Xiaomi brings its 2019 Redmi Note 8 back from the dead
Few devices have managed to attain the success that the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8, released in 2019, has managed to attain. It followed in the footsteps of the also highly successful Redmi Note 7, which, back then, featured one of the first 48MP rear camera setups in the Android smartphone market, a teardrop notch, and a Snapdragon 660 SoC, which provided decent performance for the price. It was also very well priced, which allowed many people from all classes around the world to get on the Xiaomi bandwagon. The Redmi Note 8 one-upped it with a quad rear camera setup, a slightly better Snapdragon 665 processor, and more while keeping the price as low as ever.
Now, Xiaomi is releasing a 2021 version of this smartphone. We already knew this thanks to both leaks and confirmation from Xiaomi themselves. The phone has long been superseded by both the Redmi Note 9 in 2020 and the Redmi Note 10 this year, but the 2021 Redmi Note 8 serves as a refresh to this older budget phone. And it has more in common with that older phone than what you might think. It swaps out the Snapdragon 665 in the older model for an (arguably) better-performing Helio G85 processor, which is the same SoC that powers the Redmi Note 9 from last year. The Redmi Note 10, for context, runs a Snapdragon 678 CPU. Internals-wise, it’s pretty much a Redmi Note 9 in the body of a Redmi Note 8.
And… that’s pretty much where the differences end. The Redmi Note 8 2021 looks identical and has an identical footprint to the original 2019 version. It comes with the same 6.3″ FHD panel with a teardrop notch housing the front camera. The rear camera is still the same 48MP quad rear setup, and the same front-facing 13MP camera. It does come with Android 11 out of the box based on MIUI 12, but the exact ins and outs on how long it will get updates for is still unclear, as the original model is fast approaching its end-of-life stage.
What’s the point of this device? The original model recently surpassed 25 million units sold worldwide, and given the marketing around that milestone, this is probably Xiaomi’s way to celebrate it. If you really liked the Redmi Note 8’s footprint and overall experience and would like to check out the newer model just for the nostalgia factor, get one now! Otherwise, there are probably better options even within Xiaomi’s current lineup of smartphones. This is an unapologetic niche product—and it’s meant to be one.