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ZODIAC

Found 51 results

  1. When it comes to the Indian smartphone market, the Redmi Note series launch is probably more important than the iPhone launch. Mi India has managed to make this series of smartphones the number 1 selling device in the country and that’s due to its pricing. But in 2021, price is not the only factor that customers consider and Mi India answered its target audience with the Redmi Note 10 Pro series. When I first opened the box of the smartphone, I didn’t look at it as a budget smartphone simply because of how it looks and feels. It seems like Mi India has managed to make the perfect smartphone that delivers everything you want that costs Rs 18,999 and upwards. It’s got an OLED screen for starters, a feature customers have been asking for a while. But that is not the only department where Mi India has made improvements. Let’s talk about what the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max has to offer and where it has made improvements that benefit its users. Design and Display © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is not a small smartphone by any means and one can assume that thanks to its nomenclature. When you first look at the phone, it is around the same size as the Galaxy S21 Ultra albeit lighter. The materials used for the smartphone’s chassis are far superior than other smartphones we have used in the same price category. It feels like any other mid-range flagship device but without the premium price tag. The back is quite subtle to look at with very minimal branding and a surface that refracts light at different angles. The overall look is quite classy and distinct from the rest of the smartphones in the category that tends to imitate each other. At the front, the smartphone has a 6.67-inch AMOLED display that has a refresh rate of 120Hz. The display is probably amongst the best quality you can find on smartphones in this category especially since the Redmi Note series have been known for using LCD screens in the past. The display also supports HDR10 content for customers who like to watch content on Netflix and other apps that support the format. The phone has a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels with an aspect ratio of 20:9. The overall display quality is quite satisfactory where colours look vivid and accurate enough for daily use. It’s not the same quality as a flagship Samsung device and that’s understandable considering the asking price. If you are looking for a smartphone that doesn’t cost too much and offers the best display possible in return, the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max fits that bill quite well. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Having said that, even though the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max uses an AMOLED panel, it doesn’t have an in-display fingerprint scanner. Instead, the phone uses a side-mounted scanner on the power button which is quite comfortable to use. It’s a bit more accurate and faster than an in-display fingerprint scanner. We also love the fact the smartphone comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack. The phone also has an IR blaster so that users can control appliances like TVs, Air Conditioners from the phone. Performance and Battery © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 732G chipset paired with up to 8GB of RAM. In our usage, the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max handled daily tasks with a breeze even with MIUI on top. Scrolling, launching apps and carrying out daily tasks felt ultra-smooth especially with the dynamic refresh rate turned on. Having said that, not all apps run as smooth simply because they haven’t been optimised to take advantage of the high refresh rate yet. While testing a game like Genshin Impact, the smartphone handled it fairly well while there were some noticeable frame rate drops when there were more assets displayed on the screen. However, for competitive games like Call of Duty and other battle-royals games, you shouldn’t face any problems. It is worth note that Genshin Impact has not been fully optimised for the SD 732G platform and you can expect improvements in performance once the developers optimise the game for the SoC. When looking at Benchmark figures, the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max scored 565 (single-core) and 1741 (multi-score) which is fairly respectable for a budget-friendly device. It’s definitely better than the Poco M3 thanks to increased speeds up to 2.3 GHz. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The battery backup on the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is also quite impressive as it can last up to 1.5 days or more on a single charge. The 5020 mAh battery can be fast-charged at 33W using a power-delivery charger that comes in the box. You can also use any third-party PD charger as well however it will only draw power at 18W. The smartphone takes about 40 minutes to reach 50% charge and a bit longer for a full charge. Cameras The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max comes with an impressive 108MP primary camera that isn’t being offered by any company right now in this price category. The camera does take 12MP binned shots, however the results are still quite impressive for an average user. The camera has great dynamic range but the details captured by the sensor are slightly a hit and miss. Maybe a future update might fix this problem, however as of now daylight images do need a bit of work. In terms of night photography, the night mode does a fair job without over-exposing light sources. You may face some issues trying to focus on subjects when there isn’t enough light and end up with blurred shots. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla There is also an 8 MP ultra-wide camera that has a FOV of 118˚. In daylight usage, the ultra-wide camera gives satisfactory results and manages to capture some incredible images. It is by far my favourite lens to use on the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max as it does a better job than any other phone we’ve used this year. There’s also a 5 MP macro-lens that you can use to capture images up-close, however it’s not something you will end up using every day. For portrait images, there’s a 2MP depth sensor as well which results in quite accurate shots. The phone is capable of detecting edges better than smartphones like the OnePlus 8 Series and has enough editing options for you to play around with. If you want to check out the camera samples from the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, check out our camera samples below: Software The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max comes with MIUI 12 out of the box and this is where things can get a bit controversial. You will be served ads from apps like GetApps which can be avoided by switching to a different region when setting up the phone. The OS also needs a bit of optimisation when it comes to taking advantage of the 120Hz refresh rate panel. At times, we did notice frames drops while scrolling, hinting that there needs to be a bit more optimisation from the company. Other additions such as smart home controls in the control center, would make it easier to manage devices without having to use the Mi Home app. The Final Say The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is a great smartphone to consider if you are looking for a smartphone that perfectly blends features, performance and look. The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is a testament to Mi India’s commitment to delivering a great smartphone for the Indian customer base and it will be very hard for the competition to beat the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max. There are slight issues with the OS at the moment, however we expect it to be fixed in an update soon. View the full article
  2. Mi India is all set to launch the next budget smartphone that is probably the most important launch for the company for the year. However, the smartphone in question i.e. the Redmi Note 10 has already fully leaked via a YouTube channel. The leak shows off all the specifications for the smartphone which will make customers quite excited about it. © Xiaomi-Leaks-PH The image that leaked online reveals that the Redmi Note 10 will have Qualcomm’s latest 11nm Snapdragon 678 chipset that was announced by Qualcomm last December. The smartphone will also get an upgrade in another department which has now been confirmed by Mi India official social media handles. BOOOOM! Excited to share that #RedmiNote10 series will feature #SuperAMOLED display - 1st TIME EVER ON a #RedmiNote! Undoubtedly the single-most #10on10 anticipated reveal of all-time! RT and share this epic news! I ️ #Redmi #AMOLED pic.twitter.com/NSlgPAQqSJ — Manu Kumar Jain (@manukumarjain) March 2, 2021 The phone will be coming with a 6.43-inch Super AMOLED display, with a punch-hole cutout for the selfie camera. This is the first time we’re seeing a Super AMOLED display on a Redmi Note smartphone which some might consider a significant upgrade. However, it remains to be seen how the quality of the display will actually be. © Xiaomi-Leaks-PH The Redmi Note 10 is also expected to come with a quad-camera setup that will include a 48MP primary sensor. Other sensors include an ultra-wide sensor and a macro lens as well. The photos also reveal that the smartphone will support 33W fast charging and will most probably support the Power Delivery protocol. The phone is also rumoured to have a 5,900mAh battery. © Xiaomi-Leaks-PH Mi India is also expected to launch a second ‘Pro’ model which is expected to come with upgraded specs compared to the regular Redmi Note 10 model. For starters, the smartphone is rumoured to be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 750G chipset which we’ve already seen on the Mi10i. A third ‘Max’ model is also expected to launch alongside the two models where it will have a larger screen. Not much else is known about the ‘Max’ model as of now. Mi India will launch the Redmi Note 10 series on March 4th in India and we will know more about the upcoming smartphone on launch day. View the full article
