The 13-megapixel f/2.2 main camera is also impressive, as it's one of the few in the smartphone market that does phase detection for faster auto-focus. Likewise, the 5-megapixel front camera should do well in the dark, thanks to its f/2.0 aperture and large 1.4um pixels.
As a bonus, Xiaomi's added an infrared blaster on the top side of the phone, meaning you can control your TV, Hi-Fi and even air conditioner with it. That's pretty fun for a $125 phone. Everything else tucked inside this Mi 4i-like body is also decent for the price: There's 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM, a swappable 3,060 mAh battery, dual Micro SIM slots, either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage and up to 32GB of microSD expansion (which is a weird limitation). Alas, NFC is still missing here.
On the software side, the Redmi Note 2 will be the first to run on Xiaomi's MIUI 7 based on Android, which features improved power efficiency, faster response, kid mode and face recognition in the photo app. In China, MIUI 7 users will also get to take advantage of a new virtual SIM service dubbed Mi Roaming, which operates in 36 regions and costs just 0.1 yuan per MB (about $16 per GB) on average. All existing Xiaomi phones except for the Mi 1 series will be upgradable to the developer version of MIUI 7 on August 14th.
In China, the Redmi Note 2 will be available for purchase on August 16th, with the 2GHz, 16GB base model costing 799 yuan (about $125) or 899 yuan ($140), depending on which network you use, and the higher-end 2.2GHz, 32GB Redmi Note 2 Prime costing 999 yuan ($160).