Xiaomi Redmi 4A review: A good budget phone for its pricehttps://indianexpress.com/article/technology/mobile-tabs/xiaomi-redmi-4a-review-video-price-specifications-features-sale-4581519/

Xiaomi Redmi 4A review: A good budget phone for its price

Xiaomi Redmi 4A is now officially out in India, and here's our full review of how this budget phone performs

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Xiaomi Redmi 4A review: This budget smartphone costs Rs 5,999 and delivers quite nicely on performance.

Redmi 4A, that’s Xiaomi’s latest phone for India. After selling over one million Redmi Note 4 phones, the company’s back with another phone for India. It also says this one is ‘Made in India’, whether that will mean a lot more units for the sale, remains to be seen. Like with other Redmi phones, Xiaomi’s focus is on budget pricing and offering good specifications, something you won’t always find at this price point.

Redmi 4A is priced at Rs 5,999 and will come in only one RAM+ Storage option: 2GB+16GB. There are three colours being introduced with Redmi 4A in India: Gold, Rose Gold and Dark Grey. However, if you’re wondering about the ‘Rose Gold,’ Xiaomi is only releasing that on April 3.

Xiaomi is now the number two smartphone vendor in India, and a lot of the credit goes to the Redmi smartphones. The Redmi 3S, 3S Prime were priced under Rs 10,000 and helped boost the company’s sales in the last quarter in 2016. The battery, design and overall performance ensured a lot of interest in these phones.

Strictly speaking though, Redmi 4A is not a successor to the Redmi 3S, especially if you compare the specifications and overall build. However, this is a budget phone, at a price point where volumes are still big. So does Xiaomi have another winner on its hands with the Redmi 4A? Here’s our review.

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Redmi 4A has a polycarbonate body, with speakers at the back.

Specifications of Redmi 4A: 5-inch HD LCD IPS display (720p resolution | Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 quad-core processor at 1.4Ghz, Adreno 308 GPU | 2GB RAM + 16GB storage (expandable to 128GB)| 13MP rear camera + 5MP front camera | 3120 mAh battery | Android 6.0 with MIUI 8 |

Price: Rs 5,999

Redmi 4A

Now at first glance Redmi 4A looks like a lot of the other Redmi phones out there in the market. I got the ‘Dark Grey’ version for review, and the 5-inch display means it is a more compact phone. The phone sports a plastic unibody design and I can’t help compare it to Redmi 3S, which had a metal unibody at Rs 6,999.

Still the Redmi 4A offers a good grip, and is designed well; there’s a 13MP rear camera on the back, and the speakers are at the back of the device like it was with the Redmi Note 3. Redmi 4A relies on a micro-USB port for charging. There’s also an IR blaster on the front along with the 5MP camera; the IR blaster means you can use this smartphone to control compatible home devices like set-up boxes, air conditioners, fans, television sets, etc. This is a pretty neat feature to include on a budget phone.

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At first glance Redmi 4A looks like a lot of the other Redmi phones out there in the market.

So what’s good?

For a lot of people, the key with the Redmi 4A will be the specifications being offered at this price point, and these add up to quite a nice overall package. The 5-inch HD display is actually pretty good, and Xiaomi hasn’t reduced the resolution simply because this phone is priced lower. The viewing angles are good, you can use this display easily in the sunlight, though I kept the brightness at full. If your main usage is social media, watching videos on YouTube, this display does the job.

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For a lot of people, the key with the Redmi 4A will be the specifications being offered at this price point, and these add up to quite a nice overall package.

On the performance side, Redmi 4A doesn’t set benchmarks on fire. In Antutu it scored around 35,666 for us, which puts it number 36 in the list, just below Xiaomi Mi 4S, Meizu Note 3. In GeekBench 4, it scored around 666 on single-core, while it scored 1450 on multi-core, which is not really that great, but given the budget pricing it’s not doing too badly.

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Redmi 4A Antutu benchmark test results.

It does handle most of the daily apps easily like WhatsApp, Google Maps, Facebook, Gmail, etc. You can even run games like Asphalt 8, Lara Croft Run, though the former does tend to lag at times. Hardcore gaming might not be the strength of this device, but it doesn’t heat up, and I didn’t experience any app crashes.

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Redmi 4A battery test result.

I was actually surprised by how well Redmi 4A does on the battery front. It has a long-standby time and I didn’t have to charge this phone all weekend, though that was with minimal usage. On the PC Mark, battery test it scored around 9 hours, which is impressive.

In my own case, I’ve been using the Redmi 4A with a 4G SIM, and it should easily last a day for most users. The call quality is not too bad either. I’ve not been able to test out the 4G VoLTE capabilities, since I’ve lost my Jio SIM.

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Sample photos from Redmi 4A. (Image resized for web)
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Sample photos from Redmi 4A. (Image resized for web)
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Sample photos from Redmi 4A. (Image resized for web)
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Sample photos from Redmi 4A. (Image resized for web)

The camera’s not bad considering the price, but this is not the strongest point of this phone. In proper lighting conditions, it can deliver good photos and the colours are well-balanced, though it does struggle with reds, pinks. The rear camera itself is fast, and quick to focus, but the pictures are lacking details.

So what’s not so good?

The low light performance of the camera is not so good. The video recording capabilities on this smartphone are not too impressive either. The selfie camera is 5MP sure, but don’t expect to look like a diva on this. In low-light conditions, the selfie camera is slow and struggles to take pictures. The results can be a bit unflattering.

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Redmi 4A has a micro-USB 2.0 port for charging.

The other problem for the Redmi 4A is that the best competition is a phone from its own company. Redmi 3S is available at Rs 6,999, sports a much bigger battery, and you can’t help wonder: Is Redmi 4A really the best choice?

Verdict

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Xiaomi’s Redmi 4A is a very capable phone for its budget price. At Rs 5,999, it delivers on performance, specifications, and is a compact and easy to use phone. However, the camera performance is still a miss on the budget phone. The only problem: Xiaomi has a slightly better option for just a little extra. If budget is really tight, and you can’t spare more than Rs 6,000, Redmi 4A is the option; else try and get the 3S series.