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|$200 *||To Store|
|$170 *||To Store|
|$170 *||To Store|
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The Xiaomi series is succeeded by a new smartphone. The new Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is a stripped-down version of Xiaomi Redmi Pro. Even the price is stripped-down. In China the price is at 120$, however, the import price will be considerably more expensive at 200$; a very common price for Xiaomi mobiles. Among the highlight features are: full metal design, a 10 core Helio X20 processor, a MIUI V8 system (on Android 6 basis), a 4100mAh battery and its 5.5-inch FHD display. Competitors, however, were not lazy, too. Hence Redmi Note 4 has to prevail over the manufacturers own model Redmi Note 3, as well as over competitors’ LeEco and Vernee.
The following detailed review will answer any question you may have on Redmi Note 4.
Xiaomi Smartphones at a glance
Every Xiaomi products have one thing in common: You get much hardware for your money. Also Xiaomi’s software support is one of a kind because phone’s still get updates even if the market introduction was years ago. Xiaomi Mi5 is the best equipped and at the same time the most expensive Xiaomi phone at the moment. Xiaomi Max with its 6-inch display is the manufacturer’s phablet whereat Mi Note shouldn’t be forgotten. Redmi 3 in each version (standard, S, Pro) is the smallest of all Xiaomi low budget devices with a display of only 5 inches. The Redmi Pro series is the newest addition to the product range and was designed to lead the 5.5-inch high end team. The Redmi Note series developed a real performance miracle and finally provides full LTE support which up to now prevented customers from buying.
But now, let’s talk about the new Xiaomi Redmi Note 4. It is available in two editions: 2/16GB memory and 3/64GB. Also, a version with a Snapdragon processor may be introduced soon. In case a dual SIM is not used, memory can be further extended by 128GB with the help of a micro SD in the hybrid slot.
Design and build quality
Redmi Note 3 has already been a metal covered phone with two plastic stripes which deteriorated the premium feeling of the device. These stripes were removed; Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 merely has two 1mm small lines which do not affect the feeling when holding it in your hand. While the user only feels nothing more than glass or metal, these lines are supposed to improve reception. The buttons on the right side of the phone are made of aluminium and fitted perfectly. Its slightly rounded and scratch resistant 2.5D glass on the front side, together with the metal rear ensures the premium sensation. Although it has a huge 4100mAh battery, Redmi Note 4 only weighs 175g and is as slim as 8.2mm. Length and width of respectively 151mm and 76mm are not extraordinary but adequate for a 5.5-inch mobile.
The common three Android sensors underneath the display are illuminated. A notification LED also flashes in the upper right corner of the device. Just as in the previous model, Redmi Note 4’s fingerprint sensor is located on the backside and easily accessible with your index finger. You can easily activate the phone from standby mode within 0.5 seconds. Speed and precision of the fingerprint sensor are outstanding. Compared to the aluminium casing of Redmi Pro, Redmi Note 4’s aluminium frame has a greyish colour and is much handier. Further, Redmi Note 4 only has a standard micro USB ejection tool on its bottom side and no type-C port. But except these differences, you can barely tell them apart.
Xiaomi really outshines its competitors when it comes to creating a smartphone with splendid feeling in the lower price range. The Redmi Note 4 edition does not only look better but also feels better in your hand. An entire aluminium casing and the slightly rounded 2.5D glass improve haptics and design.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 has a 5.5-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. Images are shown very sharp with 441 pixels per inch. You can read on the display from all angles without any difficulties, further there are no colour changes. Compared to Redmi Pro’s OLED display, the colours on Redmi Note 4 seem a little blurred. Differences to Mi5 which also has an IPS display are minimal. You can choose between ‘warm’, ‘cold’ and ‘standard’ colour representation. Black-white contrast is acceptable, however, it is still not comparable to an OLED display. It can be easily used outdoors as its readability is maintained due to its good brightness. With its 450cd/m² it can be used even in bright sunlight. Readability is further improved by the automatic contrast setting.
Its 10 point touch screen convinced me in the test with its high precision and direct transmission. Fingers slide conveniently over the screen which is protected from scratches by special-hardened glass. Slightly rounded 2.5D glass provides comfortable haptics. Vivid colour representation of Redmi Pro is not given, unfortunately. Nevertheless, Xiaomi improved its displays since Redmi Note 3 because readability outdoors is clearly better.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4’s standard edition comes with a Mediatek Helio X20 10 core processor. In Pro version it even may be a Snapdragon processor. Helio X20 is divided in three clusters which clock at: 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.4GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.85GHz, 2x Cortex-A72 @ 2.3GHz. In contrast to public beliefs that 10 cores are nonsense, in Helio X20 it enhances brilliant energy management. Battery straining performance cores were only activated when playing games or demanding applications. The processor can be supported by either 2GB or 3GB RAM. Our test device had 3GB RAM and a pace of 6GB/s which is satisfying. For users who want to access many apps at once, I would recommend the 3GB version. For those using a few apps regularly, on the other hand, the 2GB edition is sufficient. Basically, the 2GB RAM version can also be used for multitasking as background apps will be automatically closed when performance gets too straining. Hence the 2GB device’s pace is not reduced.
