Xiaomi Redmi 1S – Offers More Than Its Price – Review

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Xiaomi of China has entered the Indian smartphone market with a bang. Its Mi3 has created ripples in the mid-range segment for its attractive price of Rs. 13,999 for the strong hardware. This model has been discontinued in India for the unknown reasons. Those who have got this device through limited flash sales in India, are happy to own this and unfortunately, who could not own it due to unheard of selling system in India, are feeling disappointed not to get it. The Redmi 1S is also being sold through the same system of flash sale and the only plus point this time is that now Xiaomi is offering 40,000 pieces on each sale. The next sale is due on 16th September when 40,000 more Redmi 1S will be on offer for grabs. If any product sells in few seconds than it is quite evident that it has qualities and features, which are resulting in quick sales.

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Why you should own a Redmi 1S, if you are looking for an entry-level device and your budget is no moe than Rs. 6,000? There are many reasons that will convince you to own it. We list below few features of Redmi 1S from the perspective of a new user who looks for prominent features such as camera, display quality, and ease of preformance.

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Camera:

Despite a budget smartphone, the Redmi 1S is packed with powerful 8MP rear camera with LED flash, ƒ/2.2 aperture and 28mm wide-angle lens for covering wider area. It also houses a front 1.6MP camera. To our great surprise, the quality of the camera is quite impressive. The images captured by us in different environments and some of them from a distance of 15 metres, are sharp with plenty of detail. The colors reproduced are accurate despite the fact that the images were clicked from the view-point of an amateur photographer. The camera provides various software options such as HDR, Panorama, Burst modes etc. The phone is capable of shooting 1080p video and the quality of which is fairly decent, in this range of smartphones.

You can also snap selfies with front camera of Redmi 1S and the quality of those images will not be as good as of rear camera, but for a price of Rs. 6K, you should not expect more than that. While using primary and front camera, we did not notice any shutter-lag and that is commendable for a budget smartphone,and many of phones in this range lack a lot on this front.

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Design

The Redmi 1S has simple look with rectangular and slightly curved corners. It may not be very exciting at the first look and although made of plastic, it is durable and measures 137x69x9.9mm. It is not sleek and weighs 158 grams. This device has overall good feel and look and you can’t say it is inferior product while holding it. The rear cover of this phone is removable, and you can customize it with replaceable cover available in different colors priced at Rs. 459 each. The Redmi 1S comes with a matte grey rear. Under the cover, the removable 2,000mAh battery is placed. You can easily hold this device in your hand without any problem of gripping.

The metallic power and volume buttons are located at the right edge, whereas the micro-USB port is at the bottom edge. The 3.5mm headset jack has been fixed at the top of the phone.  The three capacitive button labels are placed below the screen and are in red in tune with the name of this smartphone. the The earpiece and the front-facing camera are above the display.

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The primary camera and flash is on the upper part of the rear, and the loudspeaker is near it in the top right corner. The branding logo appear on the lower end.

Display

Redmi 1S sports a 4.7 inch IPS display with a resolution of 720×1280 pixels, with protection provided by AGC Dragontrail 2 glass. We were impressed with the screen in this price range as brightness and colors dispalyed were excellent. Only problem faced was in sunlight as reflection appear on the screen, but many high-end smartphones also fail this test.

Software

This phone runs on Android Jelly Bean 4.3 OS with heavily customised MIUI v5 on top. We are not fans of customised software as we are of the firm opinion that Android provides lot of features, which are quite sufficient for users especially for a budget smartphone. Still, Redmi 1S has many customsied features such as free themes, which has different set of icons, font style etc;  downloadable wallpapers and clocks.

The MIUI ineface responds quickly to touch, and unlike stock Android, all the apps are located on the home screens. Xiaomi has also included a Lite Mode which resembles Windows Phone’s UI, and which is very easy to use. Unlike the Chinese variant, the Redmi 1S for India comes preloaded with Google apps including Gmail, Play Store and Maps,YouTube and Hangouts. It also comes pre-loaded with Flipkart app as Xiaomi has exclusive arrangement with Flipkart to sell its devices in India.

Hardware and Performance

The Redmi 1S is driven by Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.6GHz with Adreno 305 GPU. It has 1GB of RAM for applications and 8GB of internal storage, which can be increased up to 64GB using a microSD card. While running the smartphone, we did not notice any lag and switching of multiple apps is quite easy, web browsing and video streaming and running is smooth.

We also played some games and did not notice any hindrance, but faced little bit problem while playing only Asphalt 8, which appear to be compatibilty problem. Also observed heating issues while playing games for more than one hour and clicking images for moe than 30 minutes. We are of the opinion that some software tweaks are required to rectify these minor glitches.

The call quality is crisp and clear, and the speaker placed at the rear of the phone also produces clear audio-output. The Redmi 1S does not come with earphones in the box and for testing purposes, we have used our own headphones.

Battery

The Redmi 1S is fuelled by a 2,000mAh battery, which can last for 10-12 hours depending upon the usuage with single charge. The moderate usuage included Facebook,Twitter,What’sApp, gaming for few minutes, web browsing and e-mailing with Wi-Fi support.

Verdict

The Redmi 1S is a steal in the price of Rs. 6,000 as it has good hardware and the camera is of excellent quality. It is going to give tough competition to the established phones of Indian brands and sub-Rs. 10k phones of overseas brands also. The only drawabck we have observed is that it does not have latest Android KitKat OS whereas even less priced Indian devices are now running KitKat. Secondly, and mot imprtantly, it is not available readily and flash sale method is not a game for everybody. If the buyers can’t get it easily, then they loose interest and opt for various other options available already.