The Redmi Note 4 is the best value mobile on the market

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Redmi Note 4 and Redmi Note 4X review

Other than frequency support the Redmi Note 4 and Redmi Note 4X are the same phone. Both Qualcomm variants use the same SoC and configurations. We will be using “4” and “4X” interchangeably throughout the review.

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As with the Redmi 4 Prime and Redmi 3, the Redmi Note 4X uses the true 13MP Samsung ISOCELL S5K3L8. This is one of the better sensors used in $150 ballpark mobiles, and is in line with OmniVision’s OV16880 used in the K6000 Plus.

Dynamic range is quite good, even with non-HDR shots, and HDR shots in high-contrast scenes normally come out very good. The edges and corners are sharp, and color has plenty of pop without going overboard.

Here are a few images taken HDR and some minor, easy edits in Snapseed.

To see the difference between HDR and non-HDR with Samsung S5K3L8, take a look at the difference between the clouds in 2 vs 3, front green in shots 4 vs 5, and the indoor shot of the motorbike further on in the gallery.

All of the shots in the gallery below are straight out of the camera other than resizing. There have been no edits made.

There are some indoor shots at the end of the album. The first shots with the remote, mouse, and watch were taken in poor indoor lighting. The next set were inside the central area of a shopping mall with decent indoor lighting. The set after these with the fruit were taken in good indoor lighting.

A very good show from the Samsung ISOCELL S5K3L8. Well beyond good enough for digital sharing, and the photos in good lighting could be printed up to medium sizes with good results.

If you wish, you can take a look at these pictures and pictures from other phones in our Flickr albums (opens in new tab).

Oleophobic camera glass

Though it’s become somewhat standard these days, some manufacturers still aren’t using oleophobic glass for the rear camera. Thus, it’s worth noting that Xiaomi is using it here. Glass which isn’t oleophobic coated smudges up at the slightest touch, whereas the Xiaomi Note 4X tends to shrug off most touches, and even when it does get a smudge wipes away very easily instead of smearing.

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Redmi Note 4X review style and build

The Redmi Note  4X looks great. It features a matte metal backpiece and sides, with some nice silver trim to add style.

It’s a very smooth metal, and I highly recommend buying a plastic skin if you don’t want to have a drop. I buy a couple of inexpensive thin clear skins (new tab), and this protects as well as gives it some nice grip. I’d also recommend the hardened glass protection (new tab), which for a couple of bucks gives a nice added layer of breakage security.

Build is very good. There are no creaks or loose spots.

For a phone with a 4000mAh battery, it’s very slim. Xiaomi has made use of the space and slimmed it down in comparison to the 5.0″ Redmi 4.

Redmi Note 4X battery charging

While quite a few mobiles have switched over to faster than 5V 2A charging, the Redmi series has been content to stick with it.

Given the outstanding battery life of the Redmi Note 4X (14 hours 720P WiFi YouTube video playback!), this is no problem, and actually is double the charging rate of what some similarly priced mobiles are charging at; yes, some sub-$160 mobiles are still charging at 5V 1A.

The 4000mAh Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X charges to 90% in about 2 hours, and fully in about 2.5.

Check out the smoothness of the charging arc. A very stable charge.

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Redmi Note 4X screen on time SOT

Xiaomi set the gold standard for battery capacity, starting with the Redmi Note 3 and Redmi 3 which carried 4000mAh batteries in relatively slim packages.

Sure, you can find slimmer phones, but not with a 4000mAh battery. And sure, you can find bigger battery mobiles, but none with bigger batteries are as slim as what Xiaomi puts out.

This phone lasted a massive 14+ hours on our WiFi YouTube 140lux 720P battery test.

