Having used the Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro for 2 weeks, this phone doesn’t seem like the typical budget smartphone. It has extra features compared to the original Redmi 3, with an added cost of around $50. Which brings the price to about SGD220. A fingerprint sensor has been included, and the internal storage and RAM has been increased to 32GB and 3GB.
Design and Build Quality
Firstly, the design of the Redmi 3 Pro looks like most of it’s smartphone series. The back is smooth, has no textured design on it and the corners are rounded so it fits nicely into the palms. Good to note that the camera module does protrude a little so there might be a little rockiness when you place it flat on the table. The front bezels are minimal, which allows the display to stand out.
As for how the phone feels, it feels sturdy and solid. Holding the smaller 5 inch form factor makes it easier to hold and definitely nicer as well due to the full aluminum build. The front has a lip all around the display for that extra little touch which complements the look of the phone. In terms of aesthetics, the Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro does not even shout out budget at all.
Hardware and Display
As compared to the 6 inch Nexus 6 that I’m using, the Redmi 3 Pro’s 5 inch display is a little refreshing. As for the resolution, looking at the HD display doesn’t feel like it’s losing detail as compared to FHD displays. Colors are really vibrant, the icons and text are pretty sharp as well. You will have to look real close to the screen to actually see the difference.
It’s always good to see bigger internal storage as the Redmi 3 Pro has bumped it up by 16GB to 32GB storage. It’s a bonus since the Redmi 3 Pro has support for SD card up to 128GB by using 2nd SIM card slot. The RAM has also increased to 3GB, which means more multitasking and better memory management.
Also included is the new fingerprint sensor located at the back of phone. The sensor is always active and it will unlock the phone even when the display is off. The device unlock response is really quick, almost instantaneous.
Including in the whole package is a non-removable 4100 mAh battery, dual SIM slots, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1 and a notification light. An IR blaster is located at the top for interfacing with your equipments with the Mi Remote provided.
The modest speaker grill lives at the lower half on the back. It’s tiny but it packs a punch at very high volumes. As it’s backward facing, my palms and fingers will sometimes muffle the speakers when holding in both orientation.
Software and Performance
The Redmi 3 Pro retains the same internals as the Redmi 3. A Snapdragon 616, Quad-core 1.5 GHz and 1.2 GHz and Andreno 405 is what powers the device. Navigating through the menus or launching apps is smooth. Apps don’t take long to open and loading times are quite fast. Opening more apps is made possible by the 3GB RAM and it definitely helps with the extra memory management and multitasking. It’s quite a powerhouse for that kind of price.
Games like Warhammer 40,000 and Hearthstone, the Redmi 3 Pro handled it pretty well. Load times was relatively fast, graphics looks good and frame rate was quite high. There isn’t any sluggishness and slowdowns that I noticed. Just that, I am too accustomed to my 6 inch device and playing on a 5 inch phone feels tiny to me.
Software wise, the Redmi 3 Pro is running on Xiaomi’s China MIUI 7 without Google Playstore. Links are in the description to install Google apps via 3rd party. http://en.miui.com/thread-198204-1-1.html
Much like the other Xiaomi’s phones, although it is running Android, in this case Lollipop 5.1.1, the UI does not resembles much like Android. It’s got the usual customization options to change the theme, fonts and buttons behaviors. One-handed mode, Child mode and Reading mode are also part of the MIUI platform. If you prefer, there are always launchers you can get from the App Store if you want another look other than the MIUI. Also, just like the Mi 5 that I have reviewed, I have to repeat that I really dislike the menu stretching when scrolling at the end.
The 4100 mAh battery provided more than enough juice to last the whole day. The 720p display probably helped with lesser power needed to push the pixels. My usage was emailing, surfing net, messaging using 4G and heavy youtube watching on WiFi when I get home. Brightness was at 60% throughout the day and by the bedtime, the Redmi 3 was around 15% – 25% when plugged in. I’m impressed with the battery performance and I didn’t have to worry much about my phone battery getting depleted.
Charging time from flat to 100%, took about close to 3 hours with the supplied charger which was quite decent.
The back has a 13 MP shooter and in the front is a 5MP camera. Shutter speeds are decent but photos tend to take longer to process in HDR mode. Images taken in the day are clear and accurate whereas for night shots, sometimes it can get a little grainy. It has the usual array of camera modes like panorama, beautify and filters for the little extra fun.
So far, I felt the Xiaomi Redmi 3 performed well within my expectations. No visible lags or bugs, performance was quite excellent considering the price. Build quality was above average with the metal construction and fingerprint sensor. If you already own a predecessor Redmi 3, I think it’s worth upgrading to the Redmi 3 Pro to get the extra 1GB RAM, 16GB of storage and fingerprint sensor which performs really well, for an extra $40-$50. For those who are considering, you are getting way more than what you will be paying compared to other phones.