After creating a huge noise in the mid-range segment of smartphone in India over a month, Xiaomi is back with an entry level killer. A smartphone with mid-range specification has launched in India today. Here is our in-depth Xiaomi Redmi 1S review.
A segment which is a most favorite amongst other two in India has been flooded with lot many devices recently. A competition heated up when Moto E entered India with great spec running on Android Kitkat. Soon after that Indian manufacturers like Lava and Micromax came out with range devices with a similar spec.
Nearly 10 smartphones launched in India with Android Kitkat running on top. Will Xiaomi Redmi 1S stay up to the competition and emerge as a winner again for the company? Let’s see!
Lets have a quick look at the Redmi 1S spec sheet.
- 4.7 inch HD IPS Retina Display
- 1.6GHz Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 SoC (MSM8228)
- Adreno 305 GPU
- 1GB of RAM
- 8GB Internal memory with expandable Micro SD slot (up to 64GB)
- 8MP rear autofocus camera with flash and 1.3MP front camera
- Dual SIM Dual standby (3G + 2G)
- 2050mAh Battery
- MIUI V5 based on Android 4.3
Xiaomi is doing a good job in bringing high-end hardware at very low cost. During our discussion with company’s VP, Hugo Barra, he said “we actually want to show to the world that the cost of assembling actual device is what you see with our devices”.
Looking into the specification sheet of the Redmi 1S, the device is powered by 1.6GHz Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 SoC (MSM8228). This processor is better than what we find on Moto G which is running on Qualcomm MSM8226 Snapdragon 400. So clearly, Redmi 1S running on the latest processor than the mid-ranged smartphone. Backed by 1GB RAM brings out a better performance which any user could expect.
On the storage front, Redmi 1S comes out with 8GB of internal memory out of which 6.14GB will available for the user. That’s not it, the device also supports a Micro SD card up to 64GB. 4.7 inch HD display come with DragonTrail glass which performed better under our scratch test.
On the front, we have 3 soft key, controls for settings, home and back. These buttons look shiny under the sunlight, but doesn’t come with backlight for a better usage for night use. This is one biggest drawback we noticed on ASUS Zenfone 5 as well. We are forced to cut a point for this.
BUILD QUALITY / ERGONOMICS
To pack such a killer spec, Xiaomi has done a great with its build quality as well. One thing which we would like to stress here is, Mi3 had a slippery edge issue. But Redmi 1S comes with a better back panel, which carries a kind of a rubberized look.
The handset is very easy to hold and operate from the single hand. Xiaomi has done a great job in cutting down the bezels.
The front side of the device comes with 3 soft key, controls on the below and a 1.3MP camera, an earpiece on the top. Top section has a slot for 3.5mm stereo headphone jack. Bottom of the device carries a Micro USB slot and a mic. On the right we have a chromified volume rocker and a wake up button which is perfectly mounted for a single hand usage. There’s nothing on the left.
On the back we have got an 8MP camera with an LED flashlight right below it and a mic for recording better voice for videos. There is a speaker towards the right end curve, which doesn’t get covered when placed on a table. A logo of Xiaomi is placed on the bottom of the back panel.
The best part of the device is, it comes with a removable back panel and even the battery can be replaced. The back panel is not made up of a cheap plastic. As the device is a dual SIM model, we have a couple of slots for them marked clearly which one can perform 3G mode and which one is 2G only. Please note, you will need a standard/micro SIM cards for this device. There is a slot for Micro SD as well.
SOFTWARE OR OPERATING SYSTEM
All the devices from Xiaomi runs on its own beautifully designed operating system, MIUI. This device comes with MIUI V5 running on Android 4.3 out of the box. But users will be receiving MIUI V6 in coming months.
The best part of this OS is, whenever the user logs a bug, it will be addressed by the team immediately and soon an OTA update will be released to fix that. That’s the commitment Xiaomi gives its user.
DISPLAY AND UI
The device comes with an dragon trail HD display. The screen is scratch resitentance. The screen clarity is good. Even if you stare at the device for a long time, you will never any problems like eye strain.
Coming to the UI of the device, Xiaomi’s MIUI OS is a custom operating system built on top of Android. They have redesigned the UI from the ground and made it looks similar to iOS design principles. For a first time user, it looks similar to the iPhone. However, you can get back the normal stock Android UI by installing any third party launcher like Nova, Go launcher etc.
The Redmi 1S has got a good camera which we rarely see on with the mid-range device as well. 8MP BSI camera on the back clicks a picture of the resolution 3264×2448 and records a full HD video. The 1.6MP camera on the front clicks a better image and also records an HD video.
