Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro review

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9.3

Amazing

9.1

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro review (RN3P) style and build

Build is very solid, with no creaks or loose spots

The RN3P is a beautiful looking phone, balancing slick with class. The backpiece is mostly of aluminum, with only the top and bottom of the backpiece being made of plastic.

While these two parts are made of plastic, it’s not obvious unless looking very closely. We also like the line where the top and bottom meets the metal portion, as well as the subtle difference in color.

Redmi [email protected]

Note that aluminum is significantly softer than good plastic; even a light pressure fingernail scrape can permanently scratch aluminum. There is a clear case we like to use to keep the phone looking brand new, but the downside to this is we lose some of the beautiful class of naked aluminum when we encase it.

xiaomi-redmi-note-3-review-IMG_2276

We’d say just leave the case off if you plan on having the phone for a while to come; it makes no sense to cover up beauty like this unless you plan on reselling and upgrading in the near future, or unless you don’t care about having your phone look as cool as it can be.

From the front we see that Xiaomi has added an attractive bit of chrome edging along the border.

Build is very solid, with no creaks or loose spots. The physical buttons give a tactile click when pressed. At 178g the RN3P some decent heft to it, without being a burden in the pocket.

The capacitive buttons have soft, stylish backlights which thankfully can be disabled for those who don’t appreciate them. We can also adjust backlight duration from 1-20 seconds or always on.

The Qualcomm Redmi Note 3 Pro carries the same perfect combination of slickness and class of its MTK predecessor; there are no apparent changes to build or style.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro display LCD

The display on the RN3P is [email protected] Tianma nt35596, giving us a retina PPI of 440. It looks great, with an ideal balance between pop and laid-back. Viewing angles are great as well, with extreme angles losing very little contrast and typical viewing angles remaining perfect.

Maximum brightness hit an excellent 397 lux, and minimum brightness goes all the way down to 0 lux (undetectable by the meter).

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro OS

The OS on the RN3P is the Android 5.1.1 overlayed with MIUI 7.

One of the nice things about MIUI is the ability to completely change the look of Android with the many themes available. Rather than just changing the look of icons and wallpaper, the MIUI themes can change the look of quick tiles, boot animation, shutdown animation, notification bar, Android settings, and fonts, in addition to the icons and wallpapers.

We also have the option to setup profiles, which give us the ability to quickly change settings for when to clean memory, brightness, notifications, sleep, and vibration.

As with all MIUI mobiles, there is no app drawer, but this can easily be remedied by installing an app drawer from Play, or a different launcher; we really like Apex—it’s clean and quick and the free version is very generous with its options.

MIUI 7.1.16.0 is appropriately using a 512MB RAM swap space.

The OS on RN3P is smooth and quick. There were no force closes of any apps we tested. Transitions and animations are butter.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro 360 Touch-ID

While we’ve used phones in the past with Touch-ID, it was generally something we never took advantage of; mainly because it wasn’t implemented well enough.

Dead Effect 2 Extreme

Dead Effect 2 Extreme

Not so with the RN3P—the Touch-ID is simply fantastic; with the screen off and the phone in deep sleep mode, you can sloppily lay your finger on the sensor and you’re bam instantly in to the home screen or wherever you last left your phone.

There’s no need to press the power button first, or swipe up after your finger has successfully scanned; it’s just bam in there within 1 second.

Something we like to recommend is to scan a couple of fingers and scan the sides of your fingers as well.

xiaomi-redmi-note-3-review-IMG_2288

The 360 works great and allows you to lay your finger at any angle. In practice it works awesome and allows for some really sloppy fingerscan unlocks.

An excellent job implementing Touch-ID on the RN3P, and along with the Xiaomi Redmi Note MTK6795 version, it’s the first time we prefer using Touch-ID to the power button. It also gives the added benefit of avoiding button wear if you’re someone who’s often checking their phone.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 frequency support

  • 2G: GSM 900/1800/1900MHz
  • 3G: WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100MHz
  • 4G: FDD-LTE 1800/2100/2600MHz

These frequencies give the Note 3 worldwide 3G/H/H+ support and 4G/LTE support in most of Asia/UK/Euro.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro battery charging

XRN3P charges from 10%-100% in under 2.5 hours with the phone on, and up to 90% in under 2 hours– This is quick enough to be considered 2A quick charging and is an excellent result given the big battery.

