Xiaomi has set new heights of success with the Redmi series, and it has featured in most of our list of budget smartphones. The new Redmi smartphone will not only intensify its competition in the market, but will also put pressure on it to replicate its previous variants. And in terms of specifications, it is definitely an upgraded variant. Let us know whether the new Xiaomi Redmi 4 lives up to the expectations in terms of price or not?
xiaomi redmi 4 design
When we first saw the Redmi 4 in our office, we mistakenly thought of it as a ‘lite’ or a smaller variant of the Redmi 4. The design of both these phones is very similar. At the Redmi 4 pre-launch event, Xiaomi’s Product Manager, Jai Mani told Gadgets 360 that the Redmi 4 looks inspired by the larger Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Review). The all-metal rear of the Redmi 4 is polished and the phone looks more premium than the previous variant. However, there is a risk of the phone slipping and during our review, it avoided falling several times while trying to take pictures with the phone.
Not much has been changed in the basic formula of the Redmi series. Like the Redmi 3S, the Redmi 4 sports a 5-inch screen. The new model, however, feels a bit thick with a thickness of 8.65 mm and weighs 150 grams. The thickness of the Redmi 3S was 8.5 mm and it weighed 144 grams. Overall, despite the increase in thickness or weight, the Redmi 4 hasn’t changed much as the phone is easy to use with one hand.
We never had any problem using the fingerprint sensor. The phone only has a Mi logo on the rear, but it reads ‘Designed by Xiaomi/Made in India’ in small letters. We liked the protective ring provided around the camera lens.
On the right side of the phone are the power and volume buttons. And easily accessible to use the phone during use with one hand. A micro-USB port is provided at the bottom for charging and data transfer in the phone. On the other side are the grilles, although only one of them is the speaker. On the top is a 3.5mm audio jack and infrared ammeter.
The phone has navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen but they are not backlit, which means they will be difficult to use in the dark. There’s a notification LED just below the home button and it’s bright enough to alert the user to incoming notifications. Like other Redmi smartphones, the new Redmi 4 smartphone comes with a dual-SIM tray, which means users will be able to use two SIM cards and one SIM card or one microSD card simultaneously. The Redmi 4 smartphone will be available in Champagne Gold and Matte Black color variants. And we got matte black color for review.
A guide booklet, a data cable, a power adapter and a SIM projector tool will be found in the retail box with the phone.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Specification and Software
Xiaomi Redmi 4 sports a 5-inch HD (720×1280) IPS display with 2.5D curved-edge glass. Xiaomi seems to have used 2.5D glass for the first time in a Redmi smartphone under Rs 10,000. The phone has a 4100 mAh non-removable battery. The company had used the same capacity battery in the previous Redmi 3S smartphone as well and this is said to be the biggest highlight of the phone. The phone is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor clocked at 1.4GHz. There are three variants of Redmi 4 – 2 GB RAM / 16 GB storage, 3 GB RAM / 32 GB storage and 4 GB RAM / 64 GB storage. Our review unit was with 3 GB RAM / 32 GB storage. The storage of Redmi 4 can be increased up to 128 GB via microSD card.
This phone has a 13-megapixel rear camera with aperture F / 2.0, PDAF and an LED flash. For selfie, the phone has a 5 megapixel front camera with aperture F / 2.2. The new Redmi 4 smartphone will support connectivity features like 4G and VoLTE. On using two SIM cards simultaneously, only the primary slot will support 4G calls and data while the secondary SIM slot will support 2G only.
This phone runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, on top of which is Xiaomi’s MIUI 8.2 skin. This is a stable build that we saw on the Redmi Note 4 and Redmi 4A. Which means that the Redmi 4 has a lot of software features that we have already seen. These also include dual apps, so that two accounts of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp or any other app can be run. One-handed mode allows the display to be shrunk to one corner, making everything easily accessible. The phone also has a scrolling screenshot feature that lets you take a screenshot of the entire web page. Child mode lets users lock apps, and Second Space lets users create two profiles on the same device to keep business and personal data separate.
The MIUI skin is clearer and more polished than the previous version. You can read detailed information about the software in our previous Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 and Xiaomi Redmi 4A reviews.
Talking about the previous Redmi phones, the Redmi 4 comes pre-installed with many apps like Music, Mi Pix, Mi Community, News, Security, Notes, Recorder and Weather. The Theme app allows users to select themes, wallpapers, ringtones and fonts from a single store. The device also has a Mi Store app through which one can buy Xiaomi products and accessories. We think the MIUI interface could be lighter if it didn’t have so many apps. But not all of them can be deleted and they consume a lot of storage on the device. The phone comes pre-installed with some third-party apps such as Amazon, PhonePe Wallet, Flipkart, Facebook and Swiftkey.
On signing in with Mi account, the user will get 5 GB storage of Mi Cloud Storage for free. This storage is different from the 15 GB free cloud storage that Google offers when you sign in to Gmail.
