Xiaomi launched the Mi 3 in India and the Indian buyers proved that they are taking it seriously. Soon after the Mi 3 was launched, they announced two other devices that will sit below the Mi 3 in price band. These devices were Xiaomi Redmi Note and Xiaomi Redmi 1S. The Redmi 1S will go on sale on September 2 and the Redmi Note will follow. The Redmi Note is a large screen device with a powerful octa core processor. It will come at a price lower than the Mi 3 which should make it an even better value for money. We put the Redmi Note and Mi 3 against each other to find out which one of them is a better deal.
The Mi 3 is a well-built device. They have used premium material here and there to give it that upmarket feel. The device looks sharp and is easy to hold. Though it is a bit slippery and this might result in accidental drops. It has got a 5 inch display but the size is well in control considering the display size. It is just 8.1 mm thick and weighs 145 Gms. The overall design works well and it can match costlier devices in terms of quality.
The Redmi Note on the other hand is a very large device and not very well built. It comes with a 5.5 inch display so the large dimensions are inevitable. No premium materials have been used here but despite that, the build quality is good and the device feels solidly built. It is a heavy device tipping the scale at 199 Gms. One handed operations are strictly out of question due to the weight and size. There are bezels of noticeable thickness around the display which further add to the size of the device. While the Mi 3 looks and feels better, we won’t say no to the Redmi Note either.
We expect a bigger display to come with higher resolution but that isn’t exactly the system followed here. The Mi 3 comes with a 5 inch IPS LCD display with full HD resolution. You get pixel density north of 400 pixels per inch which is more than good. Anything about 300 ppi and most people won’t be able to differentiate. The display quality of this panel is quite good. You get good viewing angles and contrast ratios.
Move from the Mi 3 to the Redmi note and you will find the display to be very dull. It looks fuzzy in comparison. Not that the 720p resolution is very low but it is low for a display this size. This robs the device of the large screen benefit as you don’t get a lot of workspace due to the relatively low resolution. That said, the display quality is decent and the colours are well saturated. It is a bit reflective which might get a bit intrusive outdoors but the brightness is good making it readable in sunlight. The Mi 3 definitely has the edge here but if you are looking for a device to double up as your movie player and e book reader, you might want to look at the Redmi Note.
These devices are miles apart when it comes to spec sheets. The Mi 3 runs hardware similar to Google Nexus 5. It comes with a quad core Krait processor and Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset turning clock at 2.3 GHz. It gets 2 GB of RAM. The graphics are handled by an Adreno 330 GPU. It doesn’t support 4G networks but offers most of the other connectivity options you might ask for. While it is available in 16 and 64 GB variants in the Chinese market, here you can have just the 16 GB variant. The device doesn’t come with a micro SD card slot. It is powered by a 3050 mAh battery.
The Redmi Note on the other hand runs a Mediatek chipset with an octa core processor running at 1.7 GHz. It comes with 2 GB RAM as well just like the Mi 3. It offers all the connectivity options from Mi 3 except for the NFC. In terms of storage, it offers more flexibility as it comes with 8 GB on board storage with a micro SD slot that supports up to 32 GB storage. It comes with a larger battery having a capacity of 3200 mAh. The battery is removable unlike the Mi 3.
On paper, both the devices have got almost similar primary camera. Both the devices have got 13 megapixel sensors for the primary camera. However the Mi 3 offers image stabilisation which has been skipped on the Redmi Note. It helps reduce blur from images and allows the camera to choose slower shutter speeds as compared to cameras that don’t have image stabilisation. The cameras on both the devices are reasonably good. The Mi 3 comes with dual LED flash while the Redmi Note has got a single LED flash. Both the devices can record full HD videos at 30 fps. On the front, the Mi 3 gets a fairly decent 2 megapixel camera. It is a pretty good resolution for a front camera. The Redmi Note comes with a 5 megapixel front camera. This would really please people who love clicking selfies.
The devices run custom version of Android and the Mi 3 has got a newer Android version. The operating system here is MiUI which is already very popular among android users. The interface offers a large number of customisation options and features a nice interface. There aren’t many differences to be seen here between the two.
The Mi 3 is available with a price tag of INR 13,999. This is a really attractive price for such a powerful device. The Xiaomi Redmi Note is expected for around 9K. If we go for value for money, the Redmi Note is just as good as the Mi 3. While choices would vary depending on priorities, we would pick the Mi 3 for the excellent display and powerful hardware.