Xiaomi has been on a roll as they released quite a few smartphones lately and we have a few really interesting devices here – the Redmi 3 and the Remi Note 3. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the battle of Xiaomies.
Xiaomi Redmi 3 vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 VIDEO REVIEW:
Xiaomi Redmi 3 vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Comparison Review: DESIGN and DISPLAY
When it comes to the looks, both phones carry the same design language but what is obvious is that the Redmi 3 is a lot smaller as it sports only a 5” 720p panel whereas the Note 3 has a 5.5” 1080p one.
Speaking of displays, it is evident that the Note 3 has a better panel mainly due to its sharpness as it simply has more pixels. The Redmi 3 also sports a good display but it has only 720p resolution. On the other hand, it is slightly brighter and the white colour does not look a bit yellowish as on the Note 3.
On the front top both smartphones have 5MP selfie shooters and the Note 3 has a notification LED here whereas the Redmi 3 has implemented it near the home button, which is, the same as other capacitive keys, not backlit.
The Redmi Note 3 has an edge here as its capacitive buttons have a nice backlight.
Both Xiaomies are made almost entirely of metal (except for the top and bottom parts for antennas). As far as optics, smartphones have 13MP shooters with PDAF but only the Note 3 has a dual tone dual LED flash as the Redmi 3 has a single LED.
Another advantage that the bigger Xiaomi phone has – a fingerprint scanner, which is a feature that has become important for many users.
The buttons, which are located on the right on each phone feel nice and they are made of metal too. On the left we have a dual micro SIM card slot on the Redmi Note 3 but the Redmi 3’s one slot also doubles as a microSD card for storage expansion.
Besides the usual ports, it is really cool that Xiaomi adds the IR blaster in their budget phones lineup. The setup of it is pretty straightforward on each device and I was able to control my TV in a few minutes.
Overall, both Xiaomies feel solid and they are well-constructed devices. The metal build adds that premium look and feel we don’t see on all budget phones and this is what you are getting with either Xiaomi handset.
Xiaomi Redmi 3 vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Comparison Review: USER INTERFACE
Xiaomi Redmi 3 comes with MIUI 7.1, which is built on top of Android 5.1 and the Note 3 has a very similar yet older Android 5.0 build.
The user interface is identical on each phone, well, they run the same MIUI after all. But what about performance? Well, it is really comparable. However, the Note 3 is just slightly faster at times, e.g. it may take a split of a second longer to open up the settings menu or do some other basic stuff on the Redmi 3. On the other hand, this phone still runs on a very early software build whereas the Note 3 has already received numerous software updates.
If you are not yet familiar with the MIUI, it has tons of customisation options, which include a wide choice of themes, wallpapers, fonts and so on. You can select from a few pre-installed ones or simply go to the online theme store where you will find thousands of different themes to suit everyone’s taste.
Also, you can highly customise the LED light, assign different tasks to capacitive buttons and so on.
Finally, MIUI runs fast and fluid most of the times on each device. There were just a few minor hiccups but they are not even worth complaining about. Overall, I’m happy with the way the user interface works on a daily basis especially if you consider a feature set and customisation options it offers.
Xiaomi Redmi 3 vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Comparison Review: HARDWARE and PERFORMANCE
Xiaomi Redmi 3 has a pretty good hardware as it sports an octa-core Snapdragon 616 chip with the clocks speeds of up to 1.5GHz, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage.
The Redmi Note 3 is no slouch either. The lower-end model of the phone, which is my review unit, has an octa-core Mediatek Helio X10 chip with the clock speeds of 2.0GHz, 2GB of RAM and only 16GB of non-expandable storage.
Both phones have enough processing power, so you can have enjoyable 3D gaming experience without any stutter or lag, well, if you do not max out the graphics settings.
In addition, neither phone has overheating issues.
Xiaomi Redmi 3 vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Comparison Review: CAMERA
As far as the image quality, I have made a separate camera comparison video, so you may want to check it out for more camera samples.
The daylight photos taken with the Redmi Note 3 usually have more details, a little bit less noise and they tend to be slightly brighter. However, some of the images taken by both Xiaomies are comparable.
It is a similar story with indoor shots and here the Redmi Note 3 shines in one more aspect – dynamic range. The auto-mode does a better job equally exposing the main object and shadows of the scene.
What is more, Redmi 3’s camera produced a lot more blurry shots, which led to quite terribly looking photos.
Finally, the Redmi Note 3 has a wider FOV (field of view) meaning that you can fit more into the shot.
As for night images, the Note 3 just blows the Redmi 3 out of the water. It produces images with much more details and less noise and the pictures just look much better overall.
The Redmi 3 also has a very annoying red tint in each night photo.
As for selfie shooter, the Redmi Note 3 is also better overall but the difference is not always significant.
1080p video recording is a department where the Note 3 shines again. It’s footage is not flawless as it is also a budget phone but the device’s camera captures more details, the footage looks sharper and last but not least the sound quality is much better.
Overall, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is a clear winner in each and every aspect. Although some of the daylight images taken with the Redmi 3 can be comparable, its camera’s capabilities are much worse than the Note 3’s. Hopefully, we will see a few software updates to improve that.
As for multimedia consumption, the Redmi Note 3 is better mainly due to a bigger and higher resolution display. However, other aspects like sound via earphones and the loudspeaker are very close in terms of the overall quality and it is hard to choose a winner.
All the connectivity options work great on each device. Call quality is okay and signal reception is excellent. Also, Wifi, GPS and Bluetooth are working fine. However, I was disappointed that the Redmi 3 does not support 5GHz Wifi connection, while the Note 3 has this feature.
Xiaomi Redmi 3 vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Comparison Review: BATTERY LIFE
The Xiaomi Redmi 3 has a huge 4100mAh non-removable battery. However, its bigger brother is no slouch either as it sports a 4000mAh unit. That sounds comparable but the Redmi 3 has to power a smaller display with lesser resolution and thus it leads to a better battery life.
Xiaomi Redmi 3:
In fact, the power pack on the Redmi 3 is one of the best in class. I could not squeeze the battery out in one day even on heavy usage that involved gaming, installing lots of apps, watching a lot videos, taking pictures, browsing the web and so on.
I was able to achieve over 7 hours of screen-on time with max. auto brightness setting of the screen.
Redmi Note 3:
The Redmi Note 3 is not that good but it still performs well. I could get from 5 to 5.5h of SOT under exactly the same usage.
So, there you have it, the Xiaomi Redmi 3 vs the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3. Both smartphones are great choices in their respective price categories.
However, the Redmi Note 3 is a better device overall. It has a bigger and better display, better camera and some extras like a fingerprint scanner, and backlit capacitive buttons.
On the other hand, the Redmi 3 is for those who want a compact phone, a better battery life and a storage expansion option via the microSD card slot. Finally, the Redmi 3 costs less. It can be bought from the third-party resellers for around $150 whereas the Remi Note 3 would cost you around $180.
At the end of the day, if you want a better device and you don’t mind its size, take the Redmi Note 3. If you love compact cheap phones but you can’t find a good one, take the Redmi 3 but make sure to consider its flaws.