The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 is a great update, but it also falls short in some departments. This wouldn’t be a big deal 12-18 months ago, but the budget phablet space has become so insanely competitive overt the past year or so, making every foible count.
Xiaomi said it plans to sell more than 10 million Redmi Note 2 units this year, and it should have no trouble doing so. This is a truly great product, it packs good hardware in a quality body, with one of the best Android skins out there.
However, it’s not perfect.
The camera could have been better, and we suspect it could have benefited from a few software tweaks. Battery life is unimpressive. We can only hope these issues will be addressed in future software updates, but for the time being they are dragging the Redmi Note 2 down.
While it trumps the Lenovo K3 Note in almost every respect, save for battery life and value, the Meizu M2 Note is a more serious contender with a caveat – its 1.3GHz processor is a lot slower, but the Meizu can soldier on for a few more hours than the Redmi. The Meizu also has a somewhat better camera, with a dual LED flash. It’s really a matter of personal preference, some people will choose performance over battery life, while others will do the opposite.
What about value? While the Redmi usually comes out on top, it’s also 10-15% more expensive than Lenovo’s and Meizu’s budget phablets. The Prime version, equipped with a faster 2.2GHz Helio X10 processor and 32GB of internal storage, is currently selling for roughly $10-20 more, and it might be worth the premium if you need more storage (eMMC 5.0 is a lot faster than your average microSD card). A faster CPU? No thanks, this one is fast enough, not to mention power hungry.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 is not a perfect budget phone, but it comes damn close to being one. In most respects, it manages to pull away from the competition, while keeping the price incredibly low. We recommended the Lenovo K3 Note and Meizu M2 Note as excellent budget phones, and the same goes for the Redmi Note 2: It’s better in most respects, yet it costs just a few bucks more than its closest competitors.
Now only if Xiaomi, Meizu, Lenovo and other Chinese brands started churning out similar products in the 5-inch form factor…
Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Pros and Cons
- Design and build quality
- Audio quality
- Unimpressive camera
- Battery life
- Bloatware on international ROM