While we are hyped by the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, another “Note” made its appearance in China and will (hopefully) be available in Singapore by year end. Two phones to be exact, the Redmi Note 2 and Redmi Note 2 Prime.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 is the successor to the Redmi Note, which currently retails in Singapore for only S$229. With improvements all around, if the Redmi Note 2 retains the same price point, this would be THE budget phone to get. Design wise, the Redmi Note 2 sees a smaller footprint and thinner body, yet it retains a similar screen size of 5.5″. The Redmi Note 2 will be available in 5 different colors: white, black, yellow, pink and blue.
What impressed me is that the Redmi Note 2 is no longer this cheap – looking, bulky chunk of plastic. Now with thinner bezels, and a slimmer design, it looks closer to the higher end Mi4i.
Specs are upgraded too. The Redmi Note 2 will feature the new Mediatek Helio X10 chip, which is an octa-core 2GHz chip, paired with 2GB of RAM. Storage is 16GB, with a microSD slot for further expansion. The battery is now 3600 mAH, with quick charge 2.0 support, which is huge when compared to others in its class. The weight is reasonable, at 160g, which is lighter than the OnePlus 2.
Full Tech Specs
- 5.5in display 1920×1080 pixels
- Android 5.1 MIUI 7
- 64-bit octa-core MediaTek processor 2.0 GHz
- 13 MP rear camera
- 5 MP front camera
- Dual SIM-card support
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB internal storage
- MicroSD card
- 4G LTE support (at least 1 SIM slot)
- 3,600 mAh battery
The Redmi Note 2 comes in two models: one with 4G connectivity on the first SIM slot and 3G connectivity on the second SIM slot (TDD-LTE & TD-SCDMA), which will retail for 799 RMB ($125; INR 8,000, SGD $175). The second model features dual-4G SIM slots (TDD-LTE & FDD-LTE), which will retail for 899 RMB ($140; INR 9,000, SGD $199). We would expect prices to remain similar when it comes to the Singapore launch.
For the brave, it will be sold in China from 16 August, and you may be able to import them through Taobao resellers. Make sure you get the Dual 4G SIM Slot version which has both TDD-LTE and FDD-LTE connectivity, since Singapore telcos are only catered to FDD-LTE.
But that’s not the end. For those wanting a bit more, there’s a “Prime” version, with more storage, and faster clock speed. Priced at 999 RMB, or around S$219, it’s only a 10% increase for a good boost in specs. The Redmi Prime comes with 32 GB of internal storage, and the Helio X10 clocked at 2.2 GHz.
We have seen a number of manufacturers offering budget phones but Xiaomi has responded strongly with the Redmi Note 2, offering great specs at a budget price. In typical Xiaomi fashion, the Redmi Note 2 offers excellent bang-for-buck and would make a great choice for an <S$229 phone. It’s a real budget killer for 2015.