Happy Thursday everyone!  On this week’s Thursday’s Tech Review I would like to write about a cell phone that a friend recommended me, the Xiaomi Redmi Rednote 4X Global Version.  If you’ve never heard of this brand of a smart phone.  I would say that it is a well kept secret even though Xiaomi has been around since 2008. They make all kinds of products ranging from  ear buds, phone chargers, drone to Smart Phones.  In regards to the smart phones, they can be purchased  for about a quarter of the price of the more known brands. Just like everybody else, I was a little skeptical when someone talked to me about Chinese made smart phones, like the  Rednote 4X.  Being brand conscious, especially when it comes to electronic consumer goods,  I thought something has to be a compromise to offer this phone at such a  good price.  There has to be a catch.  Let me go over some features of the Rednote 4X and I will let you decide.

Look and Build

The Rednote 4X looks like your more expensive brand of phones.  It comes in at 151mm x 76 mm x 8.45 mm (5.9” x 3” x 3/8”) with a full HD display of 1080 x 1920 pixels. It comes in black, gold or blue colour.  xiaomi rednote 4_7At the back of the phone is the camera lens and below that lens is the finger scanner.  At the top of the phone, is the conventional input for wired ear buds.  On the right side of the device is the volume control and below is the power button.  The speakers and the microphone are nicely located at the bottom of the phone.  On the left side is the where the compartment for the dual sim card is located.  It is so well flushed on the side of the device that it’s easy to miss.  You will require a special tool that comes with a phone to open the compartment.  As far as the overall looks of the phone, it looks very sleek and thin. The phone feels quite solid with it’s metal body.  Below are the features of the Rednote 4X.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Unlocked: Yes
  • Fingerprint Recognition, Video Player, Memory Card Slots, HD Video Player, Message, Wi-Fi, Gravity Response, MP3 Playback, GPRS, Touchscreen, Bluetooth, Front Camera, Email, GPS Navigation
  • Talk Time: 20 to 24 Hrs
  • CPU Manufacturer: Qualcomm
  • Rear Camera: 13.0MP
  • Recording Definition: 1080P
  • Size: 151mmx76mmx8.45mm
  • Language: Italian, Turkish, Russian, German, Spanish, Polish, English, Portuguese, French
  • RAM: 4G
  • Front Camera: 5MP
  • SIM Card Quantity: Dual SIM Cards
  • ROM: 64G
  • Cellular: GSM/WCDMA/LTE
  • Xiaomi Model: Redmi Note 4X Qualcomm 4GB 64GB
  • Display Resolution: 1920×1080
  • Thickness: Ultra Slim(<9mm)
  • Band Mode: 2SIM/Multi-Bands
  • Google Play: Yes
  • Battery Capacity(mAh): 4000mAh(Min) – 4100mAh(Typ)
  • Camera Type: Front & Back Camera
  • Operation System: Android
  • Display Size: 5.5
  • Design: Bar
  • Battery Type: Not Detachable
  • CPU: Octa Core
  • Display Resolution: 2160 x 1080

Set Up

When I first unboxed the Rednote 4X, I was pleasantly surprised with the way it looks as I mentioned before.  It came with an owners manual which was all in Chinese.  However, I wasn’t really worried since we in the age of the internet, what information I need to set up my device, can easily be found on YouTube or tech web sites.   The phone came charged at 43%.  I turned it off to transfer my sim card and my 64 gig Micro SD card from my old phone to the Note 4X, and plugged it in to charge it fully.  I turned it on again and now it was the moment of truth.  The displays and the menu were again all in Chinese.   So I went on YouTube to find out how I can change the language settings. This was the hardest part of the set up since I had to keep up with dude on you tube and to make sure that we were on the same menu.  Since I can’t read Chinese, I had to count down from the top of the drop down lists on each tab to make sure that I was selecting the right options.  It took me about 5 minutes to figure it out.  Once I was able to change the language, the set up was pretty seamless.  My phone number was automatically transferred and all my pictures from the old phone was visible.  Connecting to the WIFI network went very smooth and without any problems. Since it was an the Android operating system, my Google calendar, emails, contacts, were automatically transferred to the new phone.     I still had to download some of the apps that I used from the Google Play Store, but it took no time at all.   This was actually the smoothest transfer from an old phone to a new phone that I have experienced.

My initial impression of the Rednote 4X once I started using it was very positive. The first thing that I noticed after using the phone for a few hours was the battery life.  Holy smokes.  I have never had a phone where the battery life would last a couple of days on one charge; and I use my phone a lot. The phone will give you 20 to 24 hours of talk time, 22 hours of reading, 18 hours of watching videos and 15 hours of gaming.  I find it incredible that a high capacity 4100 mAh battery can fit in an 8.45 mm body.

As for the display.  I can’t really tell the difference between the more popular phones and the Rednote 4X.  Even the available background options are quite attractive.

