Xiaomi Redmi Note 2

Date:11 April 2017 Tags:, ,

The Redmi Note 2 is an honest device that doesn’t make ludicrous promises. At this price point, it’s a very strong contender.

Bread and butter seller

I’d only just become accustomed to navigating my everyday device, Sony’s M4 Aqua, when the plain looking Xiaomi-branded box that housed the Redmi Note 2 was dropped onto my desk. I opened the package with some apprehension, but my fears were unfounded, because like my M4, the Chinese entry-level contender runs on Android – in this case, version 4.4.4 (KitKat).

Don’t believe everything you read in the manual though, and trust your intuition. It incorrectly labels the SIM slots as memory card ports and vice versa, resulting in a damaged sim, and delay in using the device. And initially, the Note 2 wouldn’t pick up my micro SD – an issue that somehow corrected itself in the first few days under my care. The actual start-up and MI user interface is simple enough, with the home screen icons mimicking the IOS layout. Actually, the Redmi Note 2 is just as aesthetically pleasing overall as the mobile devices from Cumpertino, California. There’s a protruding lip on the inside of the removable rear casing that strops the face from touching a smooth surface. Gorilla Glass provides added peace of mind against blemishes from keys, coins and other abrasives.

It’s easy to hold too, with a 8,25 mm, slightly coarse plastic casing – so you really need to be butter fingered for it to slip out of your grasp. I let the device fall more times that I will admit to, but to its credit, there are no visible cracks, scratches or chips to report. Reaching full power from flat is definitely one of the fastest I’ve encountered in a mobile device, a sort of quick charge.

And despite running a full barrage of applications ranging from Google maps, all sorts of social media platforms, tending to my level 97 village and raiding unsuspecting noobs on Clash of Clans, as well as running the rear camera in HDR mode exclusively on a daily basis, I achieved 14-18 hours of life from the 3060 mAh Sony/LG lithium-ion polymer battery.

The glorious 1280 x 720 display also features an automatic adjustment to light, which the manufacturer calls Sunlight Display; However, outdoors I found that it tended to over-saturate certain images in the gallery, but for basic texting and calling, the setting was welcomed. Speaking of gallery, the default layout compartmentalises your media according to how it was obtained (screenshots, Facebook, etc) and can even use facial recognition to send images to the people you’ve photographed or been photographed with.

The Redmi Note 2 is an honest device that doesn’t make ludicrous promises. At this price point, it’s a very strong contender.

Just the facts:
Screen: 5,5-inch LCD
Memory: 16 GB storage, 2 GB RAM
Cameras: 13 MP main, 5 MP front facing
Operating system: Android 4.4.4
Mass: 160 g
Price:R3 000, mia.africa.com

Test notes: There’s a separate widget for all the Google-related media, so when I typed Google in the default browser, it came up with a “can’t connect to network” error message. After a minute of thinking, it brought up Google.co.za, though.

This article was originally published in the May 2016 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine.