Xiaomi announced their latest budget offering the Redmi 3S Prime in India early this month. The phone comes with 5 inch HD display and is powered by Snapdragon 430 Octa core processor coupled with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. It has 13MP rear camera and 5MP front camera with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The phone also packs a massive 4100mAh battery.
So does the Redmi 3S Prime make a good budget smartphone and a worthy successor to Redmi 2 Prime? Let’s find out in this detailed review.
Design and Build:
Design-wise, the Redmi 3S Prime is a younger sibling of Redmi Note 3 with similar design. It comes with an all metal design and has curved edges all round. It is available in grey, silver and gold variants. We had the gold variant for testing and it does look premium in looks. The front panel has a the 5MP camera, sensors, 5.0 inches HD display and three capacitive buttons below it which are backlit and offers haptic feedback.
On the left side is the SIM card tray which supports dual SIM card with 4G LTE and on the right side are the power and volume keys. The SIM card slot is also a hybrid slot, which means you can also expand the storage using the micro SD card. The top houses the 3.5mm audio jack, secondary microphone and also IR blaster. The bottom portion has the micro USB charging slot. On the rear panel, we have the 13MP camera, LED flash and the fingerprint scanner located below it. The speaker unit is also located at the bottom. The rear panel has a matte finish and looks pretty good overall considering the pricing.
Redmi 3S is pretty good in terms of the design and the build quality is also top notch for a phone in this price segment. But having said that since the phone has curved edges it is also slippery at times.
Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime comes with a 5.0 inch HD display with a resolution of 1280X 720p. The display looks quite good with vivid colors and great sharpness levels. The touch response is also very smooth and so are the viewing angles as this is an IPS LCD panel. The brightness levels are also good and the sunlight readability looks decent even though the phone does not have the sunlight display like the Redmi Note 3.
But at the same time, there is no protection offered for the display, like Corning Gorilla glass as it is not mentioned by the company. Overall, for a phone in this price category, we would say the display is pretty good.
As usual, the Redmi Note 3 comes with MIUI7.5 which is on top of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and it is customized for India. If you have been using a Xiaomi device previously, you might be knowing that the company concentrates of MIUI version rather than the Android version. But unlike Redmi Note 3, here you get the latest version of Android.
The phone comes with custom launched with multiple home screens devoid of an app drawer. The notification center and quick toggles are also completely customized.
If you have been using Xiaomi phones, the interface is quite familiar and there aren’t too many visual changes to the UI with MIUI 7. The phone comes with tonnes of options to customize, be it in the form of themes, icon packs, lock screen, boot animations, sounds and more. All of these can be downloaded from the Themes app.
The phone also comes with Child mode which was announced with MIUI (more details on Child mode available here) and also the regular Lite mode. The phone also features the security app which comes with cleaner, virus scan, block list, data usage and more.
Xiaomi has also added lots of useful apps like FM radio, recorder, Compass, torch and much more. Xiaomi’s attention to smaller details is simply amazing and the UI looks very much polished with no lags or crashes. The phone also comes with IR blaster which means you can use the phone as a remote for your TV, A/C, set top box and other devices. There is a Mi Remote app which you can configure with Indian brands and this comes handy.
Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime comes with Snapdragon 430 Octa-core chipset. The phone comes with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage option. The Snapdragon 430 is one of the newest chipset and this is one of the first devices to ship with this processor. The 430 Octa core processor is a performing chipset and overall performance of the device was very good and we hardly had any issues or noticed any lags. The UI was responsive to almost all tasks and the overall response was flawless.
Redmi 3S Prime handles tasks very well and the phone also does multitask pretty well, even with multiple apps running in the background, you get almost 1.5GB of RAM.
The gaming experience of the device was also pretty good and we played heavy graphic intensive games and the device handled it pretty well. Even though it has metal chassis, the heating was at 41 degrees, which we feel is not very high.
The phone comes with 32GB internal storage out of which close to 24GB is available to the user in the first boot. You can also expand the storage using the micro SD card option in the hybrid SIM card. The call quality on the phone was very good and the speaker performance was also quite decent. The phone comes with dual SIM card support along with 4G LTE and VoLTE.
The device sports a fingerprint scanner on the rear panel and you can add multiple fingerprints. The sensor can be used to unlock the device. The fingerprint scanner worked very well and unlocked the device quickly without any issues.
Xiaomi Redmi 3S prime comes with a 13MP rear camera with F/2.0, PDAF and LED flash while the front selfie camera is 5MP with f/2.2. The camera interface is exactly the same found on all Xiaomi devices and comes with good set of options including Panorama, HDR, filters and more. The interface is fairly easy to use and comes with all the bells and whistles you would need on a smartphone camera.
Coming to the photo quality, the daylight shots taken with the 13MP shooter had good detailing and colors were pretty spot on with decent sharpness levels as well. The close up shots also had great detailing and looks good. Overall, in daylight it is one of the best budget camera smartphones available.
Now, talking about low light images, the photo came out decent with adequate lighting. In extreme low light, there was noise which is acceptable considering the pricing. The 5MP front camera is also quite good for selfies and does a decent job. The video recording is at 1080p and it is again decent, the colors looks quite good.
Here are some of the samples taken with the device.
Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime comes with a massive 4100mAh battery and this is one of the specialities of the device. This is the same capacity battery available on Redmi Note 3 and it is quite surprising how Xiaomi managed to sneak in a high capacity battery in a small chassis.
We tested the battery performance of the device on a 4G LTE network with social apps and other email accounts running in the background with calls, browsing, a bit of gaming and using the camera. With heavy usage, we got 1.5 days of battery life and with moderate usage, you can get close to 2days. Overall, the battery performance is very good on the device and one of the best devices in this category.
If you are in the market for a budget smartphone, the Redmi 3S prime is a great device to consider. It ticks all the right boxes with good design, build, display, software, performance, camera and also excellent battery life. It is an all-round device which you cannot go wrong with. It is one of those devices where it is difficult to find a flaw especially for the pricing it is being sold.
If you are looking for a budget smartphones, the Redmi 3S Prime is all worth the money and we totally recommend it.