Xiaomi's Redmi Y2 made its debut last month in India and although its highlight feature was its selfie camera, the phone has upgraded in various aspects over its predecessor Redmi Y1.
It has several things to show-off including latest display standard, Android Oreo-based MIUI software and an improved battery life. The phone also comes with time-tested Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor in its belly.
Does Redmi Y2 live up to the standards set by Redmi Y1 or is it just another budget Xiaomi phone? Let's check it out.
Display and design:
Xiaomi Redmi Y2 boasts of a huge 5.99-inch HD+ screen with 18:9 aspect ratio tailor-made for mobile entertainment. I had a good time watching high-resolution TV series on Amazon Prime Video streaming app and the readability of the texts is also quite good, even in outdoors.
However, due to its large screen, some people with small hands will have difficulty working on it single-handed. But, thanks to MIUI, there is an option to scale down the working screen to a manageable size to navigate through the phone with lesser issues.
You can do that by going to Settings >> Additional Settings >> One-handed mode >> select screen size (4.5-inch or 4.0-inch or 3.5-inch). Once that is done, you just have swipe right or left from the home button to reduce the screen size.
On the back side, it features an eye-pleasing patterned antennae lines on top and the bottom. The placement of the fingerprint sensor in the middle is also noteworthy as it is accessible for users with small hands.
Xiaomi has done a good paint job on the back. The silver-hued review unit that we have received did not get fingerprint smudges when held in the hand. This is indeed a great value addition but it can be noted that the device's shell is covered by polycarbonate material. Having said that, it is sturdy enough to sustain an accidental fall as it comes with soft shell-cover. Rest assured, the body of Redmi Y2 is well-protected and that is one less thing to worry about the phone.
I don't think any company has used Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 in as many phones as Xiaomi in the industry. It has been utilized to power in Redmi Note 5, Redmi Note 4 (global), Xiaomi Mi A1, Mi Max 2 and Redmi 6 Pro among other products with different monikers in China. But, I have to say, this time-tested Snapdragon 625 has proven its mettle before and it also continues to do so in the current Redmi Y2.
During the trials, I did not face any issues in terms of response time for opening an app, switching between multiple apps, loading the camera app and even while playing a game on the phone. It is well assisted by 3GB/4GB RAM and an Android 8.1 Oreo-based MIUI 9.5 software.
Xiaomi Redmi Y1 has set a benchmark for selfie phone in the mid-range segment and its successor does not disappoint as well. It boasts of a feature-rich 16 MP front camera with Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered Beautify 4.0. When the Auto HDR is enabled, the 16MP front camera can automatically detect a back-light environment to apply the HDR effect.
In real life, it also performed well in the low-light conditions. As far as the AI Bokeh is concerned, it impressed me with the amount of natural detail of the human face and the hair retained in the photo.
On the back, the Redmi Y2 comes with a 12 MP + 5 MP AI dual camera. The 12 MP primary sensor has 1.25µm large pixels and the 5 MP secondary sensor is dedicated to acquiring depth information, producing photos with great Bokeh effects. In Portrait Mode, both the front and back cameras support AI Beautify.
Check out the sample images of Xiaomi Redmi Y2 camera:
Xiaomi Redmi Y2 comes with a 3,080mAh cell, almost 25% less than the Redmi Note 5 series. Although it's not deal breaker, the device served me well for a whole day under regular usage. I have to say that this particular aspect is very subjective, as different device owners have their way of using the phone. Redmi Y2 will easily last a whole day for people who have the habit of using the phone for calling and messaging and browsing the internet.
Given the fact that Redmi Y2 is selfie phone, users can take snapshots and share it on social media platforms without worrying about the battery draining. Despite the internet usage, the phone will run efficiently and for a longer period, thanks to the optimised MIUI software.
If you are a user that streams videos on the multimedia content application, even a 4,000mAh or 5,000mAh battery won't last for more than 8 hours.
Overall, Redmi Y2's 3,080mAh battery assures of a full-day battery under regular usage, which includes few sessions of voice and video calling, messaging on WhatsApp, gaming for a few minutes and an half hour of web browsing among other day-to-day activities on the phone.
But, if you go overboard with binge watching videos by streaming via mobile data, be sure to carry a power bank.
Xiaomi is unarguably the undisputed champion in the mid-range smartphone segment in India. One of the prime reasons is that all their products have been able to set the benchmark for offering more value for the money compared to rival brands. In this case, the Redmi Y2 managed to impress me with its capabilities particularly the camera hardware.
The Redmi Y2 is well-optimised with MIUI to offer portrait picture with blur effect even with a single front camera. I have to say that it more than lived up to my expectations for a budget phone under Rs 10,000. The build quality, despite the polycarbonate body construction, is praiseworthy and I did not face any performance issue in terms of lag while moving between multiple apps or launching any app for that matter.
Overall, the user experience with the Redmi Y2 has been really satisfactory. If you are looking for a economical selfie-camera phone, you can go for this Xiaomi phone.
- Excellent selfie shooter and the rear-side dual-cameras are really good
- Sturdy build quality and it comes with shell cover free of cost with the package
- The battery lasts for a day
- Good display
- Feature-rich MIUI software (this aspect is subjective, but most people love the MIUI's interface and the array of customisation it offers)
- The auto-focus of back camera tend to slow down when pictures are taken in low light conditions. But, when a subject like a flower, is not shaking, it takes pretty good sharp shots.
- There is absolutely nothing more to complain about this phone. Many Xiaomi fans would agree that the company has been a bit late to bring the MIUI 10. This is not a deal breaker, as Xiaomi software support extends up to four years after the device launch. Remember Google offers only three years support for Pixel series phones.