Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 launched: full metal body, fingerprint sensor, starting from $140

by: Bogdan PetrovanNovember 24, 2015
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xiaomi redmi note 3 (10)

Xiaomi has just upped the ante in the low-cost game. The company introduced today the Redmi Note 3, a metallic 5.5-incher featuring a fingerprint sensor and solid specs, selling for a fraction of the price of competitors in its class.

The Redmi Note 3 is the sequel to the plastic-made Redmi Note 2, which Xiaomi launched just three months ago. While the Note 3 shares some of the specifications (processor, display, RAM), the device is a clear upgrade, thanks to the premium design, fingerprint scanner, and larger battery.

The Redmi Note 3 comes with a 5.5-inch Full HD display that Xiaomi calls “Sunlight Display” – this means that the screen tunes the contrast and brightness of individual pixels in order to maximize visibility in bright light. The processor is an octa-core Helio X10 by MediaTek, while, depending on the version, memory is either 2GB or 3GB of RAM, with either 16GB or 32GB of storage.

The battery on the Redmi Note 3 is 4,000 mAh, a hefty bump over the 3,020 mAh of the Redmi Note 2. Fast charging is supported. There’s also a 13MP rear camera with phase-detection autofocus, as well as a 5MP camera up front.

The circular fingerprint sensor on the back of the device is supposed to unlock the phone in just 0.3 seconds.

xiaomi redmi note 3 (1)

The Redmi Note 3 features a metallic unibody construction, though apparently the top and bottom caps are plastic, to allow for antenna reception. The device weighs 164 grams and is 8.65 millimeters at its thickest point: not the smallest and lightest phone out there, but given the large display, huge battery, and low price tag, we’re still very impressed. The Note 3 will be available in gold, silver, and dark gray.

Now for the really cool part: the 2GB RAM/16GB storage version of the Redmi Note 3 will cost CNY 899 or about $140. The 3GB RAM/32GB will cost just CNY 1,099 or $170. That’s only slightly more expensive than the Redmi Note 2, and probably better than anything you could get in the West for the same money.

xiaomi redmi note 3 (6)

The fact that Xiaomi launched a full upgrade to the Redmi Note 2 just three months after its release is a little curious. It could be that the original plan was to launch just the higher-end, metallic version, and Xiaomi ran into unforeseen issues that forced it to release the plastic Redmi Note 2 as a stopgap. Another reason could be competition: Xiaomi isn’t growing as fast as it used to, and, in China in particular, an army of competitors have adopted its business model, sometimes with great success. Case in point, Huawei: the telecom giant has been growing in leaps and bounds in China, and managed to steal the first place from Xiaomi in early fall.

Moto G4 Plus -9See also: Best cheap Android phones (October 2015)434

If Xiaomi needs to shake things up, the solution could be entering new markets. Under the lead of former Googler Hugo Barra, the company has been expanding throughout Asia, as well as in Brazil. Xiaomi even signaled that it would enter the American market in the close future, though it stopped short from actually promising it. That said, Xiaomi has been relying heavily on ongoing growth to fuel its development, and losing momentum in China could derail its plans of expansion in the West.

What do you think of Xiaomi’s latest?

  • vas kor

    With this Chinese revolution in value-for-money devices, who is going to pay for the expensive ones out in the market now?
    This device looks at least attractive. Very cheap.

    • Arka Bhowmik

      Geeks love specifications, but geeks like you and me are a fraction of the total number of consumers. Most of the buyers favor brand, looks, superficial things. I have been using Mi devices for the past year and so far my Mi4 has been a charm to use.

      • Circle of MiPhone

        Mi depends on MiFans.
        MiFans were some geeks but with limited amount of money.
        This MiFans read about Mi product and buy it.

        Once this new MiFans feel that he got a very good bargain (good device with reasonable specs),
        this MiFans will tell their friend and relative that ask them advice to buy the Mi product.
        and…. so on…
        and…. so on…

        • Circle of MiPhone

          (typo above)
          *Good device with reasonable PRICE

    • EyeMoK

      the addicted iCult crowd, are more than happy to pay premium $$$ for their iCrap /s

    • AbbyZFresh

      Here’s the key word, brand recognition and support. That’s what allows Apple and Samsung to get away with selling millions of $600-700 phones per year.

      • geoffphuket

        Not for much longer! Several large Chinese brand names are becoming popular in the West.

    • Rapido

      People who love brands and unfortunetly that’s like most of the people.

  • Goos

    This is a gorgeous very powerful phone and I’m sure it will be my next phone, especially when I look at its price tag lower than $200. It offers more than an iCrap for a quarter of the price.
    I’ll order one as soon as it appears on gearbest.com.

