Xiaomi Redmi Y1 Review
Xiaomi Redmi Y1: A few years ago, crickets legend Shane Warne went to Twitter to tell her that she was going for a walk and stopped for three selfies. “The autograph is officially dead,” he tweeted. In 2013, the Oxford Dictionary officially declared that the selfie was the “word of the year.” It was not a surprise to see smartphone manufacturers jump on the selfie mania and arm people with devices that can take the “perfect selfie.” Brands like Oppo, Vivo, and Gionee are selfie-oriented smartphones. What is surprising is that a brand like Xiaomi has waited so long to launch such a phone. However, with the Redmi Y1, the Chinese name has finally had a selfie phone in its wallet. We spent few days with it to find out what’s right and what’s wrong with the phone.
Xiaomi Redmi Y1 Design
It’s not a surprise to see the Redmi Y1 look like some other smartphones from the Xiaomi Redmi family. It’s not a trivial matter on the design of the phone or Xiaomi as such because the minimalist look and feel of the Redmi Y1 are appealing. It’s an honor for Xiaomi, in fact, that despite its plastic body, the Redmi Y1 manages to look premium and stylish. Turn the phone over, and you will notice that it looks strangely like a metal body when the side edges, power, and volume of the rocker buttons are indeed made of plastic. It may be the use of plastic that makes the Redmi Y1 extremely lightweight to hold. With a thin device, Redmi Y1 is easy to grasp, and solo operations are elementary. Xiaomi Redmi Y1 comes in gold, and dark gray color variants and the examination unit we had was dressed in gold.
The panel in front of the smartphone is dominated by the 5.5-inch HD display (720 x 1280 pixels). In addition to that, there is a 16MP camera with a selfie flash broadcast. Just below the screen, there are non-backlit capacitive touch buttons that can be used for navigation.
The smartphone’s fingerprint sensor is on the back panel, which also has this 13MP primary camera with LED flash on the top right and Xiaomi brand at the bottom.
The power and volume rocker buttons are sandwiched on the right edge while the SIM card tray is on the left. The 3.5mm jack is at the top, and the speaker grilles and micro USB port are below. The battery capacity is about 3080mAh.
The build quality of the smartphone, helped by its ease of use and its high-end look, impressed us.
The Redmi Y1 display reproduces accurate colors, and the projected images are crisp and clear. There was no pixelation, and the viewing angles were satisfactory. Likewise, if you do not like standard display settings, you can change them to Warm or Cool according to your preferences. There is also a play mode, which reduces the blue light emission from the screen – a feature that is convenient for those who use their smartphones in dimly lit conditions. There is an option to set a time to activate the play mode automatically.
Xiaomi Redmi Y1 Performance
Xiaomi Redmi Y1 is available in two storage variants: internal storage of 3GB RAM / 32GB and integrated storage of 4GB RAM / 64GB. Redmi Y1 runs MIUI based on Android 7.1 Nougat and is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processor 435 octa-core. Selfie enthusiasts get a 16-megapixel camera with an f / 2.0 aperture, a 76.4-degree wide-angle sensor and a dedicated flash with the Beautify feature. There is a 13MP rear camera with PDAF and f / 2.2 aperture. The smartphone has a battery of 3080mAh.
The smartphone we had for the review had 3GB of RAM and came with Android 7.1 Nougat skin with MIUI 9 Beta. If you used a device that runs Android stock, it would be all change for you. MIUI’s skin brings a different look at the phone’s software.
The Settings section of the phone is different, as are the permissions of the app. If you go to Settings, you will notice that there are several ways to personalize the smartphone experience. An example of adding such customization is the Dual Apps feature – which only works for certain applications. For example, you choose the Dual Apps feature for Amazon. You start shopping for the app. Double Apps gives you the opportunity to minimize this version of Amazon and open another version that will restart the application instead of reopening the page you were on.
Xiaomi Redmi Y1 comes with a few pre-installed apps, including WPS Office, Amazon Shopping, and UC News. It also has some native applications including Mi Browser, Mi Drop, Mi Remote, Mi Community, Mi Store, Mi Video, and more. In addition to these, the usual suite of Google applications is also present on the device.
The Redmi Y1 delivers consistent, reliable performance. There is no lag, and the Redmi Y1 handles multitasking with a baffling ease. The same goes for launching applications and switching between them or using multiple tabs of Google Chrome. The unit does not heat up even if more than three tasks are performed at the same time.
The only time the device warms up a bit is when you play games. Speaking of the gaming experience, this is not a smartphone suited for gamers. The games we played – Angry Birds 2, Temple Run 2 and Asphalt 8 – took a long time to load and there is, of course, the problem of heating. Battery levels also take a hit if you play games for more than 20 minutes.
Otherwise, the battery of the device works satisfactorily. In case of moderate use, the device lasts one day. However, with intensive use – watching videos, listening to music and using social media applications – you have to charge the phone at night.
The highlight – at least according to Xiaomi – of Redmi Y1 is the selfie camera. Before entering the selfie camera, it must be emphasized that the smartphone’s camera application is quite impressive. There are many filters similar to those of Instagram that help to avoid the hassle of editing. Instead, you can click on the photos using the multitude of filters on the offers. There is the usual set of modes like Panorama, Manuel and Beautify. A timer option is also available to click on the images, and the application has Flash and HDR buttons at the top left and right which make them easily accessible. Also, you can click on the images using the fingerprint sensor.
If the camera app is impressive, the actual camera does not set the world on fire. Whereas Xiaomi launches it as a selfie phone, the camera’s performance does not live up to the label. It’s not as if the images clicked with the Redmi Y1 are something to make fun of, but they are ordinary in the true sense of the word. The selfies came out reasonable in well-lit and dimly lit conditions. The moment you zoom in to take a closer look, you notice a lot of grain – not precisely what you expect from a selfie camera phone. The problem of grainy images is not limited to the front camera because the same problem also persists with the primary camera. This is not a bad device as such, but the images lack sharpness and clarity for sure.
The fingerprint sensor of the smartphone is a plus and extremely responsive. There was not a single time when the smartphone did not unlock as soon as we put our finger on it.
We performed some benchmark tests on Xiaomi Redmi Y1 and scored 45489 in Antutu and 673 and 2599 in Geekbench 4’s single and multi-core core scores.
Price And Where To Buy The Xiaomi Redmi Y1
You can buy the Xiaomi Redmi Y1 from the stores listed below
Jumia: N50,000 (Will be available soon)
Konga: N50,000 (Will be available soon)
Amazon: $140 (Will be available soon)
Let’s say straight away that if you’re looking for a smartphone to click selfies, then the Xiaomi Redmi Y1 does not keep its promise of being a selfie smartphone. That said, it’s still a good smartphone that has a lot of success. The build quality is impressive; the dynamic display is a nice aspect, as well as the reliable performance without offset and the welcome software changes. What goes against this is the ordinary battery life and the exceptional camera experience. At N50,000 ($140) it’s a good buy – as long as you do not buy it to click selfies.