Buying online has the advantage of discovering products that you wouldn’t otherwise find in your local shop and that’s the case with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X. We got the device from GearBest at $159.99 plus $47 shipping and tax and it was delivered via DHL in less than a week. Anyway, this piece is not about the ordering process but why you would actually want to get yourself a Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X.
Until date, I choose my smartphones by first checking if they have any software support, be it officially or unofficially. Knowing well the problem that Android suffers, having an unofficial developer support through custom ROMs (third-party Android-based software) is key and that brings us to the Note 4X.
Out of the box, the device ships with Android 7.0 Nougat with MIUI 9 running on top, for a normal user this is good enough but any Android enthusiast will most probably gripe at this and for this very reason, I decided to unlock the bootloader, root the phone and install a custom ROM – in case I have lost you with unknown words, kindly hold on, I shall find you.
After all the hard work that goes on in the background, I finally managed to get my Note 4X to run on Android Oreo 8.1 but before we get into the software experience, let’s talk hardware.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X comes with:
- 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display
- Snapdragon 625 running the show
- 32GB internal storage
- 3GB RAM
- 13MP camera paired with a 5MP selfie shooter
- a rear-mounted fingerprint reader
- a humongous 4100mAh battery
- Battery Life – If I didn’t start with this, I would be doing injustice to the Note 4X. The device packs a huge battery that lasts all day and night and will even power you through two days if you are not a heavy user like I am. For those who like numbers, the lowest I have gotten from the 4X is 7 hours screen-on-time and this number can easily go up to 8 hours.
- Performance – Got to hand it down for the Snapdragon 625 and 3GB RAM that the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X packs. The two work hand-in-hand to give you possibly the best performance at this price point. I have not less than 10 apps open at any point in time and jumping from one app to the other is a breeze with no lags at all.
- Software – No, not MIUI but the custom ROM I installed. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with MIUI, it’s actually feature packed and it manages to run bug-free and lag-free but there’s just something about vanilla android that makes the hairs on the back on my neck stand up. The ROM I installed is known as PixelExperience and like the name suggests, it gives users a Pixel-like experience on their phones. So far, everything has been great, no bugs, it actually feels like a first-market software. The only issue? The fingerprint reader is too slow and there are random reboots at least twice a week, but all those are things I can live with.
The Not So Great Stuff
- Camera – If you are looking to get into the smartphone photography game, even on a budget, this is not the phone for you. The camera does what any basic camera would do, take photos. Are they good enough for sharing on Instagram? Well, see for yourself:
- Boring Design – Yeah, this design does not evoke any excitement despite the phone coming in my favourite colour, black. It is literally a slab with holes and it goes to show that Xiaomi really didn’t want to think outside the box. Yes, this is an early 2017 release but damn, don’t buy it hoping to turn heads around.
If you are in the market for a smartphone to offer your great battery life and possibly the latest software experience, as long as you know how to root and install custom ROMs, then the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X is the best phone for this but if you are looking for something to offer you more, let’s say a better camera, better design, then look elsewhere.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X is currently on sale for $149 and this offer expires on 30th January 2018. You can purchase the phone here.
Disclaimer: This review was sponsored by GearBest and contains affiliate links to GearBest.