The Redmi Note 4 is the successor of the hugely popular Redmi Note 3 - a phone that was popular for its great specifications at a very low price point. The Redmi Note 4 improves upon the older model with a new, more efficient processor, new camera and improved build.
One of the best selling phones in India, the Redmi Note 4 has more modern software now, courtesy of the MIUI 9 update.
With newer phones from other brands in the market let us see how the Redmi Note 4 performs against them.
Design and Build Quality
With a luscious black body and metal build the Redmi Note 4 feels very premium and solid in the hand.
The Redmi Note 4 (Especially the black color we had) felt extremely premium and felt like a much more expensive device. The metallic black back feels solid and is cold to touch although it is a fingerprint magnet.
The fingerprint sensor is placed too close to the camera sensor, which may result in some smudges on the camera lens.The hardware buttons are well built and stick out prominently and feel nice to the touch. The phone has two faint silver antenna lines but they look good. The navigation buttons have haptic feedback and are backlit.
The phone has the IR blaster, a 3.5mm jack and a secondary microphone on top. While the mono speaker is placed at the bottom along with the micro USB port.
Inserting otg pendrive is not an issue. The charger cable is annoyingly short and it might be inconvenient to use it while it charges. However, it is detachable from the power brick and will also work as a data transfer cable.
The Lenovo K8 Plus weighs exactly the same as the Redmi Note 4 but still somehow felt more durable and strong.
Overall a good display panel that leans towards a more warmer temperature.
The display is crisp and sharp, although a little warm. The Redmi Note 4 is great for watching movies and the screen size is large too at 5.5 inches. The display has good viewing angles and it works well outdoors too.
Xiaomi hasn't specified if it has gorilla glass but they claim it has some sort of protection. If you are someone who drops their phone a lot and are worried that the Redmi Note 4 may not fare well we suggest you look towards the Lenovo K8 Plus which comes with a Gorilla Glass 3 protected screen and a metal body too. Also our budget recommendation - the Infinix Note 4 -had a much larger 5.7 inch screen with a better display quality.
Audio and Call Quality
With average speaker audio and sharp call quality the Redmi Note 4 doesn't fare well in the audio department.
The main speaker on the Redmi Note 4 is much better than the Y1. It produces much louder tones, that are more pleasing to the ear. We were not too happy with the bass reproduction as it felt flat.
The audio quality through the earphones is crisp for movies as well as music and we would recommend you listen to your tunes through them. If you are really keen on listening to some good tunes through you speaker we suggest you have a look at our recommendation for best smartphone under Rs.10,000, the Lenovo K8 Plus
On Phone calls while the sound is great on the Redmi note 4, people on the other phone complained about sharpness in the sound.
Multi-tasking, Gaming and Benchmarks
Good gaming performance, but it only opens 5 apps at a time.
The phone managed to open 5 apps which included Asphalt 8, Subway Surfer, Feedly, Facebook and Instagram and switch between them seamlessly. Opening anything over these caused the games to restart. If you need the ability to open more apps, you can always look at the 4GB version of the Redmi Note 4 or even the Lenovo K8 Plus as that phone can open up to seven apps courtesy of its stock android.
Gaming is excellent on high settings in Asphalt 8. There are no lags and the accelerometer control works perfectly. Subway surfer plays very well and swiping is quick to respond. Pokemon Go also works without any issues.
The Phone does get warm especially during charging and after prolonged use, but we saw the temperature hover around the 40-42 degrees marks which is not bad.
The Redmi Note 4 uses one of the most popular and most used mid range processor the Snapdragon 625. This processor was designed to give more performance while keeping heating under control especially after the heating fiasco of the Snapdragon 810, 808 and 615. The Snapdragon 625 wonderfully succeeds by keeping heating at a minimum and the performance is only second to the Lenovo’s K8 Plus.In real world the difference in gaming performance between the two phones is negligible.
