The popular Redmi Note 8 ran through our testing benchmarks already in November of 2019 and impressed us with a very good display. Xiaomi mentions having sold more than 25 Million devices of the smartphone series worldwide. So it is not surprising that a new version of the Note 8 was officially introduced in May of this year, even though the Redmi Note 9 or Redmi Note 10 have already been available for a while.
However, with the Redmi Note 8 2021 the previous mid-range representative only gets a very modest update that might be a bit disappointing to current users of the 2019 model. The 2021 refresh that is advertised as a "performance all-star" is available for about 150 Euros (~$169). It now uses a MediaTek Helio G85, which is manufactured in the 12-nm process and thus more efficient than the Snapdragon 665 of the predecessor. Yet the overall performance of the Helio G85 only turns out marginally better than that of the Qualcomm SoC.
The Chinese manufacturer hardly changed anything in the rest of the equipment. The Redmi smartphone continues to offer 4 GB of working memory, a 6.3-inch 1080p+ LCD display, and a 48-MP main camera. With this kind of model update, Xiaomi follows the paths taken by Huawei in previous years, since the Huawei P Smart Z, Honor 9X, and Huawei P smart Pro are different models with almost identical specifications that were introduced over a period of time.