[Face-Off] Realme XT vs Redmi Note 8 Pro

A Really Red Hot Battle, methinks…and mithinks too!

by: - Last updated on: November 6th, 2019

The mid-segment of the smartphone market has over the past few months become a two-brand race – Xiaomi (or more often Redmi) and Realme. Both brands have been tussling for the mantle of being the best phone in the “in and around Rs 15,000” category with devices like the Redmi Note 7 Pro and the Realme 5 Pro, Mi A3, and Realme X, crossing phone-y swords.

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And now, a new chapter has been added to the 2019 rivalry with the Redmi Note 8 Pro and the Realme XT confronting each other and claiming to be the best option in this highly competitive segment. Both come with quad cameras with 64-megapixel main sensors, large displays, big batteries and offer terrific performance for relatively not too much money. But if you had to pick one of the two, which would you go for? Well, we have been inundated by queries in this regard ever since the Redmi Note 8 Pro got launched, and here is our attempt at an answer:

Realme XT vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: Who’s got the look?

It is, as always, a rather subjective call, as what is good looking varies from person to person. Both phones come with glass fronts and backs – Corning Gorilla Glass with gradient finishes. We think the Note 8 Pro wings this one because its finish is a little more classy (satin-like, we think) as compared to the slightly louder one on the Realme XT (we think the X looked better, truth be told) -the Gamma Green model of the Note 8 Pro is the best mid-segment device we have seen for a while. That said, what cannot be denied is that the Redmi Note 8 Pro is a noticeably bigger and heavier phone – its proportions are 161.7 x 76.4 x 8.81 mm and it is 204 grams heavy as compared to 158.7 x 75.2 x 8.6 mm and 183 grams of the Realme XT. But if size and weight are not as issue, we will go with the Redmi for this one. The fact that the Note 8 Pro also has p2i splash resistance (there’s no official mention of this for the Realme) only strengthens its case.

Winner: Redmi Note 8 Pro

Realme XT vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: Which display rocks?

But if the Redmi device had the design edge, the Realme one gets its own back when it comes to the display quality. Yes, the Note 8 Pro has a larger display, 6.53 inches as compared to 6.4 inches of the Realme XT, and both displays are full HD+ with a notch, but the Realme XT’s display is a Super AMOLED one, and the difference is discernible. We are not saying it is a deal-breaking difference because the larger display of the Redmi Note 8 Pro is very good too, but the Realme XT has a clear edge here.

Winner: Realme XT

Realme XT vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: Which processor chips in more?

This is one of the most interesting battles between the two devices – the Realme XT is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 AIE processor, while the Redmi Note 8 Pro runs on the MediaTek Helio G90T chip. They are both octa-core chips, but in terms of potential, the MediaTek has a clear edge, being a newer chip and being gaming-centric as well. Again, the difference is not a deal-breaker, but if there is a winner here, it is the Redmi.

Winner: Redmi Note 8 Pro

Realme XT vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: Who is the top RAM player?

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When it comes to RAM, both phones are again tightly matched, but the Redmi Note 8 Pro has a very slight edge, with its base model starting with 6 GB RAM and its top one having 8 GB. The base model of the Realme XT, on the other hand, starts at 4 GB, even though its top variant also has 8 GB. But yes, another round to the Redmi Note 8 Pro.

Winner: Redmi Note 8 Pro

Realme XT vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: Which has the storage byte?

Both phones come with 64 GB and 128 GB storage options and with dedicated microSD memory card slots. Interestingly, however, the Redmi Note 8 Pro has two SIM trays, one of which also has a memory card slot, whereas the Realme XT has a triple-slot tray, with two slots for SIM cards and one for the micro SD card. In essence, this means, in the Redmi Note 8 Pro, you can remove a memory card without losing one of your two mobile connections, whereas in the Realme, pulling out or inserting a microSD card basically means losing mobile connectivity for a short time. It is not a massive deal but does give Redmi a slight edge, as does the fact that the Note 8 Pro can support a 512 GB microSD card as against 256 GB on the Realme XT.

Winner: Redmi Note 8 Pro

Realme XT vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: Which quad-camera shooters hit the bullseye?

