The handset comes with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with MIUI 8 out of the box, which isn’t new, but has its own set of features which are neat. If you have used or seen any Xiaomi product in the last few months, you wont see a lot of difference.
Having said that, the MIUI 8 recently got an update which makes the experience very smooth. The UI is fast and is an improvement over the early builds of the OS which were a bit buggy. You still get apps like the Mi Remote app, Mi Store, a system manager to clean and manage your handset, a file manager, and more. For personalisation there is a theme store and also a dynamic lockscreen wallpapers feature. The drop down notification/quick setting toggle shade looks neat and can be used as traditional combined mode or separate paged mode.
Xiaomi has confirmed that it has released the Android 7.0 Nougat program which is available in Beta.
Xiaomi claims that the new Snapdragon 625 (an update to the Snapdragon 617) is a lot more efficient, and it is trading that for the raw power of the Snapdragon 650. The new Qualcomm chip has an octa-core processor clocked at 2GHz with eight Cortex A53 cores built on the new 14nm FinFET architecture. The Snapdragon 650 however offered two more powerful Cortex A72 and considering the Redmi Note 3 offered excellent performance, I was a bit worried that the new chip is a step down. However, I realised that is not the case. In fact, I was impressed how snappy the performance was. Apps open quick, games are perfectly smooth and the UI is fast and responsive. For a daily driver, I think this is an excellent smartphone.
Gaming is pretty good as my experience with high-end games like Asphalt 8 and Real Racing 3 was great, but with minor frame drops. An hour of Pokemon Go in the open sun led to a bit of heating, but even then the smartphone didn’t struggle in terms of performance.
As for the benchmarks, I was comparing them to the Redmi Note 3 and it is mostly neck to neck. Of course I reviewed the 4GB variant and comparing it to the 3GB version of the Redmi Note 3 isn’t fair, but then it has been launched at a very similar price range. Benchmarks like AnTuTu and Quadrant were dominated by the new comer, while others were closer or lower to its predecessor. From what I have experienced, the Redmi Note 4 offers a similar raw performance package as the Redmi Note 3.
Xiaomi said that they have heard the consumer feedback and have worked on improving the loudspeaker. While moving it to the bottom edge isn’t the best idea, the company has significantly improved it. It is now louder a bit more refined although lows are a bit overpowering. Not the best loudspeaker, but definitely a good update. As for the call quality and network performance, everything is in order and works well.
Probably the only major concern on the Redmi Note 3 was the camera. For the Redmi Note 4, Xiaomi has loaded a new 13MP CMOS f/2.0 aperture camera made by Sony which has 5-piece, 77 degree wide-angle lens and the sensor is said to offer bigger pixel size. The new camera is better in terms of colour and contrast. I could see a clear a difference in the overall quality. The camera also comes with PDAF and a dual-tone LED flash. Shutter speeds are fairly good but fast moving objects are still difficult to capture and leave a blur. It still needs improvement in terms of calculating exposure, but it was nice to see that Xiaomi is looking at improving things.
The app offers modes like slow-mo, manual controls, timelapse, straighten mode and more. The camera app is quick and responsive. I also liked the fact that Xiaomi has improved the HDR mode. Low light is still a bit of a concern, although it is better than what the 16MP unit offered on the predecessor.
As for the front camera, I didn’t see a lot of difference. The 5MP camera felt pretty much the same as it was on the Redmi Note 3. The front camera features a beauty mode where you can make your face slimmer and skin cleaner. The overall quality of the front camera was just average.
Publish date: January 23, 2017 1:02 pm| Modified date: January 30, 2017 9:27 am
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