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Now why does this phone exist? I ask this as a genuine question, when great phones like the Redmi Note 4 (review here) and the Redmi 4 Prime (review here) already exist.

Let’s switch gears for a moment. Why did Xiaomi choose to use the Snapdragon 625 in a Note device when the Note 3 used a 650 series chip? This decision seems like it would cannibalize sales of the aforementioned Redmi 4 Prime.

Nevertheless, the Redmi Note 4X is another great phone by Xiaomi that doesn’t need to exist.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X Review

5.5” devices are still the most popular screen size by far with individuals like me (who prefer smaller phones) being the exception. The Redmi Note 4X is almost identical to the Redmi 4, but that might not be a bad thing as the Redmi 4 Prime was a great device in its own right.

I was seriously contemplating replacing my Zuk Z2 with the Redmi 4 Prime, but I was not willing to give up the speed of a Snapdragon 820 for the battery life of the Prime. However I am considering making the switch again.

A 5.5” Redmi 4

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X Specifications

Processor Snapdragon 625 Processor
Display 5.5″ 1920×1080 px, Sharp LCD
RAM 3GB
Storage 32GB eMMC
Operating System Android 6.0 (MIUI 8.1)
Cameras 13MP/5MP Cameras
Battery 4100mAh
Physical Dimensions 0.175kg, 76 x 151 x 8.4 mm

Big thanks to Gearbest for providing this review unit.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X Hardware

Other companies are scrambling to catch up to Xiaomi’s Mi Mix, so this was (one of) Xiaomi’s opportunities to at least shrink the bezels on its Redmi Note series of phones. However, the physical dimensions of this phone are the exact same size as the older Redmi Note 4. It retains the same size, a similar shape, and the same amount of bezels as its older big brother. It’s a bit unwieldy for someone with small hands (like me), but the curved back and chamfered edges to help with that.

The black bar around the screen is very apparent on the white version of this phone and I had wished this was eliminated as it is unsightly enough to be a dealbreaker for some. We have backlit capacitive buttons below the screen and the fingerprint sensor on the back. The hardware buttons are slightly mushy and lack the crisp feedback on other more expensive devices.

Xiaomi most likely used the exact same physical design as the older Redmi Note 4 to reduce costs, but the phone could have been smaller. The last point of contention I have with the build is the use of the older MicroUSB port instead of the newer USB-C port, but I suspect that not everyone will have an issue with that.

Well built, a little big

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X Display

The Note 4X sports a 5.5” full HD IPS display and it is quite a pleasure to use. Colours are quite vivid and deep and the display is sharp. However, devices in the $200 range all feature similarly great screens so the excellent display used in here stands out a lot less. reading news on the screen is razor sharp and is generally a pleasure to use.

Maximum brightness is good at around 450 nits, easily viewable in direct sunlight. However, the display is reflective so it might be tough to see it in strong sunlight. Viewing angles are great though.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X Audio

Speaker quality here is pretty much the exact same as the older Redmi Note 4, meaning decently loud sound with some slight distortion in certain tracks at max volume. However lower the volume a tad and its gone. Mids and highs are decently clear but bass is lacking in this phone.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X Battery

If you go back to my Redmi 4 Prime review, you will remember that the Prime blew me, a battery fanatic, away completely. The Redmi Note 4X for all intents and purposes should get the same, if slightly less battery life than the Redmi 4 Prime due to the bigger screen. I was only able to perform one round of battery tests due to the incredible length of each test, and battery life is absolutely amazing.

I got 11 hours of screen on time with 18% left at the end of the day. This was incredibly heavy use, with about 6 hours of intense gaming, an hour of snapping photos, 2 hours of Youtube, and the rest was web browsing, SMS, news. This actually edges out my Redmi 4 Prime battery tests which you can check out here. Becaue the battery life on the Redmi 4 Prime and Note 4X are so similar, I thought some further anecdotal evidence might be useful here.

My sister who uses my Redmi 4 Prime regularly ends the day with about 80% battery life. This is mostly Snapchat, Snapchat, Snapchat, and a bit of Instagram. She has gone 4-5 days without charging before, but most of the time she still plugs it in at the end of the day by habit.

