Don’t we all want the newest phones for the best price? Maybe we have to look at other models than the Samsung S9 or the iPhone 8? For example, the Xiaomi Mi Note 3! This phone is a cheap option for the Samsung or Apple flagships. For just over €300 you can have yourself a Xiaomi Mi Note 3. Is this the flagship killer we want?
- 1 Introduction & Specifications
- 2 Hardware & Design
- 3 Performance
- 4 Camera
- 5 Software/MIUI
- 6 Features
- 7 Conclusion
Introduction & Specifications
In my search to a new phone for a year or 2, I looked at all kind of brands. From Apple to Samsung, from OnePlus to Xiaomi. Now I had a hard time choosing between a Oppo smartphone, the OnePlus 5T or the Xiaomi Mi Note 3. I don’t know why, but one night I woke up and decided to buy the Xiaomi Mi Note 3. Since I got it, I never regret the decision to but the Xiaomi Mi Note 3. What a great smartphone, it works super fast, is up to date, has a great camera and the software feels smooth. Never had a bug or a freezing phone. Here is an overview of the specs of the Xiaomi Mi Note 3:
|Model:||Mi Note 3|
|Dual SIM (Nano + Nano), Dual Standby|
|Software:||Android 7 with MIUI 9|
|CPU:||Octa-Core 4 × 2.2GHz ARM Cortex-A73 + 4 × 1.84GHz ARM Cortex-A53|
|Chipset:||Qualcomm Snapdragon 660|
|GPU:||Qualcomm Adreno 512, 650MHz|
|Camera (Rear):||12MP + 12 Megapixels with Dual-LED Flash and AF Dual Rear Camera|
|Camera (Front):||16 Megapixel Front camera|
|Memory (ROM):||64GB/128GB External Memory Not Support|
|Memory (RAM):||4GB/6GB LPDDR4, 1866MHz|
|Display:||5.5 inches IPS, LCD, FHD Display (1920 x 1080 Pixels)|
|Battery:||Non-Removable 3,500mAh Lithium-Polymer|
|Sensors:||Proximity Sensor, Accelerometer, Ambient Light, Compass Sensor, Fingerprint Sensor, Barometer, Gyroscope, Hall Sensor|
|I/O Interface:||Type-C USB|
|Dimensions:||73.95 mm x 152.6 mm x 7.6 mm|
|Versions:||4GB/64GB, 6GB/64GB, 6GB/128GB|
|More Features:||LTE Cat 12 600 Mbps Download, LTE Cat 13 150 Mbps Upload, LED Notifications, Infrared, NFC, Tethering, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, Fast Fingerprint Scanner, Reversible Type-C Connector, Qualcomm Quick Charge v3.0 Technology|
Hardware & Design
The Xiaomi MI Note 3 has a great design. It is not bezelless, like we see more often now, but that does not bother me. It is a nice extra if the phone have it, but it is not a requirement for me.
The phone has a glass back which looks really good and give you that premium feeling.
The button is not a real button, but works like the iPhone 8. It reacts on your finger without any moving parts. It also has the fingerprint scanner built in to it. It works super fast and the button works a 100%. Never had a failure.
I’m happy with the battery life of the Xiaomi MI Note 3. It is not the best I’ve seen or had but it last a day, which is the bare minimum for me. If I just use it for WhatApp and internet I’m maybe able to last longer then a day. When you start playing a game or do some other more heavy tasks, you see the battery drain.
The battery drop is because of Player Unknown Battleground Mobile played on the charger 🙂
It charges quickly. It takes around 1 to 1,5 hours before it is completely charged. Xiaomi delivers a quick charger with it, which is handy if you play a lot of games on your phone. You can charge it in the meantime for 30 minutes and gain a lot of percentages.
Luckily the Xiaomi MI Note 3 has a fingerprint scanner on the front of the device. A lot of manufacturers move it to the back or replace it with a facial unlock, which is also available on the Xiaomi MI Note 3, but I rather use the fingerprint on front.
You can add multiple fingers and use it to access your banking app, for example with ING.
It reacts really quick on all fingers, in whatever position you place it. Unlocking the device whenever you need it, right away. This is something that you wish for and hope in an fingerprint scanner and luckily Xiaomi did it right.
With the Xiaomi MI Note 3 you can also use the Facial Unlock features. This works just like the iPhone X and you can unlock you phone, really fast, by just looking at it. I set this up to see if it works and I was a little sceptic first. I thought it was a feature introduced quickly to compete with the iPhone X, but I was wrong. It unlocks really quick, within a second! Just press the lock button and before you can read the notifications you are already on the home screen.
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The audio is located at the bottom of the Xiaomi Mi Note 3. I tested this with some songs on Spotify and YouTube and the audio quality is decent. It is not super loud, and the louder you go, the more quality you lose. I would suggest just to use the audio for watching a movie, a Techrvw YouTube video or a song on medium volume to rate it. The audio quality is just not enough to use it as a speaker or to listen to music from it for hours. That doesn’t bother me, since I will use one of my Wireless EarBuds or my Google Home, but for some people this may be a deal breaker.
I’m really happy with the speed and the overall performance of the Xiaomi MI Note 3. It reacts really fast, I did not experience any software issue and multi taking works really smooth as well.
If we run the AnTuTu Benchmark we hit a nice score of over 135.000! Which is the highest I got with the phones I owned (Lenovo P2, iPhone 6, Maze Alpha, Bluboo S1 or the Xiaomi MI A1).
