Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X has been announced a month ago and many people wonder what's the difference between this device and the Redmi Note 4 as well as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 MSM8953, which is India-bound. For starters, the model combines aluminum alloy with plastic, unlike the other models that are all-metal. The overall design (with the exception of minor details), cameras and display specs remain the same as well as the front and rear cameras along with the battery model and capacity. The main difference, of course, is the chipset, as the Redmi Note 4 is based on a MediaTek Helio X20, while the 4X is based on a Snapdragon 625 SoC. It also offers more RAM and storage than the standard Redmi Note 4 version. Compared to the Snapdragon-based Redmi Note 4, the 4X lacks a 2GB variant, arrives with the latest software and supports more 3G and 4G network bands. In this review, we will put the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X to our usual closer look at its features and run all the tests we use, which will reveal whether this smartphone offers more than just an attractive price of around USD 150-180.The layout of controls is classic. On the left-hand side of the device is the hybrid, dual-SIM tray. On the opposite side, the volume and power buttons are located. On the top frame, you will see the 3.5 mm jack, infrared port and a microphone hole. On the bottom frame, there are two speaker grilles, only the right one housing a speaker. Between them, centrally located, there's a micro-USB 2.0 port. On the front, above the display, from left to right there are the LED notification light, earpiece, and front-facing camera. Below the display, a capacitive, backlit navigation bar is located. There's a special Buttons menu in the Settings, which allows you a great deal of customization of the navigation bar. On the back, below the upper antenna area, vertically along the center of the device the camera, horizontal dual-tone LED flash and fingerprint sensor are located. The Mi logo is imprinted above the lower antenna area.
The display panel does cover 72% of the NTSC color space, which is almost 100% of the sRGB one as seen from the CIE diagram below. There are insignificant deviations in all three major color areas - red, green, and blue. The sub-pixel geometry of the panel is a traditional striped one. The viewing angles shot clearly demonstrates that the horizontal angles are better than the vertical ones in terms of brightness loss. All in all, the Redmi Note 4X has a great display, which is a pleasure to look at and work with.
The Notifications and Quick Settings in MIUI 8 can be displayed either joined together or separately. The first option is the default one. The Quick Settings appear above the list with Notifications and you can expand them by clicking on the corresponding icon or simply swiping downwards. Below them is the brightness level bar and above them - some weather information, which if clicked opens the Weather app. There's a search bar, too with options for a QR code search. Zooming out on the empty space on the home screen brings up the Widgets menu. It contains Themes and Wallpapers options, an expansive list of Widgets and a choice of screen transition Effects. You can also choose from several styles of displaying the clock widget.The Settings menu reflects all the changes we've seen on the developers China ROM on the Mi MIX. The Network group of options allows you to manage your SIM cards, data usage, and wireless connections, including Wi-Fi HotSpot, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi Display, Wi-Fi Direct, etc. The Personal group of settings is compact and contains the Display, Wallpaper, Themes, Sound & vibration options. The most interesting features from the Display menu are the Reading Mode and the Color & contrast settings. The Themes and Wallpaper menus duplicate the offline content from the Themes app. The Sound & vibration options include Audio settings as well, which can be accessed from a separate menu under Additional settings as well as from the Music app. System & device is the largest group of settings in MIUI 8. It starts off with the Lock screen & password options from where you can create and manage fingerprint IDs, the screen lock, and other related functions.The Notifications & status bar settings are second in this group and from here you can choose the appearance of the Notifications and Quick settings, manage app notifications and the status bar. The Home screen settings are something new in MIUI 8 and include toggles for the Smart Assistant and layout lock along with a launcher choice if you tend to use more than one. If you have used other Xiaomi smartphones, you're most probably familiar with the Second Space feature. It creates a virtual machine that serves as if you have a separate smartphone. You can easily switch between the main and second space and, thus, easily separate your business from your private life, for example. The rest of the menus include Do Not Disturb, Battery & performance (to be discussed in the corresponding part of this review), Storage, and Lite mode that offers a simplified UI. The final sub-group of settings under System & device is the Additional settings. It contains Date & time, Language & input, Child mode, Privacy, Accessibility, Backup & reset, and Mi Mover.There are also various options for customization that include the Quick ball (an alternative type of on-screen navigation in the form of a floating dot), Screenshot options, LED notification