The entry-level segment is full of value for money smartphones, priced aggressively to win consumers. The competition has grown further since brands like Infinix, Realme and Samsung have entered the segment, leaving very little space for Xiaomi.
Now, while Xiaomi took the design for granted at the time of Redmi 7A, it’s using the same as one of the biggest highlights for the new Redmi 8A. This, when bundled with USB Type-C and a massive 5,000mAh battery, makes it a very compelling option at least on paper. But, how good is the phone in reality? Well, let’s check out the same in our detailed Redmi 8A review.
Xiaomi Redmi 8A Specifications
Before we start with the Redmi 8A review, let’s go through the specifications, price and see what comes in the device’s retail box.
Storage: 32GB internal storage, expandable up to 512GB (dedicated slot)
Software: Android 9 Pie, MIUI 10
Main Camera: 12MP (f/1.8, 1.4µm, PDAF)
Selfie Camera: 8MP (f/2.0, 1.12µm)
Connectivity: USB Type-C, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS/ A-GPS, and 3.5mm headphone jack
Cellular: Dual SIM, Dual 4G VoLTE standby
Fingerprint Scanner: No
Battery: 5,000 mAh, Li-ion Polymer, non-removable
Charging: 18W fast charging (fast charger sold separately)
Price: Rs. 6,499 for 2/32GB | Rs. 6,999 for 3/32GB
Here’s a complete list of items you get inside the box:
Sim Ejector Tool
Micro USB Cable
Transparent Silicon Case
Warranty and User Guide
Redmi 8A Review
As mentioned, the design is one of the biggest highlights for the all-new Redmi 8A. The phone looks absolutely stunning from the back, especially in the Sunset Red colour variant that we have in for review.
The polycarbonate rear touts a wave-like texture that feels great to hold while adding a good amount of grip at the same time. Furthermore, it follows a gradient suite to shift gently from bright red to a slightly lighter orangish shade.
The red variant for sure looks very vibrant and playful. However, people who want subtle colours can check out Black and Blue versions. Now, the back isn’t plain like Redmi 7A. Instead, there’s a stripe running through the median which occupies the camera module, Redmi branding and “designed by Xiaomi” badging at the bottom.
Flipping the phone over, you’ll get to see a modern dot-notch display with minimal side bezels. The bottom chin, however, is quite broad and accommodates Redmi branding. Now, that wasn’t required since the phone already gets a branding at the back.
Anyways, talking of the ports and placements, both the power button and volume rockers are given to the right. Whereas, the triple slot is given to the right. The phone also gets a USB Type-C port- one of the first in the segment, placed alongside speakers, microphone and an audio jack at the bottom. There’s no fingerprint scanner on the device, and it solely relies on face unlock which isn’t very reliable in my opinion.
Overall, the phone feels solid in hands and is quite manageable at 188grams- kudos to Xiaomi for weight management. Plus, there’s a P2i rating for splash resistance which adds a little peace of mind while using the phone.
The Redmi 8A comes with a 6.2-inch IPS LCD with an HD+ resolution of 720×1520 pixels. The panel further boasts of a 2.5D curved glass, and 19:5:9 aspect ratio with a screen to body ratio of 81.3%. Plus, it’s protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on top.
Now, the display itself is quite good with nice viewing angles and decent sharpness. The colours aren’t very punchy though, and the sunlight legibility is quite average. Anyways, the display is just apt for media consumption on the go.
Under the hood, the phone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 SoC, coupled with Adreno 505 GPU, 2/3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Our 3GB RAM variant felt quite smooth for day to day use, and there was no lag during casual operations.
However, the phone takes a little longer to open heavy apps. And it struggles heavily when it comes to gaming. Casual games like Crowd City, Subway Surfers ran fine, but PUBG Mobile was a tough call. The game ran decently on low graphic settings, but the experience wasn’t that great. At the end of the day, it’s not made for gaming.
Worth mentioning, try to get the 3GB RAM model as the price difference between both the versions is just INR 500 and MIUI isn’t a lightweight UI.
Like other latest Xiaomi smartphone, the Redmi 8A runs MIUI 10 on top of Android 9.0 Pie out of the box. And while a lot of people love Xiaomi’s UI for the customizability and features it offers, people who adore simplicity may find it intrusive.
Evidently, the MIUI 10 doesn’t have an app drawer which is not appreciated much by users. Moreover, the UI has a lot of bloatware to offer including Xiaomi’s official apps, as well as some third-party apps like DailyHunt, ShareChat and Amazon. Thankfully, most of them can be uninstalled in the settings.
While being heavily skinned, MIUI offers tons of options for customisations. Nonetheless, if you are a stock Android lover, you’ll have a tough time getting used to it.
For photography, the Redmi 8A gets a 12-megapixel single camera at the back with f/1.8 aperture and dual-pixel autofocus. Now, this is the same Sony IMX363 sensor used on Pixel 3a-series, Poco F1, Asus Zenfone 5Z and other upper mid-range phones.
Now, the phone captures really good pictures in daylight with good contrast and sharpness on offer. However, the images don’t have much to offer when zoomed in. Also, the dynamic range is quite off, especially while capturing objects in overly bright areas.
In low-light, noise tends to creep into the frame, with visible softening. Portrait mode solely relies on software and takes a hit very often. Coming to the selfies, the 8-megapixel shooter clicks just passable images- they lack detail for obvious reasons but can be posted on social media.
Overall, the phone has quite good cameras in its segment. However, we had expected more given the grade of the image sensor used on the device. But then again, a lot of factors make up for image quality, including the chipset, image processing, etc. right? So, can’t really complain at this price.
Battery & Charging
The battery is another major selling point for the Redmi 8A, given the fact that it houses a massive 5,000mAh cell inside. With such a large capacity unit, coupled with a low-resolution display and power-efficient chipset, the phone managed to last more than two days on a single charge for me, involving the occasional use of GPS navigation, social media and listening to music via Bluetooth.
Furthermore, Xiaomi has done wonders by giving support for 18W fast charging and a USB Type-C port on the device- a combo everyone would love to have in an entry-level phone. Anyways, the box has a standard 10W charger, and you need to buy the Mi 9V 2A fast charger separately, available on Amazon and Mi.com for around INR 500.
One of the best looking phones in its segment
Fairly good display with Gorilla Glass 5
Amazing battery life
18W Fast Charging, USB Type-C
Dedicated card slot, Dual 4G VoLTE
Not for gaming
Ads and bloatware in MIUI
Camera needs minor improvements
Redmi 8A Review Verdict- Should you go for it?
The Redmi 8A turns out to be a well-built phone that checks almost all boxes for an entry-level smartphone. It has got a good display, dependable performance for everyday use, and of course, promising cameras for basic photography enthusiasts.
On top of that, there’s a huge battery with fast charging and USB Type-C, which is simply amazing for the price tag. Anyways, there are a couple of things that upset us, including spammy MIUI, and phone’s image processing.
Other than that, the phone absolutely shines in its segment, making it one of the best budget smartphones you can get for under INR 7,000.