Xiaomi Redmi 1S review – powerful hardware but issues with camera app

The Xiaomi Redmi 1S flash sales will start on 2nd September. The handset is here to compete with the Moto G, it is powered by qualcomm snapdragon quad core processor running MiUi based on Android 4.3 and priced at Rs. 5,999. The Key highlight is the hardware and the price tag.

Inside the box: It is a small box that houses the Redmi 1S, data cable, user guide, warranty statement, travel charger and 2050 mAh battery. Earphone is not included. SAR Value as mentioned on the box – 1.2W/kg (MAX).

Design and Display
The screen is scratch resistant (to some extent) and just like the Xiaomi Mi3 the Redmi 1S box pack does not mention that. Build quality and finishing is very good, looks like premium phone and very comfortable to hold (because of the size).

Rear cover is metal gray colour with matte finish. It is also a little slippery as the Mi3, so you need to be extra careful. Body has got a curvy design and there are no sharp edges. Power button, volume rockers are on the right, micro USB port at the bottom and 3.5mm audio jack on the top. Weight with battery is 164 grams and dimensions are 69.43mm x 137.43 x 9.49mm.

The IPS touch screen is 4.7 inches supporting 1280 x 720 pixels resolution. The viewing angles are good – the screen gets a little darker from some angles. Touch is very smooth and responsive. There is LED notification and you can change the colours too. The LED notification is placed just below the bright red dedicated home button.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S box pack

There are accelerometer, proximity, light, gyro and magnetic sensors.

OS, Memory and Storage
The Redmi 1S runs on MiUi version 5 based on Android 4.3. Performance is good however the 1GB RAM seems insufficient at times, especially when you are running app that needs more RAM or multiple apps are running.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S review and unboxing

Of the 1GB RAM minimum free space is 450 MB, and it will reduced as you start using the phone. Clean the memory as often as you can for better performance. The free RAM available could drop to as low as 120MB.

There is 8GB storage of which about 6.14GB is allocated as internal storage (4.12GB available). OTG is supported. There is micro SD slot that supports up to 64GB cards. Apps are installed on internal storage and there is no option to move to external storage.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S review

Performance and Benchmark
The Redmi 1S houses the 1.6 GHz qualcomm snapdragon 400 MSM8228 quad core processor coupled with Adreno 305 GPU. Performance is lag free but as mentioned when the memory gets low you could experience some issues. I got low memory warning when running vellamo benchmark app. And apart from that there were issues with the camera app (happens when the handset is heated up – over 39 degrees). If you are not comfortable with the MiUi then you can select the lite mode for a very simple and easy to use interface.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S build quality

Benchmark scores

App Result
Quadrant 10422
Antutu 19703
Vellamo Browser (1281) Metal (862) Multicore (1046)
Nenamark 2 46.2fps
Multi Touch 10 point

Gaming
I installed the MC4 (Modern Combat 4) and Real Racing 3. These games got installed on the internal storage. Game play was smooth and I did not find any issues when playing these games.

Camera and Entertainment
There is 8MP rear AF camera with LED flash and a 1.6MP on the front. There are issues with the camera app. I had installed the latest updates. When I was shooting the sample images I found two issues. The camera app was closing down without any errors, I had to tap the camera app to start the app. At times when I would click an image the camera app would close without any warning.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S 8MP rear AF camera

The next issue was when I was recording a full HD sample video. It started off well but after sometime the screen started to lag and froze for few seconds but there was no issue with the recording. Every time you start the camera app you will need to set video quality to FHD if you want to record in that mode.

For this price the camera quality is very good and so is the FHD video quality. The handset can play FHD videos.

Update: I tried recording a video in FHD the temp was 34 degree and I did not find any issues – there was no screen lag. I used the handset for some time to get the temperature at 40 degrees and then started the video recording again in FHD resolution, the screen started to lag.

It seems when the temperature is high around 40 degrees the camera app will create issues, it might close down anytime or when recoding videos you will see the screen lagging a lot.

Others
Sound is loud and clear, no issues with in-call speaker / quality. There is Dirac option (Optimize audio quality). The handset does get heated up with heavy usage and you can feel it near the camera module on the back. But temperature was well within 45 degrees. 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth worked well. Got the first GPS lock within 5 seconds. It is a dual SIM handset with 3G support. You need 2 normal SIM’s.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S SIM slots (2 x normal SIM)

Battery
There is 2050 mAh removable battery. Here is how the battery performed.

Task Time Battery drop (%) (max temp)
Running Benchmark apps 38 minutes 18% (39)
FHD video playback (loop) with Wi-Fi on + full brightness 38 minutes 14% (37)
MC4 + Real Racing 3 GamePlay 20 minutes 10% (40)

Battery backup is pretty good you can expect 3.5 to 5.5 hours of continuous usage depending on the app with Wi-Fi on.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S 2050 mAh battery

Verdict
It is a powerful handset with a very affordable price tag. However there are issues – camera app (at high temperature) and low memory. Probably it could get fixed / tweaked with future updates. But still considering the price and the hardware the Xiaomi Redmi 1S is still a very good buy.

Redmi 1S on Flipkart for Rs. 5,999.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Image Gallery


Sample images shot using the Redmi 1S


Sample images front camera


Redmi 1S video review

1080p video shot using the Redmi 1S handset

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