensor.

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Lookalike or not lookalike

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T looks like two drops of water to the Redmi Note 7. A notch in drops of water and a lower border thicker than the others at the front, a photo part placed at the top left and a fingerprint reader centered at the rear. On both sides, there is a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. The Redmi Note 8T also has the luxury of being covered with a “special nano-coating which makes it resistant to splashes”.

The screen of the Redmi Note 8T occupies a beautiful part of the front face but the manufacturer could have done better by reducing the fairly prominent chin of his smartphone. We would also have liked to see a photo block better integrated with the rest of the chassis.

The Redmi Note 8T integrates all of its physical controls on the right edge. Their fairly high position can hinder the grip when trying to access the fingerprint reader at the same time. Speaking of which, be aware that it is quite fast as is the 2D facial recognition offered by the front camera. Under this smartphone, there is a USB-C port located between a mini-jack port and a speaker grille. If the Redmi Note 8T does not innovate and relies a little too much on its achievements, it remains a pleasant phone to use and display on a daily basis.

A good quality LCD screen

We take advantage here of a 6.3 inch IPS screen with a definition of 1080 x 2340 pixels for 409 ppi. Smartphone less than 200 euros requires, the Redmi Note 8T relies on LCD technology rather than OLED. This does not prevent its screen from displaying a suitable contrast ratio. On the colorimetric side, this slab draws a little too blue but it is possible to correct this calibration defect in the parameters. The Note 8T is doing well under the sun with correct brightness without being dazzling. Its screen manages to limit the reflectance for a rendering, ultimately, quite comfortable. In the middle of the night, we also appreciate the slab of the Redmi Note 8T which sees its brightness drop below a threshold sufficient to offer a good experience.

Nothing to break the sound barrier

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T has two speakers, one above the front camera, the other under the lower border. The first is activated only during calls so you will have to be content in reality with a single speaker to enjoy its multimedia content. The latter is sorely lacking in power but delivers a precise sound overall.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T is one of the few smartphones in 2019 to accommodate a mini-jack port. Unfortunately for him, this connector delivers the same service than the speaker and it’s pretty frustrating.

A dragon that can run out of steam

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T is not a war machine but its configuration allows it to hold the road. We find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665, 4 GB of RAM and 64 or 128 GB of expandable internal memory. It supports multitasking but it should not be asked too much at the risk of seeing it run out of steam.

On the game side, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T passes its turn. Its technical sheet will not allow you to play the most greedy titles like PUBG Mobile. This kind of games will impose a low or medium graphic configuration on you and if you try to override it, the too low frame rate will prevent you from playing comfortably. Exception on Call of Duty Mobile, the game launches in “high” and runs pretty well.

MIUI, mid-grape

No Android 10 or MIUI 11 on the Redmi Note 8T and it’s a shame. We must therefore be content with version 10.3.1 of MIUI, the overlay of Xiaomi. This has its strengths and weaknesses. First, there are a ton of options to customize it. In addition to wallpapers and icon packs, MIUI 10 allows you to change the order of the navigation keys or replace them with gestures. It is also possible to activate a night mode and to change the transition effect between each health home page. Of course, these are just examples of what MIUI can do.

Unfortunately, Xiaomi’s overlay is still too busy and the menus lack clarity. In addition, there is still no app drawer. Finally, MIUI has a big problem with the notification icons that it likes to make disappear immediately after their appearance in the notification bar. To find your notifications, you must unroll the status bar. Not very practical. Finally, the security analysis of applications downloaded from the Play Store or elsewhere is always part of it. Fortunately, it can be disabled.

A full photo section

The Redmi Note 8T lines up four cameras on its back like its big brother, the Redmi Note 8 Pro. The different sensors found there are:

  • A 48 Mpx 1/1 “” sensor (0.8 µm photosites) with 26 mm wide-angle lens opening to (f / 1.8)
  • An 8 Mpx 1/4 “sensor (1.12 µm photosites) with ultra wide-angle 120 ° 13 mm lens (f / 2.2)
  • A 2 Mpx 1/5 “sensor (1.75 µm photosites) dedicated to portrait mode (f / 2.4)
  • A 2 Mpx 1/5 “sensor (1.75 µm photosites) dedicated to macro photos (f / 2.4)

The Redmi Note 8T must therefore be satisfied with a main sensor of 48 Mpx rather than a sensor of 64 Mpx only reserved for the Pro version. It also incorporates pixel binning technology to merge four pixels into one and offer a brighter image with a less rough rendering when you zoom in the image. We end up with 12 MP shots.

Let’s focus first on this sensor that delivers a rather honest performance. The transition from 12 to 48 MP is smooth and the processing time is quite short. The rendering obtained in good light conditions displays a good quality with a good sharpness and a colorimetric environment close to reality. The x2 digital zoom produced with this same sensor is just as convincing, even if very limited. Indoor and night shots are less attractive with loss of detail, ubiquitous digital noise and complicated brightness management with the noticeable appearance of halos around light sources. Night mode has proven to be effective to give a punch to a scene with a nice enhancement of the dark elements without degrading the rest of the image.

The difference in image processing between the wide-angle lens and the ultra-wide angle is clearly visible with less realistic colors. We can also criticize this lens for its tendency to distort the corners of each photo a little too much. Do not use in low light at the risk of picking up only noise.

The cutting performed by the depth sensor in portrait mode is far from precise day or night. He struggles to distinguish the subject and to highlight it in relation to the background.

Still for less than 200 euros, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T can be loaded with a macro sensor. This is more of a gadget than anything else, but after being patient, we got some suitable shots.

The 13 million pixel camera (f / 2.0) located in the notch of the terminal offers fairly good selfies. Again, the cropping in portrait mode is fairly approximate. We regret that the smoothing is still too pronounced. I have never had such beautiful skin. Below, without and with portrait mode.

Ultimately, the Redmi Note 8T’s shortcomings are compensated for by its versatility. Also keep in mind that this smartphone costs less than 200 euros and in this price segment, difficult to find a rival as effective.

Far from the plug, close to the heart

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T has a 4000 mAh battery. Versatile users will enjoy it for a day and a half or even two days before recharging. A fairly comfortable autonomy in short but nothing surprising given its technical data sheet. Count a little over 1h40 to refuel. Recall that the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T is accompanied by an 18W charger.

What about the competition?

Xiaomi dominates on the entry level especially with its Redmi range which each year gives birth to a reference. Facing the Redmi Note 8T, we find the Honor 9X at $249  which puts on its borderless screen, its muscular technical sheet and its full photo part. Sold at the same price as the Redmi Note 8T is $199 , the Realme 5 Pro is undoubtedly one of the best alternatives. Like its big brothers the X2 and X2 Pro, the Realme 5 Pro also has four cameras with a fairly similar configuration. It also has a 6.3 inch Full HD + screen like its competitor. If its Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 chip is more efficient, the Realme 5 Pro is served by its Color OS 6.1 interface, even more overloaded than MIUI 10.3.1.

This is a smooth evolution of the Redmi Note 7 that Xiaomi offers us here. The Redmi Note 8T does not take risks, it is a fact. And if it’s not the sexiest smartphone of 2019, it remains the most complete and versatile phone for less than $200 by adding some improvements here and there while consolidating its achievements.

 

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