Redmi Note 4 review: A great competitor in its price range

Credit - http://www.honorbuy.com

In the recent years, Xiaomi has established a good space for itself in cell-phone market mainly in India. Budget friendly prices as compared with other manufacturers in same segment, decent design and look, good battery performance and sturdy built quality are some of the key features of Xiaomi phones (not to forget that people want their pockets safe and full).

Credit – https://i.gadgets360cdn.com

After the huge success of Redmi Note 3, Xiaomi has launched its successor Redmi note 4 in India in January 2017 (put on sale on two e-commerce sites) with a few upgraded features like 4GB RAM and 64GB internal memory (in the higher end version), 13MP rear/ 5MP front camera, 5.5 inches 2.5D curved glass display and 4100 mAh battery being the main ones. Giving all these features to hold in hands to its users along with agreeable financial expenditure, Xiaomi is definitely keeping its eye on a big share of market.

After doing a good market research and comparing various phone available in the price range of INR 9000 – INR 10000, I decided to settle for Redmi Note 4 (2GB RAM and 32GB internal memory). It’s been over a month that I am using this phone and after experiencing it’s many of pros and cons; here comes what r4review think of this not so regular phone.

Key Features:

  • I found its 4100mAh battery as one of the most attractive feature when it comes to buy this phone. After all, my phone is a small PC in my hand any time and it should not go out of battery when I need it the most.
  • Then comes the processor which is Snapdragon 625, an octa-core processor which makes it 20% more power efficient because of advanced technology. This reduces the heating issues of the phone which were reported in some of its predecessors.
  • Premium metal body with 5 inches / 2.5D curved glass display. Though the smooth finish of the metal makes the finger-prints visible on phone diminishing its metal finish(especially in black colour)
  • 13MP / 5MP decent camera
  • Available in three variants (2GB/32GB, 3GB/32GB, 4GB/64GB) priced at INR 9999, INR 10,999and INR 12999 in four colours (Gold, Grey, Silver and Black)

So is this all what you were searching for? At least some of you would be, I guess.  And all this in the budget of INR 9999 (2GB RAM + 32GB internal memory) only!! Now more of you would be focusing on it. Don’t worry; we are here to help you more.

Pros and Cons

Is it a better alternative smartphone or just a passer-by in the segment? First let’s see what’s good or bad in this new launch and then we will answer this not so uncommon question.

Pros:

  • Display which is 5.5 inches and resolution which is 1080*1920 pixels.
  • The primary camera can shoot slow motion videos in 120 fps at 720p resolution.
  • It does support VoLTE for making voice calls over LTE network.
  • Supports USB OTG cable for connecting flash drives.
  • 0 GHz Octa-core Cortex A53 Snapdragon 625 processor
  • Li-Po 4100 mAh battery (Non-removable) with Fast charging
  • Android Marshmallow (Operating system) with a MIUI 8.0 user interface which is one of the best user interface from a smartphone manufacturer.

So these are the defining highlights of this GenX smartphone which can make you click on Add to Cart button. But wait!! Here are some negative remarks. You must consider these also.

Cons:

  • First and foremost is the absence of dedicated memory card slot (you can either insert SIM 2 or a memory card)
  • Cannot record videos in 4K resolution (Other can do with same price tag)
  • Non-removable battery (A issue in case of emergency only)
  • It does not have scratch or shatter protection for the display which means it neither have Corning Gorilla Glass 3 nor Asahi Dragontrail Glass.
  • A bit of high SAR values (both body and head).

So this was about something in the favour and something against. Write down your requirements, compare with the given have or have not’s and then choose the YES or NO tag.

Still confused!! We can help you better. Let’s discuss things a bit in depth. May be the cloud gets clearer then.

 



Display

Here is what it offers on the front panel for its viewers. Is this new screen better?? We will come to know after a while.

The panel comes with 5.5 inches IPS LCD with 1080*1920px full HD resolution and 401ppi pixel density. It has RGB matrix and shows no colour shifting at angle.

The quality of display is better than Note 3 and shows well balanced colour effects. The contrast ratio reaches to its promised mark of 1000:1 and thus enhances the visibility of the display.

But under the sunlight, the legibility of Note 4 reduces to a low level (even lower than Redmi note 3) because of high reflectivity.

It comes with a reading mode option which scales down the strain on the eyes when using in low-light conditions.

Touch response is good but shows a bit of delay in reaction while doing multitasking (atleast in 2GB/32GB variant).

The top glass used has neither Corning Gorilla Glass 3 nor Asahi Dragontrail Glass for protection which means you have to keep it protected with screen guard or tempered guard from second 1.

So a balanced phone when it comes to display features.

R4review rating: 3.5/5

 

Hardware / Software

So Xiaomi says that now its complete “metal body”. Is it so? Yes it is but since it opted to polish the body, the metal feel is gone. Now the fingerprints are more visible and you cannot flaunt with metal.

A new perceptible difference is the new shape of sides which makes it attractive to the eyes.

The chamfered sides provide a good grip to hold the phone and also give it a slim look. But at times, the phone tends to slip if not gripped properly.

The front glass is “2.5D arc glass” which gives a nice curved display but what brings in fear is the lack of scratch-proofing attributes which we suppose slipped off from their mind to add (Otherwise there would be no other reason to explain for this!!).

Xiomi still uses capacitive button for home and back button (I guess Xiaomi want to keep it attached to roots).

The new bottom placement of the speaker grilles along with the microphone are an aesthetic and functional redesign.But it gets difficult to talk over a video call while placing the phone on a surface since speakers and microphone both are placed below and the sound level subsidises.

