Hello! Who will win our battle?
If you were to only look at the front of these smartphones, then they would be difficult to distinguish. They have large screens with teardrop-shaped cutouts and narrow frames. The Note 8 Pro has a slightly larger screen, and it is a bit larger and heavier. Despite the impressive size, both models are quite comfortable to hold in your hand.
On the bottom of the phones is a USB Type-C charging port and a speaker. Above, there is a noise reduction microphone, as well as a rare element of modern phones, an infrared port, which is nice. On the right is the volume rocker and the power button. On the left is a combined SIM card and SD card slot. Both models have a headphone jack. The Mi 9 Lite’s is located on top, while the Note 8 Pro’s is on the bottom.
On the back, the cameras are located in different places. In the Mi 9 Lite, they are in the upper left corner, and there are three of them. There is no fingerprint scanner on the back. It’s integrated into the screen. The scanner works clearly, but not as fast as the Note 8 Pro’s, which is equipped with a conventional sensor.
The Note 8 Pro has three cameras lined up in the center, and a fingerprint scanner is located right next to them. Another camera and flash formed a small parallel row. It looks impressive, but when unlocked, the finger does not always immediately touch the sensor. Sometimes ones fingers touch the camera, which does not make it cleaner. In addition, the cameras protrude strongly above the surface of the back panel. And even in the case that comes with the kit, there is a risk of scratching them on the surface of the table. The Mi 9 Lite has smaller cameras, and the case does a great job of protecting them.
Thanks to the rounded edges, it is convenient and even pleasant to hold both devices in your hand. The case is a little slippery. The glass has a good oleophobic coating, but all traces remain on the phone, especially on black models. In addition to black, the Mi 9 Lite is available in blue and white. The Redmi is available in black, white, and green. The latter option is particularly interesting. I would call the color more of an emerald. And the transition of light edges to an almost black center creates an original 3D effect.
The Note 8 Pro case is IP 52 rated. This is a fairly limited protection against small splashes and dust. But better than nothing.
The Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite has Samsung’s Super AMOLED matrix. The screen size is 6.39 inches, and the resolution is 2340 by 1080 pixels. The display is very bright, with large viewing angles, accurate color reproduction, and with perfect black color. The flickering characteristic of AMOLED displays successfully removes DC Dimming. In addition, a customizable Always-On-Display function is implemented, which is also a plus of the Mi 9 Lite.
As always in the the Redmi Note series, the screen is also quite good. It’s bright and juicy. But here, the 6.53-inch IPS-matrix is used with the same high resolution of 2340 by 1080 pixels. If you have a habit of finding fault, you can notice subtle dimming at the edges of the display.
The screens on both models are protected by Gorilla Glass 5. The screen has a good oleophobic coating.
By and large, the competition between the screens of these two models comes down to the competition of matrix manufacturing technologies. Each technology has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some people like IPS more, some have AMOLED screens. Both displays are very good, each in its ways.
Both models have Android 9 and a proprietary MIUI 10 shell. This is a convenient and modern operating system with an intuitive interface and a large set of additional functions. New updates are regularly released. For the Redmi Note 8 Pro, they will probably come out with delays, since the Mediatek processor is installed in it. But we will compare the processors later. For now let’s talk about cameras.
The main module of the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite is equipped with a 48 megapixel matrix IMX586 manufactured by Sony. In the afternoon, great photos can be taken with a wide dynamic range, precise focus, and detail and color reproduction. At night, the quality drops, but still remains at a very good level. There is also a 8-megapixel wide-angle camera and a two-megapixel depth sensor.
As for the Note 8 Pro: this is the first phone in the world with a 64 megapixel camera. In addition, as many as four modules are installed in it:
The first is the main, as already mentioned, at 64 megapixels with a Samsung Isocell Bright GM2 sensor. It has an aperture of 1.8, and a pixel size of 0.8 microns. The second is a wide-angle module with 120 degrees by 8 megapixels. The third is a separate 2 megapixel macro camera. And finally, the depth sensor is also 2 megapixels.
Such an abundance of cameras is more of a marketing ploy than a real empowerment. Two megapixels for a macro camera is very small, which is reflected in the low quality of shooting with this sensor. The widths of both models are the same, and the shooting quality on them also leaves much to be desired, especially if the lighting is not perfect. And well, the depth sensor is basically just a dubious little thing.
