Being a successor to India's best selling smartphone (online) is tough. Redmi Note 4 was announced by the company in the second half of last year, but has been launched in India only now, almost a year after the launch of the Redmi Note 3. It takes the perfection of Redmi Note 3 to a new level. Here is the detailed review:
Though it has similar dimensions and weight, the Redmi Note 4 still is better in aesthetics and design. It weighs 165 gms, measures 151x76x8.3 mm, and has a unibody metal body, with a 2.5D glass with round edges at the front. The 5.5-inch display with
1,920x1,080p resolution looks bright, offering rich colours and crisp text. While the sunlight legibility is good, it also has a reading mode. There are other modes for colour and contrast – automatic contrast, increased contrast, and standard. Below the display are the regular Android keys – multitasking, home, and back. However, the placement of the sensors, earpiece and front camera above the display are much more symmetrical. The speaker grill from the rear has been moved to the bottom, with five drill holes on each side of the micro USB charging port (which has also been moved to the centre now). Audio port and IR blaster are on the top, volume control and power key on the right, and SIM tray on the left. The rear mounts the camera module followed by the LED flash and fingerprint scanner which is quick and accurate. It is more comfortable to hold than the Redmi Note 3.
The device runs on MiUi8, built on Android Marshmallow. All apps are neatly placed on the home screen. Apps such as calculator, recorder, compass, scanner, etc, are placed under the tools folder. There is also a security app that includes cleaner, data usage, block list, virus, scan, and permission. It also comes loaded with few other Mi apps such as Mi Store and Mi Live. My favourite one was Mi Remote which converts the phone into a universal remote for controlling the TV. All Google services are loaded including the Google Duo app. I could browse the web, stream videos on YouTube, and play games without any lag or heating issues. Swiping down within the file explorer opens the password page to access hidden files. Under Settings, there is also an option to create a second space on the phone; activating it quickly rebooted the phone and a switch icon appeared on the home screen.
Processor and storage:
Unlike the variant launched abroad that has a MediaTek chipset, the Redmi Note 4 in India runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor. It will be available in three variants – 2 GB RAM with 32 GB storage, 3 GB RAM with 32 GB storage, and 4 GB RAM with 64 GB storage. Our review unit had 4 GB RAM with 64 GB internal storage, of which only 51 GB was user accessible. It also supports expandable memory of up to 128 GB, but through the hybrid slot which can be either used as a secondary SIM slot or memory card slot.
The 16-MP camera on the Redmi Note 3 was superb. Xiaomi has added a 13-MP camera with a 77-degree wide-angle five-piece lens with f/2.0 aperture, and dual tone lens to the Redmi Note 4. The camera app is neat and offers a host of settings. It instantly locks focus and is quick to capture images. The images captured had a fair amount of detail, and colours looked natural. Images captured in HDR mode looked better. Redmi Note 4 does a pretty decent job in low-light too.
Its 4,100-mAh battery worked for over a day and a half despite heavy usage.