Xiaomi reconfigures the Redmi Note 3 for India

The upcoming big screen phone gets a different processor compared to the Chinese variant, but will face stiff competition from Lenovo's K4 Note

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi will launch its latest big-screen budget smartphone the Redmi Note 3 in India soon. However, there is a twist in the tale. While Xiaomi had originally released the Redmi Note 3 in China with a MediaTek processor, the version that will be launched in India will have a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip instead. The reason—Ericsson sued Xiaomi last year, and the Chinese smartphone maker would not want to risk any legal wrangles.

Pricing matters

The Redmi Note 3 (16GB) is priced at RMB 999 ( 10,100 approx), and is the latest addition to the company’s line-up of big screen smartphones. It will succeed the Redmi Note Prime which was launched in December 2015 for 8,499.

The direct rival

Xiaomi’s latest phone will be vying for the budget market share, with the recently launched Lenovo K4 Note, which is priced at 11,998. The K4 Note comes with a Full HD display, 3GB RAM and a finger print scanner, and will be available on Amazon.in from 20 January. It will be driven by MediaTek’s 64-bit MT6753 octa-core processor and provides 16GB of storage, expandable to another 128GB via a microSD card. It runs Android 5.1 and comes with Dolby Atmos enabled front-facing speakers.

Important specs

The 5.5-inch display of the Redmi Note 3 has a screen resolution of 1920x1080p and offers three different modes— sunlight, night and reading. It runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor clocking at 1.8GHz and has been a paired with 2GB RAM (16GB storage variant) or 3GB RAM (32GB storage version). It supports 4G and packs in a 4,000mAh battery. The Redmi Note 4G had 3,100mAh battery and the K4 Note has a 3,300mAh battery. Though the Redmi Note 3 offers a 13-megapixel, the same as its predecessor, it comes with dual tone LED flash.

Software puzzle

The phone will run the old Android 5.1 (lollipop) out of the box with Xiaomi’s MIUI interface running over it. The old Android OS hardly comes as a surprise as Xiaomi seldom launches phones with the latest version of Android, and instead focuses on its customized interface to provide a stand-out user experience compared to rivals.

What it looks like

The Redmi Note 3 is 8.7mm thick and weighs 164g, which isn’t a lot given the screen size and all-metal body. The full metal body should look a lot more premium than the phones it succeeds, and features a circular fingerprint scanner at the back providing an extra layer of security. This feature is becoming quite common in a lot of affordable smartphones.

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