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Xiaomi Redmi 4 Review

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Xiaomi Redmi 4 entered the smartphone market with a starting price of ₹6,999 making a buzz in the budget segment. The handset packs a punch with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage as its highest offerings alongside a large 4,100 mAh battery that used to give a 2-day battery backup. Looks like budget smartphones are gaining popularity with higher RAM and storage variants at a low price. The company managed to sell 2,50,000 Redmi 4 units in just 8 minutes during its first flash sale. Is it that the Redmi 4 becomes the king of budget smartphones? Here’s our Xiaomi Redmi 4 review.

In the Box

  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 with built-in battery
  • Charger (5V, 2A)
  • Micro USB
  • SIM Tray Ejector Pin
  • User Manuals and Warranty Card

Xiaomi Redmi 4 Specifications

  • Display: 5.0-inch HD IPS Display (1280 x 720 pixels resolution | 296 ppi)
  • Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, at the back
  • Software: MIUI 8 based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • CPU: Up to 1.4 GHz octa-core Cortex-A53 processor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (MSM8940), 28nm LP
  • GPU: Adreno 505
  • Memory: 2 GB OR 3 GB RAM, LPDDR3
  • Storage: 16 GB or 32 GB internal storage, MicroSD up to 128 GB (Hybrid Slot)
  • Main Camera: 13 MP f/2.0, single LED flash, 1080p video @30fps
  • Front Camera: 5 MP f/2.2, 1080p video @30fps
  • Connectivity: Micro USB, 3.5 mm stereo jack, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS (A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS)
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Compass
  • Cellular: 4G LTE network support, Micro + Nano SIM both GSM, SIM2 as MicroSD, VoLTE-enabled
  • Battery: 4,100 mAh (non-removable)
  • Dimensions: 139.2 mm x 70 mm x 8.65 mm
  • Weight: 150 grams
  • Colors: Champagne Gold, Mate Black
  • Price: 2 GB RAM 16 GB Storage – ₹6,999
    3 GB RAM 32 GB Storage – ₹8,999
    4 GB RAM 64 GB Storage – ₹10,999

Design, Build, & Ergonomics

On the design front, the Redmi 4 does a great job. It flaunts a metallic design with a 2.5D curved glass on the front side. The device feels very good in the hands, due to its sleek metal body with matte finish design. Its 5-inch size with curves gives extreme comfort while holding. The design aesthetics are similar to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4.

Redmi 4 features a 13 MP f/2.0 camera on the back with LED flash. The front carries a 5 MP f/2.2 camera without any flash. More on the back is a fast fingerprint scanner that unlocks the device pretty quickly. The touch navigation buttons on the bottom aren’t backlit.

At the bottom, Redmi 4 offers a Micro USB port with the loudspeaker now relocated at the bottom adding up to its ergonomic design. On the top, it has got a 3.5 mm port and an IR Blaster which comes handy if you want to control any infrared-enabled devices at home such as TV, Air Conditioner, etc.

The right side of the phone has a power key and volume control. The button feedback is one of the best from a phone that comes as cheap as just ₹7,000. It also fits in my hand, so my thumb reaches on the right button when needed.

Furthermore, the smartphone supports 4G network with VoLTE calling. Xiaomi sticks to the hybrid SIM tray. So you have the option to use it as a dual SIM phone or just one SIM with a storage expansion.

Display

Xioami Redmi 4 sports a 5-inch HD display (1280 x 720 pixels resolution) with a scratch resistant 2.5D curved glass. A 5-inch feels perfect sized for one-handed operations. The display is highly reflective and catches some fingerprints which can be wiped off easily.

Viewing angles and brightness levels are good, the display appears to be used from its predecessor Redmi 3S. There’s nothing to complain in the display area. People might say a 1080p display would be sufficient, but that’s all Xiaomi can offer. Its HD display acts as a power saving trait and puts less load on CPU delivering a performance boost.

Software & User Interface

On the software front, the Redmi 4 runs on the Android Marshmallow with MIUI 8 on top, however, you can run the new Android Nougat preview (developer ROM). The latest security patch is dated 1st March 2017.

Android Marshmallow operating system seems dated, and it would be great if the company had offered a stable Android N out of the box. Nevertheless, there are several smartphones stuck with the Marshmallow version. That said, Xiaomi may soon release the stable Nougat version for Redmi 4.

MIUI has many features including the infamous dual space, dual apps, and quick ball. We have explained more about the software in out past Xiaomi smartphones.

Fingerprint Scanner

There is a fingerprint scanner on the back that works fast enough to compete with the contenders. It can do various things like locking apps with your fingerprints, unlocking the second space with different fingers.

Hardware, Performance, & Gaming

The Xiaomi Redmi 4 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 SoC manufactured in 28nm LP tech. The chip consists of eight Cortex-A53 cores clocked up to 1.4 GHz paired with either 2 GB, 3 GB or 4 GB RAM depending on the variant. Higher RAM is supposed to hold more apps in the memory for multitasking.

Thinking that a ₹7,000 priced phone may not perform well in the performance department, but you guessed it wrong. The performance is just amazing considering the price, there is no sign of lag. Out tests are based on the 3 GB variant.

On the performance note, if we have to say about the CPU upgrade, the Redmi 3S is still as good as the Redmi 4. Comparing with the Snapdragon 430 (Redmi 3S), there is no significant upgrade. If you have used the Xiaomi Redmi 3S, chances are, you may hardly notice any difference.

Check out the benchmarks Redmi 4 has achieved. AnTuTu scored 43,336 points, Geekbench scored points 671 (Single-core), 1,925 points (Multi-core), 2,104 points (Adreno 506 GPU). Quadrant scored 12,865 points.