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After conceding some ground in the chip and processor departments, the Realme XT storms right back in an area where it has forged a formidable reputation for itself – cameras. Both phones come with quad-camera set-ups and both have a 64-megapixel Samsung GW1 main sensor, and both also have an 8-megapixel ultrawide, a 2-megapixel macro and a 2-megapixel depth sensor each. With such exact similarity, you would expect the battle between the cameras to be a close one. And so it proves to be. Both phones deliver exceptional performance when you consider their price points, with decent colors and very good detail. However, we feel that Realme scored in terms of delivering the better-looking images time again, even if the Note 8 Pro occasionally delivered more detail. The Redmi Note 8 Pro also seemed to have a slightly better implementation of the macro lens, although we would have liked a higher resolution sensor. The Redmi also seemed to deliver slightly better ultra-wide shots but then we felt the Nightscape mode on the Realme XT handled low light better, and the portrait mode also seemed to handle edges slightly more clearly. In terms of video, both camera setups matched each other. The Redmi camera interface was also easier to use than the Realme one, but yes, in overall image quality, especially from the main sensor, we think the Realme XT has an edge.

Winner: Realme XT

Realme XT vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: Saying cheese is better to which selfie camera?

The Realme XT comes with a 16-megapixel selfie snapper, as compared to the 20-megapixel one on the Note 8 Pro. Once again, it is a close battle and once again, while both cameras deliver decent (if slightly aggressively smoothened) results, we felt that the Realme had a slight edge. No, it does not mean that the Redmi does a bad job – in fact, we sometimes felt that the Note 8 Pro’s shots were slightly more realistic, but the Realme once again delivered images that were more pleasing to the eye and again handled portrait mode better.

Winner: Realme XT

Realme XT vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: Wanna game – keep it Real or Red?

When it comes to gaming, the combination of the gaming processor and the extra RAM on the base model make their presence clearly felt on the Redmi Note 8 Pro. Whether it was playing PUBG on maxed settings or the new darling of the online gaming crowd, Call of Duty, the Note 8 Pro was a clear step ahead of the Realme XT. The games also played smoothly enough on the Realme XT, but on slightly lower graphics settings. The Redmi Note 8 Pro did heat up ever so slightly at times (never alarmingly), but it was easily the winner when it came to gaming. Its bigger display helped as well.

Winner: Redmi Note 8 Pro

Realme XT vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: Which one runs multiple apps better?

We have the first tie of this very tight contest when it comes to multi-tasking. Both the Redmi Note 8 Pro and the Realme XT are very comfortable when it comes to running multiple applications, whether it is social networks, mails or messenger services. We never really encountered any lag on either phone, although theoretically Redmi’s having 6 GB RAM in its base version as compared to 4 GB on the base version of the Realme XT might give it some sort of perceived edge. Truth be told, we could not see any discernible difference between the two phones.

Winner: Tie

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Realme XT vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: Whose software is less likely to wear out?

All of which brings us to the soft side of the two devices, and just as in the case of appearance, things will get subjective here. The battle here is between two interfaces, Xiaomi’s MIUI, and Realme (and Oppo’s) Color OS, both of which run on top of Android Pie in the two phones. In terms of operation and smoothness, we think MIUI has a clear edge over the slightly more cluttered interface of Color OS. Both phones are expected to get new versions of MIUI and Color OS incidentally, although we do not know when Android 10 will arrive. The ads on MIUI are an irritant, no doubt, but they can be turned off (check our guide) and at the time of writing, we just think the Redmi Note 8 Pro has the better software!

Winner: Redmi Note 8 Pro

Realme XT vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: In-display or on-back fingerprint scanner?

One of the biggest differences between the two phones is the placement of the fingerprint scanners. While the Redmi Note 8 Pro goes with a fingerprint scanner on the back of the device (interestingly placed as part of the camera unit), the Realme XT has a more snazzy and modern feeling in-display fingerprint scanner. In terms of sheer tech, the Realme XT might seem, well, cooler. But move into the realms of pure usage, and well, it is hard to deny that the old fashioned fingerprint scanner works much more smoothly than the new one. The difference in speed is marginal but noticeable. So yes, the tech might be with Realme, but the usability is with Redmi. We are calling this one a tie.

