Xiaomi
When you think of a company like Xiaomi, then the most obvious comparison is to a company like Apple. And while the company has done a brilliant job of moving away from being called the "Apple of China" its latest phone invokes and channels Apple's halo product while also over indexing on Xiaomi's philosophy of making products for the masses than the classes. The Redmi 4 is the true successor to the Redmi 3S Prime from last year. Clad in stealthy black colour and a compact 5-inch form, for me there is no phone in the market that channels the feel of the iPhone 7 as well as the Redmi 4 albeit at 10 percent of the price. It is actually quite stupendous that one can get something that doesn't only look and feel like an iPhone but can also provide 95 percent of the creature comforts for just 10 percent of the price. That's the magic of the Redmi 4 which I believe is a home run for the budget smartphone segment in India.

The Good

Well, there is a LOT of good about the Redmi 4. Essentially, it is a shrunken version of the Redmi Note 4 which the company has been selling like hot cakes. This means there's a 5-inch screen -- 720p resolution to be precise, a full metal chassis that in feel reminds one of the iPhone 7, albeit chunkier. It accommodates a ginormous 4,100mAh battery that ensures this phone can last up to 36 hours with heavy duty usage involving multimedia, work and basic calls.

At 8.65mm in thickness and 150 grams, Xiaomi hits what I call the sweet spot in weight and balance. It is neither toy-like nor very heavy while packing in the huge battery, superlative build quality and ton of other features.

Redmi Note 4 is back again! Goes on sale from 1 pm

When you think of a company like Xiaomi, then the most obvious comparison is to a company like Apple. And while the company has done a brilliant job of moving away from being called the "Apple of China" its latest phone invokes and channels Apple's halo product while also overindexing on Xiaomi's philosophy of making products for the masses than the classes. The Redmi 4 is the true successor to the Redmi 3S Prime from last year. Clad in stealthy black colour and a compact 5-inch form, for me there is no phone in the market that channels the feel of the iPhone 7 as well as the Redmi 4 albeit at 10 percent of the price. It is actually quite stupendous that one can get something that doesn't only look and feel like an iPhone but can also provide 95 percent of the creature comforts for just 10 percent of the price. That's the magic of the Redmi 4 which I believe is a home run for the budget smartphone segment in India.

It is also a phone which can be easily used with a single hand which is a trait most phones miss out on these days. Xiaomi's fingerprint scanner placement is also impeccable; just below the camera in centre of the phone making it easy to reach unlike Samsung's new Galaxy S8 which manages to botch up a basic in a Rs 57,000 package.

Like all Xiaomi products, this phone represents the zenith of value for money. That means you get great performance out of this phone out of the box while also getting access to a number of tricks that most expensive phones can't deploy.

It is powered by the new Snapdragon 435 chipset which is fairly good for daily usage and also graphically intensive games. This particularly comes to light while using the 3GB model of the phone which is an impressive performer for something that costs less than Rs 10,000. There is also 32GB of storage which expandable via a microSD card slot.

Other neat tricks include an IR blaster which can be used to control things like your AC and television at home. It comes with Xiaomi's Mi UI 8 which adds features like dual app use allowing me to use two instances of WhatsApp through the given dual SIM slots. This has become essential to my daily productivity and I hope someday in a galaxy not so far away Apple does so on its iPhone.

As India is going through a 4G VoLTE boom, this phone obviously has the latest connectivity stack. in fact, the new Qualcomm chip adds a faster modem into the mix, but that's not something most people will be able to test.

But what will matter is the superb call quality that the phone provides.

Lastly, this phone has a stunningly good camera. Its 13-megapixel sensor is the same one as the Redmi Note 4 besides for a shallower aperture of f/2.2 and it captures some amazing photos given good lighting. Its images are vibrant, detailed and rich in contrast; and it does all this at a frantic pace.

In low light too, this isn't a bad shooter, definitely above average than phones twice its price. Basically, if you're looking for a good still camera and your budget for a phone is less than Rs 10,000, then this the one to get.

