Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 review: A hidden gem

A hidden gem

GSMArena team, 06 October 2016.

Display

Xiaomi upgraded the 5.5" 1080p screen to one that promises 450nits of brightness and 72% coverage of NTSC colors. For the Note 3 it boasted "pixel-level dynamic contrast" yet the phone scored less than 1,000:1 contrast, will this new screen be better?

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 review

Yes - the Redmi Note 4 hits its target brightness, which is slightly higher than Note 3's. Thanks to improved black levels, however, contrast is now over 1,100:1.

There's an Increased contrast mode, but that only changes the dynamic contrast on a per-image basis. It still makes photos look punchier and doesn't affect color accuracy.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek) 0.42 403 953
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 0.38 439 1158
Xiaomi Redmi Pro 0.00 408
Galaxy J7 (2016) 0.00 353
Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode 0.00 484
Huawei P9 Plus 0.00 400
Alcatel Idol 4S 0.00 373
Alcatel Idol 4S (Max auto) 0:00 684

Automatic brightness is available, but it doesn't boost the screen - 440nits is the highest you get.

The high reflectivity of the screen prevents it from being very legible under bright sunlight. It scores a bit lower than even the Redmi Note 3, despite being slightly brighter.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 7
    3.964
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • Samsung Galaxy C5
    3.911
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    3.798
  • LG V20 Max auto
    3.798
  • Sony Xperia XZ
    3.795
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Sony Xperia X Compact
    3.694
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • LG V20
    3.402
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    2.913
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    2.679
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c
    2.506
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Oppo F1s
    2.481
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Huawei nova
    2.467
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Lenovo Vibe K5
    2.459
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    2.378
  • Huawei nova plus
    2.329
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
    2.145
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Acer Liquid X2
    2.084
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1.996
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Meizu m3 note
    1.923
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215

The Note 4 uses an IPS LCD screen and it shows no color shifting at an angle.

The colors themselves are fairly accurate by default with an average deltaE of 5.3 and a maximum of 9.8. Those are numbers very similar to the LG V20 or a Sony Xperia XZ. The blues come on too strong, the white balance tends towards blue also.

We tried setting the white balance slider but found that the Standard screen mode is the most accurate. The average deltaE drops to a very good 2.8 and the maximum to 6.1. That's close the iPad Pro's numbers and better than a good deal of LCD-based flagships! This mode introduces a slight yellow tint, though, and shifts the white balance towards warm too. The maximum brightness drops to 415nits.

When you drag the brightness slider all the way down, the Redmi Note 4 screen drops to just 1 nit. This is great for using the phone late at night and you can enable the Reading mode to reduce the amount of blue light in the evening. This mode can be set to trigger automatically for select apps - say, Amazon Kindle or other apps that involve a lot of reading.

Connectivity

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is a sometimes dual-SIM phone - it really depends on whether you need extra storage. Which you most likely do, with the 16GB model.

If you do have two SIMs, it's a toggle in the settings that flips which cards provides data over LTE. The phone supports all necessary 3G and 4G tech for the three major carriers in China. VoLTE is supported, soon it will replace 2G voice in busy city centers as it supports many more calls per cell.

Locally, you get fast Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac on 2.4GHz and 5GHz (802.11ac was missing from the Redmi Pro). Wi-Fi screen sharing is available too, also Bluetooth 4.2 but no NFC.

The IR blaster gives the Redmi Note 4 control over your equipment at home - including things like cameras (some DSLRs have IR remotes), fans (Xiaomi makes a smart fan, believe it or not) and others.

Battery life

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 has a 4,100mAh battery - about the same as the Note 3 or Redmi Note 3 (withing 50-100mAh). It uses the same Helio X20 chipset that the Redmi Pro uses, but an IPS LCD screen instead of an AMOLED.

The X20 chipset is built on a 20nm process, meaning it should be more efficient than the 28nm chips (Snapdragon 650/652, Helio P10/X10). Even so, the Redmi Note 4 lasted less than the Note 3 (S650) we tested, scoring an 83 hour Endurance rating (down from 93 hour). That's as long as the Redmi Pro managed (80h). If you need two SIMs, then the Note 4 Endurance drops to 70 hours.

Individual tests are quite similar to the other two Redmis. The talk time is as long as you would ever need (even if not impressive for a 4,100mAh battery), the web browsing time is some of the best, the video playback good-not-great.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 review

Our endurance rating denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Redmi Note 4 for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We've established such usage pattern so our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

Can we do anything about the back camera. It is not giving clear picture. from cam is better than back camera.

  • ASAN MD

What is the difference between global and standard version of the redmi note 4 64 gp

  • Anonymous

Did u adjust camera settings, as it is set to standard quality by default instead of high, high gets u higher rez pics?