Winner: Tie

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Realme XT vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: Whose battery lasts longer?

The Redmi Note 8 Pro might seem to have the edge here with a 4500 mAh battery as compared to the 4000 mAh one on the Realme XT, but in terms of actual battery life, both phones saw off a day’s use comfortably and could get into a second day with careful use. We think the larger display of the Redmi Note 8 Pro does drain a little more battery, which offsets its bigger capacity to an extent.

Winner: Tie

Realme XT vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: Which battery charges faster?

Both the Realme XT and the Redmi Note 8 Pro come with USB Type C ports with support for fast charging. However, while the Realme XT comes with support for VOOC charge and a 20 W charger, the Redmi Note 8 Pro has an 18 W charger in the box. And the difference between the two is discernible. Yes, the Realme has a smaller battery but it still gets charged much faster: in about an hour and a half while the Redmi Note 8 Pro takes close to two hours. It is a clear win for Realme here.

Winner: Realme XT

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Realme XT vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: Anything more before we head for the price?

Well, that’s pretty much it. In terms of sound, we found the Redmi Note 8 Pro doing better on the phone loudspeaker but the Realme XT seemed to score in earphone mode. In terms of call quality, there was not too much to separate the two devices – they are both good enough although neither will give Huawei or Nokia sleepless nights. Connectivity sees them matched equally too, but the Redmi Note 8 Pro’s infrared port gets it a few tech brownie points. We would say even Steven once more.

Winner: Tie

Realme XT vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: All right, who has got the price edge?

Xiaomi has a habit of pulling price rabbits out of its hat and it has done so once again with the Redmi Note 8 Pro. On paper, at Rs 14,999, it might seem to be more expensive than its predecessors but then it is the first Note to start with a 6 GB RAM variant – the base model is 6 GB/ 64 GB – and it is this that gives the Note 8 Pro a clear win the pricing department. Not only does the Realme XT start at a higher price of Rs 15,999, but it starts with a 4 GB/ 64 GB variant. The 6 GB/ 64 GB variant of the Realme XT is Rs 16,999, which is clear Rs 2,000 above its competitor, but even Rs 1000 more than the 6 GB/ 128 GB of the Redmi Note 8 Pro, which is priced at Rs 15,999. Realme does not have a 6 GB/ 128 GB variant, but both phones come with 8 GB/ 128 GB variants – the Realme is priced at Rs 18,999, the Redmi at Rs 17,999. There is only one winner here.

Winner: Redmi Note 8 Pro

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So, which one should it be: Realme XT vs Redmi Note 8 Pro?

All of which brings us to the grand moment of having to choose between these two devices. And well, it is one heck of a difficult call. And that is because neither of the devices totally batters its competitor in any of the rounds – the difference between the two is often a matter of subjective perception. So even though we ourselves have voted otherwise, we have seen people like the Note 8 Pro’s display more than the AMOLED one on the Realme XT, and there were also those who found the Redmi’s cameras to be better than the ones on its Realme rival. The differences between the two devices are wafer-thin most of the time.

The Realme XT scores on important parameters like display quality, cameras, and battery charging, but (barring the charging), not by a huge margin. The Redmi Note 8 Pro on the other hand scores on gaming performance and software, and to our eyes, seems the better looking of the two devices.

There is, however, one major parameter, where is clear blue water between the two devices – and given the segment in which the two phones are battling, it is a crucial one.

The price.

The Redmi Note 8 Pro gives you a bigger display, as many cameras, more eye-catching design, a bigger battery and more RAM (in the base model) at a lower starting price, and also has a more affordable top-end variant. If budget is not an issue and you do not mind paying a little for slightly better cameras, an AMOLED display, an in-display fingerprint scanner, the Realme XT edges out the Redmi Note 8 Pro. But hey, this IS the budget segment and budget more often than not is kinda sorta important.

So, by the narrowest of margins, we are giving the title of the mid-segment monarch to the Redmi Note 8 Pro. At least until we come to the next chapter in what is turning out to be an epic rivalry.

Both phones are champs. Really. But paint this crown red. For now.

Buy Redmi Note 8 Pro
Buy Realme XT

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