Xiaomi Redmi 2 review


xiaomi redmi 2 review

The latest Xiaomi Redmi 2 is perfect for those on a budget, keep reading for the full Xiaomi Redmi 2 review.

We all groaned a little when Xiaomi unveiled the Xiaomi Redmi 2. Overall it was pretty much everything we had seen from the Redmi 1S, and at the time of launch only came with a 1GB RAM option.

Now that I have had some time with the affordable little Xiaomi though I have come to really enjoy it. It’s an amazing little phone for anyone wanting high-quality and stable performance on a budget.

Xiaomi Redmi 2 review – Hands on

Xiaomi Redmi 2 review – Design

The major update for the Xiaomi Redmi 2 over the previous version is the design of the phone. The new Xiaomi Redmi 2 is lighter and smaller than the older phone and looks much more modern to boot.

xiaomi redmi 2 review

The Redmi 2 measures in at 134 x 67.2 x 9.4mm with a weight of 133g, those are not terribly impressive dimensions when compared to some of the designs we are seeing from Chinese companies, but for this price range (699 Yuan in China for the 1GB RAM model) it’s on par with other phones. It’s also a great improvement over the Redmi 1S which measured 137 x 69 x 9.9mm at 158g.

A narrow body aids comfort as some the very smooth to the touch rear shell. The white removable plastic rear has s very soft texture to it, even my son commented on comfortable the Redmi 2 is to hold.

Knocking a couple of mm of the width and height hasn’t affected the screen size nor resolution as the Redmi 2 retains the same 4.7-inch 720p HD panel as the original Redmi phone.

xiaomi redmi 2 review

Beneath the screen are the familiar red navigation keys which still don’t offer a back light below the keys is the notification light. The LED is an RGB model which means you can set up different notifications to shine a different colour. Above the display is a 2 mega-pixel front facing camera.

xiaomi redmi 2 review

The soft to the touch rear shell has the famous Mi logo in silver, and we se a slightly protruding 8 mega-pixel Samsung camera, single LED flash and small grill for the external speaker. Speaker placement is good and rarely get’s covered even when holding the phone in landscape for gaming or video.

Smooth, rounded edges and corners really aid the comfort of the Xiaomi Redmi 2. That white panel extends right to the bezel of the screen and holds the power and volume rocker on the right side. A 3.5mm headphone jack is in the top while USB is in the base.

Getting at the SIM trays for the Xiaomi Redmi 2 means roving the rear panel. There are two spaces for LTE SIMs and an additional slot for up to a 32GB SD card.

xiaomi redmi 2 review

A bight orange battery can be removed and replaced, but we hoped for something a little larger than 2200mAh (although it did perform well).

Overall build quality is good. The phone feels really solid and well put together with no odd rattle or creaks.

Xiaomi Redmi 2, Redmi 1s Comparison

Xiaomi Redmi 2 Review – Display

At $100 the Xiaomi Redmi 2 does’t have the budget for a FHD display, but at only 4.7-inch the 720p panel is more than good enough. The lower resolution display also means that the small battery is under less stress and the Adreno 306 GPU isn’t being pushed to it’s limits.

xiaomi redmi 2 review

In China the TD-SCDMA version of the Redmi 2 has a Sharp display, phones with WCDMA/FDD that will work outside of China come with a AUO screen. These AUO screens have been known to flicker from time to time, and there are a few comments on MIUI forums of the issue. I don’t know if this has been solved with updates or if I have been lucky as the screen on our test phone has been flicker free.

xiaomi redmi 2 review

I’ve used the Redmi 2 without a screen protector for the past few weeks and it hasn’t scratched yet, other users have said the same but it is unsure if the phone uses either AGC or Gorilla Glass 2. Whatever it is it seems to be hard-wearing, and if you are worried there is also the choice of running a tempered glass screen protector.

Screenshot_2015-02-19-13-01-33

Touch response, colours and viewing angles are all very good, although the screen isn’t as bright as say the Meizu MX4. Also, bear in mind that MIUI V6 offers you the option of changing the ‘temperature’ of the colours system wide (settings > additional settings > display > colours and saturation).

Xiaomi Redmi 2 Review – Hardware and performance

Unfortunately at the time of writing only the 1GB RAM version of the Xiaomi Redmi 2 was available for review, although the 2GB RAM model should start shipping through resellers in the next 10-14 days.

Other than lacking a little in the RAM department the rest of the hardware is the same. There is a quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor running at 1.2Ghz and an Adreno 306 GPU. You might already be aware now that this set up isn’t quite as powerful as the Mediatek MT6732 chipset, but at least the SoC is known for reliable GPS and Qualcomm are more likely to open sources for future Android versions (where as Mediatek most certainly will not).

