Our article detailing our hands-on and first impressions has been a very popular one here on Mobility Arena. We have used the device more extensively now and bring you our full Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 review.
Remember that we are reviewing the Mediatek version of the device. We are yet unable to get our hands on the Snapdragon version. In our opinion though, the Mediatek version is the more versatile of the two. It has a more powerful processor and supports more 4G LTE bands. Do dive in and enjoy our review.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Review: Quick Pros And Cons
Before we dive into the review proper, starting with the major pros and cons of this device.
|Beautiful design and solid, premium build||The bundled charger is a Quick Charge 1.0 standard unit, and so charging up full is mega slow.|
|Big, crisp 5.5-inch display is great for reading, editing, viewing photos and watching videos.||The fingerprint scanner is not very responsive.|
|4G LTE support for all 4G mobile networks in Nigeria except Glo.||No support for Glo’s 4G LTE network|
|MIUI is really nice.|
|Solid battery life.|
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Review: Hardware/Design
The black unit of the Note 4 is eye candy. The phone has an aluminum body that is well crafted and which feels good in the hand. With the display being 5.5 inches, it sits somewhere in a comfortable zone. It is certainly handier than the big 6-inchers.
On the left hand side of the Redmi Note 4 is the eject-able dual-SIM compartment. One of the slots can also take a microSD card. On the right side we have the volume rockers and the power/lock button.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 has two loudspeaker grills that sit astride the regular USB port at the bottom edge, while the 3.5 mm audio jack port sits at the top right beside an infra-red port that can be used to control a compatible television or other electronics.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Review: Software
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 runs a highly customised version of Android 6 Marshmallow called MIUI. This version is 8 and underneath it is Android 6 Marshmallow. Xiaomi says users can expect an update to Android 7 Nougat. Since my experience with the Xiaomi Mi 4, I have been a fan of MIUI. It is a very simple user interface that you scroll through horizontally. There is no app drawer.
It is easy to see the iOS inspiration in MIUI. It includes all sorts of nifty tools. You can enable data transfer in the top notification bar, use Mi Drop, activate Performance Mode (gamers will be ecstatic), There is a Lite Mode that gives you a simplified Home Screen and menus. I hate the fact that the phone requires a reboot to activate this.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Review: Network, Telephony
Telephony on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is of very good quality. Callers at the other end also notice the superb quality too.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 works with 4G LTE networks from MTN, Etisalat, Smile, Ntel, Swift and Spectranet. Unfortunately, there is no support for Glo’s 4G LTE network.
Unfortunately, MIUI does not let users peg network mode to 4G only. As such, the phone will cycle through 2G, 3G and 4G as network conditions dictate. You can only peg to 2G. Every other network is preferred (meaning the phone will look for them first but switch if they are not present or are too weak).
However, with the help of a 3rd party app like MTK Engineering, we were able to keep the phone locked on 4G whenever we so needed it to be. And unlike some other apps that we have tested in the past, the Note 4 did not one switch back to auto mode on its own whenever we pegged it to 4G Only.
The official specs sheet indicates that the Redmi Note 4 supports the two bands used by US GSM networks, so if you want to use the phone for voice calls in the United States, you are good to go.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Review: Display and Multimedia
The Redmi Note 4 has a 5.5-inch 2.5D curved display with an unspecified scratch-resistant layer on it.
One niggle of the display is the lack of automatic brightness adjustment. You have to manually set a brightness level and manually adjust it whenever you need more or less brightness.
The quality of audio from the loudspeaker betrays the dual speaker grills at the bottom end of the phone. This is no stereo speaker. Audio is good and loud. Just not mind-blowing. The loudspeakers of the Zero 4 Plus sound significantly better. However, plugging in the included headset provides you with very good music experience.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Review: Photography
The main camera at the rear produces very good pictures. We pitched the cameras of the Redmi Note 4 against the Lumia 950. While Redmi Note 4’s camera does a good job, the Lumia does a significantly better job at colour accuracy and at lighting both the object and the environment.
The selfie camera does a good job too. Of course, it doesn’t match the main camera’s performance. We are still waiting for the smartphone that will break that jinx. It is about time somebody came up with a selfie camera that is superior to the rear camera.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Review: Multitasking/Performance
With a 2.1 GHz octa-core Mediatek processor and 3 GB of RAM, multi-tasking on the Redmi Note 4 is a smooth experience. It didn’t groan or slow down when switching between tasks or handling heavy tasks.
We ran our usual line-up of benchmark tests and came up wioth the following figures:
- Antutu: 84,644
- Quadrant: 5,567
- GeekBench: 1,531 Single-Core; 3,782 Multi-Core
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Review: Battery life
With a 4,100 mAh battery, the Redmi Note 4 has impressive battery life. All through the review period, I left the charger at home and used the phone all day – sometimes till 10 pm – without running out of power. Note that we had an active 4G connection on most of the time. This is a charge-up-and-forget-about-power phone. Bummer that the fast charge is only version 1.0, which which powers the phone from empty to 30% in about 30 minutes. From that point, it takes another hour for the battery to get to 100%. Still, some fast charging is better than none.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Review: Final Words
After two weeks of using the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 on a daily basis, our verdict is that it is a solid flagship that is hard to beat at its price point. This is a very highly recommended smartphone.
Here are some more Xiomi Redmi Note 4 resources:
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Hands-on and first impressions
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 photo gallery
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 specifications