Android, Reviews, Smartphones, Xiaomi

Review: Xiaomi RedMi Note – Clear Runner

Introduction to Xiaomi’s RedMi Note

Here we are. Finally I’m done with my hands-on review of the new Xiaomi RedMi Note that my friend borrowed to me for a few days. Just for everyone’s info, the RedMi Note is not available in the Malaysian market yet…not officially anyway. But some of us smartphone enthusiast managed to get our hands on this high potential mid-range contender.

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At first my friend was skeptical about the product because it is not officially launched here in Malaysia, and he was actually contemplating about buying it from the phone dealer. But when he saw the packaging on the RedMi, he is then convinced that it is genuine. True enough, it is (after we checked the IMEI and serial number from Xiaomi’s website).

Here’s the specification for Xiaomi RedMi Note:

  • CPU: MediaTek MT6592 Octa-Core clocking at 1.7GHz Cortex A7
  • GPU: Mali-450MP4
  • Display: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 720 x 1280 pixels, 5.5 inches
  • Camera: 13 Megapixel main camera, 5 Megapixel front camera
  • Memory: 8GB ROM/2GB RAM, MicroSD up to 32GB
  • OS: Custom MIUI OS built on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • Network: 2G/3G/HSPA+ only.
  • Battery: 3200mAh

Pros

  • Large battery that can last the whole day
  • Octa-Core is stable and fast
  • Clear large screen with vibrant colours
  • Clean design, nice to hold
  • Good camera at 13 megapixel, auto focus is fast
  • Cheap. Nuff said.

Cons

  • Built in space is only 8GB
  • No LTE
  • Back cover is fingerprint magnet
  • Still on Jelly Bean OS

Let’s unpack the box…

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The genuine Xiaomi 3D hologram sticker can be seen clearly at the back.

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Inside the box, all the standard stuffs such as the user manual, warranty card, USB wire/charger and a cute USB adapter that you can plug into the phone to connect a thumbdrive.

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Turn on the phone and you can see the clear and sharp 5.5 inches IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen at 720 x 1280 pixels. The display is so sharp that made my colleagues in the office wanting to buy this phone. Oh and one more thing, my boss really did went out and bought a RedMi Note after he saw this review phone. LOL!

Okay. Back of the phone.

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The camera is located right in the top center and the LED flash sits right below it. The “Mi” logo is in the same location at the bottom half. Everything looks clean at the back. The speaker is at the bottom left. It’s quite big so the sound that came out of it is pretty loud.

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When I first held the all plastic phone, it doesn’t feel like the usual plastic type phones. Just like the Gphone EVO, it feels solid without any loose end or creaking sounds when you press the edges. The volume rocker is on the right side with the power/standby button just below it. Opening the back cover is easy. Just use your nail (if it’s long enough) and pry open from the bottom of the phone where the mini USB port is. It uses the mini SIM, unlike some of the newer ones that uses micro SIM. Two SIM card slots can easily be seen and accessed but you have to remove the battery first. And the microSD card slot is right next to the 2 SIM slots.

The soft touch buttons at the bottom of the front screen lid up with you operate the phone. It is set as nice reddish colour that is not too bright. I find it a little bit awkward when I use this phone because the back button is on the right side, as opposed to the left on my Xperia SP. I kept pressing the menu button when I want to go back. Small matter.

Overall, the feel of RedMi Note in my hand is good. The size may be big for the ladies but I’m sure size does not matter nowadays. Everyone, including the ladies, would feel that bigger is better. And please, keep your (dirty) mind straight for once.

Next: Performance >

43 Comments

  1. Looks cool tho – it’s quite a hype these days! But I’ll still stick to my S4. 😀

  2. afify

    the price sir? do u know where i can get 1???

    • Price is rm759 according to my friend who bought it. Can get it at DirectD. Google that name, sure can find.

      • afify

        found it..hope u can do review about the xiaomi mi 3 also

        • I don’t know how I can get the Mi3 yet. Hahaha. But I will review it when I get that phone.

