Review Xiaomi Redmi 2

Discussion in 'Gadgets and Consumer Electronics' started by JD666, Apr 24, 2015.

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  1. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Now that the Redmi 2 is available easily at any Airtel outlet, I decided to pick one up as a back up phone. Having heard great reviews about it from Stuge, I was inclined to get my hands on one.

    Anyhow, for 6999/- and a White Redmi 2 was mine. Having used it for the last 8 days, I can say I am really impressed with this little fella.

    Unboxing -

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    The Redmi 2 comes in a eco-sensitive recycled paper box.

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    Free space is tight, and the box just contains the device. Note the Red Menu, Settings and Back buttons on the front fascia.

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    Contents - Documentation, USB Cable, Charger, Battery and Device.

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    Very decent build quality 1000 mAH / 1A - 5Volt charger.

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    A good thing was the USB cable. Substantial length, around 4 feet nearly! And good build quality.

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    The container was sturdy and well built. Guess I've found my new USB stick collection box. :)


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    A quick look at the documentation reads that for this device to meet standards, it should be held 1.5 cm away from the body. Interesting.

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    The above are the scenarios where in the service center will look at warranty repair. Oh, and the device comes with 1 yr warranty only. Everything else, is 6 months.

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    USB OTG - Welcome addition. Though I tried a 32Gb Micro SD card with the Redmi 2, and it did not have any issues accessing/reading the card.

    The device -

    First up, Technical specifications -

    Processor - Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916 1.2-GHz CPU - Quad Core.

    RAM - 1GB LPDDR3

    ROM - 8GB Flash (Available 5.75 G:cool:

    Camera - Rear - 8MP, F/2.2, 5 element lens. Full HD recording (1080P @ 30FPS). 10 image capture per second (possible). Rear LED flash.

    Front - 2MP - 720P

    Screen - 4.7 inch, Laminated display (No Gorilla Glass here) - 720p - 312 ppi.

    Battery - Sony/LG Lithium-ion. Rated at 2200 mAH. Quick Charge 1.0 technology.

    Dimensions - 134 x 67.2 x 9.4 mm

    Weight - 133 Gm

    The Redmi 2 scores highly for me in terms of dimensions and weight. Notwithstanding the fact that the screen, processing capacity all complement each other pretty well. There is no one outstanding feature, but importantly none to pull down the whole experience.

    The device feels good to hold, with the matt back cover doing a good job of providing grip and friction. It is not as much as the Lenovo A6000, which I still reckon had the best grip for me, but yet enough.

    I would've definitely preferred it in a different color, other than white, but then I do have something planned ;) for the back cover.

    Incidentally, do you know, that you can buy an Apple-ish back shell for the phone. It replaces the stock cover and gives a iPhone 4/5 kind of feel to the device. Made of metal and glass, it surely does add a premium look.

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    Not bad at all.

    I have been a stickler for the 4-4.7 inch screen category of devices. The Moto X was an apt device, but sadly the battery life was not adequate for me. The Redmi 2 at 2200 mAH held promise, and I was keen to give it a go. The price point didn't hurt either.

    Using it over the past week, (on 4G data mind you), I have been getting an easy 14-16 hours of usage. The iPhone 5S would barely manage 10-12, and the Moto X came in with similar figures.

    What was interesting was that my 4G data download speeds were much higher on the Redmi 2, vs the iPhone 5S. Same location for both devices, same test and same SIM card -

    Redmi 2-

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    And the iPhone 5S -

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    For the purpose of reference, I am keeping the device next to the 4.7 inch iPhone 6. However my mom uses the 1S. Upon comparing the two, the Redmi 2 was lighter, slimmer, easier to hold. However the 1S had a better feel to the back panel. The bezels were bigger on the 1S.

    The Redmi 2, did appear to be a proper upgrade in a slimmer, sleeker and lighter format.

    IMG_6416.jpg

    The Redmi 2 is pretty evenly matched vs the iPhone 6, by being slightly bigger on all accords. The iPhone 6 has thinner bezels and a price that is 7 times of the Redmi 2. :)

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    The rear of the Redmi 2 has the Mi logo (chrome plastic embedded in the cover), the LED flash to one side of the camera lens and the Loud speaker. I must comment, that the loudspeaker is about average for calling, good enough for phone calls and music. It is not the loudest, nor as loud as the A6000, but good enough.

