XIAOMI Redmi NOTE 2 REVIEW, Another Brand to watch out for in Kenya

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A few weeks ago I told you about Xiaomi Mobile entering the Kenyan market.  Xiaomi entered the market when the number of consumers using smartphones continues to record a substantial growth. These numbers are increasing due the fact that most of smartphone manufacturing companies are coming up with budget friendly smartphone with some amazing features, and most Kenyans are able to afford this.

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Back to Xiaomi, if you love gadgets and like following the smartphone market then you must have read a thing or two about this brand. I remember when i first got an email from them about their Kenyan lunch and shared it with my friends from TechArena, they knew this was big considering. Xiaomi mobile have amazing products, no doubt about that.

One of the products they brought in during the launch was the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2, talked about when I first wrote about their launch in Kenya. If you missed it you can read the article here.

Xiaomi Mobile says the Redmi Note 2 is a low-cost smartphone with some quality features. Well, we managed to get it from them to try get a full experience. Is what Xiaomi claim about this phone true? That is what I will be telling you in this review. But i can say my experience with it for the past couple of weeks has not been disappointing.

Let me start by giving you an overview of the specs:

Display
  • 5.5-inch / 1080 x 1920 pixels / IPS
Dimensions
  • 152 x 76 x 8.3 mm
Operating system
  • Android 5.0 with MIUI 7
Processor
  • MediaTek Helio X10 octa-core CPU 2.0GHz
Built-in Memory
  • 2GB RAM
Display
  • 5.5-inch / 1080 x 1920 pixels / IPS
Camera
  • Rear: 13-megapixel
  • Front: 5-megapixel
Storage Type
  • 16GB internal storage
  • MicroSD (expandable up to 32GB)
Battery
  • 3,060mAh lithium-ion polymer
Connectivity
  • WLAN: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, supports 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands
  • GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, AGPS
  • Bluetooth 4.0

Design and Display

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Who doesn’t like a phone with a good design. Most companies are being careful about their phone designs this day and Xiaomi is one of them. Measuring 152 x 76 x 8.3 mm., the design is pretty simple. The back cover is made of plastic with with a removable battery.

I wouldn’t say the device is light or thin, but it fits perfectly well in your hands. One would be expect the 5.5 display should make it hard for one to use the Redmi Note 2 with one, but this not the case, especially with the thick edges.

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The sleep and wake volume buttons are perfectly located on the right hand-side of the device, this means adjusting the volume is so easy with one hand.

When it comes to display, as I mentioned earlier, the Redmi Note 2 has a 5.5 screen size with Full HD resolution (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) and using IPS LCD technology.  This is actually one of the phone’s highlights I loved.

The image quality is awesome, no doubt about that, offering a balanced brightness and contrast. The viewing angles are also superb.

Camera

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In most of the low-end devices in the market, it is always the camera that takes the biggest hit, but it looks like Xiaomi decided to change this with Redmi Note 2. The device has a 13MP camera made by Samsung. The camera is also equipped with phase detection autofocus for speedy shots.

The camera also has a manual exposure included, so are other shooting options such as HDR, face detection mode, panorama mode and full manual. This should be good for anyone who loves taking photos. The manual exposure element also allows you to play around with features like White Balance, ISO.

The image quality of the photos have captured by this device is quite impressive.

IMG_20160402_112023[1] IMG_20160402_114949[1]

Another feature included is the HD video recording at 30fps. The front-facing camera on the other hand is 5MP perfect for selfies as well as making video calls. Did i mention that that front camera can also record videos at 720p, incredible, right?

Battery

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The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 has a battery capacity of 3,060mAh. This is pretty standard for a 5.5-inch phone, and the stamina is also amazing.

Performing less tasks will make the battery prolong. A single charge will get you way through the entire day if you choose to use the balanced power setting.

I also Expected the phone to feature a fast charging technology, which most smartphones like the Infinix Zero 3 currently have, so that was a bit disappointing and the fact that it took so long to reach 100% charge.

Software and Performance

Screenshot_2016-04-23-15-57-11_com.android.settings[1]

The Redmi Note 2 runs on Android 5.0 with MIUI interface. The colorful MIUI interface is build from the source code of Android (AOSP), so this means the software has its own updates and features.

The Redmi Note 2 also packs a Media Tek Helio X10 octa-core processor up to 2.2 GHz. It was actually one of the first devices in the market to be Helio-powered and I remember the buzz this created as most users wondered how well Helio range of processors would fair both in terms of perfomace and battery life

The device also as a 2GB RAM, which is quite good for the market, most budget friendly in the market actually have a 2GB RAM. In terms of storage, the phone comes in two variants: 16 and 32GB. That should enough to store all your videos and photos.

In terms of graphics, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 has the PowerVR G6200 GPU.  We put the device on AnTuTu Benchmark, check its rating below.

Screenshot_2016-04-23-14-16-15_com.antutu.ABenchMark[1]

Verdict and why you should buy the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2

I love the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2, it is actually one of the smartphones with great performance that I have interacted with in recent days. The fact that i was able to multi-task makes it great too.  The display is also good for the price and this combined with an average battery life  makes it a smartphone any Kenyan wishing to upgrade his or her smartphone worth checking out.

The camera was also excellent, especially the feature that tries to guess your gender and age when you take a selfie. It’s support for dual sim also makes it fit for the Kenyan market.

One thing though, the plastic cover made it look cheap but generally the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 is worth the price.

The market price is USD.210 which is equivalent to Kshs.21,000.

They are coming to Kenya and this is just one of of the many devices from them you should expect to see in the shelves. I wonder how their presence is going to shake the Kenyan market but truth is, other brands in the country need to watch out.

 


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Nixon Kanali

Nixon is a Trained Journalist interested in all things Tech & Business. Also a Public Relations (PR) person, Founder & Editor of TechTrendsKE. For pitches or story ideas, drop me an E-Mail at nickcanali@gmail.com or call +254 727 503 198.

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