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Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Review

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 7.8

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Review


Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Review
Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Review
Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Review
Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Review
Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Review
Nowadays we talk about ultra affordable Chinese smartphones as if they popped out of thin air one day and never left. And while the originators of the first cheap Android smartphones are likely to remain forgotten by history, the name of the company that helped move that same needle on a scale is anything but. Xiaomi.

Known for selling devices at near cost, Xiaomi's fame is well-deserved on the whole: the handsets it pushes out are of a quality make, and the software on the inside is one of the best within the proprietary Android scene. Combined, this makes for a competitive proposition, and one of the latest out of its gates is the Redmi Note 2 phablet.

Sold for the equivalent of just $140 in China (and about $30 to $50 on top of that through e-tailers), the Note 2 sounds incredible on paper: a large, 1080p display, a powerful octa-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, and a 13MP camera. The question is, what's lost in the translation from a specs sheet to a device used in the real world?

Let's find out.

In the box:

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
  • 2A wall charger
  • microUSB to USB cable


Okay first and second impressions. But why did the backplate have to creak so bad?

The Redmi Note 2's name says it all: It's a big device, and a successor at that. But quite a few things have changed since the original Redmi Note, and all of them for the better.

For starters, despite rocking identically sized screen panels, the Redmi Note 2 is considerably smaller, and significantly narrower, helping you almost forget that what you're handling is a truly large phone. At 5.64 oz (160 g) and 0.32 inches (8.25 mm), this affordable phablet is also much lighter and somewhat thinner than its predecessor. So far, so good.

Switching gears to aesthetics, we won't try and pretend that the Note 2 is anything approaching a masterpiece. It's quite ordinary looking, with a slightly rounded rectangular body made out of plastic. It's a decent kind of plastic — sturdy matte for the back that doesn't look as cheap as it should at those prices. Unfortunately, in less than two weeks time, the edges of our unit started showing traces of colorization, so it's probably best if you steer clear of the white model.

The backplate is removable, with access to the two SIM slots and microSD card hidden underneath. We have one gripe with the (easily removable) back, however: the imperfect fit. The back panel creaks towards the sides of the phone, and this only got worse and worse with every successive removal of the back. Similarly, the lock key and volume rocker are unsatisfying, with relatively short travel time.

Moving to the front, it's all glass and display, with the signature red capacitive keys of the Redmi family. On the top, you'll find that Xiaomi has actually fitted an IR blaster — unusual for this price class.

On the whole? Okay first and second impressions, eventually hurt by the creaky, easily colorized white backplate. Survivable for such an affordable phone, but definitely not ideal.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
5.98 x 2.99 x 0.32 inches
152 x 76 x 8.25 mm
5.64 oz (160 g)

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2

Meizu m2 note
5.94 x 2.96 x 0.34 inches
150.9 x 75.2 x 8.7 mm
5.26 oz (149 g)

Meizu m2 note

LG G Stylo
6.07 x 3.12 x 0.38 inches
154.2 x 79.2 x 9.7 mm
5.8 oz (164 g)

LG G Stylo

Xiaomi Redmi Note
6.06 x 3.1 x 0.37 inches
154 x 78.7 x 9.45 mm
7.02 oz (199 g)

Xiaomi Redmi Note

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Review


The star of the show, the 5.5-incher is a balanced proposition without serious weaknesses.

So for most buyers, the 5.5-inch IPS LCD display of the Redmi Note 2 will be one of the main draws. And we're happy to say that Xiaomi is delivering a good experience.

Unlike its predecessor, which had to make do with a 720p screen, the Note 2 is outfitted with a much sharper, 1080 x 1920 resolution unit, good for the excellent 401 pixels per inch. We spent quite some time staring at it, and there's no pixelization of any kind.

