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Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625) review: Take Note!

Introduction

After getting to know Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 4 with Helio X20, it’s time to meet the Snapdragon 625 edition. It promises better battery efficiency and thermal control thanks to a more advanced manufacturing process. But these improvements may have cost the Note 4 some of its performance punch, and we will duly explore this possibility.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Snapdragon review

The Helio-powered Redmi Note 4 we met earlier earned nothing but high praise from us. It offered high-quality design, blazing-fast performance, and great battery life. Xiaomi has been known to use different chips for different markets and the Note 4 is no exception. Today, we are getting to know the Snapdragon edition of the Redmi Note 4, which has been released in India not long ago.

The Redmi Note 4 with Snapdragon 625 gets to keep the same all-metal exterior with the fancy 2.5D edges on the front glass. The 5.5″ 1080p screen is here to stay, as is the 13MP main camera with phase-detect autofocus. The battery is one of the highlights of the Redmi series, and the Note 4 has its whopping 4,100 mAh capacity untouched.

Key Features
Body: Aluminum unibody design, 2.5D front glass
Screen: 5.5″ IPS display of 1080p resolution; 401ppi
Chipset: Snapdragon 625 with octa-core 2.0GHz Cortex-A53 processor; Adreno 506 GPU
OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow with MIUI 8 (Global 8.2.7.0)
RAM: 2, 3 or 4 GB
Memory: 32 or 64 GB storage; microSD support, hybrid slot shared with 2nd SIM
Camera: 13 megapixel rear camera, f/2.0 aperture, PDAF, dual-LED dual-tone flash; 1080p @ 30fps video, 720p @ 120fps
Selfies: 5 megapixel front camera, f/2.0 aperture; 1080p @ 30fps video
Connectivity: Dual SIM, LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1, IR, microUSB, FM radio
Misc: Fingerprint sensor
Battery: 4,100mAh battery

Main shortcomings
Launches with Android Marshmallow, which is not the most recent version
Non-removable battery
Hybrid DualSIM/microSD slot limits options
No Quick charge 2.0/3.0 support, just 5V/2A charging

We’ve been here quite a few times with mid-range Xiaomi phones and none of these omissions come as a surprise. The sealed battery has been an essential part of the Mi and Redmi series since their third generation, while the hybrid SIM slot is a middle-of-the-road solution that still works for the majority of users.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Snapdragon review

The lack of fast charging is what could be a deal breaker for some, as this large battery does take a while to recharge. But more on that later. For now, let’s just focus on the familiar exterior, and see if anything has changed since last October’s Helio X20-featuring Redmi Note 4.

Special thanks to HonorBuy for providing the review unit.