  3. There's no denying that Xiaomi's Redmi Note series is super popular in India. In fact, the Redmi series phones have been and are still continuing to be one of the best affordable smartphone options for people who don't want to splurge too much. Now, it looks like the company is bringing the Redmi Note 9 Series' successors to India. Yes, we'll soon be able to buy the new Redmi Note 10 series in India. Xiaomi has officially confirmed that the new Redmi Note 10 series devices will be launched in India in early March. Besides the March launch window, however, we don't have an official date yet from Xiaomi. But a leaked Amazon listing says that the new Redmi devices are coming out on March 10. This particular listing was spotted in a now-deleted tweet that said "the Redmi Note 10 series is “launching on 10th March”. Of course, there's no way to confirm this info until we hear something from Xiaomi. That being said, the company's obsession with the number 10 for this series could hint at this being the correct launch date. Redmi Note 10 series on March 10. Get it? As for the devices themselves, the company is planning to launch four variants - Redmi Note 10 4G, Redmi Note 10 5G, Redmi Note 10 Pro 4G, and Redmi Note 10 Pro 5G. So it looks like we won't be getting a Max Pro variant as we did with the Redmi Note 9 series from last year. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla We're particularly excited for these because they'll be the first set of 5G devices in the Redmi Note series. Although 5G isn't here yet and we don't expect it to arrive in India anytime soon and work flawlessly, it's still a nice feature to have. Coming to the prices, we sadly don't have any info regarding that. But if we go by the pricing of the previous Redmi Note devices, you can expect them to start at around Rs 13,000. The 5G-enabled variants, however, are expected to be priced well above Rs 15,000 mark. Source: Gizmochina View the full article
  4. We're only a couple of weeks into 2021 and we're just getting started with the new smartphone releases. Looks like Xiaomi is planning to kick this off very soon. The company is apparently planning on launching the new Redmi Note 10 series and the Mi 11 series in India. This info was shared by the noted industry insider Ishan Agarwal. According to him, the Redmi Note 10 series prices in India will be pretty aggressive. As for the Mi 11 series, it looks like we'll be getting two devices i.e. the Mi 11 and the Mi 11 Lite. © YouTube/Marques Brownlee The Mi 11 is said to come in Gray and Blue color options and will come in 8GB + 128GB and 8GB + 256GB configurations. The Mi 11 Lite, on the other hand, will be 6GB + 64GB, 6GB + 128GB, and 8GB + 128GB. The Mi 11 Lite will come in Pink, Black, and Blue hues. This is all the new info have and we're still waiting to hear some confirmation on the release date. Moving on to the Redmi Note 10 series, it looks like Xiaomi is planning to bring both the Redmi Note 10 and the Redmi Note 10 Pro to India. Both the regular and the Pro models are expected to be priced aggressively due to the serious competition in this market. Certifications have revealed that both the Redmi Note 10 and the Redmi Note 10 Pro will come in 4G and 5G variants. The Redmi Note 10 is rumored to come with a 120Hz display, Snapdragon 732G SoC, Android 11-based MIUI 12, 64MP primary camera, and more. © YouTube/Marques Brownlee Both phones are certainly going to be very exciting and it'll be interesting to see what they bring to the table. We're also waiting to see what other manufacturers like Realme will launch in 2021. Realme usually goes hard when it comes to smartphone releases, so we know for a fact that the affordable smartphone market is going to have a ton of options this year too. We'll definitely have more to talk about all these new phones when they're officially out. So stay tuned for more info on them. Source: 91Mobiles View the full article
  5. When I heard the price of the Redmi Earbuds S, I literally spat the water out of my mouth. That's because I was testing the earphones for a week prior to its launch and had assumed that it would cost between Rs 4,000 to Rs 7,000. Having tested many TWS earphones over the years, I have a fair idea of what a device should cost due to its sound signature, but the 'Redmi Earbuds S' is literally challenging the status quo. These wireless earphones are not meant for music enthusiasts but for users who don't want to use wired earphones for calls and listen to some music casually while in office or even at home. Here are our thoughts on the 'Redmi Earbuds S' after using them for ten days and what makes it worth the purchase: Design When looking at the design of the Redmi Earbuds S; you will notice that you may have seen something similar before. That's because Redmi sells these wireless earphones in China as the AirDots while in India they are called the Earbuds S. The design of the 'Earbuds S' has no resemblance to Apple's AirPods and instead uses a tried and tested design that many users prefer. It comes in a very cute yet classy pill-shaped charging case which has magnets inside to hold the earphones in place. The earphones are ready to pair with a phone the moment you open the lid of the charging case. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla The stalks on the earphones are minimal and they have a rectangle design instead of an elongated design like AirPods. It sits in your ears at a 45-degree angle and comes with two additional tips that suit your Concha or your ear canal. Even the earbuds are fairly simple as it does not come with any gesture controls and instead uses physical buttons on the base of each earphone that has basic controls such as music playback options and calling up Google Assistant. Additionally, there is an indicator light on each bud which shows the status of the earphones. Red means they are charging in the case and a white light indicates that the Earbuds S is ready to pair with a device. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla The charging case is also made of plastic and we can't really complain here as these earphones cost less than a fancy meal in Delhi. However, the charging case does come with a micro-USB port which was disappointing to see as most devices have now moved on to the USB-C ecosystem. You will be happy to know that the Redmi Earbuds S has an IPX4 rating which means it is sweat and splash resistant, making it perfect for the hot and humid weather of India. Sound Quality © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla The sound on the Redmi Earbuds S is directly dependent on the design of the TWS and the results were quite impressive, keeping the price in mind. Due to tighter seal and the 7.2mm drivers, the bass is more defined, however the earphones do drop the ball when it comes to mid and high frequencies. To be honest, most people like harder bass feedback and the Redmi Earbuds S is delivering quite well on that front. You can, however, adjust your sound levels manually via a music player if you need your mid and high frequencies to be clearer. As these earphones are not really meant for a music enthusiast, there isn't much to talk about the sound as the sound signature stays quite similar when testing the earbuds with different types of genres. The bass or the low frequency tends to overpower other frequencies but it still remains somewhat enjoyable to listen to music casually. If you prefer a clearer sound, you may want to consider the 1More Truly Stylish or the Samsung Galaxy Buds. The most impressive part of the Redmi Earbuds S is the range you can use these earphones up to. In normal mode, we could use the earbuds without any issues in the connection up to 25 feet away from the smartphone. Having said that, we did have to maintain a clear line of sight for it to work that far. If I went to a different room, the audio would cut out from time to time due to the thick walls in between. That said, the range of the earphones is quite impressive and is even better than most of its expensive counterparts. The primary use of the Redmi Earbuds S is supposed to be for making calls and the earphones really do that well. Most TWS have weak earphones that often make your own voice sound muffled. The Redmi Earbuds S have microphones in each bud and we used various apps to make calls for the test. We tested the earbuds on Discord, WhatsApp call and a normal call. The other person on the other end could hear our voice clearly, however it sounded as if we were in a big spacious environment. For gamers who use discord, there is a dedicated low latency mode that reduces lag and helps in faster communication when playing games. It gets reduced to 122ms and can be activated by pressing the physical button on the earbuds three times. Battery Life © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla The Redmi Earbuds S packs a punch when it comes to the battery life of the earbuds when in use. We managed to keep the wireless earbuds running for around 4.5 hours, however in low latency mode you can expect it to drop by 45 minutes. The earbuds can be fully charged again with the charging case, but it does take its time to get to full charge. The charging case also does not support any fast charging, so we advise, you charge the case and the buds when you have ample time. Having said that, the charging case can charge the earbuds up to three full charges on a single charge so you can expect the total battery back up to be around 12 hours when using in normal mode. The Final Say When taking the price of Rs 1,799 into consideration, the Redmi Earbuds S is a sound purchase if you are looking to go wireless. These TWS earbuds are great for making calls and can also serve gamers well for games that require constant communication. Even the sound of these earphones matches up to TWS earphones that cost Rs 5,000 or even above which makes this a great deal already. Redmi has truly democratised the wireless audio game with the Redmi Earbuds S and you should not hesitate from buying these wireless earphones. View the full article
