When it comes to low-end and budget friendly smartphones, the foremost brand which strikes our mind is Xiaomi Redmi. Since its release, on August 12, 2013, the Redmi flagship is on fire. It has created an excellent reputation among consumers and within three years successfully sold a record-breaking 1.1 million units. It then became China’s National Phone and even the sales were called “Miracle.”
On August 25, soon after the release of Redmi Pro, Xiaomi released its latest descendant of Redmi Note series known as Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 and joined “The all-metal era” slogan. Who could have ever thought that the successor of chintzy series would mold from metal?So, let’s unveil every inch of details of our protagonist in this review:
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Review
Design & Appearance
Previously, we thought that Xiaomi smartphones lacked recognizability. A person wasn’t able to acknowledge Xiaomi products from a certain distance as Samsung and Apple. But, with the release of Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, Xiaomi seems to have discovered their style.
Besides the fingerprint reader and the metal surface craft, Redmi Note 4 almost appears to be a ditto copy of Redmi Pro. On the rear, we can see the curviness on alternating facets, which provides a perfect grip for the hand. It is worth noticing that these are the same curves witnessed in Mi 5 and Redmi Pro, and the pattern will retain in the upcoming smartphones. On the alternating sides, two rear white streaks are also frequent among them. With a massive battery, Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 weighs 175 grams, is not floating at all but an average.
Even thought Redmi Pro inherits the same metal chassis but the most vivid difference between both flagship is that Pro utilizes the brushed metal procedure, creating some streaks on the back along the smoothness. Meanwhile, Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 uses the nanoscale ceramic blasting process, feel very delicate as the shine glitters in the eyes and even the surface is moderately rugged. Obviously, the inexpensive price is a factor here.
To make Redmi Note 4 flawless, time taking CNC integration technology is adopted making the borders smooth and premium to hold. However, since the front panel fabricates from plastic, the sense of fragmentation can be felt in the midway. The front design continues to be traditional and classic with the three touch-based buttons.
Still, there is a plus point, as Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 highlights 2.5D arc glass to exaggerate its charm further.
Hardware & Performance
When it comes to the configuration, Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 knows how to hit hard on the market, giving other manufacturers a tough time. It’s remarkable and we never though that Xiaomi will use MediaTeK Helio X20 processor as the heart of flagship. We will like to highlight that Helio X20 relies on TSMC 20nm HKMG process technology. It’s a three cluster architecture including 2 * A72 (2.1GHz), 4 * A53 (2.0GHz), 4 * A53 (1.4GHz). When combined, it makes a total of 10 core united by MediaTek customize MCSI interconnected bus connect. It is further co-occurred with Mali T880mp4 running at 700MHz as the GPU. In short, Helio X20 is a high-end processor used in a mid-tier priced terminal.
However, after this, Note 4 pursue two different pathways with the two variants: 2GB RAM + 16GB ROM (Standard Edition) and 3GB RAM + 64GB ROM (High Edition). Both versions support Micro-SD card (up to 256 GB).
|Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Performance Test Summary|
|Antutu (integrated)||Total: 82 018||3D: 16402|
|Geekbench (CPU)||Single Core: 1643||Multicore: 5112|
|Androbench (ROM)||With 4K read: 21.09MB / s||With 4K write: 8.50MB / s|
We tested Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 on the following benchmarks shown above. On Antutu, the flagship was able to score 82018, while 16402 points for the 3D graphics. We also conducted a read and write speed test and the result favored Note 4 from the previous generations with a random read speed of 21.09MB / s, and random writing speed of 8.50MB / s. Still, we think that the Chinese manufacturer should have used eMMC design to speed Xiaomi Redmi Note 4. However, the performance is worthy to be appreciated for crossing 80,000 points by a 135 dollar device.
Screen & Display
What to hear the biggest selling point of Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, apart from the price? Well, we are under that section. The flagship integrates a beautiful 5.5-inch display panel with a Full-HD breathtaking resolution along with 2.5D arc. Here the Redmi Note series breaks a trend, a tradition of 720p phones with the introduction of the 1080p display under a budget friendly flagship. From the start, Xiaomi keeps telling and proving us that it’s not about resolution but colors, contrast, and brightness. That’s why they opted for Full HD screen in Mi 5, and now same can be seen in Note 4.
Under sunlight, the screen is exceptionally dimmed, but still, the display is clearly vivid. No change can be seen when observed with different view angles.
As the baseband aspect, Helio X20 integrates the entire Cat 6 baseband network. It allows Redmi Note 4 to supports Dual SIM and Dual Standby on the whole system function. We said the entire network, which also includes 4G +, VoLTE networks.