Benchmark Test (AnTuTu & GeekBench)
I can write how amazingly fast the Xiaomi Mi Note 3 is, but a benchmark test will show you the results you want to see.
As you can see on the “Multi-Core” test, it scores higher than the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 which is pretty impressive.
I selected a phone with a good camera. For the reviews I need to take good pictures and I selected the Xiaomi Mi Note 3. Being able to make a video in 4K and shoot great pictures is all I want for a phone that I will use to make my reviews with. Now how good is the camera? Did it meet my expectations? (Spoiler alert: YES!)
Photo Quality (rear camera)
I’m amazed. I knew this phone was capable of taking good photo’s, but the quality I get when I take a picture is amazing. I think we can level this with the iPhone or the Samsung. It is sharp, clear and the colors are good. Now I can write pages long on how good the camera is, but just look for yourself. Here are some examples taken with the Xiaomi Mi Note 3:
Normal photo’s taken:
Depth effect photo’s:
Photo Quality (front camera)
Taking a selfie is not something that I do very often, but when I do it, I want to to be good. Luckily the Xiaomi Mi Note 3 has a pretty good selfie camera as well. It comes with several modes to use, like Beauty or normal. With the beauty mode, it will make your skin more smooth. Fun to play with, but I stick to the normal camera. Here are some selfies taken with the Xiaomi Mi Note 3:
The Xiaomi Mi Note 3 is able to take video’s in 4K. But of course you can manually change the video resolution if you want. Making a video in 4K takes up a lot of space on your mobile device, but with the 128GB version you should be able to take enough video’s. You can make a slow motion video or a time-lapse, just what you want and it will look good! Here are some examples:
Here is a normal video:
Slomotion video here:
A time lapse captured in Sri Lanka:
The Xiaomi Mi Note 3 runs Android 7.1 with MIUI verison 9. This is created by Xiaomi and it looks really good and clean. There is pretty much no bloatware on it and it feel fast and smooth. I think Xiaomi made a good move by creating the MIUI and they keep updating it pretty often. Even older models get updates to the newest MIUI version. There are a lot of apps included in there which are super handy, if you know Xiaomi users. Let’s have a look at some Xiaomi made apps:
This is like a WhatsApp alternative for Xiaomi users. It looks a lot like the iMessage from Apple and I loved that feature on my iPhone 6 when I worked for the company. I used it more and more and WhatsApp was just for people with an Android device. Now Xiaomi has something that looks and works just like it.
You can activate Mi Messages and your messaging app will automatically change it when you want to send a text message to someone with Mi Messages enabled as well. So you how do you enable Mi Messages?
Now you activated Mi Message and you are ready to send those Mi Messages to all your Xiaomi friend who have it enabled as well! (If they don’t, send them to here and let them activate it)
You can see the difference in two ways. The first one is the writing field at the bottom of your screen. If you are going to send it to someone without Mi Messages, it will say “Text Message” in the white bar below. If you are going to send it to someone with Mi Messages enabled, it will say “Mi Message”.
The other way is the colors of the bubble. If it is green, it is a normal text message, if it is blue, it is a Mi Message.
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This app is amazing. It works super easy as well and you can send any file you want to a Xiaomi device nearby. Apple has AirDrop, Xiaomi has Mi Drop. You open the app, select if you want to send or receive. If you want to send, select the file, click send and now the app is looking for any nearby Xiaomi device who is ready to receive.
Are you moving from a other Android device and want to copy everything over to your new Xiaomi Mi Note 3? Understandable. Xiaomi made an app to transfer all your files to your new device, Mi Mover! Select what items you want to move, scan an QR code and just wait. The app will move all the date from your old device to you Xiaomi Mi Note 3 and you are good to go! Like nothing happened.
The Xiaomi Mi Note 3 is packed with features and I can not explain them all. So I just selected Three. Infrared, Split-screen and the Anti Overcharging Protection. Let’s have a look at those features!
This is a little extra feature which is fun to have. There is a infrared sensor at the top of the Xiaomi Mi Note 3. With the infrared sensor you can control your TV or the neighbors TV! But you can also control the AC, your fan, the projector or the DVD player for example. There are numerous brands already set up in the Mi Remote app for you to select. Just select your TV brand and point it and the TV and see if it works. Super easy and fun to use.
Want to browse the internet and talk to you partner at the same time? With the Xiaomi Mi Note 3 you are fine. You can use your browser and WhatsApp or WeChat at the same time. With the Split Screen mode you can have two apps open at the same time and use them together! Keep reading that article on Techrvw and chat with your partner while you are doing that. Super easy and it works really well. It does not slow your phone down or anything. Enjoy two apps at the same time.
Anti Overcharging Protection
This features does not only protect your phone, but also your house and electricity bill. When your Xiaomi Mi Note 3 reach 100% battery level, it will stop charging automatically. This is super handy and extends the battery life of your Xiaomi Mi Note 3 and saves power! A feature I want from now on on all my phones.
This is just a premium flag ship phone. It has all the new features, it works really fast, it has a great design and it get regular updates. I bought this phone to replace my Lenovo P2, which had some software related issues. I’m really happy that I made the change. The Xiaomi Mi Note 3 is super fast and can provide everything I need.
Split screening apps, fast face unlocking, super fast fingerprint and fast charging. I’m amazed by the quality Xiaomi delivered. They also put up some great work in the design of this phone. With the glass back you do have the feeling that it is a premium phone. If you are willing to pay a little extra to a “unknown” brand, this is a phone you have to consider. From camera to battery, from design to charging, everything just works really well.