  6. Xiaomi has been upping its game for their number 1 selling smartphone the Redmi Note series. Nobody expected the company to launch a new Redmi Note phone, seven months after the launch of the Redmi Note 8 series. With the Redmi Note 9 Pro, Xiaomi is attempting to redefine what budget smartphones can do and we've been testing the smartphone to find out if the company has managed to achieve it. Design and Display © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla The Redmi Note 9 Pro looks nothing like its predecessor and its nice to see Xiaomi experimenting with the design of the phone. The smartphone has a glass black with the signature aurora blue colour that is a bit shiny for our personal taste but isn't too gaudy. This time around the smartphone feels more premium than ever before and can easily be mistaken for a mid-budget smartphone. At the back, there is also a protruding square-shaped camera module that houses all the sensors. We weren't particularly big fans of the protruding camera module and advise using the supplied case to offset the massive bump. Overall, the design of the smartphone is quite appealing and is quite minimal when it comes to any sort of branding. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla The one thing missing from the back that has been a regular feature on Redmi Note phones is the fingerprint sensor. This time, Xiaomi has embedded the fingerprint sensor on the power button to maintain a uniform look at the back. We loved this idea and want other smartphone companies to use the same method. An in-display fingerprint sensor is not entirely accurate and fast enough to unlock smartphone when you need them to and this solution works perfectly. We've seen it before on the POCO X2 and love the fact it made a return on the Redmi Note 9 Pro. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla In the display department, the Redmi Note 9 Pro comes with a 6.67-inch IPS LCD display that feels way bigger than we thought. The larger screen makes it a bit difficult to use the phone with one hand. To put things into perspective, I can grip and hold a basketball with one hand. In reality, the large display isn't really a big deal if you like to watch movies and play games on your phone. The larger display is great for immersing yourself into content but you will have to sacrifice a bit of usability for the larger screen. The display has a resolution of 2,400x1080p and has great viewing angles for an IPS unit. For a budget-friendly phone, we really like the quality of the display and the colour representation. Of course, it isn't as good as a Super AMOLED or AMOLED displays but they do tend to be much more expensive as well. It runs at 60Hz which was expected as the processor isn't really powerful enough to sustain higher refresh rates. It puts unnecessary stress on the CPU and the battery and to be honest, not many games out there support higher refresh rates. Performance The Redmi Note 9 Pro is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 720G chipsets that also has support for NavIC GPS system. The processor is coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage. We've been using the 6GB RAM model during the course of our review and did not come across any major issues. At first, the Play Store did keep crashing on us but that was later fixed after an OTA update. While the Snapdragon 720G chipset is more than enough to carry out daily tasks, you will have to run your games on lower settings for optimum performance. We could easily run PUBG mobile on medium settings but would notice some frame rate drops when switching to higher settings. While the chipset does offer good gaming performance, it does not match up the Redmi K200 series. For a budget smartphone, this level of performance was expected but it is still impressive for a phone that costs almost half of mid-tier phones. When it comes to benchmark scores, the Redmi Note 9 Pro scored 568 (single-core) and 1625 (multi-core) on Geekbench 5. In comparison, it is faster than the OnePlus 6T and Poco F1. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla In terms of battery life, the Note 9 Pro comes with a 5,020mAh unit which lasts for about 1.5 days even with moderate and heavy usage. We used the smartphone for navigation, gaming, video consumption and web browsing and still couldn't manage to kill the battery entirely. Xiaomi also enabled 18W PD fast charging on the smartphone and it comes with a fast charger out of the box. Cameras © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla Like the Redmi Note 8 Pro, the new iteration also comes with multiple lenses, including a 48MP primary camera, 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera, 5MP macro camera and 2MP depth camera for Bokeh shots. The camera delivered some great shots, given the price of the smartphone. It was able to capture some spectacular 64MP shots while portrait images have noticeably improved from before. The macro-lens, on the other hand, had a spotty performance where it could not capture details at times and sometimes could not focus on the subject. However, when it works, you can capture shots of subjects really close up but do not expect it to be as good as flagship phones. When using in low-light, the Redmi Note 9 Pro does not fare well as pictures lose most of their details. You can get it to work better if there is a source of light. Night mode on the Note 9 Pro also needs a bit of improvement as we found it to work better on the Redmi Note 8 Pro. It just needs a bit more tweaking and can hopefully be improved with an update in the near future. The Final Say When considering everything that is on the table, the Redmi Note 9 Pro is a perfect budget-friendly smartphone that will perform well for most people. It doesn't do a good job at delivering competent pictures in daylight and could be better in low-light conditions too. However, if you are looking for a phone that isn't too heavy on the pocket but does everything you expect from a smartphone, the Redmi Note 9 is a solid choice to consider for Rs 12,999. View the full article
  7. Xiaomi has launched the new Redmi Note 9 series in India today. Both the Redmi Note 9 Pro and the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max are more or less similar to each other with minimal changes. But for the sake of this comparison, we'll be comparing the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max with the Realme 6 Pro, because they're priced very similarly. Specifications Both the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max and the Realme 6 Pro are powered by the Snapdragon 720G processor coupled with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. We haven't had the chance to pit both phones head to head, but we doubt if there'll be any significant difference in performance. In terms of build & design, #RedmiNote9ProMax packs a MAX experience! - Triple #CorningGorillaGlass 5 - 16.9cm (6.67) FHD+ DotDisplay Camera - Aura Balance Design - 3.5mm Headphone Jack - IR Blaster - Side-mounted Fingerprint Sensor Now on to cameras! #ProCamerasMaxPerformance! pic.twitter.com/HhbhamrmjW â Redmi India (@RedmiIndia) March 12, 2020 When it comes to the physical size, there's not a lot of difference between the screen sizes of the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max and the Realme 6 Pro. We're looking at a 6.6-inch IPS panel in case of the Realme 6 Pro and a 6.67-inch IPS panel on the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max. But I'd like to point out that the Realme 6 Pro has 90Hz panel, whereas the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max has a refresh rate of 60Hz. It would've been nice to see a high-refresh-rate panel on the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max as well, but it looks like the Realme 6 Pro is the way to go if you want a high refresh rate panel. Both devices have a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front covering the display, so that's good. Cameras When it comes to photography, both phones sport a quad-camera setup at the back. The Realme 6 Pro's setup includes a 64MP primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens, a 12MP telephoto lens, and a 2MP macro lens. The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max, on the other hand, sports a 64MP primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide camera, a 5MP macro lens, and a 2MP depth sensor. © MensXP/Karthik Iyer On the front, the Realme 6 Pro sports a dual selfie camera setup which includes a 16MP wide-angle camera and an 8MP Ultra wide-angle lens. The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max only sports a single camera on the front i.e. a 32MP selfie shooter. We haven't had the chance to test out the cameras, so you'll have to wait for our full review of the phone first to see how the cameras on the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max performs. Battery The Realme 6 Pro packs a 4,300mAh battery inside with support for 30W Flash Charge via the charger that's included inside the box. During our usage, our Realme 6 Pro unit managed to last easily for a day even with moderate to heavy usage. Introducing the incredible quad cameras of #RedmiNote9ProMax - 64MP Primary Camera - 8MP Ultra Wide-Angle Camera, - 5MP Macro Camera - 2MP Depth Sensor. Make every shot an eye-grabbing one. Which one are you excited to try out? #ProCamerasMaxPerformance pic.twitter.com/5JBq4qVjFX â Redmi India (@RedmiIndia) March 12, 2020 The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max sports a 5,020mAh battery with support for 33W charging via the charger that's included inside the box. Given the higher mAh count on the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max with support for faster charging, we think it'll be better than Realme 6 Pro. That being said, software optimization also plays a huge role when it comes to battery life, so I'll reserve our judgment on this for now. Pricing & Models Both the Realme 6 Pro and the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max are offered in three variants i.e. 6GB + 64GB, 6GB + 128GB and 8GB + 128GB. While the Realme 6 Pro starts at Rs 16,999, the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max starts at Rs 14,999. However, the top-end variant of both the phones are priced at Rs 18,999. On paper, both phones match each other neck to neck. The Realme 6 Pro seems like it's got a little bit of an edge over the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max with its 90Hz display, dual selfie cameras, 20X zoom and more. But I suggest you stay tuned for our full review of the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max to see how good or bad it is in the real world. In the meantime, you can check out our review of the Realme 6 Pro to learn more about it. View the full article
