Xiaomi Redmi Y2 Review

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Xiaomi has been doing great in the budget smartphone market, especially in India. So, they have launched yet another device in budget segment, the Redmi Y2. Redmi Y2 is a successor to the Redmi Y1, which came in last year and was a selfie-centric device. This year’s Redmi Y2 is no different and it is also focused to take on the selfie game. It comes in two variants, one being 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage which is priced at ₹9,999 and the other one being 4GB RAM coupled with 64GB internal storage, priced at ₹12,999. So, how this device holds up against the competition? Let’s see that in this full review of the Redmi Y2.

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What’s in the box?

  • Redmi Y2 handset
  • Clear soft case
  • Power adapter
  • Micro USB cable
  • Warranty Card/User Guide
  • SIM eject tool

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As soon as you open the box, you’ll see the Redmi Y2 itself. The box also contains a clear soft case to protect your device until you get a better case on it. Looking forward, you’ll see warranty card/user guides, a power adapter, a Micro USB cable and a SIM ejector which is hidden under the Micro USB cable.

Redmi Y2 Spec-Sheet

  • Display: 5.99-inch IPS Display, HD+ Resolution (1440 x 720 pixels), 18:9 aspect ratio
  • Software: MIUI 9.5 based on Android Oreo
  • Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, at the back
  • Face Unlock: Yes
  • CPU: Up to 2.0 GHz octa-core Cortex-A53 processor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC, 14nm, 64-bit
  • GPU: Adreno 506
  • Memory: 3 GB OR 4 GB, LPDDR3
  • Storage: 32 GB OR 64 GB, microSD support (dedicated)
  • Main Camera: Dual cameras 12 MP + 5 MP
  • Selfie Camera: 16 MP f/2.0, wide-angle lens (79.8-degree FOV), 5-element lens, Low-Light Selfie, Auto HDR, AI Beautify 4.0
  • Connectivity: micro USB, 3.5 mm headphones port, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS
  • Cellular: 4G LTE, Dual SIM (GSM), VoLTE-enabled
  • Battery: 3,080 mAh
  • Price: Rs 9,999 (3 GB RAM & 32 GB Storage), Rs 12,999 (4 GB RAM & 64 GB Storage)
  • Availability: Exclusively on Amazon India, starting from 12th June 2018 at 12:00 noon. Also available on Mi.com and Mi Home stores.
  • Offers: Rs 500 instant discount on ICICI credit cards, Rs 1,800 instant cashback and up to 240 GB data free on Airtel

Design

The design of this device resembles quite a lot to its bigger brother, Redmi Note 5 Pro. The similar dual camera placement on the back and the 18:9 display, both makes us remember about the Redmi Note 5 Pro when we see it. But, it’s not exactly like a Note 5 Pro.

The 5.99” 18:9 display on the Redmi Y2 is an IPS LCD 720p panel, which is usable and sharp for the most purpose. But, you must keep one thing in mind that the IPS LCD panel does not have any Corning Gorilla Glass protection, which makes your device extremely prone to scratches.

There is one minor detail on the back of the device, which is the coloured antenna lines. And it gives the phone a good look. Also, the fingerprint sensor present on the back is quite fast and accurate. And the camera placement on the back is the same as Redmi Note 5 Pro.

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There is a micro USB port, and two grills present at the bottom of the device. One of this is the speaker while other one is a mic.

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On the top of the device, there is a headphone jack, an IR blaster and the secondary noise cancellation microphone.

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To the right you can find the volume rockers and the power button.

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The dual SIM slots and a dedicated micro SD card slot lies in the tray to the left of the device. It’s good to see Xiaomi going for a dedicated micro SD card slot instead of the hybrid SIM slots, which were present in most of the Xiaomi devices earlier.

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Build and Ergonomics

As far as the build quality goes, we’re a bit disappointed. Okay, before you start blaming that we’re paid by some other brand, hear us out. As mentioned earlier, the front panel does not have any sort of Corning Gorilla Glass protection and it is extremely prone to scratches. You would see scratches on the screen even if you keep it inside your pocket without any other items! Also, on looking at the back of the device for the first time, you’ll believe that it’s metal. But, it’s not. The back panel is made of polycarbonate, which has been given a finishing touch of metal.

