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Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Review

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Review

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With a lot of silence, expectations go down, and that is just about what the Chinese company “Xiaomi” needed to get their head back into the game. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 was launched in India with a lot of fanfare by a CEO resembling nothing less than a movie star riding in on the Ninebot hoverboard announced last year.

 

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is a sequel to the popular Redmi Note series and does just about justice to the name of the product line and the company that is known for low-cost smartphones. Launched at a price of Rs. 9999 for the 2G RAM and 16 GB Storage variant and 11,999 for the 3GB RAM and 32 GB Storage option, the smartphone will be sold exclusively on the company’s website and e-commerce retailer Amazon till it becomes more readily available in offline channels.
Redmi Note 3 on Amazon

So should you be getting in line for the Redmi Note 3, or is it all the Hype all over again, for a mediocre product? Let’s Find out.

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Overview

The Redmi Note 3 has all the makings of a powerful budget smartphone. An all metal build, excellent specs, improved battery, good cameras and a new processor which impresses on benchmarks. The company continues its per-registration flash sale model which come 2016 seems unwanted. The phone impresses on many fronts and may turn out to the be the current choice of the masses just as the original Redmi Note did.

Build Quality and Design

With an all-metal build, the Chinese origin smartphone has outdone its previous visions. Anodised and sandblasted aluminum make up for most of its outer covering along with a protection glass which has not been named.

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Design wise the phone follows the legacy of Xiaomi, the front is flat with no buttons, and the fingerprint sensor is placed at the back, identical in size and just below the camera module, giving the whole design a sense of completion. The form factor of the smartphone is great and thanks to the rounded back edges it fits ever so nicely in the hand. The speaker sits at the back, a not so prime position for sound. However, a small wedge on the back of the smartphone allows for the phone to sit slightly higher on the table, allowing sound to escape, albeit still not perfectly but better than if it were laying flat on the table.

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Hardware

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 has all the makings of a Rs. 10000 smartphone. A new Snapdragon 650 chipset, 2/3 GB RAM options, expandable storage via MicroSD and a good set of cameras with wide lenses and an f2.0 aperture.

Specs

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

Display 5.5 inches Full HD Display
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Dimensions 150 x 76 x 8.7 mm
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 SoC
GPU Adreno 510
RAM 2GB / 3GB LPDDR4
Storage 16GB / 32GB flash storage
Rear Camera 16 MP, f/2.0, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED
Front Camera 5 MP, f/2.0, 1080p
Expandability 128GB via microSD
Battery 4050mAh
Connectivity 4G+, Wi-Fi 802.11ad, VoLTE, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth v4.1, A-GPS, GLONASS, NFC, VoLTE
OS Android 5.1.1 Lolipop with MIUI 7
Price  

Display and Multimedia

Thanks to the new chipset and price drop in tech, the 1920 x1080p display is great and lag free. You also get a good enough chipset to run all your multimedia, which looks great on this display. The display has good viewing angles and a great outdoor visibility thanks to various display modes.

You will also get a reading mode which sort of, like Apple’s “Time Shift” mode, kills the blue in your screen to help you read better.

Video playback is buttery smooth, and the speaker does a decent enough job. However, external audio devices will do you better as with most smartphones.

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Camera

The camera on the Redmi Note 3 is brilliant for the class of smartphone,  and you will get an excellent depth of field and great bokeh. The camera focuses quickly and has great light detection. You will also get decent low light pictures thanks to the wide aperture on the lens of the camera.

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The front camera is perfect for pictures, and you will almost always get good results. The video, on the other hand, is not all that great, the lack of any stabilization will make the video shaky. Also, the phone’s camera app does not natively record 4k video even though the likes of the LeEco 1s do. There are workarounds if you want 4k video. But, they are not recommended for the chipset.