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Xiaomi Redmi 4 Review: Continues the legacy of maintaining price-to-specs ratio
Xiaomi has just introduced its new budget smartphone, the Xiaomi Redmi 4 and it looks the company is aiming to repeat the success it had with its earlier offering the Redmi Note 4.
- Great build quality
- Premium design
- Great performance
- Improved rear and front cameras
- Stellar battery life
- Fast Charging support
- Value for money
- Comes with Android 6.0
- Non-backlit buttons
- Poor low-light performance
While Redmi Note 4 has seen huge demand and sales, the newly launched smartphone has the potential to create a stir in the market. Besides the new Redmi 4 looks like a toned-down version of the Redmi Note 4 and sports similar features and functionality.
Some may say that Redmi 4 is a repetitive phone but it is an updated version over its predecessors. As such, the phone offers a balance of great design, excellent performance, long lasting battery and most importantly a budget-friendly price. Moreover, the new Xiaomi Redmi 4 also lives up to its predecessor in many ways, and it certainly seems like an improvement when it comes to specifications.
It is worth mentioning that the new Redmi 4 is available on Amazon.in and Mi.com with price tags of Rs. 6,999 for the 2GB RAM/16GB storage variant, Rs. 8,999 for the 3GB RAM/32GB storage variant and Rs. 10,999 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage variant. However, the 64GB variant is expected to be available by June-end.
Now that you have some idea about the new Redmi 4 and that you know the price for each variant, let us get down to the main aspect of this report. The main question that we will be answering is whether the Xaiomi Redmi 4 is the new device to go for or is this smartphone worth your money? Does it live up to our expectations?
Let's find out!
Build and Design
The first thing that you notice in any smartphone is the design and its build. So right out of the box, when you look at the device you will see some similarities between the Redmi Note 4 and it also doesn't look that different from its predecessors. While the Redmi 4 does feature similar design language as the Redmi Note 4, it did impress us with its sleek metal unibody design and the handset seems to have a smoother back. Further, the metal finish does add solidity.
The smartphone also has curved edges and it significantly improves the grip quality. The full glass panel on the front with 2.5D curved glass gives the phone a premium look. There are some symmetrical design changes like the headphone jack and infrared sensor on the top, the front camera and light sensor flanked on either side of the earpiece and the microUSB port sits in the middle of the speaker grilles.
The fingerprint sensor is placed a little higher on the back but is easily accessible. The rear camera has been placed above the antenna line on the left side corner. However, one small drawback about this phone is that the capacitive touch buttons under the display are not backlit. They could have added this feature.
That being said, the smartphone is just 139.3mm long, 8.6mm thick and weighs 150g and is available in gold and black color options. Overall, this is a great-looking budget smartphone which also has great ergonomics.
With the you will be getting a 5-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, covered by 2.5D curved glass. Moreover, the display with its slim bezels has vibrant colors and great viewing angles even in bright light conditions. Redmi 4's display is really great and one the best ones that we have seen so far for a sub Rs 10,000 smartphone.
Besides the smartphone's HD display provides great viewing experience while watching videos or browsing the internet, and while playing games. The HD display does a pretty good job. On the other hand, if you argue that Xiaomi should have included a full HD display then it would have basically adversely affected performance and battery life.
Software and UI
Redmi 4 comes with MIUI 8.2 based on Android 6.0. However, it would have been better if Xiaomi provided Android 7.0 out of the box. In any case, MIUI is one of the most feature-rich interfaces available for Android users. The UI looks great and the icons are not gimmicky. Further, you will be able to do a lot of customizations as per your needs.
The smartphone also comes with preloaded MI apps along with Google apps, Kindle, Facebook, WPS office, Flipkart, Swiftkey and PhonePe app. These third-party apps can be removed though. The phone also gets the usual features like Do-not-Disturb, Second space, Lite mode, dual apps and fingerprint lock for apps is also present.
Performance and Battery
Coming to the performance aspect of Redmi 4, this handset did manage to impress us yet again. Basically, our review unit is the 3GB RAM + 32GB storage variant which is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 435 processor.
However, with this configuration, we could use the device without any noticeable lags and the device performed most of the tasks very smoothly. Navigating the user interface, launching apps and even switching between multiple open apps was flawless and quick. Interestingly, the smartphone offered more than 1GB RAM for use even with 11 apps running in the background.
Likewise, we could play full HD videos without a hitch and most of the light games such as Subway Surf, Dancing Line, Super Mario run, Pokemon ran smoothly. We faced a few hiccups with some heavy games though like the Asphalt 9 or Modern Combat 5.
As far as the battery performance is concerned, well, Redmi 4 delivers a stellar battery life. This is really a strong feature that this smartphone is offering. These days it is not only about the features but the battery life and efficiency also an important aspect for smartphones. So Xiaomi seems to have done a good job in this department.
On heavy usage that includes voice calls, emails, constant 4G/WiFi connectivity, browsing the internet and social media accounts, watching videos and playing some games the phone will last a full day and a little more without any problem. With light usage, the smartphone delivers up to 2 days of backup. And Xiaomi has also provided support for fast charging, so the large 4,100mAh battery takes about 2 hours to charge fully.
All in all, the Redmi 4 handled tasks and performed well in an everyday usage scenario. We also ran the device through some benchmarking tests and the results are below:
The Redmi 4 comes with a 13MP rear and a 5MP front facing cameras. Surprisingly the cameras seem to be another strong point for the Redmi 4 and it seems like Xiaomi has tweaked and upgraded the camera a little bit.
As for the performance, the camera takes excellent images with great detail in good lighting conditions and it also performs well with dynamic range. However, in low light, the images do suffer from visible noise. As for the front camera, it works best in daylight while providing great detail and good color tone. In low light, it again lacks in delivering better pictures.
As for the camera software, the camera app gets several shooting modes including, HDR, manual, tilt shift, live filters and more. However, one issue that we noticed is when you turn on the HDR mode the camera app tend to lag a bit and the processing also happens a bit slow. Xiaomi could look into this.
Besides that, the video recording maxes out at full HD resolution and the quality is decent overall.
Well, we must say that the Redmi 4's camera is definitely an improvement over its predecessors with better focusing feature and picture quality. But Xiaomi has to work on its low-light imaging and the slight lag when HDR is turned on. Other than that its a great camera for a budget smartphone.
Some Other Features
Additionally, Redmi 4 delivers loud and clear audio output from both in-ear and loudspeakers, the fingerprint scanner is accurate and fast. The hybrid dual-SIM handset also includes connectivity options like 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS/ A-GPS, Micro-USB with OTG, Bluetooth v4.1, infrared sensor and 3.5mm audio jack.
Well, Xiaomi's Redmi 4 is surprisingly good when it comes to performance and features. The handset is an interesting update and makes for a good budget smartphone. Moreover, the camera is improved, the battery delivers nearly 2 days of backup, the design looks premium, great ergonomics and allows easy one-hand usage.
All in all, Redmi 4 will keep you happy and we definitely recommend this device if you are looking to buy a budget smartphone under Rs.10,000.
Having said that, yet again Xiaomi seems to have gone in the right direction with this smartphone. The company has set a new standard and has seemingly changed our mindset regarding what to expect from budget smartphones. As for the competition, undoubtedly, the Redmi 4 will be competing against the likes of Lenovo K6 Power (Rs9,999) and Moto G4 Play ( Rs7,999) in the market.