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Redmi Note 8 Smartphone Camera Review: With the Pro, the Note 8 finds its master ...

Marcus Herbrich, 👁 Daniel Schmidt, Felicitas Krohn (translated by Mark Riege), 11/26/2019

... or doesn't it? We analyze and compare the camera quality of the two Redmi smartphones. Find out in our camera comparison of the Xiaomi smartphones, whether the more expensive Redmi Note 8 Pro is always able to shoot the better photos, or whether perhaps the Note 8 can surprise us. To give you a teaser: it can!

Camera test: Redmi Note 8 vs Redmi Note 8 Pro

In our detailed tests, the Redmi Note 8 as well as the Redmi Note 8 Pro show themselves as powerful mid-range smartphones in an overall well-rounded package and are a good choice in their price segments. But how pronounced are the differences in the photo quality between the two Redmi models? Is the extra cost for the Pro model worth it? 

Using various scenes and objects, we examine the photo quality of the Note 8 and Note 8 Pro in more detail. In order to better compare the differences, all the image files are included in their original size behind the corresponding images.

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Camera Setup on the Back

Cameras of the Redmi Note 8
Cameras of the Redmi Note 8
Cameras of the Redmi Note 8 Pro
Cameras of the Redmi Note 8 Pro

The quad-cam of the Redmi Note 8 consists of a 48-MP wide-angle module with the Samsung Isocell Bright GM2 image sensor and a wide aperture of f/1.75. The main camera is accompanied by two 2-MP telephoto lenses with a f/2.4 aperture for macro and zoom images as well as an 8-MP super-wide-angle lens with an aperture of f/2.2. 

In contrast, the main camera module of the Note 8 Pro uses a 64-MP Isocell Bright GW1 image sensor from Samsung with a wide aperture of f/1.89. The Samsung lens is also accompanied by an 8-MP super-wide-angle lens with an f/2.2 aperture as well as two 2-MP cameras for macro and Bokey image recording. 

In both of the Isocell Bright main camera sensors, the 2 x 2 neighboring pixels are combined to a large pixel, so that you create recordings with resolutions of 12 MP or 16 MP respectively with the Redmi smartphones. Both the Note 8 and the Note 8 Pro support a 2x lossless zoom.  

At the time of our test, the current software versions are installed on the Redmi smartphones: 11.0.1 (Note 8 Pro) and 10.3.8 (Note 8). 

Recordings during Daylight

During daylight, the Note 8 Pro often reproduces the colors too cold, but offers more details than its smaller sibling. The dynamic and contrast in the recordings are also more pronounced, but pictures often appear over-sharpened. In the picture with the books, the Note 8 offers the better illumination and also less image noise. This is probably a positive effect of the more light-sensitive wide aperture of the Redmi Note 8.

Redmi Note 8 | Photo mode
Redmi Note 8 | Photo mode
Redmi Note 8 Pro | Photo mode
Redmi Note 8 Pro | Photo mode
Redmi Note 8 | Photo mode
Redmi Note 8 Pro | Photo mode
Redmi Note 8 | Photo mode
Redmi Note 8 Pro | Photo mode

Recordings in the Dark

It is slightly surprising that in weak light conditions, the Redmi Note 8 also offers the better illumination. Compared to the Pro model, objects are reproduced sharper. On the other hand, the color reproduction appears slightly unnatural and the contrast is not particularly pronounced. In those areas, the Note 8 Pro is very convincing. However, the Pro model shows an unexpected amount of blurriness already when the light becomes dimmer.

