Xiaomi Redmi 8a hands-on review
The Redmi XA series has always been Xiaomi's most affordable smartphone for any given year. However, despite their rock-bottom pricing, the company has always made conscientious efforts to provide a good product and not just slap together the cheapest parts lying around, which has very much been the strategy for low-end smartphones in the past.
The 2019 Redmi 8A is another such device. Like its predecessors, the phone comes at an affordable price, starting at around $90 for the base model and about $100 for the more capacious variant. By all means, these are really low prices for a fully-featured smartphone, and it's easy to wonder where the corners have been cut to get to them.
Glancing at the spec sheet, one can see the chipset and memory configurations are much lower than what we normally see on more expensive devices but apart from those, the phone seems reasonably well-specced. Of course, gawping at the spec sheet can only tell you so much and what needs to be done is trying out the phone first hand, which is exactly what we did.
Xiaomi Redmi 8a specs
- Body: Plastic body, Gorilla Glass 5 display
- Display: 6.22-inch, 1520x720 resolution, 270PPI IPS LCD
- Rear camera: 12MP f1.8, dual-pixel PDAF, LED flash, 1080p30 video
- Front camera: 8MP f2.0 camera, 1080p30 video
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 439, octa-core CPU (4x 1.95GHz Cortex-A53 + 4x 1.45GHz Cortex-A53), Adreno 505 GPU (650MHz)
- Memory: 2/3GB RAM, 32GB storage, microSD support
- Connectivity: Dual SIM, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, 2.4GHz Wi-Fi 802.11n, USB-C 2.0, A-GPS/GLONASS/BeiDou
- Power: 5000mAh battery, 18W fast charging support, 10W charger supplied
- Misc: Face unlock, wireless FM radio
The Redmi 8A unsurprisingly comes with fairly basic packaging in terms of contents, but the box itself looks no worse than Xiaomi's more expensive offerings. This might not seem like much, but the absolute low-end smartphones often come in paltry packaging that is just one step above wrapping the phone in a newspaper, so it's good to see Xiaomi not treating it customers with disdain.
The contents of the package are also not too far off from what you normally find in a Xiaomi box. That does have more to do with Xiaomi packages usually not being particularly lavish, to begin with.
The phone comes with a standard 10W charger with no fast charging support, although the phone itself supports up to 18W with aftermarket chargers. You also get a USB-C cable for charging.
The charger aside, the only thing missing here that you'd typically find inside a Xiaomi package is a transparent silicone case for the phone. It would have been nice to see it included in the box, but the Redmi XA devices have always excluded a case in the past, so this wasn't a surprise.