Xiaomi launched its cheapest smartphone in India yesterday at an event in New Delhi. The Redmi 4A is priced at just Rs 5,999 and looks promising when we compare other devices at this price point. However, the nearest competitor to the Redmi 4A is Xiaomi’s leading contender in the sub 10K segment i.e. Redmi 3S. Launched back in August 2016, Redmi 3S has done wonders for the Chinese handset manufacturer, when it comes to sale numbers. Priced at Rs 6,999, the Redmi 3S still manages to impress when it comes to price to feature ratio. However, should you go for Redmi 4A or add in an extra 1000 bucks for the Redmi 3S? Let’s find out.
Note, Redmi 4A’s first flash sale will take place on 23rd March at 12 noon on Amazon India. While Redmi 3S will be up for sale next on 24th March at 12 noon on Flipkart
Design and Display
Although you will not spot much of a difference in design, but the first major advantage which Redmi 3S has over Redmi 4A is the metal built. The Redmi 4A comes with a polycarbonate back with a nice metal finish over it which in no way feels cheap but at the end of the day, metal is metal. Both the smartphones are exactly 8.5 mm thick even though the 3S boasts a bigger battery inside. However, the bigger battery and the metal built makes the 3S weigh at 144 g against the Redmi 4A which only weighs 131.5 g. The back on the Redmi 4A is slightly more curved than that of the Redmi 3S which makes it more comfortable to use. The 4A comes in Dark Gray, Gold and Rose Gold options while the 3S comes in Gold, Dark Gray and Silver colour options. Both the devices lack fingerprint scanner and to be honest, that’s fair given the price range.
Coming to the display, things are identical here. Both the devices come with a 5-inch HD display (1280 x 720-pixel resolution) offering a pixel density of 294 ppi. A 720p display at this price seems to be a decent deal. Assuming the 3S had the same panel as Redmi 4A, the display was quite visible outdoors and the colours are decent as well. The auto brightness works decently as well. So in terms of display, there is not a lot to choose from.
Hardware and Software
When we dig a little inside, things change and this is where Redmi 3S Prime really takes the lead. Inside, fueling the Redmi 4A is a 1.4 GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 425 chipset coupled with Adreno 308 GPU. On the other hand, Redmi 3S boasts a 1.4 GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 430 chipset paired with Adreno 505 GPU. Apart from four extra cores, the Snapdragon 430 will surely offer you a better overall performance. Further, Adreno 505 GPU will also assist you in better gaming performance. Although we haven’t tested out the Redmi 4A yet, but based on these figures, Redmi 3S surely looks to be the winner here. Besides, both the devices come with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage which is further expandable up to 128GB via microSD. The microSD on both the devices sit in a hybrid Dual SIM slot.
For the software front, both the devices run on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with MIUI 8.0 on top which shouldn’t pose any major issues while navigating through daily tasks. However, given the Redmi 3S has a slightly powerful chipset inside, it will surely do the job a little faster here.
The camera is something which is not the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) of the devices priced near Rs 6,000 and we don’t expect it to be that way either. When we talk megapixels, the Redmi 4A and Redmi 3S sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with a LED flash along with a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter. However, the aperture on the Redmi 4A is f/2.0 while the one on the Redmi 3S is f/2.2 which would translate into a better low-light performance on the Redmi 4A. However, we are not sure about the camera sensor as yet which might be a great deal. Both the devices can record maximum at 1080p which is also not bad for a sub 6K smartphone. As a final call, we would recommend you stay updated for our detailed camera test of Redmi 4A before getting to any kind of judgement.
Battery and Connectivity
Redmi 3S took the budget segment with storm mainly because of its behemoth 4100 mAh battery inside and despite another device around the same price point, the Redmi 3S still retains the top spot in the battery department. For comparison, the Redmi 4A comes with a 3120 mAh battery which by no means is average for the price point but Redmi 3S apparently takes the centre stage here.
For the connectivity, we are back to square one as both the device’s WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.1, an Infrared port, FM Radio and microUSB 2.0. The sensors include an Accelerometer, Proximity sensor gyroscope and compass.
Xiaomi’s latest offering, the Redmi 4A is surely the best for the price it sells for but Redmi 3S still edges further in terms of specs. For an extra Rs 1,000, you get a metal built, a better processor and a bigger battery inside. We cannot comment on the camera comparison as yet but as of now, the Redmi 3S looks to be a better deal.