Sunday, 5 October 2014

Xiaomi RedmiI 1s: Review

Xiaomi REDMI 1s: Review

 Last month, Xiaomi India launched their budget Smartphone Redmi 1s. The phone is priced at just at Rs 5999/- and is available exclusively through online retail store Flipkart. The company has adopted the flash sale policy which is helping them in generating huge demand for the product and also helping them in marketing and promoting the product. The phone has been priced very aggressively and poses serious challenge for some of the Tier1 brands. Now let’s look at the specs and overall performance of the phone.

The device has a premium feel to it and is very comfortable to handle and use even with single hand. It has a removable back cover and battery is also user replaceable. Although the handset has a premium feel and looks compact there is one serious flaw with the built. The plastic back cover makes a creaky sound when you hold or tap near the camera region. In some phones the creaky sound appears while you juggle it in your hands. Otherwise the build quality is pretty decent considering the price point.
It is available in Black variant as of now.

Xiaomi Redmi1S sports a 4.70 inch IPS LCD touchscreen with a resolution of 720p (312ppi). The display looks vibrant and while viewing at extreme angles also the display does fade. The device sports an AGC Dragontrail Scratch resistant glass. Overall the viewing is very soothing to eyes.It has three capacitive buttons at the bottom but unfortunately the buttons are not backlit. So it might be difficult to navigate in the dark for some. The LED notification light is just below the capacitive buttons.The auto brightness sensor also works pretty well on the phone.

Hardware Configuration
Redmi 1s is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset with  Processor clocked at 1.6 ghz and 1Gb of Ram. GPU provided is Adreno 305 which is capable in handling most of the games at the medium or even at high graphics level. It has an internal storage of 8gb out of which around 5gb is available for the user. It also supports a micro SD card upto 64gb.
The phone is pretty fluid to handle in day to day usage and is able to perform most of the function without lag. However while multitasking and playing high end games you will notice a bit of lag and skipping of few frames while gaming.

Redmi1S runs on somewhat outdated Android Jellybean 4.3 with the custom User Interface MIUI 5 on top. Software is one area where I strongly feel a bit of more customization is required. The OS seems to be buggy and apps do take up alot of RAM which does make the phone sluggish at times. But Xiaomi rolled out an update recently which takes care of some of the issues and phone does show an improvement in the performance. Xiaomi has also promised Kitkat and MIUI 6 update for the phone. However the customization does offer a lot of option and seems to be inspired by the IOS. Users will in all probability love the customization and if not they can use other launcher as well after the Kitkat update.

Battery Life
One of the biggest weaknesses of the Redmi1s is the battery life. The 2000mah battery even with moderate use may not be enough to run you through the day without having to recharge again. The battery drains pretty fast and heavy user might have to carry additional battery or powerbanks with them while travelling. However, I do feel with better software customization the battery life may improve a bit. The average screen time which I got on the phone was around 3hours.

The device could handle most of the games thrown at it but on heavy end games you could see minor lags but still games were pretty playable. The device does tend to heat up while gaming continuously for 15-20 minutes.

Networks and Reception
The phone comes in dual SIM variant has 3G support enabled. I did not face any issues with network connectivity or call reception. The voice call quality was pretty decent. Although the speaker volume could have been better.

The Camera is one of the strongest talking points of the phone. The pictures taken from the 8 megapixel rear camera come out to be pretty good. The video recording at 1080p from the rear and at 720 p is also pretty decent. You can click some decent selfies too. The quality of images is pretty good and noise too was surprisingly low for a budget device.

Overall Impression
The phone seems to be a steal at the price it is selling in the market. The closest competitor for this phone is Moto G2 & Asus Zenfone 5 priced at `12,999/- & `9,999/- respectively.
The phone does have some software issues which hopefully will be sorted out with future updates. Apart from that the phone does tend to heat up near the rear camera even during normal usage although it does not hinder the performance of the phone.Capacitive buttons could have been backlit.
Barring the points made above the phone is pretty responsive and performs most of the task with ease. It is recommended for normal usage and people who perform basic tasks like mailing, browsing, etc with their phones. The specs offered at this price is pretty amazing and for normal users it is a decent buy.

Key Specifications are given below:-

1.6 Ghz Quad Core(Qualcomm Snapdragon 400)
8GB ( MicroSD card support upto 64gb)
Operating System
Android Jellybean 4.3 (Upgrade to Kitkat assured)
Rear Camera
8 megapixel (With Led Flash)
Front Camera
1.6 mp
2000 Mah
4.7inch (AGC Dragontrail Glass)
Type Sim
Mini Sim/Dual Sim/GSM 3G Support
Touchscreen Type
137*69*9.9 /158

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