|Xiaomi Redmi 2 Review, Moving Up|
The Xiaomi Redmi 2 was announced internationally earlier this year, but only became officially available locally last April. It is being sold online through Lazada with a retail price tag of Php5,999.
The Xiaomi Redmi 2 is the successor of the Redmi 1s, they have the same screen size and resolution, but it is now equipped with a more powerful 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon processor clocked at 1.2GHz each coupled with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of expandable storage.
The retail package includes the unit, battery, charger, USB cable and paper documents. To know more, you can also opt to watch our video unboxing embedded above.
The front is fully laminated with Corning Gorilla Glass with a slightly raised plastic lip on the edge that runs along on all sides. The screen occupied most of the space, above it are the secondary camera, earpiece grill and hidden sensors while below it you will find the menu, home and back soft touch keys. There is also an LED notification light located under the home button, it is only visible when there is a notification or the phone is charging. Moreover, you can also customize the color of the lights under the system settings.
The back is made of plastic with matte-finish, fingerprints and smudges can easily build up, especially if you have a sweaty hand. At the upper portion, you will find the main camera flanked by an LED flash on the left, secondary microphone on the top and loudspeaker grill on slightly far right.
|Back without cover|
Removing the back cover will reveal the 2,200mAh battery, two slots for micro SIM cards and another slot for a micro SD card. The battery is removable and you need to remove it in order to access all the slots.
The top holds the 3.5mm audio jack while the micro USB port and the primary microphone are both located at the bottom.
The power button and the volume keys are both placed on the right while the left side was kept bare.
The Redmi 2 resembles lots of similarities with its predecessor, although all the physical measurements were trimmed down a little bit, not to mention it is more lightweight.. Although it is an entry-level device, its look and feel still belong to the upper class plus the build quality is good too. Handling wise, it is very comfortable to operate with just one hand. Moreover, there is also a setting that allows you to mimic 3.5-inch or a 4-inch phone for better handling (or if you feel 4.7-inch is still big for you).
It has 4.7-inch screen with 720p resolution, which translates to about 312 pixels per inch and with the help of IPS technology, it is able to deliver well-balanced images and naturally-looking colors at almost any given angle. You can also tweak it to look warmer or cooler and change the saturation from standard to brilliant.
The sensors used by the phone are accelerometer, proximity, light, magnetic and gyroscope, all of them are working during software testing and in actual use.
|Antutu - 20,694|
|Quadrant - 11,909|
|NenaMark2 - 53.8fps|
The benchmark scores except for the NenaMark2 are much better when compared to its older sibling, these results only show that it has far superior raw processing power.
Upon first boot or after you have done a factory reset, it will guide you to set-up the phone from system language, creating your Mi account up to syncing your Google account. It runs on Android 4.4.4 KitKat with MIUI v6 on top, to be precise, the exact version as of this writing is already 6.5.3.
Like any other Xiaomi device, it does not have app drawer and it remains true with the Redmi 2. The apps are all lined-up in the home screen and you can create folders to organize them. To customize how it looks, you can use the pre-loaded themes or download new one, however, you need a Mi account in order to do so.
There is also a 'Lite Mode' wherein it simplifies the home screen and menus, once turned on, you need to reboot the phone it order for it to be activated.
All the basic phone functions are working well, no issue or problem encountered. There is also a 'Guest Mode' which hides the messages, contacts and call history when activated. The default input method is Google Keyboard, but SwitfKey is also pre-installed as an alternative. Moreover, the font style and size can be adjusted based on your preference.
The gallery shows all the photos and videos on your device, including those saved in your Mi Cloud account. It offers basic photo editing, but similar tool for video is missing.
Video Player, Music Player and FM Radio:
|Video Player, Music Player & FM Radio|
The default video app is not shown on the home screen, but it is pre-installed and will appear when you want to play a clip from the file manager or gallery. It lacks subtitle support and other functions, but it is able to play all sorts of video container, including .mkv. The music player allows you to play tracks both stored on your device and on the cloud plus it supports album art and offers some level of audio enhancements. Meanwhile, the FM Radio can be turned on without the headset being connected, but the signals are not that clear so we still recommend you have it plugged-in. Speaking of headphones, when it is inserted, you can go to system settings and choose the proper type plus enable and tweak equalizer and Mi sound enhancer.
