Who doesn’t love a smartphone that cost lesser than $200 without contract? Now XiaoMi has made it even better, and now it comes with LTE connectivity. Don’t be fooled by the low price of the phone, it is actually a device that can run almost every app in the Play Store with ease! Below is the phone’s specifications.
Chipset – Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (Quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A7)
OS – MIUI v6 based on Android 4.4 Kit Kat
Display – 4.7” 720p fully laminated IPS LCD
Battery – 2200mAh (removable)
RAM – 1GB LPDDR3
ROM – 8GB eMMC
Camera – 8 MP f/2.2
microSD – Yes up to 32GB
Connectivity – Dual SIM, GSM/HSDPA/LTE / WiFi – B/G/N
Sim Card type : Dual Micro SIM
These specifications makes no sense until the device is actually tested in real time usage. In this review, I will be focusing on the actual usage of the device, from day to day usage to intense gaming.
Apps – mainly social media and instant messaging apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp
Battery life – at most 1 day
Observation – Launching the app, and switching between apps seems sluggish. Takes more than 3 seconds for most of the apps. It is probably due to the higher memory consumption of MIUI v6, it felt snappier on RedMi which runs on MIUI v5. Having LTE connectivity is a plus point. Web browsing is certainly faster than HSPA, especially on StarHub’s extensive LTE coverage. No issues with web browsing in the MRT, even when it is underground.
Camera – Similar performance to RedMi, no significant improvement. But hey, it is a sub $200 phone off contract. I won’t expect anything more.
Gaming – Runs smoothly on low graphics requirement games like candy crush. Low frame rate on high graphics intensive games. Phone gets burning hot in about 10 minutes of gaming, pretty much like other phones. Performance is what that is expected from a low end phone running a Snapdragon 410 SoC.
UI – intuitive and iOS like. MIUI is actually one of the most interesting and out of the ordinary Android UI out there. The absence of apps drawer makes it very much like iOS, and the customization available for MIUI makes it unique as well. It is essentially a marriage between Android and iOS. MIUI does not look or feel like a memory hogging UI, but low frame rates are detectable on RedMi while swiping through the home screen.
Verdict – RedMi 2 is an incredible phone for its price range. Nothing comes close to it. However, if you are looking to do some intensive gaming or you cannot stand the low frame rates and high latency, you might want to consider higher end phones. For those who just want to do social media and messaging apps, the RedMi 2 is a great choice with low cost!
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