The Redmi 4 smartphone doesn’t run on Android 7.0 Nougat and doesn’t support Google Assistant at the time of review, which left us disappointed. Long-pressing the Home button opens the Now On Tap feature based search box. Xiaomi says that the Redmi 4 will get the update for Android Nougat. And before that Google Assistant can be found but the company has not promised any date.
xiaomi redmi 4 camera
The 13-megapixel rear camera makes focus faster and thanks to the phase detection autofocus feature. The camera app has a face recognition feature which is easy to use. Compared to the Redmi 3S Prime, we found the Redmi 4 to have faster autofocus. Images from the camera come out detailed and sharp, while the colors remain vibrant. Colors are accurate most of the time in landscape photos.
However, photos are captured and processed very slowly when the HDR mode is turned on and this is the major complaint we have with the device. With HDR mode on, the user has to keep his hand steady for a good picture.
There is a lot of noise when taking pictures in low light with the rear camera. Some shots taken in low light came out very bad. Redmi 4 gets good pictures at night but only when the subject has good lighting.
The camera app of the Redmi 4 is simple and easy to use. The app has many settings and features. HDR mode is launched with just one tap. The phone has live filters. Video up to 720 pixels and 1080 pixels can be recorded from the phone and the video quality is also excellent.
Selfie coming from Redmi 4 is fine. But the image is slow processor. In the desire to take quick selfies, we often took blurry selfies.
Overall, the camera of the Xiaomi Redmi 4 is better than the previous Redmi 3S Prime (Review) when it comes to focus and performance. The camera has problems like poor quality in low light and slow processing in HDR mode. We hope this issue will be resolved with the update.
xiaomi redmi 4 performance
The general performance of Xiaomi Redmi 4 was excellent and the device did most of the tasks smoothly. The UI interface feels sluggish at times but app performance doesn’t get affected by it. We played games like Asphalt 8 and Cut the Rope 2 smoothly in the phone. During the review, we did not see any major problem with the phone. Nor did the phone overheat.
We reviewed the unit with 3 GB RAM and we found only 1.2 GB free memory in the phone. Which means that Xiaomi Redmi 4 with 2 GB RAM variant may have problems in multi-tasking. We did not find the phone slow even when the memory was empty around 1 GB. But we would advise you to spend a little more money and take the 4 GB RAM variant.
The voice quality in the phone was excellent and the phone supports VoLTE. Headset is not available with the phone, so we tested our earphones, which impressed us with the sound quality.
The 5-inch IPS display is bright and the text looks sharp. The screen is crisp which is equipped with great viewing angles. However, this is not the best HD display ever seen in the Redmi phone. Color reproduction was good, but in our opinion, the Redmi 3S proved to be better in this respect. The screen can be read and used in direct sunlight. Watching movies and playing games is a good experience with the 5 inch display in the phone. The phone has a reading mode.
The phone scored well in benchmark testing. From this phone, we got data like a smartphone with Snapdragon 430 processor.
The battery of the Redmi 4 smartphone supported us for 14 hours and 20 minutes in our HD video loop test, which is good. We would attribute the performance in the battery loop test to the low-HD resolution screen. With regular use, the battery lasted a full day. The phone has a power saving mode, which helps the phone to run for a long time on a single charge. The phone doesn’t come with a fast charging adapter, but Xiaomi’s Jai Mani told us that the phone supports fast charging. We expect Xiaomi to sell a fast charging adapter for the Redmi 4 as an additional accessory, or you can buy one from a third party.
In the past too, Xiaomi’s Redmi smartphone has set standards for other smartphones in this price segment. And the Redmi series put the potential of a budget smartphone in front of everyone. The same thing applies for the Redmi 4. Xiaomi’s latest entry level Redmi is the perfect package in terms of performance, battery life and design. Camera quality is something in which the phone disappoints, but it is useless to expect too much from a phone at this price point.
The Xiaomi Redmi 4 will soon replace the Redmi 3S (and Redmi 3S Prime) and will remain the flagship phone under Rs 10,000 category. The company has priced 2 GB RAM / 16 GB storage at Rs 6,999, 3 GB RAM / 32 GB storage at Rs 8,999 and 4 GB RAM / 64 GB storage variant at Rs 10,999. Talking about the middle version, we got 1.28 GB free of memory all the time. We would recommend people to buy the slightly expensive but more storage variant. Redmi 4 smartphone will compete with Samsung Galaxy J2 (2016), Lenovo K6 Power (Review), Oppo A37. But the biggest challenge will come from Xiaomi’s own Redmi Note 4, which has a better processor, bigger screen and a better camera.
Availability of these smartphones is a big issue. The previous Redmi 3S (Redmi 3S Prime), Redmi 4A and Redmi Note 4 smartphones have been extremely difficult to buy in stock. While these smartphones have been sold on Flipkart and the company’s online store.