After its home in China if there’s any other market that’s currently very important to Xiaomi, it’s India. So important that company decided to launch its latest flagship product Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 with a different, more powerful SoC in India. But will this change be enough to help it compete with other offerings in the budget segment? Let’s find out in our review and comparison.
Look and Feel
This is company’s first full-metal device. It’s more premium than any other device launched by them until now, especially the gold version. The metal body has got a matte finish, and it’s fingerprint resistant. Keeping it clean is also incredibly easy – dust and other BS don’t stick and you can simply wipe them off the body. Same attention has been given to the quality of front side as well – the display is protected by a scratch resistant layer.
There’re also some bumps in the device to protect its critical components. For example, on the front there’s a glossy metal rim around the body that keeps the display slightly lifted from surface when you put the phone somewhere its display facing the surface. This helps in protecting the display from scratches. Another bump is a small protrusion chin on the back of device below the speaker to protect it from touching the surface. Overall, this is a premium device that can stay premium for long time.
Originally launched with a Mediatek processor in China, Redmi Note 3 will come to India with a more powerful Snapdragon 650. It’s a hexa-core processor with two cores running at 1.8GHz and remaining four cores at 1.4GHz. The device will come in two variants, one with 2GB RAM and another with 3GB.
Coming to the visual side, Xiaomi has installed a 5.5-inch Full-HD display in it with Adreno 510 GPU to provide stunning clarity and smooth playback of HD content. There’s 16MP primary camera in the device with wide f/2.0 aperture and 5MP secondary camera too.
This device also marks Xiaomi’s foray in the world of fingerprint sensors. The sensor on the back of phone is surprisingly responsive and quick, and it also adds to the aesthetics of device with its glossy finish.
There’s a Dual-SIM tray on the left side of phone, which also doubles as a memory card slot. However, when you place a memory card, you can’t put in the second SIM. You won’t need that memory card too quickly though, as there are 16GB and 32GB internal storage versions of device.
Finally, there’s a 4,050 mAh non-removable battery in the device to power all of this, which can easily last more than a day on normal usage (including a few hours of music playback, 3G web browsing and video playback). And if you need it to last longer, battery saver modes are also present.
The phone comes with Android Lollipop based MIUI 7, and gladly it’s much more matured and streamlined than it used to be. It has got a lot of customization features like themes, transitions, wallpaper carousel and much more. There’s also a Lite Mode for fans of minimalism, and a Reading Mode for times when you read something. A child mode also exists to prevent your kids (or anyone else, basically) from accessing any apps that you don’t want them to access. More interesting features can be found in Settings.
Performance and Battery Life
It’s great to see that Xiaomi’s choice of processor has worked well in the favor of this smartphone. Multitasking works smoothly as its hardware and software combine well to provide a fluid, stutter-free experience. The device can play 4K videos smoothly, thanks to its powerful GPU.
Call quality is also quite good and you won’t face any problems related to signal reception or sound quality (unless you take the phone to a remote location).
Finally, the fingerprint sensor on the back of phone right below the camera is also incredibly quick in recognizing the finger and unlocking the phone.
There’re a few areas where Redmi Note 3’s camera struggles a bit:
You may notice some decreased sharpness and depth in the photos captured under artificial lighting.
1080p video recording is good, but due to lack of software stabilization it tends to be shaky. You need a stable hand (or stand) to record full HD content from this phone.
After reading the previous point if you were thinking “No problem, I’ll capture the videos in HD” then there’s another blow to your plans – the 720p video quality is also not something you can be proud of. So I’d suggest that you capture your videos in Full-HD at all times.
The dual-tone LED flash is good, but don’t expect too much from it.
And finally, objects out of the focus area of camera may feel slightly dull, but you won’t notice it until you zoom in.
Other things are good though. Images captured in daylight look perfect with awesome color reproduction and details. Most importantly, they look good in the screen of phone. As long as you don’t zoom in the images to their full size on a large screen you won’t find any issues. The selfie camera is also good enough at its job, thanks to wide f/2.0 aperture.