The continuing trend of full-featured and cheap Chinese smartphones is disrupting the segment, as the sales of premium flagship brands keeps declining. While the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is not as cheap as the ZTE Zmax, which came in at $99, its $239.99 and $179.99 price tags are still considerably lower than the high-end versions. This is welcomed news for small businesses looking to integrate mobility as part of their overall collaborative and remote workforce initiatives.
Redmi Note 4 Smartphone Details
The Redmi Note 4 has two versions, and they both pack some impressive specs and what appears to be a quality build. The metal unibody design and curved glass edge which the company calls 2.5D glass gives the phone an expensive look that makes it very hard to distinguish from any other flagship device. This despite the fact that these devices are still cheaper even than the mid-range smartphones called “flagship killers.”
The specs on both models are the same, except the $239 version has 3GB RAM and 64GB of storage, while the $179 version has 2GB RAM and 16GB of storage. The storage can be increased up to 128GB via microSD card for both.
The 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) curved glass display has 401ppi pixel density powered with a deca-core MediaTek Helio X20 coupled with Mali-T880 MP4 GPU. A large 4100mAh battery is another impressive feature that again exceeds what might be expected given the price point of this phone.
Images and videos can be captured with the 13-megapixel PDAF (phase detection autofocus) and f/2.0 aperture rear camera with a dual-tone LED flash, and a 5-megapixel front camera. According to Xiaomi, the phone can take 85-degree wide angle shots and record 1080p videos at 30fps.
As with other Xiaomi phones, the device runs the MIUI platform based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. For this model, the MIUI 8 will provide a phone separation function to deliver two independent space systems with two different gestures to unlock them. This essentially creates two phones in one, so companies can separate the personal and business functions to protect corporate data.
The sensors include a fingerprint scanner, infrared, ambient light and hall sensors along with the general gyro, acceleration and proximity functions. The connectivity for the phone includes GPRS/ EDGE, 3G, 4G with VoLTE, Bluetooth, GPS, Micro-USB and Glonass.
Chinese smartphone makers now take up three of the top five global brands. According to Gartner, following Samsung and Apple, which are in first and second place respectively, Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi complete the top five. The report also revealed Apple experienced its first double digit decline in 2016, and Samsung also showed some weakening, although it wasn’t as bad. On the other hand, the Chinese brands are continuing to grow, making up 17 percent of the market compared to 11 percent the previous year.
The one drawback of the affordable Chinese phones is they are not always readily available in the US. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 can be purchased in China and the company’s website, with no announcement if it will be sold by US carriers or retailers.