The globally anticipated Redmi 3 is finally here. The flagship device from Xiaomi came out this month, and the numerous news and rumors spread out the wave of interest and questions about it. The drastic improvements in the battery, the processor, and RAM were right; the new installment in Redmi family comes out with high specs to continue the predecessor’s legacy. This is not an easy task – Xiaomi Redmi 2 was one among the most popular devices in Asian markets, providing top specs for the decent price. Besides the specs, the phone performed great, rapidly gaining new faithful followers globally.
The new Redmi is here to provide even more and gain even more global influence. Will it succeed, and will the new and improved model continue the success that Redmi 2 had on the market? Let’s find that out in today’s brand new review.
Even though it is mentioned for mid-section of the market, the new Redmi looks like a top flagship model of the dominating company should look like, in one word – impressive.
Here are the official specs of the Xiaomi Redmi 3:
|Release Date||January 2016|
|Dimensions||139.3 x 69.6 x 8.5 mm (5.48 x 2.74 x 0.33 in)|
|Colors||Dark Gray, Gold, Silver, Gold Classic|
|Display||IPS LCD, 5.0-Inch, 720 x 1280 pixels,
~294 ppi pixel density, multitouch
|Operating System||Android 5.1 Lollipop, MIUI 7.0 interface|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 MSM 8939v2, 1/5 GHz
Qualcomm Adreno 405 GPU
|Memory||2GB RAM, 16GB Storage
Expandable by Micro SD Card
|Camera||Primary – 13 Megapixel, f/2.0, autofocus, LED flash
Secondary – 5 Megapixel, f/2.2
|Connectivity||Dual SIM (Micro + Nano SIM) – 2G/3G//4G,
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, hotspot
Bluetooth v4.1, GPS, Infrared, FM radio, micro USB v2.0
|Features||Compass, gyroscope, proximity sensor, Accelerometer, HTML5 web browsing, Fast battery charging, Noise cancelation mic, Audio/Video player/editor, Document viewer/editor|
|Battery||Non-removable Li-Ion 4100 mAh battery|
The device comes in a plain white box, containing a charging adapter, micro USB cable, an SIM card pin, and a manual written in Chinese and English. The packaging is simple, small, and made from sturdy cardboard. There is no headphones or a screen protector included, as this is not the premium-tier class. Still when we take the hardware into consideration, it is a different story for sure.
When we have a first look to the Xiaomi Redmi 3, we notice that it is thin. Very thin. To be precise, the depth of the casing is 8.50 millimeters, which is slimmer than the average phone in the whole 2015. Housing a considerably large 5.0 screen, the body is 139.30 millimeters high and 69,4 millimeters wide, which leaves a space for noticeable bezels. The body is made from a single piece of magnesium alloy, with non-removable back, and it can come in four different variations: dark gray, silver, and two gold variations.
Xiaomi Redmi 3 weighs 144 grams, which is average in this image and screen diagonal size. We are looking at the silver version, which is white on the front side. The screen dominates the front, and on top, we have a speaker, front 5.0 Megapixel camera, and ambient sensor paired with a small notification light.
On the bottom, we have three capacitive buttons: Multitasking, Menu, and Back. The bottom part of the build takes some decent space, to provide the space for the big speaker grill on the back. The speaker side is a bit thicker than the rest of the phone, 8,65 millimeters to be precise. This feature enables the phone to balance itself in the hand comfortably. The bottom side features the microphone and standard USB 2.0 port.
On top, we have a microphone, an IR blaster, and a standard 3.5-millimeter jack for headphones.
The middle section of the back features a textured finish, to contrast the polished edges. We have a camera lens, LED flash, and the speaker on the back, accompanying the Mi logo. The sensation of holding the phone remind us to premium devices, which we think was the company’s intent to build.
On the left side we there is an iPhone-like SIM tray (which can fit two SIM cards, a Micro and a Nano one), and standard volume buttons next to a power button on the right, all made of metal.
Xiaomi Redmi 3 packs a mid-range IPS screen which has a 5-inch diagonal, a 720p resolution, and pixel density of ~294 ppi – pixels per inch. The brightness levels aren’t among the best, but the viewing angles are decent. Colors look a bit washed out, but nothing that we wouldn’t expect from an IPS technology, especially on the lower-resolution model like this one.
The performance on direct sunlight is not impressive, even though it’s advertised as a separate feature. For the 2016 standard (which will surely go up when the main global contenders release the newest flagships) the bezels are noticeable, which is a design feature some will like, some will dislike. The time and users will say their opinion.
