Redmi Y3 Review: Xiaomi recently launched the third generation of its selfie-centric smartphone, the Redmi Y3 in India. With this device, the company aims to target the current social media generation, who like to post a lot of their photos on their social media profiles for the world to see. To achieve this the company has added a 32MP camera sensor on the front of the device for consumers to take selfies with.
The device also brings in a new look to it, which makes it feel classier compared to its predecessor. The device still sports an all-plastic build, however, the glass-like plastic back and the soft-rubberised plastic frame don’t let the Redmi Y3 feel like a cheap smartphone. Redmi has certainly not compromised on the build quality.
Redmi Y3 specifications: 6.26-inch HD+ 1520 x 720 resolution display | Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 processor | Adreno 506 GPU | 3GB RAM + 32GB internal storage, 4GB RAM + 64GB internal storage | expandable memory via dedicated microSD card slot (up to 512GB) | 12MP + 2MP primary camera | 32MP secondary camera | 4,000mAh battery | MIUI 10 based on Android 9.0 Pie
Redmi Y3 price in India: Rs 9,999 for 3GB RAM/32GB internal storage variant; Rs 11,999 for 4GB RAM/128GB internal storage variant.
Redmi Y3 review
The review unit I got was the Prime Black colour option, which looks quite professional. However, the company does has two other colour options for you to choose from – Bold Red and Elegant Blue, both of which feature a gradient look. There’s no doubt that Redmi Y3’s good looks might appeal to a number of people. But looks are not the only thing you should consider while purchasing a smartphone.
Most smartphone manufacturers have started bundling protective cases along with their smartphones. The same has been done by Xiaomi, the Redmi Y3 ships with a frosted black protective case. However, it is ill-advised to use the stock case as it will provide only minimal protection. The case shipped alongside the phone is quite flimsy.
Redmi Y3 review: What’s good?
The first thing that I noticed when I turned on the Redmi Y3 for the first time was its dot-notch 6.26-inch HD+ display. The display is quite vibrant and sharp for a smartphone at this price point. It looks accurate and punchy in most viewing environments. Viewing angles are good and the display is easily legible under direct sunlight.
Coming to the daily usage of the smartphone, the Redmi Y3 was able to complete all of my daily tasks like making calls, checking emails, clicking images and browsing the web with ease. It even handled multi-tasking and multi-browsing quite well. I had 26 tabs and 17 apps opened and did not notice any sort of major lag even while switching apps and browser tabs in a matter of seconds. However, a few stutters were there, but considering the price of the phone this is expected.
Gaming performance tests are the most demanding of all. During the review period, I tested the smartphone with different types of games. Some of the games I tested were easy on the processor with not much graphic intensive processing required, others were simply high graphic intensive games.
During my light gaming sessions, which included a few minutes of playing games like Temple Run, Clash Royale, Crossy Chicken and others the phone performed quite well. The games played quite smoothly with no stutters, frame drops or lags.
However, during the time I played heavy games like PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) Mobile, Asphalt 9: Legends and others for longer durations (over half an hour) the performance fluctuated depending on the game settings. If the settings were set to render the games in high-quality graphics and sound, the games would initially start fine.
But after a few minutes, I started noticing a few stutters and frame drops and in some cases the game would lag, which did impact gameplay. This problem can be taken care of by turning the settings down to medium-quality of gameplay.
Redmi Y3 sports a dual camera setup on the back consisting of a 12MP primary sensor paired with a 2MP secondary depth sensor. And it is one of the features that I found the most interesting in this smartphone. I found that the rear camera took good shots in well-lit conditions both indoors and outdoors, the images came out vibrant and sharp. They had a lot of detail in them and the colours were quite accurate.
One of the best thing that I liked about the Y3’s rear camera is its edge detection feature. The shots that I took came out with the subject having all of the details and the background properly blurred out. The subject’s edges in the photos were quite sharp and I did not find even a little bit blurring across the whole subject.
Redmi Y3’s USP is its 32MP front camera for taking selfies and during my testing, I found that the device was able to click good images, ready to be uploaded to social media profiles. Images taken with the front camera in good lighting conditions were nice, with a bit of fine-tuning to the colours and the AI tuning to the skin of the subject.
The images came out a bit on the brighter side, which I don’t like that much, but it did make me look younger. Now that aspect is unlikely to get any complaints.
In terms of the user interface (UI), Xiaomi provides users with Google’s Android 9.0 Pie operating system with its own MIUI 10 skin on top. Inside of the UI, you can choose to use the device with gestures, which are quite easy to use and respond according to the input almost 100 per cent of the times. The company has added a physical capacitive fingerprint sensor to the device which works very fast. It also comes with a Face Unlock feature, which is as fast as the fingerprint sensor and recognises users almost 9 out of 10 times.
The Redmi Y3 sports a massive 4,000mAh battery, which easily lasted me for over two days on light usage. During the time I made a limited number of calls, browsed my social media feeds, read some news, clicked a few images and listened to a few songs.
During heavy usage, the device lasted easily for more than a workday. I charged the phone in the morning before leaving to the office and plugged it back in at night around 1 AM daily with over 30 per cent battery left each time. During this time, I played a number of heavy games like PUBG Mobile, made calls, sent messages, browsed the web, used the GPS and more. It took around two hours to completely charge the smartphone with the bundled charger.
Redmi Y3 review: What’s not so good?
The Redmi Y3 comes with MIUI 10 based on Android 9.0 Pie operating system, though it has grown much more user friendly since its release. It is still a bit hard to get used to given there is no app drawer and the rather confusing setting locations. The device also comes with a number of bloatware apps like Opera Mini, Opera News, Daily Hunt and more. And just like other Xiaomi smartphones, I got to see a lot of ads being pushed on me throughout the system, which in turn downgrade the user experience.
A major downside to using the cameras on this smartphone is its noticeable shutter lag. The camera took a good amount of one to two seconds before clicking a photo, which means clicking a shot of a rather unstable subject will be an impossible task.
Another issue with both the front and back camera modules is their low-light performance. The images taken with the device came out grainy and washed out in terms of the colours. Some times in low-light the smartphone wouldn’t even be able to focus on the subject properly. However, considering that most other smartphones in this price range have similar performance in low-light, this can be passed.
With the Redmi Y3 you need to enable the 32MP mode manually from the quick toggles as the device disables it automatically every time you close the camera app. This is a bit frustrating.
Images clicked with the front camera were not as impressive as compared to the ones taken by the back camera. Some of the images came out a bit overexposed and with heavy AI editing to the skin tones. Considering that the edge detection feature was spot on with the back camera, I expected it to perform similarly on the front camera. It did a good job, however, not as good as the one it did with the photos taken by the back camera.
Redmi Y3 review: Verdict
Redmi Y3 is a good smartphone overall, with decent looks, good performance, rear cameras and battery. For users though there will be some confusion, especially give that the Redmi Note 7, which has a more premium glass build and better Snapdragon 660 processor, is also available at Rs 9,999.
Then there are other options in the market like the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2, which you can now get for Rs 9,999. With Redmi Y3, the unique point lies with the selfie camera. But one has to remember at this price, one can easily get a phone with a full HD+ display, even from Xiaomi’s own range of devices. In our view, that might be the better decision.
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