For Malaysian Xiaomi fans, this might be a little bit of a slap in the face. Especially if you’re one of those who’ve recently purchased a Redmi Note 2. The budget phablet, which was launched locally just a couple of weeks ago is now superceded by the new Redmi Note 3. Launched in Beijing, the Redmi Note 3 is the first-ever Xiaomi smartphone with a fingerprint sensor. The China tech giant also unveiled the Mi Pad 2 and Mi Air Purifier 2.
The best-selling family has been growing from strength to strength. The Redmi Note 2, for instance, sold over 6 million units in just 100 days.
Despite being light on the wallet, Xiaomi has taken the no-holds barred approach in packing plenty into the new phablet.
In his keynote at the launch in Beijing, Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun said, “Mi Fans have very high expectations and we are extremely pleased to have created Redmi Note 3, which more than meets the demands of consumers for a smartphone under RMB1,000.”
And deliver Xiaomi certainly has.
Redmi Note 3: Full metal jacket
The Redmi Note 3 is powered by the flagship MTK Helio X10 processor (same as the Redmi Note 2) and is housed in a beautiful full metal body. Colour options include gold, silver and dark grey. It’s packed with 2GB/3GB of LPDDR3 RAM and comes in 16GB/32GB internal storage options.
It’s impressively built for a Redmi, measuring just 8.65mm at its thickest point and weighing a tad heavier than the Redmi Note 2, at 164g.
For the first time, there’s an integrated fingerprint sensor which utilises a Trustronic TEE security chip. It unlocks the device in just 0.3 seconds and can also be used for payment via Mi Wallet. Mi Wallet is currently only available in China.
READ ALSO: Xiaomi Mi Note review: Better late than never
It sports a 13MP PDAF autofocus main shooter, and a 5MP selfie shooter on the front.
The Redmi Note 3 gets a massive 4,000mAh battery that also supports 5V/2A fast charging.
In terms of display, the Redmi Note 3 retains the 5.5-inch Full HD display found on its predecessor, enhanced with Sunlight Display.
The phablet runs MIUI 7.
Pricing and availability
The Redmi Note 3 (2GB RAM/16GB) retails for RMB899 (MYR593). The 3GB RAM/32GB version goes for RMB1,099 (MYR724). Available only in China. No word on local availability.
This is a solid evolution for the Redmi range, moving from cheap plastics to full metal build. In line with the current trend of metal-clad phones, Xiaomi has again redefined affordability without sacrificing on performance.
The only downside is that for countries outside of China, like Malaysia, we tend to get Xiaomi devices late (or sometimes not at all). In the case of the Redmi Note 3, customers in the know will likely be annoyed that their Redmi Note 2s are made obsolete so quickly – barely a month since it was launched here.
But such is the price of technology. It moves. And quickly. Perhaps it’s less of a pain because Xiaomi devices are affordable?
What do you think?