There was a time when Chinese smartphones had to suffer allegations of being non-durable. However, Xiaomi has been one of the few Chinese smartphones which have assured the general public that even Chinese smartphones are packed with superseding specs and yet inside a durable skeleton.
Redmi Note 4 has been one of the products of that very brand, which helped Xiaomi to add fandom and has been one of the best-sold smartphones this year. Though the Redmi Note 4 was launched in Nepal long ago, the processor variant or the one with Snapdragon chipset is still a neonate in Nepali smartphone market.
Today we have Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 on our review desk, which is bundled with Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. The device costs Rs. 28,500 in Nepali market. Let’s dissect its features to find if the phone is really worth the price.
Redmi Note 4 embraces a sleek body in a metallic outfit tapered at the edges. The metallic back on the device is escorted by plastic caps on the top and the bottom. I would have to say it a downgrade from the MediaTek variant, which is available in full metal unibody. The glossy metallic touch on hand gives a premium feel to the users. However, for its streamlined body, there is always a risk of slipping through the hands.
The device also inherits backlit capacitive touch buttons on the chin, which is customizable.
On display, Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 offers 5.5-inch IPS LCD panel with the touch of 2.5D glass on the top. The presence of 2.5D Glass has added elegance to the display and gives a lingering addiction to the users.
The display, however, lacks screen protection. Even on my careful use, the phone suffered few scratches. Though the display has a good viewing angle, the presence of Full-HD resolution is nothing extravagant for the price.
Moving on, Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 includes a power button and volume rockers on the right edge, which is completely accessible to the thumb. The SIM card slot lies on the left, whereas the IR blaster and headphone jack on the top.
On the back, camera and fingerprint sensor are accommodated within the metallic portion oriented vertically. On the bottom edge, the phone has two speaker grills defined in symmetry. One of them functions as an actual speaker, and other as a mic and between them resides a slot for micro USB 2.0 charger. The sound output from the speaker grill is decent, but while using the phone in landscape mode (that often happens while gaming and watching videos), the grills get concealed, and the sound gets obstructed.
The hardware also includes a tiny LED on the top to remind about the notifications. The blinking color of the LED is customizable rendering the type of notification.
On the software, the device is favored by Android Marshmallow and flavored by MIUI 8.2 on the top. The UI offers a galore of useful features with most of them customizable to user preferences. Second space feature and App cloning through Dual Apps are not ordinarily found on custom UI. However, the UI does bring some unnecessary bloatware.
The device is powered by Snapdragon 625 chipset, which is an Octa-core processor running at the clock speed of 2 GHz. The graphics portion is taken care by the Adreno 506 GPU aided by 4GB of RAM. The GPU and RAM assembly has done a great job on the device. Even running multiple high-end games, I found no glitches on my play, and the performance was lag free. The device though got warmed up on the rigorous gaming. The heat so produced is, however, less as compared to the MediaTek variant on using same apps for the same time.
Xiaomi is renowned for its battery backup, and Redmi Note 4 has not been an exception. The phone comes with 4100 mAh non-removable battery. It provides backup for a day and a half on the normal use. On the heavy use, the screen on time fluctuates around 6-7 hours. The lack of Quick charging provision can be felt while juicing this humongous battery since the phone indulges itself with the wall-charger for a long time. The phone took nearly 3 hours of time to gain the full charge.
Talking about the camera, Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 has a 13MP sensor on the back. The rear camera which takes decent shots on the well-lit environment with HDR on. On my use, some photos seemed pretty washed out without the HDR on.
On low lights, the photos were grainy and noisy. Through the “Manual” mode on the camera app, the user can adjust the ISO value to 3200, but the photo quality does not receive much of improvements. The 5MP front snapper takes good selfies but suffers the same plight as the rear one under low-lit condition.
For the cellular connectivity, a SIM card slot lies on the left edge of the phone. The SIM card slot holds a tray to accommodate two SIM cards or one SIM card with a memory card. So one should sacrifice the thoughts of employing two SIM cards with memory toppings by SD card in addition. Other connectivity option includes 4G compatibility, A-GPS, Bluetooth, Radio, OTG, and Wi-Fi (a/b/g/n). The dual-band Wi-Fi ac is missing on the device.
To conclude, Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is a great built device with excellent battery backup. The fingerprint sensor on the device is snappy with almost instantaneous unlocks. Except for the fact of the heating issue on long use, the performance of the device is flawless. One could make a great use of it on gaming and multitasking.
The camera, however, is a bit of under-performer for the price. So if the camera is not your primary priority on a smartphone, then Redmi Note 4 could be the exclusive phone for you for Rs. 28,500. But if you do not want to make a compromise on battery backup, camera, and performance altogether while buying a smartphone then Coolpad Cool1 or Gionee A1 could be the perfect match for you.