Xiaomi Redmi Note 3
Make in India is a dream project of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This plan or scheme (or whatever you call it) has got great appreciation around the world. What makes it a success is not the agenda, but the interest of corporate giants in it.
Xiaomi was one of the first brands to promise India that it would manufacture smartphones in the country. It has kept its promise. Xiaomi has started manufacturing of three phones in India i.e. the Redmi 2, the Redmi Note Prime, and the recently launched Redmi Note 3.
At first, many people criticized the Make in India initiative. Some people said that manufacturing of electronic goods in India would raise their market price. However, as we know now the negative campaign of high manufacturing cost is not true. Xiaomi has proved it.
The newly released Redmi Note 3 offers many amazing features at just 11,999 rupees. Well, actually it can be bought for just 9,999 rupees if you are down for the lower end model. We have decided to do a review of this phone to help customers in making the right purchase.
Xiaomi deserves appreciation for making this phone with super high-quality materials. It comes covered in an all-metal outer shell and still the phone feels light in the hand.
In terms of design, Apple products inspire almost all Xiaomi phones. This Xiaomi goes a step further, you will find great similarity between the sales box of Redmi Note 3 and Apple iPhone 6s. This is not all. The Redmi Note 3 is even available in iPhone-like color variants.
Bigger and Brighter Display
A smartphone that has the word “Note” in the name means it sports a big display. The 5.5-inch IPS LCD display of Redmi Note 3 offers an immersive experience to the end users. Not only the screen is good for gaming, in fact, you can also read web pages and eBooks on it without having to scroll the content every 20 seconds.
The full HD resolution of 1080 X 1920 pixels takes user’s experience to a much higher level. The display comes covered with a protective glass layer. The screen can go really bright and users will face no problem in using the phone outdoors.
The Redmi Note 3 is available in two variants. The lower end variant features 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage while the higher end model has a 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage. For our test, we have selected the latter one.
Under the hood, the phone features a setup of two processors. There are six cores total, two of which clock at 1.8 GHz while the rest are limited to a clock speed of 1.2 GHz only. Overall, the phone offers great performance.
Although tech experts appreciate Xiaomi’s MIUI for the polished look but criticize custom skins there for offering a slow and boring animation flow throughout the interface. Nevertheless, you will love the extra features that it provides.
Disappointing Camera Performance
After looking at the specs sheet, I was optimistic from the Redmi Note 3 on the front of optics. Unfortunately, both the cameras of this phone are bad at capturing nice shots. Low light photography is just disgusting as almost every image turns out to be grainy. Still, for the sake of information, it is my duty to tell you people that it features a 13MP camera on the rear and a 5MP sensor on the front.
Fast Fingerprint Reader
The Redmi Note 3 is one of the cheapest smartphones (if not the cheapest) to sport a fingerprint reader. Its algorithm is quite accurate and the phone gets unlocked within milliseconds. Xiaomi has placed the fingerprint reader on the back for easy reach.
Some Other Features of the Phone:
- 4000 mAh battery capable of delivering more than a day of power backup
- Indian LTE support
- Runs on Android Lollipop (Promised Marshmallow upgrade)
- PowerVR G6200 GPU handles graphic intensive games without any problem
- Also sports an IR blaster
- Great build quality
- Impressive design
- Full HD display panel with glass protection
- Powerful processor
- Great battery life
- Bad camera performance
I will definitely recommend this Xiaomi smartphone if you are looking for a performance beast with all the latest features. Xiaomi has also done a great work in the design department. This device is not a great choice for photography lovers.
Honor Holly 2 Plus
Gone are the days when people had to spend more than 15,000 rupees to purchase a good gaming or camera phone. High competition and growing technology have lowered the prices now to a level that we could not have imagined five years ago.
A good example of my claim is the Honor Holly 2 Plus that was recently launched in India. At just 8,499 rupees, this phone offers many features that were not possible to get just a year ago in the same price segment. There are many great things about this device, which I want to discuss in detail.
Superior Build Quality
Experts always criticize budget smartphones for poor build quality and unprofessional design. Huawei has taken an initiative to change this scenario. This Chinese brand has been trying to do this in a unique way.
Huawei has not used metal or anything like that still the phone feels great in the hand. Top quality plastic materials in the build ensure it does not suffer from creaking or flexing from any side. Its back panel has a textured finish and offers a nice grip.
The Holly 2 Plus looks great too. Its rounded edges give a pleasing feel to the eyes. The bezels are thin and its sides are painted in a high-density metallic paint. However, I am not very sure this fancy paintwork as it will be eroded over time.
The display quality of Holly 2 Plus has also impressed me. It flaunts a 5-inch IPS panel that generates accurate colors. Even the HD resolution of 720 X 1280 pixels is not bad considering the price point. The high motion refresh rate and wide viewing angles will definitely enhance the user experience. One thing that has disappointment me though is the lack of any protective glass on the display.
Decent Processing Power
At the heart of Huawei Holly 2 Plus sits a quad-core processor. This is a Cortex-A53 based processor and each of its cores clocks at 1.3 GHz. According to the manufacturer, the phone runs on the powerful 64-bit architecture. However, I would like to clear the myth about the so-called 64-bit processors that have become highly popular these days.