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The Redmi 2 is an entry-level phone and in reality we cannot expect blazing performance, and in fact we don’t get it either. With only 1GB RAM on board MIUI V6 leaves just 417mb left over and that quickly get’s eaten up with social media apps open in the background, gaming and general daily usage.

If you have the 1GB RAM version already you should get in to the habit of cleaning your apps (default is a single tap on the menu button), if you haven’t purchased yet go for the 2GB RAM model early next month (March).

Xiaomi Redmi 2 Review – Benchmarks

Call quality is good as is reception, 3G and 4G data. The sound quality through the receiver was launch, but there are plenty of phones out there which have clearer sound, but they are also more expensive too.

Audio through headphones really depends on which headphones you use, but audio through the external speaker is really poor. The volume can be cranked up well, but the resulting sound is tinny and lacks any bass.

With the Snapdragon 410 chip on board I wasn’t worried about GPS performance and found lock on speeds to be fast and accuracy good even when driving.

Battery performance of the Xiaomi Redmi 2 was a concern. With just a 2200mAh battery on board I was really worried how well it would last, even though the phone does have a low power processor and screen. Like any phone the battery life will depend on how you use the device. Generally it is possible to get 2 days of use from the phone if you don’t call very often and you only use an hour or so of video a day. If you tend to call a lot then your battery life will be lower, and we found that the Redmi 2 lacks a little in the battery department if you make a lot of calls.

Xiaomi Redmi 2 Review – Camera

Camera’s on the Xiaomi Redmi 2 are a basic 2 mega-pixel up front and Samsung 8 mega-pixel on the rear.

xiaomi redmi 2 review

The front facing camera is only really worth using for video calls, and when there is plenty of light. Although MIUI does have camera options (such as beauty mode) for the front camera, the sensor really isn’t capable of much.

The 8 mega-pixel F2.2 rear camera is better, and it is possible to take some good-looking photos in nice bright conditions. Image quality remains pretty good even when the sun goes down too, and I would say that low light performance of the Redmi 2 is above average at this price.

MIUI V6 offers some nice camera features in the application. You don’t get the same number of options as you do in MIUI V6 on the Mi Note, but it’s still a functional camera app with Panorama, HDR, HHT (night mode) and manual mode, plus live filters too.

Xiaomi Redmi 2 Review – MIUI V6

One of the biggest features the Redmi 2 offers over phones of a similar price is the MIUI ROM. It might not be everyone’s favourite ROM in the world, but it is a feature packed system with tons of options to customise the phone to run as you like.

MIUI V6 offers so many features that we could spend a whole feature on the ROM alone.

Overall the ROM is stable and offers a lot of options to play around with. Xiaomi also update MIUI frequently to add features and fix bugs, and Lollipop should also be making it’s way to the affordable Xiaomi very soon too.

Xiaomi Redmi 2 Review – Specifications

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Xiaomi Redmi 2 Review – Conclusion

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This version of the Xiaomi Redmi 2 costs 699 Yuan in China with 1GB RAM, and 799 Yuan with 2GB RAM, that’s between $110 – $130 for a phone that is well made, comfy to hold and boast a powerful and features packed custom ROM.

International reseller HonorBuy.com, who we purchased this review phone from is selling the 1GB RAM Redmi 2 for $149.99, a fair price for a phone which ultimately does everything you expect from it.

Knowing that the 2GB RAM version of the Redmi is going to be on sale soon I would say that you should avoid the current 1GB RAM version as you will enjoy the additional RAM when running multiple apps plus it also gets 16GB of internal memory too.

The Redmi 2 is a phone that I would recommend you to choose if you wanted a good reliable smartphone for your kids, or non techie friend or family member to use. For these users the performance, battery life and the size of the little Xiaomi make it a perfect device, the fact that I will give this Redmi 2 to my daughter to use is proof enough that I feel it’s a reliable device.

If you are on a budget and want more performance, and are a more hands on person then one of the more powerful MT6752 phones could be had for a similar price to the 2GB RAM Redmi 2 and might be worth a look instead.

Thanks again to HonorBuy.com for the Redmi 2 and also the Mi Note which we will review soon.

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46 Comments

  1. David
    February 19, 2015

    IMHO, Meizu got this entry level battle this year

    • February 19, 2015

      m1 is only available with support for China networks at the moment though 🙁

      • notcosi
        February 19, 2015

        andi it says the M1 note has WCDMA 900/1900/2100MHz, FDD-LTE 1800/2100MHz, TDD-LTE 2600MHz so that will work in Europe?

