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Xiaomi aims to conquer Kenyan mobile market with this new phone

By Collins Nabiswa
@kollonabiswa

There’s a new kid on the smartphone block. Xiaomi, the Chinese phone maker famed for affordable but fairly good quality smartphones, have introduced their latest product in the Kenyan market, the Redmi Note 2.

Redmi Note 2 is the kind of phone that one needs when you need a good and big screen with good features with a tight a budget. The specs might not be as exciting as some of the biggest brands but this is the budget large screen phone to try especially if you’ve never heard of Xiaomi before.

Some people have had issues with displays larger than 5 inches, as they make it a tad uncomfortable to use with one hand, but the 5.5-inch Redmi Note 2 didn’t seem too hard to get used to. While it has the same screen size as the iPhone 6S Plus, the Redmi Note 2 is actually smaller in size and fits comfortably in ones hand. After two weeks of hands on review, we were sold.

Apart from having a 5.5-inch full-HD display, the Note 2 sports a MediaTek Helio X10 octa-core 64-bit processor. It has 2GB of RAM as well as 16GB of internal storage. However it does have a microSD card that supports up to 32GB of storage space. This means you’ll be able to get up to 52GB of storage if you need it.

The 13-MP rear camera is fine, but not terrific. It’s near perfect in bright outdoors as it captures images in in sharp colours. The camera however struggles in indoor light and might not get the perfect shade of the colours. The Note 2’s camera locks onto objects pretty quickly thanks to its 0.1s phase detection autofocus, which is another plus and there are a bunch of software enhancements, such as panorama mode for taking wide landscape shots. The front camera isn’t too shabby; you’ll be able to take good-looking 5-megapixel selfies thanks to the phone’s built-in Beautify mode.

The interesting bit is that Xiaomi have gone with Apple design handbook of putting all apps on the home screen by default. It, however, runs on an Android version called MIUI. MIUI drops the Android app drawer (where the apps are usually found) in favor of putting all the apps on the home screens. You can easily sort apps into folders, and there’s a smart feature that lets you use one digit to drag an app icon while using another one to flip the “page” to get to a new screen. This is way easier than bringing the app to the edge of the display.

This particular phone has an amazing battery life. It lasted about 9 hours on continuous use. That’s pretty good for a phone with a 3,060mAh battery. Another good thing with this phone is that you can replace the battery, an increasingly disappearing feature on many smartphones.

The Xiaomi phone comes in five different colors, white, dark gray, blue, pink and yellow. You can also buy a different cover to replace it, or use a different color snap-on case to change the phone’s look.
The Redmi Note 2 comes with dual-SIM 4G. With this phone, you won’t need to upgrade your phone as telcos roll out 4G services across the country.

At KShs 19,000, the Redmi Note 2 is quite a deal given its much better performance. Look no further if you’re hunting for a cheap smartphone. The phone easily shows why Xiaomi’s making plenty of waves with its gadgets and proves that you don’t have to skimp on quality with budget devices.