The Bad

In a nutshell, there's not much wrong with the phone. There are usual complaints which one will find in many budget smartphones as to reach price some tradeoffs have to be made. So for instance, an old Xiaomi problem rears its ugly head again -- the Redmi 4 is on Android Marshmallow which was announced a couple of years ago. Xiaomi likes to updates its own Mi UI claiming that it has more features than stock Android Nougat that Google offers for its own Pixel phones and some other new devices.

Stock Android is just faster and smoother and nowadays comes with even the Google Assistant which is missing on the Redmi 4.

Smartron SRT phone review: The master's phone with some chinks in the armour

When you think of a company like Xiaomi, then the most obvious comparison is to a company like Apple. And while the company has done a brilliant job of moving away from being called the "Apple of China" its latest phone invokes and channels Apple's halo product while also overindexing on Xiaomi's philosophy of making products for the masses than the classes. The Redmi 4 is the true successor to the Redmi 3S Prime from last year. Clad in stealthy black colour and a compact 5-inch form, for me there is no phone in the market that channels the feel of the iPhone 7 as well as the Redmi 4 albeit at 10 percent of the price. It is actually quite stupendous that one can get something that doesn't only look and feel like an iPhone but can also provide 95 percent of the creature comforts for just 10 percent of the price. That's the magic of the Redmi 4 which I believe is a home run for the budget smartphone segment in India.

Then there's the speaker -- it is not something that I'd recommend using for blasting Metallica or even industrial techno, though it will be fine if you want to do the odd con-call or listen to Jagjit Singh.

The battery life while superlative is compromised by the fact that the phone lacks fast charging and takes eons to fully achieve 100 percent battery life.

Finally, the video capture is just about average on the phone.

Should you buy it?

The thing is that phones below Rs 10,000 sucked before Xiaomi entered the market a couple of years ago and last year's Redmi 3S was simply disruptive. The Redmi 4 is more of a refinement of the concept and it is a damn good one. So, yes this is the best phone for less than Rs 10,000 in India, be it if you're looking for something premium like an iPhone, be it you're looking for killer battery life, or be it you're looking for a good camera. It is just a damn good phone which just works. It is highly recommended that you get the 32GB model which also comes with 3GB RAM.

Redmi Note 4 is back again! Goes on sale from 1 pm

When you think of a company like Xiaomi, then the most obvious comparison is to a company like Apple. And while the company has done a brilliant job of moving away from being called the "Apple of China" its latest phone invokes and channels Apple's halo product while also overindexing on Xiaomi's philosophy of making products for the masses than the classes. The Redmi 4 is the true successor to the Redmi 3S Prime from last year. Clad in stealthy black colour and a compact 5-inch form, for me there is no phone in the market that channels the feel of the iPhone 7 as well as the Redmi 4 albeit at 10 percent of the price. It is actually quite stupendous that one can get something that doesn't only look and feel like an iPhone but can also provide 95 percent of the creature comforts for just 10 percent of the price. That's the magic of the Redmi 4 which I believe is a home run for the budget smartphone segment in India.

Smartron SRT phone review: The master's phone with some chinks in the armour

When you think of a company like Xiaomi, then the most obvious comparison is to a company like Apple. And while the company has done a brilliant job of moving away from being called the "Apple of China" its latest phone invokes and channels Apple's halo product while also overindexing on Xiaomi's philosophy of making products for the masses than the classes. The Redmi 4 is the true successor to the Redmi 3S Prime from last year. Clad in stealthy black colour and a compact 5-inch form, for me there is no phone in the market that channels the feel of the iPhone 7 as well as the Redmi 4 albeit at 10 percent of the price. It is actually quite stupendous that one can get something that doesn't only look and feel like an iPhone but can also provide 95 percent of the creature comforts for just 10 percent of the price. That's the magic of the Redmi 4 which I believe is a home run for the budget smartphone segment in India.