Chinese phone maker Xiaomi has come up with a new smartphone in a strongly contested budget segment. Dubbed as the Redmi Note 4, the new phone looks a lot more premium than the price it’s selling at. A Flipkart and Mi.com exclusive for now, the Redmi Note 4 will be available in three variants from 23 January onwards through flash sale. The entry-level variant, which offers 2 GB RAM+32 GB storage, will cost Rs9,999, while the 3 GB +32 GB and the 4 GB+64 GB models will be available at Rs10,999 and Rs12,999, respectively.
It is one of the few smartphones in the budget segment with a lustreless metal finish. It lends it solidity and good looks. The flat side panel that curves slightly towards the back improves grip over the phone. At 175 gram, it weighs more than many of its high-profile rivals yet doesn’t feel slipping out of fingers as some big screen phones do.
The phone will be available in gold and silver colour options initially. A matte black variant will be launched later. The gold variant we are using looks less blingy and a lot more refined than many budget smartphones with metal body and gold finish. The Note 4’s fingerprint sensor falls nicely in the range of the pointing finger when you are holding the phone and is spot on when it comes to unlocking the phone with one tap.
Sharp and big display
The Redmi Note 4 has a 5.5-inch screen with resolution of 1,920x1,080p. The big-screen provides ample space for reading e-books, web browsing, movie playback and gaming on the go. It has a good looking display. It offers a range of useful customization options. The Colorado mode allows one to switch between warm and cool colour options, the Reading mode automatically changes the colour tint at night time to reduce stress on eyes while reading.
Delivers smooth performance
Powered by Qualcomm’s new 14nm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor with 4 GB RAM, the Redmi Note 4 was able to handle most heavy tasks and games such as FIFA 16 and Real Racing 3 better than many of its rivals. We didn’t notice any heating issues or sluggishness during games or multitasking.
However, the user experience on the lower priced variants of the Redmi Note 4 may not be the same given the fact that MIUI is a resource intensive UI and struggles with phones with low RAM.
The Redmi Note 4 packs in a 4,100 mAh battery which can eke out over one and half days’ back-up with consummate ease.
Software you can tinker with
The Redmi Note 4 runs Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) with Xiaomi’s multi-featured MIUI 8 user interface over it. It is a colourful UI with some cool customization options that are popular with mainstream users.
The flexibility to change the look and feel by applying new themes is cool but the features we liked more are the second spaces (allows user to have two user profiles on one phone), dual apps (allows user to have two versions of a few select apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp) and built in FM radio (a feature that many of the new smartphones tend to leave out these days).
Camera impresses in daytime
The phone offers a 13-megapixel camera with phase detection auto-focus feature, cool live filters and plenty of fun modes such as Beautify, Tilt shift, Straighten and audio in picture. The camera is fast and delivers crisp looking shots in properly lit conditions. So in day time, it captures minor details and colours with accuracy.
Like most budget smartphones, low light photography is not one of its forte. Light reflections are too high and the amount of noise is visible even without zooming into the image.