A mobile is no more a tool to make calls. It is part of people’s lifestyle and has become an integral part of their activities. As a tech blogger, I can talk about any mobile at length, but at the end of day, its the people’s perception that matters. So I went with the Redmi 1s to people who are not exposed to technology as much as myself and asked them to review and give me their unbiased opinion. I did help them out to understand the tech specs and user interface, to start with. But in the end it is their opinion that goes on record.
The Redmi 1s, is the next mobile that is coming to India from the Xiaomi stables. It is competitively priced at Rs 5999 and will be available exclusively through flipkart. It has a quad core 1.5 GHz processor on a Snapdragon 400 processor. It has 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal memory. The memory can be expanded with a micro SD card upto 64 GB. It is a dual sim device and supports 3G data on the SIM 1. The Redmi has 8 MP camera at the back and a 1.6 MP camera facing the user. The specifications are of a mid range device, but it the pricing that rings bells and whistles. Naturally this device is a good value for money. But when such a low cost device is placed in the desk, people generally become over cautious and ask a lot of questions. Let us see how they reacted.
Mr Sarath, 35, Businessman
“The touch screen seems to be smooth. I liked the camera interface. It was quick to snap a picture and ready for the next shot. I like the phone. It is not too big and not too small. It looks neat. But what about the service? Since this is a Chinese mobile, if it encounters any problems, do we just throw it away?”
My Response: Xiaomi is a chinese company and they are unlike the other mushroom manufactures. They are here to stay. They already have 30+ service centers across the nation and your problems with service, if any, will be taken up for support by these centers.
He was pretty happy to know that and he asked me how to get one of these device. I explained the flipkart flash sales model and he was confused and disappointed at the same time.
Mr Vivek Gaikward, 29, Accessibility Expert
“I am personally looking to buy a mobile for my parents. The closest that would fit in their requirements are the Nokia Asha series. But this Redmi 1s and its lite mode excites me. There are not many (infact none) smart phones that cater to the needs of senior citizens. The very fact that xiaomi has thought about it and implemented the features in a mobile that costs Rs 5999 makes me happy. I like the way the icons are designed with big fonts and contrasting colors in the light mode. The incoming calls are read out in a queer chinese accent and the messages are also read out on a button press. Though the text to voice translation is a bit choppy, I am happy that this feature exists. The contacts and other fonts are pretty big and the menu and settings are pretty easy to navigate to. I can see that the user can have 6 quick contacts in the home screen. If I get a chance, I am definitely buying a couple of these mobiles for my parents. ”
Mrs Chitra, 26, Housewife (name changed on request)
“My husband recently got me a Moto E for Rs 7k. He has a Moto G. I think he got it for Rs 14k. But this mobile seems to be better than the both. I love the camera in this mobile. It is as good as the costly mobile which you have. (I have the nexus 5) If you had told me about this mobile a bit earlier, I would have asked my husband to buy this for me. I also like the icon designs. (I was having the India theme).”
I made her shoot the same frame with the 3 mobiles and asked her to compare it. Here are the pictures she shot.
Mr Badri Narayanan, 52, Business Man
“I have a Samsung smart phone, but I recently learnt how to use internet and email in my mobile. When I started using it, my phone has become very slow. The Redmi 1S mobile seems to be very smooth. I am able to find the required applications. But my old phone is very rugged. I have dropped it many times and it is still working. This phone seems to be made of glass (he mean’t the display) and will it break?”
I showed him this video and he was surprised. He asked me to order one for him.
Mr Vijay, 22, Engineering Student
“I love to play games and I have loads of music in my mobile. (He owns a Moto G) I like the sound effects in this mobile when I connect the earphones. But on the loudspeaker, it sounds as though the sound is coming in from a deep well. Can something be done about this? Also it is heating up near the camera area when I am playing games. Otherwise this phone is really good. It looks stylish and I can save a huge portion of my pocket money.”
Finally, its my turn…
My daily driver is a Nexus 5 mobile and I am a power user. I have rooted my mobile and I have installed a custom ROM. I have been using the Redmi 1S for over 5 days now and here are my thoughts.
The MIUI V5 in Redmi 1S is smooth. It shows signs of lagging at times. It is not as fast and smooth as it is in the MI3. But still I love user experience of this ROM. My favorite feature is the permissions manager.
I have run various bench mark test and every test says that this mobile is the best mid range configuration out there. I installed a few graphic intense games and found that he device does heats up and the temperature raises upto 47 degrees at times. But the game play was smooth. The graphics rendering engine does a neat job here.
The battery lasts for a day of normal usage. But it takes really long to charge. It takes almost 3 hours to get charged from 0 to 100%. Check out the statistics below.
The camera is awesome. At 8 megapixels, the sensor and the imaging algorithms are much better than my Nexus 5. However when I switch from photo to video, there is a crop in the frame and it reminds me of my old HTC One X. The video recording capability is surprisingly good. Do check the camera samples below.
Overall, I get a sense of positive attitude among all the people who saw the device. Some of them have expressed their genuine concern towards service and it is upto Xiaomi to assure them about their commitment towards customer service. Pricing a device at such a low price is a double edged sword. It could give an impression that this is a cheap device in terms of quality. Xiaomi has to be very careful while treading on this thin grey line. They must bring an end to flash sales model and must make their mobiles available easily for users. The Redmi 1S is a great device. There are a few issues, but I am confident that Xiaomi will fix them with the software updates. If you are looking to buy a device that promises to deliver like a mid range mobile and costs you like an entry level mobile, then Redmi 1s is the best suitor.
How to buy?
Xiaomi sells its mobiles in India only through flipkart. Do not engage in buying these device from unofficial channels or portals. Log in to your flipkart account and register in the MI page. Once you are registered, you will be able to buy the mobile. Registration does not guarantee a buy. The sale will open on September 2nd, 2PM and will last until the stocks last. 40,000 units are up for sale this week.
Here is a quick link to flipkart listing to help you buy the device.