I’ve had the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 handset for a while now and have been quite busy hence the delayed post. This isn’t a full on in-depth review of the device, but I’m going to share some thoughts about it; stuff I think you should know if you are considering buying one.
First off, Xiaomi is known for making cheap handsets. So that’s always going to be a major drawcard in the South African market. The Redmi Note 2 became available locally about 2 months ago at a price of R2999. The handset falls under an entry-level device, not mid-range. So if budget is really tight, and you want more phone for your money, this is a handset to consider. You probably won’t be concerned that the Redmi Note 3 is already out in China since November 2015, and as of this month, became available in India.
The Redmi Note 2 is a 5.5-inch device, falling under the “phablet” category; a term I hate using but for lack of a better word. So with “phablets”, they’re very specific devices and you have to be certain that this is the handset you want. This probably means you want an all-in-one device and not interested in getting a tablet, but you will be reading a lot on it, thus screen size is an important factor. I would never recommend people go out and buy “phablets” unless they know they want one.
As far as 5.5-inch handsets go, the Redmi Note 2 is quite slim, narrow and light. A few years ago, you’d be picturing something chunky and too big to carry around, but the device doesn’t have that problem. I can hold it with a solid grip in my hand without worrying about dropping it.
The Redmi Note 2 is a dual SIM handset with LTE capabilities. It has 2GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable memory up to 32GB, and a 13MP back + 5MP front camera. Battery capacity is 3020mAh. It is powered by a MediaTek Helio X10 oct-core 64-bit 2GHz processor. Specs are good for an entry-level device.
The handset runs on Android 5.0 and Xiaomi’s own interface, version 7. As I said in my previous Xiaomi post, it reminds me of a Huawei handset; there’s no app tray. The default theme is the best, but there are other options, which I found a bit confusing. The biggest improvement since last year was the UI update. It no longer has those buggy errors about Google Play Store.
The large screen size is ideal for browsing and reading, and some casual gaming.
The camera records video in 1080p HD on the 13MP rear and 5MP front. The selfie cam has a nifty feature that tries to guess your age and sex. The youngest it guessed my age was 20! Great little way to boost your self-esteem, ha! It also comes with some useful filters built-in, like fish eye, mosaic, mirror image, etc. Interestingly it also has a manual mode that lets you play with white balance and ISO. Other modes include panorama, gradient, timer, scene, and beauty. The settings also have many other useful options.
This is one of those handsets that you are getting more phone for your money. If you’re in the market for an entry-level large screen device, take a look at the Redmi Note 2.