Despite housing both a large 5.5in screen and a high-capacity battery,this Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 phablet feels fantastic in the hand. It’s reassuringly weighty without being heavy at 164g (only 4g more than the plastic Note 2),and rounded edges on the rear make it feel smaller than it is. As with the Mi 4C there’s also an easily
accessible one-handed mode that lets you shrink down the contents of the screen to 4.5-, 4- or even 3.5in.
The gold metal shell is sandblasted to a smooth to the touch but matt-effect finish. This contrasts nicely with the shiny
polished edging seen around the screen, fingerprint scanner, camera and flash, and even the shiny Mi logo on the rear. It really is a premium-looking smartphone. A full-HD screen is still not something you can reasonably
expect to find in a smartphone of this price, and at 5.5in the 1920×1080 resolution equates to a crystal clear 403ppi. The screen
is bright with realistic colours and great viewing angles, making the Note 3 an ideal mobile device on
which to enjoy video. To get exactly the display you want, you can switch between warm, standard and cool
screen colours, and choose between standard, automatic and increased contrast. The Note 3 also supports
Sunlight display, making it easier to view in direct sunlight, plus a reading mode.
In the Settings menu, you can change the wallpaper and themes, text size and font. Also here are options to
change the colour of the LED for notifications, calls and texts, and the long-press function of each of
the three Android-standard buttons below the screen.
For a budget smartphone, the Note3 has some decent hardware, and even the 2GB of RAM version turned
in very good performance in our benchmarks. Everything seems fast on this phone, which will be partly
down to the software, and partly the hardware. Xiaomi has specified a 2GHz MediaTek MT6795 Helio X10
64-bit octa-core processor, PowerVR Rogue G6200 GPU and 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM. There’s also 16GB of
internal storage (but no support for microSD so you might prefer the 32GB option), and a huge-capacity 4000mAh non-removable battery that is charged over Micro-USB.
If you can benefit from its 4G connectivity, you’ll be pleased to learn that 4G is operational on both of its two Micro‑SIM slots, although this is a dual‑standby phone.Other connectivity options are very well catered for, with the latest
802.11ac Wi‑Fi, GPS with GLONASS,Bluetooth 4.1 and an IR blaster. The only thing that’s missing is NFC.
Like just about every other budget Chinese phone we’ve seen the Note3 is fitted with a 13Mp, f/2.2 rear
camera and 5Mp, f/2.0 front camera.There’s a two‑tone flash on the back, plus a selection of modes and
real‑time filters.As you’d expect at this price point, detail is a little soft at full‑size, and we found colours to be
very warm, but the overall result is acceptable and certainly better than what we saw from the Mi 4C – you
don’t get the same odd banding effect here. There are options in the camera settings to adjust contrast,saturation and sharpness, and you can use the volume button to trigger the shutter. However, the Note 3 doesn’t feature the Edge Tap
function found in the Mi 4C.
The Redmi Note 3 may not be best suited to users out of the box,but with some setup tweaks it is an
excellent budget Android phone with a fantastic design and performance for the price.
Specifications Redmi Note 3
5.5in full-HD (1920×1080,403ppi) display; Android 5.0 Lollipop with MIUI 7;
2GHz MediaTek MT6795 Helio X10 64-bit octa-core processor; PowerVR Rogue G6200 GPU; 2GB LPDDR3
RAM; 16GB storage (32GB option available); 802.11ac Wi-Fi; IR Blaster; GPS, A-GPS; GLONASS; Bluetooth
4.1; Dual-SIM dual-standby (2x Micro-SIM); 4G LTE support for bands 3 and 7,not 20 (800MHz, used by
O2) on both SIMs;fingerprint scanner (0.3s);13Mp, f/2.2 rear camera with two-tone LED flash;
5Mp, f/2.0 front camera with smart beauty profiles;4000mAh non-removable battery, charges over Micro-USB;150x76x8.65mm; 164g.