Xiaomi Mi Note 3 Review – Literally cheaper version of Xiaomi Mi 6

Here is finally my full review of the Xiaomi Mi Note 3, the identical twin of the Xiaomi Mi 6. It is bigger, lighter and offers a bit more juice. The phone also comes with the fastest Midranger Chipset available, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660.

A better value than the Xiaomi Mi 6

SpecsXiaomi Mi Note 3
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 660 2.2GHz Octa Core
GPU: Adreno 510
MemoryRAM: 6 GB
ROM: 64 GB
Display5.5 inch IPS
1920 x 1080p
OSMIUI 8.0 (Android 7.1.1)
Chinese ROM
Rear CameraDual 12 mp
Front Camera16 mp
Special FeaturesFingerprint Scanner
NetworkDual Band WiFi
2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
3G: WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100MHz
4G FDD LTE 850/900/1800/2100/2600MHz
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0
Dual Band WiFi 802.11 ac/a/b/g/n (2.4/5GHz)
SensorsAmbient Light, Accelerometer, E-Compass, Gravity, Gyroscope, Hall, Proximity
IO2x Nano SIM
1x USB Type C
Dimensions152.6 x 73.9 x 7.6
Weight: 163g

The Xiaomi Mi 6 Twin

The Design of the Xiaomi Mi Note 3 is identical to the Xiaomi Mi 6. Similar Splash proof design and Dual Glass build. But similar to the Mi 6, it is glossy and a fingerprint magnet.

High Quality Screen

The screen I think is identical to the Xiaomi Mi 6,  the same 1920 x 1080p but offers good brightness levels and image quality.

Still Chinese ROM

You should take note that a Global version is already available. The Global ROM will grant you Playstore by default and minimal bloatwares. In my case here, I am still using the default Chinese ROM. Sadly, compared to the Xiaomi Mi 6, it hasn’t received Android 8 Oreo Update just yet.

The Fastest Midranger Chipset available

The Snapdragon 660 boasts impressive benchmark scores and can keep up with the top tier and more expensive Snapdragon 835. I think the only major gap is with regards to the GPU. Nevertheless, gaming performance has been top notch too as it can play all the games that I can throw at it with barely any slowdowns.

Runs Cool…

On idle, temps just rests between 33-35C and on gaming or heavy use, the temps rises to about 40-44C. I think the glass design definitely helps improve dissipate heat.

6 GB RAM is enough and 64 GB eMMC

There is no support for memory expansion, but it does come with 6 GB of RAM, which is enough for even the most heavy user. Compared to the Xiaomi Mi 6, another difference is that the Mi Note 3 only comes with eMMC Storage instead of UFS. It is slower but still good enough.

No 3.5mm Audio Jack but at least it  CLDA works

Similar to the Xiaomi Mi 6, the Mi Note 3 doesn’t have a 3.5mm Audio Jack. Fortunately, CDLA works much better on this phone compared to the Xiaomi Mi 6.

Dual Rear Cameras are impressive, just like the Mi 6

Surprisingly, the likeness extends to the Camera, as the Xiaomi Mi Note 3 offers the same camera performance and features. However, the features and shooting modes are similar to all the Xiaomi Phones I have tested, and I would have expected a bit more.

On very good lighting, it takes incredible shots with HDR. It can also shoot 4K @ 30fps with OIS. Unfortunately, it lacks 1080p @ 60fps.

Excellent Connectivity and Call Quality

Connectivity via the 4G LTE and Dual Band WiFi is impressive, no issues whatsoever and performance is stable overall. Call Quality is also above average with stable reception and no drop calls

Great Battery Life

Battery life is also impressive, I was getting around 14 hours on casual use. But that will differ on each use. Gaming use is far shorter but you will still get through the day with no issues.


  • Identical Build Quality and Design of the Xiaomi Mi 6
  • Flagship Build, great ergonomics
  • CLDA (Adapter) works much better compared to the Xiaomi Mi 6
  • Identical Build Quality of the Xiaomi Mi 6, Glass Design
  • High Quality 1080p Screen
  • Similar Camera performance to the Xiaomi Mi 6 (especially rear camera)
  • 4K @ 30fps with OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)
  • Blisteringly fast Fingerprint ID (Front Touch ID)
  • Super Connectivity (Dual Band WiFi)
  • NFC Support
  • Lightweight, at just $163g
  • 14 hours Battery life with Quick Charging Support


  • My model or version came with Chinese ROM (no playstore and comes with bloatwares)
  • Slippery and Glossy Glass Rear Shell
  • No 3.5mm Audio Jack
  • Pricey for a Midranger
  • Non Expandable Storage
  • Average Audio Quality coming from the built in Microphones
  • No 1080p @ 60fps

Great Value Mid-Tier Smartphone

The Xiaomi Mi Note 3 is essentially a cheaper version of the Xiaomi Mi 6 but it offers better value. Like a bigger screen and CLDA Audio Interface that actually works. It might not have the same chipset, but the new Snapdragon 660 Chip is quickly becoming a formidable competitor to the Snapdragon 835. At least for the CPU performance, it can compete toe to toe, it is only on the GPU side that the performance gap widens. Nevertheless, purchasing the Xiaomi Mi Note 3 is a recommended choice and you will not regret it. It is a Flagship masked as a budget phone.


Xiaomi Mi Note 3 (6+64gb) retails at $405

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