Redmi Note 9 Pro Max vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: a worthy upgrade?

  • Despite the launch of a successor, the Redmi Note 8 Pro is still a worthy option
  • The Redmi Note 8 Pro trumps the new Note 9 Pro Max in terms of AnTuTu scores
  • The latest Redmi phone, the Note 9 Pro Max, boasts a better front camera and more powerful battery

Xiaomi’s Redmi Note lineup is known for juicy specifications and aggressive price tags, and the new Redmi Note 9 Pro Max and its sibling, the Redmi Note 9 Pro, stick to the same formula. The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max, with its Snapdragon 720G chipset, 64MP quad rear cameras, and punch-hole display, has been priced in India starting at Rs 14,999. The new Redmi Note 9 Pro and Pro Max need to fill some big shoes, given that they come as successors of the venerable Redmi Note 8 Pro, which is a smartphone that sold like hot cakes last year. Things get trickier when you consider the fact that the new lineup doesn’t seem to offer massive upgrades over the previous model, and in some aspects the Redmi Note 8 Pro actually seems better. So if you’re a Redmi Note 8 Pro user, should you upgrade to the all-new Redmi Note 9 Pro series? Read on to find out.

Here’s a look at the specs

The new Redmi Note 9 Pro Max packs a 6.67-inch punch-hole display with full HD+ resolution and has a Snapdragon 720G chipset ticking at its core. The handset is equipped with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. For photography, the Note 9 Pro Max sports quad cameras with a 64MP main sensor featuring f/1.79 aperture, super stabilization, PDAF, slow-mo, and 4K video recording support at 30fps, an 8MP ultra-wide sensor with 120-degree field-of-view, a 5MP macro lens and a 2MP depth sensor at the back. The front of the phone sports a 32MP AI sensor for selfies and video calling.

The handset runs Android 10 atop MIUI 11 out of the box and sports a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. The setup is driven by a 5,020mAh battery with 33W fast charging support. Connectivity options include 4G LTE, dual SIM slots, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS/ GLONASS, VoWiFi, 3.5mm headphone jack, and USB Type-C charging port.

If you compare these specifications with that of last year’s Redmi Note 8 Pro, they don’t seem much of an upgrade. The handset, to recall, ships with a slightly smaller 6.53-inch display that bears full HD+ resolution and uses a dot notch for the selfie camera atop. The screen is HDR-enabled, which translates into a better viewing experience while watching HDR videos. The handset is powered by MediaTek Helio G90T chipset, which boasts better Antutu score than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G chipset. The phone rocks quad rear cameras that house Samsung’s 64MP GW1 as a primary sensor, paired with an 8MP 120-degree ultra-wide lens, a 2MP macro lens, and 2MP depth sensor. For selfies and video chats, the Redmi Note 8 Pro sports a 20MP shooter on the front. Also worth mentioning is the fact that thanks to the MediaTek Helio G90T chipset, the Redmi Note 8 Pro boasts support for the MediaTek HyperEngine Game Technology. This technology boosts the gaming experience, and helps makes gameplay smoother. Gaming on the Redmi Note 8 Pro is further aided by the presence of liquid cooling, a feature which is missing in the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max. Furthermore, thanks to the G90T chipset, the Redmi Note 8 Pro also support dual wake-up words, letting you enable both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice assistants on the device.

Software-wise, the Redmi Note 8 Pro boots Android 9 Pie-based MIUI 10 (upgradable to MIUI 11 with Android 10 via OTA) out of the box. A 4,500mAh battery with 18W fast charging tech fuels the handset, while a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner takes care of its security. Other features include up to 8GB RAM, up to 128GB storage, built-in Alexa app, a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and standard connectivity options.

To sum it up

As you can make out from the specifications of the two phones, the new Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is better than the Redmi Note 8 Pro in a few aspects. These include the 5MP macro lens, against the Redmi Note 8 Pro’s 2MP macro sensor for better close-up shots. Additionally, the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max also features a more powerful battery with 33W fast charging tech. The selfie camera has also been bumped up from 20MP to 32MP. On the other hand, the Redmi Note 8 Pro can match up, and stand head-to-head with the Note 9 Pro Max in some aspects like the 64MP primary camera, 8-megapixel wide-angle sensor, RAM, storage, screen resolution etc. Surprisingly, when it comes to some of the core aspects like gaming performance, the Redmi Note 8 Pro could actually be better. And then there are some features, such as the dual wake-up word support, where it completely edges out the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max… all thanks to the MediaTek Helio G90T chipset. With all this in mind, it’d be safe to say that the Redmi Note 8 Pro could still be a worthy option to consider.