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Xiaomi Redmi 2 Hands On Review

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Request granted! Sorry guys it took us a while before we got our hands on this device. Xiaomi is still establishing its presence here in the Philippines. Aside from its partnership with online store Lazada, the company is now planning to open physical stores and more service centers for those buyers who still don’t trust online stores and want to see and try the phone for themselves before buying one. Xiaomi has released so many smartphones this year but only the Redmi 2 is available here. Probably because they are waiting for their physical stores to pop up before bringing the rest of its line up here.

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The Xiaomi Redmi 2 has been available in Lazada since its sale started last April 28 and we finally bought one last week. Lazada was very quick in delivering products as it arrived a day after we ordered. We’ve read positive reviews from users themselves about how good the phone is. So, did it really pass with flying colors? Here’s our very late review. 🙂

Xiaomi Redmi 2:

  • 1.2GHz Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 64-bit processor
  • Adreno 306 graphics
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB internal storage expandable via MicroSD up to 64GB
  • 4.7-inch HD Sharp IPS LCD display (720 x 1280 pixels)  with One Glass Solution
  • Asahi Dragontrail Glass
  • 8 megapixel rear facing camera with autofocus and LED flash
  • 2 megapixel front facing camera
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby, Dual LTE
  • LTE, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth, USB OTG
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • 2,200 mAh battery
  • Android 4.4 Kitkat with MIUI 6
  • SRP: P5,999
  • Status: Available only through Lazada

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UNBOXING:

To keep the price low, Xiaomi has ditched the earphones and the package only comes with the USB cable and adapter. But if you want to buy one, Mi Earphones are available only at Lazada.

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HARDWARE AND DESIGN:

There’s nothing special about the Redmi 2’s design. We have the white variant here. It simple with no frills when it comes to hardware. At the back you’ll find the 8 megapixel rear camera, flash and speaker grill and the Mi branding. At the right side of the device, you’ll find the volume rockers and power/lock button while on the top there’s the 3.5mm earphone jack. Down below you’ll find the USB charging port.

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Since it is smaller than any 5-inch smartphone, it is easier to hold with one hand and very lightweight. It is easy to slip in your pockets too. We just find the matte textured back a little bit slippery but there’s always an option to buy a case.

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Capacitive buttons does not light up.

Audio quality coming from the speakers are really loud and even louder than other smartphones we’ve reviewed. This is good because you’ll never miss a call or respond quickly to a text. When using your third party earphones audio is above average too.

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DISPLAY:

The Redmi 2 has same screen size of the iPhone 6 which is 4.7-inches. We know a lot of people who still prefer smarphones with less than 5-inches in screen size. And we personally recommend this smartphone to them. The display is crisp and bright up to the point that it can withstand extreme sunlight. We noticed that the phone as a bluish tone to it but if in case you like phone to have a warmer tone, just go to Settings, then Additional Settings then Display and then Colors and Saturation. From there, you can tweak the color accuracy of your Redmi 2.

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The Notification Light is just below the home button

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SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE:

If you have not tried any Xiaomi smartphones before, the Redmi 2 has a heavily skinned UI over top of Android 4.4 Kitkat called MIUI 6. Just like any other Chinese smartphone brand, they ditched the Application Drawer so all you apps arr found on the the home screen. Good thing you can organize them into folders. We still don’t know when will Xiaomi upgrade this into Android Lollipop but having former Google executive Hugo Barra on their team it may not be long before they release an update, hopefully.

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We can’t help but compare this to other UI like the Emotion UI from Huawei, Amigo UI from Gionee, Zen UI from Asus, Flyme UI from Meizu and Color OS from Oppo. By far the MIUI is one of our favorite custom UI because it looks simple and clean but still highly customizable. You can even download different themes from their store. But personally, we do love this default theme.

Performance-wise we did encounter some lags when loading or playing games but it is very rare. Overall performance is smooth.

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CAMERA:

One of the Redmi 2’s biggest selling point is the camera. The camera user interface might remind you of Apple’s iPhone with few differences. We do love its clean and easy-to-understand look. Photos taken from both cameras are really good especially in low light.

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Photos using the 2 megapixel front facing camera
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with flash

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CONNECTIVITY:

The Redmi 2 supports LTE bands 1800 (band 3), 2600 (band 7), and 2600 (band 41) which are all Globe LTE bands. So we decided to test first our Globe SIM here. Speeds are fast and are of normal results.

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The problem however is just like other Pinoy tech bloggers who reviewed this phone, we are having trouble getting LTE signal using Smart. Smart has 1800 (band 3) that should support Smart LTE network but unfortunately, we are stuck with 3G.

Calls are crystal clear from both ends of the line with issues of distortion.

BATTERY:

Overall battery life is above average. On our normal usage, we managed to get a day and a half with LTE and GPS on all the time.

We did our usual battery drain test and we got 5 hours and 15 mins of screen on time which is impressive. We did 2 hours of straight gaming (Clash of Clans, Dead Trigger 2 and Riptide GP2), 2 hours of IWantv and an hour of You Tube and we had around 11% battery left. We set the power settings to “Balanced” which put performance and power saving into balance. Putting the power setting into “Performance” mode will make your battery drain faster.

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VERDICT:

Don’t let the simplistic looks fool you. If you want an affordable LTE smartphone with great performance and good camera, look nowhere else.

Got questions? Tweet and follow @filipinotechie on Twitter and @filipinotechaddict or@immarkmarceloon Instagram.