- 3D Mark
If you still feel the Redmi note 4 is the phone for you you can get it here: Amazon, Flipkart. But keep in mind that you'll be leaving behind better options for the same budget.
Classic Xiaomi device with tons of features and apps courtesy of MIUI 9. Feels much faster to use than previous releases.
MIUI 9 Home Screen, Notification Shade, App Folder (Left to Right)
Being a MIUI device there are a lot of features are present like scrolling screenshot, one handed mode, screen record, themes app. These are things that some users will definitely love but may not find fans with the others who will prefer the smoothness and simplicity of stock android.
The Redmi Note 4 has a few extras like, ability to reposition the navigation buttons, the notification led color is customisable based on the app notification and you get slow motion video support in the camera app.
Compass app, Scanner App, Mi Remote app (Left to Right)
We did not face any lags or slowdowns during the time we had the phone with us.
While we agree MIUI gets a lot of features, we suggest you look towards stock android for a better experience. Hence we suggest you look at the Lenovo K8 Plus which comes with stock android.
File Manager, FM Radio, Sound Recorder (Left to Right)
Camera and Video
The Redmi Note had a great camera but one which lacks in low light selfies and doesn't have a proper manual mode.
The Redmi Note 4 was neck-to-neck with the Lenovo K8 Plus in terms of performance. The camera, considering the phone price and the size of the sensor, produced excellent colour tones with the addition to HDR. For example, from our tests, you can see that the picture of the indoor plant lacked some brightness, but that was easily remedied with HDR. Though Redmi Note 4 inches ahead of the Lenovo in terms of the quality of the panorama feature, it lags behind in its performance in taking night selfies (since it does not have a front flash).
beauty mode selfie
The Redmi Note 4 produces excellent colours, tones, and depth in most lighting conditions, and images are crisp and well balanced in terms of saturation and colour balance. The performance of the HDR mode on the Redmi Note 4 varies according to lighting conditions, and it seems to underperform in most situations except in bright-lit settings outdoors.
The panorama shot we took on the Redmi Note 4 was very sharp though there was a little lag in terms of processing time. The resulting image is clear and it could be more sharper with fewer pixelation.
The video capabilities of the Redmi Note 4 are satisfactory at best, and the resulting footage is a tad underlit compared to ambient lighting conditions.
The Redmi Note was the only phone in the test not to have a front flash. Also, the manual mode is limited to ISO and white balance tweaking only. Photos can be taken by pressing the fingerprint scanner or the volume up button.
Mi Camera UI
Amongst the four phones we tested the Redmi Note 4 had the better camera. It performed great in good lighting conditions but lacked in low light selfie. The Lenovo K8 Plus despite coming a close second to the Redmi Note 4 has a few extras up its sleeve like Bokeh effect, Proper Manual Mode and Selfie Flash. To know more about our recommendations for the best smartphone under Rs.10,000 click here.
Battery and Charging
The Redmi Note 4 has a 4000mAh battery and give an impressive screen on time of 4 hours under heavy load, we really wish the phone had fast charging as the charging time is 2 hours 38 mins. The Infinix Note 4 which was our budget recommendation for best phones under Rs.10,000 comes with a 4300mAh battery but charges fully in 2 hours courtesy of its 18W fast charger.
The phones battery is good enough for more than a days use with light usage, we are not quoting exact numbers as usage will vary based on your usage pattern.
The PCMark Work battery test gives the Redmi Note 4 a whopping score of 8 hours and 39 mins at max brightness condition.
The Redmi Note 4 is a very good device no doubt. But there are phone that can handle apps more efficiently, have better screen protection and better call quality. It doesn’t end there for the Redmi Note 4 as it has a hybrid sim slot which limits expansion, lacks a selfie flash and lacks gorilla glass protection. These are some of the things that prevent the Redmi Note 4 from beating the Lenovo K8 Plus.
We feel the Lenovo K8 Plus is a much better phone at the same price due to a better build quality, stock software, good camera hardware, better audio and better performance. Read about the Lenovo K8 Plus here.