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Xiaomi Redmi 2 Review

by Frank Tu 8

redmi 2Amidst the hype for the mysterious new phone (which turned out to be a Xiaomi Note) that Xiaomi teased it’s fans with early January, it’s easy to forget about it’s lesser known (but still wildly famous) sibling, the Xiaomi Redmi 2. This Xiaomi Redmi 2 review should convince you that the phone is no less impressive than the Xiaomi Mi phones when it comes to the price tag it’s offering for the specs. Admittedly this is the cheaper sibling, so parts of it cannot compare. Xiaomi launched the new year with a successor to the Xiaomi Redmi phone, the Redmi 2, with with less hype as compared to the higher speced Xiaomi Mi phones and the Redmi Note phones.

Specifications:

Model      : Redmi 2

Sim Card : Dual Sim Card Dual Standby

Color        : Black, Pink, Yellow, White, Light Green

Capacity  : 1GB RAM; 8GB ROM

Chipset    : Qualcomm 8916 Snapdragon 410 Quad-core 1.2GHz 64-bit

System     : Android 4.4.4 with MIUI 6

Screen      : 4.7 Inch IPS LCD; 720 x 120 pixels

Camera    : 8MP Rear Camera; 2MP Front Camera

Network  : 4G LTE; Bluetooth v4.0; WiFi

Battery     : 2200mAh lithium-ion battery

Sensor     : Gyro, Light, Gravey, Proximity, Compass

Size           : 5.27 x 2.64 x 0.36 inches

Appearance and Size

Each package of the phone is accompanied by a travel charger, a usb data cable and a battery for the Redmi 2. The Redmi 2 itself is a comfortable size at 5.27 x 2.64 x 0.36 inches  (134 x 67.21 x 9.2 mm) and weights at 4.72 oz (134 g).

Xiaomi packaged Redmi 2 in the signature cardboard box with everything packed to perfection inside the box. The phone is rounded at the edges, a marked difference compared to the Redmi.

The touch keys on the Redmi 2 are in soft red tones while the top of the phone has a well-received proximity sensor. The edges on the phone are not excessively deep either, which means that it will be easier to dust.

The top of the phone holds the headphone jack while the right side holds the volume and power buttons. Meanwhile, the micro-USB connector is situated at the bottom of the phone along  with the main microphone.

redmi 2 2On the back of the phone, you will find the signature MI logo. The flash is set to the right of the main camera while the speakers sit on the left. The phone is comfortable to hold, with the matte texture that means that it won’t be too easy to let it slip and fall from your grasp.

The cover is detachable and thus easily replaceable with any of the other color choices that you fancy, from Black, Pink and Yellow to White and Light Green.

The Redmi 1S was released with a 2,000 mAh battery, but the Redmi 2 is packed with a slightly larger battery of 2,200 mAh capacity.

Display

Redmi 2 houses a 4.7 inch display with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels, which is equivalent to what Xiaomi Redmi Note is offering at the moment. The smaller screen on the Redmi 2 means that it has a different PPI (pixel per inch) compared to the Redmi Note (5.50 inch screen size), at 312 PPI compared to the lower 267 on the Redmi Note.

redmi 2 3

In a brightness comparison test by igao7.com, it can be seen that the Redmi 2 (lower left) has an overall whiter display compared to the Redmi Note (Upper Left), the Xiaomi Mi 3 (Upper Right) and Xiaomi 2S (Lower left). The screen displays on the predecessors appear to have a reddish warm hue to them.

The reds, green , blue and yellow on the Redmi 2 are no less impressive, performing up to, and even beyond, the standard of the Xiaomi Note, Xiaomi Mi 2 and Xiaomi Mi 4 as shown in the images below.

Similarly, pictures on the Redmi2 displays less of the red-tint that seems to be present on the other Xiaomi phones. The color schemes appear to be more vibrant compared to the other phones, which is a great improvement.

What better way than to have a look at the pictures as seen on the phone yourself, as illustrated by igao7.com in the following comparisons.

These last two pictures illustrate how the Redmi 2 is able to display the deep green hue of the grass and leaves while retaining the lighter green patterns and the lightness and transparency of the morning dews.

redmi 2 4

The details and sharpness of the Redmi 2 can be seen in the picture above, again with a distinct lack of the red-hue that the Xiaomi Note and the Xiaomi Mi 2s seem to have.

This sunset picture is absolutely breathtaking and while the details are not lacking in any of the phones in the picture, the Redmi 2 again wins hands-down in terms of toning down the redness in the pictures.

Redmi 2 has a scratch resistant, impact-tested and extremely responsive Corning Gorilla Glass screen.

redmi 2 5

The In-Plan Switching (IPS) technology on the phone also means that the Redmi 2 will have an impressive viewing angle, allowing the phone to be viewed from the sides without much difficulty.

When put side by side with the Redmi Note (first) and Xiaomi Mi 2s (third), it appears that the Redmi 2 (middle) loses in terms of the brightness and sharpness, however.

When viewed from the side, all three phones (Xiaomi Note, Xiaomi Redmi 2, Xiaomi Mi 2s) suffer from whitening, making the colors less vibrant and more dull, sadly. The Xiaomi Mi 2s has less of the whitening effect compared to the Xiaomi Redmi 2, however.

To sum up, the Redmi 2 performs really well in terms of brightness, color density, and viewing angle.

