This phone places itself in the middle class, but even just a quick overview of the specs show that it doesn’t belong there. Redmi S2 with its design and placement of the camera sensor irresistibly resembles the iPhone X, but with the fingerprint scanner on the back of the device and cutouts at the top and bottom of the device which look like antenna bands.
Despite the body of the device being made of plastic, the build quality is really good. Inside the factory box, Xiaomi included a charging adapter, microUSB cable, user manuals and a SIM tray tool as well as a protective silicon case.
Let’s see together what else the Redmi S2 brings for its relatively low price.
This phone sports a somewhat bigger display compared to last year’s Y1, and it has a 5.99” IPS display with HD 720p resolution. Low resolution stretched across a large display results in only 269 PPI.
Pixels, however, cannot be easily seen when just using the phone normally. We have nothing bad to say regarding the visibility on the sunlight because all images are clearly visible, colors don’t distort and the brightness goes over 500 nits which is amazing. IPS LCD panels have standard color temperature presets, so this device as well offers options to choose between somewhat warmer or colder tones.
Hardware and OS
Implementation of the Snapdragon 625 chipset was a perfect move by Xiaomi. This phone is a low class device while this chipset is meant for mid-rangers. Truth be told, Snapdragon 625 indeed is a somewhat older chipset, but it a huge step forward compared to Snapdragon 435. On the market there are two versions of the phone depending on the memory configuration. Our version came with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage but also available is the version with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage memory.
Using this phone is a very pleasant experience. MIUI is, as always, very nicely implemented, and we didn’t notice any signs of lag at all. Same thing goes for gaming as well, PUBG for example didn’t show any framerate drops, at lowest settings though. On the AnTuTu benchmark this device scored very decently – 76225 points.
Mono speaker is located on the bottom edge of the phone and it is very loud but only average in quality.
Another great information is that this phone comes with Android Oreo out-of-the-box onto which the MIUI 9.5 is installed which enabled gesture navigation very similar to iOS.
The primary camera on the back of the device comes in a pair, which means that this phone sports a 12 megapixel sensor with the aperture of f/2.2 and another 5 megapixel which serves to gather background information about the depth of field while the main sensor is at work. Between the two sensors is an LED flash, while the camera is also equipped with Phase Detection Autofocus system. Video mode also supports electronic image stabilization.
Daytime photos look really good, sometimes with a bit washed up colors, but that will not influence our opinion on the camera in a negative way. Photos have high level of details and low noise levels in shadows. Night time photos are not something to brag about, but they are somewhat improved with HHT photo mode which reduces noise. Portrait mode also produces great photos as it separates the subject from the background very well, and you can guaranteed make very high quality photos for social media purposes.
When it comes to video capturing, the Redmi S2 doesn’t fall back there neither. The phone captures decent FullHD videos at 30fps which has plenty of details and good colors. We had no problems with the sound either – everything is recorded quite nicely. This chipset supports 4K recording which is for some reason not available in the stock camera app, but you can still take them through other camera applications you can download from the Play Store.
On the front side of the device there is a 16 megapixel selfie sensor with an aperture of f/2.0. Xiaomi says that they have implemented AI camera technology into this device in the sense that it separates your face from the background, and the results are hardly bad. Edges around the head are very softly separated and there are no artifacts at all. Also thanks to so many pixels, selfies are very detailed and have very nicely represented colors.
Both cameras performed great, and excellent portrait mode works better than in some flagships. Xiaomi really showed what they can do!
All S2 versions are dual SIM devices which support two nano SIM cards and there is also a dedicated storage expansion slot that supports microSD cards up to 256GB. The Infra Red port that Xiaomi places in most of their devices is still here, and it enables the device to communicate with home appliances such as TV, AC unit, DVD etc. The microUSB port located on the bottom of the device is used for charging and data transfer, and taking into account the price of this device, we couldn’t really ask for more. NFC is sadly not supported.
Wireless connection list:
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n 1
- Bluetooth v4.2 A2DP, LE, HS, HSP, AVRCP, HFP, HID
- A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, QuickGPS
- Infra-Red blaster
Supported network bands:
- 2G GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
- 3G WCDMA: 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz
- 4G LTE: 850, 900, 1800, 2100, 2600 MHz
Xiaomi likes to install very high capacity batteries into their devices. Taking into account this phone’s class, 3080 mAh batter is hardly small, but we have to say that it takes quite some time to charge up the device since it does not have any fast charging options. The phone uses only a standard charger, and considering the power saving chipset, we could say that the battery performed very well. On a full charge, the phone lasted for about 6 hours of screen of time with active Wi-Fi network and the brightness set to 60%. Much better results than the predecessor – the Redmi Note 5A.
Xiaomi Redmi S2 offers a lot more than any competitor in its class. We can say with certainty that this is definitely the value for the buck when it comes to budget smartphones, because for only 150 euros you essentially get a mid-range device, and the camera performed almost as good as some flagships. If you thought about buying this device, we just want to say that you can not go wrong. Another exquisite budget device by Xiaomi.
Do you like the Xiaomi Redmi S2? We’d like to hear your opinion in the comment section below. If you have any suggestions or you would like to see some new devices being reviewed, let us know either here or on our Facebook page. If you liked this review, subscribe to our YouTube channel, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, sit back and relax as we’re working hard on new material for you.
This review is brought to you in co-operation with MOBITECH Mobile SHOP!