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Xiaomi Redmi Note, Solid Phablet Territory

October 27, 2014

Xiaomi Redmi NoteIf you’re among the people that consider that 5 inch screens just don’t do it anymore when it comes to smartphones, I have a pretty tempting device that might interest you if you’re also on a budget. The Chinese from Xiaomi have released in March a phablet that steps in the footprints of their popular Redmi 1S smartphone, I’m talking about the Xiaomi Redmi Note. This fella sports a 5.5 inches display, has a large battery and dual-SIM support and a nice package of other features, everything for a small price that won’t leave your wallet sobbing for getting thin. I’m going to get into more details in the following review, so check it out and see if it’s what you’ve been looking for.
The Xiaomi Redme Note comes along with its charger and a microUSB cable for re-charging and data transfers. A pair of headphones would’ve been welcome, but its lack isn’t a tragedy, considering the handset’s price.
The Redmi Note measures 154 x 78.7 x 9.5 mm and has a weight of 199 grams, which is quite a lot to handle, but you should get used to it pretty soon if this isn’t your first encounter with a phablet. The handset is an all-plastic device and has a glossy finish on its back, so you should know that fingerprints are going to feel right at home on its surface if you don’t clean it from time to time. The build quality is good, but there’s no special screen protection on board, so you should consider getting something additional for avoiding the occurrence of scratches.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note holds a 5.5 inches IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, having a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and a pixel density of 267 ppi. These aren’t top-notch features, but will do a good job and deliver a pleasant image quality, with nice colors, wide viewing angles and decent contrast. The screen isn’t as reflective as the smaller Redmi version, so it’ll do a better job on the outside and allow you to use it without any issues under direct sunlight. The capacitive keys are red and look really nice on the phone’s black frontal side.
At the software department, the Redmi Note features support for Android 4.2 Jelly Bean which has been deeply customized by Xiaomi with their own user interface, called MIUI v5. The fact that it lacks Android’s latest and greatest KitKat version shouldn’t burst your bubble, as it’ll join the party soon with the release of the MIUI v6, which is going to happen in the next few months.
The friendly interface consists in the usual Android homescreens (which can have unlimited panes), effects, themes, widgets, toggles and so on. The app drawer is gone, however, and your applications show up on your homescreens. Google Now is here, naturally, and serves as a helpful and obedient personal assistant that offers you relevant information based on your “behavior” when using the phone (searches and stuff like that).
Now, let’s get to the phablet’s hardware. The Xiaomi Redmi Note comes in two versions, the first relies on a Mediatek MT6592 chipset, having an octa-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A7 processor, Mali-450MP4 GPU and 2 GB of RAM, while the second version has a lower 1.4 GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM. Both of them have 8 GB of internal storage which can be bumped with a microSD card of up to 32 GB. The Redmi Note does a great job with handling tasks and won’t be raising any lag issues and stuff like that.
In its connectivity package, the Redmi Note has support for tri-band GSM, GPRS and EDGE, dual-band 3G, Wi-Fi b/g/n with Wi-Fi Direct and Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0 with LE and A2DP and microUSB 2.0 with On-the-go support. LTE can be found only on the version for China, which isn’t dual-SIM.
Let’s see what the Redmi Note has to offer for taking pictures. We have here a 13 megapixels snapper which captures photos with a maximum resolution of 4128 x 3096 pixels and is helped by a LED flash in dark conditions. The camera application holds support for scenes, HDR, panorama, settings for adjusting the ISO, white balance, exposure and more. The phablet delivers some good looking photos, with a fair amount of resolved detail and accurate colors.
The video camera is also a decent performer and produces some nice 1080p videos @30 fps.
A secondary 5MP camera is on board for enabling you to make video calls or take selfies.
The Redmi Note’s package of features also holds an FM Radio with RDS support, a GPS receiver with GLONASS and A-GPS, Google Maps for getting around, the WPS Office suite for viewing and editing documents, a wonderful video player with an impressive codec support and more.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note has a 3,200 mAh battery and will last you around two days under a moderate usage.

Xiaomi Redmi Note Solid Phablet Territory

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