Chinese company Xiaomi has been providing us with well-specced devices since its inception and the one thing which acted as a sigh of relief for users, especially in India, is the budget smartphones by the company. Adding to its list of budget smartphones, Xiaomi has added a new one, christened the Redmi 8A, which is the successor to the Redmi 7A.
Carrying the motto “Smart Desh Ka Dumdaar Smartphone,” the new budget smartphone in town appears to be the perfect companion for those seeking a decent smartphone with a decent price tag. However, does it make Xiaomi proud? Read on for my review to find out:
Xiaomi Redmi 8A Review
Although the Redmi 8A is a budget smartphone and our expectations remain quite limited for it, it brings about a breath of fresh air in the design department. When I first met the smartphone, I knew it could have been the smartphone for my mum, who prefers smartphones under 10K.
The device comes with a design, which the company calls Aura Wave Grip Design. It tries to ensure that holding the smartphone is easy. Indeed, it offers a sturdy grip that ensures smudge-proof usage. However, the touch and feel of the smartphone gets cringe-worthy at times.
As for the aesthetics, the Redmi 8A features a single camera with an LED flash at the back, with the ‘Redmi’ branding beneath it in vertical. The camera module and the company branding run down a strip that reads “Designed by Xiaomi” at its end. The front of the smartphone has thin bezels, however, the chin covers a significant portion of the smartphone. The forehead has a waterdrop notch.
The left side of the smartphone has a SIM tray and the right side is home to the volume rocker and the power on/off button. While the top end of the smartphone has nothing on it, the bottom end has a 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C port, and speaker grille.
The device comes in three color options: Midnight Black, Ocean Blue, and Sunset Red, out of which I got the Sunset Red color option (2GB/32GB variant). The color variant goes by its name and provides an ombre effect, with the red descending into the orange tone, which makes the device eye-pleasing.
Compared to the Redmi 7A, the Redmi 8A has a more-than-decent form factor and looks good. Therefore, it scores pretty well in this department.
The Redmi 8A comes with a 6.22-inch display with the HD+ screen resolution and a pixel density of 270ppi. The Redmi 8A has an increased screen size compared to the Redmi 7A and features slightly thinner bezels.
Even though the display has relatively thinner bezels, the chin has visible bezels. While on paper the pixel density of the Redmi 8A is less than the Redmi 7A (295ppi), it doesn’t make a difference, especially to the naked eyes.
The smartphone has decent viewing angles and the brightness is average. The screen looked rather dull even when the brightness level was at its peak. Additionally, the app icons are adequately lit.
The device comes with various display settings such as Night mode, Reading mode, Sunlight mode, and the ability to adjust the color temperature.
Before telling you about how the cameras performed, let me tell you about its camera configuration. The smartphone comes with a single 12MP rear snapper with support for a 6p lens, PDAF and LED flash. The one on the front is rated at 8MP. Additionally, the device supports the Bokeh effect, which is done via software.
Coming to the camera performance, the Redmi 8A did a pretty decent job; I took pictures in almost every lighting condition and the results were fairly decent. There was clarity and the images had details aptly highlighted. However, upon zooming in, there was a loss of detail and the images appeared slightly blurred.
The smartphone’s Portrait mode for the creation of Bokeh did well too. Although no hardware was behind it, it wasn’t prominently highlighted.
As for the selfies, the images were above average. However, they appeared a bit processed and slightly pixelated upon zooming. As a reminder, the rear camera also produced slightly processed images but that was negligible. There’s a beauty mode as well, which further makes the image processed.
Additionally, HDR worked fine and was able to highlight the dark elements of an image. However, it mostly appeared as if it just threw light in an image for the sake of it.
Head over here for more camera samples.
Performance and Spec Sheet
Redmi 8A Spec Sheet
|OS||MIUI 10 (based on Android 9.0 Pie)|
|Phone Features||AI Face Unlock, 18W fast charging|
|Starting Price (Current)||Rs 6,499|
Performance, Battery and OS
I used the Redmi 8A for almost a week and did the usuals: I went through my social media (Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram), did window shopping on e-commerce portals and used a couple of other apps (I made a list of parental control apps and downloaded the apps on the Redmi 8A and used them of course).
One word I had for the smartphone’s performance is decent. The device was able to tackle the tasks that came its way and I didn’t face a lot of issues while using it. However, multi-tasking wasn’t that smooth on the device as it is stammered sometimes while switching between multiples apps. There were lags when many apps ran in the background.
The Redmi 8A’s 5,000mAh battery is the highlight of the device and it really impressed me. The battery lasted me a long while (more than a day) be it on standby or when I required to use the device. However, the charger took a while to charge the device and given the 18W fast charging, I stood disappointed.
As for the OS, the Redmi 8A runs Android 9.0 based on MIUI 10. This was the first time I got to experience MIUI and the UI appeared clean. It came equipped with a couple of pre-installed apps, including Xiaomi apps, but there wasn’t much bloatware.
The problem of ads in Xiaomi apps is prevalent and it at times becomes annoying. Among other things, the MIUI themes were decent.
One thing that is an added perk is Google’s Digital Wellbeing to monitor your smartphone usage. Among the various features, the audio quality was more than decent with headphones and audio effects option to further enhance the audio.
The Xiaomi Redmi 8A, with a starting price of Rs 6,499, acted as a good companion throughout my usage period. Of course, comparing it with other devices (that offer better specs) is unfair. The phone did much decently than expected for the price bracket it falls in.
While there might be some misses by Xiaomi (there ain’t a fingerprint scanner and dual cameras could have been an inclusion), the smartphone appears to be a good daily driver and takes away the thought that budget smartphones can’t be good-looking.
The Redmi 8A proves that Xiaomi is the king of budget smartphones in India and it still will take some time to dethrone it!