It is not easy for any smartphone brand to capture the Indian market the way Xiaomi has done it. Matching the likes of Samsung within first 4 years of its inception in India is itself a huge achievement in a market where so many people prefer brand over specs and where we already have other brands like Motorola, Micromax, Lenovo etc. with their devices in the budget segment. It was important for Xiaomi to shine in between such competitors to gain some market share which it did in the most awesome way possible. The current situation is such that in India, Xiaomi has captured nearly the same amount of market share as Samsung which is the largest smartphone company in the world when it comes to the Android ecosystem.
Xiaomi arrived in India with all mighty Mi 3 and since then, it has never looked back and has become a household name when it comes to smartphones in India. Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is the highest selling smartphone for Xiaomi in India. This Redmi Series is their most successful series till now which does not seem to lose pace anytime soon.
Redmi Note 4 is just another gem in the crown that Xiaomi has in India.
Currently, Redmi Note 4 starts at a price of Rs. 9,999 and goes up to 11,999 with specs ranging from 2GB RAM with 32GB storage to 4GB RAM with 64GB storage that is expandable up to 128GB. Let’s start with the review of the device and see if it really is a “Paisa Vasool Device”.
Table of Contents
Build and Design
Redmi Note 4 comes with an all-metal build which looks stunning and gives it a premium look. But as we all know, most of the beautiful things are fragile and need to be handled with care. Well, so is in the case of this device, though the device is beautiful but if you get a black variant of this device, then you are very likely to see smudges on its body which ruins the look of it, also the device has an unknown screen protection which can’t be trusted. The design of the phone is though not unique but it sure is good. The device has a 5.5 inch screen which makes it difficult for one-hand usage but the design is such that when held by one hand, then your index finger and thumb will be at the exact position as the company wanted it to be, that is, index finger at the fingerprint sensor at the back and the thumb at the power button (not for people with small hands, sorry). The fingerprint at the back is also a good thing to notice here. As said above, it is at the perfect position for quick unlocking and it is blazing fast, not the fastest but fast enough for daily usage. Above the fingerprint sensor is the camera with its flash residing in between the camera and the sensor. The device has two grilles at the bottom one of which is for the speaker and another for the audio mic and has the micro-USB charging port in between. Power and volume buttons are at the right side of the device whereas the 3.5mm jack is at the top of the device. The earpiece and front cam is above the screen with LED notification light at the left side. The device has capacitive touch buttons below the display that are backlit.
The device has 5.5 inches of display having a 1080 x 1920 pixels i.e. Full HD resolution with 16:9 aspect ratio(outdated as 18:9 is the current trend) and wide viewing angles which provides a rich viewing experience providing sharp images with good colors. The device also has very thin bezels on the side which looks beautiful. The screen has 2.5D curved glass over it which makes the touch experience smooth and buttery. The screen has the density of 400ppi which makes it difficult to see any pixel individually which is a good thing. The screen though beautiful has a very slight yellow tint by default which can be changed from the settings. The display has an average sunlight visibility, I would recommend you to keep the brightness 70-100% if you are in direct sunlight depending on your vision to see everything clearly.
Day-to-day performance and Gaming
The device comes with a Snapdragon 625 processor which is based on 14nm technology and is high in efficiency coupled with a minimum of 2GB of RAM. The device has MIUI 8 on top of Android Marshmallow 6.0 by default which can be easily updated to MIUI 9 which is fast and works really well with the processor. There will be no lag in day-to-day usage. Multi-tasking is a breeze in this device but with a little lag when heavy games are open. MIUI 9 is faster than MIUI 8 and does not let you feel the absence of stock android.
In the gaming department, this device is quite good if not best. I do not play many games on my smartphone but of all the games I have played on it, none of them has disappointed me. I have played games like Asphalt extreme, Guns Of Boom, Lords Mobile, NFS No limits on it and it performed very well but yes, during the gameplay of racing games the frames dip a little but the gameplay was not affected by it.
All in all, day-to-day performance and gaming are great on this device.
The device has a full HD screen with the contrast ratio of 1000:1 which provides a good viewing experience and has 32GB and 64GB memory that is expandable up to 128GB. The wide viewing angle makes it an enjoyable experience and watching your favorite movies and shows are a treat to watch in this device.
The audio quality of this device is good. The sound from the loudspeaker is aptly loud and clear.
Though the majority of sound quality depends on the earphones you are using but still, sound quality from earphones is also quite good and balanced but with a slightly higher bass. The device has an equalizer which allows you to set the audio according to you and comes with a few presets that you can choose depending on the type of hearing device you are using. Such customization enhances the listening experience and provides the power in the hands of the user which is good.
Here comes the part where this device takes a backseat. This device has a 13MP camera at the back and a 5MP camera at the front. The camera is decent in terms of performance and does not stand out from the crowd. The back camera being 13MP has PDAF(Phase detection autofocus) which helps in faster focusing and has an aperture of f/2.0 with dual-tone led flash and performs well when the lighting conditions are good but struggles the moment the light gets low. The front camera is a 5MP shooter that takes decent selfies when ample amount of light is available but struggles the same as its sibling at the back in low lighting conditions.
Here are few sample shots below-
Image 1– Selfie from the front camera during daylight
Image 2– Selfie from the front camera at indoor conditions
Image 3– Back camera under direct sunlight
Image 4– Image from the back camera at indoor conditions.
So, as you can see from the images above, the images under direct sunlight came to be good if not brilliant from both the front and back camera. But the case was altogether different when lighting conditions were not so good. The camera struggled at low lights and the pictures turned out to be grainy and had a lot of noise. The cameras overall are decent until you have good lighting around you and you can use the flash to grab a better image. The color in the images is very near to the real colors. The flash present is dual tone but the warmer tone dominates when flash is used. The device allows us to shoot 1080p videos @30fps and 720p @60fps and has slow-mo and time-lapse options too. Video quality is also decent and good but the same low performance at low light problem persists here too.
Calling and connectivity
The device comes with 4G with VoLTE, 3G and 2G connectivity. It has a Dual-hybrid slot and the user can use 2 SIM cards at once or 1 SIM with a memory card at once. The device has Wi-fi which works on 802.11/b/g/n standard at both 2.4Ghz as well as the 5.0Ghz band. Bluetooth 4.1 is also present in this device. In addition to all of the above, the device also has an infra-red sensor and FM-radio and supports USB OTG too. While calling, the sound from the earpiece is good and the mic is also clear. No issues were faced by me during calls while using this device.
The device comes with a humongous 4100mAh Li-polymer battery. This much of battery coupled with a super-efficient Snapdragon 625 can last easily for a whole day even with a medium to heavy usage, and if you are a light user, then I can guarantee you a minimum battery life of 1.5 days. The charger supplied with the device is a 2-ampere charger that charges the device in near to 2.5 hours. Overall, the battery is one of the USP of this device which can be an important factor while buying it.
As we have discussed all the aspects of the device. Now, comes the judgment day. Let me list down all the pros and cons of this device to sum up all the aspects.
Long Lasting Battery.
Smooth gaming and day-to-day performance.
Decent but average back and front camera.
So, this was my review of the Redmi Note 4 from my side. The smartphone is the best device available at a price of 10-13k. Perhaps this is the reason it was the highest selling smartphone in India in 2017.