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Xiaomi Redmi Y3 Review: Strictly for selfie-lovers
Xiaomi Redmi Y3 is priced at Rs. 9,999 for 3GB RAM variant and at Rs. 11,999 for the 4GB RAM variant in the Indian market
Samsung, Xiaomi and Realme are fighting neck to neck in the budget smartphone segment. While Samsung is busy populating its Galaxy M and A series for brand-conscious consumers, Xiaomi and Realme are constantly expanding their product portfolio to grab a bigger chunk of the market with high-end specs at aggressive price-point.
- Ergonomic and eye-catchy design
- 32MP selfie-camera in sub 10K
- Impressive camera performance in daylight
- Selfie camera offers EIS enabled 1080p videos
- Long-lasting battery life
- Dedicated microSD card slot
- Powerful smartphone available in similar price-point
- No Full HD display
- Sub-par camera performance in low-light
- No fast charging
Realme recently announced two new smartphones- the entry-level Realme C2 and Realme 3 Pro. While Realme C2 fights the Xiaomi's most affordable smartphone- Redmi Go, Realme 3 Pro picks up with Xiaomi's popular Redmi Note 7 series devices. We have reviewed both the smartphones and have also compared Realme 3 Pro and Redmi Note 7 Pro with Samsung's ambitious Galaxy A50.
Today we are focusing on Xiaomi's recently launched selfie-centric smartphone- Redmi Y3. The phone was launched along with Redmi 7, the successor to popular sub 10K Redmi 6 handset. The new Redmi Y3 smartphone boasts a massive 32MP selfie camera, big 4,000 mAh battery unit and a 6.26-inch HD+ screen with Gorilla Glass 5 coating at an entry-level price of Rs. 9,999. The price-point of Xiaomi Redmi Y3 raises some important questions. We will try to answer such in the following review.
Selfie Camera- 32MP front-facing camera with bigger sensor and EIS
Redmi Y3 is engineered to deliver best-in-class selfie camera performance in sub 10K price-point. This is the only reason one should consider buying this Xiaomi handset, otherwise, there are better handsets available in similar price-point. For instance, the company's very own Redmi Note 7 gives Redmi Y3 a tough fight. We will discuss it later in the review. Let's focus on the camera performance of 32MP selfie camera of Redmi Y3.
Redmi Y3 sports a big 32MP selfie camera. The 32MP front-facing camera works on a sensor size of1/2.8" which is 22.5% larger as compared to camera sensor on Redmi Y2. Interestingly, Xiaomi has also added EIS support in the 32MP front camera to offer Full HD video recording with software stabilization. This makes Redmi Y3 a viable option for youngsters who are stepping into the world of content creation. We shot some videos from Redmi Y3's 32MP selfie camera to test the steadiness. The EIS at 1080p 30fps really works very well. The video footage was crisp, free of jerks and showed accurate colour tones. Videos shot with same settings in low-light show noticeable noise but still have the same level of steadiness. If you shoot a lot of selfie videos for YouTube channel, Instagram or Facebook, the 1080p video with EIS support will come quite handy.
Crisp selfies with vibrant colours in daylight
As far as static shots are concerned, the selfies captured on Redmi Y3 has an edge over selfies shot with similarly priced handsets. Pictures show crisp details, clean shadows, vibrant colours and won't need any tweaking before uploading on social media platforms. The camera output is also somewhat comparable to smartphones priced much higher such as OPPO F11 Pro, Vivo V15 and Realme 3 Pro in daylight. You can crop the 32MP shots to 100 percent and the images will still be usable. You can't do this with selfies shot on other handsets priced under 15K. It is worth mentioning that the 32MP shots take huge storage space. The shots captured have a memory size of 8MB to 12MP. But fret not; Redmi Y3 comes with a dedicated microSD card slot.
