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August 21, 2014

Xiaomi Redmi Note Review

The Xiaomi Redmi Note is the Chinese company’s affordable phablet offering that features a 5.5-inch HD display, 13 megapixel camera, 3,100mAh battery, dual-SIM capabilities, and powered by a MediaTek octa-core CPU and MIUI V5 OS. With an expected price tag of around Php7,000, is the Redmi Note the smartphone worth waiting for? Let’s find out by reading our review below.

redmi note_2

Editor’s Note: This handset was purchased in Hong Kong last July for about $HK1,470.

Design and Construction

As mentioned in our first impressions, the Redmi Note is a fairly large device thanks to its 5.5-inch display.

It means that most of the time, it would require you to use both hands for better navigation. It’s 154mm tall, 78.7mm wide, and 9.45mm thick which is larger and chunkier than the 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm).

redmi note_5

On the front we have the 5.5-inch HD IPS display with a pixel density of 267ppi. Right above it is the 5 megapixel front-facing camera, notifications light, and earpiece, while down below are three red illuminated capacitive buttons.

redmi note_6

One the right-hand side are the volume rocker and power/lock button, right on top are the headphone jack and microphone, and down at the bottom is another microphone and the microUSB port. Flip it on its back and you’ll find the 13 megapixel rear camera, LED flash, the MI logo and the speaker.

redmi note_4

It’s a bit hefty on the hands at 199g but this would only remind you of how sturdy and well-made the device is. In addition, it has a plastic body with a glossy finish which adds a nice touch to the device.

Display and Multimedia

The Redmi Note sports a 5.5-inch HD IPS display. It has a pixel density of 267ppi which is decent enough for a screen this size. Color saturation and vibrancy is good, and thanks to IPS, it has good viewing angles too. That being said, the Redmi Note makes a good multimedia companion especially if you like watching videos.

redmi note_1

The speakers are also good and is capable of producing rich and audible sound. However, the speaker placement at the lower left at the back could be a downside to some as it is easy to get muffled if you place it on a soft surface and your fingers would often find itself there.

OS, Apps, and UI

The Redmi Note is not yet offered locally so the unit we have on hand was bought in Hong Kong and comes with a Chinese ROM (MIUI V5 based on Android 4.2.2 Jellybean) so, as expected, it is populated with apps focused on Chinese users.

redmi note ui_1

We were able to sideload the necessary Google applications like the Play Store, however, the experience doesn’t feel that much optimized and feels inconsistent at times. (i.e. Delayed Hangouts messages and Gmail syncing.)

redmi note ui_2

The good news is, a global version of the ROM (with Google apps baked in) is available for download at en.miui.com, so tinkerers can just flash their Redmi Note if needed.

Camera

The Redmi Note is equipped with a 13 megapixel rear camera and a 5 megapixel front camera, both sporting a f/2.2 aperture and 28mm wide angle lens. The rear camera is capable of capturing crisp images with natural colors especially in bright conditions. It performs well when capturing sceneries and still subjects but when it comes to moving subjects it can be relatively slow.

Xiaomi Redmi Note video recording sample (1080p, 30 fps, MPEG-4):

Performance and Benchmarks

Powering the Redmi Note is a 1.7GHz MTK MT6592 octa-core CPU, 2GB RAM, Mali-450 MP GPU, and MIUI V5 based on Android 4.2.2 Jellybean. So far it performed really well and ran all the apps we installed without any issues. Hopefully it gets updated to Android 4.4 KitKat soon like its LTE-enabled sibling so it can take advantage of the new features and optimizations.

Benchmark results:
* AnTuTu Benchmark – 27,640
* Quadrant Standard – 15,039
* Vellamo – 1,551 (Browser), 1513 (Multicore), 875 (Metal)
* Nenamark2 – 61.5 fps

Battery Life

The Redmi Note comes with a large battery at 3,100mAh. Even with two SIMS on standby and heavy internet-over-WiFi consumption, it was able to last the whole day up to late night.

However, during our battery benchmark test (50% brightness and 0% volume), it was only capable of 5.26 hours worth of playback which is below average. A software update might be able to improve this part.

Conclusion

The Xiaomi Redmi Note is one of those phablets that we don’t mind recommending, not just because of the specs but because of the price. At an expected price tag of around Php7,000 and with this kind of build and quality, this is almost a steal.

redmi note_3

Xiaomi Redmi Note specs:
5.5-inch HD IPS display, 267ppi
Mediatek 1.7GHz MTK MT6592 octa-core CPU
2GB RAM
Mali-450 MP GPU
8GB internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD
Dual-SIM, Dual-Standby
HSPA+, 3G
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0 LE
13 megapixel rear camera w/ LED flash
5 megapixel front camera
GPS, A-GPS
MIUI V5.0 (Android 4.2.2 Jellybean)
Li-Ion 3,100mAh battery
154 x 78.7 x 9.5mm
199g

What we liked about it:
* Good build
* Large display
* Good performance
* Dual-SIM
* Large battery capacity
* Affordable price

What we didn’t like about it:
* Still on old Android Jellybean
* Below average playback test results

Huawei Ascend Mate & Review

5.5-inch octa-core Xiaomi Redmi Note confirmed
Xiaomi to enter Philippine market this year
Xiaomi Redmi Note first impressions

18 Responses to “Xiaomi Redmi Note Review”

  1. whatthehell says:

    Whoever wrote this review is crap. Simula palang palpak na. May nagpuproof read ba? O copy paste lang to sa ibang tech sites? Im referring to the dimensions of the handset. Nagawa pang icompare sa Note 3. shame.

    • coldrain says:

      Puro copy paste lang naman mga articles nitong yugatech, pati ibang techblog, unbox,techpinas, etc. asa ka pa. mga bayaran lahat yan. punta punta pang ibang bansa para mag cover ng tech events, pag uwi dito copy paste din naman :)

  2. wert says:

    sample vid is shit! why the fuck is the subject a tree? f**king moron!

  3. enj says:

    Dami niyo naman reklamo.
    D wag kayo basa at mag comment dito. Peenoys.

  4. iDiot says:

    “The Xiaomi Redmi Note is one of those phablets that we don’t mind recommending, not because of the specs but because of the price. At an expected price tag of around Php7,000 and with this kind of build and quality, this is almost a steal.”

    Ang tanga namang conclusion yan, senior editor pa man din. How can you recommend a phablet with just its price, build and quality? Of course, the specs is important! What if it’s a single core? BoboLouie, change your title to Senior iDiotor!

    • dickboy says:

      What if it’s a single core? Stated na nga na octa core eh, kahit mediatek lang. Wag kang gumawa ng storya at hindi naman singlecore yung unit na nireview nila. iDiot ka nga talaga

    • iDiot says:

      @dickboy
      Tanga! Read it carefully, there might still be a hope for you to understand a thing. Stop sucking dickboy.

  5. Joel says:

    Good day to the folks at Yugatech. I have one important question to ask and I hope you can give us a heads-up.
    When do you think this phone is coming to the Philippines? I believe that Yugatech can ask, in our behalf, that question to Hugo Barra.
    I, personally, am anticipating this phone to be made locally available.
    Thanks for your time and I await your response.

  6. xiao xiao says:

    Where exactly in hk? What store? Thanks yuga!

  7. mgareklamador says:

    ang dami namang mga tarantadong reklamador na feeling magagaling na anak ng mga pota..kayo nang gumawa ng review mga mapangmatang dugyot kayo..

  8. Haist… Ayan na nman sila.. Akala mo may mga sariling blog oh.. Nakikibasa lang nmn. Imbes na magpasalamat eh.. Review nya yan eh.. Dami dami sinasabi..

  9. demi says:

    corning gorrila glass po ba?

  10. gr8destroyer says:

    Been waiting for this phone for several months now, kailan ba to magiging available sa Pinas?

    Any word from Hugo Barra yugatech pipol?

    • gr8destroyer05 says:

      Sire Louie Diangson, Any updates po from Hugo Barra from that Aug 28 visit on when would this be available?

  11. Low Budget Guy says:

    1. Is it up-gradable to Kitkat?
    2. Does it really last a whole day web surfing? other reviews measured only 5 hrs.
    3. Does it get hot easily? Considering its Octa-core, 2G RAM, and the large display. Whats the Charging time?

    Thanks.

  12. UNOWN says:

    Kasalanan lahat ni P-Noy to

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