  8. The on-going coronavirus threat isn't stopping the smartphone makers to drop new phones in the market. After the launch of Realme's new 6 series phone, Xiaomi has today launched the new Redmi Note 9 series in the country. Xiaomi's Redmi Note series is extremely popular in the country and the new Redmi Note 9 Pro Series is just taking things to a whole new level. We got two new phones today, but let's check out the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max first - Redmi Note 9 Pro Max #RedmiNote9ProMax definitely exceeds expectations with #ProCamerasMaxPerformance! RT if u agree. * @Qualcomm #Snapdragon 720G * #64MP Quad #Camera * #32MP in-display #Selfie * 5020mAh battery * 33W fast charger in-box * 16.9cm (6.67) Dot Display * Aura Balance Design #Xiaomi pic.twitter.com/yVDwTcKCvq — Manu Kumar Jain (@manukumarjain) March 12, 2020 The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max sports a 6.67-inch IPS panel on the front with a punch-hole cutout for the camera. The display is covered by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The phone, just like the Realme 6 Pro, is powered by the Snapdragon 720G processor and comes with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. Both the new Redmi phones come with Aura design and they both look pretty cool. The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max also sports a quad-camera setup at the back which includes a 64MP sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide camera, a 5MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, there's a 32MP selfie shooter as well. There's a 5020 mAh battery inside the phone which supports fast-charging at 33W with the included charger in the box. The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max comes with a unique design that looks different from any other Redmi Note series phones we've seen in the past. It'll be interesting to see how it competes with the Realme 6 Pro, its closest competitor. Redmi Note 9 Pro #RedmiNote9Pro is #ThePerformanceBeast! Hit RT if you agree * Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G * 48MP Quad Camera * 16MP In Display Selfie * 5020mAh battery * 18W fast charger * 16.9cm Dot Display * Aura Balance Design#ProCamerasMaxPerformance #ILoveRedmiNote #Xiaomi pic.twitter.com/yfa5uumb0w — Manu Kumar Jain (@manukumarjain) March 12, 2020 The Redmi Note 9 Pro is very similar to the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max, except for the the camera. Instead of the 64MP sensor, the Redmi Note 9 Pro sports a 48MP sensor. Everything else is very similar to the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max. In terms of the variants, the Redmi Note 9 Pro comes with up to 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage, whereas the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max comes with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. Pricing & Availability The Redmi Note 9 Pro has been launched in India for a starting price of Rs 12,999 for the 4GB + 64GB variant. The 6GB + 128GB variant of the phone will cost you Rs 15,999. The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max, on the other hand, has been launched at a starting price of Rs 14,999 for the base variant. The 6GB + 128GB variant of the phone is priced at Rs 16,999 whereas the 8GB + 128GB variant is priced at Rs 18,999. The phone will be available to purchase in three colors i.e. Aurora Blue, Interstellar Black and Glacier White from Amazon and mi.com starting. The Redmi Note 9 Pro will be available starting March 17th whereas the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max will be available starting a week later that i.e. March 25. View the full article
  9. When it comes to power banks, you need to get the right one that fits your needs and doesnât take enough time to charge your gadgets. Weâve seen power banks that offer some form of fast-charging but normally come at premium prices. Some offer fast-charging equivalent to QC 2.0 and some can go up to offering 18W Power Delivery fast charging for smartphones and other gadgets. Xiaomiâs subbrand Redmi has launched both but for now, we will be talking about the Redmi 10,000 mAh model. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The power bank offers more or less the same charging speed as a QC 2.0 wall charger i.e. it can fast charge your smartphone for 10W. If you are looking for faster charging speeds, Redmi offers a 20,000 mAh variant that supports 18W PD charging. It kind of makes sense that Redmi opted to not support PD fast charging on the 10,000 mAh model, as it would reduce the capacity of the power bank to 7,200 mAh when using 18W fast charging and the kind of connection you have with a particular gadget. Most power banks list their capacity (milliamp hours or mAh) as a sum of the lithium-ion cells inside. This is based on their nominal voltage: 3.6-3.7V. But that does not show how much energy a gadget would actually get out of the power bank. For that, we have to find âactual capacity.â For example, a 10000mAh power bank that has to boost to 5V for fast charging will result in 10000mAh * 3.7V / 5V = 7200mAh USB capacity. In order to avoid a lower capacity on the power bank, Redmi did a smart thing by not supported PD charging on this particular model. It ensures that you have enough juice left on the power bank to charge your smartphone more times by using a lower voltage. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The power bank has 2 x USB Type-A Output (5.1V-2.4A / 5.1V-2.6A), USB Type-C / Micro-USB Input (5V-2.1A). Having two input ports ensures that you can charge the power bank with both Micro-USB and Type-C port, however, we recommend using the Type-C port if you want the power bank to get charged quickly. The Redmi 10,000 mAh power bank also supports pass-through charging, which means you can charge your device and the power bank at the same time. It also comes with protection from overcurrent, over-power, short circuit, and two-way fast charging. The power bank also supports low power mode charging for devices like smart bands, LED lights and USB Fans. You can simply tap the power button twice to enter this mode. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla When it comes to the design, the power bank has a dimension of 150.5 x 73.6 x 15.1mm making it easy to slip into any backpack or back pocket. It isnât as slim as Realmeâs power bank but it isnât too big for people to use on a daily basis on the go. Having said that, there are skins available online for the power bank and we opted to use a skin that imitated leather. There are various other options like wood, camp and other designs to make your power bank look more unique than everything else out there. When it comes to charging smartphones, the 10,000 mAh model can charge the Redmi Note 7 and the Redmi K20 (4,000 mAh) almost two times. Both these smartphones have massive battery capacity and its impressive to see it charge the smartphone almost twice given the output connections you get from the ports. You can expect the smartphones to charge at 10W however if you require faster-charging speeds, we recommend you get the 20,000 mAh model. The Redmi 10,000 mAh power bank costs only Rs 799 which is far less than the competition out there. It offers more value for money thanks to all the features and protective precautions that you may not find on other power banks. It has multiple input ports giving you the freedom to use a USB-C or micro USB charger to juice up the power bank. View the full article
  10. A few weeks ago when I reviewed Xiaomi's Redmi Note 8, I said it was the best phone to buy under Rs 10,000 in India and nothing comes close. Well, the Redmi Note 8 is still a kickass phone, but it's no longer the only phone we recommend in this price range. Yes, Realme has updated the Realme 5 with new optics and called it Realme 5s. But it's not exactly a bad thing because the Realme 5 itself was a really good phone and it only needed the optics to go head-to-head with Xiaomi's new budget king. So, is the Realme 5s a good phone to buy? Well, let's find out. 1. Design & Build Quality © Karthik Iyer/ MensXP Realme has been making some really good looking phones and the new Realme 5s is no exception. I absolutely loved the design of the Realme 5 when it came out, so I am glad that they decided to stick to the same design. The Realme 5s looks exactly the same. I mean, if it wasn't for the new 48MP moniker on the camera sensor or the new Crystal Red colour, you won't be able to tell the difference between the two. Since we're looking at the same design, we must point out that it's a little unwieldy. I mean, it's a tall phone with a massive display on the front and a huge battery inside. So it's not a easy phone to hold and use, at least not with one hand. But if that's not an issue, then you'll love it. Realme has done a great job when it comes to the build quality. © Karthik Iyer/ MensXP The Realme 5s has the classic Realme diamond pattern at the back. There's also a fingerprint scanner at the back, which is just as fast and reliable as any other physical scanner. It can be a little hard to reach if you have small hands. And since Realme hasn't changed anything else apart from the camera, we're looking at the same micro USB port at the bottom. It's a bummer, considering the fact that other competing phones are now offering a USB Type C port. 2. Display The Realme 5s sports a 6.5-inch LCD display with a waterdrop notch. It's a tall display, but it's only an HD+ panel, which means, it's not going to be as sharp as the displays on some other phones in the same price range. Also, the LCD isn't as bright and colourful as you'd expect, so I'd say the display is one of the weak points of the phone. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad display by any means. But we wish it was at least an FHD+ panel. © Karthik Iyer/ MensXP Apart from that though, I don't have any other complaints with the display. The bezels are slim, viewing angles are good and even the sunlight visibility is pretty good. It's a perfectly serviceable display for a phone that costs under Rs. 10,000. 3. Performance The Realme 5s has the same specifications as the Realme 5, which means it shares the same specs as the Redmi Note 8 too. It packs a Snapdragon 665 SoC chipset and 4GB RAM, which is a good combo for keeping things quite smooth on a budget phone. During my testing, the phone managed to push through all the day-to-day tasks such as web browsing, social media apps and more. © Karthik Iyer/ MensXP However, gaming is not exactly a strong suit of Snapdragon 665 SoC, so you may notice lags and jitters occasionally while playing games like PUBG Mobile and Asphalt 9. But that's the case with most budget phones, so you might want to consider spending a little more if you want a phone to play games. I must point out that Realme's ColorOS based on Android Pie is pretty good. It has gotten a lot better over time and is now one of my favorite Android skins. Yes, it still comes with a ton of bloatware, but you can remove most of them. I just like how smooth the UI is. Software makes a whole lot of difference and I am happy to report that you won't have any issues with the Realme 5s when it comes smooth day-to-day performance. 