Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone brand which has been gaining popularity internationally are now one of the biggest smartphones company. Xiaomi mostly produces budget smartphones with competitive specifications and lower prices.
Xiaomi’s Redmi series smartphones are quite popular for providing an excellent performance along with a cheaper price tag than the rest of the smartphone in the same budget. Redmi smartphones provide an excellent value for money and we can expect nothing less from the latest inclusion Redmi 4 Prime.
Redmi 4 Prime Review
Redmi 4 Prime follows the same design pattern as of other Xiaomi Redmi Phones. It has a full metal unibody design with a polished chamfered frames, a slightly curved 2.5D glass with an antenna bands on the top and the bottom. On the back, it has a 13-Megapixel camera, a fingerprint sensor, and a Xiaomi’s logo. Redmi 4 Prime is slightly thinner than its predecessors as it measures 141.3 x 69.6 x 8.9 mm.
The volume rocker and the power buttons are located on the right and the hybrid SIM slot is located on the left. On the bottom, the USB port is flanked by two grills, one of which is the bottom firing speaker. Likewise, it has an IR blaster, 3.5mm headphone jack, and a secondary mic on the top.
On the front it carries a 5-inch IPS LCD display; under the display are the capacitive keys which are unfortunately not backlit and above the display. There’s a 5MP front-facing camera, earpiece, proximity sensor and a notification LED too. Noticeably the black bars around the screen looks really annoying.
I must say the phone looks premium and no wonder it feels premium in the hand as well. However, the black border around the screen looks ugly and also backlit capacitive keys would have been much better than the non-backlit keys. In overall, the design is much more similar to the Redmi Note 4.
The 5-inches 1080p display of the Redmi 4 Prime looks good and since it has a pixel density of 441ppi the screen is plenty bright. In comparison with the Redmi Note 3, the Redmi 4 Prime’s display is much more vibrant and punchy. Though this might be due to its small 5-inch screen pushing 1080*1920 pixels rather than Redmi note 3’s bigger 5.5-inch screen pushing the same amount of pixels. The viewing angle and minimum brightness are notably good but sunlight visibility could have been much better.
HARDWARE & PERFORMANCE
Redmi 4 Prime may be small in size but it can deliver an excellent performance with 3GB of RAM, Snapdragon 625 Octa-core processor, and Adreno 506 GPU. Redmi 4 Prime runs super smooth with a little to no lags even on content heavy apps like Twitter & Facebook. Even though the Snapdragon 625 is known to be a power efficient processor; coupled with 3GB of RAM Redmi 4 Prime showed no slowdowns or lags during multitasking. Gaming performance is also good on the Redmi 4 Prime, thanks to the Adreno 506 GPU, it can run casual games like Asphalt 8 Airborne with a little to no lag in the high settings and Modern Combat 5 also ran smooth without and lag or hitches.
Redmi 4 Prime comes in two variant (32GB/64GB) of internal storage; with either, you have enough space which can be expanded further using micro-SD card. It supports 802.11 Dual Band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.2 and USB OTG with micro USB v2.0. We didn’t encounter any problem regarding Wi-Fi, USB or Bluetooth during the testing period.
The rear speaker on the bottom of the phone is an average speaker which gets loud enough but gets distorted at max volume. Being an audiophile I would want my device to have an awesome speaker but Redmi 4 Prime certainly doesn’t fulfill the particular need. Also, when you’re playing games the speaker gets blocked by your hand which can be pretty annoying.
Almost every smartphone has a decent fingerprint these days and similarly the fingerprint reader on the Redmi 4 Prime is accurate and fast. Actually, it is faster than the Redmi Note 3’s fingerprint sensor by a small margin.
Redmi 4 Prime Key Specifications
- Display – 5.0 inches (~70.1% screen-to-body ratio), IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen
- Resolution – 1080 x 1920 pixels (~441 PPI pixel density)
- Chipset – Qualcomm MSM8953 Snapdragon 625
- CPU – Octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53
- GPU – Adreno 506
- Platform – Android OS, v6.0.1 (Marshmallow)
- Memory – 32GB internal storage expandable up to 256GB via micro-sd, 3GB RAM
- Primary Camera – 13 MP, f/2.2, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash
- Secondary Camera – 5 MP, f/2.2, 1080p
- Battery – Non-removable Li-Po 4100 mAh battery/Quick Charge 2.0
- Sensors – Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
The most impressive thing about the Redmi 4 Prime is its massive 4100 mAh battery. It’s great to see such a compact phone embracing such a high capacity battery. With my normal usage, it lasted for more than a day with 35% battery still left till the 10 AM of next day. My normal usage included 6 hours and 27 minutes of on screen time, more than an hour of gaming and plenty of WI-FI usage. Thus, the battery life is excellent and this is what makes Redmi 4 Prime a must have smartphone for power hungry users.
Camera’s on Xiaomi’s budget smartphones has always been average and the same trend continues with the Redmi 4 Prime. It has a 13 MP camera with f /2.2 aperture, phase detection autofocus, and dual tone flash.
The camera takes good pictures but they are just not a fabulous one. Dynamic range is quite good but the pictures are underexposed most of the time. Thus, the color could benefit from a little more punch as the picture look a bit washed out. During our test, the camera was a little inconsistent as sometimes the shots were overexposed and sometimes they were underexposed. The HDR mode can handle this issue quite well but obviously taking pictures with HDR mode requires much more time and precision. Pictures in outdoor conditions are decent but same is not the case indoors, you can easily notice digital noise in the indoor images.
The 5MP front facing camera is just an average selfie camera with no specialty. It does a decent job of capturing details but the color is way too tuned down.
Snapdragon 625 supports 4k video recording but Redmi 4 prime can only shoot at 1080p. The colors are not great as discussed earlier and due to lack of stabilization, the videos are much shaky.
The camera app is very simple with a capture button, video mode, mode settings and gallery shortcut on the right side and flash/HDR toggle on the left side. But who would know that camera setting is inside the mode setting? You can shoot under various modes like panorama, manual and tilt-shift. Though there’s a manual mode it only allows you to change ISO and White Balance which is rarely used.
Redmi 4 Prime runs on Android Marshmallow with Xiaomi’s custom built MIUI ROM. MIUI is a heavily skinned and customizable ROM which many people might prefer over the stock Android experience. MIUI is one of the good alternatives to stock Android with the simple yet customizable UI and large support for themes.
Running multiple applications was a breeze thus RAM management seems to be fairly good. MIUI 8 provides features like “Dual Apps” and “Second Space” which can be useful depending on how you use the phone. “Dual apps” lets you run different instances of the same application together. So, if you enable dual apps for Instagram then you can use two Instagram accounts from the same phone simultaneously. Whereas “Second Space” provides you a second space where the phone feels entirely new. Both of these features are very useful if a single phone is used by multiple users.
Redmi 4 Prime checks all the boxes regarding performance, battery, and functionality. Therefore it is one of the best 5-inch smartphones in the budget range. The most impressive thing about the Redmi 4 prime is its massive 4100 mAh battery whereas the major weakness of the phone is its 13MP rear camera which seems to be inconsistent as colors are muted and sometimes it is overexposed/underexposed. But we cannot expect a fabulous camera for the given price.
Redmi 4 Prime is priced at Rs. 23,499 and it’s hard to find a better smartphone than this for the given price. At last, if you’re a power user and do not care much about the camera this is one of the best phones you can buy right now in Nepal.