The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 4GB/64G (My new phone) (1 Viewer)

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Laron

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I was recently helping a family member get a new phone by researching them online. The budget was for a mid to low range / class type of smart phone. She wanted a Samsung, as she was familiar with it, so I ended up advising her to get a Samsung Galaxy A30

I have had a crack in my Samsung Galaxy S5 screen for over a year now. I’m constantly running out of space on this device, and find it a bit slow at times — it lags up and freezes (probably because of not having enough space.

I decided to look for a phone for me.

For the same price as that Galaxy A30, I found a very good phone, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 4GB/64G.

Xiaomi is a Chinese company which seems to be becoming rather popular. I actually have one of their electric scooters, as I got that to save on bus costs and halve the time it takes to get to my part time technical writing job in the city here. The scooter I got was rated to be one of the best for under the one thousand dollar range.

From what I can tell based on many reviews, even though these items are cheaper, they are still provide a quality product.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 is on Android 9, but the issue is that it has the MI User Interface. (MIUI) This is an aftermarket firmware for the phone and that means you get some extra features and apps. The complaint is that there is bloatware, and ads in these aps. But they can be removed, so I didn’t see an issue with this. (I don't need to use their aps, I can use Android versions.)

In the past, Xiaomi devices only provided a one version update to Android, and then MIUI updates for four years. This means that rooting the phone is required after a few years, which is a technical method of gaining root access to the phone so you can do what you want with it, such as installing Android without MIUI.

The way I look at the situation is that in three or four years, will I still want this phone? So is it a hassle that I have to deal with MIUI? No… I don’t think so. But then I would be fine with rooting the phone if I needed proper software updates.

This phone is pretty impressive considering the price in comparison to other phones. It’s been rated as one of the best for the mid-range phone market.

(I personally have no interest in getting the latest phones as they are just a waste of money and these mid-level phones are fast enough to do what you need.)

I found this site here, https://www.gsmarena.com/compare.php3?idPhone1=9513&idPhone2=9554, to be helpful with comparing the technical specs with other phones.

For example, the Samsung Galaxy A50 would be one of the alternative phones to get:

7556

What's especially interesting is the benchmark tests:

7557

And as for the technology in the phone, the Redmi Note 7 is still superior, not in everything, but the stuff you would consider most important, and is about 30-40% cheaper in price than the Samsung Galaxy A50.

Well, I just wanted to share my experience with finding a smart phone that you didn’t need to pay an arm and a leg for, yet is still quite fast and fine to use rather than having to get a top of the line phone that many Mobile companies offer with plans that actually cost four times as much.
 
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Kevin C

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I still use my S5 and installed a 128GB microSD card for extra memory.
The main reasons I kept it are (1) removable battery (saves a lot of aggravation), and (2) the microSD slot.
The trick is to look at the apps on a regular basis and transfer data/app to the microSD instead of internal 16GB memory,
which fills up quick.
Another trick is to delete and re-install [apps that require login] on a regular basis.
Often the data bloats up over time, therefore a fresh install clears it all up. This is especially true for games and photo-intensive apps.

The batteries are cheap ($6-10), plus a new S5 costs $120-160 USD on eBay.
 
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therium

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Hi, I've been studying a little Chinese culture and I also make and fix some of my own electronics.

Xiaomi is a Chinese company that makes all sort of electronics including cell phones, battery banks, etc. They are able to cut costs because the cost of labor is much cheaper in China, especially when they hire poor unskilled people from the small villages. I have some comments so people can understand the wider context of Chinese goods. The Chinese companies, especially smaller companies, often have quality problems for several reasons.
  1. People come from small villages all around to the cities to get better paying jobs. But there are at least 1000 dialects of languages in China still in existence and none of them can understand each other. Many of these villagers don't know the main language called Mandarin. But China has been working on these deficits for about 20 years.
  2. Turnover can be high at factory jobs as the people get exhausted and look for jobs they can better handle. This results in newer employees that 1) don't understand written directions in Mandarin due to the factor I listed above and 2) are just plain new at their job and are not very good at it.
  3. The workers are pushed very hard so the focus is on speed, not quality. What happens when you get a new employee that doesn't understand Mandarin signs, is new at the job, and has to focus on speed instead of quality? You get more mistakes.
  4. Most Chinese companies test a circuit board to make sure power flows through it, this takes about 1 second. There is no "burn in" period where power levels are pushed to the limits of the components to test for failure points. Some other western companies do a burn in period with electronics, this takes extra time and accounts for some of the extra cost of the western items.
  5. The most common mistakes I've seen with my products and from other users is bad solder joints, followed by poor quality solid state components like a resistor.
  6. The first Apple Iphone was delayed for 6 months as the Chinese factory had quality problems, quite a few of them. So Apple sent in a western QC person to help them get better results. QC was normally not a part of Chinese culture as evidenced by the Iphone fiasco. For this reason, Chinese companies often don't trust other Chinese companies and thus it can take months, or even a year, of meetings with a new manufacturing company before a deal is struck.
  7. If a resistor or capacitor goes bad and I can read the specs on it, I can replace it. But if it's so burned I cannot read the specs, I would have to guess at it.
  8. If a control chip goes bad (which is what happened to my favorite power bank) I can't fix that as the connections are many and tiny, and my hands are too big for that work.
  9. Chinese material science is mostly terrible. This is why the wires in cheap headphones don't last long: headphone wires bend a lot from use, the multi-strand copper wire is somewhat brittle and simply breaks after only a few months use and your connection is gone. This applies to metals, plastics, and even the solder. My Chinese solder was so bad I stopped buying it and got some good Kester solder instead. Problem solved.
  10. Xiaomi is one of the better companies with better products.
  11. There are good parts supplies from China but they are hard to find. It requires one to find third party reviews of these companies in order to find good sellers on Ebay. Some good quality Chinese parts sellers have their own store on Ebay or Aliexpress.com.
 
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Laron

Laron

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I still use my S5 and installed a 128GB microSD card for extra memory.
The main reasons I kept it are (1) removable battery (saves a lot of aggravation), and (2) the microSD slot.
The trick is to look at the apps on a regular basis and transfer data/app to the microSD instead of internal 16GB memory,
which fills up quick.
Another trick is to delete and re-install [apps that require login] on a regular basis.
Often the data bloats up over time, therefore a fresh install clears it all up. This is especially true for games and photo-intensive apps.

The batteries are cheap ($6-10), plus a new S5 costs $120-160 USD on eBay.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 is not that much more in price, it's about twice as fast in terms of bench marking, stronger glass, larger screen (not that we all need a larger screen though), has the latest version of Android (9) where the Galaxy is stuck on 6, twice the RAM, better camera, a 25% more powerful battery (I know, you can get other batteries for s5, i have a triple size one), and is generally a better choice by far between the two if you were going to spend that amount of money.

What stands out to me is having a much faster phone and a better quality camera on top of not having to deal with space issues anymore which is a hassle. Having the large screen is a bonus but I don't really need a large screen/phone. I'm just giving it a chance since it was only about $186US ($265AU).

I was reluctant because it doesn't have a replaceable battery (a huge issue for me). In the end I just let go and thought of the other benefits.

Hi, I've been studying a little Chinese culture
Great info!

I just looked up Samsung and where they get their phones made.

"At present, Samsung Electronics is running six mobile phone manufacturing facilities in the six countries of Vietnam, China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, and Korea. The two factories in China have a maximum capacity of 150 million phones." (Quora)

iphones?
"China: It currently assembles the majority of Apple's iPhones in its Shenzen, China, location, although Foxconn maintains factories in countries across the world, including Thailand, Malaysia, the Czech Republic, South Korea, Singapore, and the Philippines." (Lifewire)
But...
"The Face ID module for the iPhone X comes from Texas. Various chips for Apple devices are also built in the United States, according to Cook, as is equipment for manufacturing the iPhone. Components manufactured in the U.S. are shipped abroad, with devices assembled by suppliers like Foxconn and Pegatron in China." (MacRumors)

Xiaomi is one of the better companies with better products.
That was my opinion after all my research. The reviews of the products I looked into are very high and I didn't see any complaints about the quality of the technology.
 
