Chinese handset maker Xiaomi appears to be gradually making mark into Indian market, as it has presented an all new range of reasonably priced mobile phones.
After some delay, Xiaomi’s budget phablet, Redmi Note has finally reached the Indian shores. The company, known for its ‘value for money’ devices, also unveiled the 4G-enabled version of the phablet for the market.
While the Redmi 1S targets the entry-level segment, the Redmi Note is suited for people who want a big screen phone along with relatively superior hardware and the same MIUI software experience offered by Xiaomi’s other devices.
The Redmi Note is a big phone and is clearly not meant for people who desire to use their device with one hand.
It shares the same design language that we’ve seen in Redmi 1S complete with the red coloured navigation buttons, rectangular slab form factor with rounded corners and a removable back cover that wraps around the edges.
However, the phone is pretty wide at 78.7mm. The 3G version of the phone weighs 199 gram. The back cover is rounded at the edges and is white in colour, sporting a glossy finish.
Xiaomi is known to pack in impressive specifications on its phones, and the Redmi Note is no different. It comes powered by a MediaTek MT6592 system-on-chip which has an octa-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz paired with a Mali 450 GPU. This is complemented by 2GB of RAM. It comes with 8GB of internal storage of which 6.31GB is available to the user, but you can add in a microSD card of up to 32GB using the microSD card slot. The 5.5-inch IPS display has a 1280×720 resolution. The Redmi Note comes with a 3100mAh Li-ion polymer battery.
One of the major drawback for power users will be the fact that the Redmi Note still runs the dated Android 4.2.2 OS along with the MIUI skin atop it. There is no update on when the Note will get an Android 4.4 KitKat update. On the camera front, Xiaomi has packed in a 13MP rear camera with an LED flash unit and a 5MP front camera. On the front face at the base, you will find red coloured soft buttons which light up when the phone is working. This is similar to the Redmi 1S.
It’s a little slippery so it’s best to put on a case if you’re careless with your phones. The back is also slightly prone to smudging.
The UI is devoid of an app drawer and app icons and widgets are spread across the home screens. The unified home screen-app launcher style may come across as user-friendly to people who have not used an Android phone before. But it will take some time to get used to if you have already been using an Android smartphone.
Just like the Redmi 1S, the Redmi Note also offers a Lite Mode that features a simplified Home screen and menus. One can switch to the Lite Mode by going to the Settings and enabling the mode under the General Settings tab.
Considering the price, one would never expect to get a 13MP rear camera. But Redmi Note hasn’t cut any corners on the imaging front. Keeping with the selfie-trend in mind, you also get a 5MP front-facing camera. Obviously features such as backside illuminated sensor and optical image stabilisation have been given a drop.
While the 3G version is priced at Rs 8999, 4G may hold the price tag of Rs 9999 for 8 GB variant.
Barring few exceptions Xiaomi Note is here to stay!