Posts Tagged ‘xiaomi’

Xiaomi Redmi 3S, Best Droid for the Money

December 7, 2016

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The Xiaomi Redmi 3S is the latest device pertaining to the 3rd gen Redmis and it was already overshadowed by the imminent launching of the Redmi 4,which was announced recently by the Chinese based tech company.

However, even if internet critics described the Xiaomi Redmi 3S as already obsolete, making for an useless addition to the series, I beg to differ, as the Xiaomi Redmi 3S plays and wins the hearts, minds and wallets of users all over the world in the best bang for the buck category.

The Xiaomi Redmi 3S follows on the beaten path by its predecessors, boasting a high end full metal jacket chassis and a lots of goodies under the hood, everything at an unbeatable price. Just like its Pro version, the Xiaomi Redmi 3S comes with a 5 inches wide display, complemented by a cool aluminum chassis, a finger print sensor on the back panel and a 13 megapixels main shooter, with a big 4100 battery on top of everything to keep the lights on. Ladies and gents, in my humble opinion, the Xiaomi Redmi 3S is a winner by any metrics, especially considering that it offers Xiaomi’s latest MIUI 8 user interface.

What makes it different from the vanilla Redmi 3 you may ask? Well, consider this: unlike its predecessors which were known for using a type of ersatz octa-core architecture for their SoC, i.e. two CPU clusters by 4 cores, the Xiaomi Redmi 3S runs on a true blue Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 system on chip, which is the real deal, i.e. 8 CPUs, working in tandem with an Adreno 505 GPU, which is able to handle the latest graphic applications and will definitely improve the overall user experience.

The “old” Redmi 2 was universally acclaimed as the best smartphone in the world in its niche, i.e.  devices sold for under $100 and I bet that the Xiaomi Redmi 3S will do just the same next year.

To begin with, in terms of size and weight, standing at 139.3 x 69.6 x 8.5 millimeters and weighing 144 grams, the 3S is virtually identical with its Pro sibling. Considering its entry level pricing, the Xiaomi Redmi 3S is as premium as it gets in its class, boasting a beautifully designed aluminum chassis, unibody of course, showing off its curvy edges and an awesome matte finish. The only thing missing compared to the 3 Pro is the diamond pattern on the rear.

Truth be told, the Xiaomi Redmi 3S is a rarity these days for a 5 incher, being almost perfectly designed and shaped, offering excellent pocketability without compromising in terms of screen real estate. The metal/matte finish combo works great for boosting the grip, whilst the smartphone feels perfect in hand and in your pocket.

The Xiaomi Redmi 3S comes with a 5 inches wide screen of HD 720p resolution, which translates into 294 pixels per inch density. That’s almost Retina grade, which means it’s more than enough for sharp texts and crisp images, not to mention that a 720p doesn’t stress the GPU as much as a full HD 1080p, which means a boost in performance.

Despite lacking a Gorilla Glass coating and no mention whatsoever of any scratch resistance treatment, the display is above average quality wise, just make sure you don’t drop your smartphone too often. In terms of battery life, the Xiaomi Redmi 3S is powered by a beefy 4100 mAh power plant which comes with an outstanding 104 hours of endurance rating, meaning you can use it hard for at least a couple of days on a single charge and up to four days if you’re not pecking at it constantly.

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The good news keep on coming, as the Xiaomi Redmi 3S is LTE compatible, together with 3 band GSM and quad band 3G connectivity. There’s also Wi-Fi/Wi-Fi Direct, GPS with Beidou and Glonass, Bluetooth 4.1, a micro USB 2.0 port and even an FM radio.

As I already told you, this baby runs on a QSD 430 SoC complemented by a more than decent 3 GB of RAM and the new Adreno 505 GPU, which is a significant improvement in all respects over the Redmi 2. The chipset is a great match  for the 720p screen, offering a fluid Android experience and being able to run any type of 720p content with ease.

The camera is the same 13 MP variety you can find on the Redmi 3, slightly improved with a new phase detection system for more accurate/faster auto-focus. Bottom line, the Xiaomi Redmi 3S is the perfect droid for budget conscious consumers, offering an excellent 5” screen, an impeccable build quality, amazing battery life, solid hardware/performance and a very capable camera for a very low price tag, ~120 euros.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, Hail to the Queen

October 24, 2016

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If you’re wondering what’s up with the title, well, I regard the newly released Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 as a queen, not a king, because Xiaomi is a girl’s name. At least in my view. But let’s not talk about Chinese girls names, shall we?

Now, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is the third Redmi Note I’ve reviewed on our website, and truth be told, this droid has some pretty big shoes to fill. Just to give you an idea, the last generation (Note 3) had become India’s hottest smartphone ever, becoming a best seller and also enjoyed a huge popularity in its home turf, China that is.

So, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 will have to prove worthy of its ancestors. Starting with the beginning, the latest Redmi Note generation is a more premium looking and feeling droid and as a consequence, it has a slightly higher price tag. But it’s also a tad higher when compared to the Redmi series mid-range status.

For example, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 boasts a premium looking and feeling full metal body design, being built from a high-grade aluminum alloy, just like its HTC and Sony competitors are doing with their premium smartphones.

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And secondly, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 runs on a pretty interesting system on chip architecture, the Helio X20 chipset which is somewhere between upper mid range and high end, in a blurry-gray territory.

As an added advantage, the High version of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 boasts 64 GB of native storage capacity which is quite impressive considering the asking price of the respective flavor, which is under 200 Euros. Are you impressed yet? If not, keep on reading, it gets even better.

Since the Note 3, Xiaomi moved up in the ranks in regard to the manufacturing process, resulting in a sturdier, higher quality body which weighs a little more, but that’s ok in my book. The chassis of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is made from a solid aluminum ingot, beautifully polished, and the front glass boasts its 2.5D feature. Overall, the smartphone looks very beautiful and it has a premium look and feel, well above its price bracket.

The display is a 5,5 inches wide IPS LCD variety of full HD 1080p resolution with a 401 pixels per inch density, just like the iPhone 7 Plus.

In the connectivity department, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 offers the regular Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and an IR blaster, but there’s no NFC on board. The battery is a beefy 4100 mAh power plant which comes with an endurance rating of 83 hours, which is quite a lot.

The droid runs on a forked Android 7.0 Nougat Core version with the company’s proprietary MIUI 8 user interface on top, which is great at text rendering and offers a bunch of enhanced video editing tools.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 runs on a MediaTek Helio X20 architecture  which is an impressive chipset, which offers stellar single core performance, which is the most important metric by the way. The graphic processing unit is a Mali T880 MP4 variety, which is also quite competitive and considering the price tag, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is an absolute best-buy performance wise. I mean, considering its ~ $200 price tag, give or take, you’ll be blown away by what this baby has under the hood.

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In the camera department, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 comes with a 13 megapixels main snapper with an f/2.0 aperture, dual LED/Dual Tone Flash, phase detection autofocus and 1080p video recording capability. The selfie camera is a 5 megapixels f/2.0 aperture variety and the interface is a re-skin of the MIUI offering lots of effects and setting.

Truth be told, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is that kind of a smartphone that has the capability of changing one’s buying habits, as it redefines the notion of best bang for the buck. The metal body evokes high end droids, the display is excellent, the hardware platform offers quite a punch and all these great features are at your finger tips in a sub 200 euro smartphone.

The build quality is definitely on par with HTC and Sony’s flagships, there’s a finger print reader available, the SoC offers best in class performance (price wise), the GPU is similar to a QSD 650 and overall, for that kind of money you can’t buy better gear.

 

 

 

 

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Best Bang for the Buck!

September 19, 2016

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The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is that kind of a device which sets the benchmark in the best bang for the buck category. Basically, to describe it in just a few words, this droids comes with lots of features and incredible performance way above the price asked.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is the proud successor of last year’s Redmi Note 3. The latter was powered by a Mediatek Helio X10 system on chip and, just a few months after its initial launching, a special edition was revealed, featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon architecture. Well, this baby broke all the records in terms of sales figures in India, which is arguably the largest emerging market in the world, China aside (the home-turf for the company).

This is the device we’re reviewing today, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Snapdragon edition, which even if it was launched a few months ago, it should be on your radar if you’re looking for dirt-cheap performance sans a celebrity tag on your smartphone. I mean, this is not an iPhone nor a Galaxy S X, but if you’re looking for true performance and buckets of features without having to put a second mortgage on your home, keep reading.

Besides the improved chipset, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 features a new camera sensor, with a 16 MP resolution. Despite the fact that it’s limited to full HD recording, 1080p, that’s not a drawback in my view, because 4k videos are immense and there are relatively few TVs and laptops to offer that native resolution. And watching 4k videos on a smartphone display is kind of pushing it, right?

Another difference or upgrade, however you want to call it is that the Snapdragon version of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 has a second SIM card-tray which can also be used as an expansion port, i.e. it supports micro SD cards.

Now, let’s takea closer look at Xiaomi Redmi Note 3’s key features and specs, shall we?

