The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 was just launched today in Malaysia at Xiaomi’s first-ever regional event in Kuala Lumpur; even Hugo Barra himself came down here to unveil the device. It’s quite clear to us that the Chinese company is very proud of its latest affordable device, and rightly so: the Redmi Note 2 gives the term “value for money” a whole new meaning.
Retailing at RM649, the Redmi Note 2 is one of the most affordable devices in Malaysia that is packed with a 1080p display, and that is not even its most impressive feature. What’s really interesting about this smartphone is its 2.0GHz MediaTek Helio X10 octa-core processor, which is found on high-end devices such as the HTC One M9+ (although the M9+’s X10 processor is clocked higher at 2.2GHz).
At a glance, the Redmi Note 2 looks just like its predecessor from the front, but that’s the only similarity it has with the original Redmi Note. In fact, it’s back panel is actually akin to the Xiaomi Mi 4i’s; it even feels like it. The back has a nice matte finish that is soft to the touch, making it very comfortable to hold the device despite its size.
Navigating around the Redmi Note 2’s menu and home screens is smooth without any noticeable lag or stutter. Everything look particularly sharp thanks to the 1080p display as well, which is pleasant to look at. Other than that, the volume rocker and power button of the Redmi Note 2 have a good tactile feedback, although they can be a little hard to press.
Gaming on the Redmi Note 2 is very promising. Seeing how the demo unit I played with had Asphalt 8 and Temple Run installed, I fired up both games to see how the device performs. Not surprisingly, Temple Run ran flawlessly on the Redmi Note 2. As for Asphalt, I had quite an enjoyable time with it. The frame rate was consistent, and I didn’t notice any performance issue with the game.
One of the most important aspects of what makes a device good is how well its camera performs, and the Redmi Note 2 seems capable in this area. Judge for yourself with these sample images taken with the device:
Based on these images, the Redmi Note 2 produces good shots in well-lit conditions. However, the same can be said of many other smartphones as well. Before a final verdict of the Redmi Note 2’s camera can be given, I’ll have to see how well the camera performs in less than ideal lighting.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 is a promising device. During Barra’s presentation, he even mentioned that this smartphone offers performance you’ll expect from a high-end device, although he was quick to point out that the Redmi Note 2 is by no means a flagship.
I can’t wait to spend more time with the Redmi Note 2. It will be interesting to see how its camera performs in various lighting conditions, along with the overall performance of the device. After all, how good can a RM649 Android smartphone be? We’ll find out soon enough in our full review.