Redmi Note 4.
And now the Redmi 4.
2017 seems like a year in which Xiaomi seems to be in “four” hitting mode, to borrow a cricketing term. It started with the Redmi Note 4 which was followed by the Redmi 4A and now the company has unveiled the Redmi 4. It is again in the affordable segment device and the pricing starts at Rs. 6,999. Of course, the launch will make some people wonder if Xiaomi is focusing mainly on the budget segment in India even while it releases higher specced devices like its new flagship, the Mi 6 and the Mi Mix in others. But that is another story.
The “Man In Black” phone
Although the Redmi 4 is a budget range device, we think in terms of sheer looks, the phone can actually easily take on a few mid-range segment devices. We have the black version of the phone and it is nothing less than gorgeous. The phone comes with a 5-inch HD display, with 2.5D glass adds a touch of shine to the rest of the matte black body. The black metal unibody not only looks sturdy but also gives the phone a very premium feel. There is just a drop of white on the back of the phone and we think that is because the company could not add a black camera flash to it, otherwise, this one would have been the perfect “Man In Black” phone.
There are three capacitive buttons below the display, but these are not backlit, making them a bit difficult to find. Above the screen, there is the 5.0-megapixel front camera, the proximity sensor, and the earpiece. The 3.5 mm audio jack and the infrared port sit on the top while the base carries the speaker grille and the micro USB port. The left side of the phone holds the hybrid SIM slot (Micro and Nano) whereas the right side has got the display/power button and the volume rocker.
On the jet black back, right next to the “drop of white” flash, the company has placed a 13.0-megapixel primary camera. And right below the camera comes a circular fingerprint scanner and the Mi logo (which is so subtle as to be almost missed). There are two shiny antenna bands segmenting the phone into three sections. The Redmi 4 measures 139.3 x 69.9 x 8.65 mm and weighs 150 grams. The phone may not be the lightest but is definitely compact and can be easily used with one hand.
On the inside, the phone has got some decent numbers for its price. The Redmi 4 runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 and our version came coupled with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage which one can expand up to 128 GB using a MicroSD card (there are 2 GB and 4 GB RAM editions with 16 GB storage too, as per the spec sheet). The phone is powered by a 4100 mAh battery, remarkably the same size as that on the Redmi Note 4, which was launched earlier this year. Considering the Note 4 was a larger device, Xiaomi clearly has pulled off something of a design coup by managing to keep this large a battery in a smaller frame. The phone runs on Android 6, running on top of which is Xiaomi’s feature-rich MIUI 8.
Sandwiched between the other 4s…and a lot more
The Redmi 4 sits between the Redmi Note 4 and the Redmi 4A in terms of both price and specifications. We think the USPs of the device have to be the price, the battery and the premium look the company has managed to incorporate in a device falling in the more economical segment in the market.
But now that the budget segment has become more like a battlefield, the new contestant will go through some formidable battles to make its presence felt in the market. And ironically, because Xiaomi is amongst one of the most prominent brands out there in this segment, we think the phone will have to fight its own siblings in order to stand out in the crowd. And we are not just talking about the ‘4’s here but also the older editions of the still available (and popular) Redmi Note 3, Redmi 3S (which was recently announced as the highest selling online smartphone in India) and Redmi 3S Prime.
And this is not counting other brands. The Redmi 4 will be going up against the likes of the Lenovo K6 Power and then there is the Moto E3 Power which may be an old device but comes with a 3500 mAh battery (and the Moto branding, of course). Micromax and Coolpad have offerings in this range too, and of course, looming in the distance are the Moto C and the Nokia 3, which may not seem as impressive on paper, but come with stacks of brand equity and goodwill, especially in the Indian market.
All of which makes us wonder if the new Redmi kid is going to be able to turn heads? It has got the price, it has got the looks and it has got the battery but does it have a secret weapon up its sleeve? It will need one to repeat the success of its predecessors.
It has the four. But is the four-ce strong with it? In our review in the coming days, find out you will.