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Many tech reviewers and sites (including us!) have rightly praised Mi for delivering standout high-end smartphones that are among the best that the market has to offer these days.

But after having given a Redmi 4X a spin, we’re quite happy to say that we find that the company also excels when it attempts to offer more budget-friendly devices.

Hold on before you jump to any conclusions. The Redmi 4X may indeed be inexpensive, but using it doesn’t feel like you’re giving up too much in the name of saving cash.

After putting a test unit through our usual battery of tests over a couple of weeks, we’ve found this phone to be pretty good value for money. Overall, we’d say that it’s most definitely worth a look even for those of you in the market for pricier smartphones.

Check out our review of the Redmi 4X right this moment!

A for (design) effort

Most of the Redmi 4X’s design specs aren’t far removed from those of other budget phones. Some might even offer a couple of features that this phone doesn’t come with. But here and there, Mi has gone the extra mile to try and make this phone special.

Take for instance the phone’s metal body. Now, in and of itself, this is hardly something that makes it stand out – there are quite a few midpriced and even inexpensive phones that also sport metal bodies.

Mi however has elected to anodize, diamond-polish and sandblast the body of the Redmi 4X in order to give it a more distinctive and a higher-class feel. (We’d say they were successful, it does feel classier and higher quality than most of the competition.)

The phone does end up a mite more slippery than a regular metal phone might, though, but that’s nothing a case can’t solve. And as with other Mi phones we’ve tested, you won’t be able to resist removing the case from time to time in order to admire it.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering – the company has seen fit to offer the phone in three different shades: black, gold, and a nice shade of pink.

The company has also paid quite a bit of attention to the design of the Redmi 4X and not just its constituent materials. For instance, the phone has gently curved edges, which makes it a little easier to use with one hand vis-a-vis other phones that aren’t designed in a similar manner (i.e. this phone won’t bite into one’s hand even when gripped tightly).

And the assembly quality of our test Redmi 4X was about as high as that of other Mi phones we’ve tested in the past – in a nutshell, not a hair was out of place on our test unit.

Lastly, a word on the phone’s display. It’s a bit on the small side and might not turn too many heads – it’s a 5-inch HD display – but we didn’t find it lacking during our test period. We thought it was quite good, as a matter of fact.

The display is made of 2.5D glass (which simply means that it’s got a contoured edge and, like the gently curved body, is gentle on the hands). Plus it’s pretty tough too and can handle even serious drops with ease.

Decent specs, decent performance

In terms of specifications, the Redmi 4X doesn’t stand out all that much – but once again Mi has come through with a couple of standout features that help boost this phone’s reputation.

The first is an infrared sensor, which seems to be becoming a bit of a rarity in this day and age. Another is a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and this isn’t all that common in budget phones either.

But to us the real standout is the fact that the phone comes with quite a powerful battery – all of 4,100mAh – more powerful even than the batteries in some of Mi’s higher-situated units. The company claims that such a battery is good enough for a whopping 2-day “hard multitasking” period and an 18-day standby period.

When we took our test phone for a spin, we couldn’t quite replicate these terrific figures, but we did find that our phone routinely lasted past the end of one day without needing to recharge. Whether low-end or high-end, most smartphones can’t say the same thing, so a big thumbs-up to Mi.

This is helped by the fact that the Redmi 4X is modestly powered by the combination of its Snapdragon 435 octa-core 1.4GHz processor and 3GB RAM; as a result, this phone is no speed demon. But it does offer pretty decent performance; daily tasks are handled well, and only much tougher ones like gaming are able to force the phone into a corner, so to speak.

In terms of operating systems, the Redmi 4X comes with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, upgradable to 7.1.2 (Nougat), and boasting Mi’s MIUI overlay.

One last bit: imaging-wise, the Redmi 4X won’t make the buying public gape with its 13MP main camera (f/2.0 aperture) and 5MP secondary camera (f/2.2 aperture). It does, however, come with PDAF fast-focus technology to help ensure that users can snap good shots as rapidly as possible.

Overall, we found that, akin to most if not all phones in its category, this phone can manage decent pictures in nice lighting but starts to struggle in middling light and has something of a tough time doing so in the dark.

The verdict

Overall, we feel that Mi has a winner on its hands with the Redmi 4X.

Outside of some special components like its battery and the PDAF technology its main camera comes with, the phone doesn’t really stand out in terms of its individual features. However, Mi has still expended some effort to try and make it distinctive, in terms of the attention paid to giving its metal body a high-quality feel, for instance.

We really appreciate this extra effort on Mi’s part, and feel that would-be buyers would also say the same if they were to give this phone a try.

 

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