The panel is quite color-accurate, too, especially for this class. We've got a decent color temperature of 7300K (6500K being ideal), though that still means colors are colder (more bluish) than they should be. Still, the Note 2 does well, with relatively small errors in reproducing primary and secondary colors. With a higher average gamma value of 2.27, the display also exhibits some artificial boost to contrast; so it's not perfectly natural, but still attractive.

Finally, the Redmi Note 2 also delivers on brightness: 499 nits at the top end, and 5 nits at minimum, which is great if you use your device before bed. The screen is visible outdoors, and can be even used when sunrays fall directly on it.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 499
Meizu m2 note 627
LG G Stylo 388
View all

  • Options

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 08:21 1

1. Diego! (Posts: 672; Member since: 15 Jun 2009)

I really don't get your review rankings...


PROS: MIUI is versatile and reliable

CONS: MIUI comes with bloatware

WTF?? If it's versatile and reliable it means it doesn't have bloatware!

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 08:30 7

3. lallolu (Posts: 552; Member since: 18 Sep 2012)

It does not mean that!

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 08:32 5

5. Wiencon (Posts: 2019; Member since: 06 Aug 2014)

Really it doesn't mean that

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 09:27

9. zeeBomb (Posts: 2299; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)

I'll take this review score...It's something acceptable.

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 13:49

16. xioxas (Posts: 21; Member since: 04 May 2015)

Lol the cons is MIUI comes with bloatware, what phone doesn't have bloatware? the different is in redmi note 2 you call chinese apps = bloatware when in the west it's not in chinese language so you don't call that bloatware even thought there are many useless apps in it, ironic PA

posted on 08 Oct 2015, 15:27

30. Användarnamn (Posts: 5; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)

Get the international miui 7 from androidfilehost.com by developer Xiaomi.eu. My Note 2 is clean now and realy nice. No bugs with the bluetooth audio that i did have with miui6. And no chinese at all.
Its the world easyest phone to uppdate. just download the file xiaomi.eu_multi_hermes_5.9.24_v7-5.0.zip in to the phone and then 1. go to settings 2, about phone, 3 system uppdates, 4 choose meny dots at the top, 5, choose update package. 6 choose file among downloads, and wow! 10 minutes later the phone is like new.
Phone arena should know this and write it somewhere!

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 08:21

2. coldspring22 (Posts: 346; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)

Great to hear Redmi Note 2 has improved on original in every way. Score is only 7.8, but what about score for bang for bucks? The original Redmi Note 4G was an outstanding phone. Still use it everyday in USA on tmobile, and not much shortcoming next flagships sporting QHD display.. One item needs mentining - if you don't like the cheap back plate, you can easily find another third party backplate, in any color and material you want including gold colored metal backplate to improve premium look and feel of the phone.

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 08:31 7

4. yourmom (Posts: 82; Member since: 21 Feb 2015)

Built-in Xiaomi apps aren't 100% translated to English
MIUI comes with bloatware

they run Chinese Rom hence the issue , global version of miui have little to no Chinese in them

its a pretty low rating for something which offers so much for its price ,but then again seeing the trend PA is following against Chinese manufacturers its a no brainier

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 08:55 4

6. ibend (Posts: 6635; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

meizu m2 note and motoG (2015) get 9 and this phone get 7.8 ??
there is something really wrong with your scoring standart lately :-/

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 08:58 8

7. Dude2014 (Posts: 448; Member since: 12 Feb 2014)

Only 7.8??? With $170, you have good battery, Helio X10 which powered flagships like HTC One M9+, Good camera, Decent display, Good built quality. Wtf can you expect more from them?

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 16:42 1

20. coldspring22 (Posts: 346; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)

Yes, price is apparently irreverent to phone arena, as it judges $170 phone using same standard as a $700 phone. But in real world $170 Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 is heck of a lot more affordable than $700 iphone 6S ($900 in China for base 16GB model), while beating the fruity phone in some features as well.

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 09:07

8. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)

Finally a decent review of an Android device. Atleast this type of scores are acceptable. Thank you PA for hearing us.

