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INTRODUCTION

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 clearly has big shoes to fill with its predecessor doing extremely well in both India and China. It’s barely been half a year since Note 3 came out and so, the Note 4 is more of a premium offering rather than a replacement. The Redmi Note 4 comes at a slightly higher price but also features that elevate it from the others in the Redmi series. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is expected to launch in India by 10 January 2017 and is priced at Rs. 12,999.

MAJOR SPECS
  • Aluminum unibody design
  • 5.5-inch IPS display of 1080p resolution with a 401 PPI
  • MediaTek MT6797 Helio X20 chipset
  • OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow with MIUI 8
  • Standard edition: 2GB RAM with 16GB of storage;
  • High edition: 3GB RAM with 64GB storage;
  • 13MP primary camera + 5MP secondary camera
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM, VoLTE support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, IR, microUSB
  • Other features: MicroSD support, Hybrid slot shared with 2nd SIM, Fingerprint sensor
  • 4,100mAh battery
DESIGN

The box that the Redmi Note 4 comes in, consists of the phone itself, a microUSB cable and a charger. The charger is the fastest one that the phone officially supports. Xiaomi has changed the manufacturing process for the metal body since the Note 3, which has resulted in a higher quality, and a sturdier body. However, it weighs more too – 175g vs. 164g. Furthermore, 0.3mm has been shaved off from the thickness and the sides have been given a new shape.

Coming to the finishing, Xiaomi opted to polish the metal, which somehow takes away the ‘metal feel’ and also makes fingerprints more visible. However, we do like the way the metal is chamfered on the sides as it gives the user a secure grip. Furthermore, the classic positioning of the controls helps greatly with the ergonomics. You honestly feel like you’re holding something special with the Note 4 because it achieves a great design and build at an exceptionally affordable price.

DISPLAY

The Note 4 uses a 5.5-inch IPS LCD screen and shows no color shifting at different angles. It has a resolution of 1080p and comes with automatic brightness. However, the high reflectivity of the screen makes it hard to read under the sun’s glare. The colors are actually fairly accurate but there is an increased contrast mode, which changes the dynamic contrast on a per-image basis and makes photos look punchier. Furthermore, you can enable the Reading mode to reduce the amount of blue light in the evening and trigger it automatically for certain selected apps like Kindle, which involve reading.

CONNECTIVITY AND BATTERY LIFE

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is a sometimes dual-SIM phone. It actually depends on whether you require extra storage, which users with the 16GB model usually opt for. If you do have two SIMs, then you’ll have to go to the settings and change which cards provides data over LTE. The phone supports all necessary 3G and 4G tech and VoLTE is supported as well. Facilities like Wi-Fi screen sharing, Bluetooth and IR are available as well. However, NFC is not supported.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 has a 4,100mAh battery – about the same as the Note 3. On moderate usage, the battery life could last up to about two working days.

AUDIO AND VIDEO QUALITY

The Redmi Note 4 packs a good speaker, however, it could use a little more bass. The phone has a single speaker at the bottom, but it’s quite loud. The music player can stream online music with added features and can also recognize songs, thanks to ACR Cloud. However, when a pair of earphones is plugged in, intermodulation distortion creeps in. It’s not the best audio but definitely does the job if you don’t have high requirements.

For videos, there is no subtitle support but DLNA is supported. You can launch videos from the gallery and surprisingly good video editor hides there.

CAMERA

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 has a 13MP main camera, which is a downgrade from the 16MP camera of the Note 3. However, both models have dual-tone flash, videos of 1080p resolution, phase detection, autofocus and dual-LED. There is a 5MP selfie camera. However, the highest video resolution it supports is 720p, which is again a downgrade from Note 3 that could take 1080p selfie videos. The selfie camera itself is actually quite good as it captures plenty of detail and has good color rendering. Although, the dynamic range stands as an issue as it is not very wide and also, there is no HDR mode for selfies.

There is a Manual mode that only gives the user control over ISO and White balance, but you can’t change shutter speed or control focus manually. The HDR mode was too conservative and although, the Panorama mode had good resolution and stitching, it ends up being too soft.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 shoots 1080p video at 30fps and can do 120fps slow-motion videos at 720p. However, the slow motion mode isn’t available until you manually switch the resolution to 720p. Sound quality is okay, but the stereo separation isn’t as good as we would have liked.

PERFORMANCE

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is powered by the MediaTek Helio X20 chipset. It’s a pretty impressive chipset that is used in several high-end phones. We were honestly blown away by the performance of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4. It offers a great performance value in the price range it comes in.

MAJOR SHORTCOMINGS
  • Runs heavily skinned Marshmallow
  • Non-removable battery
  • Cannot have 2 SIMs and a microSD card
  • No Quick charge 2.0/3.0 support, just 5V/2A charging
  • Average camera
VERDICT

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is a phone that has a high-end design, impressive display, good battery life and great performance. With so many impressive features, you’d never guess it comes under the sub €200 opening.
It has its flaws, but considering the amount of features it offers at its price, we can’t really fault it. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is a benchmark for what affordable phones can do. It is difficult to find worthy competition for the Note 4 and even if you were willing to spend a bit more on a mid-ranger, you will be pretty satisfied with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4.

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