Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T Review - In the category of entry-level smartphones, Xiaomi reigns without much concern. Indispensable, its Redmi Note range has established itself and competition from devices like those from Honor or Wiko does not really have anything to worry about. Design, performance, photo.
Marketed between $ 217 (3 GB / 32 GB) and $ 277 (4 GB / 128 GB), the Redmi Note 8T is the new entry in the flagship range of Xiaomi. We tested its 4 GB / 64 GB version, marketed at $ 241.
Redmi Note, always stronger
Those who already know the design of the Redmi Note 7will not be surprised by that of the Redmi Note 8T, the new smartphone from Xiaomi is almost identical to its predecessor. We find the same flat glass back, the same rounded edges and the same 6.1-inch LCD screen.
Even the colors on the back are identical! However, there is a small difference: the word "Redmi" is now displayed on the front, below the screen. In our opinion, this is a very bad idea. This spoils the design of the device. Most manufacturers have also abandoned this practice several years ago.
However, we imagine that Xiaomi does not agree with this observation and relies on this aesthetic feature to make its device more identifiable and increase its sales.
To unlock your Redmi Note 8T, Xiaomi offers two alternatives. You can configure facial recognition (not secure) in the settings or use the fingerprint sensor on the back of the device. The latter is effective but always requires grabbing the device to slide your finger on the back, which can quickly be annoying.
We would have liked to take advantage of a fingerprint sensor under the screen as on many other mobiles, but Xiaomi is playing the economy card here. This kind of biometric technology currently requires an OLED screen which costs more than an LCD screen.
In hand, the Redmi Note 8T is extremely pleasant to use. It would be difficult for us to guess its price at first glance as the build quality is up to par.
A screen that gains in brightness
If we qualified as “sufficient” the maximum brightness of the screen of the Redmi Note 7 a few months ago, that of the Redmi Note 8T, for its part, does not have much to envy the competition. With a maximum measured brightness of 631 cd / m 2 according to our laboratory (compared to 501 cd / m 2 on the Note 7), the smartphone can now be used in all circumstances, including in direct sunlight, without you having to wrinkle the eyes.
This is a real advantage! On the other hand, the contrast ratio of the Redmi Note 8T is less satisfactory than that of the Note 7 (1498: 1 against 1643: 1). In the dark, the black bands of a film turn a little too blue in our opinion… We are very far from an OLED screen.
The last point we assessed is the color fidelity of the smartphone screen. If in the default display settings, we remain hungry (our laboratory confirms this with a measured Delta E of 6.84), it is possible to obtain very accurate colors by choosing the standard option (Delta E of 1.60). Once again, for a smartphone at $ 241, we can only applaud the performance.
Advertising spoils the experience a bit
How does Xiaomi manage to offer such great smartphones at such low prices? There is a simple answer to that, advertising. Absent from the brand's smartphones two years ago, it is now starting to be more and more invasive in MIUI, the overlay of the Chinese brand. Thus, the shortcuts pane on the left of the home screen offers a selection of applications to download… These are of course advertisements.
When installing an application, an "anti-virus scanner" is triggered each time. While it claims to scan the app you just downloaded (it lasts 10 seconds and it never finds anything), ads appear on the screen. We encourage you to deactivate it, it is only a duplicate of Google Play Protect installed by default on Android smartphones. It is therefore unnecessary.
Finally, we encountered a new kind of ads on this new smartphone: incentives to like Facebook pages. When the social network was started for the first time, for example, we were offered to like the MIUI page. We imagine that the next step for Xiaomi will be to launch paid services and encourage its users to subscribe, as it is already doing in China.
Are the advertisements disturbing to use? Quite frankly, not that much. They are still rare today and we can easily avoid them, the navigation experience being really satisfactory on this smartphone. The performance delivered by the Snapdragon 665 processor is more than adequate and allows you to do everything without a problem, including gaming.
Too bad some slowdowns appear when performing some resource-intensive tasks like switching from light theme to dark theme. Where some smartphones make this change instantly, the Redmi Note 8T takes 3 to 4 seconds. For the rest, it's flawless.
Autonomy: a return to the top
Xiaomi has been following a bad trend lately. Each new generation of Redmi Note lost autonomy compared to its predecessor, the fault of greater energy consumption. Good news, the Redmi Note 8T returns to the level of the Redmi Note 5. The smartphone withstood 13:46 in our versatile battery life test, which is very satisfactory (without beating the excellent result of the Redmi Note 8 Pro). In video streaming, we reach 10:45 am while in calls, we exceed 8:56 pm. As an indication, the Redmi Note 8T has a 4000 mAh battery.
Although it is compatible with 18W fast charging, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T comes with a slightly less powerful USB-C charger. It therefore takes 2:04 to go from 0 to 100%. You will not be surprised to learn that with its price of $ 241, this mobile is not compatible with wireless charging.
Four cameras especially to look pretty
On the back of the Redmi Note 8T, there are four photo sensors. This wealth of equipment is surprising for an entry-level smartphone, especially when you consider that many mid-range and high-end smartphones from Xiaomi have only three. The Chinese brand is playing the card of increasing the number of camera modules, but this is clearly more of a marketing argument than a real asset for the consumer.
Do these four sensors succeed in convincing us? The answer is no. In reality, two of them are dispensable. The depth sensor (which serves to improve the quality of portrait mode) could very well be replaced by software processing while the macro module (2 Mpix sensor) takes photos of a quality far too poor for them to be fully exploitable.
In addition, the opening of its lens to f / 2.4 makes it very difficult to take photos in low light. In short, the Redmi Note 8T has, in reality, only a really usable dual camera module.
Thus, we find on the back of this smartphone a main sensor of 48 Mpix (module opening at f / 1.75) based on the concept of pixel binning . Four pixels are merged into one, which gives us images with a real definition of 12 Mpix. The second lens is an ultra wide angle attached to an 8 Mpix sensor (f / 2.2).
So far, the photo quality of the Redmi Note 8T is in line with its price. Xiaomi's smartphone is doing well, nothing more. By day, there is not much to fault his photos. At night, it's much more complicated. The exposure time is so important that it is almost impossible to capture a moving subject.
We also observe some difficulties in the management of light, light halos that appear here and there. The Redmi Note 8T is not a smartphone you have to buy for its photo skills, but it is a great help.
In ultra wide-angle, we are also a little disappointed. The deformation at the angles is important and, at night, we do not see much in terms of details. There is too much grain for the image to be really usable.