The device has a certain heft to itself which gives a good grip when you hold your device. Also, the curved edges on the back panel makes it quite easier to hold the device. Reaching to the top and bottom of the screen with a single hand is a little tough and you will need to adjust your hand on the back to do that. So, it’s recommended to use this device with both the hands for a better grip and comfort.

Display

Redmi Y2 comes with an IPS LCD panel on the front. It is 18:9 HD+(1440*720) display, which covers 70.8% NTSC colour gamut and having the pixel density of 269ppi. This display would be sufficient for most of the average users, or for those who are buying their first smartphone. Also note that the display doesn’t have any sort of Corning Gorilla Glass protection on the top of it. So, it attracts scratches easily on your device and we have experienced this within our time of using this device as well. The display does get bright enough to use on sunny days and the viewing angles are not a thing to worry about on this device.

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Software & User Interface!

Redmi Y2 comes with MIUI Global 9.5.9, built on the top of Android 8.1.0. If you’re coming from a MI device, you would know what all features the MIUI brings along with it. If not, then we would like to tell you that MIUI is a feature packed heavily skinned version of the stock Android.

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In the MIUI 9.5.9 on Redmi Y2, we found out the Navigation gestures, which can be used to get full usage of your device. All the gestures are quite intuitive and fast, except the recent apps gesture. That felt a little slow, compared to the back and home screen gestures. To enable these navigation gestures, you can go to Settings➝Full Screen Display and select Full screen gestures to enable them.

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Also, there is a space like OnePlus Shelf or Google Now, when you swipe right on the screen. Other features like Double tap to wake, Face Unlock, Button and gesture shortcuts, App Lock, Dual Apps, etc. are present and accounted for.

Hardware, Performance and Gaming

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Redmi Y2 has a Snapdragon 625 at its heart. It comes with either 3GB or 4GB RAM, along with 32GB or 64GB storage options, which would be enough for almost all average users. Even though Snapdragon 625 is almost 2-year old processor, it is no slouch when it comes to performance. It has held up pretty well even after 2 years of release. For getting the base idea for the performance of this device, have a look at these benchmark scores.

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For daily usage of normal social media apps, surfing online, calling, etc. it was a breeze to use this. It can even hold up while playing games and there was almost no lag while playing them. There were only a few times where we experienced frame drops while playing intensive titles.

For Gaming, we have tested out three games:

Asphalt Xtreme:

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Shadow Fight 3:

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Stickman Legends:

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Storage and Memory

Redmi Y2 comes in two variants. One with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage priced at ₹9999 and the other one being 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage priced at ₹12999. The storage speeds also help in the overall experience of the device. So, let’s see what Redmi Y2 has under its sleeve in this department.

Androbench:

Sequential Read: 262.77 MB/s

Sequential Write: 117.09 MB/s

A1 SD Bench:

Read Speed: 264.07 MB/s

Write Speed: 119.04 MB/s

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There’s also a setting through which you can get good memory optimization on this device. For this, you’ll first need to enable the developer options. To enable that on Redmi Y2, go to Settings➝About Phone➝Click on MIUI version 7 times.

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Once you’ve enabled that, you can now go to Settings➝Additional Settings➝Developer Options➝Memory Optimization and change the settings to high. It’s on Middle by default, which is also good enough.

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Camera Specifications!

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First, let’s talk about the selfie camera, as that’s the focus point of this device.

  • 16MP front camera with selfie-light
  • 4 in 1 Pixel binning technique
  • 4500K soft-toned selfie light
  • Automatic HDR
  • Precise bokeh effect powered by AI
  • Beautify 4.0
  • f/2.0 large aperture, 79.8-degree wide-angle lens

Now, let’s see what the dual rear camera has for us

  • 12MP + 5MP AI dual rear cameras
  • Supports PDAF f/2.2 aperture
  • AI Portrait Mode
  • HDR
  • Panorama
  • Low light enhancement
  • Face recognition
  • Beautify 4.0
  • Large 1.25-micron pixel size
  • EIS for video recording

These are just the specifications we are talking about. But you would see how these cameras hold up against the competition by seeing the camera samples.

