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Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 First Impressions and Hands-on: 10 Cool Things to Know!

Xiaomi announced its third-generation Redmi Note smartphone in China - the Redmi Note 3, which is the company's first device to feature a fingerprint sensor. Consequently, this smartphone has entered the Indian boundaries.

Rating: 3.5/5

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is an improved version of the previously launched device with improvement mainly in the processor and the camera departments.


Today, the Chinese smartphone maker has launched the Redmi Note 3 in India at an event in New Delhi. The smartphone is available in two variants differentiated by internal storage capacity and RAM. One with 2GB RAM with 16GB internal storage is priced for Rs. 9,999 while the 3GB RAM with 32GB of internal memory is priced at Rs. 11,999. We got the chance to spend time with the device and here's what we think about it.

A Phablet-Sized Phone With Metal-Clad Design

At a very first glance, the Redmi Note 3 appears to look similar to the most recent Meizu smartphones. This phablet-sized device weights at 164 grams, which is lightweight for a phablet size and easy to hold and use with one handed.

The Redmi Note 3 is the first smartphone by the company in few things, one it comes equipped with a fingerprint scanner and a unibody alloy body design. The curvy edges and finish with slim design give the device a stylish look.

The handset feels sturdy in hands, offering just enough grip to prevent it from slipping from hands. On the right-hand side, you can see a power button placed in the middle making it easy to reach. The volume rockers sit about the power button on the right side. While the SIM tray is on the upper left side.

The handset is available in three color options: gold, silver and dark gray, we got our hands on the gold version and found eye-catching.

A Bigger 5.5-Inch Display

The Redmi Note 3 sports a 5.5-inch full-HD with a resolution of 1080x1920 pixels, which is the same as its predecessor. The display comes with an impressive pixel density of 403ppi. With its phablet sized form factor reaching all four corners of the display with a thumb cab be difficult, but thanks to one-handed typing, which helps to access the screen in one hand.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 First Impressions and Hands-on: 10 Cool Things to Know!

The display comes with fully laminated, looks bright and vibrant, but the screen is quite reflective and is difficult to use under direct sunlight. Thanks to Sunlight Display that dynamically adjusts the contrast of pixels to make content more visible under bright daylight. The viewing angles indoors looked decent with good color reproduction.

Clocked With Hexa-Core CPU

Under the hood, the Redmi Note 3 is powered by Snapdragon 650 processor, the first Qualcomm Technologies' chipset equipped with ARM's top-end Cortex-A72 performance cores. It features the latest Qualcomm Adreno 510 GPU, which provides impressive graphics performance for an unparalleled gaming experience.

The hardware combination efficiently manages all day-to-day tasks like listening to music, clicking pictures, editing images, browsing, video streaming and more without any problem. Our review unit had 3GB RAM and used for a quite some time we found there was no delay in opening apps as well as no switching between apps.

On the storage front, the device comes in two different models: one with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage and the another one with 3GB with 32GB of RAM. There is also a microSD card support to expand storage.

As mentioned above, the Redmi Note 3 is the company's first smartphone to be equipped with a fingerprint sensor. It is placed just below the camera unit on the back of the device. Setting it up is hassle-free and is quick to recognize which finger has been used and unlocks the device in under half a second.

There are number of useful fingerprint sensor features incorporated into MIUI 7, including the ability to lock apps, access hidden folders, and even take a front or rear camera selfie using just your fingerprint.

However, judging the performance from the first look will be too harsh. A final performance test will be provided at our full review.

An Improved MIUI For Better User Experience

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 runs on the latest MIUI 7.0. The UI is very colorful and comes with some bloatware. The new Wallpaper Carousel feature in MIUI 7 delivers stunning wallpaper images daily, so your lockscreen looks refreshingly different every day.

The MIUI also brings battery improvement, themes, faster response time and battery life. There is also a Child mode to make sure your kids do not access any of your personal and important data.

A Very Impressive 16-Megapixel Camera

The Redmi Note 3 features a 16-megapixel camera on the back with PDAF Autofocus and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The camera performance is very impressive with its overall image quality, compared to other smartphones of its range.

The camera app is neat and simple. The camera app shows several options to share image after taking a picture like add to an album, show on a map or to add it as a contact photo. The user interface of the camera app is simplistic, you can swipe on the screen to choose filter options including fisheye, blur, dawn, mono, mirror, vivid and more. There are several modes such as manual, gradient, HDR, timer, panorama among others.

A 4,050mAh Battery For A Longer Battery Life

The Redmi Note 3 is packed with a 4,050mAh battery, which is pretty big capacity compared to other smartphones in this price category. It also supports 5V/2A Qualcomm Quick Charge technology, charging up to 50 percent in one hour and taking only three hours for a full charge.

Early Verdict

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 has a great look, stylish with its metal construction and could be a very exciting smartphone in the budget price segment. At budget price point this smartphone will be a direct competition for the latest smartphones by its Chinese rival such as Lenovo K4 Note and LeEco Le 1s.

Well, we think Redmi Note 3 is a worthy upgrade over its predecessor - the Redmi Note 2. It comes with improvements such as a metal-cad design and a fingerprint scanner, which has become a standard feature in every smartphone. However, judging the performance from the first look will be too harsh. A final performance test will be provided at our full review. Stay tuned for updates and our full review.

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