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It’s not only size, but how it’s used. Thanks to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 625 which uses 14nm architecture, we are getting the same amount of battery life on our battery test from 4000mAh phones, as we did with 6000mAh Snapdragon phones just a year back.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X display

  • IPS
  • LCD 5.5″@1080P, which gives us a retina 400PPI
  • Manufactured by Tianma
  • Looks great– text is very smooth and colors pop
  • Viewing angles are excellent

The default DPI is 480, which is a bit large for my tastes, and at this density actually shows no more on the display at one time than the 5.0″ Redmi 4 Prime. But, it’s a simple matter to change DPI so that you can really make use of that biggish 5.5″ display.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X OS

The OS which came on our Redmi Note 4X is Android 6 Marshmallow MIUI 8.1. Interestingly, it came with the official Global and OTA updated without issue.

Notably, the current China developer ROM is Android 7.0, so we should see Nougat coming to Global Stable quite soon for the Note 4X.

OS quick notes:
  • No delay when switching between apps in memory
  • Default white balance is excellent
  • Transitions and animations are butter smooth
  • Using alternative launchers present no conflicts with MIUI
  • There is the option to set default apps, such as for Browser, Email client, Camera etc…
  • Official Global came on our unit
  • No issues or bugs during our time with the phone
  • OS is adjusting display auto-brightness appropriately
  • Play downloading and installing without issue
Useful MIUI features:
  • Dual app support: Allows you to run two instances of an app at once. For example, if you have a business Facebook account and a personal account that you want to be able to switch between seamlessly.
  • Quick ball: This is a built in function which allows you to add shortcuts to a transparent ball. Here you can add whatever you wish, from apps you want quick access to, such as browser, or email, to system buttons such as back, home, or data toggles.
  • Dual IMEI: Some carriers when you have the same IMEI on both SIMs. The Redmi Note 4 has dual IMEI, so no issue with using two SIMs from the same carrier.
  • Mi Mover: I love this. A fantastic feature which allows you to easily and quickly migrate all settings, apps and their data, images, videos, and notes to your mobile. Hugely simple and useful feature of MIUI.
  • Instant share screenshots: After taking a screenshot, a thumbnail of the screenshot hovers in the upper right for several seconds, giving you time to tap it and share or edit it. A small detail which saves you a step.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X components

  • Rear camera– Ofilm 13MP Samsung ISOCELL S5K3L8 (1/3.08″)
  • Front camera– Ofilm 5MP Samsung S5K5E8 (1/5″)
  • Compass– Yamaha YAS537
  • Light Sensor– LiteOn LTR579
  • Accelerometer– STMicroelectronics LSM6DS3
  • Linear Acceleration– QTI 2
  • Rotation Vector– QTI 2
  • Gravity Sensor– QTI 2
  • Step Sensor– QTI 2
  • Display– Tianma NT35596

All components listed above have been tested and are working without issue.

Redmi Note 4X OTG

OTG is a component which allows mobile phones to communicate with mice, keyboards, thumbdrives, and gamepads. We tested the OTG with a Bluetooth mouse, Bluetooth keyboard, and USB thumb drive, and all of these worked without issue.

Redmi Note 4X Infrared remote

Something we don’t see on a lot of China phones is IR remotes and Xiaomi mostly includes them by default now. It’s a really nice feature that comes in handy to consolidate all of your remotes into one convenient, always around device. It also comes in handy when a remote is lost; more than a few times I’ve misplaced the dedicated remote to my aircon and Xiaomi saved the day.

We tested the Redmi Note 4X with an LG air conditioner and it worked without issue. Surprisingly, the built in MI Remote app was able to access most all functions of the aircon.

Redmi Note 4X FM radio

Another nice component that Xiaomi often includes is an FM radio. We tested the radio with some local stations and they worked without issue. Note, a headset or corded speaker needs to be plugged into the headphone jack for antenna purposes.

Redmi Note 4X WiFi

WiFi range on the Redmi Note 4X is great; with a cinder block wall between a $20 home router and the phone I was able to achieve 130ft / 40m and still maintain a fast, stable connection.

Redmi Note 4X GPS

The GPS signal strength is very strong, maintaining at least several satellites at 30+ at all times and accuracy up 2ft.

Redmi Note 4X notification LED

The Redmi Note 4 notification LED can easily be color customized. It also allows mixes of colors as opposed to just red, green, or blue.