light settings, navigation bar management tool, called Buttons, and of course - One-handed mode. The fourth group of settings is dedicated to the Accounts on the device - the Mi account (if you have one) and any other you might have with options for synchronizing data between them. The fifth and final group of options is the App Settings. From here you can manage all applications on the device - both system and installed ones. You can also manage the Dual apps - a function that allows you to maintain two separate logins for one and the same app, like Mi Talk for example. App Lock and Permissions, which duplicates the corresponding feature from the Security app, are also included in this group of settings. The final menu is About phone with a shortcut to the updater, which exists as a separate app as well.As we've already pointed out above, the apps in MIUI 8 are directly installed and appear on successive screens to the home one. You can arrange them the way you want and group them in folders. If you want to uninstall an application, simply drag it to the recycle bin. The row of docked apps on the home screen appears on every following screen, too. The Dialer in the original Chinese ROM has three tabs - for the Dial pad, Contacts, and Yellow pages. The latter is absent in adapted and global ROMs. The Contacts exist as a separate app in the Tools folder as well. The MIUI Messenger is simple with lots of settings. The MIUI 8 browser is quick, allows you to choose from several search engines, includes an ad blocker and a night mode. The Weather app is beautifully designed and can be accessed from the Quick Settings, too. The Clock, Calendar, and Calculator apps are typical MIUI ones. The Calculator is especially interesting with its options for converting temperature, mass, currencies, calculating mortgages, etc.The File Manager contains three tabs the main one being Categories that groups files in Docs, Videos, Images, Music, and other similar folders. There's a Recent and a Storage tab, too. The Compass and Level are other useful tools you might need now and then along with the Voice Assistant and the QR Scanner that can output data as a document or business card, too. All these, along with the Calculator and Downloads, are a part of the Tools folder, which also contains Mail, Virtual SIM, Feedback, customized Sound recorder, and FM radio as well. The Mi Remote managed to detect the nearest TV in the office and has been successfully used as a remote control for it. Other apps that are worth mentioning are the proprietary Notes and Maps ones.The Security app is quite extensive and contains a Cleaner, Virus scan, Block list, Battery management, Permissions, Data usage. The Themes app provides access to lots of online and offline content that is grouped in four tabs - Themes, Wallpapers, Ringtones, and Fonts. The content is mainly in Chinese. The More Apps folder contains the WPS Office, Qunar Travel, Mi Life, Mi Talk, and other apps with content in Chinese. Of course, there are proprietary Mi apps such as the Mi Market, Mi Shop for Xiaomi devices, Mi Reader, Mi Videos, Mi Games, etc. They are all part of the Mi ecosystem for providing content. It must be noted that the global MIUI ROMs do not contain these apps.The same applies to the results from the Sling Shot and Ice Storm tests (extreme and unlimited). Our review unit of Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X is equipped with 3GB of LPDDR3, single-channel RAM, clocked at 933MHz. There's a 4GB version as well. The internal storage measures 32GB and is available in a 64GB variant as well. In both cases, it can be expanded with up to 128GB. The type of internal memory is eMMC 5.0 and this entirely corresponds to the results from the Androbench test. Of the 32GB on board, 23GB are available to the user. There are plenty of sensors on board, including an accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope, light, proximity, etc. There's a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor as well. It is either made by Goodix, or by Fingerprint Cards (FPC1035). Our review unit has a Goodix fingerprint sensor. It is fast and besides for unlocking the device can be used for app locking/unlocking, etc.The front-camera interface has an extensive beautify mode, timer, and audio. It contains almost the same settings as the main camera, including the "mirror front camera" one. Of course, you can edit a photo after you make it. These options allow you to add a filter, adjust the position, enhance the image (automatically, contrast, sharpness, saturation, etc.), add a sticker or doodle it.As usual, we perform our audio test by using the TASCAM US-2x2 audio interface and the RightMark Audio Analyzer software. All audio enhancement features are disabled. The results do not take into account the speaker. The overall result from the test is Very good, which from a first glance does not make the Redmi Note 4X any different from other smartphones we've tested. However, there are details that are worth to be distinguished. This is one of the very few smartphones with an Excellent result in Noise level. The Excellent mark in frequency response is a standard. Furthermore, the Very good rating of the other parameters is better in terms of absolute value than many other devices we've tested. The only parameter evaluated as Good is the THD + Noise. As long as it concerns the speaker, our subjective opinion is that it provides enough loudness without losing quality. Our personal opinion on this is that the Redmi Note 4X has a very good speaker on board, indeed.