Quick charge via the microUSB cable stands at about 2 hours to a full charge.

Heavy users like me can get through two days of heavy use with no issue while light and medium users will be able to get at least 4 days of light use.

Stupid long Battery

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X Software

By this point I’ve gotten used to custom versions of Android, with phones using EMUI, MIUI, and ZUI popping up just as frequently as stock Android. That being said, MIUI is one of the best, complete, and most optimized versions available out there in the market and it works well. System animations are fluid and polished, swiping between screens is silky smooth and its generally a pleasure to use.

However, the Snapdragon 625 is the first point of contention I have with this phone. Because this is a Note device, its only fair we compare performance to other Note devices. The Snapdragon 625 does lag slightly behind the Helio X20 (and up) and the Snapdragon 650 series in opening and closing apps.

There is a slight moment of hesitation in this 625 that is either drastically reduced or non existent in more powerful chips. That being said, its still plenty useable and perfect for normal use even for someone like me. Do note that MIUI tends to clear out your RAM quite frequently forcing you to relaunch apps, but you can turn that off in developer options.

The Snapdragon 625 is powerful enough to run even the most intense games without hiccups. This is quite impressive especially at the 1080p resolution. There will be a game here and there that might require lowered graphical settings to run at a high framerate, but those are few and far between.

I ran just one benchmark, Antutu, and it obtained a score of around 60,000, exactly what I expected from a Snapdragon 625 chip.

Performance here is very good and the snapdragon 625 is a very good chip as well. however, my complaint stems from the fact that Redmi Note devices have traditionally been more powerful than Redmi devices, but here we have the exact same chipset in both Redmi and Note devices. This seems to be an anomaly that some will not want repeated.

The fingerprint sensor is fast and accurate, I didn’t see any issues here. It is slightly slower than top end sensors on S7s and iPhones, but its still more than fast enough for the average user. It does have trouble trying to detect my fingers if the skin is wet though.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X Connectivity

Connectivity here is strong, but not as strong as my Zuk Z2. I still saw more frequent drops to HSPA+ compared to the latter device, but speeds were still good. My speedtest results yielded very decent speeds as well. Bluetooth, WiFi, and GPS reception was all very good and I did not see any issues with those.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X Camera

The Redmi Note 4 has a 13MP camera with f/2.0 lens and PDAF. The camera does a great job taking photos in well lit conditions with detailed photos and saturated colours. Colours and detail improve when HDR is turned on, but it does take longer to take a photo. Other smartphones have improved the HDR snap time quite a bit, leaving the Redmi Note 4’s HDR snap time a little slower.

The camera does have trouble with low light shots, but much less so The front facing camera takes passable shots in good lighting conditions, indoors its a hit or miss, and the camera struggles with low light.

The phone is capable of up to 1080p video and quality is good enough. You can actually shoot in 4K if you use a third party camera app like Open Camera, and the quality is good.

The camera app is quite feature rich, allowing you to tweak various camera related settings to get better shots.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X Camera Gallery

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X Verdict

I said it once and I’ll say it again; the Redmi Note 4X is a great phone that doesn’t need to exist. You can either take a step down in size to the Redmi 4 Prime or a step up in processing power to the original Redmi Note 4. Still though, those who feel compelled to purchase this phone won’t be disappointed.

While this phone’s processor is fairly weak for a Note device, it more than makes up for that in battery life, matching the Redmi 4 Prime’s battery life tit for tat. The Snapdragon 625 utilized in this device is no slouch either, pushing anything it throws your way.

If you do purchase this device, I recommend getting at least the 3GB version of the Redmi Note 4X as MIUI does use more resources than stock Android does. I also highly recommend reading both Gizchina’s reviews for the Redmi Note 4 (review here) and the Redmi 4 Prime (review here) before making your decision as you might find one of the other two devices more appealing.

You can buy the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X here.