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 10:41 3

11. SamsungPhanboy (banned) (Posts: 765; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)

They aren't listening to people, they are just giving honest impressions on the device at hand, which is something you want a reviewer to do.

Moto X got a 9.1.

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 22:35 1

24. Tizo101 (Posts: 515; Member since: 05 Jun 2015)

I'm starting to feel like the phones originally from the US get higher scores.

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 09:51 5

10. max1c (Posts: 83; Member since: 11 Oct 2014)

I really don't understand how PA rates budget headsets. One thing I know for sure, however, is that they don't do it right. This phone should be getting at least an 8. And if you ask me aftrer reading this review its a solid 9.

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 10:48 1

12. Tronlol (Posts: 34; Member since: 06 Feb 2015)

Toon high for this pile of crap.

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 10:53 3

13. der_damo (Posts: 202; Member since: 16 Sep 2014)

The comments are the best part of the review, hands down.

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 12:57

14. QYWANG (Posts: 2; Member since: 11 Aug 2015)

We Chinese user will probably confused about the battery life testing since we believe the biggest problem with Redmi note 2 is its very poor battery life. It is hard to use it 5 hours without charging due to the unusual screen power consumption ratio, usually around 70% and can exceed 80% if one is a heavy user. And forgiving my poor english.

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 13:35

15. QYWANG (Posts: 2; Member since: 11 Aug 2015)

And for now we don't have a way to active Xposed on Redmi note 2 since its Recovery only accept update.zip.

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 16:48

22. coldspring22 (Posts: 346; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)

If you use a phone continuously for five hours, no doubt it will need recharging. Very few phones out there now can take that kind of heavy use and go a whole day. In anycase, it's good thing Redmi Note 2 has replaceable battery. Just carry a spare or two and you're all set! One funny thing is there was no big price gap between Redmi Note 4G sold inside vs outside China. But there seems to be about $50 price gap for Redmi Note 2.

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 15:17 1

17. Spedez (Posts: 513; Member since: 29 Aug 2014)

Comes with Chinese spyware pre-installed.

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 15:48 3

18. dazed1 (Posts: 547; Member since: 28 Jul 2015)

"At about $170 to $190 (excluding any possibly applicable import fees), the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 is a hard phablet to beat, though certainly not unopposed. For around that kind of money, you can get Meizu's m2 Note 5.5-incher, which sports a nearly identical specs list, but comes with a better camera and sweeter battery life"

LOL what a pile of BS, nearly identical specs? 6753 vs Helio X10? M2 Note while great device - phone, being the same price is nowhere near at the same class or worth it.

This phone is destroying everything for the money, and for that reason alone, should get much higher rating.

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 16:04

19. WallStreet (Posts: 256; Member since: 21 Sep 2014)

Agree, there's just too much difference in performance!
Try comparing it with the Moto X Pure

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 16:48 2

21. xioxas (Posts: 21; Member since: 04 May 2015)

yeah helio x10 is flagship processor from mediatek "nealry identical" with mediatek 6753 low end processor. hahaha i'm just laugh

it's not even identical, here the real pros redmi note 2 over meizu m2 note :
have ir blaster,
pdaf camera,
helio x10 flagship mediatek processor,
dual sim,
have micro sd slot ( not sacrifice sim slot 2),
better audio,
removable battery.

the only pros from meizu m2 note over redmi note 2 :
better battery life , better camera quality

posted on 08 Oct 2015, 06:02

27. Chris.P (Posts: 567; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)

Hence the 'nearly' part. Everything else pretty much checks out.

