The latest in the slew of smartphones making their way into the Indian market is the Xiaomi Redmi 4. Touted as a budget phone by Xiaomi, this one is priced INR 6999 onwards. The device landed in our office a couple of days back and it seemed natural that we let our readers know our first impression of the all-new Redmi 4.
The Redmi 4 has made some major upgrades — compared to the 2016 Redmi 3S — in terms of design and processor and it makes for a wicked budget smartphone.
So, without further delay, let’s get started on the first impression of the Redmi 4.
When it comes to the design, Xiaomi has much improved on the looks of the Redmi 4. The typical Redmi design element like the ultra-slippery surface are not to be seen on this one. Instead, you get your hands on a sleek phone which weighs just 156 grams and feels just about right in your hands with its 5-inch display.
For a budget phone, the matte finish on the Black version gives a premium look to this phone and is a definite upgrade from the metallic finish of its predecessor.
If you ask me, going by the looks (mind you, just by the looks) I might even compare it to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy A5  — it’s so sleek.
At the bottom, we have the micro-USB charging port, flanked by the speaker grills on both the sides.
I wish it had the newer version of USB type-C charging port, but then again, even the higher priced Redmi Note 4 comes with the micro-USB.
I think it’s time that Xiaomi replaced the charging ports on upcoming smartphones, even the budget ones.
The navigation buttons are hardware capacitive buttons, but the backlights seem to be missing. However, that is something I can live with.
In a nutshell, the Redmi 4 is a sleek glass and metal phone, with a great matte finish and bezel-less display. And yeah, it’s also much rounder at the corners compared to its predecessor.
The Redmi 4 comes packed with a 5-inch HD screen which produces bright and vivid colors. Aforementioned, the bezel-less display adds more depth to this phone. Plus, the touch screen isn’t too slippery and is smooth to touch. What’s more, it also responds quite well to touch.
The Redmi 4 sports a 13-megapixel primary camera with autofocus and LED flash with added features like touch focus, smile detection, and HDR mode. Again, for a budget phone, the camera specs seem good. Coming to the quality, the pictures come out decent with the right amount of color balance and sharpness.
The camera interface is great to play with and contains a boatload of modes to experiment. Below are few pictures which were taken with the Redmi 4’s primary camera.
On the selfie front, we have a 5-megapixel camera with an aperture value of f/2.2. This one too yields decent pictures. However, it’s the low light photos that take a hit with too much of noise creeping into the pictures.
The Hardware Aspects
The Xiaomi Redmi 4 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 SoC which clocks at 1.4 GHz. And when it comes to the RAM and storage, there are three variants,
- 2 GB RAM with 16 GB of internal storage (INR 6,999)
- 3 GB RAM with 32 GB of internal storage (INR 8,999)
- 4 GB RAM variant with 64 GB storage (INR 10,999)
For a budget phone, the processing speed seems decent, however, we will be able to tell you more on that in our full review.
Now comes the benchmark scores. The AnTuTu benchmarking tool clocked a score around 43917 for the Redmi 4 (3 GB variant) which is decent for a device priced at INR. 8999.
Moving on, the fingerprint sensor is also great and responds well to touch. What’s more, if you are selfie buff, you can utilize this sensor to quickly grab a picture.
What I liked about it is that, unlike a few other devices, even the fingerprint registration is fast and quick. Being a regular OnePlus 3 user, the fingerprint sensor really did impress me with its quick turnaround time.
Moving on to the software aspect of the Redmi 4, it comes with MIUI version 8.1 running on top of Android Marshmallow. However, I can’t blame the makers much on the older version of Android. Many of this year’s launches (Samsung Galaxy A5, Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro, Lava Z25) also came with Android version 6.
The security patches are of March 2017, which is a relief. Beyond, the Android version, the other nifty feature is the three-finger screenshot which certainly makes things much easier. Apart from that, we haven’t experienced any jitters or lags during its stint with us so far.
Now, comes the most important aspect of any smartphone. Thankfully, the Redmi 4 packs in a 4100mAh battery Li-Ion battery unit. It’s quite rare to see a budget smartphone sporting such a big battery unit.
The 4100 mAh battery will easily see you through two days in case of casual use and can last up to one and a half day during heavy usage. Quite impressive, if you ask me.
But if you are looking for quick ways to charge this phone, you are in for some disappointments.
The Redmi 4 supports neither quick charge nor fast charge, which means you have to leave it for a couple of hours to charge to its full capacity.
But then again, you get an impressive battery life, so I guess, that’s a win-win.
On the connectivity front, the options for the Xiaomi Redmi 4 includes 4G VoLTE, dual SIM Support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 and an IR blaster.
In conclusion, the Xiaomi Redmi 4 is as impressive as it can be for a budget phone. For a device (3 GB variant) which is priced at just INR. 8999, you get an impressive design, a great battery life, and a decent camera.
Besides, you also get to expand the internal storage up to 128 GB. The only downside is that, given the delicate build quality of Xiaomi devices, you might want to cover it with a sturdy case and a tempered glass.
But will it be able to kill its current competition?
We will be able to answer that question when we put it through our intensive tests and reviews for the full review. Until then, stay tuned.