    Not sure if you can spot it, but there is an active noise cancellation microphone at the top of the device. If you look closely, you can spot the pin hole above the camera lens.

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    The bottom houses the microphone and the USB port, off set to one side.

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    Here is another shot of the back. The noise cancellation microphone and camera protusion is visible in this shot. Not too much, so can't really complain about it here.


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    All the buttons are to one side, in chrome plastic. The feel and response is good and does not give away the price point at which this device is designed for.

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    The removable battery, which needs to be removed for accessing both SIM slots (Micro) and memory card slot (Micro SD).

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    The shell is made of quality plastic, and does not feel flimsy. My only gripe is still the color, which I hope to change some how.

    Moving on, to the MIUI interface on Android 4.4 -

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    This was my first encounter with the MIUI interface, and I must say, it was intuitive, easy to operate, understand and get a hold of. No useless crap and add ons.

    Anything that I did not want, I could simply un-install. So out went the bundled games, Google play, magazine, drive and various unwanted apps that I don't like having on my device. This was a welcome welcome relief.

    The UI was fast, responsive and did not show signs of struggling even once.

    This was visible in the Antutu score which was an impressive 20990. This was at par with the field (A6000 was 20,500 IIRC).

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    A snap shot from CPU-Z -

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    The MIUI interface -


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    Pretty similar to regular Android, except there is no app drawer, everything is on the home screen only. You can make folders and sort your apps out. Pinching the screen brings out the menu options that allow you to move your screens, apps, widgets, background, animations around -

    Screenshot_2015-04-24-16-20-29.jpg


    Pressing the capacitive settings button on the device brings out the recently used and task killer menu. This is pretty handy and nifty. Somewhat like iOS 6, except it allows you to free tasks at once -

    Screenshot_2015-04-24-16-20-34.jpg

    Yes, the available RAM might appear low, but I did not face any issues multi-tasking on this device.

    Swiping down brings out the toggle screen. You swipe to the left to see notifications. Alternately, if there is a notification, you will first see the notification screen, and then you can swipe right to see the toggle screen -

    Screenshot_2015-04-24-16-20-40.jpg

    The toggle screen. There are more options when you scroll the widgets.

    Screenshot_2015-04-24-16-20-46.jpg

    And the notifications screen.

    The default browser was fast, responsive and quick to load pages. I however switched to my trust Opera and had no issues.

    There is an electronic compass, similar to the one in iPhone, except this works in 3D and uses your camera as well. It is somewhat like nokia city scope, but gives you your heading in real time.

    I used Here maps, offline on it and had no issues with a position fix. The GPS/Glonass/Beidou sensors are a plus.

    Camera Quality -

    To be honest, I was expecting a very average performance from this device. But the snappy camera speed impressed me beyond my expectations. Very very good for regular shooting or capture. If you want to capture text, or information that you would wanna retain later on, it does a really good job.

    First up - Without flash -

    Redmi 2 -

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    iPhone 5S -

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    Second, With Flash -

    Redmi 2 -

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    iPhone 5S -

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    The flash images are not comparable, however in normal photography the camera does really well. Considering it is being compared to a device that is 5 times as much!

    Other tester's note -


    - Under heavy usage on 4G Data, the device does get a bit hot below the Camera lens. However cools down adeuqately.


    - SwiftKey is installed by default, which makes typing really easy

    - The device also has a one handed mode, that reduces the screen size to either 3.5 inches (iPhone 4) or 4 inches (iPhone 5). And positions the screen to one side of the screen. This is a welcome additional feature for sure.

    - The notification light is useful, and can be set to one of many colors (8 IIRC).


    Overall I rate this phone a solid 4.5 out of 5. At this price point, it is really hard to fault this device.

     
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  2. MOZ

    MOZ RAID Leader Staff Member

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    For the price, I've found any of the Xiaomi phones to be a no brainer, they simply provide the best bangs for the bucks.
     
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  3. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    And for reasons unknown, I am liking the MIUI GUI as well :p
     
  4. MOZ

    MOZ RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Probably because you are coming from iOS.
     

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