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Price and availability
The Redmi Note 8 2021 with 4GB/64GB storage is officially priced at $169 (around P8,122), while the 4GB/128GB version costs $189 (P9,083). Both variants are already available in select markets. Pricing and availability in the Philippines are not yet known at the moment — if it’s coming here, of course.
So what has changed?
In terms of cosmetic upgrades, there is none to be found here. The 2021 version looks identical to the original model. It’s got the same back and front design, which includes a waterdrop notch above the screen for a selfie camera, a rear-mounted fingerprint reader, and a vertical camera array with quad sensors.
The battery capacity stays the same, too — you get a 4,000mAh cell that supports 18-watt fast charging over a USB-C port. And like the previous release, the 2021 refresh is also available in Space Black, Neptune Blue, and Moonlight White colors.
So what exactly has changed? On the hardware front, the Redmi Note 8 2021 is now powered by MediaTek’s gaming-oriented Helio G85 chipset, accompanied by 4GB RAM and up to 128GB of expandable storage. To compare, the 2019 model arrived with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor under the hood.
The chip swap should result in a decent gaming experience even when playing demanding titles like Genshin Impact, as the Mali-G52 MC2 GPU of the Helio G85 is more powerful than the Snapdragon 665’s Adreno 610. Unfortunately, unlike the first Redmi Note 8, the 2021 release maxes out with 4GB RAM, versus 6GB of memory inside the former.
Software-wise, the Redmi Note 8 2021 runs Xiaomi’s MIUI 12.5 custom overlay on top Android 11 right out of the box. Our last-gen unit came with Android 9.0 Pie, but was later upgraded to Android 10-based MIUI 12.
Redmi Note 8 2021 specs
- 6.3-inch LCD display, 2,340 x 1,080 resolution, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 60Hz refresh rate
- Octa-core 12nm MediaTek Helio G85 processor
- Mali-G52 MC2 GPU
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB/128GB expandable storage
- Quad 48-megapixel (main), 8-megapixel (ultra-wide), 2-megapixel (depth), 2-megapixel (macro) rear cameras
- 13-megapixel front camera
- Fingerprint reader (rear-mounted)
- 4,000mAh battery with 18-watt USB-C charging
- MIUI 12.5 based on Android 11
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