Test verdict on the Redmi Note 8 2021 - The previous "display dream" now with a weak panel
The successor of the popular Redmi Note 8 leaves a good impression in our test, even if nothing much has changed in the model upgrade. We are unable to notice any visual or haptic differences, and even the size and weight of the two Redmi models are exactly identical. However, this isn't necessarily a disadvantage for the Note 8 2021, since it still offers attractive haptics, considering the price level of the entry-level smartphone. However, we still would have expected at least an additional color version for the new model.
The same goes for the SoC upgrade in the Note 8 2021. With the Mediatek Helio G85, the refresh model, which is advertised as the "performance all-star," remains more or less at the same performance level of the Snapdragon 665 in the predecessor. Compared to the Note 8, even with some goodwill we are unable to see any noticeable performance jump in our benchmark package. However, the performance in everyday operation is still at a good level for a 150-Euro (~$169) smartphone. We can also attest the same for the 48-MP main camera of the Note 8 2021.
On the other hand, the qualitative step backwards in the area of the display represents a point of complaint. While an affordable entry-level smartphone doesn't necessarily have to offer an OLED panel, particularly since the Note 8 2021 also offers a good black value, the display turns out slightly worse than that of the predecessor. In addition to offering a relatively high pixel density of 400 PPI, the Note 8 predecessor impressed us with an excellent maximum brightness of 656 cd/m², a very even brightness distribution, and a well-calibrated color reproduction and color balance. In these areas, the 2021 refresh model shows some weaknesses.
If you want to get a detailed impression on the Redmi Note 8 2021, we recommend our extensive review of the Redmi smartphone.