2016022401292700

The battery is fully saturating to a solid voltage of 4.35.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro battery life test

Things have really changed since a year back, with many big players bringing large-capacity mobiles to market. Xiaomi especially needs to be commended for fitting such a capable, large-capacity battery, in such a thin mobile. They’ve also worked a miracle and fit a 4100mAh battery in the Xiaomi Redmi 3 Mini.

In our standard Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 SOT (screen-on time) test of running a 720P movie through YouTube over WiFi at 140 lux (35% on the RN3P MIUI 7.1.16.0), the RN3P lasted a fantastic 10 hours. This is really an incredible result for such a thin mobile.

10 hours SOT

10 hours SOT

Also note that this test was done from 4.25V down. The RN3P will charge to a solid 4.35V which would give approximately 15 minutes more in this particular test.

Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro camera picture samples

across the frame sharpness

The RN3P carries the Samsung S5K3P3 sensor. This sensor is a 1/3.06″ type, which is the typical size sensor we see in the majority of good mobiles these days. However, Samsung has shrunk the pixels down to 1.0μ (1 micron = 1/1000mm).

By doing this, we can have higher resolution on a significantly thinner sensor wafer, so thin phones such as Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro can have 16MP sensors without the big bulge in the back.

This camera module is great. Colors are very good without displaying excessive saturation. Sharpness is also very good without being overdone. Crops at 100% look good and depending on the picture, are usable. You could print largish (11″x14″) well-lit shots using the 16MP files and end up with very solid prints.

Most cameras in phones we review have sharpness issues in at least some areas of the frame, generally the edges and corners. Not so with the lens used in the RN3P camera module; the lens is excellent and we’re getting across the frame sharpness.

We’re very impressed with the camera module used in the Redmi Note 3 Pro and it’s a camera that, in good light, can be used to replace typical standalone cameras, and even many enthusiast cameras.

These pictures are unedited other than a resize to 1280 pixels wide and saved at 75% compression. The closeups are 100% crops from the 16MP images. Note that the HDR images are handheld.

Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro Antutu benchmark scores

Antutu 6.0.4

Antutu 6.0.4

  • Antutu 6.0.4: 75,992 with a high 3D score of 19,543. This puts it on par with phones such as the Sony Xperia Z5 (76.8k), HTC One 9 (80k), Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge (81.1k).Taking the highest scores in each area from the four runs gives the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro a score of 76,539
  • Old-school Antutu 5.7.3: 57,118 with an excellent 3D score of 18,068
  • Geekbench 3: 1490 single / 3702 multi
  • PCMark: 5248
  • 3DMark Slingshot: 847 ES3.1  / 1304 ES3.0

Playing the awesome Dead Effect 2 in 33c/91f on extreme settings caused some warmth in the fingerprint sensor area and top glass, but not worryingly so as we experience with some mobiles in high ambient temperatures.

The Snapdragon 650 overall performed great and easily makes RN3P powerful enough to play the latest 3D games on high settings.

Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro additional components

GPS SNR

GPS SNR

  • GPS: Great; obtaining a cold-lock within 5 seconds, accuracy of within 10ft, maintaining mid-20’s to low-40’s SNR, and employing satellite switching to improve accuracy
  • WiFi: Excellent; maintaining a fast and stable connection at 145ft/44m
  • External speaker: produces beyond adequate loudness for music, movies, videos and hands-free calling
  • compass: Yamaha YAS537 magnetometer working without issue
  • gyroscope: Bosch BMI160 working without issue
  • step counter: QTI working without issue
  • linear acceleration: QTI working without issue
  • proximity sensor: Liteon LTR55X ALSPRX working without issue
  • light sensor: working but needs fine-tuning, easy fix for Xiaomi in an OTA update
  • accelerometer: Bosch BMI160 working without issue
  • microphone: working without issue
  • infrared IR-blaster: working without issue
  • OTG: working without issue (tested mouse, keyboard, external TF SD, gamepad)

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro conclusion

a mobile we would easily recommend to a close friend or family member

Xiaomi has done it again with the Redmi Note 3 Pro. Including the Snapdragon 650 has given the Note 3 Pro a big boost in CPU and GPU power, a boost big enough to have it hitting Antutu 6 scores up with the big dogs. Battery life is also improved with the big.LITTLE setup that allows the XRN3P to use lower power CPU cores when not stressed.

