The year 2016 turned out to be a blockbuster one for Xiaomi, at least in India. Xiaomi managed to retail over 3.6 million units of Redmi Note 3 alone, which in turn helped it reach $1 billion revenue milestone in India. The Redmi Note 3 with its all-round performance and affordable price won hearts of both critics and users. A year down the road, Xiaomi decided to pass the torch to the Redmi Note 4.
The successor of Redmi Note 3 has some really big shoes to fill. Let’s find out in our Redmi Note 4 Review whether it’s up for the task or not.
Redmi Note 4 Specification
|Model||Redmi Note 4|
|Display||5.5-Inch, IPS LCD full HD display|
|Processor||Snapdragon 625 processor with Adreno 506 GPU|
|Internal Storage||32GB/64GB (microSD card supported)|
|Software||Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) based MIUI 8|
|Primary Camera||13MP sensor, dual-tone LED Flash, PDAF|
|Secondary Camera||5MP Front-Facing Camera|
|Others||Hybrid SIM slot, 4G VoLTE, Fingerprint Sensor|
|Availability in India||Available on Flipkart and Mi.com|
Design and Build
On the face of it, the Redmi Note 4 doesn’t deviate very far in terms of design, when compared to the Note 3. However, a closer examination will reveal that there are a lot of subtle changes that lend a distinct identity to the new Note.
In India, the Redmi Note 4 comes with a metal back flanked by two plastic trimmings on top and bottom separated by silver linings, just as the Redmi Note 3. However, the new Note is a lot less curvy. This time around Xiaomi has opted for a flatter back that tapers towards the sides and then folds into flat side edges for a sturdier grip.
In comparFon with its predecessor, the Redmi Note 4 is marginally taller and broader. The introduction of 2.5D curved glass also accounts as a refreshing change. The bezel around the display is very narrow. Above the display, there is a notification light, earpiece, selfie camera and proximity sensor, whereas on the chin you will spot the backlit navigation keys.
The Right edge features volume rocker and power button that offers good tactical feedback. The top edge has 3.5mm audio jack, secondary noise cancellation mic, and IR blaster, whereas the speaker grills and microUSB port sits on the bottom edge. Distribution of the weight is well balanced too, and thus the handset doesn’t feel too heavy in spite of weighing 165 grams.
Overall, despite its similarity with its predecessor, the Redmi Note 4 doesn’t look like its recycled version. One has to have a very observant eye to notice the small changes on the first glance, though. Having said that, the Redmi Note 4 design certainly grows on you with each passing day.
Phone’s display is yet another point where we have witnessed improvements over the Redmi Note 3. The 5.5-inch full HD IPS LCD display on Redmi Note 4 performs better in terms of color accuracy and viewing angles. The sharpness and touch response of the display also works fine for us. You can tweak color & contrast (not effectively, though) and avail an eye-friendly reading mode as well.
However, the maximum brightness falls short of what should be ideal. We had some trouble with the Auto-brightness setting on the phone, therefore, we recommend Redmi Note 4 users to manage brightness manually. The 2.5D curved glass on the front is smudge-prone and need constant wiping. Other then these two negligible issues, we are quite content with Redmi Note 4 display.
Performance and Software
The Redmi Note 3 was powered by a Snapdragon 650 chipset which was one of the most powerful chipsets last year. So, when we heard the news about Redmi Note coming to India we all assumed that it would be powered by its next iteration, the Snapdragon 653. However, Xiaomi ultimately decided to side with the more power and cost efficient Snapdragon 625.
This isn’t something that should put off conventional buyers. Yes, the SoC lacks the raw power of the Snapdragon 650 in the Note 3, something you would occasionally notice, but it’s also significantly less harsh on your battery and will keep the temperature well under control. We could get through routine day to day tasks with perfect ease. Connectivity, streaming content, and browsing work as they should.
In Redmi Note 4, the Snapdragon 625 chipset is teamed up with Adreno 506GPU, up to 4Gigs of RAM and 32GB or 64GB storage. On our 4GB RAM and 64GB storage variant, the UI transitions & animations felt smooth, apps loading time was reasonable during my time with the phone. We noticed that the phone has an aggressive RAM management and periodically shuts downs background apps. We tested view graphics intensive games to push it to the limits. In our gameplay of Nova 3, Modern Combat 5 and Fifa 2017, we didn’t encounter any sort of lag.
On the software front, the Note 4 has nothing new in store. It comes running on MIUI 8 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Like all MIUI versions, this too has all apps stacked on the home screen (but you can always use a third party launcher). It offers its own set of animation and a list of features like scrolling screenshot, quick ball, gesture support, and one-hand support that most of us won’t be using very often.
The Redmi Note 4 packs a 13-megapixel primary shooter with f/2.0 aperture, phase-detection autofocus, and dual tone flash. Up front, it comes fitted with 5-megapixel selfie snapper. In comparison to the Redmi Note 3, images are a tad warmer and sharper. The amount of noise that creeps in low light shots certainly leaves a lot to be desired.
The camera has improved when compared to the Redmi Note 3, but it clearly falls short of the contemporary rivals like Cool 1 Dual and Honor 6X.
One of the high points of the phone is its battery performance. This is where Xiaomi homes that the Redmi Note 4 will find its clear-cut competitive edge. The battery capacity is more or less the same as its predecessor but the power-efficient chipset helps make a well-pronounced difference.
We extensive tried to drain out the battery by throwing all sorts of tasks including games, multimedia consumption, streaming, screen mirroring to test Xiaomi’s battery claims and they all that marketing talk does hold substance. With moderate usage, the battery can comfortably last for up to two days.
On the downside, the phone doesn’t support fast charging.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is a great phone, but at the same time, it isn’t outright impressive or exciting. Yes, Xiaomi will surely be selling a truck-load of these, but the “for the price” factor does key in here more often than it did with the Redmi Note 3. Come to think of it, there still isn’t any viable online competitor that we would rather recommend in this budget. If you already own a Redmi Note 3, you should patiently wait for the next big thing to arrive. If you are an average user willing to spend more, you need to look hard at the existing alternatives as there are some decent options that can offer a better experience (if not specs).
While the euphoria of Redmi Note 3 success lingers, it’s high time for Xiaomi to bring in more options, preferably from the latest crop of phones in China.
- Excellent battery backup
- Vibrant Display
- All-round performance
- Average sunlight legibility
- Mediocre Camera
- Hybrid card slot
- No fast charging