I am an Indian Mobile user – by definition that makes me choosy and price conscious. It has taken many many manufacturers and many years for a phone or a phablet to impress me. It happened last week, when I laid my eyes on the Redmi Note 4G. This device is another value for money and top spec member of the Mi family, more precisely the Redmi family. I wanted to share my review of the phablet with you. Before even getting into the review, prepare to be impressed! It is a very strongly built and good performing device.
Packing: The device arrived in the customary Mi packing that is minimal and very thoughtful. I would appreciate a couple of ridges or curves in the box that make it easy to hold and pry open. The back and front of the device are remarkably similar to the Redmi Note 3G. To the casual and even the very formal observer they look similar, same even. But let me assure you that under the hood, there is a sea of change!
Quick Specifications: 5.5-inch IPS display 720 x 1280 pixels | Android 4.3 OS with MIUI 5 | 1.7 GHz MediaTek MT 6592 octa-core CPU | Mali 450 GPU | 2GB RAM | 8GB internal memory expandable up to 64 GB | 13 MP rear camera | 5 MP front camera | 3200 mAh battery | Android 4.4.2
Look and Feel: The whole look is very suavely understated. There’s only a Mi logo on the lower back and no branding on the front. The buttons are on the right , the left is blank. The headset socket is on top and the Micro-USB port is on the bottom. Xiaomi uses a slightly different Micro-USB port which makes it slightly difficult to see which way the plug needs to go in and sometimes it is annoying, but hey, I am not complaining, I mastered it in 10 minutes and I am not a pro. So you can be too!
The back cover is a bit difficult to pull off. The 4G version of this phone supports only a single SIM card.
The Redmi Note 4G isn’t tough to handle, given its screen size of 5.5 inches. It’s reasonably big , but you’ll surely feel like it is heavy and slightly tough to balance. It was slightly tough in the beginning for me as I can use only one hand. But then again, in a few minutes, it was a cinch! And we were on!
Specifications and Software: The Redmi Note 4G version uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400. Owing to legal issues from a patent infringement dispute with Ericsson, Xiaomi cannot sell MediaTek-based products in India. So A Qualcomm version here.
The screen is 5.5″ 720×1280 pixels, and it has 2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage . MicroSD capacity support is up to 64GB, and has Wi-Fi 802.11ac support. I have an issue with the 8GB internal storage. This device is nearly perfect and there are two things holding it back, one is the internal storage not being 16GB and the other is a slightly lagging OS. Not very noticeable, just a slight lag.As with all Xiaomi Devices, there are the Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and FM radio features. It has all the bells and whistles – accelerometers, gyroscopes, digital compasses and proximity sensors. The 3,100mAh battery is also par for the course by Xiaomi standards. The Note 4G lasted for 11 hours, 13 minutes on one full charge! I would have liked a little more juice!
Calling and Sound: Clear as a whistle and emphatic like my wife when she is assertive! The call quality is excellent and I have no complains about the sound!
Camera: The 13-megapixel rear camera is a good value for money feature, My deal clincher is the 5-megapixel front camera, that one is a beauty! Low-light shots were also pretty good, the close shots looked better and the long ones were a bit on the ordinary side.I snapped a few family selfies and shared them on facebook and the likes rained in! Seriously!! If a camera can make me look good, it has to be the best! Here are some pictures I took with it
Performance: The Redmi Note 4G was a tad bit slower than the original Redmi Note. Surprisingly, the Snapdragon 400 lagged behind across the board. I was surprised with that. But still not complaining.
All comparisons here are between The Redmi Note 4G and the Orignal Redmi Note, differences in graphics tests were tight,- 12fps vs 13.3fps in GFXbench and 5889 points vs 5953 in 3DMark Ice Storm for the Redmi Note 4G and Redmi Note respectively. The CPU-intensive Quadrant scores were 44,947 and 67,118 respectively – a bigger difference. SunSpider took 1,257ms for Note 4G to complete as opposed to 1,098ms for the Original Redmi Note. It looks like the original Redmi Note does better on the benchmarks.
Tested it with 4G, smooth as a kitten. But in India, currently the 4G networks aren’t that prevalent and hence the full experience will happen best INSIDE an Airtel center! Sounds stupid, but it is true! I am eagerly waiting for the 4G network to start spreading more.
Verdict: I love the Redmi Note 4G. On all fronts it is deal clincher. If you ask me, it is a bit ahead of its time here in India, the lack of 4G in all areas maybe a bit of a spoiler. But given the price and the specs, this is a nearly perfect device. But there are a few downsides, the internal memory is one and the slightly laggy OS is another. But hey, given the pros the cons aren’t that many. Remember to buy a 64GB SD card with this one and you are set! But for some people though, the slight reduction in performance and the loss of dual-SIM functionality will matter, like I said, this is India
Note: My wife is a food blogger, and she is just totally in love with this device, especially the cameras with vivid colors and resolution! She now wants me to buy her one!
I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.