Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Review

Call quality

Surprisingly good.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Review
With even high end Android phones regularly posting mediocre results in this area, we expected the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 to offer poor performance when talking call quality. We were wrong — almost entirely

For one, the volume of the earpice is great, and sufficient to make out what's being said even in loud environments such as airports or busy malls. Voices transmitted through it sound a bit off, though, with a slighty muffled quality to them.

On the other side, things are about identical: strong volume output courtesy of the microphone, and satisfying voice reproduction. We'd know who we're talking to, even without looking at the caller ID.

Battery life

Good, not excellent.

After a decent showing so far, the last major test of the Redmi Note 2 is battery life.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Review
Rocking a 3,060 mAh juice pack, we expected the phablet to deliver reasonable results in our custom battery life benchmark, which attempts to mimic your everyday usage of the phone — calls, messaging, video playback, and such. And while the clock stopped short of excellent, at 7 hours and 4 minutes, we were happy with what we got.

Depending on your personal use patterns and habbits, this results can translate to both up to two days of usage, or a single one — but of intense work. In our experience, we easily got a day and a half, but had to ease up a little to survive the fourthy eight hour.

Once your juice is out, you'll need just under 2 hours to get the battery back to full. Not a record-setting figure, sure, but very good on the whole, and specifically in this class. Thanks, 2A charger.

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 7h 4 min (Good)
Meizu m2 note 9h 52 min (Excellent)
LG G Stylo 7h 43 min (Good)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 117
Meizu m2 note 129
LG G Stylo 137

Conclusion


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. It's arguably the more attractive of the two, also. We've had some troubles with its software, though — in comparison, MIUI is madly powerful, but contained and well-behaved.

In any case, as far as successors go, the Redmi Note 2 ticks all the right boxes to qualify and end up in the 'worth' it corner. So if you've got the original Redmi Note, it'll be worth getting this one, as it's an all-around better performer. Honestly, our only real beef was with the wobbly backplate, which may be isolated to just our unit — so if possible, get some hands-on time before committing.

Bottom line: If you're on a tight budget, and want a competent, phablet-sized phone with MIUI, get this. If not, go take a look at Meziu's m2 Note.

Software version: Android 5.0.2 with MIUI 6.7.10.0

Thanks to ShopJoy.com.au for providing us with the review unit.

Pros

  • Very good screen-to-body ratio
  • Well-balanced display
  • MIUI is versatile and reliable
  • IR blaster available
  • Good call quality
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Creaky backplate that can drive you mad
  • Built-in Xiaomi apps aren't 100% translated to English
  • MIUI comes with bloatware
  • Camera could use some work

PhoneArena Rating:

7.8

User Rating:

8.0
1 Reviews

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35 Comments

1. Diego!

Posts: 849; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

I really don't get your review rankings... i.e.: 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!

3. lallolu

Posts: 726; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

It does not mean that!

5. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Really it doesn't mean that

9. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

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

16. xioxas

Posts: 21; Member since: May 04, 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

30. Användarnamn

Posts: 5; Member since: Mar 30, 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!

2. coldspring22

Posts: 349; Member since: Feb 28, 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.

4. yourmom

Posts: 82; Member since: Feb 21, 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

6. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 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 :-/

7. Dude2014

Posts: 448; Member since: Feb 12, 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?

20. coldspring22

Posts: 349; Member since: Feb 28, 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.

8. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

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

11. SamsungPhanboy

Posts: 765; Member since: Mar 31, 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.

24. Tizo101

Posts: 515; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

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

10. max1c

Posts: 103; Member since: Oct 11, 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.

12. Tronlol

Posts: 35; Member since: Feb 06, 2015

Toon high for this pile of crap.

13. der_damo

Posts: 213; Member since: Sep 16, 2014

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

14. QYWANG

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 11, 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.

15. QYWANG

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

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

22. coldspring22

Posts: 349; Member since: Feb 28, 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.

17. Spedez

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

Comes with Chinese spyware pre-installed.

18. dazed1

Posts: 771; Member since: Jul 28, 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.

19. WallStreet

Posts: 256; Member since: Sep 21, 2014

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

21. xioxas

Posts: 21; Member since: May 04, 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

27. Chris.P

Posts: 567; Member since: Jun 27, 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.

23. Memo214

Posts: 17; Member since: Apr 12, 2013

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

25. brasstax

Posts: 534; Member since: Apr 16, 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.

26. Sidewinder

Posts: 515; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

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

28. WallStreetWolf

Posts: 289; Member since: Apr 08, 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.

29. Användarnamn

Posts: 5; Member since: Mar 30, 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. androidfilehost.com/?fid=24052804347822062 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.
Redmi Note 2
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor MediaTek Helio X10, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB
  • Battery 3060 mAh(11.5h 3G talk time)

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