Xiaomi Redmi Note 3: The ultimate budget phablet upgrade with metal body, fingerprint scanner for Rs. 11,998

The phrase ‘great value for money’ was redefined the moment a seemingly unknown manufacturer from China entered the Indian market. Nexus 5 was a popular device back then and this manufacturer that nobody had heard of, announced its entry with a device that offered better hardware and used premium materials for half the price. A simple Google search revealed that it was indeed better than the Google device and the device sold like crazies. After the first sale, thousands of units on the device sold out in just couple of seconds. While that was indeed a benchmark, the manufacturer has made impressive progress since then and pushed the envelope of innovation while retaining the value for money proposition.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3This time, they surprised us with the Redmi Note 3. The Redmi series sees budget devices which offer reasonable amount of power for an average user and aren’t really the benchmark for anything. The innovations are usually seen in the Mi series of devices. However this time, they went a step further and brought many firsts for a Redmi device. We took a closer look at the device to figure out what is good about it and what isn’t.

The design

Design is usually lower down the priority list for mobile manufacturers when they are making a budget device however that isn’t the case with Xiaomi Redmi Note 3. The 5.5 inch device barely feels bulky and they have gone great lengths to ensure it feels premium. It is the first metal device in Redmi series and quite an impressive one at that. The edges curve perfectly in one’s hands and the curves flow nicely all the way up to the display. The metal body doesn’t feel like it belongs to a budget device and won’t look out of place on a device even twice as costly. They have given a lot of attention to detail and everything is exactly where it should be on a device this size.

The hardware

No disappointments here as well. In fact the Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 is one of the most impressive mobile chipsets to come out in the recent times. It has a hexa core processor with two Cortex A72 cores and four Cortex A53 cores. To handle the graphics, it gets the mighty Adreno 510 GPU. The 32 GB variant comes with 3 GB of RAM which means you can multitask with ease. If you judge the hardware by its benchmark scores, you will be happy to know that it hits a segment above and easily crosses the scores of many chipsets from Qualcomm’s 800 series. The powerful hardware translates into smooth user experience and shows even in unlocking the device using fingerprint scanner.

Massive battery

With a thickness of just 8.7 mm, you would expect it compromise on battery capacity. However it has a surprisingly big 4,050 mAh battery. This allows it to be a device that doesn’t just look fancy but can also be your companion on long journeys. They have used the densest battery they could (690Wh/L if you need the numbers) which allows it to have 26 percent more capacity than Redmi Note Prime while being 21 gms lighter. It supports quick charging so that you don’t have to wait for hours to charge and the device can last up to 22 days on standby.

Fingerprint scanner and universal remote

It is not just a powerful hardware that improved the user’s experience. Small add-ons that add to the functionality of a device have a great role to play in the overall user experience. The device is first in Redmi range of devices to have a fingerprint scanner. To ensure safety, the fingerprints are recorded separately on a dedicated chip which makes it more secure and inaccessible for user or software’s. The sensor works seamlessly and it takes just 0.3 seconds to unlock the device. Along with this, it also comes with an IR blaster which allows you to control various device. You can use it to operate your TV, Air Con, DSLR and lot more. Even if it won’t be used often, it is a nice little feature to have if and when you need it.


The 5.5 inch full HD display is just excellent. The IPS LCD display has good legibility in sunlight with a feature called Sunlight display. This feature automatically boosts the contrast when you are under harsh sunlight. Its night mode allows the brightness to go up to 5 times lower than regular phones so that you can find the perfect brightness while working in the dark. It also has a reading mode which reduces the colour temperature of the display and creates a yellow hue. This reduces the amount of blue light reducing its negative effects over our sleep. The rich display works well with the colourful MIUI interface.

Not so good


The device makes you forget that it belongs to the budget segment and expectations go up everywhere. The camera looks really impressive on paper with 16 megapixel sensor and phase detection autofocus but that doesn’t translate very well in the photographs. The focus is quick but at times it fails to focus in low light conditions. The camera however offers good video options and can also shoot slow motion video in 120 fps. Overall it is pretty impressive for the price but still not one of the Xiaomi’s bests.

No Gorilla Glass

The display of the device is very impressive but sadly it lacks Corning Gorilla Glass protection. We have seen them skip Gorilla Glass on their low end devices in the past. On the Redmi Note 3, they claim that they are using an alternative of Gorilla Glass which is just as good however that is something only time will tell. Corning is an established name in this space and it is easy to trust on them with the mobile displays.

Overall, the Redmi Note 3 makes an excellent case for itself and offers amazing value for money and you can even check the lowest price offered by various e-commerce platform.

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