For those on a more modest budget there is a growing range of smartphones that offer it all, Crystal clear display, fast processor, great camera, good battery life and quality build.
These phone’s fall short of the Quality of our flagship killing handsets but offer much to the everyday phone user. The best low cost smartphones do not challenge the top end mobiles on the market, but do offer outstanding value for money for those that price is the major factor when purchasing there latest mobile phone.
So far the best low cost smartphones we have looked at are from UMIDIGI in the form of the “X” and the “F2” models, today I would like to add the Xiaomi Note 8 Pro to this list of outstanding value for money phone’s.
Depending on the market the Note 8 series can be sold under the Xiaomi brand or its sister Redmi brand name, and comes in many versions, The Note 8, Note 8A, Note 8s are all versions of the same phone series, each model has different memory or processor options. Here we will look at the best in the series, the Note 8 pro, one of the best low cost smartphones money can currently buy.
PROCESSOR and DISPLAY
The Note 8 pro features the Helio G90T processor from mediatek, although not as fast as the latest snapdragon 800 series processors Helio processor offers more than enough processing power for the Note 8 pro to offer smooth operation. The processor is also fast enough to allow gaming at medium to high settings on all but the most demanding games. The advantage of using the latest Helios processor in the Note 8 pro is price, Xiaomi can offer a fast processor but keep the overall price of the handset down.
Sadly at this price the Note 8 pro can not offer an Amoled display, the Note`s display is a 6.5″ FHD+ screen with a notch for the front camera. The screen is nice and bright and can be used outside when not in strong direct sunlight, colors are good and bold although the screen could be more sensitive when playing mobile games.
The Note 8 pro faces considerable competion at the cheaper end of the mobile phone market but its party trick has to be its camera. The front camera is 20MP and offers recording of video up to 1080p at 30fps. The rear camera setup is a quad layout featuring a huge 64MP main camera, 8MP wide angle, 2MP depth sensor and 2MP macro camera for those close up shots. The camera can also record video in 4K at 30fps or 1080p at 60fps, it also offers super slow motion recording at 960fps.
This could be the best camera setup on any sub £250 phone currently on sale. It should be noted that the 64MP camera produces very large photo files so if you chose to purchase a 64gb version of the Note 8 pro the internal memory will quickly fill up. Luckily Xiaomi designed the Note 8 pro with a dual sim card tray that also fits a TF card memory expansion of up to 256gb, more than enough for all your photos.
Daylight pictures are excellent using the main camera but fall behind the best smartphones when used in night mode, but you must remember the Note 8 Pro costs only a third of those models and produces quality pictures for its price segment.
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BATTERY and SOFTWARE
The Note 8 pro ships with a large 4500mAh battery, offering more than enough capacity for a days use, light users will get two days before recharging. The charger is 18w fast charge (empty to full in 2 hours) and uses a USB type C connection.
The Note 8 Pro has Xiaomi`s MIUI 10 software installed that is based on Android 9, an upgrade to an Android 10 based MIUI is due at any time. This upgrade should improve the performance of the Note 8 Pro and add extra features to the operation of the camera.
For those that like to play mobile games the phone also ships with Game Turbo 2.0 software to fine tune the phone for enhanced game play.
For those that like to pay using their phone’s the Note 8 pro also features NFC that supports google pay.
AUDIO and BUILD QUALITY
Its great to see that the Note 8 pro ships with a 3.5″ headphone socket, you can still use wireless headphones if you wish the phone offers Blue tooth 5.0 for loss less audio. Sadly this Xiaomi phone has only one speaker, stereo sound still seems to be limited to the Flagship sector of the market.
The sound quality from the speaker is nice and clear if a little under powered, if I wished to play music through the phone’s speaker it is best to use a small Blue tooth speaker. I often use My phone’s for listening to the radio or music, due to the limitations of many speakers on mobile phone’s I carry a small Blue tooth speaker with me. The difference is considerable even on a small palm sized speaker.
Xiaomi has improved the build quality of its phone’s over the last few years. It shows on the Note 8 pro, Xiaomi has used Gorilla glass 5 on both the front and rear of the phone to give it strength and durability.
As stated above the Xiaomi Note 8 series has many versions and options some offer lower memory capacities or slower processors. These models struggle to match the value offered by my previous top buys the UMIDIGI `x` and `f2`. The Note 8 pro is different though, its more expensive than its striped down brothers and sisters but it offers a spec that makes it a top phone in the budget segment.
The Note 8 pro is a great phone offering so many top features while making few sacrifices. The camera is excellent the screen is nice and clear and its processor is fast enough for most users. The audio from the speaker could be better and It would have been nice to see an Amoled display but you can not have everything at this price point.
In fact if you are currently looking to purchase a new mobile phone and you have a modest budget the Note 8 pro is my top buy. You do get so much phone for your money it`s hard to beat.
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