Here is the area where the Xiaomi Redmi 3 has made the most significant upgrade. The main processing unit of the device is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 MSM8939v2 processor, an Octa-Core CPU, which is featured in the majority of the premium-built smartphones because of its performance and quality. The processor is paired with the Qualcomm Adreno 405 GPU, providing an excellent combination for every task you might throw at it. No matter if you are a mobile gamer, or you like to browse countless websites, or just read or watch the video – you’ll be able to do all that at the single time, thanks to the processing duo. The processor power is backed up with 2GB of DDR3 RAM memory.
For the tech geeks, here are the AnTuTu Benchmark results, which we conducted on Redmi 3.
the score sets the phone way below the flagship devices, but Redmi 3 holds its own
Storage space in this smartphone is a small setback, as you can have either 16 or 64GB storage unit. The expandable storage by micro SD card is a useful feature if you’re getting yourself a 16GB version. The storage expansion can go up to 128GB. The multimedia geeks who take a lot of photos or music fans can have an excellent storage and a perfect multimedia companion with Redmi 3.
Xiaomi Redmi 3 features a 13 Megapixel camera with f/2.2 aperture, which produces decent-quality images. The picture size is good, and the level of details is good. The aperture is low compared to advanced models in the market, which feature faster-capturing lenses. Still, this is not a setback for regular users. The night shots are enhanced with dual LED flash, and a Night Mode, which is readily available on the camera’s interface which is clear and modern, like on the rest of Redmi series smartphones. The camera can be used with a volume-down button, to get a more camera-like experience.
Video recording is a feature which can be made in a 1080p quality, which is not a stellar, but a standard feature these days.
The front camera is good for selfies and video calling, as it features 5 Megapixel image size and a decent f/2.0 aperture lens. There are multiple functions and filters to apply to your images such as Panorama, HDR, multi-shot, image enhancement, beauty face, and more.
The operating system was not a surprise – Xiaomi opted for Android 5.1 Lollipop, and installed MIUI 7.0 on top of it, bringing a unique, and customized experience to the users. This user interface is very popular among users, as it provides simplicity, functionality, and beauty. The interface can be customized further with numerous themes, all available in the App store.
The system runs flawlessly and looks attractive. The minimalistic widgets and customizable elements are a definite plus for young users, and functionality is at great out-of-the-box, especially for business users – you’ll get an entirely functional email client, document viewer & editor, and a plethora of communication possibilities.
Redmi 3 offers a full span of connectivity features, starting from dual SIM. Here are the networking characteristics of Redmi 3:
The device can communicate with others by following technologies:
- Mobile Hotspot & Tethering
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
The device is packed with all the latest connectivity features of modern smartphone communicating. We found that device lacked only the Near-Field-Communication or NFC.
Here we have a feature which has been quite popular among the smartphone enthusiasts’ circles. The rumors circled through forums, discussion threads, and on many websites – the new Redmi will have a battery bigger than 4000 mAh.
There were all kinds of rumors out there, and the manufacturer confirmed the leaked info later, boosting the interest for the Redmi 3 even more – the battery packed inside a slim case has a 4100 mAh capacity. A quite impressive feature for today’s smartphone world, and nearly double increase from the latest model. The numerous complaints from buyers finally paid off; Xiaomi listened to the market’s needs and requests, and provided a staggering battery capacity to the users, without altering the price significantly.
The battery is very slim, to be able to fit in the device, and built in to provide countless hours of gaming, video reproduction, music and web browsing – because the users asked for it. The battery in Redmi 2 was one of the major setbacks, which was handled with style. Regarding the battery usage and draining, the unit we had in our possession lasted for 27 hours of regular usage (few hours of music, an hour of YouTube video via Wi-Fi, an hour of talk time, an hour of gameplay and few hours of web browsing).
The device has a fast charging possibility, which can charge the phone up to 100% in two and a half hours, and the Ultra Power Saving Mode, to preserve energy when in need for few more hours of runtime.
Pros & Cons
Like every device out there, Redmi 3 has flaws. We’ve spent some time with the device, getting used to it, and we list you the pros & cons:
- Slim case, metallic alloy design
- Decent hardware, ready to tackle all the modern apps of today
- Large battery capacity, fast charging
- MIUI 7
- Non-removable battery
- Display resolution
- Storage (luckily, it’s expandable)
- No NFC
The device has definite reasons “For” and “Against”, and their ratio is well in favor of “For”.
Conclusion: Is the Redmi 3 a worthy successor?
The new Redmi came out to provide the users with a 5-inch phone that will be reliable, long-lasting, and won’t go into the phablet category. The trend keeps growing, as the interest for Redmi 3 doesn’t wear off. The success of Redmi 2 was great, and the successor is better in many ways. The metal alloy build, a prominent display and quality hardware specs for the fraction of the price of the global flagship smartphones are the reasons the trend is growing, and why Xiaomi grows. The Redmi 3 is a worthy successor od the former Redmi 2, and it is on sale on every major online retailer today, providing you with the possibility to get it while It’s hot and so affordable.
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