With an extra large 1.4ųm sensor and a 5 plastic lens, you can take photos with accurate, true-to-life colors in low light. Redmi 1S’ ƒ/2.2 aperture and 28mm wide angle lens, let you focus in on objects in the foreground while softly blurring the rest of the photograph.
We would like to split up the camera review into 2 sections. One for the image and another section for video separately.
The Redmi 1S has a fantastic sounding camera on paper. For the mobile photographers, this device comes with some great features. We will walk you through each and every feature of it.
- The device comes with single LED flash for snapping a better quality image in the dark
- Panorama: one of my favorite feature in digital cameras, ever since Olympus “invented” it. You can take photos that are super wide. Just tap on the shutter release button, pan left or right and the camera begins to take a series of photos, while you see an orange progress bar move. When it reaches the end, the stitching begins and after a few seconds, the result is displayed on screen.
- Audio capture: not very useful in noisy environments. But in a quiet room, you can use it to trigger the shutter by just snapping your fingers.
- HDR (High Dynamic Range): it works by taking multiple photos at different exposure settings continuously and then merging them to give a photo that shows both highlights and lowlights together. HDR is a novelty trick. When this feature first came out, everyone was making HDR photos. Problem is, the photos look unnatural and you would be better off trying to master your photography techniques than take an HDR photo.
- HHT aka handheld twilight: the way this feature works is to increase the ISO setting so that you can take photos by hand in less than desirable lighting.
- Filters: there are totally 15 filters in this camera app which will let the user to click some funny and interesting pictures.
- Under the setting, the user can set the picture quality to low, mid and high. Can assign tasks to volume rocker button and the shutter button. Enable or disable the QR code scanning functionality.
Here are some of the sample images:
The user can record an HD video from the front and a full HD video from the rear camera. Again, there are 6 filers for the video capture. Fast-motion video capture lets you capture the video in fast mode. Basically, it converts your video from playing normal to 2x extra speed.
Here is a video sample of fast-motion feature:
Redmi 1S has got an impressive sound clarity with the Mi Sound Hi-Fi System with Dirac sound technologies. This device features the same sound technology used by BMW, Bentley, and Rolls Royce. Audio output adapts to the type of headphones you’re using to make sure you always get the best possible performance.
It is a combination of superior hardware and software designed to deliver the ultimate sound experience. The headphone audio output depends on the headphone you are using. I personally tried with Mi Piston headphone and the audio clarity is amazing! Even on the open space, you can clearly listen to the audio.
Battery backup of the device is good, but not that great. Under the single SIM usage, we got a day full of usage when flipping between 3G and WiFi. Only on Wifi we got around 1 day 10hrs of battery life.
When both the SIM cards are ON, the device couldn’t cross 14hrs under heavy usage of 3G and calls. Nothing more can be expected out of 2000mAh battery. However, as the battery is replaceable, Xiaomi will be releasing a spare battery which can be charged easily via their own adapter without depending on the device. This is a great work by Xiaomi!
MIUI OS is huge and has got numerous features under the hood. You can refer to our article where we spoke about 35+ under the hood user friendly features of MIUI OS.
However, we would like to stress on one particular feature which we can find only on Redmi 1S and not on Mi3. There is a Lite mode functionality built by keeping elders in mind. MIUI Lite Mode is a good choice for our parents because of its bigger fonts and easier operations.
You can find this feature inside the settings window. By enabling it, the device will be rebooted and UI will be changed to something similar to Windows Phone tiles with bigger fonts and icons. No notification panel as well. You can always switch back by clicking on Settings -> System settings ->Lite mode and toggle the button.
PERFORMANCE AND BENCHMARKS
Performance wise, the device is top the notch being an entry level smartphone. It takes on devices like Moto G and ASUS Zenfone 5 which are priced >= Rs. 10,000. To prove this, we did put the Redmi 1S under the benchmark tests. Find below for the results.
AnTuTu Benchmark Score:
Quadrant Benchmark Score:
Vellamo Benchmark Score:
It’s very clear, for Rs. 5,999 you can’t get a better device than the Redmi 1S. The best in range and value for money device. Sadly, this device is not for the heavily animated games due to less RAM availability. There will be some lag while playing games like Asphalt 8.
We surely recommend this device for the those who want a better device in this price range. GO FOR IT!
If you feel we have missed out anything, please feel free to comment below. We will reply to any question you put forward.