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Christmas Gift Guide

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is a $220-ish (£150 and AU$290, respectively) big screen phone from China and it hits all the right notes with its gorgeous metal body and surprisingly good performance.

Caption by / Photo by Aloysius Low/CNET

The phone runs Android 5.1 Lollipop, but covered with Xiaomi's MIUI skin. MIUI drops the app drawer, but adds a bunch of functionality to the phone that you'd not find on either iOS or stock Android devices, such as the ability to long press an app to move it and use another finger to swipe to the page you want instead of moving the app to the side of the screen.

Caption by / Photo by Aloysius Low/CNET

The Redmi Note 3 is one of the first metal-clad phones from Xiaomi, but the trade off is that the battery is now embedded.

Caption by / Photo by Aloysius Low/CNET

The 5.5-inch full HD display is bright and sharp.

Caption by / Photo by Aloysius Low/CNET

The rear 16-megapixel isn't quite good at detecting the proper exposure, and you may have to manually tune it yourself before you shoot the picture.

Caption by / Photo by Aloysius Low/CNET

The 3.5mm audio jack is located at the top of the phone.

Caption by / Photo by Aloysius Low/CNET

On the bottom, you'll find a very clean surface with just the micro-USB port located to the side.

Caption by / Photo by Aloysius Low/CNET

The phone's speakers are located at the back, below the Mi logo. It's also the only location the logo shows up.

Caption by / Photo by Aloysius Low/CNET

There's a fingerprint scanner located at the back, and the location makes it easy to unlock the phone when you pick it up with your hand, though not so when the phone is on the table.

Caption by / Photo by Aloysius Low/CNET

The phone still uses physical keys instead of onscreen menu buttons.

Caption by / Photo by Aloysius Low/CNET

The front 5-megapixel camera comes with Xiaomi's Beautify enhancements to make your selfies look good.

Caption by / Photo by Aloysius Low/CNET

The phone isn't the slimmest in the market at 8.7mm thick, but is still quite comfortable to hold thanks to its rounded edges.

Caption by / Photo by Aloysius Low/CNET

The phone features dual-SIM 4G support, and you can also switch one of the SIM card slots to use a microSD card. The phone has 32GB of onboard storage, and supports another 32GB of microSD storage.

Caption by / Photo by Aloysius Low/CNET

The volume controls and power buttons are located on the right.

Caption by / Photo by Aloysius Low/CNET
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