Video: Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 comparison

Video: Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 comparison

xiaomi redmi note 3 vs xiaomi redmi note 2

Have you been looking at the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 and wonder what the differences are? what are the advantages of each? Which to buy? Then watch our comparison video.

There was a huge gap between the launch of the Xiaomi Redmi Note and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2, but there was only a matter of months until the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 came along. The sudden launch of a 2nd Redmi Note this year came as a surprise to many and also caused confusion for customers wondering which to buy, but hopefully my hands on video comparison above points out the differences and helps you out.

Video: Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 2

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 2

In the video I go through the differences of each phone, plus a few advantages of each, but let’s look at what is the same, or almost the same first.

xiaomi redmi note 3 vs xiaomi redmi note 2

First of all both phones have a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 FHD display, they are similar sizes, they both have 13 mega-pixel PDAF F2.2 rear cameras and both run MIUI 7. Both of my Redmi phones have a 2.0Ghz Mediatek Helio X10 chipset and 2GB RAM and Antutu tests show that performance is very very similar.

So what’s different? Well we already know that the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is a unibody alloy phone with rear fingerprint scanner and dual LED flash. The new metal bodied phone measures 8.75mm thick and boasts a huge 4000mAh battery!

xiaomi redmi note 3 vs xiaomi redmi note 2

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 on the other hand has a polycarbonate body and measures 8.25mm thick with smaller 3080mAh battery. However, the rear on the Redmi Note 2 is removable and the battery is user replaceable too!

That removable rear on the Redmi Note 2 also means you can easily fit 2 SIM cards plus a Micro SD card where as the SIM tray on the Redmi Note 3 only has space for SIM cards.

The differences continue with the placement of the front facing camera, the colour of the back lit buttons (red on the 2 and white on the 3) and the 5.5-inch display itself. I was quite surprised to learn that the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 has a brighter, whiter display where as the Redmi Note 2 is slightly duller.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Antutu

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 photo sample

I took a few photos with each phone to see how the two cameras compare. Both are 13 mega-pixel shooters with F2.2 apertures and PDAF fast focus. There if very little difference between the two, but the Redmi Note 3 does seem to handle details and shadows a little better.

xiaomi redmi note 3 vs xiaomi redmi note 2

Take a look at the photos below and you will see that the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 has a little more exposure which helps produce brighter colours in low light (the red seat of the swing is a good example of this). On the other hand the Redmi Note 2 handles cool colours better and you see a nicer blue in the sky.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Photo Samples

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Photo Samples

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Conclusion

So which is the better phone? Well in all honesty the Redmi Note 2 and Redmi Note 3 offer the same performance, and they offer very similar camera performance.

xiaomi redmi note 3 vs xiaomi redmi note 2

The advantages of the Redmi Note 2 are the thinner body, removable battery, SD card memory expansion and the lower price. The Redmi Note 2 with 2GB RAM starts at around $169.99.

The Redmi Note 3 benefits from a dual tone dual LED flash, much larger 4000mAh battery, alloy build, and fingerprint scanner. I love the fingerprint scanner on the 3, not only does it add security but it allow for a faster unlock speed. Pricing for the 2GB RAM Redmi Note 3 is around $199.99.

While it might be natural to compare these two phones it’s actually a little unfair. The fact that Xiaomi launched these phones so close means that they are meant to sell on the market next to each other. The Redmi Note 2 is the entry-level phablet, while the Redmi Note 3 is the flagship, hence the $30 price difference. Xiaomi really should have named the Redmi Note 3 the 2+ or 2Pro, which would explain the hierarchy better.

Given the choice I would opt for the Redmi Note 3 for the fingerprint scanner alone, but if I already had the Redmi Note 2 I wouldn’t upgrade there aren’t enough advantages to warrant the early upgrade. I also prefer the vibrant images the Note 3 produces too.

No matter which phone you choose you will be taking away a device with amazing performance, great camera and excellent build. So which do you choose?

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  • Freeje

    None. It’s the Mate 8 for me or the Pro 5. Just waiting for the review to come out.

    • GoldenBoy

      you compare devices that costs 400+$/€ with one with 200$/€…it’s like compare apples with pears man.
      You have to compare even the price tag.

      • balcobomber25

        Price doesn’t always tell the difference. And for some people price isn’t as big of a factor as it for others. I paid over $400 for a Gionee S6. The hardware in that phone is equal to phones that cost around $150-200.

        • MaxPower

          and you still sound proud of it 🙂

          • balcobomber25

            Damn straight I am. I bought it blindly because my Gionee review guy (Yash) refused to publish his review. As usual with a Gionee: excellent camera, amazing build quality, confusing software.

