Xiaomi’s second generation Redmi Note took the phablet frenzy to new heights but with the Redmi Note 2, the expected release date of which is August 10, 2016, the standards have been set all the more higher. The company has boldly made an attempt to build a competitive product and Xiaomi certainly seems to have done an exceptional job.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Prime was launched alongside the Redmi Note 2 in China in August 2015 and is all set to create its impression in India this year!
To start off with the insides of the phone, the Redmi Note 2 is based on MediaTek’s Helio X10 processor and it’s available in two versions-
- The “Standard” version comes with a 2GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage.
- The “Prime” model comes with 32GB of on-board storage and a 2.2GHz processor.
The screen size of the phablet has not changed and measures for up-to 5.5 inches. The 5.5 inch screen has just got the real hd touch it was lacking in the previous model. This time around it is a 1080p display rather than a 720p unit.
The primary camera is a 13 megapixel job with the support of phase detention, autofocus and LED flash whereas the secondary camera comes in at 5 megapixels.
The Redmi Note 2 stands out as a big phone when it comes to design and size. Measuring 152 x 76 x 8.3 mm, the Redmi Note 2 is big, although somewhat smaller than its predecessor. The design is simple and utilitarian, but Xiaomi tries to keep it fun with a choice of several colors mainly: white, pink, cyan, yellow and black.
One may argue that the Redmi Note 2 looks quite a lot like Mi4c but this one is substantially bigger with the dimensions 152 x 76 x 8.3 mm. With the camera positioned in the centre of the device and the capacitive navigation keys featuring red backlighting instead of white, it certainly gives a new distinctive look to the phablet which is another add-on.
In terms of look and feel, these are the biggest differences so far, but once you pick up the Redmi, one is bound to notice the different finish and build quality. Unlike the Mi4c model, the Redmi Note 2 is not a uni-body design which means that the back is removable, allowing access to SIM and micro SD slots and the replaceable 3060mAh battery. The finishing of the two models may seem alike but the Redmi Note 2 doesn’t feel as good as the Mi4c due to its removable back cover. The cover is a tight fit and can be tricky to pull off. However, this doesn’t come as such a major setback and once the cover is in place, it feels quite good.
The sense of the physical quality of the phone is realized once it is in your possession. The finish is soft, matte and keeps smudges away. It feels rubbery and offers a bit more grip than the harder finish on the polycarbonate Mi4c. While a white, soft finish looks and feels good, we would suggest choosing a different color option merely for ease of maintenance.
(The Mi logo and speaker grille are at the bottom. A small plastic bump next to the speaker keeps it from being muffled on a flat surface.)
(The front is dominated by the 5.5-inch panel, which is surrounded by a small plastic bezel)
There is really not much more about to describe the Redmi Note 2 in terms of design. It’s simple and utilitarian, but in case you want something more on the flashy side, you can choose a color option other than white and black.
In order to sum up the specifications and performance factors of the phone, here is a brief-
Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 specifications
- SoC: MediaTek Helio X10 (MT6795M) clocked at 2.0GHz, 28nm
- CPU: Eight Cortex-A53 cores up to 2GHz
- GPU: Imagination Technologies PowerVR G6200 GPU up to 550MHz
- RAM: 2GB LPDDR3 933MHz
- Storage: 16GB eMMC 5.0 internal storage (single partition), expandable via microSDXC slot
- Display: 5.5-inch 1080p IPS panel
- OS: Android 5.0.2 w/ MIUI 6 on top
- Rear camera: 13-megapixel Samsung sensor, f/2.2 aperture, PDAF, 78 degree lens
- Front facing camera: 5-megapixel Omni vision OV5670 sensor, f/2.0 aperture, 85 degree lens.
- Battery: 3060mAh lithium polymer, removable
- Dimensions: 152 x 76 x 8.3 mm
- Weight: 160g
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth: 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0
- Sensors: ambient light, direction, accelerometer, compass, proximity, GPS, A-GPS
- Other noteworthy features: IR blaster
- SIM card: dual SIM (micro SIM), dual standby
- Network support -2G: GSM 900/1800/1900MHz &
- 3G: WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100MHz &
- 4G: FDD-LTE: 1800/2100/2600MHz, TDD-LTE: B38 / B39 / B40 / B41 (Make sure to check regional compatibility prior to making a purchase).
In case you are wondering about the newly introduced Helio X10 processor, it’s a relatively new chip with an all-new brand; although it doesn’t seem to be a huge improvement on the MT6752, which is a 1.7GHz octa-core with Mali-T760 graphics.
Elaborated- DISPLAY, AUDIO AND CAMERA
As discussed earlier in the review, the Redmi Note sports a 720p display, while the second generation bumps up the resolution to 1080p in the same 5.5-inch format. Display quality is good for this price bracket, although the panel is not on par with the 5-inch Mi4c.
Audio quality is satisfactory. We don’t often encounter a noise cancelling microphone on a device that is priced so low but voila! Xiaomi managed to provide us with one. The rear speaker may not come across as very powerful, but it delivers excellent sound quality.
The camera, although of 13 megapixels, has its cons too. The quality is certainly above average, but Xiaomi could be overpricing this feature. It has a new sensor with phase-detection auto-focus (PDAF), but it’s behind a slow f/2.2 aperture, which means it’s not that good in low light circumstances; It is encountered in almost all of Xiaomi products. On the bright side the focus is very fast, as is HDR mode. Daylight shots are quite good!
The selfie days may get better with the secondary camera of Redmi Note 2! With a 5-megapixel sensor behind an f/2.0 aperture and 85 degree lens, it does a relatively good job. While the main camera might not be the best one in this segment, the selfie camera is right up there with the best in class!
So, for a moment keeping all the software and quality factors aside, what is it actually like to live with a Redmi Note 2 and have it as an everyday companion?
It is somewhat good but certainly not perfect. It is a phablet after all which makes it uncomfortable to pocket. With all the bright sides on one side, one can’t change the fact that you are carrying around a plus-size phone.
The back cover provides a good grip, but it is too sensitive. On the bright side, having a removable back cover is beneficial so that you can use both SIM slots and the microSD slot at the same time, plus you can swap out the battery.
Have we given the battery life a thought yet? Well…
Sadly, there is a lot of room for improvement on the battery front. The 2GHz processor and bright, high-res screen obviously take a toll on battery life. It simply doesn’t last as long as we expected; you’ll be lucky to get a day out of it.
The XIAOMI REDMI NOTE 2 is one great leap, but it does fall short of a few steps.
Xiaomi is already aiming at selling 10 million Redmi Note 2 units this year . It may not have much trouble doing so with good hardware packed in a quality body and one of the best Android skins out there. However, it’s not really that close to perfection.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 is not a perfect budget phone, but one might say that it is almost there. In most respects, it may not seem a long runner, but the price is incredibly low.
Hence, the Redmi Note 2 carries a somewhat balanced state of performance and looks which makes it a bit of a tough choice. But it surely doesn’t flinch from fulfilling the Xiaomi standards. Who knows, it might live up well to the expectations of those 10 million targeted customer space.
-Expected price of Redmi Note 2 may range between 8,000 and 10,000.
-Expected price of Redmi Note 2 Prime may range between 9,000 and 11,000.