Supports Redmi Note 3 Samsung headphones

The best China smartphone, the Xiaomi RedMi Note 3 in the test

Xiaomi is something like the Chinese Apple but cheap. Xiaomi smartphones generally offer good quality at a fair price. But in the end they only cook with water.

Therefore, the stress and risk of ordering a Xiaomi smartphone, in this case the very new RedMi Note 3, from China, or should you rather rely on safe brands such as Wiko, which also offer a lot of smartphones in the € 200 price range ?

Technical specifications

    • 5 inch FullHD screen
    • Helio X10 MTK6795 2.0GHz 64bit Octa Core
    • 3GB RAM + 32GB ROM
    • 13 MP main camera + 5 MP front camera
    • 4000mAh battery
    • 164g weight
    • Link to the manufacturer
    • Price 189.99 € at efox (here I ordered)

 

Technically, the RedMi Note 3 is a real hit! A 5.5-inch FullHD display is still available from other manufacturers for less than € 200, but the Helio X10 SOC is something very unusual in this price range. Normally, the MTK6753 "Octa Core" is more likely to be found in smartphones in the € 200 price range, which is, however, rather unsuitable for games.

The Helio X10, on the other hand, can also be found in larger smartphones such as the new HTC One X9. The battery, which is specified with a whopping 4000mAh, sounds very promising.

In short, on paper one, if not the best smartphone that you can get for 200 €, but can the Xiaomi also meet this in practice?

 

Scope of delivery, packaging and order

I bought the Xiaomi RedMi Note 3 from eFox. Here you have the choice of either having it sent directly from Europe or from China. From China it is usually a little cheaper, but you may have to take care of customs etc.

It currently costs € 189.99 from China (+ postage and customs if applicable) or € 229.99 with shipping from Europe, alternatively the smartphone is currently also available with shipping by Amazon, of course a little more expensive and only the 2GB RAM and 16GB Memory version!

Since I chose "German Express (duty-free)" as the shipping method, I had no problems with it and the smartphone was sent to me as normal.

Basically I can say a lot of positive things about efox, but in this case they were a little slow. Although the smartphone was in stock, it took more than 2 weeks for it to be shipped and that was only because I asked again what was going on (then it suddenly happened very quickly).

The bottom line is that the shipment from China took about 7 days + 14 days waiting time for this.

Customs etc. there were no problems and I didn't have to worry about anything.

The smartphone arrived well packaged in a small box, as you know it from a large American smartphone manufacturer. Inside we find the smartphone, operating instructions, a SIM card ejection tool, an Asian charger + adapter for European sockets (I wouldn't use it) and a microUSB cable.

 

Processing and optics

It is sometimes really impressive what all the Chinese manufacturers can build for so little money. The Xiaomi RedMi Note 3 can be classified as good to very good visually and also in terms of workmanship.

As you can easily see in the pictures, I have the gray Xiaomi RedMi Note 3. Alternatively, it is also available in white or gold.

Let's start with the front, there is basically nothing surprising here, apart from the large 5.5 inch display and the capacitive buttons below the display. Incidentally, these buttons (menu, home and back) are even illuminated.

The back of the Xiaomi is largely made of metal, only the top and bottom are made of plastic. The antennas of the smartphone are hidden here.

Interestingly, you hardly feel the difference in the material, if at all, what you can feel is something of the transition, but that is also manageable with a € 200 smartphone.

On the back, in the middle of the top, there is of course the camera, which at first glance appears to be very large, underneath the dual LED flash and, in turn, underneath the fingerprint reader, which is sunk into the device so that it is easier to find.

The loudspeaker is located at the very bottom of the back, and by the way, the back is not removable, so there is no replaceable battery. The SIM card or cards are to be inserted in a small slot on the side, as you know it from the iPhone, for example.

The RedMi 3 has dual SIM support, so you can use two phone cards, a private one, a business one or something similar. The smartphone's memory, on the other hand, is unfortunately not expandable, but is at least reasonably large with 32GB.

 

Setup, installation and OS

Anyone who has dealt with Xiaomi will know that, almost like Amazon's Fire Tablets, they do not rely on a pure Android, but on their own operating system, which is also based on Android, but without Google influences.

The setup goes well by hand, basically, as you know it from all other Android smartphones, only optically changed a little.

 

Interestingly, you can set the “MIUI” (that's the name of the operating system) completely in German, even a very good German, so it doesn't translate cheaply, but for the region you can only select China, which in itself does not have any negative effects.

Next in the installation process you connect to your WLAN and, if you wish, set up the fingerprint scanner.

As already mentioned, the operating system of the RedMi 3 is a modified version of Android 5.0 WITHOUT Google Apps.

