The Xiaomi Redmi 4 is the latest mid-ranger offering from the Chinese tech unicorn which has made a good name for itself, especially in the Indian smartphone market. Like previous offerings from the company, this one also aims to offer the best value for money to users where they can hope to get better performance, good camera, and great battery backup among other things without spending a lot.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Specifications:
- 5-inch HD (1280 x 720) IPS LCD display
- Octa-core 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor with Adreno 505 GPU
- 2GB, 3GB, and 4GB RAM
- 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB storage (expandable via microSD card but feature hybrid slot)
- 13-megapixel rear shooter with f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus, and LED flash
- 5-megapixel front shooter with f/2.2 aperture
- 4100mAh battery (non-removable)
- MIUI 8 based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
- Fingerprint scanner, IR blaster, USB 2.0 port, and 3.5mm headphone jack
Will Xiaomi be able to deliver on the promises and customers’ expectations this time around? Let’s find out.
Build & Design:
The Xiaomi Redmi 4 features a metallic body made out of anodized aluminum and the design is inspired from the Redmi Note 4. It not only gives you a sturdy build quality but also premium feeling while holding the device which is something you will really appreciate at this price point. It has a thickness of 8.5mm and weighs about 150 grams which make it quite compact and lightweight to hold.
On the front, you will notice the front camera, sensors, and earpiece at the top along with physical menu keys at the bottom which are not backlit. Moving to the back panel, there is the rear shooter and LED flash on the top left side followed by fingerprint scanner in the center which makes it easy to access. You can also see the antenna lines at the top and bottom which complement the whole design.
In terms of frames, the phone has volume rockers and power button on the right side and hybrid SIM card/microSD card tray slot on the left side. While the top frame houses the 3.5mm headphone jack and IR blaster, you will find the charging port and a single speaker on the bottom frame. As we mentioned that this phone has a hybrid slot, it basically means that you can either use it as a dual-SIM phone or with one SIM card and a microSD card.
Xiaomi has opted for a 5-inch HD IPS LCD display on the Redmi 4 which is neither too big nor too small but if you are someone who is coming from a bigger display (5.5-inch or higher) smartphone, you are likely to take some time to get used to it. It offers good daylight visibility and can get really bright if you increase the brightness to the maximum. There is also a setting from where you can select whether you like the display to be warm, standard or cool. Same goes for the saturation level which can be set to Brilliant (default) or Standard.
It also has features like inbuilt Reading Mode which helps you in reading content during night time by reducing the Blue light coming out from the display. You can choose to adjust its strength, schedule it for a preset time of your choice, and decide whether it should work for all reading apps by default or only for a few selected apps chosen by you.
The Xiaomi Redmi 4 comes with octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor clocked 1.4GHz along with Adreno 505 GPU. While it has been made available in up to 4GB RAM options, we got to review the 3GB RAM model. The smartphone offers great performance for the price point and does not show any signs of lag in day-to-day usage. I have been using it for a week now and during my daily usage, I can be found using social media, WhatsApp, and listening to music at the same time but the phone never disappointed me. There were some rare instances when it actually reloaded the app from the background.
In terms of gaming, I played Asphalt 8, Mortal Combat 5, and Subway Surfers on the smartphone. While it played most of the games fine, you might run into reloads with heavy games when trying to multitask. Overall, you will not feel disappointed by Redmi 4’s performance in any way.
Battery is the area where the Redmi 4 shines. It is powered by a 4100mAh battery which can last you for one full day easily. My usual day comprises of a few calls, WhatsApp all day, social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Quora), app install/updates, music playback, and gaming. During this usage, the phone lasted for about 20-22 hours on average and gave me a screen on time of about 6 to 7 hours on an average and on some days, it even reached 10 hours mark.
While the actual battery backup will depend on your particular usage, you can be assured that Redmi 4’s battery will last you way more than most of the competition.
The Redmi 4 features a 13-megapixel camera on the back with f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus, and LED flash. The camera app on the device is pretty easy to use and offers various modes and filters to use for best possible photos.
The first thing that you will notice about the phone’s camera is how quickly it focuses on the subject. Other than this, its performance in daylight situation is quite impressive. The picture shot during this time appears with a lot of detail and good color reproduction.
As far as indoor lighting or low light situations are concerned, you will find the camera struggling a bit. It is actually hit and miss case where you can end up with good as well as bad photos. But considering that the phone starts at just Rs. 6,999, there is nothing much you can expect.
The selfie shots from the device are decent with quality dropping drastically under low light and when you try to take a random selfie where you just take out the phone and click one. Overall, the Redmi 4 has a pretty good camera for its price range and there is nothing much to complain about.
The Redmi 4 runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box which is layered with Xiaomi’s MIUI 8. The software has an iOS-like interface where you don’t have an app drawer. The recent apps’ interface is also similar to iOS where you get rid of apps by swiping them upwards or tapping the cross icon to clear all of them at once. It features a bunch of cool animations and color choices, like for the weather application and weather status in the notification center that you will surely appreciate.
Xiaomi’s MIUI offers a bunch of extra functionalities as well which differentiate it from stock Android and many other ROMs. MIUI 8 on Redmi 4 offers Dual Apps feature which allows you to run two instances of a single app like Facebook and WhatsApp. There is also a Second Space feature which lets you have two separate spaces like a personal and professional space. It also offers native App Lock functionality so that you can password protect apps with sensitive data and prevent them from getting accessed by others. Other notable features include Child Mode, Quick Ball, screenshot gesture, one-handed mode, and headphones & audio effects.
It further has a dedicated Security app which claims to keep your Redmi 4 fast, safe, and secure. It is basically a suite of features like cache cleaner, data usage monitor, blocklist, battery, virus scanner, and app permissions manager. MIUI 8 also comes with a bunch of bloatware apps but fortunately, Xiaomi allows you to uninstall most of those apps if you don’t like them.
But there are a few things which I didn’t like about MIUI. It does not list apps in alphabetical order which makes it hard to look for a particular unless you remember its position on the home screen. Tapping and holding on app icons reveal only Uninstall option with no direct access to App Info section. It also goes without saying that the phone still running Marshmallow is quite disappointing. While Xiaomi has launched Nougat-based MIUI 9 which is currently under beta testing, it is still an outdated software considering that Google is all set to announce Android O tomorrow.
The Xiaomi Redmi 4 has its pros and cons like every other device but if you consider the price, its pros are worth more and cons can surely be borne. It is a highly recommended smartphone if you are looking for great performance, decent camera, and insane battery life for a price less than Rs. 10,000. Go, get it without any second thoughts!