Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 budget phablet hits Malaysia

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It took a little while, but it’s finally here – Xiaomi’s affordable phablet ­– the Redmi Note 3. Launched in China in November last year, it’s the first ever Xiaomi phone to come with a fingerprint sensor. And typically of Xiaomi, it’s packed with plenty of goodness, for little money.

The fast-growing China ‘internet company’ is adept at making good quality, highly affordable products. And the Redmi Note 3 is a testament of how good a smartphone can be under MYR1,000.

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Firstly, the Redmi Note 3 sheds the plastic enclosure of its predecessor. In place is a more premium, metal unibody with a considerably slim profile at 8.65mm and tipping the scales at a commendable 164g.

Redmi Note 3

Packed to the brim

It packs a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display (@ 403PPI) with an impressive 72.4% screen-to-body ratio. That means, a thin bezel, though not the thinnest I’ve seen.

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Underneath, it sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 mated to an Adreno 510 GPU. The original China-based variant was powered by the octa-core MediaTek MTK Helio X10. It gets 2GB/3GB of RAM, with 16GB/32GB of onboard storage.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

It may be a budget device, but the Redmi Note 3 hits the upper end of passive benchmarks scores; it certainly isn’t a slouch.

Unlike the Mi Note, the Redmi Note 3 features a microSD expansion slot.

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The Redmi Note 3 is a dual-SIM, dual 4G LTE device, supporting VoLTE.

It ticks all the checkboxes as far as a modern smartphone is concerned – Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Wi-Fi Direct, micro-USB OTG and stereo FM radio.

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The Redmi Note 3 happens to be the first Xiaomi smartphone with a built-in fingerprint sensor on the rear. Like the Mi 5 that followed, the scanner is fast and accurate.

In the optics department, the Redmi Note 3 features a Sony-sourced 16MP f/2.0 rear shooter with PDAF and dual-tone LED flash. On the front, it gets a 5MP f/2.0 selfie shooter.

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Redmi Note 3

Xiaomi has integrated a massive 4,050mAh battery that should ensure battery life of well over a day.

On the software side of things, the Redmi Note 3 runs MIUI 7, based on Android 5.1.1 Lollilop. It’s disappointing that it isn’t Marshmallow-ed yet, but it should come soon enough.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

Pricing and availability

The Redmi Note 3 comes in three colour options: Silver, Dark Grey and Gold.

The 2GB/16GB variant sells for MYR699, while the 3GB/32GB variant sells for MYR849.

A strong contender for the budget phablet crown, although it does have a challenger in Lenovo’s new K4 Note, honor 5X and Acer Liquid X2, to name just a few.

Stay tuned for a quick hands-on first impressions, and a full review later.

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Watch the hands-on first impressions video below:

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