Interestingly, the Google Playstore was already preinstalled on my RedMi 3, I suspect this was done by efox, but even if this is not preinstalled on your device, it can be easily retrofitted, you can find instructions for example HERE http: //en.miui. com / thread-198204-1-1.html

At first glance, the smartphone's user interface just looks like a different skin on Android, like other manufacturers do, but if you dig a little deeper through the OS, you quickly notice that everything has really changed a bit.

From the notification center to the volume display, everything is a little different but somehow familiar.

Everything is where you know it from Android, just visually different and I don't even mean that in a negative way. The Xiaomi skin is light, not cluttered, but still chic in my opinion.

In some cases, new animations have even been incorporated that are not known from classic Android, for example if you hold the on / off button to get the menu for shutdown / restart, etc., an animation appears as the icons move into the picture.

But these animations are not too playful or annoying, they are kept quite simple and simple.

 

As you can see, I like MIUI as the user interface, after so many years with Android it is something different and not just a half-hearted Android skin like you find it on Sony, Samsung, LG etc. where half is standard Google Design and the other half Half of it is something else that doesn't match, but really a consistent design change through the entire operating system, which is also really well done and not just an improvement.

There is even a MIUI theme store with which you can change the look significantly, with really countless skins.

But not everything is perfect, e.g. I'm not a big fan of Xiaomi's standard launcher. The app drawer is missing here again, but thanks to the Google Play Store, any Android launcher can be used here, like the NOVA launcher with me.

By default they are 32GB memory still approx. 27.7xGB freewhich I would rate as OK.

Xiaomi also holds back with the pre-installed apps, with one exception the Clean Master….

The thing is sometimes very annoying and means that you have to send messages all the time, according to the motto "Install XYZ to have 300% more battery" or start the game Optimizer to be able to play game XYZ better, which of course is all nonsense.

In addition, Amazon advertising is displayed on my lockscreen, but only when the smartphone is charging. Here I cannot quite assign which app I owe this to, but I also suspect Clean Master here.

"Then uninstall Clean Master" if it were that easy. Clean Master is a system app that cannot be removed without root, so unfortunately you have to live with it, but it is bearable in normal use and not as bad as with the Lenovo K3 Note.

 

 

The display of the Xiaomi RedMi Note 3

The Xiaomi RedMi 3 has a 5.5-inch FullHD display. I'm slowly getting the feeling that there are apparently no more bad Full HD smartphone displays on the market, because that of the Xiaomi is also more than passable.

The colors look pleasant and lively. The white point is set a little warmer, which I notice in comparison to the Sony Xperia Z5, which has a very cold display. In direct comparison, however, the RedMi 3's white is more pleasant.

The maximum brightness is good, but not outstanding either, but you can still read the display reasonably well even on sunnier days.

What the Xiaomi RedMi 3 delivers is really great for this price and even in the € 400 price range, the display would be perfectly fine.

Sound and acoustics

Let's start with the integrated speaker. Unfortunately, this is located on the back of the smartphone, but its sound is slightly above average.

It's quite loud and crystal clear, bass is of course completely missing, but it's enough for a YouTube video or some radio on the side.

The headphone jack is also slightly above average. However, I had the feeling that the Xiaomi "colors" the sound. The bass of some of the test songs was slightly stronger than, for example, my iPhone, but I think many will probably like this even better.

In short, the headphone output can also be used very well for the money and without problems with somewhat more expensive in-ears.

Let's get to talking on the phone with the Xiaomi RedMi, I've heard that people should still do that with phones.

Here I would say that the Xiaomi is rather average. The built-in loudspeaker in the smartphone is a bit muffled, the microphone works fine, it only tends to sound tinny at a higher volume.

But the bottom line is that this is the usual quality that you can expect for 200 €.

 

Xiaomi RedMi Note 3 camera

The cameras in smartphones are playing an increasingly important role in purchasing decisions. So I was all the more excited about the RedMi 3 in this regard. Especially since a rather meaningless 13MP camera sensor was installed here.

There are good and also very bad 13MP sensors, so this would be a good place for a manufacturer to save one or two euros without the customer being able to recognize this purely from the product data.

 

But let's not talk around the bush for a long time, the test images, as usual, they are all made in auto mode on the highest quality level.

(for the full view right mouse button on the picture and open it in a new tab or click HERE for a ZIP archive)

In short, the Xiaomi RedMi Note 3 apparently has a better 13MP camera installed. The images have a suitable white balance, good colors, a good dynamic range and very high sharpness. Even in poor light, the image quality does not collapse as extremely as I know from many other smartphones in this price range.

The speed of the camera should also be mentioned positively. With many other smartphones, especially cheaper ones, you always have a moment to remember after a picture, which you have to wait before a new picture can be taken. This is not the case with the Xiaomi, you can take pictures practically as quickly as you can press the shutter button.

The fast camera is also noticeable in HDR images, which the smartphone processes pretty quickly.

However, I would rate the camera app as average. It offers most of the usual functions, including slow motion and time-lapse videos, but they are a bit unintuitive for my taste.