Volume and power buttons are placed on the right side of the phone and are easily accessible. The Sim tray is placed on the left side and has hybrid slot tray.

Overall, the device looks good, both in pictures and in hand.

Now coming to the software part, this phone runs on a latest version of MIUI (MIUI 8) which is built on the top of Android 6.0 core (Xioami phones are still not available with Android 7.0 Nougat core) which comes with better text rendering, enhanced Power saving mode, new Notes app and video editing tools.

Apart from these, it comes with many useful features like advanced messaging app (which separates service messages from personal messages), one handed mode, quality call recorder and many others.

Xiaomi’s MIUI is a highly customized custom ROM with iOS style navigation, home screen and multitasking menu. Notification comes in when swipped from top to bottom and there is quick Settings menu available. Apart from all the basic apps, it comes with some already installed additional apps like facebook, swiftkey, WPS office and many more.

The notifications does not allow for display of starting text inside the messages (which is allowed in many phones) to be visible on screen giving the privacy an upper hand.

The fingerprint sensor is available below the rear camera (both are of same size and shape giving a symmetric look) which is always ON and we just need to put our finger on it. The unlocking process is quite speedy if compared with other phones in this price range.

Now comes the one of the USP feature of this phone. Although this a dual-SIM phone, yet it can work without any SIMs too. Yes fellas, that’s true!!! You can use the mobile data without any actual card in the phone using Mi Sim which is like virtual sim embedded in it. All you need to do is to purchase credit for it and it works in roaming too.

This was a bird’s eye view on the hardware and software of the Redmi Note 4.

Dimensions                             :                       Height: 151mm      Width: 76mm

Thickness: 8.4.5mm

Weight: 165g

Variants available                   :                       2GB + 32GB (RAM + Internal memory)

(Acc. to memory)                                            3GB + 32GB

4GB + 64GB

Note: When two Sims are used simultaneously, the primary SIM can support 4G+/4G/3G/2G calls and data while secondary sim can support 3G only.

SAR values                               :                       SAR 1g limit: 1.6W/kg

 

R4review rating:          Hardware (4.0/5)

Software (3.5/5)

If you want to experience the user interface of MIUI 8 which offers certain new features, you should definitely go with this. It does not let you down on that front.

Performance

The 2.0GHz octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor is available in Indian versions and provides a good power efficiency (nearing 20% more efficient) which is a clear advantage from its predecessor.

Along with 4100mAh battery and better power efficiency, the battery life gives a good performance to the users.

Battery                                     :                       4100mAh lithium-ion polymer battery

(It can easily last for a day with moderate use)

Non-removable

5V/2A charging (fast charging)

If you are heavy user, the battery may last for a complete day and easily last for one and half day for moderate to normal user. It supports quick charging and normally takes an average og two and half hours to charge from 0% to 100%.

While charging, the heating issues may arise but if you charge it in parts, that will not create a big issue.

Gaming experience on the Redmi Note 4 is quite good. The 4GB RAM and 14nm FET technology make sure to deliver great thermal reduction and greater sustained performance which helps in running the games smoothly with no lag. The heating issue arises a bit and let the temperature rise a bit but within comfortable zone.

The audio performance do upsets you a bit if you are a audiophile. The audio quality is decent one but not so impressive and if you hear it putting on the headphones, the results drop to a bit on negative sides (with noise and stereo crosstalk popping in).

Overall, the performance (both phone and battery) is satisfactory and worth experiencing.

R4review rating:   4/5

Camera

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 has a 13MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, which is a downgrade from 16MP camera of the Note 3.

Both models have face-detection, autofocus and dual-LED, dual-tone flash and top out at 1080p video.

Redmi Note 4 uses a noise-eliminating CMOS sensor with backside illumination and larger pixel which is supposed to give great pictures even in low-light. But colour reproduction is of low quality what it turns out to be in bright light.

But the image quality fails to impress me as much as it should do. The HDR option do tries to capture good amount of details leaving the grainy images behind where normal mode fails to reproduce a good quality and detailed image.

The selfie camera has a 5MP sensor and f/2.0 aperture, but it supports 720p top video resolution (the Redmi Note 3 and Redmi Note Pro can do 1080p selfie video). But still selfie camera is quite good and captures good details in 5MP resolution. There is beauty mode too which can enhance quality of selfies.

The camera app of Redmi note 4 is quite simple and easy to use which includes lots of modes like Lomo, Color pop, Rustic etc. These modes help you to get a more filtered out image at the time of capturing itself, thus making the pics ready to upload.

R4review rating:  3.5/5

 

Our experience and review

After a good research in the segment and tempted by the specifications of the Redmi Note 4 in the price range, we opted to go for it.

We received the phone on the third day after ordering it on Amazon, and it was a delight to the eyes. The box contained a charger and a microUSB cable and Sim insertion tool along with the phone (though disappointed on not finding the headphones).

We are impressed with the user interface and display of the phone. The hybrid slot seems to be a problem when comes to the 16GB variant but can be managed with 32GB variant.

The processing speed is quite impressive and multitasking can be done with quite a manageable speed.

The camera does not click out of the world pictures but considering the price tag of the phone, the pictures seem to be decent ones.

So in and all, the phone is a tough competition to its competitors in the same segment and hence can be considered as a good buying option.

Pooja Bhandari

An Engineer by profession, writer by passion.. loves to travel at different places around the globe..

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About Pooja Bhandari

An Engineer by profession, writer by passion.. loves to travel at different places around the globe..

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