4. Camera © Karthik Iyer/ MensXP Yes, the cameras! Like I said, the only reason why this phone exists is the camera. The Realme 5s sports a quad-camera setup which includes a 48MP primary sensor, an 8MP ultrawide camera, a 2MP macro camera and a 2MP depth sensor. The rest of the sensors are the same as what we saw on the Realme 5, so essentially the 48MP is the highlight here. So, how's the camera performance? Well, the 48MP sensor offers a lot of details in daylight photos with ample light. There's a ton of details on the images captured in the 48MP mode and the brightness is also on point. There's also a dedicated night mode on the Realme 5s and it can take some really good shots. Even the images captured using the other modes are really good, so I'd say this is a really versatile camera. Here are some samples - 5. Battery Life The Realme 5s packs a massive 5,000 mAh battery, which is what makes this phone a little bulky. If you're looking for a phone with good battery life, then look no further. The Realme 5s can last you a very long time on a single charge, even if you're a heavy hitter. I usually go hard on phones while testing them and hence they give up very easily. © Karthik Iyer/ MensXP But with Realme 5s, I was ending my days with up to 40-percent charge, even on the day when I am using it extensively for watching media, taking pictures, etc. It's that good. But it only comes with a 10W charger, which means it'll take a lot of time to get fully charged. You'll be looking at around 2 hours to get this phone from 0 to 100-percent. 6. The Final Say So, is the Realme 5s worth the asking price of Rs. 9,999? Well, yes. At that price, you're getting a really good phone with a great internals, a massive 5,000 mAh battery and a really versatile camera setup. These are the only thing that matters to budget phone buyers and I think Realme has done a good job. Yes, I would've loved to see an FHD+ panel and USB Type C port, but it looks like, we can't have it all. So, I'll wrap up my review by saying that Redmi Note 8 is not the only phone that's worth checking out under Rs. 10,000. The Realme 5s is also here now and it has a lot going for it. Be sure to check out our detailed comparison between the Redmi Note 8 and the Realme 5s to learn more about them. View the full article
  11. Smartphones that are priced under Rs. 30,000 are extremely popular in India. People prefer these phones over the flagship devices mainly because of all the value it offers for the money. You'll probably end up spending way less money and get some really powerful specs, great cameras, etc. Well, if you are planning to buy a new smartphone under Rs. 30,000, then these are the ones which we think are worth buying. 1. OnePlus 7 © Karthik Iyer/ MensXP Yes, OnePlus has already launched the OnePlus 7T but doesn't make the OnePlus 7 a bad phone by any means. In fact, it received a price cut after the launch of OnePlus 7T, making it an even better offering. You can now pick up the OnePlus 7 for less than Rs 30,000, which is awesome. You'll get a 6.4-inch FHD+ panel, Snapdragon 855 SoC, a 48MP camera sensor and more. If you're interested, then you can read our full review of the OnePlus 7 right here. 2. Redmi K20 Pro © YouTube/ Marques Brownlee Redmi K20 Pro is another great phone that's worth checking out in this price range. The phone looks stunning, sports an AMOLED panel, is powered by the Snapdragon 855 SoC and has a triple camera setup with a 48MP sensor. It also has a great battery life. You can check out our review of the Redmi K20 Pro right here. 3. ASUS 6Z © YouTube/ GSMArena The ASUS 6Z has now received a significant price cut in India and is now available for just Rs. 25,999. At that price, it's a great device and is absolutely worth checking out. It's powered by the Snapdragon 855 SoC and comes with a 6.4-inch AMOLED panel and a massive 5,000 mAh battery. The highlight of the phone, however, is the rotating camera module, which includes a 48MP sensor. 4. Google Pixel 3a © YouTube/ Android Police Lastly, we have the Google Pixel 3a. Yes, Google has already launched Pixel 4, but it's not coming to India. So your best bet to get Google's camera under Rs. 30,000 is by buying the Pixel 3a. We use the Google Pixel 3a to shoot most of the pictures for our reviews and features, so we can confirm that it's a great phone and totally worth buying. View the full article
  12. Xiaomi has been on a roll this year with smartphone launches and the Redmi Note series got a new update two weeks ago. The Remi Note 8 Pro was one of the smartphones launched by the company that features an all-new chipset, quad-camera setup and a premium design - all for Rs 14,999. While no smartphone is perfect and every device comes with its own issues, the Redmi Note 8 Pro is a strong contender for being the most reliable smartphones in this category. It offers more features than some of the premium smartphones and is now updated with features that make it a complete smartphone, let alone a budget device. Here's our review of the Redmi Note 8 Pro and why it's the most reliable device you can get right now. Design and Display © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla The Redmi Note 8 Pro now comes with a more streamlined and premium design than ever before. It has a glass back with Corning's Gorilla Glass 5 and has a more subtle design as compared to its predecessor. It is elegant and not too jarring as compared to other smartphones that come with flashy colours or gradient designs. The Redmi Note 8 Pro is also larger than its predecessor which may be a deal-breaker for some or an upgrade for many. At the back, you have a camera module that houses three sensors and the fingerprint sensor. The fingerprint sensor is right below the last camera sensor in the module and can be a bit confusing to use as you can smudge the sensor. It takes time to get used to it as there isn't much to differentiate between the camera sensor and the fingerprint sensor. Ideally, we would have loved to see some distance separating them, but it seems like Xiaomi prefers a more uniform look. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla At the bottom, you will now find a USB-C port which has been a long-requested feature for the Redmi Note series. Xiaomi was using the micro-USB port for the Redmi Note series until now and this is a welcome change. For Indian audiences, Xiaomi has also included a separate microSD slot for expandable storage. This feature is not available in the Chinese variant of the smartphone, making it an exclusive feature for Indian customers. The Redmi Note 8 Pro comes in three colours i.e. Halo White, Gamma Green, and Shadow Black where the 'Halo White' colour is by far our favourite. The Gamma Green also looks awesome but is an acquired taste. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla In the display department, the Redmi Note 8 Pro comes with a bigger 6.53-inch FHD+ display and has a notch at the top that houses the selfie camera. It has a resolution of 2340x1080 pixels and a screen to body ratio of 91.4%. The display itself is good enough for casual video streaming and watching videos in general. The display also supports HDR content which is rare to find on smartphones in this price range. The overall brightness of the display is sufficient enough to use directly under the sun and it can go as high as 635 nits. The panel itself peaks at 460 nits in auto mode which is more than enough for outdoor use. In terms of colour accuracy, the display does deliver reliable contrast levels. However, the colours are not as accurate as we would like them to be. The overall tone of the display is blue where even the white colour has a bluish hue. The cyan levels are also quite over-saturated which can be an issue for fussy people. Apart from these minor issues, the display is reliable enough for gaming and videos as the colour accuracy issues are not too extreme. Cameras © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla The Redmi Note 8 Pro comes with a quad-camera setup at the back and a 20MP selfie camera in the front notch. The primary sensor is a 64MP shooter co-developed by Xiaomi and Samsung, while other camera sensors include an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens, a 2MP depth sensor and a 2MP macro lens. Overall, the camera performs better than expected and takes images with some great detail especially in the 64MP mode. We were also quite surprised by how the smartphone performed in low-light conditions while using the night mode. For a smartphone that costs less than Rs 20,000, the Redmi Note 8 Pro does an incredible job at taking pictures. The portrait mode also has drastic improvements while the macro mode needs slight improvement to capture more detail. The camera app also comes with cool editing tools such as replacing the background on portrait images, the sky replacement feature for landscape images and other cool filters you can play around with. For portrait images, you can even adjust the bokeh level post taking the image or add effects such as light trails to make it more interesting. Check out our camera samples below to see for yourself: Performance © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla The Redmi Note 8 Pro is the first smartphone in the series that comes with a MediaTek chipset rather than the usual Qualcomm SoC. The MediaTek G90T is the first chipset by the company that promises good gaming performance and is clocked at 2.05GHz. It's a 12nm chipset which may not be as efficient when it comes to power efficiency as the 10nm chipsets by Qualcomm. The smartphone comes with 6GB or 8GB of RAM depending on the model you pick. We were using the 8GB variant during the course of our review and it performed well in all our tests. We would have liked it to be on par with Qualcomm chipsets but unfortunately, that is not the case. The Redmi Note 8 Pro scored 495 (single-core) and 1533 (multi-core) in Geekbench 5 tests. It may not be an impressive score when compared to flagships, but is still reliable enough to use the smartphone as a daily driver. While gaming, we recommend using the medium graphics on PUBG mobile as the smartphone will last longer and not drop any frames during gameplay. In extreme settings, the game is still playable but you may experience some overheating issues. The battery size on the Redmi Note 8 Pro has also been upgraded as it now comes with a 4500mAh battery. That enables the smartphone to last at least one full day on a single charge and up to 1.5 days with moderate use. The battery can also be fast-charged at 18W with the bundled wall charger and takes about 1.3 hours for the same. You can also use any power delivery charger with the Redmi Note 8 Pro and it will charge at the same pace. The Final Say The Redmi Note 8 Pro is a good, reliable smartphone that gets the job done for power users. There are minor issues with the smartphone that we can live with as the smartphone delivers more than its worth. It comes with a great camera that can take incredible images and performs well when it comes to gaming and battery life. While the design of the smartphone is premium, we would have loved to see the fingerprint sensor placement to be distinguished from the camera sensor. Overall, if you aren't looking to spend a lot of money on a smartphone and yet want a reliable device, the Redmi Note 8 Pro is the one you're looking for. View the full article
