Xiaomi has announced the latest budget smartphone, the Redmi 4 after the huge success of Redmi Note 4 and Redmi 4A in India. The Redmi 4 is the successor of the which was launched last year. While the Redmi 3S came in two variants, the Redmi 4 comes in 3 variants and Xiaomi has made the fingerprint scanner available even in the base variant which was not the case in Redmi 3S. So how good is the new Redmi 4 in terms of performance, camera and battery life? Let’s find out in this detailed review of Xiaomi Redmi 4.
Design and Build
In terms of design, the Redmi 4 does not have much resemblance with the predecessor, instead it is more of the design language of Redmi Note 4. In fact, the Redmi 4 feels like a smaller variant of Redmi Note 4. The phone is made of unibody metal construction with excellent build quality for a budget phone. The black variant of the device looks great and gives a premium feel altogether with matte finished back panel and 2.5D glass on the front.
The power and volume keys are on the right side, the SIM tray on the left side and the top panel houses the 3.5mm audio jack and IR blaster. The bottom panel has micro USB charging slot along with speaker unit. The rear panel has 13MP camera, LED flash, fingerprint scanner and Mi logo at the bottom. The curved edges and sides give a good overall finish when using the device. The front panel is dominated by the 5 inch display which has a 2.5D glass similar to Redmi Note 4. There are 3 capacitive button which are not backlit and below the home button you have the notification light. The 5MP front camera sits on the top portion of the display. Overall, the Redmi 4 feels great for a phone in sub 7k price segment.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 packs a 5 inch HD display with 1280 X 720p resolution. While there is no change in the display resolution of Redmi 4 compared to Redmi 3S, the company has added the 2.5D curved glass for Redmi 4 similar to what we saw on Redmi Note 4. The display looks quite good in terms of colors although at times you might see a slight yellowish tint in the display. The touch response is good and the viewing angles are also acceptable. The outdoor visibility is also quite good. There is no gorilla glass protection offered but similar to Redmi Note 4, there is a toughened glass on the Redmi 4 as well. So it is highly recommended to use a screen protector or tempered glass. There is also reading mode support for the display. Overall, the display quality is quite good on the phone.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 comes with MIUI8 on top of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. If you have used a Xiaomi device previously you might be knowing that MIUI is a heavily skinned UI provide tons of customization and it does not have any resemblance with stock UI. It comes with multiple home screens and a custom notification centre along with settings panel. Xiaomi is also offering a beta version of Android 7.0 for people interested in testing the version on Redmi 4.
The phone comes with a plethora of options to customize, be it in the form of themes, icon packs, lock screen, boot animations, sounds and more. All of these can be downloaded from the Themes app.
The phone also comes with Child mode which was announced with MIUI and also the regular Lite mode. The phone also features the security app which comes with cleaner, virus scan, block list, data usage and more.
There are a couple of useful changes to the UI in terms of features and it comes with dual apps and Second space which are new in MIUI 8. The Second space allows you to create a different space on your phone which does not share anything with the first space. You can use the second space as a completely different phone with apps, security and all features included. This means if you want two profiles on your phone like home and work, second space helps in that. Dual apps, as the name indicates, allows users to concurrently run two instances of the app. You can run two WhatsApp, Facebook, Messenger etc on the device. MIUI provides option to lock apps using the fingerprint scanner and this provides additional security to your personal apps.
Xiaomi has also added lots of useful apps like FM radio, recorder, Compass, torch and much more. Xiaomi’s attention to smaller details is simply amazing and the UI looks very much polished with no lags or crashes. The phone also comes with IR blaster which means you can use the phone as a remote for your TV, A/C, set top box and other devices. There is a Mi Remote app which you can configure with Indian brands and this comes handy.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 comes with Snapdragon 435 Octa Core processor clocked at 1.4GHz and coupled with Adreno 505 GPU. The phone comes in variants, 2GB RAM with 16GB storage, 3GB of RAM along with 32GB of storage and 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage (will be available only in June end). We tested the 3GB RAM and 32GB storage variant.
The Snapdragon 435 is an upgrade from the Snapdragon 430 series which powered the Redmi 3S Prime. The phone performs very well in day to day activities and there are no slow down or lags in the device. The processor can handle all tasks including gaming. We played high graphic rich games and there were no issues in the gaming baring a few frame skips. There was no heating on the device even when running intensive games. Probably the only issue in gaming is that the smaller display does not provide a great gaming experience when compared to Redmi Note 4.6
The phone also packs an IR blaster similar to Note 4 and you can configure it to use with brands in India which come really handy. The fingerprint scanner is located on the rear panel and it does a really good job in unlocking the phone. You can also use the fingerprint scanner to lock apps or take selfies The call quality and the speaker performance of the device is also really good. The phone support 4G LTE and VoLTE out of the box.
The phone has dual SIM and micro SD hybrid slot. The phone comes with 32GB of storage and out of which close to 25.75GB is available to user in first boot.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 packs a 13MP rear camera with LED flash and 5MP front camera for selfies. The camera interface of Redmi 4 is typical MIUI and packs a lot of additional features including manual mode and filters. Similar to Redmi 3S, the video recording is 1080p.
The 13MP rear camera of the Redmi 4 can snap decent captures in daylight condition with good color quality and sharpness levels. The macro or close up images are also quite good, although at times it is slightly saturated. The PDAF also works very well. the overall clarity of the photos is quite good for a budget smartphone. The low light photography of the device is also decent, but there is noise in low light images. The 5MP front camera can also produce decent selfies. While Xiaomi has definitely improved the camera performance of the Redmi 4 when compared to the Redmi 3S. For the price segments of < Rs 7k and < 9K, this is one of the best cameras. Here are some photos taken with the device.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 has a massive 4100mAh battery, similar to the Redmi Note 4 and Redmi 3S Prime. The battery performance of the device is very good and you can easily get through one and a half days of battery life with the Redmi 4. If you are a moderate user, you can get even better battery life. While the processor supports QC 3.0, there is no fast charging support on the device.
Priced at Rs 6999 for the base variant, the Redmi 4 ticks all the right boxes and there is hardly anything to complain in this price segment. It has great design and build, above average display, customizable software, good performance, decent camera and great battery life. Probably the only shortcoming for the device is the lack of Android 7.0 at launch.
So which variant should I buy? Out choice would be the Rs 8999 variant with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. We would advice to go for 64GB variant only if you need that much storage, otherwise the middle variant is the one which provides the right balance of performance and price.
If you are planning to buy a budget smartphone, without doubt the Redmi 4 is our choice!