The camera interface has lots to offer, it has 12 different kinds of filters, has several shooting modes (such as panorama, HDR, Beautify and HHT), manual mode (to adjust white balance and ISO) and 11 scene modes. There is also face detection plus you can activate face recognition that displays age and gender just for fun. It also has a built-in QR code scanner, which is pretty accurate and easy to use (there is also an app called Scanner that do the same thing located in the tool's folder).
|Inside the plane|
The camera is one of the strongest qualities of the Redmi 2, the output images are really great and vibrant. HDR really helps a lot in improving the photos, especially those that are against the light. The resolve details are also good, as you can see on the above photo, the word 'EXIT' is still readable. Moreover, macro or close-up photography is also possible, since it can focus properly with a very minimal distance of about 3 inches.
The video interface allows you to capture photos while recording. The focus mode can be set to tap or continuous. It is also capable of shooting time lapse videos with a minimum interval of 0.06 seconds up to 60 seconds.
Like the still camera, the video quality is great as well with up to 1080p resolution at 30fps. However, video stabilization is missing and dynamic range is nowhere to be found. Nonetheless, the overall output is still pretty decent.
The MIUI browser is the default app that you can you to access the web, loading of pages are fast, even those with lots of images and scripts. There is also an option to reduce the data consumption while browsing, however, it will limit the quality of the websites that you are viewing.
|Modern Combat 5|
It supports LTE for fast data connection, which you can share through hotspot or tethering, however, it is a feature that you might love or hate. In the Philippines, the LTE bands that are widely used are band 3 or 1800MHz by Globe Telecom and band 1 or 2100MHz by Smart Communications. The official Xiaomi Redmi 2 that lands in the country only supports bands 3, 7 and 8, which means that if you are a Smart subscribers, you can only get up to HSPA+. Just to let you know, there is another variant that supports bands 1 and 3, but it is something that you cannot buy locally. Going back to connectivity, the rest are basics, WiFi, Bluetooth, USB OTG function and 3.5mm audio jack.
The productivity tools include a clock, calendar, calculator, sound recorder, notes, file manager, WPS Office and Mi Cloud.
With data pre-loaded, the GPS managed to get a satellite lock in under 30 seconds with an accuracy of about 26 feet. There is also a digital compass that shows black background when the screen is perpendicular to the floor and it displays the surrounding when it is 90 degrees upright.
The Redmi 2 has an outstanding battery life, the 2200mAh capacity managed to last more than 10 hours of video-loop tests (WiFi off, brightness and sound set in the middle). I also used it as a secondary phone and it usually lasts two to three days with light to moderate usage.
|Security, Bug Report and DND|
Other things worth mentioning is the Security, which is more than just an anti-virus app. It also has other useful functions such as Cleaner for removing cached and similar files and Blocklist to block SMS and call from a certain number. Meanwhile, Bug Report is self-explanatory, it is a place where you can find the logs of all the 'bugs' happened on your device. Lastly, DND or Do-not-disturb can be found under the system settings, which allows you to limit notifications at a certain period of time.
There is no doubt that the Xiaomi Redmi 2 is an affordable entry-level Android smartphone that has very few compromises. It has a vibrant display, seamless interface, great main camera, smooth performance and amazing battery life.
However, the market is already catching up, competitors are almost closing the gap and as of this writing, there are more and more devices with great specs-to-price ratio emerging not only from the local brands, but also from bigger international names like Lenovo, Alcatel and Huawei. That being said, it may be one of the best, but it will surely face tough competitions.
4.7-inch IPS HD display
64-bit quad core Qualcomm processor
Above average battery life
No 'move to SD'
Only available online
Xiaomi Redmi 2 Specifications:
- Dual micro SIM, dual standby, supports LTE
- 4.7-inch IPS HD (1280x720) capacitive touchscreen (10-point) display, Corning Gorilla Glass 2 protection
- Dimensions: 134mm x 67.2mm x 9.4mm
- Weight: 133 grams
- Android 4.4.4 KitKat, MIUI v6
- 1.2GHz 64-bit quad core Cortex-A53 CPU, Adreno 306 GPU, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916 chipset
- 1GB of RAM
- 8GB internal storage, expandable up to 64GB
- 8MP auto focus main camera with LED flash, 1080p video recording
- 2MP secondary camera
- Multimedia player
- FM Radio
- 3.5mm audio jack
- GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
- 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, magnetic, gyroscope
- 2200mAh Li-Ion removable battery
- Price: Php5,999