Apr 20, 2016

Review: Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 3 is perfect. Well, almost.

BYRamarko Sengupta

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is a kickass phone for the price, make no mistake about that. But having used the phone for nearly a month, I have come across a few chinks that Xiaomi hopefully will address in future models.
The speakers on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 are at the back. So, when you put it on your bed and if have your fan on at full speed, you will just not be able to hear it ring even though your ringer may be set at full volume.
I usually come back home and put my phone on the bed, because of which I have missed a few calls. However, I figured a hack — when placing it on the bed, put it face down.
When the Redmi Note 3 is kept on flat, hard surfaces the speakers are loud enough. The speaker pivot at the bottom makes sure it’s not blocked when kept on a flat surface.
Watching a video on the Redmi Note 3 isn’t the best experience either because the audio just doesn’t travel as well as it should, again because of the speakers at the back. Sure, if it’s all nice and quiet around you it’s decent. But with the Indian summer most of us would have a fan or a cooler on at most times. Lucky are those with noiseless air-conditioners.
Earphones solve the audio issue, but then again the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 doesn’t come with a pair.
The camera is pretty good, although it’s a bit slow to react at times. Many reviewers have complained about low-light photography. While it may not be the best, I found it to be more than decent even in low-light settings.
One complaint I have had from people I speak to regularly is sometimes the audio from my end tends to dip on the Redmi. Could it be because of the big screen and the microphone being too far away from the mouth? Or because the microphone, unlike in most phones, is not around the middle of the phone’s base but on one corner of the base? Honestly, I don’t know yet. A couple of people I spoke with who use the Redmi shared similar experiences.
Another funny feature is that the dual SIM and microSD card slot comes out upside down. Not that one would need to open it regularly but it’s odd nonetheless.
I faced some network issues, but then that’s probably got to do more with the service provider than the phone.
Despite all the nitpicking I still think the Redmi Note 3 is a great phone for the price –whether it’s in terms of looks or performance. While the 16 GB with 2 GB RAM version comes for Rs 9,999, the fabled 32 GB with 3 GB RAM comes for Rs 11,999. Fabled, because no one I know has been able to get their hands on the 32 GB variant, except for the ones shipped by the company for reviews.
I have been using the 16 GB variant which comes with expandable memory up to 32 GB via microSD card. It’s fairly fast and the cameras both primary (16 megapixel) and front selfie shooter (5 megapixel) are good.
The 4,050 mAh non removable battery is power-packed and lasts over a day with touch vibrations, sounds et al on. The Redmi Note 3 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor, which is one of the better, more powerful mid-end processors out there.
The fingerprint sensor to unlock the phone is neat, although at least once it could not read either of my fingerprints that I have saved on the phone and I had to reboot the device.
Overall — once again — it’s a great phone for the price, but Xiaomi will do well to iron out these little issues. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is available through the flash sale model on Amazon every Wednesday at 2 pm.

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Ramarko Sengupta is a writer of FactorDaily.