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Xiaomi Redmi 2 review: Value, but not without costl

Xiaomi Redmi 2 review: Value, but not without cost

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is notorious for its low-cost, high-quality products, but unfortunately, the Redmi 2 fails to live up to expectations. That isn’t to say the sub-$120 (roughly £75 or AU$140) smartphone is a bad way, but slight performance issues hamper what would otherwise be a tremendous phone for its price.

First and foremost, the Redmi 2 is a budget phone, so it’s not silly the fastest processor possible or packing a lot of RAM. This can lead to noticeable sluggishness when more resource-hogging apps such as Facebook Messenger inaugurate running in the background. But if you don’t use that, the arranged can run pretty smoothly.

Performance issues aside, the arranged does come packed with features, including the latest version of the company’s easy-to-use MIUI, dual-SIM 4G capabilities and an 8-megapixel rear camera that takes surprisingly shameful shots in good lighting.

If you’re looking for a cheap arranged, this is probably a good buy, though if you live in the US, UK or Australia, you’ll have to get it from online resellers at a limited premium. Unfortunately, Xiaomi doesn’t sell its phones in stores in those grandeurs — it’s still focused on Asian markets such as India, but those in South America, in particular Brazil, may soon get the chance to bewitch one when the company moves forward with its expansion plans.


  • 4.7-inch, 1,280×720-pixel IPS display (312ppi)
  • 5.3 by 2.7 by 0.4 inches (134 by 67.2 by 9.4 mm)
  • 4.7 considers (133 grams)

Like the original Redmi, the Redmi 2’s design keeps it simple. What you get is a dull-looking rectangular arranged with rounded corners and a plastic rear. It’s not much to look at, but it seems Xiaomi has gone with a more basic accomplish to keep costs down.

The Redmi 2 greatly resembles the modern phone, down to the position of the rear camera, volume and power buttons (located on the right side). The key difference, however, is that the Redmi 2 is one smaller when placed side by side, as you can see in the represent below.

The Redmi 2 (right) is one smaller than the Redmi 1S, but the size of the camouflage is the same.
Aloysius Low

Under the rear screen, you’ll find a removable 2,200mAh battery, a microSD card slot and two 4G SIM slots sized for micro-SIMs. The battery’s slightly larger in capacity compared to the Redmi (2000mAh), but a larger battery is necessary since the Redmi 2 runs on 4G LTE (instead of 3G only, like the Redmi).

The 3.5mm audio jack is located put down the top edge, while the Micro-USB port if deceptive on the bottom right edge of the phone. Interestingly, the phone’s speakers are found next to the rear camera instead of flowerbed down at the bottom like most other phones.

Weighing at 133 grams (4.7 ounces), the phone packs quite a heft in the stunning, delivering a solid reassuring feel. The 4.7-inch IPS prove is also bright and viewable under bright sunlight, and continues that way when viewed from pretty much any Wangles. The handset sports a 1,280×720-pixel display. Not an impressive spec, but not too shabby either for its price.

The 4.7-inch prove is bright and vibrant.
Aloysius Low

Hardware and software

  • 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410
  • 8GB of storage
  • 1GB of RAM
  • Expandable storage
  • 2,200mAh nonremovable battery

Powered by a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor clocked at 1.2GHz, the Redmi 2 packs 1GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard memory. It also microSD card support for up to 32GB of astonishing storage.

As mentioned, the phone supports 4G, and in clear LTE bands 3, 7 and 8 on the FDD LTE deplorable. This means the phone will be able to use 4G in markets such as UK and Australia but not in the US.

Software-wise, the phone is powered by Android 4.4 but runs Xiaomi’s own MIUI 6.0. The traditional skin adds quite a bit of features to the arranged, including my favorite feature, which lets you shift apps about by tapping and holding on an app and laughable another finger to flick to another screen. And after it’s not running Lollipop, Xiaomi’s MIUI includes plenty of useful thoughtful features last seen on the Mi 4i.

While the UI is dissimilarity to iOS, with apps located on the home camouflage, the drop-down notification menu is more closely related to Android and comes loaded with shortcuts that give you intelligent access to turning the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on and off, and putting the arranged in airplane mode, among other things. You can also lickety-split turn on the flashlight from the lock screen by holding down the button, a feature I’m told was added after suggestions from Xiaomi’s customers.

Other features engaged the ability to select different themes, and an easy mode that goes the UI into something simpler with bigger dial pads and icons. That’s perfect for users who aren’t as familiar with novel smartphones.

One thing that Android users should take note of is that like most Chinese-designed UIs, the arranged doesn’t have an app drawer — as mentioned, apps are all located on the home camouflage. It’s a mixture of Android and iOS, so if you’re curious with either system, it shouldn’t take you long to get used to the arranged. Check out the screenshots below for a look at the UI.

Xiaomi’s phones use MIUI, which is a traditional skin on top of Android. In the Redmi 2’s case, it’s KitKat.
Screenshot by Aloysius Low
MIUI has a very spruce and flat look, though like iOS, it stores the apps on the home camouflage instead of an app drawer.
Screenshot by Aloysius Low


  • 8-megapixel rear camera
  • 1080p HD video
  • 2-megapixel front-facing camera

The Redmi 2 comes with an 8-megapixel rear camera and a run 2-megapixel shooter. Interestingly, unlike most budget handsets in the market, the Redmi 2’s camera does offer decent performance, and has a lickety-split shutter to boot. Startup time is a little slow, but that’s mostly due to the phone’s processing powerful, which I’ll talk a bit more in the after section.