Just like the other smartphones from the Redmi Note 4 lineup, the 4X packs a 4100 mAh Li-Pol non-removable battery with a 5V/2A fast charger. According to the official specifications, it should provide up to 18 hours of talk time and up to 264 hours of standby time. All battery tests below are developed by us and performed with the screen of the device being calibrated to 200 cd/m2. Battery saving features are disabled. The graph above shows that the 4100 mAh accumulator needs 2 hours and 31 minutes to charge in full from 0% to 100%. The process is step-like but steady. The first 50% of the charge is reached in 55 minutes. Another 50 minutes are needed to reach 90% of the charge. At that point, the process slows down significantly and the last 10% of the capacity are filled in 46 minutes. The battery temperature measures 30°C at the beginning and in a few minutes rises till 34°C. At the 40th minute from the start it reaches 40°C and maintains this level for the next 50 minutes with rare peaks to 41°C. When the battery reaches 85% of its capacity it starts to cool off with this process drastically speeding up after 90% of the capacity is reached. At the end, the temperature measures 27°C. The browsing test shows quite an impressive result - 10 hours and 49 minutes! This means that the battery shows some real stamina. The discharging process is steady. At the same time the battery temperature starts from 27°C and after 15 minutes rises above 30°C and gradually reaches 33-34°C, which is maintained up to the very end of the process. For the battery life test during video playing, we use a 1080p video at 30 fps with a ~20Mbps rate. In this one, Redmi Note 4X shows impressive results, too. It takes 14 hours and 32 minutes to drain the battery completely from 100% to 0%. The discharging pattern is the same as in the browsing test. The temperature of the battery increases from 26°C at the beginning to 31°C and is maintained throughout the whole process. For the 3D Graphics/Gaming test, the Epic Citadel's tech demo in its Guided Tour mode is used. The battery needs 7 hours and 35 minutes to drain completely with the discharging pattern being almost identical to the one of the previous tests. The battery temperature starts at 26°C and after 5 minutes reaches 30°C. It continues rising gradually to 35°C after 25 minutes and 37°C after another hour and a half. This temperature is maintained almost the same with a slight increase to 38°C at the 6th hour of the process.
