The Redmi Note 3 has been the best selling phone for Xiaomi in India ever since they started almost 3 years ago. The company announced the latest edition from this series, the Redmi Note 4 today at an event in Delhi. This is also the global debut of the Snapdragon variant. This phone is going to be available in 3 variants, 32/2GB RAM (9999 INR), 32/3GB RAM (10999 INR) and 64/4GB (12999) models.
I have been using this phone for little over a month now and I’ve liked the experience with this device. They have definitely upped the game in the budget segment. Lets see if the Redmi Note 4 is a worthy successor of a product which was already a top selling smartphone.
Hardware, Look and Feel:
First thing that you’ll notice when you hold the phone, is how comfortable it feels in your hand; and yet solid, well-built in terms of design and quality.
The Redmi Note 4 design and the construction feels very refined.
Following the design from the Mi Max, the curved edges feel very comfortable extending it to the 2.5D glass. The speakers are now moved towards the bottom of the phone. There are antenna lines due to the metal being used. The buttons feel very good. The redmi Note 4 sticks to the ground rule of budget smartphones on design and yet gives a feel of being very premium. The matte black variant is gorgeous.
The company has pulled over a good design without compromising on regular Redmi features like the IR Blaster or even the Back-lit capacitive keys. I am a little wary about the Hybrid Sim slots but then most of the people love it; so lets give that a pass. The Redmi Note 4 supports external micro SD card upto 128 GB.
Under the hood, the Redmi Note 4 runs on a Snapdragon 625 chipset; and a 3GB or a 4GB RAM depends on the variant you choose. The IPS screen offers a 1080p resolution with a sharp display and a good viewing angles with reasonably accurate colours. Not just with benchmarks, the Redmi Note 4 performed pretty well with some gaming tests too. The Snapdragon 625 does help in optimising battery usage.
The redmi Note 4 has a 4100mAh battery and it did perform well with a good SOT of 8 hours. I use a dual sim setup. The primary Airtel one for calls and the secondary Jio majorly for JioTV and JioMusic.
The audio from the internal speakers was loud and sounded quite good via the 3.5mm jack headset. The call quality was top notch; didn’t see any connection or network issues. The Jio volte worked pretty sweet as well.
The camera performs very well. I was trying few other products in the same segment and the Redmi Note 4 camera was much better than the rest of them. The 5MP front camera is quite decent if not the best when it comes to selfies. However, the 13MP rear camera is excellent. It offers a f2.0 aperture, CMOS PDAF Auto Focus system.
The contrast is punchy and the colours are very natural too. The sharpness at times can go haywire but then, the details are neat. The HDR images are impressive too. Here are some of the pictures shot with this device.
The DOF is natural as well. I really liked the details in the below image. If isn’t too obvious, do check the ant inside the flower.
The low-light performance is quite mediocre; it can be improved for sure, but then in a day light, they work quite well. I did try to shoot some silhouettes just to check on how the camera adapts to the conditions. It was definitely impressive.
If you’re looking for some handy tips on Smartphone Photography, read this article.
Make no mistake by comparing the camera with the likes of OnePlus 3T or Google Pixel, just for the heck of doing it. This camera works very well among the segment its placed. Is it a vast improvement from the Redmi Note 3? Well, not really. However, its quite evident that the company has worked on the camera department especially on the software and how the camera processes the images.
Software, User Experience:
The software on the Redmi Note 4 runs very smoothly, its powered by MIUI v8 running Android Marshmallow. Check out our most favourite MIUI v8 features here. Few of the features that make users stick to MI phones is ease of use UI offered by MIUI, its plethora of UI customisations, theme support with 1000s of free themes available, privacy features, in-built utilities (FTP server, RAM Cleaner, Mi Mover, Data Saver, Virus Scanner, Battery Saver, Call Recorder) etc.
The software also offers support for Child Mode and Lite which is indeed a great addition. The Dual Apps and Second space are nifty too.
With lots of features built-in (one-handed mode, double tap to wake, flip to silence, mute when lifted, do not disturb, block-list) the necessity to install 3rd party apps is drastically reduced. I also like the quick ball as well. Very nifty when you use large screen phones like this one.
MIUI is the most important component to Mi Phones that makes it stand out from its competition regardless of the budget segments. Sometimes this makes you wonder if Mi is a software company or a hardware one!
Unlike most phones where IR blaster works just with the stock apps, the IR blaster in Mi phones work seamlessly with 3rd party software like peel which provides lot of options like support for Indian set-top boxes and channel guides. The MIUI v8 on the Redmi Note 4 works smooth and is quite consistent.
Pros and Cons, Value for Money:
At these prices, this device is definitely worth the money. Especially, when you are in the market for a good mid ranger.
If you already have a Redmi Note 3, this new edition “may not” be a worthy upgrade. Vastly because the changes aren’t very evident; there are some battery and performance improvements. However, the design and camera is the winner. So if these matters to you, then go ahead with it. Or maybe, if you’re bowled over at the matte black variant like I do!
Summing up, its a no brainer to recommend this phone to anyone who is looking at buying a great quality product at a budget today. Do let us know your thoughts and feedback. Thanks for reading!