The Redmi Note 3 is on sale now in some online stores. In China, its starting price ranges from about US$150 and US$180 depending on whether you go for the 16 GB or 32 GB version. Currently in the States the Redmi Note 3’s availability is quite low, although you should be able to get your hands on one through an importer for a slightly higher price. See below for more information below in the section 'Where to Buy'.
design and build quality
The big change with the third generation of the Redmi Note is its aluminum unibody design. The change in materials has also had a profound effect on the device’s overall design, which reminds me a little of some Meizu smartphones.
The battery is no longer removable, but the length of the device has been reduced by two millimeters, while battery capacity has increased in comparison with the Redmi Note 2.
Even with more features, its weight has only risen 4 grams. This is quite minimal, considering the increase in battery capacity and the new metal finish. Better ergonomics, a smooth metallic texture and an overall sense of ruggedness have given the Redmi range an overall feeling of better quality.
On the back is a speaker on the bottom, while near the top is the camera flash and fingerprint sensor. There is a plastic element closer to the speaker that prevent the speaker being completely muffled when it’s placed on a flat surface.
The buttons are also metallic and help maintain that premium feel. They are on the right side of the device and make it comfortable to use with both hands.
Unfortunately the design evolution has claimed another victim: the microSD card slot. Therefore, the Redmi Note 3 does not have expandable storage.
Another design change that’s less dramatic than the loss of a removable battery and microSD card slot is the color of the capacitive buttons. The first two generations of this phone had a very distinctive red color. In the third generation this has become white.
At the phone’s front there are some quite simple changes. Below are three capacitive buttons, the front camera on the right and an LED for notifications which can be configured to your liking. There is also a front-facing camera for selfies.
The fingerprint sensor may no longer play a special role in high-end devices, but for a device of this price it is something special. It works great. Unfortunately its role is limited and does not include the release function trackpad as seen in the Huawei Mate S, for example.
The device also has an infrared sensor at the top. The international version does not come pre-installed with an application to control devices through this port. The Chinese ROM only supports Chinese and English.
The display is great for the price of the Redmi Note 3. Its technology is IPS LCD with Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels) and a screen size of 5.5 inches diagonally. This gives it a pixel density of 403 ppi, which is excellent for a phone of this price.
Brightness is quite good and colors are vivid. The biggest drawback is that there is no protection against scratches or scrapes.
I liked the automatic brightness control a lot, although I usually manually change it. Apparently the glass covering the screen is polarized. So if you wear polarized sunglasses, you can only see the screen if you put the device in landscape mode. This can be solved by putting up a protective tempered glass, which is a good idea anyway since there is no protection.
Like the other phones from this Chinese manufacturer, the Redmi Note 3 has its serial interface MIUI number 7 version, based on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop. Available for this terminal there is an international ROM that our test device came equipped with and already included Google Play and several languages such as Spanish, contrary to the original Chinese ROM.
Despite being very different to stock Android, the user experience with MIUI 7 is quite pleasant from my point of view. The appearance is highly customizable, allowing you to tinker with the lock screen, icons, widgets and some applications.
The Redmi Note 3 is equipped with a Mediatek MT6795, called Helio X10, processor with eight cores running at a maximum speed of 1.95 GHz. The model we tested had 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal memory. It is the same processor in the Redmi Note 2, but with a gig more RAM.
Multitasking is good and supports various processes smoothly. Throughout the system there is great fluidity and games run without notable problems. It also has an accelerometer and gyroscope to improve control in games.
Its best score in AnTuTu Benchmark exceeded 51,000 points. The overall performance of Redmi Note 3 is a little below the Lenovo ZUK 1 and closely matches the Nexus 5X.
The main speaker is very powerful. It is placed in a location normally covered by the hand, but is powerful enough that the phone vibrates. Quality is not the best but is quite acceptable.
During calls the sound is very crisp thanks to the second microphone. Within the menu 'Audio Tuning' there are advanced options if you use headphones. You can configure the type of handset and enhance and equalize sound levels with presets, or manually.
The main 13 MP camera may be the Redmi Note 3’s biggest weakness. Image quality is acceptable under good light, but under low light noise can noise is an issue. Compared to other cameras of the 13 MP range this is left behind the pack.
The front camera has a 5 MP sensor. It’s good for selfies if there is good lighting, but don’t expect too much, just as with the rear camera.
The battery capacity is a point that has been much improved over the Redmi Note 2. The capacity in Redmi Note 3 reaches 4000 mAh, 1000 mAh more than its predecessor. The result is a range of more than 40 hours, meaning the display will run for about four hours.
One negative I see in this phone is that it fast processing. With its huge battery, it needs charging for around two hours and 40 minutes each time.
This new generation of Redmi Note loses the microSD card and the removable battery, but greatly improves on design and generously increases battery size. The best thing is that it’s a nicely balanced device that sacrifices some things for a few great benefits.
It’s a smart device with a touch, feel and user experience that is compelling, especially considering the price. Performance is not incredible, but is more than enough for most users and impressive considering the price.
It is a highly recommended phone, except for lovers of photography.