Everyday tasks, like surfing, chatting and watching videos, are processed without any problems. Its MIUI V8 system is based on Android 6 and reacts very fast. No matter what job you want Redmi Note 4 to carry out, it completes it without difficulty. You can extend the smartphone’s 16GB or 64GB storage with a micro SD card to up to 128GB. If you prefer a reading/writing speed of 48/107MB/s, you will not be able to use a second SIM as only one of either function is usable (hybrid slot).
Game performance is comparable to other X20 devices. The only flaw is the efficiency of Asphalt 8 since it does not perform well on a Snapdragon 820 phone. Every other graphics-intensive game, for example Nova 3 or Modern Combat 5, runs fluently. After an hour of gaming, the device heated up to moderate 38°C at its hottest spot.
MIUI V8 on Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 operates with the newest version of Xiaomi’s own MIUI system which is a strongly adjusted operating system. You won’t believe it is on the basis of Android 6. MIUI V8 is fast, fluent and offers a bunch of additional functions. Playstore is not preinstalled.
You will not find an app drawer or alike (summary page showing all apps) in MIUI. Instead, it provides a sophisticated home screen management system from the Android universe. You can relocate apps, put them into files or even uninstall them within a few seconds.
The most visible modification of MIUI is its new and more colourful interface. When you slide down the notification bar, you will immediately notice the coloured weather forecast. Quick launch bar and notification bar were combined, just as in Samsung’s TouchWiz. This can easily be reversed and separated again with one simple click in the options menu. As always, standard design is a question of taste. The theme app remains and offers a myriad of different design customising options.
Furthermore, the calculator was extended by a few functions. It is now also possible to scan QR codes and business cards, the information of which is directly transferred into a new contact interface. Gallery and note app were completely restructured. The omnipresent ‘Quick-ball’ feature appears as small spot with a quick launch function. If desired, this new option can be removed. Redmi Note 4’s new weather app is also a nice innovation.
Due to the opportunity to copy apps and with the dual SIM, WhatsApp now is usable with two different numbers. With the ‘second space’ function you can create a second system which then works as second smartphone OS. The different systems are accessible via different unlocking mechanisms. The smartphone’s camera app was also updated, whereby only the arrangement of functions was modified. However, a new feature was added where videos and pictures can be edited directly on Xiaomi Redmi Note 4.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 possesses a 12 mega pixel camera with an aperture of f/2.0. The camera takes good pictures provided the right light conditions. Selfie quality has improved a little since Redmi Note 3 Pro. A big difference to its previous model present Redmi Note 4’s main camera when it comes to colour representation and sharpness. Images taken under bad light conditions, on the other hand, are not comparable to camera frontrunners. In comparison to Mi5 and Redmi Pro, Redmi Note 4’s photos are slightly pale and sometimes overexposed.
Auto focus works fast and the camera triggering time is held to a minimum. HDR images are also shooting very fast. Picture quality has considerably improved compared to Redmi Note 3 Pro. When it comes to colour representation, on the other hand, Redmi Pro produces much better photos which is rather due to the software than to the sensor itself. For those who do not want to spend more than 200$ but still want a good camera, I would recommend Xiaomi Remi Note 4. Take a look at the test pictures and evaluate the quality for yourself.
Connectivity and communication
GSM: B2/B3/B8WCDMA: B1/B2/B5/B8
FDD-LTE: B1/B3/ B5/B7/ B8
During the test, Xiaomi Redmi Note 4’s reception was very impressing. Surfing in the H+ network posed no problem, LTE, in contrast, is only available in cities. Call quality is brilliant which is due to the additional noise-suppressing microphone which, in turn, transmits no background noise. Loudspeaker mode is acceptable, yet transmits a slight echo.
The internal speaker is loud and produces clear sound for the most part. In highest setting, high tones distort easily and basses are non-existent. For its price, the smartphone has an average quality. When connecting good headphones, you will get a more sophisticated sound which can be customised by an integrated equaliser.
The phone’s WLAN module transmits in ac standard in the 2.4GHz, as well as in the 5GHz network with stable reception and high data throughput. It is also equipped with the most up-to-date Bluetooth 4.2 which works flawless. OTG is supported, NFC is not.
The mobile is not lacking sensors. Besides the three standard sensors (acceleration, proximity and brightness) it additionally has a compass, infrared and a gyroscope sensor. GPS connects to as many as 18 satellites within a few seconds and determines your position accurately enough for pedestrian and car navigation. On the almost 300km test track, there were no deviations at all. Hence Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is perfectly suitable as navigation system.
Redmi Note 4 has a powerful 4100mAh lithium-ion battery which ensures an excellent battery life. Users who find other smartphones’ battery life too short will love Redmi Note 4 for this. Another major advantage of this phone is that considered its vast battery it still remains light in weight.
When using the delivered adapter, the phone is fully charged after only 2 hours. Using it on a daily basis, battery life lasts almost two days. Six to seven hours DOT (time with screen switched on) are therefore possible. Hence Redmi Note 4 performs minimally worse than Redmi Note 3 Pro, however, this can be changed quickly by Xiaomi with updates. In the PC mark battery test, Redmi Note 4 achieved a battery life of nine hours, compared to Redmi Note 3 Pro which reached 12 hours. A Samsung Galaxy S7 ranks behind both of the Xiaomi phones as it only performed for eight hours. If you look for a phone for one day of intense usage, Redmi Note 4 won’t disappoint you.
* Incl. VAT and, if applicable, delivery costs – subject to interim changes.