Xiaomi announced Redmi Note 3 Snapdragon variant in China last month and it will launch soon in India. I am using the device as my primary phone since last 3 days (thanks to Xiaomi India, I am selected as one of the 100 Redmi Note 3 Explorers). These are my Redmi Note 3 initial impressions. First have a look at specifications.
Redmi Note 3 (SD variant) – Quick Specifications
- 5.5 inch Full HD display (1920 X 1080)
- Android 5.1 Lollipop, MIUI 7
- Dual Sim (hybrid), 4G, VoLTE support
- 1.8 GHz Hexa-core Snapdragon 650
- Adreno 510 GPU
- 32GB storage with 3GB RAM
- 16 MP + 5 MP camera
- 4000 mAh Battery
- Fingerprint Scanner
- Sensors: E-Compass, Gravity, Light, Gyroscope, Proximity, Hall Sensor, Infrared Sensor
- Connectivity: Dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, A-GPS, GLONASS
Redmi Note 3 initial impressions (Snapdragon variant)
All metal unibody design device fits comfortable in my large hands as it has the same width as my previous daily driver Oneplus One. The device has good in-hand feel and credit goes to metal construction and curved edges at the back that provide some grip but it is a slippery device and I dropped it once face down from 3 feet. Surprisingly there was not a single scratch or dent (solid construction). The 5.5 inch Full HD display is sharp and has good viewing angles. Though it has slim bezels, a thin Black border is evident around the display.
The dual sim device supports 4G on both sim slot. It has hybrid sim slot so either you can use 2 sim cards or 1 sim and a microSD card at a time. It does support USB OTG. I’ve tested the device with 2 sim cards and I got data speed of 40 Mbps on Airtel 4G, which I didn’t get on any other device. Sometimes I did miss call /SMS notifications as it has rear facing speaker but if placed on a flat hard surface, a small protrusion below speaker raises the phone slightly from the surface and allows sound to escape.
The Redmi Note 3 has a 16-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel front camera. The rear camera takes good pictures in daylight and artificial lighting but in low light, there is a bit of noise in pictures. Focusing is very fast on the device, thanks to PDAF, just point the camera at the object and it is in focus immediately. It also supports slow motion video recording at 720p resolution. Though Snapdragon 650 is capable of shooting 4k video but currently it is not enabled on test units, Xiaomi might add this feature in retail unit. Full HD video does a good job.
The Redmi Note 3 runs on MIUI 7 based on android 5.1.1 and UI is lag-free, I didn’t notice any lag while using it in last 3 days of usage, even when I had more than 12 apps running in the background. Sometimes, I found that background apps are killed if not used for a while especially Chrome tabs, even apps like gallery, YouTube is reloaded while opening from the multitasking tab.
These are benchmark results after 2 days of usage.
And here comes the Best feature of Redmi Note 3 – Battery. The 4000 mAh battery performs extremely well. It lasts for more than a day with medium to heavy usage and it gave more than 6 hours of Screen-On-Time on a single charge with 10% juice still remaining. During my testing, I have used 2 sim cards, always on WiFi / 4G / 3G and Bluetooth (Mi Band always connected).
Well, these were my Redmi Note 3 initial impressions based on my 3 days of usage, following are some of the things I liked and didn’t like (well, I am still testing, so I will share pros & cons in final review).
Things I liked
- Lag-free UI
- Battery life
- Fingerprint Scanner (98% accurate)
- Call Quality
- IR Blaster
Things I didn’t like
- Missing 4k recording (even when hardware & camera is capable)
- Slippery device
- Missing double tap to wake (my most used feature on Oneplus One)