Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review: In shiny armor

In shiny armor

GSMArena team, 25 December, 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 it's about the same as we remember it. It uses a tabbed interface - recent with dialer on the first and the contact list on the second.

The Phonebook - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review The Phonebook - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review The Phonebook - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review The Phonebook - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review The Phonebook - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review
The Phonebook

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 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.

The Dialer - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review The Dialer - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review
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 so you run the rick of getting an offensive or inappropriate video.

Also 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 3 seems to feature the same speaker as the Note 2. It scored a Good mark on our loudness test, and outed pretty much the same results on all three tests as the Note 2. Produced sound is rather pleasant and deep enough. This means missed calls are unlikely in most environments.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Sony Xperia M5 65.6 68.9 64.0 Below Average
OnePlus X 65.9 66.3 70.7 Average
Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 66.1 66.0 76.0 Good
Xiaomi Redmi Note 65.9 66.7 75.7 Good
Meizu m1 metal 68.3 66.6 73.7 Good
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 66.5 66.6 75.8 Good
Xiaomi Redmi 2 70.8 70.9 77.4 Very Good
Meizu MX5 75.7 73.5 79.5 Excellent

Multimedia

The gallery

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 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.

Gallery - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review Gallery - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review Gallery - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review Gallery - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review
Gallery

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.

Editing an image - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review Editing an image - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review Editing an image - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review Editing an image - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review
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.

Music Player - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review Now Playing screen - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review Lyrics - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review Lyrics - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review Lyrics - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review
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.

Audio enhancements and equalizers - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review Audio enhancements and equalizers - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review Audio enhancements and equalizers - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review Audio enhancements and equalizers - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review Audio enhancements and equalizers - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review
Audio enhancements and equalizers

An FM radio app is also available. The Redmi Note 3 does not require a headset to use as an antenna, so you can listen FM radio without any additional accessories. FM recording is also available.

FM radio - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review FM radio - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review FM radio - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review
FM radio

Video player

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 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 surprisingly, supported too.

Video player - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review Video player - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review Video player - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review Video player - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review
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 mostly good

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 started off great in our audio quality test. When connected to an active external amplifier, the smartphone showed high volume levels and perfectly clean output for one of the best showings out there.

When we plugged in a pair of headphones the stereo crosstalk rose only a moderate amount - unlike the Redmi Note 2, which saw a lot of damage in that case. Volume still dropped though and we got some intermodulation distortion and frequency response deviations. The overall results are still good and a notable step forward for the Xiaomi Redmi Note line, but not quite up there with the best.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3+0.04, -0.08-96.092.30.0015 0.0076-95.6
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (headphones attached)+0.48, -0.09-95.392.10.011 0.327-70.2
Xiaomi Redmi Note 2+0.02, -0.10-96.192.40.0084 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, -0.05-93.192.70.0079 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, -0.06-90.290.70.0029 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, -0.06-94.091.00.039 0.053-70.0

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 note frequency response
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 frequency response

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

Reader comments

  • Ify

Redmi note 3 good phone but only 4 month use sometimes hanging no charging and automatic switch off😣😣

  • AnonD-657751

I had note 2 so when note 3 released i purchased but within a month realise what mistake had done. It's no longer the same as it was. Continue hang, slow down, heated up. Same things happen with my friend's too. Xiaomi lost It's charm as it was. V...

  • Ramkesh Meena

Mi Redmi note 3 phone service is very bad every 5 minutes temperature very high cool down then after 5 minutes temperature is very high I advice for you not purchase mi product not successful mobile.