I was wondering if the Rednote 4X is able to function with all the android applications that I was using.  So far I haven’t been able to find any. They seem to all work flawlessly.

The Rednote 4X comes with a 13 megapixel outward facing and an 5 megapixel inward facing camera.  Can I tell between the quality of the picture of the Rednote 4X and other more popular phones?  I can say “Yes I can”.  The picture don’t seem to be as vibrant on the Rednote 4X, but I would not say that it’s a deal breaker.  I usually bring with me an actual digital SLR when I travel anyway.  However, the camera on the Rednote 4X is good enough to capture unexpected moments. The camera, on this device also offers different filters to take and edit pictures. I thought that was a nice bonus. The built in flash works well and it seem powerful enough to meet my needs.  As far as the video functions, the Rednote 4X is quite good.  There are two modes other than the standard mode are time lapse and slow motion mode.  It works quite well and meets my needs better than my old phone.

In regards to the volume and the sound quality of the Rednote 4X,  the speaker on this phone is quite good and quite loud.  Pairing to Bluetooth devices was quite painless.  It quickly paired with my 4 year old Bose Mini Soundlink, a pair of my wireless Bluetooth ear buds and my car’s entertainment system and interface.

I was curious on what the phone voice call quality would be like on the Rednote 4X, and when I called someone and asked them how I sounded they said that I sounded normal,  I didn’t sound like I “Was talking out of a toilet or anything.” That’s good right?

The security feature on the Rednote 4X is different than what I was used to on my Samsung phone.  I thought it was a good idea that the finger sensor is located on the back of the camera.  Ergonomically, this felt more natural when I wanted to pick up the phone and quickly activate it to call or send messages.  The sensor is very sensitive and works very well.  You can even access your phone via voice recognition, if you activate that feature.  However, if there is someone that sounds just like you, it might not be as secure as using the finger scanner to unlock your phone.

Notifications on the Rednote 4X is something that I wasn’t really impressed with.  For example, I didn’t find the built in notification ring tones loud enough.  It wasn’t really that it wasn’t loud but the built in ring tones were too soft and mellow to be noticed in loud crowded area.  I liked the sounds, but they weren’t really noticeable.  The way I worked around this was by going to the Google play store and downloading a ringtone app.  Now when my phone rings, with old fashion phone ring tone, I jump out of my seat.  The other notification feature that I found challenging was the voice mail notification. My brother and sister in law left a very nice rendition of Happy Birthday to greet our daughter on her birthday, but I didn’t find out about the voice message until a day after.  I didn’t know there was a voice mail until my brother called me and asked me if we heard their message.  To address this issue, it was an easy fix.  I just had to go into the Phone Settings, Notification Lights and turned it on.   I just thought this should have been already on as a factory default.

Day to Day Use

As I spent the last week using my Rednote 4X phone, I found it very practical for everyday use. Because it is the Global version, I can also use this phone to travel with around the world. Because it has a dual sim card.  I can have my local sim card installed in one slot, and I can buy a global roaming service sim card, and slide it in the second slot. When I travel, the phone detects that I am outside my country, and the roaming sim card will automatically kick in, thus avoiding outrageous roaming charges.  As well, I don’t have to open my phone to switch out my sim card with the roaming service sim card every time I travel.

I also like the fact that the model that I have has a built in 64gb internal memory.  I can’t imagine using all that space up.  However, If I ever need extra memory and I am not travelling much, I can use the second sim card slot to install an external micro sd card up to 128 gb.  Well I’m glad I got that out of my system. I can now stop talking about it with my family and friends and bore them to tears.  I hope I have shed some light on the Xiaomi Rednote 4X Global edition.  I just thought that it’s a great alternative to the more expensive phones that some are now more than $1200 dollars Cdn.  I do offer this product on my web site for $275.00 Cdn.  If you like this review and would like to be notified when my new reviews come out every Thursday, please follow my FB page or subscribe at www.bushin.ca

Pros:

  • The price: Less than $300.00 Cdn
  • Battery Life: 2 days with heavy use on one charge
  • It’s unlocked
  • Global version will work around the world
  • Dual Sim Card slots
  • It looks great and it feels solid
  • It will works well with most Cdn providers
  • Very easy to use
  • So many features to mention. I covered the main ones

Cons:

  • The all Chinese Manual
  • Factory Ring Tones are nice but hard to hear in loud crowded areas
  • The camera could be better but I heard that the Redmi 5x has a better camera. This is not a deal breaker for me though as it’s good enough for everyday use and to capture unexpected moments.
  • The voicemail light notification did not come from the factory already activated. You have to go into settings and turn it on when you first the phone up.
  • It is not waterproof .
  • No special slot for the external micro sd card. You have to make a choice whether you want more memory or a second sim card.

 

Reviewed By: Alf Crespo
www.bushkin.ca