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Gadget Review: Redmi 4

MIUI 8.2 packs in a bunch of features including Dual Apps, Child Mode and Second Space, but it’s still running on the ageing 6.0.1 Marshmallow, with no word on when the Android 7.0 update will roll out

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It May Not have cracked the flagship segment (yet), but Xiaomi’s Redmi series easily finds mention in my pick for budget phones across each price point, whether it’s the Redmi Note 4, the Redmi 4A or the soon-to-be-phased-out Redmi 3S (and 3S Prime). Replacing the popular 3S models, which Xiaomi claims are the highest selling phones online, is no easy task for the just-launched Redmi 4.

Stands to reason then that Xiaomi would build on the 3S’ winning formula for the Redmi 4, and you get the same 5-inch-display form factor that’s easy to hold and use with just one hand. It speaks a design language similar to the pricier Redmi Note 4, with the liberal use of metal with curved edges on the rear, 2.5D curved-edge glass and a fit-and-finish that punches far above its category.

There’s a lot packed in for the price — a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 octa-core chip mated with 2GB memory/16GB storage for Rs 6,999, and 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB variants for Rs 8,999 and Rs 10,999 respectively, each of which can be expanded to up to 128 GB using the hybrid SIM tray. There’s a 4100mAh battery  which lasts for nearly 1.5 days of moderate use. The 1,280x720p resolution isn’t the sharpest for the 5-inch screen size, but it is bright and tends to accentuate the colours a bit for that added punchiness that many folks tend to prefer. The camera is quick to lock focus and manages good amounts of detail in outdoor conditions, but falters in low-light conditions.

Performance in general is decent, but on my 3GB memory unit, multi-tasking on the MIUI user interface felt a wee bit sluggish once in a while. MIUI 8.2 packs in a bunch of features including Dual Apps, Child Mode and Second Space, but it’s still running on the ageing 6.0.1 Marshmallow, with no word on when the Android 7.0 update will roll out. If you have the cash, I’d recommend spending on the middle or top variant, but at those prices, you’d probably be better of picking Xiaomi’s own Redmi Note 4.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Tushar Kanwar

The author is Technology Columnist and Program Manager in Bengaluru, India

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