Design: The design of the Redmi Note 8 leans more towards the Redmi Note 7S than the Redmi Note 8 Pro. While the latter incorporates a curvy design and a luxurious build that belies its price, the Redmi Note 8 is very much a mid-range smartphone as far as looks go. The entire design is an extension of the flattened-out, glass-and-metal sandwich that first debuted on the Redmi Note 7. Yes, Xiaomi’s budget portfolio can get quite complicated.
The Redmi Note 8 places its 6.3-inch display under Gorilla Glass 5, which is flanked by not-too-large bezels on three sides. Xiaomi’s decision to run a color-matched blue trim around the display area is questionable. Personally, I think it cheapens the look of the phone, but you may feel differently. The chin at the bottom is inoffensive even though the Redmi branding comes across as a bit much. A small notification LED sits to the left of the waterdrop notch. The LED is just a bit too small to be noticeable from a distance, but it is better than not having one at all.
The display on the Redmi Note 8 isn’t bad, but in a sea of great panels it comes across as a bit underwhelming. Out of the box, the color tuning skews too far towards cooler tones. This has a profound effect on how images and videos look on the display. That said, it is easy to switch to a more neutral color profile that immediately makes content look a lot more natural
The Snapdragon 665 chipset powering the Redmi Note 8 is the same as that of the Realme 5. Performance doesn’t differ too much from the Snapdragon 660 chipset that powers the Redmi Note 7S. The chipset is based on an 11nm architecture, which should make it a bit more frugal. The 665’s CPU is a touch slower than the 660, while the 665’s GPU is a tad more powerful. All-in-all, the performance gains and losses should even out.