Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 review: For the people

For the people

GSMArena team, 28 September, 2015.

Contacts and telephony

The dialer and the phonebook share a single app although there are two shortcuts, bringing you straight to the tab you need. The app has pleasant flat looks and is about the same as we remember it the last time. The app uses a tabbed interface - recent with dialer on the first and the contact list on the second.

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The Phonebook

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 supports voice call recording and it can do it automatically on each call if you like. You can also assign an answer gesture, pre-define quick responses upon reject, there is even support for internet calling.

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The Dialer

There are even more call settings if you dig deeper into the menu - flip to mute the ringer, turn on/off the proximity sensor, lock automatically once slipped in a pocket, it can even mute calls from unknown numbers.

MIUI 7 also introduces Showtime Caller ID - it's a cloud service for Xiaomi owners and you can assign a short video recording to serve as your Caller ID when you are calling other Xiaomi owners. Unfortunately, you have no control over the video Caller IDs you get of other people. If the person who is calling you doesn't own a Xiaomi, or isn't running on MIUI 7 with enabled and configured Showtime Caller ID - this feature will be a no-go.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 scored a Good mark on our loudspeaker loudness test, but what's unfortunate is the speaker's audio quality. The produced sound is poor and not deep enough, and while it isn't as quiet as measured by our tools, it seems a quieter than other Good performers. This means you may miss some calls and notifications if you don't keep a close eye on it.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua 60.2 57.2 64.5 Below Average
Xiaomi Mi 4i 63.7 65.7 68.0 Below Average
Meizu m2 note 65.2 62.1 75.7 Average
Xiaomi Redmi 1S 66.9 65.9 71.7 Average
Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 66.1 66.0 76.0 Good
Xiaomi Redmi Note 65.9 66.7 75.7 Good
Meizu m1 note 67.7 66.2 75.7 Good
Xiaomi Redmi 2 70.8 70.9 77.4 Very Good
Motorola Moto G 3rd Gen 75.7 69.6 75.9 Very Good
Meizu MX5 75.7 73.5 79.5 Excellent
Motorola Moto G 81.6 75.7 82.7 Excellent

Messaging and email

The messaging department is pretty standard - there's a list of all bubble-styled conversations organized in threads, with New Message and Search keys at the bottom and a settings button next to it.

The Gmail app isn't pre-installed, but you can opt for Gmail or Inbox, if you prefer, from the Play Store. The generic Mail app is capable of handling all kind of mail accounts, including Gmail, and it can handle multiple Exchange, POP or IMAP inboxes. You have access to the messages in the original folders that are created online, side by side with the standard local ones such as inbox, drafts and sent items.

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Messaging • Email

MIUI offers Google keyboard by default - it has always been pleasure to use and is one of the most preferred Android keyboards out there. Baidu IME for MIUI is also onboard.

The gallery knows faces

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 comes with a custom Gallery app, slightly updated since the MIUI 6. It defaults to your camera roll, but it also supports Albums, Cloud and People. The People sorting, once chosen, sorts all of your photos by people's faces. Everything is automatic. Here you can also create a new baby album, to put your newborn pics inside.

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The integrated editor offers various effects, frames, tools (crop, mirror, straighten, rotate, fisheye, doodle) plus light adjustments that let you bring out the shadows or the highlights.

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Editing an image

Music player

The MIUI music player is a custom app with a well laid out, easy to navigate interface. It features two tabs - the first one is cloud music, similar to Google Music service provided by Xiaomi, while the second tab has your own local and cloud music.

The player has cool effects, transitions and transparent elements, especially on the expandable Now Playing section.

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Music Player • Now Playing screen • Lyrics

Xiaomi's Music app offers customizable equalizers with a few default presets already available for use. You can also try Xiaomi's MiSound enhancer, which comes into play when you use headphones, and especially, a Xiaomi-branded headset.

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Audio enhancements and equalizers

Video player

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 does features a separate video app, which offers a paid video service. Whether you will open your files from the Video app (Local setting) or File Explorer - it doesn't really matter.

The video player interface is very basic but there is rich video codec support. It managed to play everything we threw at it (including MKV and WMV files). The AC3 audio codec is supported too.

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Video player

Subtitles and pop-up play are not supported by the MIUI's video player though, so you might want to look around the Play Store if you need a more capable alternative.

Audio output is a mixed bag

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 started off great in our audio quality test. When connected to an active external amplifier, the smartphone showed excellently high volume levels and perfectly clean output for one of the best showings out there.

Plug in a pair of headphones, however, and deterioration is quite severe. Volume dropped significantly and settled at just above average levels, while frequency response was no longer perfectly accurate. We also detected a fair amount of stereo crosstalk and some intermodulation distortion for a rather unimpressive showing here.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Xiaomi Redmi Note 2+0.02, -0.10- 0.012-94.8
Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 (headphones attached)+0.50, -0.09-94.991.90.073 0.313-54.0
Meizu m2 note+0.08, -0.05- 0.013-92.4
Meizu m2 note (headphones attached)+0.40, -0.62-86.988.00.145 0.529-50.8
Oppo R1x+0.01, -0.04-93.592.90.0010 0.400-94.7
Oppo R1x (headphones attached)+0.22, -0.03-92.690.40.0029 1.144-69.8
Motorola Moto E (2015)+0.02 -0.06-90.891.10.0026 0.097-90.9
Motorola Moto E (2015) (headphones attached)+0.05, -0.06- 0.063-51.4
Xiaomi Redmi 2+0.06, -0.04-94.895.90.026 0.016-95.8
Xiaomi Redmi 2 (headphones attached)+0.04, -0.06- 0.053-70.0

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 note frequency response
Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

Reader comments

  • Aj


Fantastic wallpapers...really impressed.. very interesting way of knowing about the world around.

  • Jeryhk Dar Juan

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2....it has the advantage because of the specs of it than the oppo it is so Cheap