Xiaomi Redmi 2, Back With a Vengeance

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If you’re seeking for a really cheap, yet capable smartphone, the Chinese from Xiaomi would be very happy to provide you with a solution through their latest addition to the Redmi series. I’m talking about the Xiaomi Redmi 2, a mid-range smartphone that comes as an upgrade to the Redmi 1S, a successful device that rocked the Asian lower-midrange market last year due to its tiny price. A few of the successor’s major assets are a 4.7 inches screen, a Snapdragon 410 chipset, dual-SIM support, an 8 MP camera, LTE and more. Wanna find out more? Keep reading and see if this fellow is able to fit your needs and deserves being bought.

The retail package of the Xiaomi Redmi 2 consists in the phone itself, a charger and a micro-USB cable that serves for re-charging the phone and making data transfers. It seems poor, but that’s reasonable, considering the fact that we’re dealing with a budget-phone, after all.

Let’s take a look at it. The Redmi 2 measures 134 x 67.2 x 9.4 mm and has a weight of 133 grams, being quite compact, light and very easy to manage. The construction is an all-plastic thingy, but the handset seems to be pretty solid nevertheless. It surely doesn’t stand out of the crowd with its looks, as it’s defined by a very simplistic design, but looks good and feels comfortable in the hand, and that’s all that matters when it comes to smartphones from its league. Its removable back cover has a matte finish, thus rejecting fingerprints and smudges. It also offers a good hand grip and reveals access to the battery and card slots.

The Redmi 2 holds on its frontal side a 4.7 inches IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen which has a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, a pixel density of 312 ppi and is covered by Corning Gorilla Glass 2 for protection. The screen is very good for a “player” from this market-area, offering pleasing colors, good contrast and wide viewing angles. The sunlight legibility is also quite decent.

Now, let’s browse a little through it. After unlocking it, you’ll come across the company’s proprietary user interface, the MIUI v6, which is based on Android 4.4.4 KitKat. If you’re going to buy the handset from China, you’ll see that Google’s services have been replaced by Xiaomi’s own, but they’re still available to download from the market; otherwise, they’ll be already on board. The interface has been kept simple and easy to use, so browsing through it should be smooth and pleasant. The homescreens offer an unlimited number of panes and keep your shortcuts, folders, widgets and apps there (as there’s no App drawer). You can uninstall an application directly from there. You can customize the homescreens with effects and themes. The notification area holds two panes, the first consisting in your notifications (naturally) and the second in a set of toggles, a brightness slider and a Settings key.
When it comes to hardware, the Xiaomi Redmi 2 is powered by a 64-bit Snapdragon 410 chipset, having a quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53 processor, Adreno 306 GPU, 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal memory, which can be expanded with a microSD card of up to 32 GB. There’s also an unofficial Redmi 2 version, which is more expensive, but holds on to 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. Anyways, the one I’m reviewing is a very good performer for its league and will offer you a smooth experience, if you don’t abuse it with power-hungry games and the like.

At the connectivity section, the Xiaomi Redmi 2 holds support for tri-band GSM, GPRS, EDGE and 3G, LTE Cat4, Wi-Fi b/g/n with Wi-Fi Direct and Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0 with LE and A2DP, microUSB 2.0 with USB On-the-go.

For snapping photos, the Redmi 2 features an 8 megapixels camera with autofocus which captures stills with a maximum resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels and is helped by a LED flash in low light situations. The camera application reveals support for several filters, Panorama, HDR, manual settings for adjusting the ISO and white balance and more. The camera is decent, but I’ve seen a lot better from other 8 MP snappers. Oh well, I guess that’s not something we could hold against the Redmi 2, as it’s also significantly cheaper than a lot of 8MP camera owners.
The video camera will also deliver some decent 1080p videos @30 fps.
For making video calls or taking selfies, a 2MP camera sits on the frontal side.

Some other useful features that come on board the Xiaomi Redmi 2 are a GPS receiver with A-GPS and GLONASS support, a Security application which keeps your device free of any malware, restricts data, cleans memory and more, a file Explorer, an FM Radio, some very capable audio & video players and more.

The Xiaomi Redmi 2 is juiced up by a 2,200 mAh battery and will last for almost two days under a moderate usage.

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