After a brief lull in the first half of 2016, Xiaomi launched the Redmi Note 3 in July followed by Redmi 3S series later in the year. The response from the public was so overwhelming that the company bulldozed its way to the top 3 in the Indian smartphone market in no time.
Currently, it sits just below the leader Samsung and with the launch of latest Redmi 4 series, Xiaomi, now, has the potential to give the South Korean giant a run for its money. The Redmi 4 ticks almost all points, be it build quality, design language, camera or battery.
International Business Times India had the opportunity to review the Redmi 4 (3 GB RAM+ 32GB storage). Here's our take on the new Xiaomi budget phone.
Xiaomi Redmi 4- Design and build quality review:
The company has made huge strides in design language and the built quality of Redmi 4.
Redmi 4 exterior body design is actually borrowed from the Redmi Note 4, but the former is sleeker and compact.
The smooth metallic cover on the rear tapers at the edge- and matte finish makes the phone easy fits into your hand snugly.
The new design also rectifies the sound distortion which used to plague Redmi 3S and 4A users, as the speakers were placed on the backside, resulting in an uneven distribution of sound when the device is kept on its back. Now, Redmi 4's speaker is shifted to the bottom base edge for the hassle-free flow of sound.
As far as the display is concerned, Redmi 4 sports a 5.0-inch HD screen with a pixel density of 294 ppi (pixels per inch). The phone offers a decent viewing experience for high-resolution images and videos.
Redmi 4 comes with 2.5D glass shield, which not only adds value to the design but also provides extra protection to the display from getting cracked at the edge and corners during accidental falls.
Xiaomi Redmi 4-Performance review:
Xiaomi Redmi 4 houses Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 octa-core, which can clock up to 1.4GHz and is supported by Adreno 505 GPU. The phone comes in three configuration—2GB RAM+16GB storage, 3GB RAM+32GB storage and 4GB RAM + 64GB storage, which no other rival offers in the market.
We have received the medium variant (3GB RAM+ 32GB storage) for the review. The phone didn't lag while launching apps or during switching between multiple apps. We also played a couple of games including Angry Birds and Temple Run, and the phone was impressively responsive, but when we played Asphalt 8, the phone slowed down. Having said that, Xiaomi Redmi 4, is far better than any other phones in the entry-level category.
It scored 40,679 on AnTuTu 3D benchmarking app and also managed to get 685 and 1649 points on single-core and multi-core tests on Geekbench v4.0.
Xiaomi Redmi 4-Camera review:
Xiaomi Redmi 4 houses a pretty impressive camera hardware for an entry level category phone. It boasts of a 13MP camera with BSI CMOS sensor, PDAF (Phase Detection Auto Focus) f/2.0 aperture, PDAF (Phase Detection Auto Focus) and LED flash.
On the front, the phone features 5MP camera with f/2.0 aperture, 36 smart beauty profiles with real-time beautify feature, Selfie countdown, Face recognition and real-time filters.
During the tests, it took good quality images, especially in the bright light conditions and even during the evening. But, in the night, the quality takes a hit.
Even the sample shots taken from the front 5 MP snapper is also decent. The selfies were good too.
Overall, the Xiaomi phone's camera is undoubtedly, the best among the entry level category.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 - Battery review:
The Redmi 4 comes with a massive 4,100mAh battery and lived up to its reputation. Under mixed usage, it can easily last one full day and can run for two full days if used judiciously.
During the test, we binge-watched videos on YouTube via Wi-Fi, made couple of video calls (around two minutes each time), and also played Angry Birds and Temple Run (around five minutes each game). We also made/answer audio calls, frequently check time and other normal day-to-day activities. It was able to run for one full day and yet had 20-percent battery left at the day's close.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 review: Final Verdict (4.5/5):
Xiaomi, with its Redmi series, for long has been reigning as the king among the entry-level phones; now, the new Redmi 4 reiterates the position.
The new Redmi 4 excels in almost in all aspects, be it the eye-pleasing design language, premium build quality, long battery life and even the camera to a certain extent.
If you are looking for an affordable entry-level with latest software and durable hardware, look no further than Xiaomi's Redmi 4.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 comes in 2GB RAM+16GB ROM, 3GB RAM+32GB storage and 4GB RAM+64GB ROM for Rs. 6,999, Rs. 8,999 and Rs. 10,999, respectively. No other brands offer the devices such configurations at this price.
The newly released Nokia 3, though looks good on the eyes, doesn't come close to the Xiaomi phone in terms of performance and battery life. Only advantage is that the former is readily available in most of the brick-and-mortar stores, while the latter is very hard to get with its limited availability on e-commerce site and a lone Mi Home store in Bengaluru.