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28 Feb, 2017 ,
Xiaomi after a successful stint with Redmi Note 3 has comeback yet again with a worthy successor in the form of Redmi Note 4. The company has managed to sell above 3,00,000 lakh units of the Redmi Note 3 last year. The Redmi Note series is the most sort after smartphones following the success of Redmi Note 3 and Redmi Note 3S which were amongst the top selling devices last year. Launching smartphones with good specifications and built quality at a competitive budget price has been Xiaomi’s forte right from the start and they have achieved the 1 billion milestone in India last year. Now to continue with this winning streak they have come with the Redmi Note 4. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 has been launched in three variants in India. The 2GB and 3GB RAM variants along with 32GB of storage are priced at Rs 9,999 and 10,999 repsectively. The one with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage which we are going to review today is launched at Rs 12999. But is this budget device any better than the original Redmi Note 3 or is it just another marketing gimmick from Xiaomi? Let’s find out.
The Redmi Note 4 is quite reminiscent of the Redmi Note 3 when it comes to the overall design. It is quite evident if you look at the front panel of this phone. The 5.5 inch full HD IPS display occupies the front profile of the device with capacitive navigation buttons placed below it. The top left houses the 5 megapixel camera along with the ear piece and the sensor.
The rear of the device is similar to the Xiaomi Mi5 if you observe the overall form and design. The rear 13 megapixel camera, dual tone LED flash and the finger print sensor are placed one below the other like we have soon on the Redmi Note 3 along with Mi logo imprinted below. The antenna bands run across the top and bottom of the phone. The finishing of the device is all premium and the metallic finish feels sturdy and grippy to hold.
The Redmi Note 4 at 8.3mm of thickness is pretty slim compared to the Redmi Note 3. The edges are coated with polished silver which looks very stylish and it makes the device very comfortable for the user. The top-right edge of the houses the sim-card tray. The left edge of the phone places the sturdy power and lock buttons which are also finished in silver and easily accessible with fingers. The top edge packs a 3.5mm audio jack and an infrared (IR) emitter while the bottom edge paves way for the speaker grilles and a Micro-USB port. Xiaomi didn’t change the design much. What they have done is they have tweaked the design with minor changes along with a superior metallic finish. Over all the design is bound to put a grin on your face.
The 5.5-inch full-HD IPS display of the Redmi note 4 comes with a max resolution of 1080x1920p along with 401ppi. The full HD display is crisp and punchy and offers good viewing angles. Sunlight visibility is pretty great and you can view images and text without any hardships. There is also a reading mode which makes the display more comfortable to read. The vivid screen makes watching movies and videos a pleasurable experience. You can also adjust the color temperature from the settings if at all you feel the display is a pain to your eyes.
Under the hood the top variant of Redmi Note 4 which we are reviewing is powered by an octa core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor clocking at 2GHz with Adreno 506 GPU. Since it’s a top of the line Redmi Note 4 variant the device also gets 4GB of Ram and 64GB of internal storage as standard for devouring multi-tasking duties and media utilities.
The device runs on Marshmallow 6.0.1 Android operating system coupled with MIUI 8. The system animations and juggling between the apps was smooth and refreshing. The device comes loaded with a plethora of features and one of that being Now on Tap managed to get our attention. It can be activated within any app by just tapping the Home Button for a long time and you can use what’s on screen as context for your searches.There is also a quick ball feature where in there is a floating button on the screen and lets you define your top five shortcuts for easy access. You also get Dual Apps and Second Space keeping privacy in mind. The Dual Apps feature creates two apps on the same phone (you can use two Whatsapp Accounts at the same time). Second Space let’s users separate business and personal data on the same device. This feature allows you to use two different Google accounts at the same time.
