Xiaomi is a well-known player in the Indian smartphone market. The company has made quite a name for itself with its affordable yet feature-loaded smartphones. And to woo the budget-conscious Indian consumer, it has launched a new smartphone in the country.
Having a starting price of Rs 6,999, the Redmi 4 is Xiaomi’s latest entry into the hugely-competitive Indian smartphone market. The successor to last year’s Redmi 3S Prime, the smartphone comes with many improvements and claims to offer better performance over its predecessor. But is it really any good?
We tested the Xiaomi Redmi 4 for some time, and here’s the rest of our review.
Design and display
In terms of design, the Redmi 4 looks similar to its predecessor – Redmi 3S (Prime). That said, the company has tweaked the design a little bit here and there.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 sports an all-metal unibody design. Compared to the Redmi 3S, it’s more compact and less slippery. The smartphone comes with a matte rear panel and round edges make it easy to hold. The front panel has three soft-touch navigation keys – Home, Options and Back below the display. Above the display is the earpiece, a 5MP selfie camera and the usual array of sensors.
The rear panel has a 13MP rear camera with LED flash at the top left corner. At the center, there’s a circular fingerprint sensor and Xiaomi’s ‘Mi’ logo at the lower section. The power button and volume rocker are placed on the right side, while the SIM card tray sits on the left. The top edge has a 3.5mm audio jack and an IR blaster, while the bottom edge houses the speaker grille and microUSB charging port. All said, the Redmi 4 retains majority of the design elements of the Redmi 3S, but is sleeker and easier to hold in the hand.
Talking about the display, the Xiaomi Redmi 4 has a 5-inch HD display of 720×1280 pixel resolution. The 2.5D curved glass design improves the overall appearance of the smartphone and definitely looks better than the flat screen of its predecessor. During our testing, we found the display to be good. Brightness levels are decent and the display isn’t that reflective, even when used under direct sunlight. Colour reproduction and viewing angles are on point as well. The display comes with a ‘Reading Mode’ that further reduces background glare. It’s possible to schedule the ‘Reading Mode’ for automatic activation at a certain time, and users can configure it for all apps or some selective ones.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 is powered by a 1.4GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor and comes in three variants based on RAM and internal storage. Our test unit had 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The smartphone also accepts microSD cards of up to 128GB in size.
During the course of our testing, we found the smartphone to perform adequately without any kind of visible lag. We played various heavy games and used some heavy editing apps, and the Redmi 4 handled everything without any issues.
That said, the smartphone’s rear panel heated up a little (around the rear camera lens) after extended amount of gaming. Multitasking and switching between apps was a smooth affair.
We ran AnTuTu and GeekBench 4 benchmarking tests on the smartphone as well. While it scored 41,856 in the former, the single-core and multi-core scores on the latter were 664 and 1910 respectively.
As for call quality, it was largely fine on 4G VoLTE networks. Signal reception was also good on the Redmi 4.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 is backed by a 4,100mAh battery, which easily lasted us more than a day with moderate usage. This can be attributed to the low-resolution display and small screen size. Moreover, the battery doesn’t take much time to get fully-charged either.
Coming to the software, the Xiaomi Redmi 4 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS with the company’s MIUI 8.2 skin baked on top. There’s no app drawer and all apps are placed on multiple homescreens. Some essential apps like compass and malware scanner come pre-installed. There’s also a ‘Lite Mode’, which simplifies the UI with bigger icons and fewer features for better accessibility. The Child and Guest modes can be used to restrict access to selected apps.
Just like its predecessor, Xiaomi Redmi 4 comes with an IR blaster, which allows the smartphone to be used as a universal remote control. The pre-installed Mi Remote app lets users add virtual remote controls for a variety of home appliances like TVs and ACs.
Talking about the camera, the Redmi 4 has a 13MP rear camera with LED flash and a 5MP front-facing shooter for selfies. The camera app itself is pretty simple to use and comes with various shooting modes such as Panorama, Manual, Tilt-shift and more. There is also a Beautify mode that allows users to take better selfies.
During our testing, we found the image quality of the Redmi 4’s camera to be impressive. The captured images offer sharp and vibrant colours, especially with adequate lighting. The camera performed well in both indoor and outdoor conditions, especially considering its price. The front camera also delivered good results in our testing.