  3. Kate Zhao

    Hi Azwan, this is Kate Zhao from Xiaomi (MIUI) forum. I find your article very interesting. Can you contact me via my email. Thank you and look forward to hearing from you.

    • Email sent. Cheers.

    • julian ong

      i bought it from directd last week…..not rooted with MIVI 5 …facebook crashed ….took it back but either i talk to the wrong person (a young punkster) or they clean their hands of this matter…..make me so piss off

      • If you want to use the rooted version, you have to download and install the beta version of the MIUI. Facebook crashed on my end too simply because this OS is China version. Remember, China doesn’t allow any access to Facebook. What you can do is install the international version of MIUI in order to use Facebook. I will try and find a guide for you to do that and post the link here. Stay tuned.

        • Diya

          Hi azwan, can explain more details or perhaps provide a guide how to install international version of miui? Tq

  4. gurwinder

    hi Azwan ,
    can u share the 3G connectivity of this redmi note, how its d/l speed does it shows H+ ,u can add in more ur finding on the network

    • Hello.

      The 3G network here in Malaysia is good. The phone has a good receiver and it shows H+ most of the time when I was in the office in KL and also at home in Sunway. The signal is still strong when I’m in a building. Very seldom I see it goes to EDGE.

      Hope this helps.

  5. Greetings Azwan,

    I really want this phone so badly and I want to use it for reading lecture notes and e-books as I’m a student. So, would you mind to do a review by opening a big pdf files, maybe around 400-500 pages and see the response time for the pdf file completely open and ready for reading? Then try to skip to the next few pages and see if the phone can open the pages smoothly. Sorry for so much things. Really glad if you could do that.

    Cheers

  6. ImZ

    Hi Bro, I can borrow u my mi3 if you want to do review. Where is ur location?

  7. xomi

    hyepp.let join redmi note malaysia group https://www.facebook.com/groups/671670342886901/

  8. anna

    Hi so once I buy it how can I root it? I also wanna buy from directd

    • There are a lot of forums out there giving you a tutorial or step-by-step approach on how to root the phone. Just Google about it. Best is to join the MIUI/Xiaomi forum for that.

  9. Lim AH

    Red Mi Note will launch in Malaysia on July 22nd and cost a whopping cheap RM509 link to their website below… Will get one to replace my alcatel 997D where battery KO and hard to get replacement…
    http://www.mi.com/my/note/

  10. Thank you for your review. I finally got one of those RedMI Note after buying the MI3. Both of them are quite impressive for that price ! I have installed quite a lot of applications, and 8 GB does not seem to be much of a problem with the Note.

    But I have a problem with a French simcard that is recognized by the MI3 bot not by the RedMI Note. Any idea how to solve it, anyone ? Thank you.

  11. Ani

    Redmi note aku 10% dah habis dalam masa setengah jam. Kenapa eah?

    • Mungkin ada backgroup app yg running atau GPS dok cari location non stop. Banyak hal jugak kena check.

  12. amirul

    Bro, like you said, MIUI simply just not an interface but an OS that had been modified. So, just want to know wether all the official xiaomi(MALAYSIA) phone that sell by them in our market had been rooted or non rooted phone. Mohon pencerahan. Tq.

    • That is the usual question that people ask. But those who bought the phone from the official website will get the phone unrooted. It is safer for them to sell the phone when it is locked rather than selling it away as a rooted phone.

  13. helmi

    can you do a GPS test please? i’ve heard that mediatek devices don’t do well with GPS

    • I’ve tested the GPS and its working fine. I use Google Maps and Waze, both also got GPS locking in less than 10 seconds.

  14. syakirah

    salam bro, i wanna asking, is this hp works well with pdf and office stuffs, i am a student and it is exciting to have a hp with very affordable price .. answer me 🙂

    • Salam. Fon ni mmg sesuai kalau nak guna untuk office stuffs sebab screen dia besar. Install je app Adobe Reader untuk PDF dan Kingsoft Office untuk Words dan sebagainya.