            • MaxPower

              lol @ confusing software

    • yalok

      Maybe moto e or lumia 435?


      Pro 5?..u mean Mi 5 or something else?

      • balcobomber25

        Pro 5 is from Meizu. It is their newest ultra flagship, basically an MX5 with a Samsung Exnyos SoC.


          yes saw that news of pro 5 later today.

    • MattD

      You do understand they’re different things, right?

      • Freeje

        I just want a big screen with expandable storage. I’m willing to try one without a removable battery. Hopefully, Xiaomi will come out with a new Note Pro with one.

        • MattD

          Ok, but you should have added some context in your first comment… As you can see, no one understood what you meant! xD

          However, may i suggest you gionee elife e8? Or some rebrand, that’s cheaper… It’s quite interesting with his 6 inch screen!

  • Emil


    What has happened with the Battery draining issue with Note 2 ?

    • MattD

      Solved with new updates: my friend has one, and he has very good battery life (5 and half hours sot always under 3g).

    • balcobomber25

      It was solved with MIUI release V7.0.12.0.LHMMICI . I know a few people that have one and they all said this global update fixed the issue for them.

  • GoldenBoy

    nice comparison, IMHO the note 3 is a killer phone.
    Ok, we miss sd card slot and removable battery, but we got fingerprint scanner, 1000 more mah, and a nice looking body that feels more solid and less cheap than plastic.

  • balcobomber25

    Looking at these two side by side I see even less of the Meizu comparisons my good friend Yash tries to make. It looks a metal version of a Note 2 with a fingerprint added.

    Cameras look about even overall and a lot of the small exposure differences can be solved with a change of the camera app. Not the best cameras but for the price point not bad at all.

  • I never had a Xiaomi device. Could someone explain something to me please?
    On Ali ex for example, the sellers say that they put some custom MIUI rom on them to add multi language option etc., but they also say that it won’t have an OTA update feature. What’s the deal with that? How can i get the Redmi Note 3 with OTA update feature?

    • Rick Van de Bovenkamp

      You should never trust the seller ROMS. They have a lot of bloatware and a lot of them contain spy/addware.

      • They say they remove bloatware and add multi language. That seller has very good feedback so i would think the rom is fine. Its still MIUI but without OTA…

        • balcobomber25

          It would still never trust a custom ROM from a reseller. Even one with positive reviews can still be loaded with viruses, malware and bloatware. Besides that one of the best things about MIUI is the constant OTAs. Look at the Note 2, without OTAs you would be stuck with the battery drain issue. I would order from a completely different seller who doesn’t modify the ROM.

          • You can request to get it in a sealed box with original rom.
            Can i just download the google installer from Chinese app store to get the services with Xiaomi?

            • balcobomber25

              I still wouldn’t trust them, but that’s just me. It’s not hard to seal a box up and it’s very easy to hide malware in an original rom with the consumer not noticing if they don’t know what to look for. I’ve been around this industry too long to know that resellers with custom roms are usually a bad thing and most of them aren’t trustworthy enough. Why are you so deadset on this particular reseller?

            • Im not, but i was dealing with him in the past and it was fine. Also, he’s one of the cheapest with fast shipping.
              What would be the best place to buy in your opinion?

            • balcobomber25

              I have had horrible luck with Aliexpress as a whole, even from trusted sellers. The first thing I do when I get a new phone is run a malware test on it. Every phone I have gotten from an Ali seller was loaded with malware. The sites I use regularly to order phones is the one here (Gizchina shop), 1949deal, Merimobiles, Pandawill, Dealsmachine and Everbuying. But if you have experience with this guy and have had good service stick with it.

              To answer your question Google services are very easy to install on a Xiaomi phone. There used to be a Google Installer in the MIUI Store (which is just as good as the Play Store), but I heard they removed it from MIUI 7 but you can still find it in the MIUI forums.

            • MaxPower

              agree with you with everything.

              i still buy something on Aliexpress when i need a cheap thing and i don’t mind if it might arrive faulty, i take a chance.
              Defo i won’t buy a phone there ever again.

              There’s no enough protection even with their fake feedback system.
              If you leave a bad feedback they simply cancel the article page and make a new one from scratch.
              Also you can’t review the feedback from good to bad,let’s say the item dies after a month and the seller doesn’t even respond to your email (which happens quite often), but you can only change it from bad to good which happens when you are blackmailed to get your (only partial) refund.

              Aliexpress for a phone? no thanks.

