Redmi Note 4: A Great Smartphone with Acceptable Compromises

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 was launched in the Indian market, with 4GB RAM and a Snapdragon 625 processor, in August 2016, at a starting of ₹9,999. Other than the RAM and processor, the distinguishing features of this smartphone were its premium-looking complete metal body and 2.5D 5.5-inch Full HD display. With the launch of the Redmi Note 4, Xiaomi wanted to build on the success of its Note 3, which was highly popular amongst the Indian audiences.

The Redmi Note 4 is available in three colour variants, Gold, Dark Grey and Matte Black. Of these, it is the Matte Black model that has classy silver accents on the body and has been immensely liked. Here are my thoughts on the Redmi Note 4.

Redmi Note 4 Review India

Related: Best mobile phones in India

Specifications

Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 4 is a dual SIM smartphone that accepts Nano SIM and Micro SIM. The smartphone features a 5.50-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080 X 1920 pixels at 401 PPI (pixels per inch). The handset weighs 175 gm and measures 151.00 x 76.00 x 8.30 mm.

This Xiaomi smartphone is powered by a 2GHz octa-core processor paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 128GB via a microSD card. The device runs on Android 6.0 and is fueled by a 4100mAh non-removable battery.

The Redmi Note 4 comes with a 5MP front camera and a 13MP primary camera on the rear. Its connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, Infrared, USB OTG, FM, 3G and 4G, while the sensors on-board include a compass/magnetometer, proximity sensor, accelerometer, ambient light sensor and gyroscope.

Technical Features

Screen Size: 5.50-inch touchscreen

Display Resolution: 1080 X 1920 pixels

Processor: 2GHz octa-core processor

RAM: 4GB

Storage: 64GB expandable up to 128GB

Front Camera: 5MP

Back Camera: 13MP

Battery: 4100mAh

Display and Looks

No doubt, the perfectly symmetrical Redmi Note 4 features a very enticing design. The premium metal body is certainly attention getting. On the front, the handset flaunts a 2.5D curved glass and the slim tapered edges on the back give a relaxing in-hand feel and make the device comfortable to hold. What is interesting to note is that the smartphone was the first one in which Xiaomi used a 2.5D curved glass.

One of the best features of the Redmi Note 4 is its 2.5D 5.5-inch Full HD display, with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. The 1080p resolution may sound old age in times of QHD displays, but it is definitely a good choice in terms of colours and brightness. To help users alleviate eye strain, the Chinese brand has included a reading mode in the device. I was quite satisfied with the outdoor legibility and viewing angles of the Redmi Note 4 display.

Things were going great for me, till I reached the left of the smartphone to find the SIM card slot. In the Redmi Note 4, you get a hybrid slot, which was a big turn off for me. However, the infrared sensor and fingerprint sensor at the back did compensate to a large extent.

Performance and Battery

In terms the processor, the Indian variant of the Redmi Note 4 is different from its Chinese counterpart. In the Chinese model, you get a deca-core MediaTek Helio X20 processor, while under the hood of the Indian variant, you get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC. The reason for this is some patent issues with Ericsson, due to which Xiaomi cannot sell MediaTek-based devices in India.

The Redmi Note 4 packs 3/4 GB of RAM and an Adreno 506 GPU. Buyers get to choose from three variants of the device for internal storage, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, which can all be expanded up to 128 GB with the help of a microSD card. In the Redmi Note 3, the maximum storage was 32GB.

When it comes to the battery, the device is powered by a huge 4100mAh battery. I must say that Xiaomi has made a significant improvement in battery life with the Redmi Note 4, from the 4000mAh battery in Redmi Note 3. Even after extensive use, the smartphone managed to stay awake for around 24 hours.

Coming to the software, the Redmi Note 4 runs on Xiaomi’s latest MIUI 8, based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. The software comes with a host of updates. Needless to say, the extensively tweaked MIUI 8, which is inspired by the kaleidoscope, is one of the best Android skins in the market today.

For thermal management during intensive use and heavy gaming, Xiaomi has made use of FinFet technology.

Camera and Apps

Coming to the photography department, the Redmi Note 4 comes with a 13MP camera on the rear, with an aperture of f/2.0 and phase detection auto-focus. The images were crisp and detailed in daylight, but looked highly compromised in low light conditions, just like the Redmi Note 3.

For selfies, Xiaomi has given a 5MP sensor on the front. The Chinese smartphone maker claims that it is a wide angle lens with 85 degrees field of view. However, I had to look for adequate lighting or find outdoor locations to get great shots. Thankfully, the phase detection auto focus did its job well.

Redmi Note 4 Price

The Redmi Note 4 is available in India in three different variants:

  1. 2GB RAM/16GB internal storage: ₹9,999
  2. 3GB RAM/32GB internal storage: ₹10,999
  3. 4GB RAM/64GB internal storage: ₹12,999

Reasons Why I Like This Phone

  1. 2.5D 5.5-inch Full HD display
  2. Snapdragon 625 processor
  3. Adequate RAM and ROM

Reasons Why I Hate This Phone

  1. Lack of USB Type C 
  2. Hybrid SIM
  3. Poor camera performance

I agree that the Redmi Note 4 boasts improved battery life, good display and great performance, and that Xiaomi has done its homework to bring its audiences a comprehensive update to the Redmi Note 3. The phone is, however, a must buy only if you can ignore the camera performance in low light, lack of USB Type C and dual speakers.

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About the author

Mani Karthik

Having lived in the USA, India & Middle East for over a decade, and having worked for big MNC's to startups, I have a lot to share with you. My aim is to help people, by sharing everything I've learned in life through this blog. Come join my pursuit of happiness! Be a smarter, richer, happier person. WhatsApp me at +001-408-489-4785. Subscribe to my YouTube channel here. <3

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MK Bio

Having lived in the USA, India and UAE, I share everything that I’ve learned in life. My aim is to help people by sharing whatever I know, through this blog. Come join my pursuit in becoming a smarter, richer & happier person! About Me!