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Xiaomi Redmi 8A Review: Rightful Successor To The Redmi 6A
The product upgrade cycle in the technology market is becoming shorter with every new launch. Sometimes the pace at which the new products arrive in the market is unbelievable and confusing at the same time. The most recent example of the short product launch cycle is the new 'Redmi 8A'. The successor to the Redmi 7A comes just after two months of the launch date of the Redmi 7A.
- Eye-Catchy Design
- Long-Lasting Battery Life
- Type-C Port And Dedicated microSD Card Slot
- Decent Camera Performance
- Gorilla Glass 5 Protection
- P2i Splash-Resistant Coating
- Display Has Mediocre Sunlight Visibility
- Sluggish Performance During Multitasking
- No Fingerprint Scanner, Camera Could Use Improvements
Now you may ask, "Why Xiaomi even introduced the Redmi 7A in the first place when Redmi 8A was already in line?" Is Redmi 8A a better product than the Redmi 7A or should I wait for the Redmi 9A, which might also follow the same short launch cycle? Let's find out these answers in the review of the Redmi 8A.
Design- Looks And Feels Much Better Than The Redmi 7A
Xiaomi has completely changed the design for the company's entry-level ‘A-series' products. The new Redmi 8A not just looks better than the Redmi 7A, but also comes across as a better-looking device than every other sub 10K smartphone that sport glossy gradient finishes back panels. The Redmi 8A is slightly bigger than the Redmi 7A but it is still comfortable to hold in one hand.
The new Redmi 8A is built on the company's Aura design philosophy. The company has introduced two new colors- Sunset Red and Ocean Blue. The third color variant- Midnight Black looks more subtle and is for consumers who don't prefer vibrant colors. However, you won't regret if you buy the Red and Blue color variants of the Redmi 8A as they look quite interesting and eye-catchy.
The company has also improved the durability standards. The new Redmi 8A is the company's first A-series handset to get P2i splash-proof nano-coating that makes it strong enough to withstand splashes without any damage. Moreover, with the matte finish back panel, the Redmi 8A is much less prone to fingerprints.
Overall, the design is one department where Xiaomi has offered major upgrades. The Redmi 8A brings a very functional and eye-catchy design that will surely please the masses.
Xiaomi Redmi 8A Display: Same 720p Resolution But Bigger Display
Like the Redmi 7A, the Redmi 8A also sports a 720p screen but the aspect ratio has now been changed to 19:9. You will also find a notch at the top that houses an 8MP selfie camera. The display produces bright and vivid visuals indoors but the outdoor visibility is not very good.
The HD+ resolution at a starting price of Rs. 6,499 is not a bummer but don't expect much from this budget device in terms of graphics and brightness levels. The 6.22-inch display on the Redmi 8A is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 layer.
Camera: 12MP Rear Camera But New Sensor, 8MP Selfie Camera
Even though the underlying Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 supports up to 21MP single-lens camera sensor, the company hasn't increased the megapixel count. Like the Redmi 7A, the Redmi 8A also sports a 12MP rear camera but it now works on the Sony IMX363 sensor, which is seen on some high-end devices like the Google Pixel 3, Poco F1, Vivo Nex, etc. The sensor uses a 6P lens and supports high-resolution images.
In theory, the IMX363 is better than the widely-used Sony IMX486 sensor in terms of image quality and low-light output. In real-life scenarios, Redmi 8A offers crisp and vibrant shots. The 12MP camera captures very clean images and shows accurate colors. Some images captured on the Redmi 8A turned out even better than the Nokia 7.2 handset priced three times higher than the Redmi 8A. You can also capture software-driven bokeh shots that also look good.
No Slow-Motion Support And Night Mode
As the camera app does not offer a dedicated night mode, you can only capture standard shots that show considerable noise in unfavourable lighting. Moreover, the Redmi 8A also cannot shoot slow-motion videos but can capture time-lapse footage. The 8MP selfie camera is feature-packed but works good only when light conditions are favourable. Overall, Redmi 8A offers a decent camera performance for its price-point.
