This is why Xiaomi opted for the weak Snapdragon 439 on the Redmi 8
Xiaomi recently released its newest budget phones, the Redmi 8 and Redmi 8A. While we were filled with praise for the Redmi 8A, we were a lot less enthusiastic about the Redmi 8, as it offers less value for money when pitted against its cheaper sibling.
One of the major reasons for that was the SoC Xiaomi chose for the Redmi 8. The Redmi 8 is powered by a Snapdragon 439, the exact same SoC that was on last year's Redmi 7A, and a big downgrade from the Snapdragon 632 on the Redmi 7. We assumed that to be due to Xiaomi trying to prioritize efficiency over performance, and that has now been confirmed by the company's General Manager, Lu Weibing. (buy Redmi 7A 32GB now at Amazon)
According to the executive, a market survey revealed that a smooth, fast user experience, build quality, and battery life were the biggest needs of the device's buying demographic, and the company chose to focus on those. As such, it increased the battery capacity from 4000 mAh to 5000 mAh, and also moved from the 14nm Snapdragon 632 to a more efficient 12nm Snapdragon 439.
That's a solid reason, we must admit, but we still believe that the hit to performance far outweighs whatever pros the decision offers. It also conveniently ignores the fact that the same survey also revealed the need for a smooth, fast user experience—which a more powerful SoC would have helped with. Taking the base model of the Redmi 8 up to 3 GB of RAM was a good move, though, we must admit.
The Redmi General Manager is said to have concluded by saying that those who need more performance should opt for the Redmi Note 8 or last year's Redmi 7, but it's not quite the same thing, is it, Mister Weibing? (buy Redmi 7 32GB now at Amazon)