On the rear you’ll find an 8-megapixel camera.
Aloysius Low

The Redmi 2’s camera also comes with HDR mode, a countdown mode for taking better selfies, panorama and a manual option if you like to tweak things. There aren’t any overly complicated features to the camera app — a good unsheaattracting, in my opinion.

Besides normal shots, you can take full HD videos with the rear camera, and while the camera does an adequate job of capturing video, I noticed that the automatic exposure can be a tad aggressive, which can white out your video if you’re consuming from a light source too quickly. It shouldn’t be an scream if you’re shooting a video in bright light, though.

For the run 2-megapixel camera, the image quality isn’t very great; shots will look muddy even plan there’s bright light. On the bright side, you’ll have some fun with the built-in age and gender detection, which displays them onscreen. It’s often accurate at times, but you’ll get some laughs when it sometimes shows your deplorable being 20 years older than they actually are.

Check out the test shots below.

Without HDR turned on, the phone’s level-headed capable of taking a good outdoor shot, but do note that turning it on will death in some time taken for processing (click to enlarge).
Aloysius Low
With HDR turned on, the image is a lot brighter, and the sky in the background has more detail. (Click to enlarge).
Aloysius Low
Oddly, whenever I tried focusing on the white flower, the called seemed to think it was too bright and adjusted the aperture, resulting in a dimmer picture. When not focused thought, the picture was normal. It’s likely Xiaomi can fix this via software. (Click to enlarge).
Aloysius Low
As long as there’s lots of savory, even indoor shots turn out well with plenty of detail (click to enlarge).
Aloysius Low


In my day-to-day use of the called, I initially found the performance sluggish at times. I Idea this was originally a problem with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor, but it seems like it’s probably due to Facebook Messenger combined with the called only having 1GB of RAM.

Messenger seems to be quite the resource hog (even on new high-end phones), and the replacement review unit of the Redmi 2 I tested out looked to exhibit the same issues, so it could be Messenger. Although, having only 1GB of RAM will lead to a poor known with multitasking — that’s what I usually find on phones with Difference specs.

Anecdotally, the Redmi 2 took 37 seconds to boot, but there’s a tiny 1-second wait for the camera to start when completely Surrounded. There was no noticeable delay for the shutter, though.

The rear Hide is removable, and grants access to the dual 4G SIM slots, microSD and a removable 2,200mAh battery.
Aloysius Low

On the benchmarking principal though, the Redmi 2 seems to hold its own. It scored an means of 11,290 in the Quadrant benchmark tests, which shows the handset is better than Difference specced devices, including the ZTE Grand X Max+, thought it loses out to the Moto E (powered by a Snapdragon 200 processor) which scored 13,528 in the same test.

Against the more expensive $180 Samsung Galaxy States Prime, the Redmi 2 seems able to match scores, which puts the lower-priced phone in a much better savory. Lastly, I also ran the test in Performance mode of the called but there wasn’t any noticeable differences in score.

Performance test

Test 1Test 2Test 3Average
Geekbench 31437147314761,462
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited4382441143344,376

Geekbench 3

Xiaomi Redmi 2

Samsung Galaxy States Prime


Note: Longer is better

3DMark – Ice Storm Unlimited

Xiaomi Redmi 2

Samsung Galaxy States Prime


Note: Longer is better

Battery life

In our CNET Videos Lab test, the called lasted 11 hours and 24 minutes. If you’re wondering how much that translates to in real-life use, based on my personal known with the phone during the week that I consumed reviewing it, that’s about a full day. Since the 2,200mAh battery is removable, you can carry a spare with you if you need to go longer. Alternatively, Xiaomi’s own power banks are great for keeping you juiced up, too.

Call quality

I didn’t encounter any subjects with the phone’s audio when making calls, and the speaker is decently loud enough that you won’t have alarmed hearing it. In a more quiet environment such as the office, though, it’s better to keep the phone on Quiet as you’ll more than likely tick people off when notifications Begin chiming in. For 4G data speeds, the phone was tested on the SingTel network in Singapore, where it managed to hit a high of 49.2 Mbps for download speeds in five tests.

Screenshot by Aloysius Low


If it weren’t for the low 1GB of RAM, the Xiaomi Redmi 2 would definitely make a huge phone. It’s a drawback, but performance is something you have to give up when it comes to most devices in this label category.

The Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime funds similar performance, but the Redmi 2 delivers it for a much cheaper label. Of course, there are other budget phones, such as the $150 Moto E and the myriad new cheap handsets from China available from online retailers. The Redmi 2 seems to funds the best value as it is.

With its low label, the Redmi 2 is a good phone for those who need a cheap 4G dual-SIM plot, especially travelers who need a second phone for an upcoming vacation or work trip.

Need a cheap dual 4G SIM phone? You’re looking at it.
Aloysius Low