Still, the problem comes with the Hybrid SIM slot, where you have to lose dual networking if you opt for adding a Micro-SD card inside it. Sadly, another con is that the Micro-USB port seems to be a standard USB 2.0, rather than USB Type-C. But all can be neglected when it comes to the cost.
However, Note 4 gets the upper hand with the functionality of IR port as a universal remote controller. Apart from this, the phone supports the latest Bluetooth v4.2.
Other common aspects are the five sensors: Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass. The gyro and the fingerprint sensors operate real quickly, under 0.1 sec. Even, the reception and the Wifi signals seem to be pretty high on the phone.
The camera of Redmi Note 4 can be a huge disappointment as the terminal features a 13 MP rear camera and a 5 MP front shooter along with Dual LED flash. Remember, we didn’t said Sony sensor, because it’s not. With the output it yields, it seems to be a Samsung or OV sensor. Still, F2.0 aperture ensures sufficient light supporting the phase-focus function.
The camera interface is enriched with a variety of features when switched to manual mode and user-friendly when switched to automatic mode. Seriously, we don’t need any praises further because it’s MIUI 8 friends.
While shooting close objects, the back has some depth of field effect but still the color performance is not satisfaction. There’s room for improvement in the perception of saturation and contrast.
Focusing is the only feature in Redmi Note 4, where it beats all the other Redmi terminals with a quick focus in no time.
Still, under low light and gloomy weather conditions, it fails to give an up to the mark, result. Maybe, the firmware update will improve.
OS & Battery
At last, the MIUI 8 Stable has arrived! Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 operates under it, based Android v6.0 (version number 126.96.36.199). MIUI system after six years of development has introduced version 8. The number of users has increased from the initial 100 to 170 million active users covering 156 countries and region, worldwide.
As shown above, MIUI 8 still followed the flat icon design which is quite lively, but also more daring color in line with today’s young people taste.
It features new features like Suspension Ball function similar to iOS, Avatar system secured by Fingerprint to ensure maximum privacy, and Sweep recognition.
Meanwhile, Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is powered by a massive non-removable 4100 mAh battery and supports MediaTeK PE 2.0 for a quick charge. At last, playing Pokemon Go for hours won’t be a problem now.
|Model||Redmi Note 4|
|Dimensions||151 x 76 x 8.4 mm|
|Material||Metal (rear) and Plastic (front)|
|Colors||Silver, Gray, Gold|
|Screen||5.5 inches, IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen|
|Resolution||1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi pixel density)|
|SoC||Mediatek MT6797 Helio X20|
|Processor||Deca-core, 2.1 GHz|
|GPU||Mali-T880 MP4 @ 800 MHz|
|RAM||2 GB - Standard Edition
3 GB - Higher Edition
|ROM||16 GB - Standard Edition
64 GB - Higher Edition,
Micro-SD card: Supported (up to 256 GB)
|Camera||Rear:13 MP, f/2.0, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash
Front:5 MP, f/2.0, 1080p
Features: Geo-tagging, touch focus, face/smile detection, HDR, panorama
|Connectivity||WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth v4.2, A2DP, LE
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
Infrared port: Yes
USB: microUSB v2.0, USB On-The-Go
|Network||2G bands: GSM 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 & SIM 2
CDMA 800 / 1900
3G bands: HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
CDMA2000 1xEV-DO & TD-SCDMA
4G bands: LTE band 1(2100), 3(1800), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300), 41(2500)
|Dual SIM||Yes (Micro-SIM/Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)|
|Sensors||Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass|
|Operating System||Android 6.0 (Marsmallow),
|Battery||Non-removable Li-Po 4100 mAh battery,
PE 2.0 Quick Charge
Pros & Cons
- Metal Built, 2.5D arc
- Stunning Full HD Display
- Powerful Hardware
- Latest MIUI 8
- Huge Battery
- Stupendous Price
- Mediocre Camera (No Sony Sensor)
- Hybrid SIM slot
- USB 2.0
Price & Availability
If you are interested in buying Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, you can buy it from Gearbest for a price of $200. We know the price is high because of high demand and recent release. It will decrease to the original after some time. Here’re the links:
Rating Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
Design & Appearance - 7/10
Hardware & Performance - 9/10
Screen & Display - 8/10
Connectivity - 7/10
Camera - 6/10
Operating System - 8/10
Battery - 9/10
To be honest, Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is an excellent budget friendly phone with an elegant design, detailed display, powerful hardware. No doubt, the camera is an average which won't be as good as Xiaomi's latest products (Yeah! We are talking about Xiaomi Redmi Pro). Everything is fair at a stupendous cost of $135. That's why Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is one of our top picks of 2016 when it comes to affordable phones.