Xiaomi announced today that the Redmi 2 will go on sale on 17 March 2015 at 12pm. Prepare to camp by your computers to get your hands on one of these, because despite the improved hardware and software updates, the price of Redmi 2 will be kept at $169, similar to the Redmi 1S.
Vulcan Post had a chance to get a first hands on with the Redmi 2.
The Redmi 2 weighs 133g, and has a smaller bevel than the Redmi, making it lighter and and thinner than its predecessor while keeping its 4.7 inch display. It will run on the Snapdragon 410 for 30% faster browsing and 50% faster CPU performance.
It will also charge 20% faster and have a 10% longer battery life than the Redmi 1S.
The defining feature of the Redmi 2, however, is its 4G dual SIM ports that will enable users to insert two SIM cards that can be used interchangeably. The ports support both 4G and 3G.
Users can also rename those SIM cards into whatever labels they find appropriate, such as Home/Work, Local/Travel, Singtel/Starhub etc. Over time, the programme remembers which SIM card to tap on for each of your top contacts.
The Redmi 2 has pretty much the same camera optics as the Redmi 1S, but will come with an improved 2MP BSI front camera. To ride on the selfie trend, Xiaomi also boasts that the Redmi’s “beautify” function is “one of the most defining features” of the phone. It will allow for automatic photo enhancement, giving you flawless skin and bigger eyes in your photos.
The screen — made with fully laminated Dragontrail glass — definitely makes images show up a lot better, even without beautification. Graphics appear closer to the surface, and with a scratch-resistant screen to shield the 70% NTSC colour gamut display, images look crisp and vibrant.
One of the features of the MIUI 6 software is that it allows users to customise the colour display on their Redmi 2, by picking between Normal, Warm, and Cool modes. We personally prefer the warm tone because it adds more vibrance to the screen.
Thus far, the only concern that users may have is the 1GB RAM that quickly runs out on the MIUI 6, but Xiaomi hopes to address this with its 8GB flash, and 32GB to 64GB expandable external memory space.
|Redmi 1S||Redmi 2|
|Dimensions/Weight||9.9mm / 158g||9.4mm / 133g|
|CPU||Snapdragon 400||Snapdragon 410, 64-bit|
|GPU||Adreno 305||Adreno 306|
|SIM||3G/2G slots||4G/4G slots|
|Display||AGC Dragontrail Glass||Fully laminated displayAGC Dragontrail Glass|
|Battery||2000mAh||2200mAh, Quick Charge 1.0|
For any other gripes about the phone or any of Xiaomi’s products, users can take them to Mi Community for feedback and updates.
The Bottom Line
Overall, the Redmi 2 does not feel quite as premium in your hands as the iPhone 6 or a Samsung Galaxy S6, given its removable matte casing. That said, users can still expect to have a pretty seamless experience with the phone.
For one, the Redmi 2’s casing can be changed to any one of the pastel and monochrome colours with a snap from the small side indent. Its curved sides make it easy to hold, and with a matte finish, the back casing is grease-proof and fingerprint free.
There are a bunch of graphic enhancements to MIUI 6 that make the newest installment to the Xiaomi range much more user-friendly and quirky than other smartphones in the market: We love the apps that burst into a firework of tiny cubes reminiscent of Minecraft, and the floating notifications bar to signal an incoming call.
Redmi 2 is putting control and fun back into their users’ hands through an uninterrupted experience, be it prioritising notifications, silencing calls when you want to have some “Mi” time (pun intended), or customising page transitions and icon arrangements that best suit you.
For it’s price, it is definitely a value-for-money smartphone that doesn’t skimp out on a great user experience, triumphing other phones in its price range. It’s a must-have if you’re looking for an affordable phone – that is, if you can get hold of it on its release day.