  15. azean

    Kat directd sja ke yg jual….ada tempat lain yg harga sama mcm ori

  16. Joseph David

    Been using it for a few days. For a mid-range phone, the Redmi Note has solid build. The MIUI interface is a beauty. For the first time ever, I am not tempted to install any other launcher. The 13MP back camera is a killer. I took some pictures using the auto settings and I am amazed at the picture quality.

    The only downside is that it only comes with a white back cover. More colour choices would have been better.

    Bought it for RM699.00 at Prangin Mall, Penang.

    My rating: 4 out of 5

  17. Tom

    Bought this phone for relatives in Cambodia. I actually bought the Octa Core version and then the LTE version. They are happy with both of the phone so thank you Xiaomi for making a good quality phone with great specs at good price. I myself in Canada am using the Nexus 5 and OnePlus 1 🙂

  18. fakrul

    Salam bro..sy pkai fon ni jugak..tp ad msalah sikit..knapa bila play lagu dekat music sound bunyi okey jer..tapi bila mmbe send lagu kat whatsaap sy play kat whatsaap sound dia bunyi macam speaker pecah..knpa yea?

    • W’salam. Bukan sebab fon tu. Yg tu sebab whatsapp. Selalunya kualiti file mcm audio atau video akan dikurangkan sikit bila hantar dari whatsapp. Cuba kalau audio tu hantar dari Bluetooth, mesti ok nyer. Satu lagu kemungkinan ialah file tu mmg kualiti rendah. Dah cuba main file tu kat fon lain? Mcm mana bunyi dia?

      • fakrul

        Kalau hantar melalui bluetoot oke je xde masalah pon…bila send kat fon lain pon xde masalah..bunyi oke..cuma bunyi lagu kat whatsaap sy je yg xoke..so..whatsaap la yg masalah kan..bukan speaker fon sya?

  19. Does this has the heating issue which we have seen in earlier phones of Xiaomi? Also any update on when these devices will get Android 5.0 update?

    • So far this phone does not have any heating issues. The lollipop update will not be available yet. Probably available by Q3 of 2015.

  20. Shazreel

    Assalamualaikum bro Azwan,

    Saya ada banyak soalan nak tanya ni sbb saya mmg nk beli Xiaomi Note4G.
    1: Yang mana bagus, samada beli Xiaomi dari China dr member saya or dari Xiaomi Malaysia?
    2: Apa problem dan kelemahan bila pakai Xiaomi kat Malaysia? Sbb saya baca comments dari gsmarena, xiaomi ni banyak sgt problem dia.
    3: Macam mana nak tahu original dgn clone since phone ni kan dari China?

    Harap Bro Azwan boleh reply ASAP la yer. Thanks 🙂

    • W’salam

      Sori lambat reply sebab dok busy 2 minggu ni dan takde kemudahan internet.

      1. Xiaomi kalau nak beli lagi bagus kalau beli online tapi ada sesetengah dealer kat Malaysia jual versi original. Kalau dapat versi Taiwan pun ok jugak sebab baseband dia sama dengan Malaysia.
      2. Problem yang saya nampak, cuma software problem je. Kita boleh “flash” ROM yang baru dari website MIUI. Semua senang nak buat. Tapi saya lagi suka kalau guna Xiaomi Mi3 atau Mi4. Mahal sikit tapi boleh “flash” developer ROM. Lagi stabil dan ada update setiap minggu.
      3. Nak tahu ori atau clone, kena tengok kotak yang diaorang guna. Tengok hologram sticker dan kalau boleh, tengok spesifikasi phone tersebut. Kadang2 RAM 1GB je walhal dalam website cakap 2GB. Akhir sekali, tengok MIUI OS versi berapa. Kekadang clone mmg tak guna MIUI OS pun. Diaorg guna Android biasa. So dari sana boleh tahu clone atau tidak.

      Sekali lagi, sori lambat reply. Salam.

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