A one handed mode is integrated for the comfort of the user. What it does is it shrinks the display to one side of the screen for easy operation and reach of fingers. Another notable feature on this device is the scrolling screen shots which lets you as a user to take a screenshot of the entire web pages. Xiaomi has also come up with their own version of caller ID feature so you don’t have to bother downloading a third party app from the playstore like Truecaller. Preloaded apps like Security, Compass, Scanner, Recorder, Feedback, Mi Picks, Mi Community, Mi Remote, Music, Mi Store, Weather, and a default browser complete the utilitarian list.
Gaming on the Redmi Note 4 was a fun affair as it handled games like Asphalt 8 and Dead Trigger very smoothly. Game play experience was devoid of lag or framerate drops. The octa core processor never never heated up offered an enjoyable gaming experience overall. Out of 4GB of Ram only 1.8GB of it was in use at all times giving a boost to the overall ram management capabilities. The device managed to score an impressive 65,560 in AnTuTu and 42,690 in Quadrant with the Snapdragon 625 processor.GPU performance was also good, and we noticed a healthy 28fps in the T-Rex test in GFXbench. Compared to other smart devices like the Lenovo P2 and Asus Zenfone 3 which features the same Snapdragon 625 processor Redmi Note 4 performed much better.
The battery performance is also worth a mention. The phone lasted for 15 hours with continuous video playback which quite a feat. The 4100 mAh non-removal battery lasted for a good 2 days n the real world usage. With heavy usage we managed to juice out atleast one and a half day of usage without any battery saving modes. The phone is quite a performer and managed to keep us engaged throughout our testing regime.
The Redmi Note 4 is now equipped with a 13MP CMOS f/2.0 aperture camera with a dual LED flash. The camera is sourced from Sony and also features Phase Detection Auto Focus Mode (PDAF). The 5 piece and 77 degree wide angles lens and the sensor offers bigger pixel size. Compared to the 16MP unit present on the Redmi Note 3 this new camera on the Redmi Note 4 offers good colour visibility and contrast. Capturing fast moving subjects is difficult but the overall shutter speed has been improved. Exposure calculation also lacks accuracy but Xiaomi has managed to improve this camera and it is quite evident in this test.
The camera app also offers modes like slow-mo, manual controls, timelapse, straighten mode and more. There is also an HDR mode which improves the overall quality of the snaps. Low light shots still needs improvement but it is better than what the 16MP on the Redmi Note 3 has to offer. Video quality is also good and it is capable of churning full HD 1080p resolution videos. Overall the rear camera is snappy and responsive.
The 5MP selfie shooter is quite similar to the one present on the Redmi Note 3. The front capture has a beauty mode where in you can make your face cleaner and slimmer. The front camera was quite decent if not exciting.
The Redmi Note 4 features a hybrid SIM slot and supports 4G and VoLTE. Like the Redmi Note 3 the Redmi Note 4 has also given NFC connectivity a miss. It also features a blocklist to fend off unwanted calls and texts. It can even mute calls from unknown numbers and can lock automatically after the call. The cellular quality was pretty clear and we were quite happy with the overall signal and call reception.
The Redmi Note 4 comes with a 5.5-inch full-HD IPS screen and watching movies and videos on this phone is absolute delight. The video player can be launched from the gallery. There is also a video editor that can trim, add filters, labels and soundtracks. Gallery app shows all the default camera row. There is a second tab which shows all the images and videos accumulated on the phone.
The music quality from the headset was damn good.The audio quality from the external speaker was decent. The player doesn’t have an equalizer but it offer various audio presets for your headphones. FM radio requires a headset connectivity to start up in the first place. You can also record audio and also there is a sleep timer. The Radio misses out on RDS sadly.The overall multi-media experience was good. Playing movies or videos or playing your favourite games is a great experience.
The Redmi Note 4 gives a solid competition to its peers in its price segment. The smartphone scores pretty well in terms of design, battery and overall performance. This phone is meant for those users who are looking for power processor and great battery performance. The only drawback is the hybrid sim slot and lack of a quick charger. Overall the phone is quite a delight and is absolutely recommended.
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