Camera Samples

Battery Runtime

Redmi Y2 has a 3080mAh battery inside it. So, we didn’t expect to get a long battery life on this device. But, the real-life usage showed us a completely different scenario. We got 5hrs+ SOT on medium to heavy usage, which included playing games, downloading and installing apps and games using mobile data, using the device as a hotspot, etc. It seems that Snapdragon 625, which is built on 14nm technology and the lower resolution 720p display did help the battery to last this long.

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Charging Times

Now, let’s see how fast the battery can recharge! We used the Power adapter and cable, which was provided inside the box for this test.

  • 30 minutes➝1% to 35%
  • 1 hour➝1% to 68%
  • 1hr 30mins➝1% to 95%
  • 1hr 46mins➝1% to 100%

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Verdict

Redmi Y2 is quite compelling package. It has good performance, good battery life which even exceeded our expectations, and good cameras in this price range. Whether you like MIUI’s interface or not is a personal preference, and I’m not a fan of that. But again, it’s Android. So, you can customise the look of your device by installing a launcher. Even though it won’t change anything in the notification bar and settings menu, your home screen might look much cleaner.

The Good

Talking about the good things on this device, we didn’t have any issues with the performance of the device. It was buttery smooth in the days we spent using this device. Also, it was able to handle heavier gaming titles with breeze. So, whether it is daily normal tasks or gaming, this device won’t let you down in this department.

As we said earlier, the battery life on this device was extremely good and it exceeded our expectations we had when we saw 3080mAh on the specs list. It can easily last you through a full day with a moderate usage and would even last for a few more hours on the next day. Not only does the battery last long, it even charges fast. It took 1hr 46mins for the battery to go from 1% to 100%, which is impressive.

The pictures coming out of the cameras on the Redmi Y2 were usable. If you were expecting a flagship level camera, then you’ll be disappointed. But, these cameras produced quite good results, in good lighting conditions as well as the low lighting conditions. The video quality tops out at 1080p. And the focus hunting issue is still there. So, videos are not the strong point of these cameras, but the still shots produce quite good results, overall.

The Bad

Now, keeping these good things aside, let’s talk about the things which are worse. The first thing I was disappointed with was the display. Nope, I wasn’t disappointed with the 18:9 aspect ratio, but with the resolution of the display. But it’s an IPS LCD HD+ panel, which means a resolution of 1440*720 with a pixel density of 269ppi. It would be sharp for most eyes, but not going for 1080p panel in 2018 just does not make sense. Due to this resolution, you can watch YouTube videos only up to 720p! Now, let’s say you can even live with this resolution. But, the glass does not have any sort of Corning Gorilla Glass protection on the top of it. So, scratches can be seen on your screen quite easily. I would highly recommend you getting a screen protector if you’re planning to buy this device.

You might think the back panel to be made of metal, when you first see the device. But that’s not the case. The back panel is made of polycarbonate. And it does not feel as sturdy as metal. Many devices in this price range offer metal build, including Xiaomi’s own Redmi Note 5. So, it was a bummer to see this device having polycarbonate back panel.

Finale

So, would I recommend you buying this device? If selfie camera is really high on the list of your priority, then go for this. If not, then there are many other devices which performs as good as this in many fields and some even outperform this. Some of the rivals are mentioned here which you can take a loot at while considering to buy this device.

Rivals

  • Realme 1
  • Redmi Note 5
  • Honor 9 Lite
  • Honor 7C
  • Asus Zenfone Max Pro

Strength

  • Battery Life
  • Cameras
  • IR Blaster
  • Dedicated Micro SD Card Slot

Weakness

  • Display
  • Build Quality