Xiaomi has launched its entry-level Redmi Go smartphone at Rs 4,499. The highlight is the Android Go (edition) that has been designed to run on smartphones with 1GB RAM or less. The special OS also brings with it Android Go apps like YouTube Go, Maps Go, and more, which are said to load faster.
In India, the Redmi Go competes with Samsung J2 Core, which is priced at Rs 5,990 and Nokia 1 at around Rs 4,500. Both the Samsung J2 Core and Nokia 1 are Android Go smartphones. We spent some time with the Xiaomi Redmi Go and here is our full review:
Watch: Xiaomi Redmi Go first look
Xiaomi Redmi Go specifications: 5-inch IPS LCD (1280 x 720 pixels) | quad-core Snapdragon 425 | 1GB RAM | 8GB storage (expandable up to 128GB) | 8MP rear camera | 5MP front camera | dual SIM | 3,000mAh battery | Android 8.1 Oreo
Xiaomi Redmi Go price in India: Rs 4,499
Xiaomi Redmi Go review: Design and display
Xiaomi Redmi gets a standard 16:9 aspect ratio display, thick bezels on top and bottom, and capacitive buttons. In a nutshell, the Redmi Go sports a conventional design that one would expect from a sub-Rs 5,000 phone. The advantage is that one-handed use is easy and it has a small 5-inch form factor that I liked. The back cover also features a minimalist design with only a rounded back camera lens and flash unit placed on the top left.
The back cover has curved edges, which gives it a stylish look, though the blue colour variant that we got for review looked rather shiny. But I liked that it does not pick up fingerprint smudges quickly.
However, the capacitive buttons are not backlit, which makes it difficult to use the phone in the dark. Another issue that I faced was the volume button on the right is placed a little higher and I had to make conscious efforts to use it, which was frustrating at times.
It is good to see a 1280 x 720 pixels resolution on an entry-level smartphone. Keeping in mind the price, I would say the display is vivid and has good viewing angles.
Xiaomi Redmi Go review: Camera
The camera performed surprisingly well for a phone that costs only Rs 4,499. Especially the photos clicked in bright daylight seem to have good colours and fair amount of details in them. In some cases though, the colours seemed oversaturated.
The camera UI is very basic and it has a manual mode as well in addition to square, video, and the standard photo mode. There are a couple of filters to choose from as well, that I would not recommend as they make photos look much more artificial.
The night shots were mostly grainy and lacked details. In places where there was little light, the camera managed to perform fine. The selfies clicked in bright outdoors are not bad with details and I was happy with the colours. Unfortunately, in low-light, you will mostly end up getting grainy selfies with very little details. There are beauty filters as well for the selfie camera.
Xiaomi Redmi Go review: Performance and battery
Xiaomi Redmi Go uses an older Snapdragon 425 processor and performance on the phone is good, I would say. I did experience a lag while opening certain apps but the overall performance is acceptable. It only comes with 1GB RAM, which is less and although there is a microSD card option for expandable storage up to 128GB, more apps will only slow down the phone more.
While switching between tabs, especially when multiple tabs are open, the phone stutters. Due to limited storage, I could only download a few apps, one of which was Candy Crush. During my review period, the game worked fine even for longer hours without drastically slowing down the device, which is great.
The battery lasts for a day with moderate usage, which includes listening to songs, watching videos online, making calls, and playing games. It takes close to an hour and a half for the phone to get fully charged.
Redmi Go supports dual nano-SIM slots, in addition to a microSD card slo, which is good to see in a budget phone. A 3.5mm headphone jack is present, while the phone uses a USB Type 2.0 charging port. It sports bottom facing speaker grille.
Xiaomi Redmi Go review: Software
Software is probably one of the most important aspects that Xiaomi is relying on for the phone to sell. It comes preloaded with certain apps that users should find useful like Facebook Lite, Gmail Go, Maps Go, Google Go, and YouTube Go.
The Go apps definitely load faster than the regular apps. Though you can download regular versions of Facebook, YouTube, etc on Redmi Go, I would recommend Go apps for a better experience. I also tried out apps like Instagram and Hotstar, which take longer to load. Google Play Store slows down the phone the most.
You get Mint launcher, which is pretty easy to use. The app drawer opens when you swipe up with the apps sorted in alphabetical order. There is a search bar at the bottom of the app drawer to search for apps as well. The settings icon on the top right will let users customise the layout in terms of size of the app icons, the number of apps one would want in a row, and more.
It was disappointing to see that Redmi Go still runs on the older Android 8.1 Oreo and not Android 9.0 Pie.
Xiaomi Redmi Go review: Verdict
Xiaomi Redmi Go looks to me like a good entry-level phone, one I can recommend in the sub Rs 4,500 category. It has an ergonomic design, acceptable cameras, and good performance. However, those not restricted to a budget and can spend a little more can explore options such as Redmi 6A which comes with a 13MP rear camera, bigger display, and AI face unlock, starting at Rs 5,999. Users also get more RAM and storage as well.