Rs 12,999 gets you Redmi Note 4 with 14 nm Snapdragon 625, 4GB RAM, better camera

Redmi Note 4 has scored a small coup in the mid-range smartphone market in India by introducing the Snapdragon 625 chipset with 14 nm technology.

“This is the debut of the Snapdragon 625-enabled Note 4.. It’s coming first to India, and is not available even in China,” said the company.

This gives the phone a key edge over rivals like Coolpad Cool1, which come with 28 nm technology.

The phone gives about 25% more battery life compared with Redmi Note 3, the company says. One can get 7 hours or more of screen-on time with the device, it said.

On video playback loop, the phone last 60% more time than last year’s Note 3, the company added. It last 70% more than the iPhone 7, it added.

The price of the phone has not yet been revealed.

CAMERA IMPROVEMENT

Take feedback from the rather underwhelming performance of the Redmi Note 3’s camera, the new phone comes with a superior imaging set-up, the company said.

“There is 25% more area on the sensor and this allows more details to be captured,” said Hugo Barra, head for international markets, Xiaomi.

Barra showed several samples of photos taken by RN3 and RN4 to show the difference between the two.

All the three LTE bands used by Reliance Jio are supported, but it is not clear whether upcoming bands from BSNL, Idea and Vodafone are.

You can catch the live stream below:

HIGH EXPECTATIONS?

Expectations are naturally high for the model as the Redmi Note 3 was the most successful phone of 2016.

However, the Redmi Note was also notorious for causing a lot of heartburn among buyers as there were reportedly only a few thousand pieces made available for flash sale in the initial weeks.

Not surprisingly, some fans are already “angry in advance” as they fear a repeat of last year’s fiasco when the company launched the model in early March, but decent numbers of phones started being put up for sale on in mid April.

“All your marketing tactics is useless until you provide enough stocks and improve service centers. If not done timely, it eventually leads customer frustration and tarnishing your brand image. So, please resolve these two big issues first,” said user Prateek Tiwari, obviously not someone who’s forgotten the hullabaloo of Redmi Note 3 launch.

However, we believe such problems are unlikely to mar the launch this year as the phone was launched in China in August, and the company has already met much of the demand from its home market.

Despite that, the exact specifications of Note4 India variant remains a mystery and a rare secret.

While there is a high probability that the device will come with Snapdragon 652 found in last year’s LeEco Le 2, there is a also a small chance that it may sport the more updated Snapdragon 625 chipset. It is now confirmed that the phone will indeed come with Snapdragon 625, with all the advantages that it will bring.

Other than the chipset and out-of-the-box support for VoLTE (4G voice), there is very little that sets the Note 4 apart from last year’s model.

For example, while models like the Redmi Pro and the recently released Lenovo P2 come have upgraded themselves to AMOLED displays, the Redmi Note 4 will continue to ship with an LCD panel.

Unlike AMOLED displays, LCD panels cannot represent true blacks.

Instead of blacks, they show dark grey, and this affects the screen’s contrast as well as the vividness of the colors represented on it.

The reason for this phenomenon is that LCD screens are like a colored sheet of cloth held in front of a light, while AMOLED displays are a single panel which emits light by itself without depending on any back light. Even if the sheet is painted black, some light will leak through, affecting the quality of the black color.

Put another way, an AMOLED display of 1 MP resolution (full HD) will have at least three million individual sources of light on it, while an LCD panel of the same resolution will have only a few dozen or fewer sources of light behind it.

The reason why models like Redmi Note 4 still come with LCD panels instead of AMOLED panels have to do with cost — the latter are much more expensive compared to the first.

No wonder then that the Lenovo P2 — which comes with a 5 Ah battery, an AMOLED display, 4 GB of RAM and Snapdragon 625, is priced at Rs 17,999 in India.

The Redmi Note4, on the other hand, is expected to be priced at Rs 12,000 for the 3GB version and Rs 13,000 for the 4GB version if it is launched.

REVIEWS

The reviews of the product, which was released five months ago in China, have generally been along expected lines and largely positive.

Like the Note3, the Note4 is seen as a value for money offering that carries the trust and craftsmanship of the Xiaomi brand.

Last year, for example, both Xiaomi and LeEco released their mid-range phones at the same time and largely the same price (Le 2 was slightly cheaper), but the Mi model sold many many more units in India compared to the LeEco model because of the higher brand recall.

While LeEco was seen as a relatively new entrant, Xiaomi had already generated a name for itself in the market as a maker of reliable phones, even when they were in the value-for-money segment.

This year too, LeEco has beaten Mi to the Indian market via its subsidiary Coolpad. The Coolpad Cool1 is clearly superior in terms of its imaging capabilities at both the front and the back.

The phone comes with two 13 MP cameras at the back with Sony IMX258 sensors. While one camera is used for regular photography, the second one captures an image in black and white. The arrangement improves low-light photography, delivers better depth of field, contrast and clarity. However, the Note 4 is reported to have a slight edge in display quality.

Mi also has a dual-camera model in the mid range, the Redmi Pro, but the model is not being launched in India. Besides having a dual-camera set-up, the Pro also comes with an AMOLED screen.

For now, though, the Chinese major will be hoping that the Note 4 is able to inherit some of the goodwill generated by its predecessor, even though it is not a major upgrade. This is especially the case if the phone comes packed with Snapdragon 652 and not Snapdragon 625, which is a clearly superior platform due to its highly efficient design and advanced 4G capabilities.

You can watch the live transmission of Thursday’s event, which is scheduled to start at 11 AM, below.