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My two weeks with the Xiaomi Redmi (I am not a tech reviewer - duh!)


About two weeks ago Xiaomi took Singapore by storm announcing the availability of one of its best selling smartphones for S$169 off contract. While I am a hardcore Apple fanboy (or so I claim to be), I've owned the iPhone 4 since 2010 and was in that phase where "I needed a new phone".

While I pondered if I should instead invest in a Nexus 5, I just went on and bought the Redmi online.

So here we are, 2 weeks after and well...

I'll keep it short - the phone is not a Nexus 5 by any stretch of the imagination and does not pretend to be one!


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Xiaomi differentiates itself by giving users the ability to customise and add themes to their UI also referred to as the MIUI. Fret not, the Redmi while having a cool UI still runs on the Android platform and has all the Google Play gizmos and apps you would find in any given Android based device.



For a S$169 smartphone, you get a Quad Core 1.5GHz processor, 1GB of Ram, a 4.7inch IPS display and Xiaomi felt like throwing in a Gorilla Glass 2 screen just for kicks (for the uninitiated, Gorilla Glass screens are scratch resistant and one of the most sorted after screens but don't take my word for it)


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It is a dual sim phone which translates to - you can have your local sim for your day-to-day 3G use and another slot for a GSM sim which can come in handy for frequent flyers who dread the need to crack open their device every single time whenever they visit another country and require SMS / Call)

Battery life - with moderate use (emails, Instagram, WhatsApp et al), my battery lasts a full day and then some without the need to recharge.

It handles multitasking seamlessly, the interface is buttery smooth and even the browsing (zooming in and out) experience left me pretty impressed.

If you were to ask me, is the Redmi a phone for everyone? it is not because we all have different needs. I am not a phone gamer, don't require the latest device with the best-in class GPU, I do not use LTE and I don't see a need for it.

But if you are that guy / girl that spends hours browsing the web, playing graphic intensive games and want the latest up and coming smartphone, then the Redmi is not for you (you may want to look at the MI3 / MI3s for that)

While there are some downside to the phone, I think from a price point, this is the best phone you will ever get for the money you will spend.

Camera wise for those who care, it has a 1.3MP front facing and an 8MP back facing camera - plenty of pixels to keep your food et al picture galore in check.


It's been two weeks and I personally feel that I made the right choice to not get myself a Nexus 5. My Redmi has become my primary work / personal device. 



Senior Advocate

first, i would like to congratulate you for finally getting out of iOS. Hope you are enjoying the Android experience. for the best experience, look up rooting for your device.


i personally dont like MIUI but i can see the appeal especially to someone who came from iOS. the camera looks a little washed out but i guess the price does it justice and i would love to hear your review on the sound quality as well.

also, i hope you can update us on your mobile after maybe 2months or so.

Valued Advocate

Thanks for the review! I've been curious about this phone ever since reading your blog post but have had a chance to play with my colleague's handset yesterday.


I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and features of the phone at such a low price point!


Definitely a good "backup" phone for emergencies or for a 2nd SIM when travelling. Or as a primary for someone who is not a power user Smiley Happy

Senior Advocate

I just bought the phone. Hope it will be as good when I use the phone!

Respected Contributor

yes, first time fall instantly in love at first sight.


the fake redmi was a shock to me....a budget phone can have a fake phone ? wow, the world is changing.


never regret, never have problem with the sets.


yes, i like it.



unfortunatly i didn't sign up with starhub due to stock issue and m1 due to slow in customer services.....singtel instantly service without hassle at Causeway Point.


Starhub have to really live up to the CEO statement, customer services first...but the services is really terrrible and horrible - PLEASE U BEGGING to BUTCH UP...below my contract end this year...i m jumping to singtel or M1 and also myrepublic for my broadband.


New Commentator

@ Rogerblack


"the camera looks a little washed out"


I disagree. The Redmi takes beautiful photographs with its 8 megapixel back camera as if it has a wide-angle lens and it in fact performed much better than a Canon 7.1 megapixel camera or an iPhone 4s camera. The color spectra in a night-scene are also stunning and there is not need to make any adjustment.  Try and take photographs of flowers in the day and you will be amazed at the brilliant color, clarity and definition. The Redmi rocks.

New Commentator

Thanks for your review. Though, I own an Apple (though by not much choice and out of curiosity, taken iPhone5S. My transition has been Symbian (Nokia) to BB (4 years) to Android (5 years) and only 4 months to iPhone. I miss android, so far the best, but iOS ( being native C based application is a liitle faster than java based android). But now the more power (quadcore processors much RAMs) coming to your devices, it does noty make sense to pay exorbitant amount $1000 for a phone which essentially should not cost more than $250. Indeed I am waiting for the day when Appled and Samsung will be thrown out of user's pocket by theoir choice. Let everyone be xiaomized.  

New Commentator

For $165, the phobe is above average, but if you're a heavy user, than its not for you, the phone hang when u open too many apps .... 

Valued Contributor

Not my preferred choice for a personal and work phone at all, its simply lacking in quality.

Still sticking to my iPhone 5S, nothing comes close to its quality.

Android™ Expert
Interesting comparison between a $169 phone and a $900 phone.
Valued Commentator

All those amazing features!! and the price unbelievable! Yes the suprhigh hidden cost of the Xaomi Mi3 phone has left me spellbound. The phone I bought with a contract from M1 for two years has given me awesome experince for an awesome short perion of THREE WEEKS. Of course the service centre has washed its hands off and is unwilling to exchange it. I am left in the lurch, with no option but to buy a new phone at full cost from M1! Why is there no consumer redressal forum in Singapore. Small customers like me have no option but to bite the bitter pill. I wonder how many of us are out there. So before others plunge into Xiaomi. Please re think re consider. Its a lottery where only one in a million wins. 

Senior Advocate

@Xyl Emdid you try checking with xiaomi service center? telco company provide handset with original warranty, which means if you are having any issue, you can always go to the service center

Valued Commentator
I went to service centre. But they claimed they found water inside the
phone and declared the warranty void. How water came inside the phone while
I always carried it inside my purse, is a mystery to me. Overall it was a