Four hugely appreciated features of the Note 4 notification LED:
  • It’s small
  • It’s not too bright
  • It softly pulses instead of blinking
  • If you have a notification, turn on the display, then turn off the display, the LED notification will turn off unless a new notification comes in. As opposed to having to clear notifications to get the light to stop blinking.
Redmi Note 4 capacitive buttons

The capacitive button lights are soft and unobtrusive, and the lights can be disabled completely within settings very easily.

Redmi Note 4 fingerprint sensor

The fingerprint sensor is excellent. Quick, effortless scans are all that are required to unlock the phone.

In addition, if you don’t set a fingerprint, you can still use the sensor to unlock the phone. In this mode even the slightest touch will instantly turn on the phone.

Redmi Note 4X RAM ROM SOC

RAM on the Redmi Note 4X is 3GB. This should be more than enough for nearly all users.

ROM storage is 32GB, and an SD card can be added to expand storage. About 25GB internal is available to the user. These days most users can get by with a 16GB device, especially since an SD card can be added for additional storage, but we’re starting to see most $150 range devices coming with 32GB, and if you’re a power user, or like to install a lot of apps, 32GB is a better choice.

Phone info

The SoC on the Redmi Note 4X is Snapdragon 625. This is the first in the 6xx series to be built with 14nm architecture and as you saw in the battery test, it makes an enormous difference in power consumption. Not only do we get better battery life, but a battery’s life cycle is increased due to fewer charge/discharge cycles.

Snapdragon 625 specs
  • CPU: 64-bit ARM [email protected]
  • GPU: Adreno [email protected]
  • WiFi bands: 2.4GHz / 5.0GHz MU-MIMO (5.0GHz tested and working)
  • WiFi channels: 20/40/80MHz
  • WiFi standards: 802.11ac Wave 2 — 802.11n — 802.11a/b/g

Redmi Note 4X Antutu benchmark

The Redmi Note 4X scores commendably on Antutu with a total of 60k+. This is an incredible achievement in a phone so well priced and full featured. The Snapdragon 625 is a very respectable SoC that will push anything you throw at it.

Redmi Note 4X Geekbench benchmark

Redmi Note 4X scores a modest 846 in single-core and a very good 2853 in multi-core. Powerwise, the multi-core score puts it in the ranks with Nexus 6P, a phone which sells for $300-400 in good condition secondhand.

Redmi Note 4X SIM frequency support

If you’re primarily using the Redmi Note 4 on WiFi, and not SIM data, then this is not so important. But, if you use SIM data, take note.

Essentially, the Note 4 Global is good to go most anywhere in the world. It has band 20 (800MHz) which may be important for some areas of Euro and UK.

It also has a couple of American LTE bands (4 and 5) which will cover you with LTE in most areas with T-Mobile, AT&T, or any carrier which leases their lines.

The Global version will also be good for most carriers in South America, Central America, Africa, Australia, India, Asia, and SE Asia.

Redmi Note 4X conclusion summary

Man, Xiaomi just keeps banging them out. The combination of price, power, battery, features, components, and style, is unmatched.

Not only do they get all the big things right, they get nearly all of the little things right– the notification light characteristics, the ability to turn off the lights of the capacitive buttons, making the screenshot a tappable thumbnail in the corner for a few seconds, easily being able to selectively lock individual apps in memory, IR remote, step counter…These small things and more all come together to give the user a more satisfactory mobile experience.

Buy Redmi Note 4

For this sale price, it simply can’t be beat– Powerwise, batterywise, lookswise, or otherwise. If you’re in the market for a mobile, get this phone now.


Good

  • Great display
  • Strong selection of components
  • Global LTE
  • Very good camera
  • Big battery
  • Great looking
  • Strong GPS and WiFi
  • Incredible bang for the buck
  • Official Global ROM
9.2

Amazing

Display - 9.5
WiFi - 9
GPS - 9
Component inclusion - 9
ROM stability - 10
ROM fluidity - 9
Battery charging - 8.5
Battery life - 8.5
Value - 10
Camera - 8.5
Style - 9
Physical build - 10
OS intelligence - 9