        • February 19, 2015

          m1 note is the mid range phone, m1 is the 5-inch Redmi rival.

  2. Vijay Sud
    February 19, 2015

    Redmi 2- 1 GB, is just the same as Redmi 1S – which has i GB, and i think Xiaomi must have realized the mistake. Corrected with 2 GB RAM, but is it going to be enough ? Tougher competition lies ahead for Xiaomi at entry level.

  3. Marco
    February 19, 2015

    Hi Andi, thank you for the review. I am hesitating between the Redmi 2 enhanced version and the new ZTE Blade S6, which device do you suggest me?

    • February 19, 2015

      Good news, I actually just received a S6, not sure which model it is but I can do a comparison 😀

      • Marco
        February 19, 2015

        Thank you Andi, well the ZTE Blade S6 has very interesting specs for the price (less than 200€ with shipping) even if Its design is inspired by Apple’s phone.

        I really expected the Redmi 2 to get a Snapdragon 615 CPU but instead XIAOMI have preferred the Snapdragon 410 which is less powerful. That being said, it is very challenging to find a 5 inch decent phone with overall good specs. I honestly don’t have 350€ or 400€ to spend in a flagship, I was interested to buy the Xiaomi MI4 16GB Black Version but I changed my mind because of its price.

  4. Jan
    February 19, 2015

    Hi Andi, which MT6752 phones would you suggest me? I am looking for a device with a screen size from 4.7 to 5 Inch max. My budget is around 220€. Thanks.

    • February 19, 2015

      MT6752 with sub 5.5-inch display? I can’t think of any sorry.

      • ARUN SUBRAMANIAN
        February 19, 2015

        Andi maybe you can review the Landvo L600 pro(MTK6752 5 inch) once you get your hands on it.

        • Muhammad Yasir
          February 19, 2015

          I’d LOVE that too Andi !
          Landvo phones have intrigued me for awhile now! They’re super cheap and look really promising!
          PLEASE review them @Gizchina:disqus !
          especially this one : http://www.landvo.com/products/landvo-l600-plus.html
          I wanna know about the camera , screen quality ESPECIALLY!

          • Marco
            February 19, 2015

            Thank you for the reference, I didn’t know about this phone. Any release date?

            • Muhammad Yasir
              February 19, 2015

              your welcome 🙂
              March maybe … im not too sure tho.

          • February 20, 2015

            Will see if I can get one thanks

            • Muhammad Yasir
              February 20, 2015

              thanks!

        • February 20, 2015

          Yup, I’ll ask

  5. kb0n
    February 19, 2015

    Why are the Redmi put up against the M1 Note in the spec sheet, not against the M1?

    • February 20, 2015

      M1 isn’t available with network support for carriers outside of China.

      • kb0n
        February 20, 2015

        I know, but the Note is a 5.5″ phablet. How does that even compare against a 4.7″ smartphone?! The Note and the Redmi2 are not competitors, that’s what I was getting at.
        Meizu’s competing device is the M1. If you can’t pick that due to lack of network support, than you should pick another brand with a competing device. This is almost “apples and oranges”, the comparison has absolutely no value

  6. Guest
    February 19, 2015

    IMHO, Meizu got this entry level battle this year

    • Andi Sykes
      February 19, 2015

      m1 is only available with support for China networks at the moment though 🙁

    • Guest
      February 19, 2015

      andi it says the M1 note has WCDMA 900/1900/2100MHz, FDD-LTE 1800/2100MHz, TDD-LTE 2600MHz so that will work in Europe?

    • Andi Sykes
      February 19, 2015

      m1 note is the mid range phone, m1 is the 5-inch Redmi rival.

  7. Guest
    February 19, 2015

    Redmi 2- 1 GB, is just the same as Redmi 1S – which has i GB, and i think Xiaomi must have realized the mistake. Corrected with 2 GB RAM, but is it going to be enough ? Tougher competition lies ahead for Xiaomi at entry level.

  8. Guest
    February 19, 2015

    Hi Andi, thank you for the review. I am hesitating between the Redmi 2 enhanced version and the new ZTE Blade S6, which device do you suggest me?

    • Andi Sykes
      February 19, 2015

      Good news, I actually just received a S6, not sure which model it is but I can do a comparison 😀

    • Guest
      February 19, 2015

      Thank you Andi, well the ZTE Blade S6 has very interesting specs for the price (less than 200€ with shipping) even if Its design is inspired by Apple’s phone.