Hardware And Software: Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 CPU + 2/3GB RAM, MIUI 10
The new Redmi 8A fails to bring an upgrade in the chipset and RAM department. Like the Redmi 7A, the Redmi 8A is also backed by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 Chipset, which is the company's first 12nm octa-core chipset. The 64-bit CPU uses 8x ARM Cortex A53 cores and is paired with 2GB/3GB RAM.
We tested the entry-level variant and it worked fine for most of the everyday tasks. The smartphone was able to handle light games, web browsing and video playback without any major performance slowdown. The Redmi 8A feels slightly sluggish if you have too many tabs open in the Chrome browser or while using the camera application. The HDR and Portrait shots take a while to process.
We also faced some stutters while switching between applications. With the 2GB RAM in store, the device feels slightly underpowered while running multiple applications. Overall, the multitasking performance on the Redmi 8A is not always promising.
For the software, the Redmi 8A runs on the MIUI 10 based on Android Pie. The MIUI 10 is a feature-packed custom skin and offers several useful features. You can create parallel space, lock apps with passwords, set individual app permissions and use Xiaomi's powerful Theme engine to completely overhaul the look and feel of the device.
Redmi 8A Audio Performance And Security Features
While you would still need headphones for an immersive audio experience, the single speaker unit on the Redmi 8A delivers a satisfactory performance. The audio produced by the single bottom-firing speaker is loud and clear and can easily fill a small room
Once again Xiaomi hasn't managed to offer a fingerprint scanner. Like the Redmi 7A, the Redmi 8A also offers a software-backed face unlock, which we don't find secure enough to protect your sensitive data. A quick fix is the ‘Second Space' which allows you to secure apps and photos securely by creating a parallel space on the phone. Additionally, you can use conventional security modes such as passwords and PINs for better device security.
5,000mAh Bigger, Type-C Port And Dedicated MicroSD Card Slot
Xiaomi Redmi 8A packs in the most powerful battery cell on the company's A-series lineup. It is the first Redmi A-series smartphone to come equipped with a 5,000mAAh battery unit. Moreover, it is also the company's very first budget device and the only device in its respective price-point to offer a Type-C port. The Redmi 8A ships with a 10W charger in the box but it also supports 18W fast charging.
To recall, the Redmi 7A is backed by a 4,000mAh battery cell and comes equipped with the dated microUSB 2.0 port. With a bigger battery, the Redmi 8A can easily last a day even with heavy usage. It can last for two days if you use the handset moderately. A big credit to the long-lasting battery life goes to the 720p screen. You can stream music, play videos and the smartphone will still survive for more than a day.
You also won't have to compromise on connectivity and storage as the Redmi 8A offers dedicated microSD card slot. The hybrid SIM card tray has three slots that can be used to take in two nano-SIM cards and a microSD card at the same time. You can expand the internal 32GB storage to a good 512GB.
Xiaomi Redmi 8A Availability
At the time of writing this review, the Xiaomi Redmi 8A is running out-of-stock on Flipkart.com. However, you can try buying the smartphone on Mi.com, Mi Home stores and offline stores across the country.
Xiaomi has introduced the Redmi 8A in less than 3 months after the launch of the Redmi 7A. This is disappointing for the Redmi 7A consumers who have recently bought the device. The Redmi 8A brings some massive improvements. The big screen, powerful battery, good cameras and a dedicated microSD card makes the Redmi 8A a great go-to smartphone for price-conscious consumers. In fact it seems like the perfect Android smartphone for masses who don't want to spend much and still want a good performing Android device.
As expected, the Redmi 7A price has been reduced from its original launch pricing. You can now purchase the entry-level variant of the Redmi 7A at Rs. 4,999. On the other hand, the Redmi 8A comes at a starting price of Rs. 6,499. The price difference is Rs. 1,500 which can be a deciding factor for a large set of the audience; however, we would recommend you to go for the Redmi 8A as it is a much better overall budget smartphone.