Xiaomi Redmi 3 review: Precious little one

GSMArena team, 29 January, 2016.

Retail package

The Redmi 3's retail box contains just the bare minimum - a 2A wall plug and a microUSB cable for charging and PC sync. That's it.

The retail box - Xiaomi Redmi 3 review The retail box - Xiaomi Redmi 3 review
The retail box

Xiaomi Redmi 3 360-degree spin

The Redmi 3 comes with a slightly bigger display than the Redmi 2 (5.0" vs. 4.7") and thus the larger footprint. The phone spreads at 139.3 x 69.6 x 8.5 mm - that's 5mm taller, 2mm wider, but a millimeter thinner than the Redmi 2.

The new choice of materials, the bigger battery, and display, add some extra 11g up to 144g of weight.

Design and build quality

The new Xiaomi Redmi 3 is a departure from the previous Redmi phones and a new beginning for the series. There is a noticeable change in the familiar design with a new silver accent around the front, rounded edges and metal instead of glossy plastic.

Xiaomi didn't want to abandon all signature elements, though - you can notice the long loudspeaker grille at the back plus the iconic Mi logo.

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Xiaomi Redmi 3

We got the silver edition of the Redmi 3, which employs a white front panel and a silver rear cover. The piece of metal shielding the back features a beautiful rhomboid pattern painted with dark silver dots. This isn't the type of decoration we're used to seeing on Xiaomi devices, and we appreciate the change as it gives the device some character.

There are two plastic strips over the back, around the top and bottom. Just like most of the smartphones made of metal, the Redmi 3 puts the antennas underneath. The good news is those are made of high-quality matte plastic, and you can easily mistake them for metal. We'd have preferred those to come decorated with the rhomboid pattern as well.

Xiaomi Redmi 3 review

The Redmi 3, even though it ups the screen size to 5", is still a very compact phone and easily operated with just one hand. It's heavy, for better or worse, so you won't be patting your pocket often to check if it's still there.

Handling the Redmi 3 - Xiaomi Redmi 3 review Handling the Redmi 3 - Xiaomi Redmi 3 review
Handling the Redmi 3

Xiaomi Redmi 3's aluminum back provides for enough grip, better than any glossy plastic, but a notch lesser than what a matte material would have secured.

Controls

The Xiaomi Redmi 3's control set shows nothing out of the ordinary. Above the display is the earpiece, flanked by a couple of sensors and the 5MP selfie shooter.

The Redmi 3 - Xiaomi Redmi 3 review The Redmi 3 - Xiaomi Redmi 3 review The Redmi 3 - Xiaomi Redmi 3 review
The Redmi 3

Below the screen, we find the traditional capacitive control deck - Task switcher, Home, and Back keys. There is notification LED around, too.

The left side houses the ejectable bed, which can either take two SIM cards or one SIM and a microSD card.

The right side is where the volume rocker and the power/lock key are.

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The sides of the Redmi 3

On top of the Redmi 3 we find the audio jack, the second mic, and the IR blaster. On the bottom is the primary mic and the microUSB port.

What's on top - Xiaomi Redmi 3 review The audio jack and the IR blaster - Xiaomi Redmi 3 review A peek at the bottom - Xiaomi Redmi 3 review The microUSB port - Xiaomi Redmi 3 review
What's on top The audio jack and the IR blaster A peek at the bottom The microUSB port

The 13MP camera lens is on the back, accompanied by a single LED flash. The loudspeaker grille is also around.

A close-up on the Redmi 3's beautiful back - Xiaomi Redmi 3 review A close-up on the Redmi 3's beautiful back - Xiaomi Redmi 3 review A close-up on the Redmi 3's beautiful back - Xiaomi Redmi 3 review A close-up on the Redmi 3's beautiful back - Xiaomi Redmi 3 review
A close-up on the Redmi 3's beautiful back