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.
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.
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 5.5”@1080P 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 184.108.40.206 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.
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.
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.
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 220.127.116.11), the RN3P lasted a fantastic 10 hours. This is really an incredible result for such a thin mobile.
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: 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: 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.
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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.
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