|Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review, A Soldier Who Marches|
Xiaomi has been the talk of the town since they came, not only because of their unique marketing strategy, but mainly because of their products with rock-bottom prices.
Although they only have limited devices out in the country, they still managed to capture the heart of the Filipinos. Currently, it is the Xiaomi Redmi 1s that create waves in Lazada flash sales.
The Redmi 1S is the entry-level smartphone of Xiaomi, however, its specifications can be considered as mid-range, especially when compared to most mobile phones in the market. It sports a 4.7-inch IPS HD display powered by a 1.6GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor coupled with 1GB of RAM.
The retail package consists of the unit, 2000mAh battery, manual, charger and detachable USB cable. There is no headset or any kind of freebie, but if you manage to timing perfectly on recent Lazada bundled sale, you can get a case, back cover and screen protector for only 10 pesos or Mi Piston in-ear headphones for just Php100.
The front is fully laminated with DragonTrail glass, all the bezels are quite thick, especially the top and bottom. Below the display are the usual capacitive touch buttons, there is no backlighting, but they are red in color. Meanwhile, above the screen you will find the secondary camera, earpiece grill and hidden sensors.
The back, even though made of matte plastic is really prone to fingerprints and smudges. The main camera is located directly below the secondary microphone and just above the LED flash. Meanwhile, the loudspeaker grill is placed far right of the camera.
|Back without the cover|
The back cover is removable, by doing so it will reveal the 2000mAh battery, two regular SIM slots and the micro SD slot.
The top holds the 3.5mm audio jack while the bottom has the primary microphone and the micro USB port.
The left has nothing on it while the right side has both the volume rocker and power button.
The Redmi 1s design is not a head-turner, it is simply a regular-shape device. It is also not compact by any means, it is a bit bulky at 9.9mm and heavy at 158 grams. In terms of build quality, it feels very solid, buttons are tactile and no unwanted creaks when used.
|Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review, A Soldier Who Marches|
It has an IPS panel, which makes the viewing angle good if not excellent in all sides. However, it is a bit reflective that makes it slightly difficult to use under direct sunlight. It also supports up to 10-point touch. In terms of a software tweak, brightness can be adjusted manually or automatically with the help of light sensor. You can also select the color temperature (warm, standard or cool) and saturation (brilliant or standard).
It has accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound and magnetic sensors, all of which are working properly.
|Antutu 4 - 16197, Antutu 5 - 15842|
|Quadrant - 6444|
|Vellamo Browser - 1405 & 940, Multicore - 654, Metal 626|
|NenaMark2 - 56.8 fps|
I do not know what is wrong with my unit, but the benchmark scores are pretty low when compared to other reviews. The scores are even lower than the Cherry Mobile Ultra which uses a chipset that belongs to the same Snapdragon 400 family, but clocked at 1.2GHz.
Upon first boot, it will guide you for a series of configurations from choosing the language, keyboard etc.
When I started to review my unit, it has a stable build 29, but when I run the benchmarks above, I already updated it to build 45. Both versions still run on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with MIUI 5 on top. The main difference of it in the stock Android interface is that it does not have App drawer, all apps is directly placed in the homescreen. What you can do to organize and tidy up your homescreen from cluttering apps, is to stack them together to create folders.
One cool customization worth mentioning is the notification and status bar, wherein you can change its look and manage notifications of individual applications.
Related: Mi Philippines Officially Opened Exclusive Service Center
All the basic functions, namely telephony, phonebook, emails and messaging are all functioning as they should, no issue or problem encountered.
The gallery houses all the photos and videos both from your device and your cloud storage. It also has built-in photo editor to enhance or add effects to your existing pictures.
Video Player, Music Player and FM Radio:
|Video player, music player & FM radio|
The Redmi 1s is a good media companion for consuming your favorite videos, it can play most, if not all popular video files such as .mkv, .flv, .mp4, .3gp & .avi. It also has eye-candy music player and a nice looking FM radio.
