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Sunday, 30 November 2014

Xiaomi Redmi Note: My Views

Xiaomi has enjoyed enormous success ever since its entry in the Smartphone market and is now the 3rd largest smartphone vendor after Samsung and Apple. The reason behind the success not only lies in the fact that they manufacture some impressive phones but also the innovative style of selling along with competitive the pricing of the devices.
In India they did very well with the launch of Mi and Redmi1s which sold like hot cakes but it remains to be seen whether this Phablet device enjoys the same success like its predecessors. The things which Xiaomi still has to work out is their after sales service as many have complained that it is still not up to the mark and also thus far they have been pretty slow in rolling out  software updates so if they could work few of these things out I’m sure they will do even better.
In this post I will take a look at the Redmi Note which will go on sale exclusively on Flipkart from 2nd December, 2014.It is the 3g variant of the phone which is being launched in India. The device has been priced very competitively at Rs 8,999/- ($ 150 approx). You can follow the link given above to subscribe for the flashsale.

Build

If you look at the phone you basically won’t find much difference between the Redmi Note and Redmi 1s barring the size. It is entirely made up of plastic and is slightly thicker at 9.5 mm and a tad bulky as compared to similar devices weighing 199 gms. I hope it does not have the same build issue, I had observed on the Redmi1s. The Note is available in White variant and the back cover has a glossy finish which just might make the phone slippery so one has to be careful while handling it. The back cover and the battery is user removable.
Due to its large size single hand use is not possible on this device.
In my opinion build quality is average but not bad by any means and given the price at which it is available I don’t think we can complain much about it.

Display

It sports a 720p display resolution which gives a pixel density of 267 ppi. Owing to the large screen the display does look a bit saturated and washed out at times. However still the display looks decent and people coming from lower or similar display resolution won’t be able to differentiate much.
The display is protected by Dragon Tail Glass which we had seen on Redmi1s but I would like to add that I do find some scratches on the screen despite using a flip cover.

Hardware Configuration

It is powered by an Octa Core A7 Processor clocked at 1.7ghz mounted on a Mediatek Chipset. The GPU on board is Mali 450MP which does promise good gaming experience on the device.
More importantly it has 2 gb of Ram which hopefully will ensure that the device does not lag and remains responsive even while multitasking. An issue which I had faced with the Redmi1s was that free Ram available was too low and often resulted in applications shutting down. Hopefully we won’t face similar issues on the Note.
It has an Internal Storage of 8gb which can be expanded via Micro SD card upto 32 gb.

Software

This is an area where Xiaomi needs to work upon in my opinion. Redmi Note runs on Android Jellybean which as of now is an outdated OS because most of the devices launched these days come with Android Kitkat 4.4.2 at the very least. But I do believe that Xiaomi will roll out updates for this device and we may get Android Lollipop too sometime in the near future.
MiUi the customized user interface seen on the Xiaomi devices is slightly heavy and while using the Redmi1s I did find that 1 gb Ram was not enough for it. As I did experience a bit of lag and some application automatically shut down while in use. However with MIUI 6 update and 2 gb Ram I feel Xiaomi will be able to address the issue.

Battery Life

It does boast of huge battery of 3100 mah which will probably last you for a more than day even under heavy usage. Since the resolution is low and Mediatek chipset are known to be battery efficient thus I strongly feel that users won’t have any issue with the battery life they get on this device.

Gaming

Gaming experience will be very good on this device with regard to the hardware specs available on the device. The larger display will make gaming more enjoyable and you can expect to play most of the graphics intensive games at the highest possible setting.

Networks and Reception

Previous Xiaomi devices were good with Cellular Call and Voice quality but I did observe frequent call drops on Redmi1s which did improve with software rolled out later and even in Mi3 I found at times the voice used to fade away suddenly. I hope we will have a better experience on this device.

Camera

Xiaomi have manage to put in very good camera in its previous devices and going by the specs I feel it won’t be any different here and user will like the quality of image captured by the camera on this device.
The front camera is beefed up to 5 mp which hopefully will capture higher resolution images and video calling will also be good on this device.

Overall Impression

Redmi Note looks impressive for the Price it is being launched in the market. However, apart from the pricing things which will work in favour of the device is the ever growing popularity of      Xiaomi devices backed by decent hardware specifications, good camera and a great battery life.
But I would like to add that this device has some downside too, like; it still runs on Android Jellybean and we are not quite sure about the updates being rolled out and also the Miui interface is slightly heavy in my opinion. The display resolution too is on the lower side, while the build quality is decent but feels a tad heavier when compared to other devices of similar size. It also does not have the Corning Gorilla Glass3 protection on top so you might need a Screen Protector as well. Lastly, one should also enquire about their after sales service in your area as at times you just might need their assistance.
It is one of the anticipated Phablet to be launched in December and I hope it lives upto the expectations of the users.

Key Specifications are given below:-


Processor
1.7 Ghz Octa Core A7 ( Mediatek MT 6592)
Storage
8GB (SD card upto 64gb)
Operating System
Android Jellybean 4.2.2 (Upgrade to Kitkat assured)
Rear Camera
13 megapixel (With Led Flash)
Front Camera
5 mp
Ram
2 GB
Battery
3100 Mah
Display
5.5inch (Dragon Tail Glass)
GPU
Mali 450MP4
Type Sim
Mini Sim/Dual Sim/GSM 3G Support
Resolution
1280*720(267ppi)
Touchscreen Type
Capacitive
Dimension(mm)/Weight(gms)
154*78.7*9.5 /199

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