Good device, but look at the Note 4 and the Prime

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X Video Review

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X Gallery

  • Build Quality - 82%
    82
  • Display - 85%
    85
  • Audio - 69%
    69
  • Battery - 96%
    96
  • Software & Performance - 73%
    73
  • Connectivity - 76%
    76
  • Camera - 70%
    70
78.7 %

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  • Assefa Hanson

    This phone exist to increase profit margins?

    • That’s my point, it won’t, at least not by a significant margin because in my opinion people would either have bought the Redmi 4 Prime or the Redmi Ntoe 4 anyway since they are so similar

      • SnowyCat

        sorry but i doubt that someone that wants a 5,5″ phone will got for a 5″ one

        • But why did they not put a Snapdragon 650 processor in?

          • Lazar Prodanovic

            Well both RN3 & Mi Max are based on the S65x series & S660 is no where near being released apparently. Looks like their are just pursuing their always new launch strategy (which is to say retarded one) & working what they have & that is only a bunch of S625 SoC’s at this time. As much as we can blame Samsung for unavailability of S835 we can only blame Qualcomm for S660 & things get more complicated as S660 would (will) cannibalise S835 sails & S835 is very late thanks both to 10nm yields & Samsung buying complete first lots. I don’t get what are the problems with MTK X30 but hopefully we will find out as this will be a game changer in GPU aria, Still S660 will be a best choice for real world usage & gaming.
            Best regards.

            • You bring up a very good point, wiht Samsung hoarding S835 chips. Maybe someone else is hoarding 650s as well.

              The S660 is definitely fast based on leaked benchmarks, but cannabalizing the S8335? Isn’t the performance delta pretty big?

            • Lazar Prodanovic

              Think only QC is deliberately holding back S660.

              Which performance delta? The one of 2.4x fastest GPU in synthetic benchmarks that reaches melting point power consumption of 4V and throttles back significantly? A512 (to A510) will have similar performance boost as A540 while it will stand on less then half power budget & giving substantial performance. On the CPU side performance difference will be small & I don’t think we will see any difference from utilised DSP.

              Thing is most OEM’s would probably choose S660 for a half price & user’s also. Think you now see my point.

            • Interesting about QC holding back the 660. A 650 is more than fast enough for pretty much everyone, no need for an 835, but it undoubtedly has more power which is unneeded power for the average user but needed for marketing reasons.

            • Lazar Prodanovic

              Well S650 turned out to be fantastic product thanks to long QC experience with TSMC 28nm HPM process. A72 core’s really triumph over A53’s in integer performance & you don’t need more than two to boost the start of apps or processes. I did some comprehensive performance studies regarding it and a discussion over at XDA.
              https://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=71446560&postcount=1205
              The best representive example how rooting optimisations & tools can make or break a product is probably Kirin 960 along with a S810 but we all already know that story.
              http://www.anandtech.com/show/11088/hisilicon-kirin-960-performance-and-power/4
              FinFET isn’t exactly the goods blessing as rooting & manufacturing is expensive & it’s not for both mixed nor RF blocks upcoming FD-SOI will be a much better choice especially for budget SoC’s.

              At the end as you say S650 is perfectly enough for any user & S660 just rises power efficiency thanks to FinFET…

      • Your opinion is duly noted, Hugo Barra is no doubt happy with the increase in sales they got in Q2 of 2017 thanks to their smart business strategy.

        http://www.gsmarena.com/xiaomi_q2_2017_shipments_show_healthy_growth-news-25562.php

  • mrjayviper

    you forgot that most MTK devices don’t get proper Global ROMs hence qualcomm saves the day

    • They already have a Snapdragon 625 device, the 4 Prime. Why release another one? They should have released a Snapdragon 650 series phone.

      • Bleuler

        But is the 4 Prime availible in 64 gb? Some of us manage to store a a lot of trash…

        • No its not, but they could have released a 64GB version to satisfy those who needed it and saved the Note 4X for a higher end SD650 series processor.

    • Lazar Prodanovic

      A good developer’s and CAF community saves the day, QC didn’t do much & certainly not as much as they could to help & future accelerate that but they certainly did wipe out all other players on Open Source scene with their uncompetitive practices so CAF is the only one now.

