Hands on: Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T

First Impressions

The Redmi Note 8T’s value just can’t be beaten on paper, and it impresses in the flesh too. For under £200, it delivers a splash-resistant, good looking body with a scratch-resistant glass front and back, and respectable internals. All combined with a big battery and four cameras, Xiaomi’s at the head of the pack when it comes to balancing budget phone affordability and quality.

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £169
  • 48MP camera, an 8MP ultra-wide camera, a 2MP macro lens and a depth sensor
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
  • 3GB + 32GB, 4GB + 64GB and 4GB + 128GB variants
  • 6.3-inch screen
Alongside the camera-tastic Xiaomi Mi Note 10, the Chinese maestro of affordable phones has announced an even more budget option, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T.

This quad-camera smartphone combines a big screen, plenty of battery and an easy to digest price, delivering a similar design the excellent Redmi Note 7 with its large 6.3-inch screen, small notch and multi-camera set-up around the back. Costing just £169, it’s incredibly affordable given the specs on offer, and on first impression, I was floored by the value for money it delivers.

The phone’s 6.3-inch screen is an LCD panel with FullHD+ resolution and climbs up to a peak brightness of 500nits. It’s protected by Gorilla Glass 5 – which is a fantastic feature for the price, and the Note 8T’s available in some very fancy (Huawei P30 Pro-esque) looking colours – Moonshadow Grey, Starscape Blue, Moonlight White. Being glass, it naturally attracts fingerprints like a champ, but there’s a case in the box if you want to keep it smudge-free.

Redmi Note 8T 7 • TopThreeRatings.com

Around the body of the phone you’ve got a headphone jack at the base, alongside a USB-C port and a mono speaker. The Note 8T’s design definitely punches above its weight, but from the front, I do wish its chin was a smidgen smaller and the Redmi insignia was relegated to just the back of the phone.

The cameras consist of a main 48MP camera, an 8MP ultra-wide camera, a 2MP macro lens and a depth sensor, which should help blur out the background when shooting portraits. While it isn’t anything too dissimilar to what we’ve seen on the Honor 20 Pro and other such 48MP quad-camera smartphones, the Redmi Note 8T could be the most affordable phone with four snappers on the market.

When it comes to selfies, nuzzled within a water droplet notch is a 13MP front camera, which supports panorama selfies and brings this budget phone’s combined pixel count to 78MP.

Redmi Note 8T • TopThreeRatings.com

Inside, there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor powering it along, which is, once again, seriously respectable for the price, and storage options are plentiful too depending on your region, with 3GB + 32GB, 4GB + 64GB and 4GB + 128GB variants available. 

It also packs a dual-SIM slot and room for an SD card too, not to mention NFC, a notable omission from the Redmi Note 7. Around the back, you’ll find a fingerprint sensor, which is in a natural place for a finger to fumble over, and the selfie camera enables fast face unlocking if you’re okay with the less secure of the two biometric options on offer. 

Rounding things off is a promising 4000mAh battery, which supports up to 18W fast charging – that’s the same speed as an iPhone 11 Pro and a capacity larger than the 11 Pro Max, so we’re expecting day-long battery life. 

In the UK, Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 8T will be shipping in a 4GB RAM 64GB storage version on Three UK and from Amazon, and will be available from November 22 for £169. If other budget phone makers weren’t paying attention to Xiaomi before, with the Note 8T’s impressive specs at a rock bottom price, they should be now.

A ’hands on review’ is our first impression of a product only – it is not a full test and verdict. Our writer must have spent some time with the product to describe an early sense of what it’s like to use. We call these ‘hands on reviews’ to make them visible in search. However these are always unscored and don’t give recommendations. Read more about our reviews policy.

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