Xiaomi has announced the latest entry in its phenomenally popular Redmi Note series and, just as the Redmi Note 7 heralded a flood of 48-megapixel phone cameras earlier this year, the Redmi Note 8 Pro is among the first with a 64-megapixel sensor. Realme semi-revealed its XT with the same sensor a couple of days ago, but Xiaomi has now made a full announcement, so feel free to debate among yourselves as to who was truly first.
Why would you want a 64-megapixel camera? Well, as with 48-megapixel phones, it’s generally not so you can shoot at full resolution. Both sensor designs use 0.8μm pixels that are grouped together in fours for better light sensitivity that’s supposedly equivalent to 1.6μm pixels. Using that technique, a 48-megapixel camera will produce 12-megapixel images, while Samsung’s GW1 64-megapixel sensor will get you 16 megapixels of usable resolution. It’s also physically larger, so it’ll capture more light overall.
In some situations, like extremely bright lighting, you might want to shoot in 1:1 64-megapixel mode, but the 16-megapixel mode will be more broadly useful. Realme has provided sample 64-megapixel images that do indeed resolve a lot of detail in certain areas of the frame, though the processing is pretty heavy-handed elsewhere.
Anyway, the Redmi Note 8 Pro has its selling point, and the rest of the phone is a typically efficient offering from Xiaomi. There’s a 6.5-inch 1080p screen, a 4,500mAh battery, and a quad-camera setup including that 64-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultrawide, and two assistive 2-megapixel sensors along with a 20-megapixel selfie camera. The Note 8 Pro uses MediaTek’s gaming-focused Helio G90T processor paired with 6 or 8GB of RAM and 64 or 128GB of storage.
The non-Pro Note 8, meanwhile, has a 6.3-inch 1080p screen, a Snapdragon 665 processor, a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, and a quad-camera setup that swaps the 64-megapixel sensor for a 48-megapixel part. The selfie camera is 13 megapixels, and there’s a 4,000mAh battery with up to 18W charging. Overall, it’s a pretty modest update to the Note 7.
That’s reflected in the pricing, with the Note 8 starting at the same 999-yuan (~$140) price point as its predecessor. The Note 8 Pro’s pricing is also unchanged at 1,399 yuan (~$195). Both phones are launching in China first before making their way to India.