Camera

Redmi 2 has a 8 megapixel main camera and a 2 megapixel front camera that takes pretty impressive photos. The main camera comes with five precision lenses and can support HDR, Special Effects, Filters, Panorama, Continuous Shooting, Voice Shutter and other shooting modes.

The camera interface uses the MIUI 6, with all the functions readily available as you take pictures. It even offers a list of previews of all the filters available.

The camera is noticable faster than the Redmi 1 and Redmi Note, comparable to even the Xiaomi Mi 3 and even Mi 4. However, the focusing speed on the phone is on the slower side.

The colors on the camera are true to reality, with a slightly bluish hue to the pictures. You can turn on the effects on the phones (such as HDR, Panorama, ect.) to try out what each of the effects will bring you.

redmi 2 6

The camera is even capable of catching clear pictures at night, with the pictures close to what the naked eye can see, though the glare from the light is sometimes off-putting.

Overall, the camera on the phone is quite impressive and more than enough for the regular phone addict. However, for selfie-addicts out there, the 2 mega pixel front facing camera may not be quite good enough, sadly.

Operating System

Redmi 2 is processed by a Snapdragon 410 chipset that features a quad-core processor that can clock up to 1.2 GHz. It has a modest 1GB RAM with 8GB of storage that is expandable to up to 32GB via a microSD slot and is accompanied by Adreno 306 graphics.

redmi 2 7The Android 4.4 operating system is complemented by MUIU, a minimalistic user interface that is developed by Xiaomi Tech based on the free software Android Operating System (which in this case, is Android 4.4).

This OS is similar to the iOS platform and functions on the Redmi 2 perfectly. The gorgeous animation and smooth user interface may take some getting used to for first time users, but is well worth the small effort.

redmi 2 8The dialing, contacts, text messages and other common applications can all be reverted back to old school type use, with exaggerated and huge fonts that allows you to make use of it at a glance.

This is a reminder for old-school phones with buttons instead of touchscreens and not surprisingly, is a favorite amongst the older generation.

Performance

redmi 2 9Redmi 2 did relatively well in regards to the performance test with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor.

The phone is smooth to operate and does not jam or crash with small and medium-sized games. Even Asphalt 8 was able to run on the phone withou much difficulty.

However, you have to remember that the Redmi 2 only has a modest 1GB of RAM, with the available memory at about 400mb. This means that there is a limited capacity on the phone so open on application too many and you’re only bringing pain to yourself.

On the other hand, the Redmi 2 houses MIUI 6 memory compression technology that can allow you to manually clean up space on the phone to let you operate more RAM-consuming applications.

This requires the most basic knowledge on phones, so if you even if you’re not an avid phone user who doesn’t understand RAM and is not willing to learn a bit more and lean out of your comfort zone, you could just download an app to turn this into a simple, one-click task for you.

Battery

The Redmi 2 is packed with a slightly larger battery of 2,200 mAh capacity that can be last for an impressive amount of time, depending on what you use it for. The temperature on the phone does not run too high even with high usage.

The volume on the Xiaomi Redmi 2 also impressive, with a slightly larger volume compared to the Redmi Note, at more than 83 dB.

Conclusion

The Redmi 2 is a reasonable product that is able to do much of what you can throw at it without a problem. Given it’s reasonable price tag, it is well worth it. Don’t let the small RAM turn you off since it is easily solved by simply turning off unused apps, which is already using up the battery on your phone anyways. If it falls within your budget, we can safely say that you will not be able to find a better phone with the same price anywhere. However, if your budget can be higher, then go for the Xiaomi Mi phones or the Xiaomi Note.

Pros

  • Lightweight, decent-sized phone
  • Impressive screen resolution, color density, and viewing angles
  • Great Operating System
  • Price

Cons

  • Small 1GB RAM
  • 2 megapixel front camera

In the end, it all breaks down to your budget and what you’re looking to do with the phone. If the smaller RAM and 2 megapixel front camera doesn’t bother you, then go for the Redmi 2. As we’ve said, you won’t find a better phone at that price tag of $155 anywhere else.

Buy Xiaomi Mi5
  • F

    POST CAMERA SAMPLES IN FULL RESOLUTION PLEASE

  • Thor91

    there’s an error in the article…redmi 2 has msm8916, not 8228

  • ARUN SUBRAMANIAN

    Please post full size camera samples for redmi2 as well!

  • Kiswum

    I don’t believe the Redmi 2 has Gorilla glass, where did you find this? At this moment I couldn’t find a source for it and the front doesn’t feel like glass at all (Im testing it for a month now)

    • TheEvilPenguinGamer .

      It is gorilla glass, but screen is not bonded to display so gives it plastic feeling when tapped. Many other cheaper phones are like this. It’s a shame Xiaomi didn’t give it an OGS screen considering this is one thing people complained about Redmi 1s, the air gap is smaller but its still not bonded.

  • Sanjay

    bought this phone.. overall good but there are some issues.. please help

    1. Camera is awesum
    2. Body is sexiest

    and many more..

    1. Takes 4-5 hours to charge completely (little heating problem)
    2. Takes 5-6 hours to discharge completely (Only on 2g internet without any gaming or media such as songs or video playing)
    3. Messangers (Whatsapp, hike, fb) does not work in background i.e. msgs are not delivered instantly
    4. Speed of internet is very slow both in 2g and 3g (data networks are not the problem)

    What can i do to resolve them ??

    • Joe

      You could try discharging the phone to 0% and then charging it again to 100%. This may help the battery to some extent.

  • Fianna Hill

    is it a hong mi 2 or hongmi 2 pro??