Technically, the terms like 32-bit and 64-bit architecture do not directly affect the processing power of a system. Instead, these terms have a relation to how much memory a particular processor will be able to use. For instance, a 32-bit processor is capable of addressing up to 4GB of RAM. And, you only need a 64-bit processor when the required memory for a specific task exceeds the 4GB limit. Truly speaking, we do not actually need 64-bit processors in smartphones. Manufacturers only use this specification hype to create an attraction for products.
Thus, considering the phone features only 2GB of RAM, the 64-bit processor in its CPU is not going to make any difference at all. That being said the performance of the phone is not bad. More than 1GB of its memory always remains free.
A Mali-T720MP2 GPU also supports the processor of the phone, which is powerful at handling graphics. But I did notice the phone is to be suffering from stutters while playing graphic intensive games like Nova 3 and MC 5 at the highest settings.
As a daily driver, the Holly 2 Plus is a perfect choice in regular usages. Its interface is fluid. Moreover, the smartphone runs Android Lollipop out of the box and does not come loaded with too many bloatware apps. Huawei’s Emotion UI enhances the experience by offering many useful tweaks and shortcuts.
Good at Low Light Photography
The phone sports a 13MP shooter on the back and another 5MP shooter on the front. The rear camera captures some great shots. I was surprised to find out that the images captured in low light contain good details and lesser grains.
To impress a larger chunk of tech-savvy population, Huawei has featured a massive 4000 mAh battery on this smartphone. It offers enough juice that the smartphone will easily last for 1.5 days on a single charge. The back panel of the phone is removable, but the battery is not.
Supports Both CDMA and GSM SIMs
The Holly 2 Plus is capable of working with both CDMA and GSM networks, for which I am thankful to Huawei. In many cities, EVDO internet plans offer more data at less price and this phone can prove to be a cheaper platform to access online services there.
Some Other Features of the Phone:
- 16 GB of onboard storage with a support for 128GB micro SD card
- Also works as a power bank
- 5-point multi-touch
- Impressive design
- Solid build
- Great cameras
- Massive battery
- Works on both CDMA and GSM frequencies
- Features a microSD card slot
- No protection for the display
- Lacks OTG functionality
Honor Holly 2 Plus is certainly a great device for the price 8500 rupees. If you are into gaming, it will remain your daily driver for the next two years without any problem. The fascinating thing about this phone is that it does not come with any fancy features. Huawei has tried to equip it with those functionalities that will actually help the users in their daily lives.
Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
We are still in the first quarter of 2016 and the smartphone market has already surprised us with many new amazing smartphones. Just a few days ago, Lenovo unveiled the Vibe K5 Plus in India. This device will go on sale at Flipkart.com for a price of 8,499 rupees only. On paper, the phone seems to be packing exciting features, which is the reason our team has decided to do a review on it.
Good Looks, Average Build
The Vibe K5 Plus does not look much different from other Lenovo smartphones. But the brand has tried to improve the user experience by making it a little easier to hold in a single hand. Do not get too excited with the metallic finish of the back panel because under the hood it is still all plastic. You get to choose from three color variants i.e. White, Dark, and Gold.
Full HD Display
The 5-inch wide screen offers a super high pixel density of 441 PPI. Unfortunately, the backlighting system of the display is much less powerful and makes it hard for the users to read texts in bright environments.
The Vibe K5 Plus flaunts a pair of two speakers. Dolby Atmos technology gives a real surround sound experience. Since these speakers are placed on the back, many times the audio gets muffled up when the phone is kept on a flat surface.
Manages To Offer Decent Performance
In the past couple of years, manufacturers have launched dozens of Octa-core smartphones in the market. However, most of these phones, which include the Vibe K5 Plus also, are not based on true Octa-core processors in reality.
Smartphones have limited power supply, which makes it much harder for the manufacturers to balance the power consumption and performance if paired with an Octa-core processor. Therefore, smartphone companies follow a different tactic.
Rather than placing a true Octa-core processor, the new generation of smartphones comes with two quad-core processors each running at a different clock speed. This technique does help in solving the power problem, but in return, users do not get a true Octa-core experience.
In Vibe K5 Plus, the CPU gets power from two quad-core processor, one processor clocks at 1.5 GHz, and another has the clock speed of 1.2 GHz.
Gaming and Multitasking
This smartphone is capable of handling many applications at the same time because of the 2GB of RAM. Graphic intensive games like Nova 3 and Asphalt 8 remain playable at the highest settings, but I would advise you to run them at medium settings to get the best experience.
Having a 13 MP camera on a budget device like this is an appreciable thing. Thus, I will not criticize the quality of the pictures that the Vibe K5 Plus captures. However, I do expect Lenovo to roll out a software update soon to improve the image processing capability of the camera application. The 5 front camera is good for shooting
The 5MP front camera is good for shooting a decent selfie. Moreover, the camera interface is loaded with some interesting features, which will entertain you for sure.
Some Extra Features of the Phone
- Sports a removable 2750 mAh battery
- 16 GB onboard storage and a microSD card slot
- USB OTG support
- Dual Dolby speakers
- Good performance
- Expandable storage
- Multiple color variants
- Average battery life
The Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus is a good package at the current price of 8500 rupees. However, it is going to face huge competition from other smartphones. Many brands are even offering fingerprint sensor and 4000-mAh battery in this price segment.