Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime review – Batman’s Robin

Xiaomi launched the Redmi 3S and the Redmi 3S prime in India. This is the Redmi 3S Prime review, there is not much of a difference between the Redmi 3S and the 3S Prime, apart from the price, RAM/ROM and fingerprint sensor.

Redmi 3S Prime Unboxing

Inside the box you will find the handset, SIM tray ejector pin, data cable, user guide, warranty card and travel charger (5V/2A). Earphone is not included. SAR value : 0.617W/Kg (head) and 0.429W/Kg (body).

Design, Display and OS

The Redmi 3S / Prime is a small handset that will fit really well in most palms and is very comfortable to use. Those who are looking for handset with a 5 inch screen, for them 3S is a great option. This handset is packed inside a metal body, very good build and finishing, curvy design that gives a good grip and feels great.  Redmi 3S weight is 145 grams with battery and dimensions are 69.34 x 139.11 x 8.36 (mm).

Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime review and unboxing

This is a dual SIM handset you can either use a micro SIM + Nano SIM or micro SIM + micro SD card.

Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime dual hybrid SIM slot

Screen is 5 inches supporting 1280 x 720 pixels resolution. Color reproduction, viewing angles and touch response are just great. It is not mentioned if the screen comes with any protection, but screen is scratch resistant to some minor extent. If you have a history of damaging screen then it would be better if you use a screen guard.

Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime review

There is LED notification below the dedicated button on the front and you can select a color from the list. The dedicated button do not light up. This handset is packed with Accelerometer, gyro, magnetic, hall, step, light and proximity sensors.

Redmi 3S / 3S prime is running MIUI 7 based on Android Marshmallow 6.0.1.

Memory and storage

Now depending on the model – on 3S you get 2GB RAM and 16GB eMMC 5.0 ROM. On the 3S Prime there is 3GB RAM and 32GB eMMC 5.1 ROM. OTG is supported. On the first boot (3S Prime) you will get around 1.9GB free RAM and around 22 GB free space. User can use micro SD card of up to 128GB.

Performance

This handset houses the qualcomm snapdragon 430 1.4GHz octa core processor – 64 bit coupled with Adreno 505 GPU. Performance was smooth and lag free. In general as well as when playing games the handset performance will impress you and it hardly heats up (max temp I encountered was 37 degrees).

Benchmark

  • Quadrant – 21893
  • Antutu (64 bit) – 42150 | 3D score – 7435
  • Nenamark 2 – 59.9fps
  • Internal storage Speed – Read (134MB/s), Write (82MB/s)
  • Multi Touch – 10 Point

Gaming

I tried MC5 (Modern Combat 5) and Asphalt 8 – both these games worked great, buttery smooth performance – check video review.

Camera

On the back there is a 13MP PDAF camera with f/2.0 aperture, it can shoot FHD videos. Front facing camera is a 5MP shooter. Camera quality is above average check the sample images and video at the end of this review.

Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime 13MP camera and FP sensor

Others

The Redmi 3S / 3S Prime supports 4G LTE with VoLTE. Sound (speaker / in-call) is loud and clear. I did not face any network issues. 4G, WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth worked well.

There is IR blaster on the front you can use that to control other electronic items like AC, TV etc. The finger print sensor on the back is also pretty fast and accurate. You can unlock directly using finger print sensor, just tap the sensor.

How to use Redmi 3S Prime for monitoring fitness activities

There is built in step counter, just download the Mi Fit app and this smartphone will monitor your physical activities without the need of any fitness (wearable) device. It will count the steps only, but if you are interested in monitoring your heart rate, sleep you will need to buy the Mi band wearable. But yes this handset can count your basic steps right out of the box.

Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime audio jack, mic and IR port

Battery

Another unique thing about the 3S is the 4100 mAh battery that comes built in. One would easily get up to 2 days of battery life with mixed usage. Battery life is excellent. As per my test results you can expect 7 to 10 hours of non-stop moderate to heavy usage.

Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime Battery Performance (time / battery % drop / estimated battery temperature).

  • Running Benchmark app – 9 minutes / 2% / 36 degrees
  • Asphalt 8 + MC5 game play – 32 minutes / 6% / 37 degrees
  • FHD video playback with full brightness (WiFi /4G on) – 36 minutes / 6% / 36 degrees.

It took me 3 hour 22 minutes to charge the handset using wall charger from 5% to 100%.

Does Redmi 3S prime support fast charging?

I tried a fast charger max 9V/2A it took 1 hour 56 minutes to charge from 43% to 100%. In general using fast charger did not help, it was a bit faster than using the standard travel charger, but the difference does not qualify. Normal charger 3 hours 22 minutes for 5% to 100%, when using fast charger estimated 2:45 to 3:00 hours from 5% to 100%.

Verdict

The Redmi 3S Prime no doubt is a very good handset with a very good price tag, however it does not come with fast charging support and the Snapdragon 430 hardware is not as powerful as the Snapdragon 650 that Redmi Note 3 is using.

Redmi 3S prime cannot play 4K videos smoothly, Redmi Note 3 can. Also when you compare the benchmarks there is a good difference. Having said that the 3S is still a very good buy, you will hardly notice any difference in performance with you daily usage though technically Note 3 is powerful.

The only criteria when deciding between the Redmi 3S and the Redmi Note 3 should be the screen size – you decide if you want a handset with 5 inch screen or 5.5 inch screen. 3S is Batman’s robin (Batman = Redmi Note 3).

There is not much off a price difference between the 3S Prime and the Note 3 (2GB), makes sense to go for Redmi Note 3, however the Redmi 3S without finger print sensor for Rs. 6,999 is excellent buy in case you ignore the finger print sensor.

Rating : 4 out of 5

Xiaomi Redmi 3S price starts from Rs. 6,999.

Image Gallery

Redmi 3S Prime video review

3S Prime rear camera sample

Front camera sample

FHD video shot using the Redmi 3S Prime handset

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