Xiaomi is today one of the most talked brand, thanks to the excellent devices and the pricing offered by the company. The company entered India couple of months back and launched the Xiaomi Mi3 (Review) for an amazing price of Rs 13999. towards the end of last month, the company announced Redmi 1S, the entry level phone with mid range specs.
The Redmi 1S comes with a 4.7 inch HD display (1280 X 720) and is powered by Snapdragon Quad Core 400 processor with 1GB of RAM. The device also comes with 8GB internal storage and has microSD card support for expanding the storage. Redmi 1S also features a 8MP camera with LED flash and a 1.6-megapixel front-facing camera. The device is powered by 2050mAh battery and runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with MIUI V5 on top of it.
So lets take a detailed look into the device to see if it is really worth the money.
Design, Build and Display
The Xiaomi Redmi 1S is a fairly good looking phone in this price point. The front panel has the beautiful 4.7 inch HD display and below it you can see the three capacitive touch buttons. Xiaomi has given a red color for the button which gives it a better look, but it does not have backlight. Above the display you have the sensors and the front facing camera along with ear piece.
The power and volume keys which have a chrome finish sits on the right side. The 3.5mm audio jack is placed at the top while the micro USB charging slot is at the bottom. The rear panel has a curved design and matte finish giving a pretty good hold on the device while using, but the device is pretty heavy. The design isn’t anything exciting, but overall build quality is excellent.
The removable back cover houses the 8MP camera with LED flash and also speakers places at the top. Remove the back panel and you can see the dual SIM card slots, micro SD slot and the removable 2050mAh battery.
The display on the device has a 720p resolution and is protected by Dragontrail glass which prevents scratches. The 4.7 inch display is one of the strong points of the device and it is crisp and has excellent colors. The 312ppi gives in excellent reading experience on the device. We don’t see too many devices in the sub 10k pricing with a HD resolution and a display that is really treat to use.
Software and Performance:
The Redmi 1S runs Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) with Xiaomi’s MIUI v5 skin on top of it. The company has already mentioned that the phone will get MIUI v6 and probably KitKat would come for this device. Similar to Xiaomi’s Mi3, one of the strong points of this device is the amount of features MIUI offers when compared to core Android, even though the Android version is not the latest.
MIUI offers tons of customizations, features and also tweaks which is seldom available on core Android.
The apps are all arranged in multiple home screens instead of the app drawer found on core Android UI. The notification center of the device is really useful and comes with options to customize the quick toggles.
One of the strong points of MIUI is the amount of options available to personalize the device in the form of lock styles, home screens, icons, themes, wallpapers, fonts and more. All these can be managed from the Themes app which comes pre-loaded on the phone.
Redmi 1S also comes with the Security app similar to Mi3 and it offers lots of added features like Cleaner, Data usage monitor, virus monitor, call blocking and more. Xiaomi has also included a ‘Lite Mode’ which resembles Windows Phone’s UI and has a tiled interface which makes the phone UI simple and easy to use. Watch: Lite Mode on Redmi 1S
The Redmi 1S runs on Quad Core Snapdragon 400 processor with 1GB RAM and this is probably the first device to offer good hardware at a low price. While the overall performance of MIUI with 1GB RAM is fairly good, the real problem comes in when you run too many apps or run highly graphic rich games like Asphalt 8 Airborne. The amount of free memory available is pretty low that games might crash frequently when running in high graphics mode.
But having said that the overall performance is pretty smooth and lag free when you are not running too many apps simultaneously. Watch: Gaming Review of Redmi 1S.
The phone comes with dual SIM cards and SIM card 1 supports 3G while the second one is 2G. The call quality on the device was pretty good and there are no complaints here. The speakers on the device also have fairly good performance. Xiaomi hasn’t included headphones with Redmi 1S similar to Mi3, but you can use any earphones and the quality is also good. The device comes with 8GB of internal storage and also has microSD card support, so you can extend the storage.
The Redmi 1S comes with a 8MP shooter with LED flash. The camera interface is very similar to what we have on the Xiaomi Mi3 and comes with good set of features to manage your photos. It has options to change the ISO, exposure, white balance and also offers variety of filters and scene modes to chose from. It also features HDR, Hand held Twilight, Panorama and also audio modes.
The phone supports video recording in 1080p. The camera app has simple as well as advanced modes which can be toggled from the settings. Watch: Xiaomi Redmi 1S Camera Review
The camera performance was really good and the photos taken have great detailing. The camera can snap pictures pretty fast and the macro shots were also good. The low light photos did have noise, but with flash the clarity was acceptable for a phone in this price point. The photo processing algorithm is easily the best in this category. We can easily say that this is probably the best camera you can get on a smartphone below Rs 10000 and Redmi 1S camera easily beats Moto E, Lumia 630, ASUS Zenfone 4 and also Moto G.
The 1080p video recording is also fairly good.
Here are some of the camera samples from the device.
The Redmi 1S comes with 2050mAh battery and the battery performance is fairly good. We tested the battery with a 3G SIM and with moderate usage, we could easily squeeze in a day. Even if you use the device for gaming, music, camera and running social apps in the background you can still get a day of usage. Xiaomi has included the Power management app which allows you to manage battery usage. You can enable auto switch to different mode to make the battery last longer.
There is also option to schedule these modes.
Priced at Rs 5999, the Xiaomi Redmi 1S is an excellent buy and is a device which you can’t really go wrong with. You can’t really find devices in the sub 10k pricing which has the impressive specs of Redmi 1S. With excellent display, camera and battery life, the Redmi 1S easily beats the competition which includes Moto E (review), Unite 2 (review), ASUS Zenfone 4 (review) and also Lumia 530 (review) and also other phones in the sub 10k range. Redmi 1S is the currently the best entry level smartphone you can buy. Having said that there are couple of downsides as well, the first one being the Android version (KitKat is coming later this year) and secondly the minor performance issues with heavy multi tasking and gaming.
We definitely recommend this phone (if you can get one from Flipkart) for the excellent hardware being offered at a shockingly low price!