Capable low-cost smartphones coming out of China is certainly nothing new, but Xiaomi's latest effort – the Redmi Note 2 – pushes things a little further, offering some very competent specs at a truly budget price tag.
So, what makes the Redmi Note 2 interesting? Well, it's got a 5.5-inch 1,920 x 1,080 panel, paired with a 64-bit octa core MediaTek Helio X10 processor (the same chip you'll find in the European version of HTC's One M9+), 2 GB RAM and either 16 or 32 GB internal storage. On it's own, none of that is particularly exciting, but slap on a 799 yuan (US$125) starting price, and it starts to seem a whole lot more appealing.
Elsewhere, the phone packs a sizeable 3,030 mAh battery, and there's a 13 MP f/2.2 aperture camera around back, as well as 4G LTE connectivity. Again, nothing to shout about usually, but pretty great given the price point.
One area where the Redmi Note 2 does shows its budget nature is in its build. The looks are simple and while there's an internal metal frame, it's an all-plastic affair on the outside. It's certainly not an ugly device, but the design lacks any real flair or originality. The software is based on Android, with Xiaomi's own MIUI 7 augmentation.
Unfortunately, you likely won't be able to get your hands on a Redmi Note 2, as there's no word on the device getting a wider release. It's set to hit China next week, starting at 799 yuan ($125).
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