Redmi 8A is Xiaomi's latest budget offering in India. With this, the company aims to provide consumers with great performance at an affordable price. The Redmi A series is the company's best budget selling lineups in the country.
However, it is not true that every smartphone is good just because its predecessor was amazing. Take the case of the 10.or D, it was good, but the 10.or D2 was less than a stellar phone. So let's find out whether the Redmi 8A is a smartphone you should spend your hard-earned money on or not.
Redmi 8A Review
Redmi 8A is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 processor coupled with 2GB/3GB of RAM and 32GB/64GB of storage. There is a dual SIM card slot along with a separate microSD card slot.
The device sports a 6.2-inch (1520x720 pixels) 19:9 aspect ratio IPS LCD display. For optics, it features a 12-megapixel, f/1.8 aperture sensor on the back. For the selfies, it has an 8-megapixel f/2.0 aperture sensor. All of this is backed by a 5,000mAh non-removable battery. It runs Google’s Android 9.0 Pie operating system with the company's own MIUI 10 skin on the top. The Android 10 update status is unclear as of now.
The phone sports a 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB Type-C port, which is quite a rare find in this segment. It lacks a fingerprint sensor, which is something that I feel is required in 2019.
Redmi 8A Review: Design
As far as the design goes, the Redmi 8A has managed to impress me out of the box. The front is a bit bland and looks like any other smartphone sporting a waterdrop notch. The back is where I was impressed a bit as it has a textured pattern and has a vertically elongated oval encompassing the branding and the camera unit. It has a plastic body, which is fine considering the price.
The speaker grille is located just above the dot notch, which also houses the camera. It also has a fat chin at the bottom, which consists of the Redmi branding.
Redmi 8A sports a single camera unit on the back paired with an LED flash aligned vertically on the top centre. The elongated oval design feature looks really good and makes the device feel a bit more on the premium side. The back is textured while the elongated oval is plain with a matte finish.
The right edge consists of the volume rockers and the power button. The top edges has the secondary microphone. The left edge sports a SIM card tray only, while the bottom edge has a USB Type-C port along with the loudspeaker and the headphone jack.
Overall, the design of the Redmi 8A looks pretty good.
Redmi 8A Review: Software
The Redmi 8A runs Google’s Android 9.0 Pie with the company’s own MIUI 10.3 skin on top. Xiaomi's MIUI is one of the most popular custom Android skins currently available. Love it or hate it, its features are useful and its colourful UI with the heavily modified Android experience is a boon for many users.
The device offers users with a heavily customised Android experience with its own icon packs and many additional apps. Most of these apps cannot be uninstalled. Between the colourful UI and no app drawer, whether you like it or not depends on your personal choices.
Overall, with MIUI 10, Xiaomi has made an effort to satisfy all users but has also made the UI even more complex and different from the stock Android build, which is a negative for me.
Redmi 8A Review: Performance
Performance is a major area of concern on any device, the same goes for the Redmi 8A. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 processor coupled with an Adreno 505 GPU. Our review unit came with 2GB RAM/32GB storage.
We ran our usual benchmark tests to evaluate how the device performs. On AnTuTu the device was able to score 76242, which is good enough considering the price and competition. We weren't able to install the Geekbench 5 directly on the device using the Google Play Store, but we were able to get a build running on the device. Even that build failed to calculate the results. The performance numbers of the device on paper are adequate.
While playing light games such as Temple Run and Crossy Chicken, the phone runs flawlessly with the CPU usage hitting its highs. Heavy games like Asphalt 9: Legends, PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty: Mobile become unplayable within 30 minutes of gameplay. The device also heats up quite a bit. Considering the price, this was expected.
Redmi 8A Review: Display
Redmi 8A sports a 6.2-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1520x720 pixels and comes with an aspect ratio of 19:9.
An LCD display is what you except when you consider the price of the smartphone. The brightness levels are able to get super low and but not immensely high which may be an issue while using it in direct sunlight. The colour reproduction of the display is a little dull but still acceptable.
Redmi 8A Review: Camera
Redmi 8A features a 12-megapixel, f/1.8 aperture on the back paired with an 8-megapixel f/2.0 aperture selfie camera. As we all know numbers tell only half of the story, so let's find out how the Redmi 8A's camera performs.
The images taken from the rear camera of the Redmi 8A look a bit washed out. Most of the images have bad white balance, bad colour accuracy, and overall look washed out. In good lighting conditions, the photos can turn out to be a bit decent, but the colours are still not that good.
The front camera has a different story. With the beauty mode turned all the way down, there is still some artificial enhancing of colours, which you can notice without a doubt. The colours look way more vivid and the details are not so good. It looks as if the whole photo has been smoothened.
Overall, the camera of the Redmi 8A is nothing to brag about, but it gets the job done.
Redmi 8A Review: Battery
Redmi 8A is backed by a 5,000mAh Li-Po battery, which easily lasted me around a day on a single charge, which is less than what I have come to expect out of Redmi A series smartphones. Charging time with the included charger is around 150-180 minutes, which is not fast, but acceptable considering the price.
We tried to run PCMark’s Work 2.0 Battery Life test, which subjects the phone to heavy usage and finds out how the battery performs in those conditions. It yielded a result of 9 hours and 37 minutes, which is in line with our on usage.
Redmi 8A Review: Verdict
Redmi 8A starts at Rs. 6,499 and goes all the way up to Rs 6,999. The 2GB RAM and 32GB storage we got for our review costs Rs. 6,499. For that price, the Redmi 8A offers great looks, a good display, big battery life and nothing more to be honest.
Things like a fingerprint sensor would have been appreciable. The camera is just passable, the charging times are too slow, the software lags quite frequently. However, the price of this smartphone makes all the difference. Redmi 8A is a good smartphone, but the camera needs a lot of work.