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Kevin C

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I did consider buying a new one, then I realized that 5G networks are "projected" to be rolled out in 2020. Which means all 4G phones will be bricks then (unless they grandfather the networks so at least 4G works).
I figure to milk my S5 until then.

The big problem with factories in China is they take your spec "as-is", meaning unless you spec everything down to the part number, waveform, electrical baselines, etc. - they will substitute cheap parts like a kid in a candy store.
Most importantly, you have to spec failure rates.

Ex. if you ask for a iPhone that "last 5 years", they will do a prob distribution and spec for 3 years, meaning ~75% will last 5 years.
Hence, you have to spec for "ABSOLUTE MINIMUM 5 years". (not kidding about the caps, that's how you have to do it).

Most importantly, never source from any factory in Asia and say "give me your best low price". You will get positively screwed unless your spec is so detailed they have no recourse. Even then, you have to go into detail on the electronic behavior of the parts so they cannot either (1) substitute another equivalent brand, or (2) sub a fake "same brand" part.
Basically, the usual app note/spec you see from technology leaders like Intel, TI, Qualcomm for circuitry are not enough to source from Asia. Most engineers don't go down to that detail unless they have been exposed to "design for manufacturing" protocols.

The factories are built for efficiency and profit max, so they treat workers like numbers. Also, a lot of rural pop live on less than $1 usd a day, so even a $20 usd/day salary is huge for them. So even if one quits, there are 1000s waiting in line, especially at major ones like Foxconn (Apple supplier). Hence, shoddy work is expected, so they are treated like armies.

Therium, its not that the "material science" engineering in China is bad - its the "you get what you PAY for" cliche.
Literally, you have to send in 200+ page specs covering everything on the PCB and you have to create the firmware yourself
for them to upload. This way there are no 'holes' for them to expose.
So, u want better headphones with longer-lasting wires?
Ask your brand to build them to last minimum 10 years, then pay up prolly 20x $350 (approx. current QC price).....since Bose
won't be selling much if the headphones last 10 years plus. Planned obsolescence.
This is why Bose headphones are crappily built(cheap plastic, cheap hinges) and don't last long if you are a rough user.
I use them bcs their NC capabilities are excellent for flights, and I take great care of them, lol.
 

therium

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Which means all 4G phones will be bricks then
What I've heard: Typically telecomm companies support the last 2 generations pretty well as they phase out the third older gen. So when 5g rolls out, they will support 5g and 4g and will slowly phase out 3g. Right now, 2g is all but gone in many places.
 
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Kevin C

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Depends on network. ex. Verizon will phase out 4G basic, and leave 4G-VoLTE. Which means a S5 (original model)
will not work next year.
3G is out by then.
I use TMobile, so I have to check them as well.

See:
 
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Laron

Laron

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How is the phone working so far?
It's going good. I was surprised a bit from the slight excitement I had from using it and getting it setup how I wanted, initially.

I prefer not to sign in and up to things where I don't have to. For example I never signed into the Samsung account when I had the Galaxy. I didn't sign in to the MUI layer thingy and I'm removing the apps I can and not using the others which are system apps. Otherwise it's pretty much the same as using the Samsung in terms of the Play Store. MUI lets you send free texts between users a bit like Apple with the texting but I didn't take up that feature as I don't need it.

Because of the upgrade from Android 6 or whatever I had, to 9, there's a few differences in the apps I usually use such as the camera. I'm having to learn those new features.
 
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Kevin C

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I'll put in under my "Phones to consider" list for next year's 5G / 4G-VoLTE switch.
I'm an Android fan, since I love multitasking and the ability to root the phones to rid bloatware.

5G phones are not out yet.
 

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