Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 – Worth The Upgrade?

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The budget smartphone market segment is ruled by Chinese manufacturers, and Xiaomi is right at the top with the Redmi Note Series. The Redmi Note 4 is the newest addition to the company’s flagship Redmi Note series and is a successor to the widely successful Note 3.

xiaomi-redmi-note-4

The Redmi Note 3 was a huge success to Xiaomi in India. The device was launched in the country last year in March. The upcoming Redmi Note 4 comes with better build and better specifications. So, let us have a look at the latest installment in the Note Series.

BUILD AND DESIGN

The Redmi Note 4 has a comparable design to the Note 3. You won’t be able to differentiate between the two phones on an introductory view. But there are some subtle differences. The Note 4 features a 2.5D glass and curved edges. This makes it a lot more comfortable to hold.

Regarding the aesthetics, the phones are very similar with the Note 4 being a tad longer. Being a metal body I expected it to be on the heavy side, and at 165g it should be, but on holding it felt quite light. At 8.4 mm the phone is not luxuriously thin but has a deliberate balance of soft curves and sharp lines. This makes a comfortable device to cling on.

The Note 4 has a great in hand feel and is something that Xiaomi has surely sweated on. The speakers though have moved to the bottom and mirror the Apple theory. Even though it is more of a phablet, but can be used single-handedly provided your hands are slightly larger than the average. I managed to drop the phone twice on screen but nothing happened. The Note 4 absorbed the shocks easily with a minor scratch on the side of the phone. No dents!

Redmi-note-4-specs

One thing is definite, that Xiaomi has held the old design, and like it or loathe it, this design is here to stay. You can also check out Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Unboxing video by our team.

DISPLAY

Having a 5.5 inch Full HD display with 401 PPI, it is quite standard on paper. But in practice, it is really good. The screen gets incredibly bright. There is no problem in outdoor reading. The viewing angles are great. The blacks look black and white doesn’t have a tint of blue attached to it.

The color reproduction is quite good. But if you compare it with a Mi 5 or Mi Max for that matter, you will witness that the colors get a little warm. But can’t complain, they are for twice the price.

SOFTWARE

I have always been a fan of MIUI. The Note 4 runs on MIUI 8 based on Android Marshmallow. It delivers a better-than-stock-Android experience that’s light and customizable.

The result is a fast and clean operating system. New features inspired by Marshmallow and a number of small tweaks to the UI further refine and enhance the Android experience. The UI has been cleaned up and streamlined.

MIUI-8

Though there is no Nougat at the launch, but Xiaomi has promised to roll out Nougat updates shortly for the Note 4.

PERFORMANCE

Note 4 houses a 2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor coupled with an Adreno 506 GPU. It is available in 3 different models featuring 2, 3 and 4 GB variants. It allows you to do more, faster. Effortlessly shift between shooting videos and playing graphic-intensive games with little or no lag.

Our testing with the phone was quite simple because the phone performed well for the price point. Although, the more intensive games like the Asphalt 8 had a few frame drops, but there weren’t any problems with general gaming performance.

We were blown away by the performance the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 offers in a sub ₹15,000 package. The CPU tangles with recent flagships well above its price point and blows away anything in its category. Even betting on a year-old flagship is no guarantee of better performance. The GPU impressed in comparison with the Kirin 955 phones, though that’s large because Huawei’s chipsets are weak in the graphics department.

The performance is by far the best aspect of this phone. It can easily outperform its competitors.

I am not a man of benchmarks, but to give you an idea of it ability here is a view:

Redmi-Note-4-benchmarks

CAMERA

Coming on to the most crucial factor- the camera. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 has a 13MP main camera with a f/2.0 aperture, a seeming downgrade from the 16MP, f/2.0 camera of the Redmi Note 3. Both models have phase detection autofocus and dual-LED, dual-tone flash and top out at the 1080p video.

The selfie camera has a 5MP sensor and f/2.0 aperture, but the top video resolution it supports is 720p. This is strange since both the Redmi Note 3 and Redmi Note Pro can do 1080p selfie videos.

The photos are short of satisfying. But considering the competition they need to get better. Given an alternative of a G4 Plus I would jump on to the G4. The camera leaves a lot to desire for. The low light shots are just not acceptable with a lot of noise. You can try the HDR mode but it is more of a fluke.

In bright conditions, the camera captures some decent shots, but the details are missing. If you compare the camera with that on the Mi 5, the contrast can easily be seen. The colors are saturated. It misses that natural light shots.

So if you need a good camera phone, skip this option. Consider the G4 Plus instead.

AUDIO

The phone suffers to generate compelling sound. The multimedia functionality of the phone is not very good with both the camera and speaker leaving a lot to be aspired for. The phone doesn’t get loud but when plugged into an active external amplifier, the phone performed decently. A performance pleasant to the ear but not very loud.

Adding in a pair of headphones causes moderate damage to the stereo quality and introduces some extra distortion. The overall output is still good in terms of clarity but its volume needs to be brushed up.

BATTERY

The best trait of this phone is the battery life. With the huge 4100 mAH battery, the phone easily lasts for a day and a half on a single charge. It is able to provide a 9-hour screen on time, which is nothing short of commendable, considering the heavy performance which I expect from the phone.

The non-removable battery lasted for 15 hours and 10 minutes in our continuous video playback test, which is impressive for a battery of this capacity.

PRICING

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 has been launched in three variants in India. At a starting price of ₹9,999 (2GB RAM + 32GB storage), the Redmi Note 4 is definitely a compelling option for users who are looking for a low-cost device. We would suggest people skip the lowest one if they can afford to.

The version with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage has been priced just ₹1,000 higher at ₹10,999, while the version with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage – the one reviewed here – is also a reasonable step up at ₹12,999.

FINAL VERDICT

The Redmi Note 4 is a decent package with the only downsides being its hybrid SIM slot, lack of quick charging, and average multimedia functions. We think that the Redmi Note 4 will provide tough competition to other smartphones in its price segment. It scores very well in terms of design, battery life, and performance.

For those who are looking for a smartphone with a big screen and great battery performance on a budget, the Redmi Note 4 is easy to recommend.

However, if you already own a Redmi Note 3, there is no point in upgrading as there is not much of a difference in the two phones. The performance and design, both are at par.

Author – This article is provided by ScoopGadget.

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Vishal Gaikar

Article by Vishal

I am Vishal Gaikar, Software Engineer, Web Addicted, Living in Maharashtra, India. If you like This post, you can follow Tricks Machine on Twitter, also you can add me on Google+.

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