But then the main module was a success. Pictures during the day are close to those taken with flagships, which are several times more expensive. At night, the camera falls a bit short of a flagship model. But still, the Note 8 Pro can be considered a good camera phone that has no analogues, given its cost.
The Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite shoots video in 4K resolution with good quality. The accurate and fast auto-focus and excellent clarity are huge pluses. But unfortunately, there are some minuses. Stabilization works poorly, especially in 4K mode. The Note 8 Pro has even more stabilization problems, although overall it’s pretty good at taking videos.
The front cameras of the Mi 9 Lite and Note 8 Pro are also different – he former at 32, the latter at 20 megapixels. Both models produce very good pictures with excellent detail and color reproduction. Blurring background works correctly.
The cameras are a strong point of both models. Despite the superiority in megapixels and the number of sensors, one cannot give unambiguous preference to the Redmi Note 8 Pro. The camera on Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite is very good, but I liked the way it shoots videos even more.
The Mi 9 Lite has a strong middle-of-the-road processor – a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor with an Adreno 616 video accelerator. It is made using modern 10-nanometer technology. This is not a gaming processor, but in everyday use, the phone works very smartly. And yes, you can play heavy games without problems by lowering the graphics settings to medium.
The Note 8 Pro has a new, very interesting Mediatek Helio G90T chipset in conjunction with the Mali G76. I know that many are wary of Mediatek processors. But the novelty is really interesting. The processor is positioned as a gaming one. In the Antutu Benchmark Performance Test, it shows a result of more than 220 thousand points.
Of course, the results of synthetic tests do not fully reflect the actual performance. But the first impressions of testing in games are not bad. The processor heats up moderately, and there is almost no throttling. This is facilitated by a liquid-cooled copper tube radiator. In Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds at high settings, there are no friezes even in dynamic scenes. The phone ocassionally slows down in tanks. Nevertheless, I would warn gamers from unnecessary expectations. Games are optimized, first of all, for Qualcomm processors, so bugs can be fixed.
Both of the phones come in variants with 64 or 128 gigabytes of permanent memory. It can be expanded by installing an SD card instead of one of the SIM cards. These phones come with 6 gigabytes of RAM, and Note 8 Pro has an 8 gigabyte option.
The performance of Redmi Note 8 Pro is slightly higher than that of Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite. But, nevertheless, I would not give it the win since the Snapdragon 710 is more energy efficient and predictable. Software is better optimized for it, and updates will most likely be released.
The communication capabilities of the two models are the same. There is dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C ports, and infrared ports. The Note 8 Pro smartphone has become an innovator. This is the first Redmi model with an NFC module. It is nice that the light version of the flagship was also not deprived of the contactless payment function.
Both models have good autonomy. Despite the increased battery capacity of the Note 8 Pro (4500 mAh versus 4030), the actual battery life remains approximately the same. This is due to the better energy efficiency of the Qualcomm chipset, as well as the lower consumption of AMOLED screens. In addition, with a heavy load on the processor, for example, in heavy games, the battery of the Note 8 Pro depletes significantly faster.
Smartphones do not support wireless charging, but support accelerated charging. Comes with 18 watts chargers.
As always, we turn to the internet for reviews on the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite and the Redmi Note 8 Pro smartphones. Firstly, this is what I didn’t like.
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
- The on-screen fingerprint scanner is slower than usual
- 4K video stabilization does not work well
- The mediocre sound of the external speaker
Redmi Note 8 Pro
- I do not like the MTK processor and the cutout on the screen
- Useless macro photography and wide-angle lens
- Heats up and quickly depletes battery when playing games
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
- Great design made of glass and metal
- Very bright screen with good color reproduction
- Cool camera; great photos
- Good battery life and fast battery charging
Redmi Note 8 Pro
- Modern design; pleasant tactile sensations
- Very well-calibrated, crisp screen
- Very good cameras; both main and front
- There is an NFC module and an infrared port
To summarize: with all the great differences, both models can be safely be awarded the title “top for their money”. The Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite has a more expensive AMOLED screen with a built-in fingerprint scanner, while the Redmi Note 8 Pro has a lower cost. I think that both smartphones will enjoy well-deserved success with buyers.