To begin with, this droid features a beautiful aluminum unibody design and it has the exact same dimensions of the original Mediatek-powered Redmi Note 3, i.e. 150 x 75 x 8.7 millimeters and it weighs 164 grams. The finish and fit are quite good as the smartphones feels durable and well built. For a mid ranged device, a metal clad unibody design is always cool to have, especially given the asking price of the Redmi Note 3, no complaints in this department.

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The front panels is covered in a sheath of black glass, protecting the 5.5 inches wide display, a LCD IPS Full HD/1080p variety, with 401 pixels per inch density. Thing is, we don’t have any kind of intel about what type of glass was used, if it’s scratch resistant or any other information whatsoever.

One of the coolest things about this baby is the beefy 4000 mAh power plant, which is not removable by user but I doubt it will be an issue with this smartphone. Given the humongous capacity of the battery, the Redmi Note 3 boasts an impressive 93 hours of endurance rating, which should please the pickiest user.

As the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 chipset, connectivity is top notch, including LTE, tri band GSM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and the whole nine yards.

The user interface is provided by Xiaomi’s Global MIUI 8 beta, on top of Android 5.1 Lollipop, but unlike other custom made UIs, this one really improves overall performance. And speaking about performance, the QSD 650 system on chip really get the job done with flying colors, being a hexa core architecture which consists of 4x 1.4 GHz Cortex A 53 CPUs and 2x 1.8 GHz Cortex A 72 ones, together with an Adreno 510 GPU for handling the demanding graphic applications.

There are 2 models to choose from: a 16 GB of native storage which comes with 2 GB of ram and a 32 GB variety with 3 GB of RAM. I would advise you to go for the latter.

The camera in the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 was upgraded and now it comes with a 16 MP sensor, phase detection, an f/2.0 aperture lens and a 2 tone dual LED flash. The performance and the quality are very good considering the price tag and the interface is very simple.

Bottom line, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 offers great value for day to day users looking for a very capable yet relatively cheap mid-ranged droid, offering good specs, top notch build quality, a decent display, excellent battery life and above average performance at a competitive price tag.

 

 

 

Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro, Locked and Loaded

August 16, 2016

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If you have any notion about the old Xiaomi Redmi 3, i.e. that it’s still one of the best smartphones out there in terms of price vs performance, you must know that the Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro is even better than that.

Thing is, Chinese tech companies have a lot to catch up with the big names in the industry and once in a while they release a smartphone which is nothing short of incredible, i.e it offers a lot and costs almost nothing compared to its Western rivals.

The same recipe was used in the case of  the Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro. Basically, Xiaomi took an already great smartphone, improved it a little bit in its essential points i.e. they added some additional bells and whistles (more RAM, more internal storage capacity, a fingerprint scanner) and they released it in the wild to fight with the best.

The similarities with the older gen (sans the Pro particle) include the same conservative 5 inches wide display, an IPS LCD variety of HD/720p resolution, an aluminum-made chassis (which looks uber cool), a Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 system on chip, a 13 megapixels main snapper and an amazingly beefy 4100 mAh battery, all these for a price of under $150, which means contract free, SIM free, no strings attached. I mean, the Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro is as good as it gets folks. But take a load of this:

The droid features a hybrid dual SIM / micro SD card slot, 3 GB of RAM/ 32 GB of native storage and the camera now comes with hybrid phase detect auto focus and it captures video at full HD 1080p resolution.

The old Redmi 3 was quite popular due especially to its very affordable price tag and excellent built quality, but the Pro will be a true hit, mark my words folks. Especially in China and India, which are huge emerging markets and folks can’t usually afford to buy a 700 bucks smartphone, this under $150 droid will make some waves.

In terms of design, the new Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro features the same unibody chassis made entirely of aluminum with curved edges, with a smooth and clean finish.

The display is almost Retina like in terms of pixels per inch, featuring 294 ppi, being crisp and with excellent sunlight legibility. But the best thing about the new Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro is arguably its mammoth 4100 mAh battery which comes with an endurance rating of 104 hours, which means 4 days plus or 14 hours of web browsing/12 hours of video playback.

Connectivity wise, the Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro offers quite a lot: seven LTE bands, quad band 3G, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS with Glonass, Beidou and even an FM radio.

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Being a Xiaomi droid, the Redmi 3 Pro comes pre-loaded with Android Lollipop flavored with the company’s proprietary MIUI 7.3, an ecosystem focused on their own apps and software and away from Google, which is kind of not so popular in China, to say the least.

When it comes to performance, the Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro comes with the same hardware architecture as the previous generation, i.e. a Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 offering 8 Cortex A53 CPUs clocked at 1.5 GHZ/1.2 GHz respectively (2×4 cores). There’s more RAM than in the regular Redmi 3, 3 gigabytes respectively while the gaming department is taken care of by an Adreno 405 GPU. All things aside, the Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro has enough power to run anything on 720p resolution, including high end mobile graphics and modern games.