Selfies comparison- Redmi Y3 vs Redmi Note 7 Pro (Note 7) vs Realme 3 Pro
We also compared the Redmi Y3's selfie camera output with Redmi Note 7 Pro (Redmi Note 7 also has same 13MP selfie camera) and Realme 3 Pro for a better understanding. Realme 3 Pro's 25MP selfie camera is only good on papers. The comparison is majorly in between Redmi Note 7 and Redmi Y3. While images shot on both smartphones look similar at first look, we found some significant differences upon a closer look. Highlights were blown in the image shot on Redmi Note 7 in the background whereas Redmi Y3 maintained the highlights even in the background. Redmi Y3's 32MP selfie camera maintains a very good balance between the subject and the background. The 13MP selfie camera on Redmi Note 7/ Note 7 Pro only focuses on the subject and clearly ignores the background. Moreover, the colour tint is more natural on images shot with Redmi Y3's 32MP selfie camera. Besides, the shadows are also very well preserved, much better than the images shot with Redmi Note 7/Note 7 Pro.
AI Beautify 4.0, Auto HDR and AI Portrait Selfie and 80-degree FOV
On the software side, the 32MP selfie camera features AI Beautify 4.0 to enhance the image output. You also get Auto HDR to help capture better selfies in uneven lighting. The front camera on Redmi Y3 can also capture portraits by applying software-driven Bokeh effect and the results are impressive. Besides, the camera can also take selfies with 80-degree field-of-view to capture a larger frame for group selfies. The selfies also show good dynamic range as the 32MP selfie camera uses 1.6 μm 4-in-1 superpixels for brighter and vivid image output.
Selfie camera performance in low-light
Contrary to impressive selfie output in daylight, the low-light camera performance is quite disappointing. The 32MP front-facing camera is not able to deal with uneven lighting. Images come out noisy and often blurry with just slightest hand movement. If you are taking a selfie with harsh background lighting, images are mostly unusable. Check out the above samples for a better understanding. Last but not least, Redmi Y3 offers screen flash to brighten up image output in low-light, which again is not much of a use in low-light scenarios. There's no LED flash offered on this selfie-centric smartphone either.
12MP + 2MP AI dual-lens rear camera
As far as the rear camera is concerned, Redmi Y3 boasts a 12MP + 2MP dual-lens rear camera setup. The camera uses machine learning algorithms and can recognize 33 different scenes to enhance image output. The camera software is quick to recognize objects and is mostly correct in their approach. The 2-lens camera offers Full HD video recording at 60fps and the output is crisp and vibrant. The camera output is good in daylight and even the bokeh effect is quite pleasing.
HDR and low-light camera performance
The HDR mode is very subtle but brings up noticeable differences in darker parts of the frame as compared to standard mode. The images shot on 12MP primary camera show good details. When the sun sets, the rear camera on Redmi Y3 struggles to capture good images. You will find lots of grains, softened details and muted colors. If your priority is a better rear-camera setup, go for Redmi Note 7 series smartphones.
Design- Aura Design with two striking gradient shades
Xiaomi is creating new gradient shades with every new product launch. The new Redmi Y3 will be available in three colour variants. These include the regular glossy Black and two new shades- Bold Red and Elegant Blue. We are testing the Blue variant and it looks really nice. Design is one of the major highlights of Redmi Y3.
Fits perfectly in the palm
The smartphone follows Aura design technique to create a more ergonomic and functional design. The handset has a glossy curved frame and rounded corners. As a result, even though the handset is quite big and demands both the hands to use the screen comfortably, it still offers a good grip in hands.
How durable is Redmi Y3?
Xiaomi has also made Redmi Y3 durable by adding P2i coating for splash resistance. Even the buttons and ports have watertight seals for added protection. Moreover, Xiaomi has also equipped the new Redmi Y3 with Dual-pyrolytic graphite sheets that decrease phones surface temperature by 2 degree Celsius. This will come quite handy in summers for consumers who reside in regions where temperature can spike to 47 degree Celsius in peak summers.