If you insert headphones on its CTIA compliant 3.5mm audio jack, it will give you the options to configure it and to tweak the equalizer.
Camera and Video:
|Camera Interface, Simple & Advance|
|Video Interface, Simple & Advance|
The camera and video have separate interface, each has a simple and advance mode. If you opt to use the former, only few options are available while switching to advance gives you more control. One good comparison is that when you are in simple mode, you cannot select the resolution on both camera and video.
The main camera can shoot 8MP photos which are generally excellent with lots of details and very less noise. The quality can be compared to 13MP cameras we have seen from local mobile brands.
Sample Video - 720p
Sample Video - 1080p
The main camera can record 480p, 720p and 1080p videos in .mp4 format at 30 fps. The videos are generally smooth with little to no skipped frame.
There are two browsers installed in the Redmi 1s, the MIUI browser and Google Chrome. Both are quite fast and loads pages quickly, although there are times that MIUI browser crashes not to mention eats more RAM than Chrome.
We are able to install and run graphical intensive games like Asphalt 7, Asphalt 8, Dead Trigger 2 and Real Racing. They are playable, but there are times that lag occur. I also installed Despicable Me, in this game the skipped frames and lags are very evident and these issues really affects how you progress in the game. Please take note also that games like any other applications cannot be moved to SD card.
The Redmi 1s is a dual SIM dual standby device, however, only SIM 1 is capable of HSPA+ connectivity. You can share this high speed connection via portable hotspot or Bluetooth tethering. If you do not have a data plan, you can always resort to very reliable WiFi connection. Other connectivity features include Wireless display, Bluetooth and OTG support.
The productivity tools include the traditional, but differently looking clock, sound recorder, calculator, calendar, notes and file explorer. In addition, there are WPS Office, Mi Cloud and Torch.
With the data pre-loaded, it is able to get a satellite lock in under 15 seconds, there is also a compass app that can help on traditional navigation.
Watching video continuously lasted for more than 6 hours before the battery percentage dropped to 13% while playing Asphalt 7 managed to last 4.5 hours before it indicates that only 5% battery is left.
|Google Apps, Mi Weather & Mi Talk|
Aside from Gmail, Chrome and YouTube, all the usual Google apps are also present. Mi Weather and Mi Talk are also installed.
|Back, Password & Security|
The MIUI 5 also brings lots of useful applications such as Backup, Password and Security.
|Do Not Disturb, Buttons & Notification Lights|
Deep down the system settings, you will find other options to tweak your phone such as Do Not Disturb, Buttons and Notification Light.
The Xiaomi Redmi 1S has a mid-range specifications with a price tag that belongs to entry-level devices. The build quality is solid, however, we do hope that it is a little bit lighter, the bezels are thinner and the screen is not reflective. In terms of performance, it is snappy, but not quite to our expectations, for instance it lags on HD games. The problem could be on our review unit itself or could be due to heavy customization of MIUI that eats too much RAM.
4.7-inch IPS HD display, DragonTrail glass
1.6GHz quad core processor
1GB RAM, 8GB ROM, OTG support
Very decent camera performance
Good battery life
Lags on gaming
- Quad band 2G, dual band 3G
- Dual regular SIM, dual standby
- 4.7-inch IPS capacitive HD (1280x720) touchscreen (10-point) display, DragonTrail glass protection
- Dimensions: 137mm x 69mm x 9.9mm
- Weight: 158 grams
- Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, MIUI v5
- 1.6GHz Quad Core Cortex-A7 CPU, Adreno 305 GPU, Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8228 chipset
- 1GB of RAM
- 8GB internal storage, expandable up to 64GB
- 8MP auto focus main camera with LED flash, 1080p video recording
- 1.6MP secondary camera
- Multimedia player
- FM Radio
- 3.5mm audio jack
- GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi Hotspot, WiFi Direct, Wireless Display
- Micro USB 2.0 with OTG support
- Bluetooth v4.0
- Sensors: accelerometer, light, proximity, compass, gyroscope
- 2000mAh Li-Ion removable battery
- Price: Php5,599