AnTuTu Benchmark

  • 43,336 points

Geekbench 4

  • 671 points (single-core CPU)
  • 1,925 points (multi-core CPU)
  • 2,104 points (GPU)

Quadrant Standard Edition

  • 12,865 points

The gaming performance is just below the Redmi Note 4 and much higher than Coolpad Note 5 Lite. The Redmi Note 4 scores 2,478 points (Adreno 506) benchmark whereas its competitor Coolpad Note 5 Lite scores 906 (Mali-T720 MP2). All I can say is the gaming on the Redmi 4 is decent for this price. We ran games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Angry Birds 2, Call of Duty Heros, they all ran fine.

Games Tested on Xiaomi Redmi 4

  • Asphalt 8: Airborne
  • Angry Birds 2
  • Call of Duty Heros

The temperatures are all okay, the device doesn’t heat due to its low-end CPU.

Storage & Connectivity

Xiaomi continues the base 16 GB eMMC internal storage variant but now it comes in two more storage variants, 32 GB, and 64 GB. The storage can be expanded via MicroSD up to 128 GB, however, note that you will lose the dual SIM functionality since the SIM tray is hybrid.

When we talk about the performance of the storage, it is merely similar to the Redmi Note 4, hence, storage performance is good for this price. Androbench shows 255.83 MB/s sequential read, 147.55 MB/s sequential write, 48.72 MB/s random read, and 9.32 MB/s random write. A1 SD Bench showed us 160.58 MB/s read speed and 147.40 MB/s write speed.

A1 SD Bench

  • 160.58 MB/s (Read)
  • 147.40 MB/s (Write)

AndroBench

  • 255.83 MB/s (Sequential Read)
  • 147.55 MB/s (Sequential Write)
  • 48.72 MB/s (Random Read)
  • 9.32 MB/s (Random Write)

Cameras

The camera is one of the key factors of the Xiaomi Redmi 4, it features a 13 MP f/2.0 camera with LED flash and a front 5 MP f/2.2 camera for taking selfies. Both the cameras are capable of capturing 1080p videos. The rear camera is a notable upgrade.

Xiaomi Redmi 4 Camera Specifications

  • Camera: 13 MP f/2.0, PDAF
  • Optical Image Stabilization (OIS): N/A
  • Rear Flash: Single LED
  • Features: Geo-tagging, Tap to Focus, HDR, Manual, Beautify, Panorama, HHT (Night Mode), Time-lapse, Straighten, Tilt-shift, Audio, Timer, Scene, Color Filters, Burst Shot
  • Video Recording: Up to 1080p @30fps
  • Front Camera: 5 MP, f/2.2
  • Video Recording: Up to 1080p @30fps
  • Front Flash: N/A

The camera performance is reliable in my opinion. The image quality is fairly decent. The camera performs as good as the camera found on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, and yeah sometimes a little better than that in certain lighting conditions. The camera offers Panorama, Manual mode, Beautify, HTT (night mode), Tilt-shift and few more but lacks a slow motion recording.

On the other hand, the front camera takes average selfies so as other Xiaomi smartphones ranging under the price ₹10,000. We won’t expect anything great from the Xiaomi cameras since they are focused on the performance and software experience. Given the price, the cameras are all good.

Xiaomi Redmi 4 Camera Samples

Battery Runtime

Xiaomi Redmi 4 has a long lasting battery and it is the best thing about this smartphone is the battery. The Redmi 4 ships with a 4,100 mAh battery. We got the phone running about 4 and a half days on a single charge with below moderate usage. Saying this, you can get a 2-day battery life or higher easily on moderate use.

Thanks to the HD display that requires less battery power, and there’s less load on the CPU as well saving ample of battery If that’s not enough, Xiaomi’s battery saving traits will give you more time on the battery. Needless to say, the battery is the best thing we have found on the phone.

To charge the battery, Xiaomi has provided a 5V and 2A charger which takes about 3 hours or a little less than that to charge the battery from 0% to 100%.

Xiaomi Redmi 4 Battery Test Results

Apps/GamesBattery usedRuntimeBrightnessWireless
1080p Video2%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
YouTube (1080p)3%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Angry Birds 25%20 minutesAutoAirplane Mode
Asphalt 8: Airborne6%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
Call of Duty Heroes5%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Music (Offline)1%1 HourAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
Music Streaming - SoundCloud2%30 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Instagram3%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)

Pricing, Variants, & Availability

The Redmi 4 is priced at ₹6,999 for 2 GB and 16 GB variant. There are two more variants of 32 GB and 64 GB both priced at ₹8,999 and 10,999 respectively.

  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 (2 GB RAM 16 GB Storage) – ₹6,999
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 (3 GB RAM 32 GB Storage) – ₹8,999
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 (4 GB RAM 64 GB Storage) – ₹10,999

The device is available on online on Amazon and Mi.com as well as on the new Mi Home store.

Verdict – Is it the Budget King of all?

Among the several entry-level smartphones, the Redmi 4 shines out loud. There’s no doubt the phone is excellent value for money, hence, the tagline budget king justifies. So far, Redmi 4 takes over the competition with the battery and performance. The rear camera is another thing that comes decent in the package. Wrapping it up, this is the best smartphone currently in the market.

Talking about the upgrades, there’s not much improvement over last generation Redmi 3S. So, it may not be the best upgrade if you’re planning to replace your Redmi 3S with the new Redmi 4.

Competitors

Strength

  • Long Lasting Battery
  • Strong Build Quality
  • Decent Rear Camera
  • Good Performance
  • Value For Money

Weakness

  • Charging Takes Time (~3 hours)
  • Android M out of the Box
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