Monsters from Asia: the $150 Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is an incredible deal


If you're thinking of visiting China, or have friends or family there, you may want to ring them up and have them place an order for the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Snapdragon edition and bring it over. At the equivalent of ~$152, it's a killer deal, at least for locals—and even if you end up purchasing it through an online re-seller that ships worldwide, it's still worth considering.

So what's the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Snapdragon edition, and how is it different from the standard Note 3 model? It basically comes down to a switch in the processor—arguably a sizable upgrade over the MediaTek Helio X10. Instead of that one, you're getting Qualcomm's Snapdragon 650, with an Adreno 510 GPU on board. It's a hexa-core chip under an ARM big.LITTLE design, with two Cortex A72 cores at 1.8GHz and four Cortex A53 cores at 1.2GHz. The processor cycles between these two clusters of cores depending on the task at hand, or powers them all at once when full performance is required. Coupled with 3GB of RAM, the Redmi Note 3 ought to satisfy most folks' needs.

Design-wise, the Note 3 also doesn't disappoint, with metal adorning the exterior, and a fingerprint scanner occupying the rear. The 5.5-incher comes with a resolution of 1080 x 1920, or a pixel density of 401, so you can rest assured that detail is plentiful. The panel offers a few other extras too, such as smart contrast (dynamically tweaks image depending on surrounding light), low minimum brightness for easy nighttime reading, and even the now trendy, sleep-friendly blue light kill switch

The Snapdragon version of the phablet also impresses on the camera front, with an upgraded, 16-megapixel main snapper with wide, f2.0 lens, extremely quick phase-detection auto focus (0.1s focusing time advertised), and a dual-tone LED flash for more natural nighttime snaps. Despite having the hardware to power 4K video recording, the Note 3 is unfortunately limited to just 1080p video, but it does offer slow-motion capture at 120 frames per second. Finally—and you'll love the sound of this one—Xiaomi has packed a pretty massive, 4,050mAh cell with the Redmi Note 3, which powers the phone in concert with Android 5.1 Lollipop (with the highly-customizable MIUI 7 skin on top). An update to Marshmallow is planned.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is still in its early roll-out phase, meaning Xiaomi is only selling a given number of devices on a pre-determined date (usually a few times a week). For the time being, this will cause a surge in re-seller pricing, with $220 being the only one we've found so far (pre-order only). If you dig the Note 3, keep in mind that the LTE bands supported by the phone (1800/2100/2700) are unsuitable for use in the US, but will work for most Europeans.

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17 Comments

1. prashant1707

Posts: 83; Member since: Nov 13, 2015

hey guys just check this out...Xiaomi's press meeting and full detail.www.gizmochina.com/2016/01/20/images-xiaomi​s-meeting-shows-2-hour-long-mi-5-event-another-pro​duct/

2. aashis.sapkota

Posts: 85; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

As a user of their lower end phone, I can assure you of their quality. They are unlike other low cost, bang for buck manufacturers. They have got OEM kind of touch in their devices, which I don't see in manufacturers like Bluboo, LeTv, Umi, Gionee, and even Meizu.

10. raky_b

Posts: 382; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

as user of 1s i was thinking the same, also as user of Mi3 same thing....but then came Mi4i. that is when i say goodbuy xiaomi. not just it is bad phone with terrible SoC, but it's first time that i had to contact Xiaomi's CS. and that is something you really don't want to do. it goes, while it goes....when you find some problem with Xiaomi, just throw it away and buy another.

3. nej_simon

Posts: 18; Member since: Apr 05, 2014

It's a shame it doesn't support LTE band 20 (800Mhz) which is used in several european countries. Would have bought it otherwise.

8. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

This one is not made for European/American regions...

4. Moose

Posts: 418; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

I'm sure this is a great phone, having tried the Redmi Note 2 which only lacked good battery life. However, I think it's a bit much to call it a 'Pro' version when it is only a switch in processor from the regular Note 3, should have called it the Note 3a or something like that.

5. Chris.P

Posts: 567; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

The camera went from 13 to 16MP, too. And the battery got a tiny bump to 4,050mAh (from 4,000).

6. Marslander

Posts: 160; Member since: Jan 08, 2015

Sounds like a great deal, but can this device get LTE on a North American carrier? Can it even work at all on a NA carrier??

12. T-Dizzle

Posts: 152; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

It doesn't, unfortunately.

13. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

Then Its useless for America, I would be glad to have this deal in America, outstanding specs for such a low price.

15. T-Dizzle

Posts: 152; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

Yep. I was just about to reach out to my friends in and with Asia connections until I read it wasn't US compatible.

9. raky_b

Posts: 382; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

werry inportant thing to say here is that when you buy Xiaomi you don't get guarantee. so when something happend to phone, you should buy another. i had 3 Xiaomi phones (and a lot of accesories) and after Mi4i i can say NEVER AGAIN! it overheats, which make a lot of other problems...OS is slowing down, battery (even with 3150mAh) can't do more then 4h of SoT (my 3 years old SGS3 can do better, and yes with original 3 years old battery) and on top of that Xiaomi dose not give guarantee to international buyers. and their coustemers support is something to lough at. you should see their answers to my questions....so unprofesionall, i guess they are not reading what the question is, and answering just to wrote something. any way....with Xiaomi you are getting not a lot of music for the money, there are better "cheap chenesee" smartphones. And if you are looking for flagship device, still in Europe and USA you can go with better devices for less money, by buying som well known brand device on contract. in my case (norway) i can buy on one year contract S6 or iP6s, for less money then Xiaomi's Mi4, and anyway i do need to pay every month for services.

11. 1EXreMAR

Posts: 12; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

This is actually my favorite budget phone in 2016 for now.. just what K3 Note was in 2015.

14. JunBringer

Posts: 138; Member since: Oct 01, 2012

Why is this a "Monster"? It's not that big really. 5.5 inches is typical these days.

16. KONICHIWA-ANNYONG unregistered

The real monster is the Note 5... the GALAXY Note 5. THis Note 3 'monster' is from China.

17. mister87 unregistered

The only Xiaomi models worth buying are Mi4/I/C/S and MI5 let say the high end models because they are simply equipped with premium/quality parts like sony IMX camera sensors and displays made by Sharp, JDI, AUO and ofcourse the Qualcomm soc's. You cant compare the redmi note 2 or 3 with a model like Mi4 even when they both got FHD, 13Mpix camera, 2gb/3gb of ram etc etc the differences in quality are huge and clearly noticeable.

18. mister87 unregistered

People how care about camera and display quality should stay away from the low/mid range line of Xiaomi. Even when they got high specs that doesn't say anything about the quality ofcourse because of the parts they used to build-up this phones. Beside this dont forget that Xiaomi wont sell their phones without any profit even those low prices like 130/150 usd.

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