The review unit has been provided by FastCardTech.com
SpecificationsXiaomi Redmi Note 4X is equipped with a 5.5-inch IPS display with an FHD resolution and a 2.5D curved glass with scratch resistant properties. Its peak brightness and static contrast ratio are specified as being 450 cd/m2 and 1000:1, respectively. Coverage of the NTSC color space is detailed as being 72%, which is close to 100% of the sRGB space. The display panel is sourced out either from Tianma, or BOE. Under the hood, ticks a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 MSM8953 chipset that features eight Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 2GHz and an Adreno 506 GPU clocked at 650MHz. The LPDDR3 RAM on board is single-channel, clocked at 933MHz and measures either 3GB or 4GB. The internal storage is of the eMMC 5.0 type and its capacity is either 32GB, or 64GB. The built-in memory can be expanded with up to 128GB. The chipset has an integrated X9 LTE modem that provides support for 2G GSM (850, 900, 1800, and 1900 MHz), 2.5G CDMA 800 MHz, 3G W-CDMA (850, 900, 1900, and 2100 MHz), 3G TD-SCDMA (1880-1920 and 2010-2025 MHz), 4G LTE-FDD (850, 1800, 2100, 2600 MHz), and 4G LTE-TDD (1900, 2300, 2500, and 2600 MHz) bands. The rest of the model's connectivity options include dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Display, Bluetooth 4.2, an infrared and a micro-USB 2.0 port with OTG support. The model works with the three main satellite positioning systems - GPS, GLONASS, and BeiDou. It is equipped with a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor made by Goodix or Fingerprint Cards. The rear camera features a 13-megapixel sensor, which is either a Samsung S5K3L8 ISOCELL one or a Sony IMX258 one. The sensor is coupled with a dual-tone LED flash, PDAF, and a 5-element lens with an f/2.0 aperture. On the front, a 5-megapixel Samsung S5K5E8 BSI sensor sits combined with an 85° wide-angle lens with an f/2.0 aperture. Power is supplied by a 4100 mAh battery with a 5V/2A fast charger. The accumulator should provide up to 18 hours of talk time and up to 264 hours of standby time. For complete details, here is the full list of Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X specifications.
What's in the boxXiaomi Redmi Note 4X is packed in a pristine white box. On the lid, there's information about the version of the model - in our case the 32GB one, and its name imprinted with a special effect on the surface. On the side of the lid, the full model name is written. On the bottom of the box, there's information about the basic parameters and certifications of the device. Usually, Xiaomi devices arrive with only the very basic accessories and the Redmi Note 4X is no exception. Inside the box, you will see the usual SIM tray pin, user manual, micro-USB cable and the charging adapter, which is for the usual US standard electric socket.
Design, build and controlsRedmi Note 4X combines plastic with aluminum alloy in a one good looking and solid body that is comfortable to hold with one hand. The metal parts are the side frames and the back plate, while the plastic ones are the antenna bands caps, top and bottom part of the frame. In terms of appearance, it looks exactly the same as the Redmi Note 4 and its Snapdragon 625 variant. However, there are minor design details that differ. The first and more obvious one is the antenna bands design. The second is the placement of the infrared port, which in 4X is not centered on the top frame, but placed more to the right and the upper microphone hole. The rear edges are not chamfered. The front ones look like they are, but they are more rounded than actual chamfered edges. There are no visible screws on the bottom frame on both sides of the micro-USB 2.0 port. The rest is the same. The rear vertical sides are gently curved for improved handling experience. The antenna bands areas feature a debossed silver-colored line on the upper and lower part of the back. On the front, the 2.5D curved glass of the screen blends into the plastic display casing and the front edges, which enhances touch experience. The smartphone is beautiful and solid. It is relatively compact in height, measuring 151 mm, but in terms of width and depth, which measure 76 and 8.45 mm, respectively, the Redmi Note 4X is quite standard for a smartphone with a 5.5-inch display and a 4100 mAh battery. The 4X weighs 165 grams, which is lighter than the Redmi Note 4 with 10 grams. The model is available in five colors - pink, cyan, champagne, black, and silver. There's also a Hatsune Miku Special Edition of the model, which is in cyan color and features corresponding branding, Miku-inspired themes, and backgrounds, as well as a Mi powerbank and a case with Miku artwork, included in the package. We are reviewing a standard black Redmi Note 4X, which is quite stylish in this color.
