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Thursday, 4 August 2016

Xiaomi Redmi 3S/Prime: Budget Smartphone


Xiaomi has finally launched their latest budget smartphone from the Redmi series in India. The Redmi3S/Prime was announced yesterday at a launch event. The phone comes with some incredible specifications which is generally not associated with budget end smartphones. Another good thing about this phone is that it has been manufactured in India under the Make in India initiative.
Xiaomi has really been very impressive with their budget end and midrange devices and this device is only going to consolidate their position in the smartphone market. Coming back to Redmi3S Prime, it is going to be available from 9th August,2016 through flashsale on Flipkart and Mi India portal. The device comes in two variant, the base variant called the Redmi3S comes with 2GB Ram along with 16 GB storage and is priced very aggressively at Rs 6,999/-. Whereas, the top end variant Redmi3S Prime boasts of 3GB Ram and 32GB storage along with Fingerprint scanner support sporting a price tag of just Rs 8,999/-. But do note that only the Redmi3S Prime will be available in the first flashsale on 9th August,’16 while the date for the sale of the base model will be announced later. However, no prior registration is required for the same.
In my opinion the specs offered at this price is really impressive and Redmi 3S/Prime are total value for money device. Moreover, Xiaomi has come with their exclusive Service Centers in major cities which should address the after sales service concerns of the buyers.

Let’s take a close look at the specifications offered by Redmi3S Prime:

Build and Design: The build and design is pretty much resembles the Redmi Note 3 but with slightly smaller build. The device sports the unibody metal design and is quite compact for a 5 inch device. It weighs just 144 gms and ergonomics do make single hand use possible on this device.The fingerprint scanner is placed at the back and you have the customary 3 capacitive keys in the front just below the display.
The display on this device is decent providing 720p resolution, with good viewing angles and colour reproduction too is pretty much accurate.

Battery Life: The phone comes with massive 4100 mah battery which is good enough to last for 2 full days under normal use. This is very impressive in my opinion and even outperforms most of the flagship devices in this aspect. The device uses 720p display instead along with optimal powered chipset which will be less taxing on the battery ensuring extended battery life.

Features: The phone comes with most of the basic sensors including the fingerprint scanner and IR Blaster which is hard to find on other budget end phones. The advanced technology supported by the phone enables users to experience features which are mostly seen on high end devices.
The fingerprint scanner is claimed to have high level of accuracy and is very responsive. IR Blaster is also a handy feature for Individuals who will like to use the smartphone to regulate their remote controlled appliances. 

Hardware Specifications: Being a budget smartphone one cannot expect it to be boasting of premium hardware specifications but Xiaomi has done a great job with the hardware as well. The phone is powered by the entry level Snapdragon 430 chipset along with Octa Core A53 processor which is ideally suited for users who prefer a good performance device. The phone has 3GB Ram which will ensure lag free performance, even multitasking can be handled fairly well. Adreno 505 GPU is also decent if one is looking for casual gaming but may struggle if one intends to extensively play high end graphic intensive games.
The internal storage provided on Redmi3S Prime is 32GB and it supports external SD storage upto 128 GB so I don’t think anybody will have any concern regarding the storage. The phone comes with Hybrid Slot which may be used as the second SIM slot or as additional storage.

Camera: Like most of the other Budget and Midrange devices, this phone too struggles under artificial and low light conditions but still the performance is pretty decent when compared to its competitors.The rear camera comes with Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF) technology and f/2.0 aperture lens which does capture decent images with fair detailing under good lighting conditions. The front camera too does a reasonable job.
Video recording is mediocre on this phone but at this price you can’t expect top notch performance.

Software: Xiaomi needs to work on this aspect as they are pretty slow in rolling out updates. This phone runs on Android Marshmallow OS along with MiUi skin running on top. The customization is on the heavier side but with 3GB ram it is well equipped to run smoothly. MiUI 7 does offer some additional feature to the end users but one does miss out on the stock android experience.

Service: Xiaomi is constantly trying to extend support to its large customer base, but often people are left fuming at their service. However, with Xiaomi launching their exclusive service centres one should be looking at improved customer service in the future. Xiaomi has opened their exclusive service centres in many prominent cities to take care of after sales support and they are also providing extended warranty coverage and insurance cover against payment of a nominal charges is also very encouraging. 

Verdict: This phone has got everything one expects to have on a smartphone, the pricing of the phone is incredible and for Individuals looking for budget android phone this is the best bet. The hardware specifications and features offered on this device could be compared to any other midrange smartphone barring the fact that it uses a slightly underpowered chipset. But if you want a performance phone which can do most of the normal tasks with ease along with a great battery life, compact design, high end features and lastly at a very low cost then this phone is for you. It may not be ideally suited for hardcore gamers or individuals looking for very powerful camera but then, one does need to spend atleast 2 to 3 times more for it.
So in short, this phone is total value for money device for most and the only device which in my opinion can compete with it below the Rs 10k mark is it’s senior pro the Redmi Note 3 (2GB/16GB).

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Key Specifications are given below:-

Processor
Octa Core Processor (A53 4 cores clocked @ 1.4 ghz & A53 4 cores clocked @1.1 ghz), Snapdragon 430 chipset
Storage
16/32 GB (Hybrid SD Card Support upto 128GB)
Operating System
Android Marshmallow 6.0
Rear Camera
13 mp/HD Video Recording
Front Camera
5mp /HD Video Recording
Ram
2/3 GB
GPU
Adreno 505
Battery
4100Mah Li ion
Display
5 inch (Scratch Resistant)
Type Sim
Dual Sim (Micro & Hybrid Nano)/GSM 4G Support
Resolution
720*1280(294ppi)
Touchscreen Type
Capacitive
Dimension(mm)/Weight(gms)
139.3 x 69.6x 8.5 mm/144

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