With the Redmi 1S, Xiaomi has managed to change the overview of the game in India. The company is redefining the scenes of affordable, entry-level Android phones segment. The phone created a enormous buzz with its solid build quality, superior performance and a great camera.
Redmi 2 is Xiaomi's successor to its earlier budget smartphone, the Redmi 1S. Here is the detailed review of the Xiaomi Redmi 2.
Build And Design:
Similar to its predecessor, Xiaomi Redmi 2 doesn't really boast of groundbreaking design but it's without doubt a solidly built device.
The phone retains the very utilitarian, rectangular slab form factor we've seen on the Redmi 1S complete with the rounded corners and the red coloured navigation keys on the front which give it a distinct look.
There's an LED light just below the Home key that lights up to alert you whenever there's a new notification or the phone's battery needs your attention.
Redmi 2 sports a removable back cover that wraps around the edges. However, Xiaomi has replaced the black coloured cover with a white one. The cover has a matte finish and doesn't look frail. It is also less susceptible to smudges compared to the one on the phone's predecessor.
There are no creaks and wobbles unless you press too hard, and the back cover fits snugly with the phone. It is also easy to take the cover off, thanks to the small opening at the right hand side. We like the new black and white colour combination and feel it makes the phone less dull.
The Redmi 2 sports a 4.7-inch 720p HD IPS, fully laminated display with AGC Dragontrail Glass. Overall, the display quality is good. However, it appeared a bit dull when kept at medium brightness. At full brightness, the display is good.
It is crisp and the viewing angles are good. Outdoor visibility is decent. Xiaomi says that it has provided a fully laminated display to reduce the thickness of the device and reduce internal reflections. Colors look vivid and brightness levels were optimum.
However, the display appears too glossy when used under direct sunlight. Apart from direct sunlight, the visibility is okay. Overall, consumers shouldn't have much complaints with the display.
Thanks to the higher display resolution, images and text appeared to be crisp and sharp. We also found the capacitive buttons and the touch screen to be extremely responsive.
The device offers an 8MP BSI f/2.2 rear camera with Flash and a 2MP BSI 720p front camera. Overall, the image quality is good.
The camera is quick and switching between the two cameras can be done simply by flicking the screen up or down. The new camera interface includes an exposure meter along with the focus ring which is very useful.
The camera app is similar to the one on the Mi 4 and doesn't feature basic and advanced modes. Instead, there are three screens when you slide horizontally - the first one features live filters, the middle one is the default camera interface and the last one has toggles for Panorama, HDR, Manual, Scene modes and a settings button.
In video mode the interface is limited to two screens with one offering toggles for fast and slow motion video in addition to Settings that even lets you select full-HD video recording mode (default mode is 720p).
The selfie camera is decent too. Overall, the camera is one of the real strengths of Redmi 2. It is one of the best in this price range. We have to say that the camera hardware of the phone is the best in the segment with similarly priced rivals lagging behind it by leaps.
Xiaomi Redmi 2 runs MIUI 6, a new version of the company's operating system, based on Android 4.4 KitKat. The new OS boasts of a flatter design, smooth transition effects, better multitasking and notifications interfaces and gestures, among other features.
MIUI resembles Apple's iOS in design and navigation and doesn't come with a separate app drawer. It focuses on ease of use in addition to offering enhanced native apps, better notifications and things like call recording and call blocking.
One of the highlight features of MIUI is the ability to customize the user interface with themes, downloadable wallpapers and clocks.
MIUI 6 allows users to identify, mark or block unwanted calls. It also supports batch organization of app icons and access to Notifications from any screen, including the lock screen. The new UI also offers floating notifications that show up at the top of the screen and are actionable.
The Redmi 2 is built to perform and it does. It scored 20,561 on AnTuTu Benchmark (v5.6.2). The device runs on a 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 CPU with 1GB LPDDR3 RAM.
Overall, the device is smooth. I did not face any kind of lags or app crashes at all. While multi-tasking, I witnessed a small delay, but it can be ignored. On the performance front, the device will not let users down.
However, the transition effects that come with MIUI 6 tend to slow down things a bit. Unfortunately, there's no way to turn these off. These effects are visible while opening and closing apps, expanding folders and switching between open apps.
RAM availability might be an issue on some handsets. While I got only around 270MB free from the beginning, other reviewers said that they always got above 500MB.
I switched off animations and opted for balanced performance, but nothing helped. However, this did not affect the performance.
Connectivity features of the Redmi 2 include 2G, 3G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and MicroUSB 2.0. The best part about the phone is that both its SIM slots support 4G data.
It supports both Band 40 (2300MHz TD LTE) and Band 3 (1800MHz FDD LTE) network bands for 4G covering all present and upcoming networks.
Redmi 2 offers good call quality and signal reception and we did not encounter issues while making calls even in areas where cell signals is relatively weaker.
The device offers 8GB of internal storage out of which 5.75GB is available to the user. The phone also features a microSD card slot that supports storage cards of up to 32GB. The device supports USB OTG and the OTG performance is superior.
The device is powered by a 2,200 mAh battery. The Redmi 2 easily lasts over a day with regular usage.
The battery life is good when compared to other devices in this price range. Xiaomi claims that its Quick Charge technology charges the battery 20% faster, however, I found that the device took around 4 hours to get fully charged.
You'll be able to make about 1-2 hours of phone calls, play some casual games and browse the web in this time period. It lasted more than 22 hours with light to medium usage.
I have taken a few screen shots to test the speed and the clarity of these images. Pretty impressive, I must say! These screenshots are basically of the camera filters, MIUI. The Redmi 2 took these screen shots within a time span of 2 seconds.
Under Rs 7,000, this is perhaps one of the best smartphones you can buy at present. It offers a great display (for its price), mid-range hardware and a good camera.
The smartphone definitely makes the Moto E (2nd Gen) seem expensive and will compete with the Lenovo A6000. Hence Xiaomi's Redmi 2 is a successful device.