DisplayXiaomi Redmi Note 4X features a 5.5-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. It is covered with a scratch resistant 2.5D curved glass. According to the specifications, the display panel has a static contrast ratio of 1000:1, a peak brightness of 450 cd/m2, and NTSC color space coverage of 72%. Xiaomi sources out the display panels from two providers - Tianma and BOE. Our review unit's display panel is from BOE (NT35532). If the display code says NT35596, then it is from Tianma. There are some settings under the Display menu, which will improve your experience with the display and they include a Reading Mode, which can be applied to selected apps, and the Colors & contrast options. We must say that for a budget smartphone, the display is almost excellent. It has a very good peak brightness of 425 cd/m2, which is even across the whole display area, meaning white values in the center do not differ a lot from those in other areas of the screen. The black values are not perfect but are good enough, and together with the white values result in a very good contrast ratio of 1360-1390:1, which is higher than specified. Having a consistent contrast ratio across all brightness levels is a sign of a good display. The same applies to the temperature of the white point. In this case, it is not only consistent but also with a very good value of around 7800 K.
|Brightness||White luminance||Black luminance||Contrast||Color temperature|
|100 %||424.655 cd/m2||0.307 cd/m2||1383||7897 K|
|75 %||325.134 cd/m2||0.234 cd/m2||1389||7849 K|
|50 %||226.309 cd/m2||0.165 cd/m2||1372||7830 K|
|25 %||123.901 cd/m2||0.091 cd/m2||1362||7802 K|
|0 %||16.703 cd/m2||0.012 cd/m2||1392||7801 K|
OS, UI and softwareOur review unit arrived with MIUI 8.1 | Stable 126.96.36.199 (MCFCNDI) based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and almost immediately updated to MIUI 8.2 | Stable 188.8.131.52 (MCFCNDL) also based on Android 6.0.1. Both versions are original China ROMs, which is fine as we prefer to work with original ROMs, especially when it is about MIUI. The lock screen is the usual one, but this time the left shortcut is to Mi Home. The right one is for the Camera app. On the top right corner is the shortcut to the Wallpaper carousel, which has disappeared in older versions of the UI. As usual, the apps are installed directly on screens successive to the home one and accessible by swiping to the left. This is the first MIUI with activated Smart Assistant that we see. It is accessed by swiping from the home screen to the right. There's an option in the Settings from where you can disable it. The home screen is the usual one with two rows of apps and a folder, all placed above the docked row of apps, including the Dialer, Messenger, MIUI Browser, and Camera. The folder is called Tools and contains useful apps such as Compass, Mi Remote, QR Scanner, etc. The Task Manager is accessed by tapping on the Menu button. It has the usual two styles of displaying apps - screen and icon one. For each application, you can access lock options and more info, by simply dragging it downwards. Dragging it upwards removes it from the Task Manager. Of course, there's a Clear All button, too.
Networks, calls and connectivityXiaomi Redmi Note 4X is equipped with a hybrid, dual-SIM tray with a micro-SIM slot and a nano-SIM/microSD card slot. If used with two SIM cards, they will work in a dual standby mode. When one card is registered in a 4G network, the other one will work in 3G networks only. The onboard chipset has an integrated X9 LTE modem, which supports LTE Cat. 7 downlink speeds and Cat. 13 uplink speeds. Due to its capabilities, the device supports 2G GSM (850, 900, 1800, and 1900 MHz), 2.5G CDMA 800 MHz, 3G W-CDMA (850, 900, 1900, and 2100 MHz), 3G TD-SCDMA (1880-1920 and 2010-2025 MHz), 4G LTE-FDD (850, 1800, 2100, 2600 MHz), and 4G LTE-TDD (1900, 2300, 2500, and 2600 MHz) bands. Call quality has been excellent at all times and places. The speaker does a great job during calls, too. The 4X also supports dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Display, Bluetooth 4.2. All these connectivity options are fully functional so are the infrared and micro-USB 2.0 ports. The latter provides OTG support. The model works with the three main satellite positioning systems - GPS, GLONASS, and BeiDou. During our test time, it managed to detect quickly lots of satellites from all three with an excellent accuracy of up to 3 meters.
