Xiaomi has been hard at work creating great budget devices, that really provide good performance and a solid UI. We reviewed the Mi 5 a while back and loved it, this time however, we are covering an even cheaper model, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3.  The device is larger  a phablet device, with 3GB of RAM, a 5.5-inch display, and a 16MP camera.

Redmi Note 3 Tech Specs

Display 5.5-inches (1080×1920)
Battery 4000mAh
Storage 16GB/32GB expandable up to 256GB
Waterproof No
CPU Quad-Core 1.4GHz Cortex-A53/ Dual-Core 1.8GHz Cortex-A72
Memory 3GB (32/64GB) 4GB (128GB) not expandable
OS Android 5 / MIUI 7.0
WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Dual Sim Yes Micro SIM/Nano SIM
Camera 16MP Rear, 5MP Front
Network LTE
Dimensions 164g (150 x76 x 8.7mm)
Price R3799

Redmi Note 3

Design

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 boasts an incredible premium design. The device is a mixture of the LG Stylus 2, and the iPhone 6 Plus, with a full-metal body and a matt texture, there is no doubt, that it feels expensive. The casing feels magnificent in your hands and the matte finish helps to keep away fingerprints and grime. The Redmi Note 3 has a massive 5.5-inch FHD display which covers most of the screen. Unlike the Xperia, the buttons on the Redmi Note 3 are on the actual device, rather than on the screen. The rims on sides of the Redmi Note 3, jut out a tiny bit, which helps when the device is placed face down.

On the back of the Redmi Note 3, you will find the fingerprint scanner and the camera and flash, which are basic on the model. The camera comes in at 16MP and the flash has a true tone light on it. On the side of the Redmi Note 3 you will find the unlock button and volume up and down, which are all in a pretty average spot. The sim tray and micro-SD slot are built into one port on the opposite side. The speaker, which is pretty well hidden, is at the back under the logo of the Redmi Note 3.

Redmi Note 3

In general, the design of the Redmi Note 3 impressed us with its premium materials and expensive look. We had no issues with the layout of the buttons, and the Redmi Note 3 felt steady in our hands. We liked the way the Redmi Note 3 made use of the space, both in the front and at the back, especially the fingerprint scanner, which is conveniently placed.

Performance

The MIUI 7.0 is one of the best Android skins we have ever experienced. Like the Mi 5, the Redmi Note 3’s navigation and all-round features in the OS, were easy to find and use. The UI is not weighed down by bulk apps, and the few themes which are built-in, felt like they could fit anyone and any user. The home screen and lock screen can be set with a new feature called Wallpaper Carousel, which will change the wallpaper randomly using professional wallpapers shot and created for the Redmi Note 3.

Redmi Note 3

The UI also has some cool features like a blue-light reduction mode to help reading and late night usage. The Redmi Note 3 has a one-handed mode, to use the device in one hand by shortening the keyboard and making it one-handed friendly. The fingerprint scanner can store up to five fingers.

When it comes to the camera of the Redmi Note 3, we were a bit let down after using the Mi 5. Although the camera is great, it battled to produce sharp images when focusing on objects. Colour and exposure was decent too, besides the bad low-light photos which have too much noise to be usable. The video camera feature also has no image stabilizing feature, which means that videos came out shaky.

Xiaomi has successfully made sure that the Redmi Note 3 hardware and software work well together. The overall navigation on the Redmi Note 3 is a breeze and anything we threw at the device in terms of apps and games, ran without any issues. We spent a few hours walking around with Pokémon GO, and general Facebook and Twitter stuff. The Redmi Note 3 did heat up a bit when we ran the screen on the highest brightness and ran a heavy app or game at the same time. Given the metal body, it was bound to happen, but it was nothing we felt overly concerned about as most devices heat up a little.

Redmi Note 3

Battery life was fairly decent. We got 12 hours out of heavy usage on the Redmi Note 3, and longer when we used it regularly. There were also a few battery-saver options to help make this last a bit longer.

Verdict

Besides a few camera issues, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is a great device with so much to offer for such a great price. Its premium build and great hardware specs, really put it above devices like the LG Stylus 2 and the Xperia Z5 Compact.

RELATED: A VISUAL GUIDE THROUGH THE AWESOME XIAOMI UNIVERSE

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Review
AffordableExcellent DesignGreat Performance
Camera could use an improvement
86%Excellent
Design86%
Performance86%
Value for Money86%
Reader Rating 1 Vote
80%