  • Danj303

    Sorry if you don’t know why this phone exists, you shouldn’t be writing articles about Xiaomi or mobile phones in general. It exists because:
    A) Mediatek processors breach patents in India and are banned from being imported – hence the Qualcomm Snapdragon version of many Xiaomi phones
    B) There’s very little custom ROM development for Mediatek processors
    C) There’s little support for global ROMs for Xiaomi’s Mediatek phones

    • Seriously? You obviously didn’t read my review at all.

      They already HAVE a Snapdragon 625 device, the 4 Prime. Why create another one? Xiaomi’s business strategy (confirmed by Hugo Barra himself) was always a strongly focused small portfolio of phones with razor thin margins, so why are they releasing another Snapdragon 625 device? Like I said in my review, they should have used a Snapdragon 650 series chip to prevent cannabalization of sales.

      • Trayanee

        You cant really consider small redmi 4 prime a contender to this 4X. Overall I disagree with your reasoning. Any 6xx snap is better than mediatek and 5.5 isnt 5 and of course there is a b20 version of 4x too.

        • You disagreeing with my reasoning is completely fine, just don’t assume what I write without reading it.

          Any 6XX snapdragon is better than Mediatek? That’s not true, there are horrible Snapdragon processors like the 615, slightly better ones like the 617, and the 625/650 series. Same with mediatek.

          Also why is a smaller phone not a contender to the 4X? Screen size has no bearing on whether a phone is good or not except for personal preference. A Galaxy S7 is 5.1″ and is a flagship.

          • illystor

            I think his point when saying it can’t be considered a contender is due to the screensize, but not that it can’t contend in quality, but that you’re asking why does Xiaomi have two 625 devices, when they are explicitly occupying different product categories. It would be akin to asking why the Mi Max exists, since it was internally almost the same as the Snapdragon variant Redmi Note 3, just a different form factor. You’re obviously welcome to your opinions, and I know many wanted to maybe see a more powerful processor in a new Snapdragon powered Redmi Note, but I did find the comparisons to the Redmi 4 Prime a little odd. Sure, purely anecdotal to say this on my part, but I think for many people considering devices, having near identical internals but at two different sizes would be considered a good strategy. Consider that it’s the norm at least with the iPhone and, presumably, the Pixel line going forward.

            • lildwell

              I think that I’ll just buy a cheaper redmi note 3 pro. This is slower and overall weaker than its predecessor. That’s just stupid.

          • Obviously when you are looking for a 5.5-inch phone, a 5-inch phone isn’t going to cut it. Come on dude, when I shop for an apple I don’t look for an orange.

            Of course the Note 4x is not a contender to the Prime. The Note4x is the Redmi 4 Prime for phablet lovers who want a bigger screen.

            You’re too hung up on your thesis that the Note 4X doesn’t need to exist. Sure, it doesn’t but that’s like saying the iPhone 6s doesn’t need to exist because we have the iPhone 6. The Note4 proved popular so Xiaomi did the smart greedy thing to do and launched a quick followup.

            You may think you thought up of a profound insight into the smartphone world, but guess what? You didn’t.

            • You are missing my point. I’m sad they didn’t use a Snapdragon 660 and used the 625 instead, now you have two of the exact same phones with different sizes when the Redmi 3/Redmi Note 3 Pro had different internals.

              Also read my opinion piece which literally describes what you just said.

  • Natasha gina

    I want to ask, i just bought a mobile phone redmi note 4x 2 days ago. Then just crashed 1 time but the screen broke badly when in use scratch-resistant. Can it be my phone is in guaranteed?

  • helpp

    J7 prime vs redmi note 4 and why??? please I’m confused

  • B.Bernard

    Nice review Jin. Plus the arguments here enlightened me.

  • Mike

    With regard to the headline, The 625 has a faster X9 modem, LTE Cat 13 and CAT 7, Better battery and a higher clock speed up to 2.0 GHz
    vs
    X8 modem, LTE CAT 7 and a clock speed up to 1.8GHz for the 650

  • Josef Izchaki

    Hmm, higher processing power of the Redmi Note 4? It’s the same processor, i am confused.