Redmi Note 3 was a ridiculously good phone at the time it came out. So how do you improve a phone which is already good? Redmi Note 4 is more like an ‘s’ upgrade of the iPhones.
To start with, the Redmi Note 4 comes in three different variants. The base variant has 2GB RAM and 32GB ROM which costs Rs. 10,000. The next variant has 3GB RAM and the same 32GB ROM which costs Rs. 11,000. The highest variant has 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM, which costs Rs. 13,000. This is the one we reviewed.
The phone has a 5.5 inch 1080p screen with a pixel density of 401PPI and is covered by a 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass. On the top there’s the speaker and camera. At the bottom, there are three physical capacitive buttons which are back-lit. Note 4 has a nice curved back and weighs 175 grams, making the phone comfortable to hold and one handed use also. On the back, there’s the primary camera right at the top and a dual-tone flash below it. Next, is the fingerprint sensor. Way down is the Mi Branding and a whole lot of ugly logos.
On the top, there’s the 3.5mm headphone jack and the IR Blaster. To the right is the volume rocker and the power button. At the bottom is the micro-USB port between the microphone grille to the left and speaker grille to the right. To the left is the Hybrid SIM tray which can either hold a Micro SIM and a Nano SIM at the same time or a Micro SIM and a Micro SD Card up to 128GB at the same time.
The last time I reviewed a Xiaomi phone, it was the MI Max which still ran on MIUI 7. Redmi Note 4 though, runs on MIUI 8 with Android 6.0. A lot has changed between MIUI 7 and MIUI 8. Its a lot more stable than it used to be. You can run two different instances of the same app. This is especially useful if you have multiple Snapchat accounts or to have Whatsapp with two different numbers. You can also have two separate phone environments known as Second Space.
On the internal side, Redmi Note 4 runs on an Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 620. All eight cores are A53, clocked at 2.0GHz. On the graphics side, it packs in an Adreno 506 at 650MHz. The Snapdragon 625 is definitely a downgrade from Snapdragon 650. But the 650 is a 28nm processor, but the 625 is a 14nm processor which is a lot more power efficient and honestly, there is no noticeable performance drop.
Redmi Note 4 has a 13MP Primary camera and 5MP secondary camera. Both have f/2.0 lenses which allows for a decent amount of light to enter. Image quality is very good under natural lighting conditions and OKish at night. But once again, the images are over-saturated. Especially the greens. Secondary camera is still good for casual use and for some reason Xiaomi continues showing an age which is always wrong. The dual-tone flash also does a decent job of lighting up subjects when there is no light.
The Redmi Note 4 comes with a surprisingly huge 4,100mAh battery, considering the footprint of the device is not huge. Most devices in this range come with a 3,000mAh battery and I’m not sure how Xiaomi managed to squeeze in an extra 1,000mAh of battery. The phone supports fast charging, but only 5V/2A. Note 4 lasts two full days with light usage and just over a day with very heavy usage including tasks like streaming videos over 4G and hours of tweeting. A lot of it is due to the energy efficient Snapdragon 625.
There not a lot that is new to the phone. But what else can you do when a phone is already good? Xiaomi is just smoothening some of the rough edges here. I would only complain about the camera, but comparing it with other phones in this category, it’s not that bad! It is hard to find any flaws with the Redmi Note 4 and makes it hard to recommend any other device in this range. Redmi Note 4 comes in three different colours: Gold, Grey and an all new Black. Another concern is the buying process. Once again, Xiaomi is sticking with flash sales and some versions, expecially the higher end one we reviewed is hard to come by. But if you are patient enough to stick around for these Flash Sales, Redmi Note 4 is the best phone to get right now!
- Amazing value for money
- Good battery life
- Improvement on the internals
- Camera over-saturates some colours and not the best in low light conditions
- Flash Sales