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September 04, 2014

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review

The Redmi 1S is Xiaomi’s latest Android offering here in the Philippines. It sports a 4.7-inch HD IPS display, 8GB storage with microSD card support, 8MP camera, Dual-SIM capabilities, 2,000mAh battery, and powered by a Snapdragon 400 quad-core CPU. Priced under Php6k, is this smartphone worth buying? Find out by reading our full review of the Xiaomi Redmi 1S.

redmi 1s_4

Design and Construction

At first glance, the Xiaomi Redmi 1S looks like an ordinary mid-range device. It’s got a relatively long rectangular body with a glossy edge and a chunk of bezel at the top and bottom.

redmi 1s_1

On the front we have the 4.7-inch display, situated above it are the earpiece and 1.6 megapixel front camera. Down below are three illuminated capacitive buttons and the notifications light (just below the Home button).

xiaomi redmi 1s_4

Up on top is the headset jack, and down at the bottom are the microUSB port and microphone. The left side is devoid of any buttons but on the right side there’s the volume rocker and power/lock button.

xiaomi redmi 1s_3

Flip it on its back and you’ll see the 8 megapixel camera with LED flash, another microphone, the speaker, and the Mi logo.

redmi 1s_2

On hand, the 1S feels sturdy, well-made, and doesn’t exhibit creaking or rattling. The matte finish of the removable back cover provides a nice texture, while its narrow body makes it easy to grip and slide into the pocket.

Display and Multimedia

The Redmi 1S sports a 4.7-inch IPS display made by Sharp and has Dragontrail Glass for protection. Viewing angles are good and colors appear natural. The screen is also bright enough when used outdoors. Although the display size is obviously slightly smaller than your usual 5 inches, the 312ppi pixel density still makes the display nice to look at.

xiaomi redmi 1s_1

As of the speaker, the sounds coming from it is crisp with a decent amount loudness. However, we find it edgy especially at higher levels and lacks a lot when it comes to bass.

OS, UI and Apps

Running the software department for the Redmi 1S is MIUI 5 based on Android 4.3 Jellybean. The UI is clean, simple, and easy to use.

redmi1s ui_1

redmi1s ui_2

MIUI also features the Lite Mode which is a simplified tile-based Home screen that uses large icons and texts to make it more friendly and appealing to those who prefer a more straight-forward approach to a smartphone. For example, our dear lolos or lolas.

redmi1s ui_3

redmi1s ui_4

The Redmi 1S doesn’t come pre-installed with third-party party apps and only comes with your usual Google apps and Xiaomi’s tools. It comes with 8GB of internal storage with 6.14GB as usable. The good news is the memory is expandable and accepts up to 64GB microSD cards, plus there’s USB OTG. On the downside, moving apps to microSD is not supported.

Camera

The Redmi 1S sports an 8 megapixel rear shooter with LED flash. It’s not exactly one of the best cameras out there but it is capable of producing quality photos with good details and colors. When shooting indoors or in low light, it is best that you keep absolutely still or else your photo will suffer from blur.

Other than that everything else looks good. It has HDR, Panorama, Filters, and Manual controls. The 1.6 megapixel front-facing camera, however, is really good with selfies and video calls thanks to its wide-angle lens.

Redmi 1S sample video (1080p, 30fps, .MP4):

Performance and Benchmarks

For a phone priced at under Php6k, the Redmi 1S isn’t something to be scoffed at. It carries a Snapdragon 400 quad-core CPU, Adreno 305 GPU, and 1GB of RAM. Partner that with MIUI 5 and you’re looking at a fluid Android experience for your day-to-day tasks.

We were able to play action-packed 3D games like Eternity Warriors 3 and Real Racing 3. Although playable, it’s worth noting that the Redmi 1S is only running on limited free RAM which averages at around 400MB. Therefore, we recommend that you clear your memory first before playing to make sure that nothing is slowing down your gameplay.

redmi1s ui_5

Lags do happen from time to time but only on graphic intensive games. We expect the Redmi 1S to benefit greatly from Project Svelte when it receives Android 4.4 KitKat with MIUI 6 later this year.

Benchmark results:
* AnTuTu – 20,192
* Quadrant Standard – 10,557
* Vellamo – 827 (Metal), 1009 (Multicore), 1315 (Browser)
* NenaMark2 – 42.6 fps

Battery Life

Powering the Redmi 1S is a 2,000mAh battery which is large enough for a phone of this caliber. It is capable of lasting a whole day with light to moderate use which includes WiFi browsing, calls and texts. We ran our usual battery test (Airplane mode, 50% brightness, 0% volume, 1080p video file on loop) and the result is 7 hours worth of playback which is average.

Conclusion

The Xiaomi Redmi 1S definitely sets a new benchmark for smartphones in this price range. It has the looks, quality, performance, and features that normally you will find in higher-priced smartphones. It’s not perfect and obviously has its limitations, but at Php5,599, it’s still absolutely a steal (available over Lazada for today only; see listing here to order).

redmi 1s_3

Xiaomi Redmi 1S specs:
4.7-inch HD IPS by Sharp @ 1280×720 pixels, 312ppi
AGC Dragontrail Glass
Qualcomm MSM8228 Snapdragon 400 1.6GHz quad-core CPU
Adreno 305 GPU
1GB RAM
8GB internal storage
up to 64GB via microSD
8 megapixel rear camera w/ LED flash
1.6 megapixel front camera
Dual-SIM, Dual Standby
HSPA+, 3G
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0 LE
GPS, A-GPS
USB OTG
MIUI V5 (Android 4.3 Jelly bean)
Li-Ion 2,000mAh battery
137 x 69 x 9.9mm
158g

What we liked:
* Affordable price
* Good display
* Good performance
* Good build quality
* Very capable camera
* Dragontrail Glass protection
* USB OTG

What we didn’t like:
* Below average speaker sound quality
* Limited internal storage
* Limited RAM

Xiaomi Redmi 1s lands locally, priced at Php5,599
Xiaomi Redmi 1S first impressions
Mi PH to open Xiaomi Redmi 1S pre-registration at 6 p.m.

10 Responses to “Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review”

  1. bryan says:

    napaka sugar coated naman ng review LOL. obvious naman masyadong safe ang review

  2. Gadgeteer says:

    skk phoenix x1 pa rin ako, still waiting, and I know it is worth the wait, cheaper, faster wala pa spying.

  3. JKisaragi says:

    Is it really HSPA+? On their site, it says WCDMA. Are they the same?

  4. Cute says:

    Impressive photos for a phone under 6k. Great review!

  5. hi says:

    I’m a fan of xiaomi, di ko lang gusto ung deaign ng 1s.. Better wait for mi4 and mag ipon.. Hehehe

  6. Steve del Castillo says:

    Kailangan pa ba ng screen proetector pag naka Dragontrail Glass na siya?

  7. ADITYA says:

    I want to know the JAck can i use 3.5 mm jack headphone or it has other ?

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This article was written by Louie Diangson, Senior Editor of YugaTech. You can follow him at @John_Louie.

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