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Redmi Note 4 Review: The Best mid ranger got even Better

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.

Camera:

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!

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IT News, Tech Information and Analysis News

The Redmi Note 3 launched in India today; available starting 9th March

Xiaomi India launched the Redmi Note 3 today in the country. This is the company’s first release this year and hopefully the Mi5 (which was unveiled at MWC Barcelona) will follow soon. The Redmi Note 3 is Mi’s first all body metal smartphone with a fingerprint sensor in India. The device is powered by a hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor, which is the first in any phone, first in world. This processor uses ARM 872 CPU core, which is 20% more power efficient and gives significant performance benefits.

Mi has announced two variants with different storage and RAM – There is a 3GB RAM variant with 32GB internal storage which is priced at 11999 INR and a 2GB one with 16GB onboard storage priced at 9999 INR. The Redmi Note 3 is available starting March 9th on mi.com and Amazon. Pre-registering on the two sites for the first sale starts from 4pm on 3 March.

Redmi Note 3 is a dual SIM phone, features a 5.5-inch full HD display with 1080×1920 pixels resolution. The display offers wide viewing angles and a good colour reproduction; also supports sunlight display for better viewing on a bright day.  The phone also supports reading mode (similar to Flux on Mac and Night Shift on iOS) which reduces the blue color tone on the screen during the night and gives a more warmer tone to the display.

Mi Redmi Note 3 runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system topped with the MIUI 7. Redmi Note 3 comes with a 16MP rear camera with dual LED flash and a 5MP front camera for selfies; with a PDAF Autofocus, and a dual ISP (Image Signal Processor). The phone also packs a 4050mAh battery which is pretty good considering the processor, size and the display. The device also supports QuickCharging; you can charge 50% in one hour and 3 hours for full charge. With being a metal body and having a 4050 mAh battery, the phone weighs just 164 grams. The Redmi Note 3 also has the support for VoLTE.

The Redmi Note 3 is the first phone from Mi which has a FingerPrint scanner. You can store upto 5 finger print profiles; and unlocks the phone in 0.3 seconds. With MIUI,  You can also app-lock, View Hidden Files with finger print security. You can also use it to snap a selfie. The fingerprint sensor mounted on the rear is perfectly positioned in terms of how you hold your phone; very similar to the competition, The Honor 5X and the LeEco Le1s.

redmi-note-3

The curved edge design and build quality is impressive and the MIUI 7 blends really well with it. The built-in IR blaster is a good addition. Let’s look at the detailed review in the coming days!

Categories
IT News, Tech Information and Analysis Smartphones

Redmi Note 4G Review: Best Entry Level LTE Android Smartphone

I had a chance to review the Redmi Note 4G last week, which feels like the best entry level 4G Enabled Android SmartPhone in the market today. This phone is priced at INR 9999 (around 160 USD) in India and is available for sale on Flipkart and at Airtel Outlets.

Initial Impressions: The phone has a great build; however, it does feel slightly heavy though. The Redmi Note 4G has a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, supports microSD cards up to 64GB, and of course, you can use 4G networks. Redmi Note 4G runs on Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box. The back-panel of the phone can be removed; and that’s where you find the dual sim and the micro sd slots. The Note 4G supports 4G FDD-LTE (1800/2100MHz) & TDD-LTE (2600MHz) as well as 3G WCDMA (850/900/1900/2100MHz).

The display is only a 720p screen. However, its not much of a concern. It’s bright, the color reproduction looks neat and viewing angles are excellent too. Unlike the OnePlus One, the Redmi Note feels big and slightly heavy for its 5.5-inches size.

The phone is pretty neat in the camera department. It has an impressive 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera for selfies and video calls. The camera app is simple to use and its pretty fast at focusing & clicking. I will upload some samples in a couple of days. 

The software is what makes the phone more compelling a choice than others in this segment. The MIUI is very customisable and offers loads of themes if you would like different looks on your phone. I have already spoken about the MIUI software in my earlier reviews of Redmi 1S and MI3; this should give you some details on simple the UI feels.

Summing up the hardware feels good, the software is neat, the camera and display is fantastic in this range. If you’re looking for a phablet with good battery life and future-proof 4G support, then this device is definitely one of the great options you have. I can even say, this is one of the best entry level 4G powered Smartphones in India available today; If you are looking at an alternative, then Nokia Lumia 638 can be a good option too.

Experience at the Airtel Store: As a part of the feedback, I did go to their Indira Nagar outlet to try out the Redmi Note 4G.

Xiaomi has always been selling devices directly to customers thereby avoiding the additional costs in distributers/re-sellers and advertising. This time, they worked out a strategy to partner with Airtel who have also been aggressively advertising their 4G capabilities in the city (Bangalore).

Buying it at Airtel Store is going to be an easy solution for customers who aren’t e-commerce friendly, or believe in Flash sales. It also gives an opportunity for users to experience the device. This is an important deal breaker for many customers who always believe in seeing before buying it.

Further, there is no reason for them to wait for the shipment to arrive and have doubts whether they get a legitimate one. Buying the Redmi Note 4G at the Airtel Store means, you can just step in, feel the phone, experience the difference in between handsets running 3G and 4G; buy a phone and walk out with it. Airtel also offers a SIM adapter if you are already using a nano/micro SIM.

When I went into the store, the executives were very courteous and explained the device, like they would do to a layman. They were not just talking mere specs, but also the experiences. They also pitched in their 4G plans and features. They had a booth, where they had placed two Redmi Note phones (3G and 4G) and ran a speed-test, played a full HD video on YouTube etc to showcase the 4G speeds. No doubt, the speeds are top-notch. You get a consistent speed of around 35 Mbps.

Summing up, the Airtel experience was neat as well. Airtel is very keen to push 4G adoptions in India, and not every one can afford or be interested in buying an iPhone; they need some budget players and Redmi Note 4G is definitely one of them.