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XiaoMi RedMi – Powerful Budget Phone

Android™ Expert

When you are choosing phones, one of the main concern would be the cost. In this review, I will be writing about one of the most budget smartphones to date – XiaoMi RedMi. It is quite amazing how XiaoMi managed to push a rather powerful phone with amazing design at such a low price point. Below is the phone’s specifications.


Chipset – Mediatek MT6589T (Quad-core 1.5GHz Cortex-A7)
OS – MIUI based on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
Display – 4.7 inches 720p IPS LCD, Corning Gorilla Glass 2
Battery – 2000mAh (removable)
Camera – 8 MP
microSD – Yes
Connectivity – GSM/HSDPA / WiFi – A/B/G/N

In this review, I will be highlighting the performance capability of RedMi. I will also be discussing the user experience while using day to day apps and while gaming.


The Hardware

RedMi is packed with a Mediatek Quad-core 1.5GHz processor. While not amazing, it is definitely able to handle daily tasks such as sending and receiving messages and some light gaming. Through my 2 weeks with RedMi, the battery easily lasted through 1.5 days with some light usage – My Nexus 5 is still my main phone. The design of the phone is amazing. One would think that it is a $400 phone if you do not know that it is actually a RedMi.


The phone has dual-sim capability which allows you to insert 2 SIM cards into the phone. However, there is something that I have to point out, that is they are using regular sized SIM card which is rather alarming for a phone that was launched in July 2013. One would expect it to be using micro SIM instead.


2014-03-24 09.20.34.jpg


Like most smartphones, RedMi tends to get warm after prolonged usage –especially while gaming. Popular games such as candy crush saga runs smoothly on RedMi as well. The keyboard that came with the phone is not very user friendly, but you can easily change it to a third party keyboard like swiftkey.


The camera of the phone has decent performance, although the colour is not very accurate when taking shots in low lighting. I will post up some pictures for better reference soon.

Overall, the phone is great for it best and is probably one of the most value of money phones out there currently. However, if you are looking for a fast and powerful phone, you might want to take a look at Mi3 instead.


The Software


The OS of RedMi is the feature that got me really glued to the phone. Powered by MIUI, it does not have bloatwares that are usually found in phones from other OEMs. That allows the phone to boot faster as well! The most interesting function in MIUI is the theme function. It allows users to download theme from their theme library. Some of the themes, such as the coke theme are really cool and interesting to play with. There are just too many for me to list out so do try it out yourself!


I have actually tried out MIUI on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 a year ago. A lot of improvements have been made to the OS and has made RedMi a strong competitor in the budget phone arena. MIUI feels like a hybrid of iOS and Android. They removed the apps drawer that are usually found in Android OS and placed everything in the launcher – which is what iOS is doing – while maintaining the ability to customize – like in Android.


The software is similar throughout all MIUI and I must say, MIUI is a really amazing OS. I am eagerly waiting for it to be made available on Nexus 5.


Amazing phone with fabulous OS at such a low price. What more can you ask for?

My Rating


Design: 8/10
Hardware: 7/10
UI: 8/10
Battery: 7/10
Overall: 7.5/10

Things to be improved on:
Better battery life
Use micro SIM instead

You may visit the follow webpage for more information on the price of RedMi.


I am not a staff from StarHub. My post does not represent StarHub in any way.
New Commentator
I would agree with the reviewer. In fact I bought this phone for my mom to retire her from the iPhone 4 (which unbearably slow after the upgrade to ios7). Coming from ios it's very difficult for elder people to learn the vast goodness of android. This is where MIUI saved the day. They even have brilliant ios 6 theme which basically transform the look n feel to an ios device and with a bigger screen for the elderly. Though the keyboard is not so user friendly esp with spell prediction n autocorrection, as the keyboard are meant for China market the chinese handwriting is amazing which I think the reviewer do not regularly write chinese. Too bad SwiftKey till now ignored the mass request of having input for chinese. Though that been said there are some quirks abt this phone, updating sometimes breaks the theme (or reset it to default) hence sometimes I need to reapply the theme for my mom after an update And secondly as it's China thing they have their version of Icould micloud and they also force u to sign up an account with xiaomi which greatly confuses the not so tech savy as now they not only need to sync with Google but xiaomi too. But overall this phone is surely value for money but just wish it has 4G but then even the Mi3 their current flagship In sg does not have 4G.
Android™ Expert

Hi DavidWong,


True, I don't type chinese at all. My chinese is terrible :x


I am waiting for MIUI to be made officially available for my Nexus 5!

Senior Advocate

may i know what is wrong with normal SIM except maybe the space it needs


Android™ Expert
Nothing is wrong, except for its size.

Senior Commentator
I got is excellant4G wifi device on contract for 2 years last month. Unfortunstely i have to leave Singapore. I want to transfer the ownership and am willing to pay one month usage free. Pls sms 8449 8563 if intrested.