  • bpcooper14

    I would love to give one of these a go if it had all of the compatible bands for ATT. I’d import it….no need for them to set up shop here in the states to sell it.

  • stone fox

    Isn’t this this he previously announced note 2 prime?

  • Rochak Singh Choudhary

    sweet

  • Pyke Maas

    Is the battery removable?

  • WarHEad

    No sdcard slots mentioned? Meh.
    Next.

  • Sperrybird

    On gearbest, it showed only 3000mah batttery not 4000.

    • geoffphuket

      GearBest never get any specifications correct. I wouldn’t trust them with my money!

  • Nejc Zamernik

    where can i buy this?

  • 2arabs android
  • George

    read this review if you are interested buying this phone
    http://geekbuyingen.blogspot.gr/2015/11/xiaomi-redmi-note-3-hands-on-review.html

  • Gabriel Hines

    UHMM to be really honest this device just looks like a brick… but it has a killer price point

    • geoffphuket

      Show me one that doesn’t?

  • luisa valesca
  • Raymond

    Do you guys know where can I preorder the redmi 3 or buy any other xiaomi’s devices?

  • Aysêynârys

    Can’t expand the storage, so that’s a dealbreaker for me. I’ll still go for the Redmi Note 2 Prime, it seems.

    • geoffphuket

      32GB isn’t enough? Seriously?

      • Aysêynârys

        32 gigs are nothing. Especially if you intend to listen to lossless music on it with a kickass headphone. 1080p movies are also not exactly small. In general if you are a poweruser, 32 gigs disappear quickly.

        • geoffphuket

          Even with lossless audio, you could store 10’s of thousands of tracks on 32GB. As for movies, who keeps their collection of HD movies on a smart phone? I watch, then delete – as I guess the majority of people do.

          • SumGuy954

            One hd movie can be 20 to 40 something gigs. You can use your phone to put the movie on a tv. If you record video or take lots of pictures you can burn up a lot of space fast that way as well. One lossless 192bit audio track can be 140 mb for 3 minutes.

            Just a few examples why people need a lot more space. Most people do some of these activities.

          • geoffphuket

            Name me 1 movie that uses 20-40 GB on a smartphone? Just one. And any 192 bit audio track – let alone lossless – would be such terrible quality, it wouldn’t be worth listening to! Sorry, but you don’t know what you’re talking about! lol

          • SumGuy954

            Only every movie released in the last few years, and smart phone has nothing to do with file size.

            It appears you know very little about what is out there today. You can copy anything to your phone and use it. My phone has an HDMI jack. For movies I have noticed after 30gb or so the image quality becomes negligible. For music some tracks seem to benefit from the full audio resolution 24/192.

            High Resolution Audio Format 24-bit/192kHz Audio is the cleanest way to listen to music digitally. A regular cd will take up an entire dvd at HRA levels.

            I can see you close minded and impolite, so this is the last reply you will get from me. After a quick glance, i see you are trolling this forum. I was only here to study this phone to replace my one plus one.

          • geoffphuket

            Ah I see you’ve done some homework and corrected your error on audio bit rates. Now try it for Video. Oh, and don’t forget to name a 30GB video for me… I’m still waiting

          • Antonio Rossi

            even though there’s no reason to store an entire collection in phone you fail to consider that the avaiable memory is considerably smaller (about 25.5-26 GB)… after this u should always consider 500 MB for the system cache and another 2-10 GB for the apps (depending on how many you use).

            you said “you could store 10’s of thousands of tracks on 32GB”, heck dude this only applies if you listen to 10 seconds long songs…. a single mp3 192 kbps, for 180 seconds is about 4.3 MB… a lossless mp3 is usually around 30 MB so u can only get a thousand of lossless mp3 in 32GB…

            also leave some room for camera shots (13MP sensor depending on compression can use 3.5-10MB each shot) and videos (FHD recording is about 100-150 MB per minute, depending on the scene and on the compression).. finaly add a couple of movies and your memory is full.

  • geoffphuket

    Time to sell the Samsung shares. LOL

  • DUdG

    This is the best on it’s price range, Oh but hey look at Meizu M1 Metal?

  • harrypotter822

    dang, i just found out about this after buying letv x600…

  • PHZ

    So where can I order it for $140?

  • Tarek Al Zihad

    Waiting for your youtube review. than i may go for it. please be sure to tell us about the heat when playing games.

    • Saadat

      Still waiting for their review on the Redmi Note 3

  • Is quick charge 3.0 supported in this phone