      I really expected the Redmi 2 to get a Snapdragon 615 CPU but instead XIAOMI have preferred the Snapdragon 410 which is less powerful. That being said, it is very challenging to find a 5 inch decent phone with overall good specs. I honestly don’t have 350€ or 400€ to spend in a flagship, I was interested to buy the Xiaomi MI4 16GB Black Version but I changed my mind because of its price.

  9. Guest
    February 19, 2015

    Hi Andi, which MT6752 phones would you suggest me? I am looking for a device with a screen size from 4.7 to 5 Inch max. My budget is around 220€. Thanks.

    • Andi Sykes
      February 19, 2015

      MT6752 with sub 5.5-inch display? I can’t think of any sorry.

    • ARUN SUBRAMANIAN
      February 19, 2015

      Andi maybe you can review the Landvo L600 pro(MTK6752 5 inch) once you get your hands on it.

    • Guest
      February 19, 2015

      I’d LOVE that too Andi !
      Landvo phones have intrigued me for awhile now! They’re super cheap and look really promising!
      PLEASE review them @Gizchina:disqus !
      especially this one : http://www.landvo.com/products/landvo-l600-plus.html
      I wanna know about the camera , screen quality ESPECIALLY!

    • Guest
      February 19, 2015

      Thank you for the reference, I didn’t know about this phone. Any release date?

    • Guest
      February 19, 2015

      your welcome 🙂
      March maybe … im not too sure tho.

    • Andi Sykes
      February 20, 2015

      Yup, I’ll ask

    • Andi Sykes
      February 20, 2015

      Will see if I can get one thanks

    • Guest
      February 20, 2015

      thanks!

  10. kb0n
    February 19, 2015

    Why are the Redmi put up against the M1 Note in the spec sheet, not against the M1?

    • Andi Sykes
      February 20, 2015

      M1 isn’t available with network support for carriers outside of China.

    • kb0n
      February 20, 2015

      I know, but the Note is a 5.5″ phablet. How does that even compare against a 4.7″ smartphone?! The Note and the Redmi2 are not competitors, that’s what I was getting at.
      Meizu’s competing device is the M1. If you can’t pick that due to lack of network support, than you should pick another brand with a competing device. This is almost “apples and oranges”, the comparison has absolutely no value

  11. Jimmy
    February 21, 2015

    No backlight bleeding like on the Mi3?

  12. Guest
    February 21, 2015

    No backlight bleeding like on the Mi3?

  13. Someone from the other side
    February 24, 2015

    Has anyone seen the 2GB variant for sale anywhere?

  14. Guest
    February 24, 2015

    Has anyone seen the 2GB variant for sale anywhere?

  15. Praveen Kumar
    July 29, 2015

    JobSheet No. 915071100440

    Hi,

    I Just purchased a Redmi 2 From Snapdeal.com in Apr, 2015

    I Faced problem of heating in just the stand by mode after installing Whats App, MXPlayer etc., Phone generates heat at the back and auto swich off

    Due to the above problem i submits the mobile at the Janak Puri Dist,:

    HCL Touch (West)

    Address: G-5 (II), Shop No.5/126 & 5/127, Janak Place, Distt. Centre, Janakpuri, New Delhi
    Hours of Operation: Monday to Saturday, 10:00-18:00
    Service Center Phone Number: 011- 25615338

    on 11/07/2015 and they return it on 24/07/2015 after replacing the bettery

    But it still have the same problem, due to that i visit the service center again on 25/07/2015 and explained the problem, They ask to re-submits the phone for 2 weeks.

    I am unable to re-submits it for 2 weeks again

    Please do the needfull

  16. Praveen Kumar
    July 29, 2015

    JobSheet No. 915071100440

    Hi,

    I Just purchased a Redmi 2 From Snapdeal.com in Apr, 2015

    I Faced problem of heating in just the stand by mode after installing Whats App, MXPlayer etc., Phone generates heat at the back and auto swich off

    Due to the above problem i submits the mobile at the Janak Puri Dist,:

    HCL Touch (West)

    Address: G-5 (II), Shop No.5/126 & 5/127, Janak Place, Distt. Centre, Janakpuri, New Delhi
    Hours of Operation: Monday to Saturday, 10:00-18:00
    Service Center Phone Number: 011- 25615338

    on 11/07/2015 and they return it on 24/07/2015 after replacing the bettery

    But it still have the same problem, due to that i visit the service center again on 25/07/2015 and explained the problem, They ask to re-submits the phone for 2 weeks.

    I am unable to re-submits it for 2 weeks again

    Please do the needfull