With that out of the way, it's our opinion that the better-looking m2 Note, with its more reliable build, better battery life, better camera, and better display, is the smarter buy at essentially the same prices, and more than overcomes whatever it lacks in performance muscle in comparison. And just so everyone can sit the heck down, this review is coming from a long-time Xiaomi user, so I was very much rooting for the Redmi Note 2. The truth, however, is that it could've used some more work.

posted on 07 Oct 2015, 20:17

23. Memo214 (Posts: 17; Member since: 12 Apr 2013)

I guess ATT LTE is out of the question on this one.

posted on 08 Oct 2015, 01:02

25. brasstax (Posts: 392; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)

Ok, here are my 2 cents on the review..

1.The creaky backplate & chassis discoloration are almost certainly unit specific as NO OTHER reviewer has mentioned it. Yes, in a review. PA was correct in mentioning it. But haing added the probable defective unit caveat towards the end. there is no justification in listing it as a con.

2.The antutu score of 40k is atleast 10k lower than the standard score of the Helio X10 chip. Heck. even the mt6752 based Lenovo K3 Note scores 45k. The Helio X10 score hovers around the 52k mark.

3.Why is bloatware that can be simply uninstalled without rooting listed as a con?

Only an issue that is confirmed for the device in general & not unit specific & an issue without simple remedy without having to root/flash & go all geeky classifies as a con. And please double check benchmark scores.

This device deserves nothing less than 8.5 for the bang for buck factor alone.

posted on 08 Oct 2015, 02:02 1

26. Sidewinder (Posts: 513; Member since: 15 Jan 2015)

Fair score.. But still 9.2 for iPhone 6s?? That's totally unacceptable

posted on 08 Oct 2015, 10:00

28. WallStreetWolf (Posts: 289; Member since: 08 Apr 2013)

I got your back Chris P.

The majority of these comments are a bunch of whiny and childish drivel. A 7.8 is a fair score for this phone, since its competitors in it's price point have better implementation and results in key areas.

The build quality on the Redmi Note 2 is not up to snuff compared to the K3 Note or Meizu M2 Note, none of which come close to the P8000 by Elephone There is no creaking in either of those devices. And don't try to say no other review brought it up. Numerous reviews have brought it up, including the one provided by Knowyourmobile.com just to name one. it has a post in XDA and numerous YouTube videos.

The screen is not in the same league as the M2 or K3 Note models. It doesn't have the same color accuracy or brightness. It is a good screen, but the competitors in the price point are better.

The processor is not everything. It is about the whole package and from what I am seeing, it is inefficient at best compared to competitors. The battery life is hindered by it and that is mentioned in numerous reviews, most notably Android Authority's take on it.

The camera, my god the camera. If you are going to put a 13MP Samsung unit into a device, it better damn well be good. The Elephone P8000 shots look better than what this provided and that wasn't a lauded phone for the camera. The Meizu has a much better camera. Just look at the results in the reviews from PA or around the web. The K3 is also an excellent performer for the price range.

The competitors to this phone offer a better package for the money. That is why it earns a 7.8. It doesn't mean it is a bad phone, but it definitely means it is scored fairly.

P.S. The only real Western owned company is Apple and they make excellent devices for their already excellent ecosystem. It is hard to compare them to Android when the competition within the platform has a tendency to dilute the value proposition of the product. And judging by the picture samples, this phone was reviewed in Europe, a large importer of Chinese mobile products.

posted on 08 Oct 2015, 14:25

29. Användarnamn (Posts: 5; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)

Its so easy to get a proper uppgrade with miui 7 for EU and america on androidfilehost.com.
All things did get better in my Redmi note 2. And all softwaer build for china was no longer a problem. (only a small one before)
Look after developer: Xiaomi.eu and download this rom.
With Xiaomi you only have to go to settings, about phone. in the bottom look for uppdates. When you there, look on the top of side for meny dots. Chose load from file, and chose the one you downloaded from Xiaomi.eu.

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Display5.5 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (401 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera13 megapixels
MediaTek Helio X10, Octa-core, 2000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53 processor
Size5.98 x 2.99 x 0.32 inches
(152 x 76 x 8.25 mm)
5.64 oz  (160 g)

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