  13. 2019 has been a spectacular year for smartphones, especially the budget ones. Between just Xiaomi and Realme, we got more than 15 smartphones in the budget segment, which is absolutely incredible. But as a fan of the Redmi Note series since the Redmi Note 3, I was super excited about the release of the Redmi Note 8 series in India. It's safe to say that every new handset in the Redmi Note series has brought exciting updates while maintaining an affordable price tag. I mean, it's not called the "King Of Budget Phones" for no reason. But I was particularly interested to know what the Redmi Note 8 brought to the table since it hasn't been that long since the Redmi Note 7's launch. Anyway, I've been using the Redmi Note 8 as my primary phone since it was launched in India, and I think it's currently the best phone to buy if you're looking for one under Rs 10,000. Here's why I think so - Design & Build Quality © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer I've said this before and I'll say it again - design and build quality is no longer a tradeoff when it comes to budget phones. Xiaomi itself has a lot of budget phones that look just as good as some of the premium flagships out there, if not better. Well, the Redmi Note 8 is no exception. The Redmi Note 8's design isn't a radical improvement like the Redmi Note 8 Pro, but it still looks very elegant. I really love what Xiaomi is doing with the "Aura Design". I personally think that the "Moonlight White" is the best color, but I'd say the Neptune Blue which I got for review isn't too shabby either. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer The quad-camera module makes it stand out, but I am not a huge fan of the camera bump itself. But I like the fact that Xiaomi hasn't skimped on things like the 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB Type-C port, IR blaster, etc. There's also a fingerprint scanner at the back, which is fast and reliable. Overall, I really dig the Redmi Note 8's design and build quality. It's a well-built phone that looks good and has pretty much everything that you'd want in a phone. Display © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer The Redmi Note 8 has a 6.3-inch FUllHD+ panel on the front with a waterdrop notch on top. By now, I am used to having a notch on the top, so should you unless you're willing to put up with mechanical parts of the pop-up selfie camera module. But I don't like the "Redmi" branding on the chin. The display itself is an IPS panel, which gets decently bright in direct sunlight. Of course, it's not as good as an OLED panel, but it's solid for the price. You also get the usual set of options to customize the display, and there are things like the blue light filter, etc. on MIUI. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer During my review, I watched a lot of shows on Netflix and YouTube and also did some gaming to see if I had any issues. But I am happy to report that it's a perfectly serviceable display, and you should have no issues with it whatsoever. Performance & Software The Redmi Note 8 is powered by the Snapdragon 665 SoC and it comes with up to 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage. The storage, by the way, is expandable via a microSD card slot up to 512GB. Unlike the Redmi Note 8 Pro's Helio G90T, the Snapdragon 665 SoC is a tried and tested piece of hardware. It's also the one powering devices like the Realme 5 and Xiaomi's Mi A3, and I think the SoC with its 11nm architecture is solid for this price range. You'll have no issues using the Redmi Note 8 for basic tasks like web browsing, using social media, media consumption, etc. They all work flawlessly on this SoC, so no worries there. Gaming experience, however, is probably not the best we've seen so far. © MensXP Of course, you can run titles like PUBG Mobile, Call Of Duty Mobile, etc., but you may notice occasional lags and frame drops every now and then. If you're someone who likes to play a lot of games on phones, then you might want to pick up the Redmi Note 8 Pro. I mean, the "G" in Helio G90T stands for gaming, so you can't go wrong with that. On the software side of things, the Redmi Note 8 is currently running on MIUI 10 based on Android 9 Pie. It's kind of a bummer that these phones aren't running the new MIUI 11 out of the box, but that update is coming later this year, so there's nothing to worry about. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer As for the software, well, it's MIUI so there's a lot of room for improvement. There's nothing particularly wrong with the software, but I hate that I have to clear a bunch of pre-installed apps on a new phone. Also, the ads that keep showing up every now and then. If you're coming from a Xiaomi phone, then you know what to expect. Camera With the Redmi Note 8, Xiaomi now has a phone with quad-cameras for under Rs 10,000. The Redmi Note 8's setup includes a 48MP primary sensor with an f/1,79 aperture, an 8MP Ultra wide-angle camera, a 2MP macro lens, and a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, the Redmi Note 8 sports a 13MP selfie shooter. Xiaomi's camera app has also improved a lot and it now offers a lot of features. There's a dedicated night mode for taking pictures in low-light, and the phone also lets you record macro videos, which is quite impressive. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer The images taken during the day time with good lighting have lots of detail and I like how the ISP tries to maintain the original colours in the scene. The exposure seems to be on point with great textures. I also took a ton of low-light pictures at night with the Redmi Note 8 and found its 'Night Mode' to be really impressive. A few macro shots that I managed to capture also turned out much better than I expected. Again, there's still some room for improvement, but I like the cameras on the Redmi Note 8. Here are some camera samples - Battery Life The Redmi Note 8 packs a 4,000mAh battery with support for 18W fast charging. In fact, Xiaomi is being super generous by adding the 18W fast-charger inside the box. I think that's really cool, and there's something to learn for every manufacturer. It's the little things like this that make the phone worth recommending. On a single charge, I was getting about 5 to 6 hours of screen on time, which is not bad at all. I consider myself a heavy user, and I go hard when I am reviewing a phone with max brightness and all that stuff. With that, I'd say we have a winner here. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer The Final Say The Redmi Note 8 starts at Rs 9,999 in India, which if you ask me is incredibly good. In fact, I think the Redmi Note 8 is currently the best phone under Rs 10,000 and that says a lot about it considering the fact that we got some really good budget phones this year. The real competition is coming from none other than Realme in the form of the Realme 5. But all things considered, the Redmi Note 8 seems like a more well-rounded phone and things like 18W fast-charger inside the box makes it an even better deal. You should totally check out the Redmi Note 8 Pro if you can stretch the budget, but the Redmi Note 8 is the real budget king!
  14. Earlier this year, I compared Xiaomi's Redmi Note 7 Pro with the iPhone XR to see how their cameras fared against each other. To my surprise, the Redmi Note 7 Pro gave me better pictures in most cases. So now, when I got my hands on the new Redmi Note 8, I wanted to do something different and test its quad-cameras. Lately, I've been trying out street photography and was curious if I'd be able to get some good pictures using the Redmi Note 8. Well, that's exactly what I did and I am happy to report that I got some really good pictures. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer Just for the record, the Redmi Note 8 sports a quad-camera setup at the back which includes a 48MP primary sensor, an 8MP Ultra-wide sensor, a 2MP macro lens, and a 2MP depth sensor. The primary sensor has an f/1.7 aperture, which means it can take more light from the subject. This turned out to be helpful while shooting at night and I got some well-lit photos even without using the night mode. I did use the night mode for most of the pictures that you're about to see. I found it to be more reliable and I didn't have to take multiple shots to get a good photo. Of course, a comprehensive review of the camera with more samples of day-time, macro, etc. will be included in my full review of the phone, but for now, here are some pictures that I took at night when I was out for a stroll. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer BTW, I am a complete rookie when it comes to street photography, so please save me the embarrassment. I wasn't planning on taking pictures so I didn't carry any type of equipment. All the images embedded below are straight from the camera and I've not retouched them in any way. What you see is what you get from the camera and I'd say it's damn good. Take a look - As you can see, the images turned out pretty good for a smartphone that costs less than Rs 10,000. It's worth pointing out that most of these pictures were taken in really dark conditions, where there wasn't a lot of light in the scene. I am pretty sure I could've done a much better job if I was fully prepared to go out on a full-blown photoshoot with this phone. But it's good to know that you don't have to be a pro to take good-looking pictures. It can very well be done using a phone that costs as little as the Redmi Note 8. It's a great time to buy smartphones indeed.