The 13 megapixels snapper is basically the same one found in the regular Redmi 3 being equipped with a single LED flash. Talking about bells and whistles, the Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro’s multimedia department offers phase detection/hybrid autofocus and a fairly simple and intuitive user interface, manual and automatic settings for the camera and the whole nine yards, there’s nothing to write home about really, except that the picture/video quality is really good considering the smartphone’s price tag.

As per my final words, the question is if the Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro is worth the upgrade from the basic Redmi 3. Well, if you want more RAM, a great built quality, an awesome battery and a finger print sensor, the answer is yes, the Pro is worth the stretch. If you’re out there looking for a new droid at an affordable price, the Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro is hard to beat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Xiaomi Mi 4s, High Profile Droid

April 17, 2016

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The Xiaomi Mi 4s is the logical successor of the previous “c” version, boasting its additional storage, RAM and increased battery capacity, together with an improved-even premium design and a fingerprint scanner.

Basically, the Xiaomi Mi 4s is an incremental upgrade of an already established line of droids, playing hard ball in the mid-range field of battle, which is actually the toughest segment when it comes to smartphones.

The Chinese company seems to continue their dual glass design both in the mid-ranged Xiaomi Mi 4s and its flagships (the 5 line), together with a metal frame, which has become all the rage. In the case of the Xiaomi Mi 4s, the metal skeleton is sprayed with zircon sand, i.e. sandblasted, for providing its user with excellent grip and a very soft and pleasant touch.

The  Xiaomi Mi 4s measures 139.3 x 70.8 x 7.8mm and it weighs just 1 gram over what the 4c used to weigh, an impressive performance given the fact that the 4s comes with a bigger battery and the additional fingerprint sensor on the back.

Design wise, as I already told you, the  Xiaomi Mi 4s features a very familiar design in the form of a glass clad, a glass sandwich sort of speak, with the front and rear being 2 sheets of glass, united by a sturdy and beautiful metal frame.

What is strikingly beautiful and in the same time new about the  Xiaomi Mi 4s is its prominent/circular design of the zirconium sandblasted finish metal skeleton, with its leathery feel and matte effect. The rear glass panel features a brushed pattern with metal accents around the fingerprint sensor and the camera.

The protective glass of the  Xiaomi Mi 4s’s front panel is rather soft to touch and handling is very pleasant, while the device is far from slippery.

The smartphone comes with a five inches wide full HD IPS screen, with an impressive 441 pixels per inch density and it’s protected by scratch resistant glass. Overall, this is a pretty good screen, which offers a pleasant viewing experience and decent sunlight legibility, but nothing to write home about, really.

The Chinese tech giant put a relatively large 3260 mAh battery inside the  Xiaomi Mi 4s’s guts, which translates into a very solid and respectable 75 hours endurance rating for a five incher.

What makes it even better is the quick charging feature, which offers 32% of battery capacity for only 30 minutes of charging (one day of use roughly).

In terms of connectivity, the  Xiaomi Mi 4s comes fully loaded, as it features dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, USB Type-C, tri-band 3G connectivity with HSPA support,Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, quad-band GSM connectivity,7 LTE bands, an infrared port and GLONASS.

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Needless to say, Xiaomi Mi 4s runs on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop right out of the box, with the company’s in-house made MIUI 7 customization, which runs very deep, so deep that it even offers an alternative/replacement for ALL Google services. As a matter of fact, Xiaomi Mi 4s devices sold in China don’t even offer access to Google’s services.

Performance wise, the Xiaomi Mi 4s runs on a Snapdragon 808 system on chip, packing a hexa core processor (6 cores), an Adreno 418 graphic processing unit and a respectable 3 gigabytes of RAM. The powerful S808 SoC features 2x Cortex A57 CPUs@1.82 Ghz, which run alongside 4x energy-efficient Cortex A53 CPUs@1.44 Ghz.

As you can imagine, the Xiaomi Mi 4s offers adequate performance for day to day tasks, and it it capable of handling decently almost anything you throw at it, having basically the same RAM/hardware as the LG G4, which is more than enough even for heavy multi-tasking and the latest games.

The Xiaomi Mi 4s comes with a 13 megapixels shooter, which features a dual tone LED flash and lots of options. The photos and videos look pretty good, with plenty of contrast and detail.

Bottom line, the Xiaomi Mi 4s is a very decent droid, which marks  a notable improvement over its predecessors, offering much for less, i.e. a great design and built quality, excellent battery life, above average features and mid-range performance while keeping a relatively low price tag compared to its rivals.