            • balcobomber25

              I usually buy accessories on Ali. Like I bought a bunch of alternate Mi4 back covers there, cases, headphones etc.

            • snelleboi

              Hi, balco gearbest seems to be pretty good recently with good site reviews and mostly some of the lowest prices on mobiles on the net i’ve seen. Hey r u in the phone making business ? You seem to have really extensive know of most brands. Greetz snelleboi

            • balcobomber25

              I was in the business awhile back, I worked for a marketing/PR firm that represented many of the brands here. But now I work PR for Microsoft. My old company used to give me 2 new work phones a year and would let me order them, so I would get a new Chinese phone every 6 months from them plus I would buy some on my own. Overtime I just gained a lot of experience with them. I lose interest in phones very quickly which is why I am surprised by how much I still love the Meizu MX5.

            • Snelleboi

              Great job perks, lol

    • Filipp

      custom MIUIs not always get dedicated OTA servers
      ex. official Russian communities do, but individual-baked ROMs not
      you can freely flash any custom MIUI you want and it takes just several minutes

      • Right. So do i have to be rooted to change the MIUI versions?
        Or i could ask the seller not to change anything and then put the google services on it myself i guess.

        • Filipp

          no, you havent.
          you can just use official Updater app or native recovery
          and, there is no risk: you have two partitions out of the box, if smth goes wrong you can just reboot to another partition and continue

    • Xalis

      Wrong issue, you should worry about something else not OTAs.

      The custom ROM not only adds multilang, it also adds shit loads of shovelware, spyware and malware, and I’m not being paranoic, I’m talking about my experience with most resellers.

      Never use resellers ROMs, always install the official ROM as soon as you get a chinese phone, and most Xiaomi phones get official multilang ROM few weeks after release.

      If possible ask for a sealed package.

  • Venci

    camera comparison between Redmi note 3 and Letv x600 ?

  • Udegbunam Chukwudi

    The battery bump probably is to compensate for the fingerprint scanner. Looking forward to a gsmarena battery test on the device. Either way I won’t be upgrading my Note 2 as the lack of sd card slot is a deal breaker

  • frederik

    Why not buy the 3gb redmi note 3, wouldn’t that be a better phone? 🙂

  • MaxPower

    i couldn’t make up my mind which one is the best until i saw those 3000 Antutu points…

    just kidding. personally i would go with the Note 2 because i don’t care of metal build and the SD+removable battery is more valuable than bigger battery+fingerprint scanner.

    different story would have been if there was NFC combined with the scanner.
    But hey, you can’t have everything right?
    If they made a Note3 with NFC and SD card slot then it would have been the ultimate phone leaving no room to the competitors (also there would be no room even for other Xiaomi phones).

    At the end (i know, sorry for the long comment) i think that both phones can sell at the same time because they both offer unique features and customers can pick one or the other according to their personal preferences.

    • Adam Irvine

      I think the problem with both selling at the same time though is it kinda makes people like me wait for a possible Redmi Note 4 which would be the true combination of the both type thing…

      I.e. If the Redmi Note 3 was either available in 64gb variant or had sd card slot I would have it, otherwise 32gb just doesn’t cut it… And I’ve promised myself that my next phone will have a fingerprint scanner so that’s the Redmi Note 2 out of the window…


      • MaxPower

        i wonder if they will release a 64GB version of the Note 3…

        my problem is that i would love to get great camera phone with NFC, fingerprint scanner, and possibly US lte bands, but I’m afraid that it will cost me over $500.

        my limit is $350 because i can’t spend more than that every year for a phone (that was the whole point of abandoning contact phones and switching to Chinese)

        i already know that i won’t have LTE, but i won’t settle for anything less than 32GB storage

  • Adrien

    Nice comparison, MI4C Advanced or Redmi Note 3 Advanced? I am afraid by the size of the Note 3 (the width in fact). Which phone will have a better longevity (if well protected with case cover)? I would wait for the MI5 but I know after resellers that the price will be close to 400$ without shipping costs which is already above my budget. Very difficult to make the right decision.

  • Georgi Dimitrov

    Hi, how is the battery life compared to Redmi Note 2 ?

  • Florian Cristian Duica

    @Andi consider that you review both Redmi note 3 and Letv 1s wich one will you chose?

  • snelleboi

    Balco got burned there man

    • balcobomber25


      • Snelleboi

        I was referring to ur bad Gionee S6 experience there

  • Kingu Prima

    The bootloader is locked in the redmi note 3 so no alternative ROMs

    • Nightmare

      It’s a temporary thing.

  • buzz

    Botloaders are unlocked for official rom for Note 3

  • buzz