  15. It's been a phenomenal year for smartphone buyers in the budget segment. Among options from makers like Realme, Samsung, Vivo, and Xiaomi, we now have a ton of great budget phones on the market. And Xiaomi has already been heating things up by launching two different budget phones in just the past couple of weeks. Today, we'll be talking about the Redmi 8. The Redmi series, as you probably already know, sits between Xiaomi's Redmi A series and the Redmi Note series. The Redmi 8 is no exception, and it sits right between the Redmi 8A and the new Redmi Note 8. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer There's a lot to like about the Redmi 8, but it's hard to forget that there are a ton of other options out there, some from Xiaomi itself, that are equally good or even better. So is the Redmi 8 worth buying? Let's find out! Design & Build Quality Xiaomi has been making some really good-looking phones lately and the Redmi 8 can also be added to that particular list. It sports a seamless finish with a single piece of a plastic panel covering the back and the frame. It's slightly thicker and heavier, but I don't mind using such a device if I am going to get an impressive battery life. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer Both color variants of the phone have a glossy, mirror-like finish, so it's kind of hard to keep them clean, but I must say that I really love the way this phone looks. It's also not too big and rests nicely in the palm, and the curved design makes it easy to get a good grip as well. Overall, I really like the design and the build quality of the Redmi 8. In fact, there's hardly anything to hate here because the phone also has a USB Type-C at the bottom and a 3.5mm headphone jack too. Xiaomi has now got a good grip on the design and almost all of their phones, irrespective of the budget, look very elegant. Good job, Xiaomi! Display © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer The Redmi 8 sports a 6.22-inch HD+ IPS display with a waterdrop-style notch at the top. Not only does it look similar to the Redmi 8A, but I'd also say it looks like any other budget phone that's out there. This one also has a chin on the bottom with 'Redmi' branding, and that's something which I'm not a big fan of. The display itself is good and I am happy to say that it's protected by Gorilla Glass 5. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer I'd say it gets decently bright so you can comfortably use it outdoors, but the colors are a bit off out of the box. You might want to tune the colors of the display from the settings to make it look good. I must point out that this isn't a high-resolution display, so you'll definitely notice the pixels if you go looking for them. Performance & Software The Redmi 8 is an entry-level phone that's powered by the Snapdragon 439 SoC and comes with up to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. I was kind of surprised to learn that the Redmi 8 is powered by the Snapdragon 439 SoC since it's essentially a step down from the Snapdragon 632 used by the Redmi 7. But this one does have more RAM and storage than the predecessor. So, how's the performance? Well, obviously numbers will show you different results, but I think it's just as good as the Redmi 7 if not better. These are entry-level smartphones that aren't meant to keep up with heavy lifting. The Redmi 8 will do just fine in day-to-day usage, juggling between apps, etc. Unless you're trying to stress-test by opening a bunch of apps together, you'll be happy with the Redmi 8. © MensXP Similarly, gaming isn't going to be very enjoyable on an entry-level phone. That said, you can play games on this phone if you really want to. Basic games will do just fine, but I won't recommend running Asphalt 9 and PUBG Mobile and expect a solid performance. Just keep that in mind. As for the software, the Redmi 8 is running MIUI 10 based on Android 9 Pie. I am not a huge fan of MIUI, but there's definitely a lot to like. Bloatware aside, it does come with a ton of features and I am sure you'll like a couple of them like gestures, theme support, etc. Camera The Redmi 8, just like the Redmi 8A, sports a dual-camera setup which includes a 12MP Sony IMX363 sensor and a 2MP depth sensor. I'd like to take a moment to point out that this is the same 12MP sensor that's used in the Pixel 3a as well. Yes, the Google Pixel 3a, the phone which has been my first choice for photography. That said, images taken on the Redmi 8 look nothing like the ones taken from a Pixel 3a. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer Honestly, I'd say the images are just okay-ish at best. The dynamic range in limited and it tends to blow up the highlights. It's also worth pointing out that the phone struggles to lock focus, resulting in blurry images for the most part. Even low-light shots suffer for the most part. Don't get me wrong, the Redmi 8 can take good images provided that there's good lighting and you have steady hands. But I'd say it's still a challenge to take very good-looking images out of this phone which I'd like to share online. That is definitely a deal-breaker for me, and I am sure you'll find better camera phones out there if you're willing to spend slightly more. Anyway, here are some camera samples that I managed to take during my testing - Battery Life The Redmi 8 sports a 5,000mAh battery, and let me tell you that it's very hard to kill this phone. The huge size, coupled with not-so-powerful internals and just HD+ display makes the Redmi 8 a long-lasting phone. Even with moderate usage which includes watching videos online and browsing social media apps, I struggled to exhaust the phone's battery for almost two days. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer It's also worth pointing out that the Redmi 8 supports 18W fast charging and even the included 10W charger inside charges the phone fairly quickly. The Final Say So, is the Redmi 8 worth the asking price of Rs 7,999? Well, in all fairness, the Redmi 8 is an entry-level phone that has a lot going for it. The look and feel of the phone is pretty solid, and I really like how Xiaomi has improved the things that matter the most like battery life. Although you can't really push the Redmi 8 to get a solid performance or use it to get mind-blowing pictures, I'd still say it has plenty to offer if you're looking for a new phone in this price segment. That said, if you don't mind spending a little more, I'd suggest you check out the Redmi Note 8 which is way more impressive for the price.
  16. Xiaomi's annual update to the Redmi Note series is here, and this time it's the Redmi Note 8 and the Redmi Note 8 Pro. These phones were launched in China last month and they've now arrived in India at incredibly affordable prices. Here's everything that you need to know about them - Redmi Note 8 Pro © MensXP/ Akshay Bhalla First off, we have the Redmi Note 8 Pro, the successor to the Redmi Note 7 Pro with a lot of meaningful upgrades. It sports a 6.53-inch FHD+ panel with a waterdrop-style notch. Internally, it's powered by the new MediaTek Helio G90T processor, making it the first phone to be powered by this particular processor in India. The Redmi Note 8 Pro packs up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It also has a 4,500mAh battery with support for 18W charging. And yes, it still has the 3.5mm headphone jack and has a USB Type-C port. © Twitter/ Manu Kumar Jain The Redmi Note 8 Pro is also touted to have really good cameras and Xiaomi has been raving about it on social media too. It sports a quad-camera setup which includes a 64MP Samsung GW1 sensor, which is the same one that's found on the Realme XT as well. Other sensors include an 8MP wide-angle camera, a 2MP macro camera, and another 2MP depth sensor. The phone comes with a bunch of camera features, making it a very versatile shooter. On the front, it packs a 20MP sefie shooter. Redmi Note 8 Next up, we have the Redmi Note 8, the successor to last year's Redmi Note 7. The Redmi Note 8 may not sound as exciting as the Redmi Note 8 Pro, but it's also looking like an incredibly good phone for the price. It sports a 6.3-inch display with Corning's Gorilla Glass protection and a waterdrop-style notch. © Xiaomi It is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 665 SoC and comes with up to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. This one also packs a generous 4,000mAh battery, which means battery life shouldn't be an issue whatsoever. In terms of the optics, the Redmi Note 8 also sports a quad-camera setup, but it lacks the Samsung GW1 64MP sensor. Instead, it has a 48MP primary sensor. The rest of the sensors are the same as the ones on the Redmi Note 8 Pro. On the front, the Redmi Note 8 sports a 13MP selfie shooter. Pricing And Availability Xiaomi has launched the Redmi Note 8 Pro in India at a starting price of Rs 14,999 for the 6GB + 64GB variant. The 6GB + 128GB variant is priced at Rs 15,999. There's also a 8GB + 128GB variant that's priced at Rs 17,999. It'll be available in three beautiful colors i.e Halo White, Shadow Black and Gamma Green starting October 21 exclusively throughout Amazon and mi.com. The Redmi Note 8, on the other hand, has been launched in India at a starting price of Rs 9,999 for the 4GB + 64GB variant. The 6GB + 128GB variant is priced at Rs 12,999. This phone will also be available exclusively via Amazon and mi.com starting October 21.
