Review: 4000mAh battery and fingerprint scanner in tow
The Redmi Note 3 is Xiaomi’s latest phone, and if the name sounds familiar, you’re might be thinking about the Note 2, which came out a few months ago.
We had a chance to review the “old” Redmi Note 2 and we were impressed by the value and performance of Xiaomi’s budget phablet. The Note 3 is based on the same hardware, but it has a metal body with a fingerprint scanner at the back. Unlike the Redmi Note 2, the new metal Redmi is a quasi-unibody design, and there’s no microSD slot or removable battery.
So what’s the idea behind the Redmi Note 3, and what makes it important for Xiaomi. For starters, the company’s Mi4 flagship is getting old, yet the successor is still months away. Xiaomi obviously waited for new hardware to become available, and we can’t blame them, considering all the negative press Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 got earlier this year.
The Redmi Note 3 sits halfway between the rest of the Redmi family and the flagship Mi series. It’s supposed to offer better build quality and a few additional features that make it stand out in the Redmi branch, but it’s not exactly a Mi product because it’s not based on a high-end processor.
Basically, the Redmi Note 3 is supposed to bring a dash of class to the Redmi family, at a small premium. The 32GB model comes with 3GB of RAM, while the 16GB version has 2GB, like the Redmi Note 2. Our 16GB sample was provided by BangGood, which sells it for $179. The 32GB model comes with 3GB of RAM, while the 16GB version has 2GB, like the Redmi Note 2. The 32GB model is bound to be popular because Xiaomi dropped the microSD slot from the Redmi Note 3, so if you want more than 16GB of storage, you'll have to get this version, which sells for $209.
The rest of the spec is almost identical across the range: MediaTek Helio X10 processor, 5.5-inch 1080p panel, 13-megapixel PDAF camera and so on.
The biggest difference is the appearance and metal build, so let’s take a closer look.