Perhaps the biggest plus with the Redmi Note 3 Pro is the ability to add a TF SD card up to 128GB; this is a huge bonus for those who need the storage space for media content and big games.

There’s a sale now at Banggood.com, giving 5% off already solid prices, on all mobiles.

Redmi [email protected]

With great battery life, excellent WiFi, great GPS, laid-back slick looks, very good display, inclusion of internal TF SD support, and all around solid components, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro is a mobile we would easily recommend to a close friend or family member. If you’re looking for a flagship killer in the $200 ballpark, do not hesitate.

All users and guests can vote and comment (see bottom of review — no registration required). If you own this phone, submit a user review.


Good

  • Great looking IPS OGS display
  • TF SD expansion support
  • Excellent WiFi SNR
  • Very good GPS SNR
  • Very good external speaker
  • IR remote, Gyroscope, Compass included
  • Outstanding implementation of Touch-ID
  • Super smooth OS / Android experience
  • Worldwide 2G/3G
  • LTE for Euro/Asia/UK
  • Global ROM support
  • Very powerful SoC & GPU
  • Great battery life

Bad

  • No NFC, USB 3.1
  • Cumbersome bootloader unlock process
  • Auto-brightness a bit wonky (likely fixed in next OTA)
9.3

Amazing

Display - 9
SoC Power - 9
GPS SNR - 9
WiFi SNR - 10
Loudspeaker loudness / clarity - 9
OS stability / smoothness - 10
Memory management - 9
Battery charging - 9
Camera - 9
Battery onscreen time (SOT) - 9
For the high-end gamer - 9.5
For the power user - 9
For the average user - 10
Touch-ID implementation - 10
Build - 9
Style - 9
Average User Rating Write A Review 1 User Reviews
9.1
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16 Comments

  1. I want to buy this phone ,any reliable source from where I buy this

    Reply
    • Hello momi, please see the link in the bottom of the review. Regards.

      Reply
  2. Thank you for the review. I see the differences with RN3 but awaiting for your full opinion on this. Especially the camera comparison. One thing that makes me weird though is the fact that RN3 Pro has better wifi/Gps. Only due to different soc or they have also changed antennas?
    Also something you are not referring to at this review. Signal? How clear is the voice while talking with this phone?

    Reply
    • Hello Vasilis,

      Without comparing side by side, I’d say the Redmi Note 3 Pro has a significantly better camera, but mainly due to sharpness across the frame. It could be that Redmi Note 3 Pro is cropping the corners or not shooting as wide, but I’m fairly sure they have the same field of view. The real question here is, does the difference matter? And I think generally for social sharing the answer is no. But this really depends on the user…Some people just want to know they have as good as they can get, even if the difference is never noticed by others. For me, I would probably spend the extra dough to get the better camera.

      For WiFi and GPS difference, this is hard to say. Could come down to antenna placement, hardware, or software/driver settings. Again the question is, does it matter, and again the answer is that for 99% of the time, probably not. This difference is something I personally wouldn’t put much weight to.

      The apparent better battery life difference, with the RN3 lasting 8 hours and the RN3P lasting 10 hours is quite huge, but this was a single test. For me, assuming the gap remains like this in further testing, I would definitely put heavy weight towards the RN3P in making a decision. But again, this depends on you… This difference, assuming further testing shows similar results, probably doesn’t matter for most people.

      The TF SD card is not a huge deal for me, but still adds moderate weight towards RN3P for me.

      The power difference is really quite big also, but is of minimal concern. The RN3 runs 3D games without any issues, and I don’t game much. But, if someone who was gaming daily and wanted to run all games on extreme settings, and be future proofed for a couple years, that would add significant weight towards RN3P.

      The two advantages the RN3 has is that it’s cheaper, with a $50 gap between 2GB/16GB versions and a $40 gap between 3GB/32GB versions. That is a fairly large gap. The RN3 2GB/16GB can be had for an incredible $145 with the coupon.