  17. When it comes to budget smartphones, users want good performance, an attractive price and a premium design. At least that was the case a year ago, but now even budget smartphones are pushing the envelope by offering good cameras, fast charging and more storage. Xiaomi has now announced the launch of the Redmi Note 8 Pro and Redmi Note 8 in India that offers everything we just mentioned and then some. The two smartphones in the Redmi Note series come with a quad-camera setup, awesome design and the most important thing; an attractive price tag. We got to check out the smartphones for a brief period of time and here are our super early impressions of the two: Design © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla When it comes to an upgrade from the Redmi Note 7 and 7 Pro, Xiaomi has upgraded every specification and aspect of the smartphone - the major update being the quad-camera setup. Both smartphones get the premium treatment when it comes to the design. The Redmi Note 8 comes in four colours i.e. Neptune Blue, Space Black, Cosmic Purple and Moonlight White, where the white variant is probably our favourite. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla The white variant has a gradient finish with a slight blue undertone that makes it stand out from the rest. Similarly, the Redmi Note 8 Pro comes in Halo White, Gamma Green, and Shadow Black colour options, however, the 'Gamma Green' variant is the one you want to look out for. Both smartphones come with a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 coating, both at the front and back, giving it the premium feel similar to flagship smartphones. When it comes to biometrics security, both smartphones have a traditional fingerprint sensor at the back and face-unlocking capabilities. Display© MensXP_Akshay Bhalla Both the Redmi Note 8 Pro and Redmi Note 8 come with IPS LCD displays while the only difference is the screen size. The Redmi Note 8 Pro comes with a larger 6.53-inch screen while the Redmi Note 8 comes with a 6.39-inch display. Both smartphones have a drop-style notch and a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels (19.5:9 aspect ratio). Another major difference is the 3D curved display on the Note 8 Pro. Cameras © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla While both smartphones have a quad-camera setup, there are stark differences between the two that set them apart from each other. The Redmi Note 8 Pro variant comes with a 64MP primary sensor while the Redmi Note 8 comes with a 48MP primary sensor. The main difference will be in the resolution of the images. The primary sensor is the only differentiating factor between the two smartphones as the other three sensors remain the same on both models. The additional sensors include an 8MP ultra-wide lens with a field of view of 120-degrees. The third sensors is a 2MP, f/2.4 macro lens while the last sensor is a 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor. When it comes to video, the smartphones can capture video at 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps While the camera specifications look very impressive on paper, we did not get enough time with the smartphone to draw conclusions. We will be testing out the cameras soon to know how they perform in each mode. Processor and Battery Specifications Again, it is hard to know about long-term performance since we have not spent enough time with the two devices. The Redmi Note 8 Pro comes with MediaTek's new chipset Helio G90T that also has a huge focus on gaming performance. The Redmi Note 8 Pro also comes with liquid cooling in order to prevent any kind of throttling while gaming. Being a new processor, it is hard to draw conclusions about its performance. From what we know, the processor is good enough to come close to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset, but we can't be sure until we use it for a longer period. The Redmi Note 8 Pro comes with 6GB of RAM to 8GB of RAM depending on the storage option you pick. On the other hand, the Redmi Note 8 is powered by Qualcomm's mid-range processor i.e. the Snapdragon 665 SoC. We've seen this processor in action before on the Mi A3 and we can expect a similar sort of performance. The Redmi Note 8 Pro comes from 4GB of RAM to 6GB of RAM depending on the model. In terms of battery capacity, the Redmi Note 8 Pro comes with a 4,500mAh unit, while the Redmi Note 8 comes with a slightly smaller 4,000mAh battery. Both smartphones now come with a USB-C port and support 18W fast charging which has been a much-asked-for feature for the Note series. Conclusion The Redmi Note smartphones are the marquee devices of Xiaomi in India and from our initial impressions, the Redmi Note 8 Pro is a worthy successor. In our initial impressions, the Redmi Note 8 Pro performs well, has all the right upgrades and is also very affordable. Stay tuned for our full review to know more about the phone and how it performs in real-life situations.
  18. Xiaomi has established itself as the company that offers smartphones that are considered to be the best option for people who're looking to buy an Android phone on a budget. The company is currently selling as many as 7 smartphones in India that are priced under Rs.10,000. And you know what? They seem to be getting better with each product over time. Take the newly launched Redmi 7, for instance. Honestly, it's one of the most beautiful-looking budget phones that I've seen till date. Not just that, it appears as though Xiaomi has learned a thing or two from the not-so-impressive Redmi 6 from last year. So, has Xiaomi managed to get everything right and make a desirable Redmi phone after all this time? Well, I've spent a little over a week testing the Redmi 7, and here's what I think - Design & Display © MensXP/Karthik Iyer The Redmi 7, as I said before, is one of the most beautiful budget phones that I've ever seen. The gradient finish, especially this Nebula Red variant which Xiaomi sent us for review, is an absolute head-turner. I haven't had a chance to check out the other color variants, but I am sure they look just as good as this one does. In order to cut down the cost though, Xiaomi has used plastic for the back instead of glass. It's more prone to fingerprints and feels a little cheap while holding it in the hand. It's not exactly a deal breaker, but it's hard not to point out especially when you can get the Redmi Note 7 with an all glass-design for just an additional Rs. 1,000. © MensXP/Karthik Iyer Look past the plastic body, you'll certainly find a lot to like about the Redmi 7 design. The curved back design of the phone nicely blends into the matte black frame of the body and makes it really easy to hold. It's not particularly a slim handset, but I kinda like the chunky build, as it gives me more confidence to hold it in my hands instead of sliding it in my pockets. At the back, the phone has dual cameras, a fingerprint scanner, and the Redmi branding. I'll talk more about the cameras later, but let me say that the fingerprint scanner is at a convenient spot and it works great. The phone also has face unlock, but I prefer using the physical scanner whenever there's an option. The Redmi 7 has a 3.5mm headphone jack and a micro USB port at the bottom along with the speaker grills. I would've loved to see a USB Type-C port, but hey, it's a budget phone, so I am not really complaining. The volume rockers and the power button on the right are nice and clicky, and there's also a notification LED at the bottom on the chin. On the front, the Redmi 7 looks, well, just like any other Redmi phone. It's got a 6.26-inch IPS LCD display with a water drop notch and sizeable bezels, so there's nothing new here, really. It's an HD+ display which gets adequately bright and shows nice colors. The viewing angles are also great, and I really enjoyed watching movies and playing games on this display. © MensXP/Karthik Iyer Overall, I'd say the Redmi 7 is a gorgeous phone with one of the displays money can buy in this price range. Performance & Software To take care of the performance, the Redmi 7 is powered by a Snapdragon 632 SoC coupled with either 2GB or 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Yes, you can't go more than the 32GB internal storage, but there's an option to expand it via a microSD card. Oh, there's also Adreno 506 GPU onboard for graphics. As for the battery, the Redmi 7 packs a 4,000 mAh cell, which is a significant upgrade from the 3,000 mAh battery found inside last year's Redmi 6. © MensXP Well, I tested the 3GB + 32GB variant of the Redmi 7, and I had a great time using the phone. I must say that the Snapdragon 632 is a snappy performer, as it showed no signs of slowing down or had any trouble hopping between apps during my testing. MIUI 10 being a bit heavy skin, I did notice occasional stutters, but nothing that would hinder day-to-day usability. As for the gaming performance, well let's just say that it's not a heavy hitter when it comes to that. Yes, it can run titles like PUBG Mobile, but my experience was a bit unsatisfactory even on the lowest graphics settings. So if you were hoping the Redmi 7 would be a gaming powerhouse, then you'll be in for a disappointment. You can run other casual games without worrying about any performance issues though. © MensXP The Redmi 7 runs Android Pie and it comes with all the bells and whistles of MIUI 10. There are a ton of features to play around and customize the phone with. There's an option to turn on the navigation gestures, hide the notch, and all that good stuff. And since it's MIUI that we're talking about here, so you'll also have to go through the pain of disabling ads. Seriously, just that for your own sake because there are ads literally everywhere. They're on the lock screen, notification shade, app installation page, and who knows where else. © MensXP Camera The Redmi 7 sports a combination of a 12MP primary shooter with a 2MP depth sensor to form a dual camera setup. I, honestly, wasn't expecting the camera performance to be all that impressive, but I must say that I underestimated this phone. © MensXP/Karthik Iyer The images taken during the day time with ample lighting, as you can see, are all nice and detailed. One can choose to turn off the AI enhancements to get natural-looking images, however, I found myself using it to get images that are social media ready. I mean, seriously. Who has the time to capture images and edit them before updating your stories, right? The low-light performance of the camera was also great, and I was truly impressed by the Redmi 7's camera. Yes, it's not going to fetch you DSLR-like image with sharp details and stunning quality, but hey, it's a budget phone that cost under Rs. 10,000, and it's adequately good. Here, check out the camera samples and gauge the performance yourself - Battery Life As I had mentioned earlier in this review, the Redmi 7 has a 4,000 mAh battery, which is higher than that of the Redmi 6. And how's the battery life? Well during my testing, the phone easily lasted over a full day of usage. In fact, if you're not a heavy hitter, I think you can easily get two full days of usage out of this phone. The standby drain of the battery at night is minimal, and that's where it excels. © MensXP/Karthik Iyer Xiaomi is bundling the phone with a 5V 2A or 10W charger inside the box. With the included charger, I managed to charge the Redmi 7 from 0 to 100-percent in around two and a half hours, which is not really that bad. The Final Say In a way, Xiaomi started the wave of affordable smartphones several years back with the Redmi series, and it's safe to say that the Redmi 7 continues that trend. Granted it's not the fastest phone out there on the market and it lacks some features like a USB Type-C port, a headphone jack, etc., but it's a stunning looking phone that's incredibly cheap and performs day-to-day tasks well. And yes, we suggest you buy the variant with 3GB RAM over the other. © MensXP/Karthik Iyer It is, however, worth pointing out that you can choose to shell out an additional Rs. 1,000 and buy the Redmi Note 7. With that phone, you'll get things like an all-glass design, a slightly more powerful Snapdragon 660 processor, a better display, and more. But hey, if you're on a tight budget and you can't spend that extra Rs. 1,000, then the Redmi 7 is the phone to own. It's still great for what it offers and more than enough for a casual user.
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