Some important differences in Redmi Note 7 series and Redmi Y3’s design
We cannot stop ourselves from comparing the Redmi Y3's design with Redmi Note 7 and Note 7 Pro. The latter offers Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection on both the front and back panel and look more premium. However, Redmi Note 7 series does not offer a triple-slot card. But you get the latest Type-C charging port. Redmi Y3 ships with the dated microUSB 2.0 port but the company has offered a dedicated microSD card slot along with two slots for nano-SIM cards.
6.26-inch dot-notch display with 1500:1 contrast ratio
Xiaomi has focused on delivering best-in-class selfie experience with Redmi Y3. As a result, the budget smartphone compromises on some important feature-sets and display is one of them. The smartphone offers a 6.26-inch HD+ (720p resolution) screen that offers a 1520×720 pixels resolution. The 19:9 aspect ratio IPS LCD panel is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The chin at the bottom of the display is quite thick, and even the waterdrop notch surrounding the 32MP sensor is slightly bigger than what we have seen on other dotnotch display handsets.
Redmi Y3's HD+ Screen Vs. Redmi Note 7/ 7 Pro's Full HD+ display
As far as the screen's performance is concerned, the 720p panel is bright and fairly touch responsive. The colours look punchy and text looks crisp while browsing web pages. If you are not much concerned about the numbers, the 720p display on Redmi Y3 is really good and probably the best IPS LCD panel I have tested in sub 10k price segment. If numbers really matter a lot to you, go for Redmi Note 7 that offers a full HD+ panel; however, you won't experience the same level of selfie performance on Redmi Note 7.
Hardware- Snapdragon 632 CPU with 3GB and 4GB RAM
Redmi Y3 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 SoC. It is a pretty capable chipset and is paired with 3GB and 4GB RAM for multitasking. For everyday routine, Redmi Y3 offers a smooth and lag-free performance. You can edit pictures, use multiple social media apps simultaneously and open multiple tabs in Chrome at the same time without facing any major performance slowdown. In our benchmarks test, Redmi Y3 scored 5,955 in PC Mark 2.0 performance test, 1,03,549 in Antutu and touched 1,237 in Single-core score in Geekbench and 4,230 in Multi-core test.
Software and Gaming
Redmi Y3 runs on MIUI 10.2, which we have tested on Redmi Note 7 Pro. The software runs smoothly for most of the part on this budget phone. There were minor hiccups when we quickly shifted from gameplay to photo-editing. Apps load quickly and there was no lag reported in basic navigating, web-browsing, calling, social media, amongst other regular phone related tasks.
As far as gaming performance is concerned, PUBG runs in Low settings by default and gameplay is not as smooth as we have experienced on the company's Redmi Note 7 series handsets. Asphalt 9 also runs with a similar response. However, it is worth mentioning that the Redmi Y3 does not heat up during gameplay. We did not face any heating issues on this device even during strenuous tasks.
Battery Life, Connectivity and Audio
Battery life is one of the strongest features of Xiaomi's handsets and Redmi Y3 is no different. The 4,000 mAh battery unit powering up the handset can easily last for one day even with heavy usage. With moderate usage patterns, the smartphone can survive for close to 36 hours on one single charge. Sadly, Redmi Y3 does not support fast-charging. The company ships the handset with a 10W power adaptor in the package that takes 2 hours to refuel the battery from zero to 100 percent.
For connectivity, the smartphone comes with dual 4G VoLTE, single-band Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, FM radio, USB-OTG and a triple-slot card with a dedicated space for microSD card. The only downside is the dated microUSB 2.0 charging port.
Audio performance is another department where Redmi Y3 offers sub-par performance.
If you are always clicking selfies, shooting videos with front-camera for social media platforms, Redmi Y3 is the best smartphone to buy in sub 10K price-segment. The handset offers impressive self-portraits, latest software, long-lasting battery life and a dedicated microSD card slot so that you don't have to compromise on connectivity and storage. The 1080p video at 30fps with EIS is a very handy feature for content creators who are tight on the budget.
However, if you fancy best-in-class display, latest Type-C port with fast-charging and most premium design in under 10K, simply go for the company's Redmi Note 7. The decision comes down to your requirements from a budget smartphone.