      And, the RN3 it’s also been rooted and has many custom ROM available. For me this really means nothing and isn’t something I’d consider when buying a phone. Of course, it’s nice to have the option, but I don’t put any weight towards it. I’m also guessing that root, custom recoveries and custom ROM will eventually come for the Pro version as well.

      These are decisions that need to be based on your needs and budget. Will the differences affect you, and how much. The RN3 is a very good phone in all areas and would have no problem it being my main mobile.

      Reply
      • Thanks once again! You’ve almost explained all the differences there with no need to, still waiting for you full comparison 😉
        I have already ordered RN3 Pro (a week ago actually) because it’s faster than RN3 (more futureproof), appreciate the extra mp camera and do always use TF card on my phones (the lack of TF card on RN3 was a no go for me). And also as the Rn3 pro appears to have better battery life (being more powerful too) just puts all doubts between the 2 away (Battery life is amongst the first i look). Thats for me.
        However the RN3 has become cheaper and that makes it a bargain for under 200$!!!

        Reply
        • Sounds like you made a good choice for your needs. I think you’ll be beyond happy with the RN3P.

          Yes, the RN3 is an amazing bargain at $145.

          Looking forward to you adding your user review after you’ve had a while with your new phone.

          Reply
          • I will. But in the meantime do write up that article about the “VS” battle between the two. Looking forward to that!

            PS: I’ll be beyond happy with RN3P no doubt. Since my old THL w200s “died” (dived into water and never recovered) i’ve been using a small/slow LG l40 (SD 200 soc,512mb ram) which is nowhere near RN3P.
            But i haven’t ordered the Rn3 pro i would be looking towards Mi5 which beyond everything else employs a much more familiar and preferable screen of 5,15′ (instead of a bulky 5,5′), at a higher price of course.

          • Will try to get the VS up for next newsletter, or at least a portion of it. Redmi 3 Mini review coming up. You’ll be in heaven when RN3P arrives and LGL40 goes in the drawer. Regards.

  3. What is the matter with mobilehike.come? they increased the price for 3gb version to $252 suddenly also discount is not working either. do you know any other shop with good price?
    Also where can I buy Redmi note 3 2gb 16gb for $145 after discount?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hello Saeed, Currently the phone is in extremely high demand, so price up everywhere. Their prices are in line with other shops. Even at these prices, they can’t keep stock.

      I don’t know of anywhere you can buy a Redmi Note 3 (I assume you mean MTK version) for $145. Cheapest I currently see them is around $175. You might be able to get a Redmi Note 2 2GB/16GB for around $145. MobileHike may have another coupon coming soon, but no guarantee there. Regards.

      Reply
  4. Please, can you add some low light photos and crops, and some video samples and screenshots in good and low light!

    Reply
  5. Heyy, goodday

    i am wondering.. does every redmi 3 pro (3gb32gb) come with the Samsung S5K3P3 sensor?
    Or are there different type of camera/sensors sold? cause often it is not mentiond on webstores..

    – Jack

    Reply
    • Hello Jack,

      Yes, all Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro should come with S5K3P3.

      Reply
      • Hi Giz,

        Would be awesome!
        I’m going for a great cam/phone so i think im good then..
        Also saw the MI5 comming by for 222 euros yesterday 3gb 32gb.. also neat choise..

        Yeah but still.. find it kinda wierd that little to no site/shop uses the name(and picture) of samsung to make it an even more interesting choise to buy for viewers.

        thanks for the reply, and reviews..

        -Jack

        Reply
  6. Hi there, thank you for a very detailed review, I would liek to ask if which one is better, this one or the new Redmi note 4? Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Hello Jen, the Redmi Note 4 is a bit more powerful, but you will never notice the difference in real world use. This is something that generally only shows itself in benchmarks.

      The Redmi Note 3 Pro also has Qualcomm Snapdragon 650, which is generally considered a bit more power efficient, meaning you should get better battery life with the Redmi Note 3 Pro than the Redmi Note 4.

      The Redmi Note 3 Pro also has an official Xiaomi global ROM available, which means multi-lingual and without any China apps.

      Go with the Redmi Note 3 Pro, it’s at a great price and you won’t be disappointed.

      Reply

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