By: Rohan Pal, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi
Last updated : November 08, 2017 10:58 am
The smartphone comes equipped with some competitive internals, but will it be enough to create a special place in consumers mind?
Selfie flash is not that effective
Xiaomi has introduced a new selfie-centric series for the Indian market with the launch of Redmi Y1 and Y1 Lite. Both the smartphones are meant for the selfie-obsessed users who also want a big display.
Though the Y1 Lite is targeted for below Rs 7,000 market, it is the Redmi Y1 that comes equipped with a 16-megapixel front-facing camera for a price tag of Rs 8,999 for the 3GB RAM variant and Rs 10,999 for the 4GB RAM variant. The smartphone comes equipped with some competitive internals, but will it be enough to create a special place in consumers mind? Let’s take a closer look.
What we like about Redmi Y1
Starting with the major highlight, the Redmi Y1 selfie camera does an excellent job in broad daylight condition. The photos clicked under good ambient lights came out to well-detailed with colours being close to the source. There is a two beautification mode, smart and pro. Under smart beautify mode, it primarily applies all settings pretty efficiently, and you get even tones and smooth skin. Under Pro mode, you get to choose different beautification setting for your convenience. The rear camera does a decent job as well, and under ideal lighting situation, you get good quality pictures.
The 5.5-inch HD display does a decent job as well during our review period and it comes loaded with good viewing angles. The colour output is respectable as well and outdoor visibility is at par with the rest of the competition. Whether it be watching some movies on YouTube or playing some games, we didn't face any noticeable lag in the display.
Coming to the performance, there was no major issue during our review period. The phone was able to handle most of the daily tasks like using social media, streaming and it is able to handle multitasking as well. In the gaming department, the phone handles most of the casual gaming like a piece of cake but when it comes to high-end games like Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade, Into the Dead 2 and more, the phone starts showing some sign of lags.
At the launch of the Redmi Y-series, Xiaomi also introduced the stable global version of its latest MIUI 9. The company promised that the latest OS update would be available in Redmi Y-series by mid-November. Our unit comes loaded with a beta version of the MIUI 9. During our testing period, we found out that the latest user interface is better than its predecessor as it is now lighter and smoother as compared to MIUI 8. The latest UI also comes loaded with some interesting features. You can swipe left to right from the home screen to open a window which Shortcuts, Notes, Ola cabs, Cricket and Calendar event.
Xiaomi has also added quick replies to its notification panel, which is a welcome move. Users need to swipe down from two fingers to reply from the notification panel. Then there is notification bundling, which bundles the app notifications in a group. Other than this, the brand has added animated icons, which adds some brownie points to the latest user interface.
Lastly, coming to the battery performance, the smartphone does a decent job as well. The phone was able to last a full day of regular usage, and under heavy usage, you get close to 5 to 6 hours of battery backup, which is a good thing.
What we didn’t like about the Redmi Y1
Xiaomi is one of those brands that become a trendsetter, especially, in the budget and mid-segment. But it seems that the brand has settled for an inspired design from its competition. The Redmi Y1 does look like any other Chinese smartphone available in this price range. The phone has a close resemblance to Vivo smartphones, which what we were not expecting from a brand like Xiaomi. Further, the device follows a unibody design, but plastic feel at the back panel is not that great.
Another thing we didn't like about the Redmi Y1 was the rear camera. Though it was able to take some good photos under broad daylight condition, under indoor lighting situation there is a noticeable drop in quality. The picture came out be a bit blurry and softly focused, while the detailing was notably missing in some photos. Under low light, the performance of the rear camera is quite average, to be frank as one can notice grainy and full of noises photos.
The front camera does a decent job, but the selfie flash does help you in clicking photos in low light conditions. You either have to keep the flash close to your face to get a good photo or else bear the brunt of low-quality images.
Moving on, the latest software MIUI 9 has a fair share of issues as well. First of all, when you reply to messages by swiping down with two fingers, the lines are broken and it is that simple to do that as compared to other smartphones. Further, the phone takes a lot of time for the first boot and you have to wait for almost 10 minutes to finalise the setup.
To conclude, the Redmi Y1 does a pretty decent in the selfie department and the performance is in line with the competition. The phone gives a good battery backup, and the latest MIUI 9 has some major improvements. But the design is a tad similar to other Chinese smartphone and the rear camera is not that great. Overall, the phone gives a mixed bag performance and it will face stiff competition with the likes of Lenovo K8 Plus, Xiaomi Redmi 4 and Moto E4 Plus.
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