Redmi Note 8| Photo mode
Redmi Note 8| Photo mode
Redmi Note 8 Pro | Photo mode
Redmi Note 8 Pro | Photo mode
Redmi Note 8| Photo mode
Redmi Note 8 Pro | Photo mode
Redmi Note 8 | Night mode
Redmi Note 8 Pro | Night mode
Redmi Note 8| Photo mode
Redmi Note 8 Pro | Photo mode
Redmi Note 8 | Night mode
Redmi Note 8 Pro | Night mode

Recordings With the Wide-Angle and Telephoto Lenses

Next, we take a more detailed look at the wide-angle lenses and the zoom functions of the Redmi smartphones. As expected, compared to the main camera, the quality drops visibly in both models

When using the ultra-wide-angle camera of the Note 8, details and sharpness are lost, particularly in the edge areas. The 8-MP wide-angle lens of the Note 8 also struggles with over-exposure. In comparison, the contrast, color reproduction, and image dynamics stand out positively in the photos from the Pro model. However, in night recordings, the Note 8 Pro again creates more blurry reproductions than its smaller sibling.  

In both Redmi smartphones, the quality of the zoom recordings is not particularly high, and the differences between the Note 8 and Note 8 Pro are small here. Overall, the Pro model offers minimal advantages in terms of sharpness, and the colors also appear slightly more natural.

Redmi Note 8 | Wide-angle
Redmi Note 8 | Wide-angle
Redmi Note 8 Pro | Wide-angle
Redmi Note 8 Pro | Wide-angle
Redmi Note 8 | Wide-angle
Redmi Note 8 Pro | Wide-angle
Redmi Note 8 | Wide-angle
Redmi Note 8 Pro | Wide-angle
Redmi Note 8 | Wide-angle
Redmi Note 8 Pro | Wide-angle
Redmi Note 8 | 2x zoom
Redmi Note 8 Pro | 2x zoom
Redmi Note 8 | 2x zoom
Redmi Note 8 Pro | 2x zoom
Redmi Note 8 | 2x zoom
Redmi Note 8 Pro | 2x zoom
Redmi Note 8 | 2x zoom
Redmi Note 8 Pro | 2x zoom

Recordings With the Front Camera

The camera sensors in front, which are hidden behind a drop notch in both models, offer an aperture of f/2.0 and a resolution of 13 MP and 20 MP respectively. Compared to the Note 8, the sharpness and detail-richness of selfies are more pronounced with the higher-resolution front camera of the Note 8 Pro, but the differences are not very large. On the other hand, the Pro model scores with beautiful color reproduction and a more vivid contrast. Both Redmi smartphones have some visible problems with the exposure. 

Redmi Note 8 | Portrait mode
Redmi Note 8 | Portrait mode
Redmi Note 8 Pro | Portrait mode
Redmi Note 8 Pro | Portrait mode

Verdict - The "Pro" does not always stand for better photos

Testing the Redmi Note 8 and Redmi Note 8 Pro. Test units provided by TradingShenzhen.
Testing the Redmi Note 8 and Redmi Note 8 Pro. Test units provided by TradingShenzhen.

What are the conclusions offered by our comparison between the cameras of the two Redmi smartphones? Those who value the front camera and mainly take selfies with their smartphone should choose the Pro model of the Redmi Note 8 series, and the same also goes for those who love to take wide-angle photos. On the other hand, the image quality of the two main cameras, including the zoom functionality, turns out surprisingly similar.  

Although with the Isocell Bright GW1, the Pro model nominally offers the better technical prerequisites, only in very good light conditions are its recordings really more attractive than those of the Note 8. In slightly poorer light conditions, the Redmi Note 8 offers better illumination and also less image noise, even though its image sensor is considerably smaller. Particularly in night photos, the more affordable Redmi Note 8 model illuminates our objects sharper than its more expensive sibling. 

While overall, the Redmi Note 8 Pro is the slightly better "camera smartphone," it does not really come out of our comparison as the real winner.

The extra cost of the Pro model is only worthwhile to a limited extent. The Redmi Note 8 Pro is unable to make use of the advantages of its image sensor.  

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Redmi Note 8 Smartphone Camera Review: With the Pro, the Note 8 finds its master ...
Marcus Herbrich, 2019-11-26 (Update: 2019-11-26)