By now you should’ve heard the name Xiaomi, we’re certainly big fans of the Chinese corporation here at GoTrend. They make great devices which retail for a fraction of the cost of their high-end with comparable specs.
The Redmi Note 2 certainly follows on in this tradition.
Xiaomi veers towards a very understated design style and the Redmi Note 2 is no exception. Some might call it boring and uninteresting but we see it as restrained and focused.
Featuring a 5.5-inch full HD (FHD) display housed in a plastic body (with a removable battery), the Note 2 doesn’t look as inexpensive as its price tag would suggest.
The front of the device is dominated by the display with a 5MP front facing camera sitting next to the earpiece above the display and red capacitive buttons below.
The right hand side of the device features a volume rocker and power button with the left hand side of the device completely bare.
The bottom of the device features a micro-USB charging port with the 3.5mm headphone jack on the top of the device.
The back of the Redmi Note 2 features a circular 13MP camera sitting above a flash with a large speaker grille across the bottom of the device below the Xiaomi Mi logo.
Xiaomi has opted to load Android Lollipop as the default operating system, which will hopefully be upgradable to Marshmallow fairly soon, this of course is covered by Xiaomi’s UI, the MIUI.
While I’m not a fan of the Chinese styled UIs, due to their extreme playfulness and sometimes tons of bloatware, Xiaomi’s UI is one of the least offensive ones out there. The MIUI is also one of the most user-friendly interfaces I’ve come across in a while (which other device gives you the choice of 3 keyboards, including SwiftKey, to select from when setting up your phone?).
The Redmi Note 2 isn’t going to win any photography awards any time soon, and it certainly isn’t a competitor for the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S7, Huawei P9 or LG G5, but it’s certainly no slouch either.
The 13MP rear-facing camera takes great pictures in full sunlight but does unfortunately suffer from grainy images in lowlight conditions.
Here’s an unedited photograph we took using the 13MP rear facing camera :
The 5MP front -facing camera takes more than adequate selfies and thanks to the multitude of beauty functions that are becoming more prevalent; you’ll definitely be happy.
Xiaomi has packed a fairly large 3060mAh battery in the Redmi Note 2 and according to the company; it can last up to 120 hours on standby.
Our review device outlasted the Xiaomi Mi 4 and got us comfortably through a full day of usage, including taking pictures, watching HD YouTube videos, listening to music, IMs and social media as well as the occasional phone call.
The Redmi Note 2 is a more than capable device that we would have expected to retail for far more than its R2999 price.
If you’re in the market for a large screen smartphone that would look as good in a boardroom as it would while you’re enjoying a weekend away, then this is definitely a phone to put right at the top of your list of options.
At that price point, what could really compete? Our one gripe is that the Redmi Note 2 is currently only available in SA in dark grey.