PerformanceHardware-wise, Redmi Note 4X is based on the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 MSM8953 chipset. Based on the 14nm manufacturing process, this system-on-chip includes eight Cortex-A53 CPU cores clocked at 2GHz and a 650MHz Adreno 506 GPU. Another smartphone reviewed by us that has the same chipset is the Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL. The Redmi Note 4X scores 62345 points in AnTuTu, which is very close to the result of the ZenFone 3 - 62586 points. Both smartphones are almost on par on all other tests we have run. For example, in Rightware's Basemark OS II, which measures the overall performance, the 4X yields to the ZenFone 3 marginally. At the same time in the Basemark X test, which is focused on evaluating gaming and graphics performance, it is vice versa - the 4X scores better. Geekbench 4 results of both devices are very close, so are the Vellamo ones. However, in the latter, which checks scrolling and zooming, 3D graphics, video performance, and memory read/write, peak bandwidth performance and many other parameters, the 4X is only slightly outperformed in the Browser and Metal part, but scores better in the Multicore sub-tests.
CamerasThe MIUI 8 Camera app offers no surprise. The home screen contains flash and HDR options in the top left and right corner, respectively, a shortcut to the filters, modes and camera switch located above the shutter button, a video recording button and a shortcut to the list of photos and videos. There are nine shooting modes - panorama, timer, audio, manual, straighten, beautify, HHT, scene, and tilt-shift. The manual mode allows you to adjust manually only the white balance and ISO. The video modes include time-lapse and slow-motion. The camera settings include the usual picture and video quality, exposure, contrast, sharpness, and saturation settings, etc.
Primary cameraXiaomi Redmi Note 4X features a 13-megapixel primary camera. It is typical for the manufacturer to use two different sensors for one and the same model and this one is no exception. Our review unit arrived with a Samsung S5K3L8 ISOCELL sensor for its rear camera, but there are units that are equipped with a Sony IMX258 sensor. We've made a short research on the topic and, currently, there is no officially confirmed information why this happens and how to determine whether your device has one or another prior to purchasing it. The S5K3L8 sensor is based on a 1.12 micron-pixel architecture and has a 1/3.06" size. It makes photos with a resolution of 4160 x 3120 pixels and we must say they are not bad at all for this type of sensor. In this smartphone, it is coupled with phase-detection AF and a 5-element lens with an f/2.0 aperture. By default, the camera is capable of recording FHD videos at 30 fps and HD videos at 120 fps. However, the chipset does support 4K recording, so with a third-party app (in this case Open Camera app), it is possible to shoot 4K videos with the Redmi Note 4X. Below the photos we publish a 1080p video and a 4K one, so you can compare both. The same image sensor is used in the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 16GB and the UMi Plus.
Secondary cameraFor the front-facing camera of Redmi Note 4X, Xiaomi has opted for a 5-megapixel Samsung S5K5E8 BSI sensor. It has a 1/5" size and is based on a 1.12 micron-pixel architecture. It is coupled with an 85° wide-angle lens with an f/2.0 aperture and makes photos with a resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels. The camera is also capable of shooting HD videos at 30 fps. Other smartphones that we have reviewed and use the same sensor for their selfie cameras are the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 16GB, Xiaomi Redmi Pro, Vernee Apollo Lite, and Meizu m3 Note.
AudioThe Music app in MIUI 8.2 does look a bit different than the one in 8.1 but offers the same functionality. When started, it opens the main music hub, containing content in Chinese as it is part of Mi's media ecosystem. When you access the My music tab, you actually access the music available on the device. It is grouped in four folders and is complemented by musical suggestions along with a collapsed form of the player itself. There are additional tabs that group the audio files according to their names, the name of the album, artist, etc. Tapping on the minimized player expands it to full screen with options for opening the Headphones & audio effects settings, which include headphones remote buttons, assign buttons, equalizer, Mi Sound Enhancer.
|Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB||-0.08, -0.22||Excellent|
|Noise level, dB (A)||-96.9||Excellent|
|Dynamic range, dB (A)||90.6||Very good|
|THD, %||0.0039||Very good|
|THD + Noise, dB (A)||-82.3||Good|
|IMD + Noise, %||0.0094||Very good|
|Stereo crosstalk, dB||-80.7||Very good|
|IMD at 10 kHz, %||0.014||Very good|
|General performance||Very good|
THD + Noise (at -3 dB FS)