Xiaomi Redmi 4A Review: Time to change
Xiaomi Redmi 4A detailed review
As far as smartphones are concerned, India is not only an important market, it is also an attractive market. The phones sold here range from absolutely stunning to counterfeit. Some companies interrupt, others interrupt, and as an industry tracker, it’s a really exciting journey. Xiaomi Redmi 4A is a good example of why or how the Indian market is attractive.
Targeting the basic buyer can be profitable, but selling good specifications is difficult. Honestly, many OEMs compromise with important features in this range, selling phones that are not durable. And that’s exactly what Xiaomi wants to do with the Redmi 4A It is hoped that you will buy it for your dad, explaining to him why it is better than other phones, including the two-year-old Space. By reviewing the Redmi 4A, we want to make sure that it really is everything Xiaomi promises.
Construction and design
Xiaomi isn’t the first to make a pretty entry-level smartphone, but the Redmi 4A could be very good at this. Appearance is thematic, but ergonomics isn’t really. The 5-inch display allows for a compact body and uses the opportunity to recreate the impressive polycarbonate back of the Xiaomi Mi 4i. It is now an improved version of that design, with a polished surface that shines like metal and allows the color pink (rose gold) to be perceived.
At first glance, the phone doesn’t really look like an entry segment device. However, the back and the display often feel sticky, this is actually a fact that reinforces.
You’ll find volume rocker and power on / off buttons on the right, with a hybrid SIM slot on the left. One microphone and micro-USB port are at the bottom, while the headphone jack, IR blaster and another microphone are at the top. Below the display are three capacitive buttons, which are not backlit.
The phone’s speakers are on the back, with very little bumps in the plastic underneath. Xiaomi says that this design element prevents the speakers from getting blurred when placed on the desk. It doesn’t really help if you have the phone in bed, but it does sound good on a desk or other hard surface.
The rear is bare otherwise, the camera and flash on the top left and the Mi logo on the bottom, just above the speakers. It’s a clean and simple design that’s not particularly innovative, but to impress.
I suspect that the choice that Xiaomi has made here is a kind of compromise. Looks like the company wanted to choose the Snapdragon 425 SoC (new in Qualcomm’s budget arsenal) and that SoC offers the best performance for HD resolution at 60fps. You can also waive an HD panel for one taka 5,999. Your dad probably doesn’t care if you get a pixel density of 294 ppi (5 inch HD) or 434 ppi (5 inch FHD).
However, the display panel seems to be significantly lower grade than the Redmi Note 4 (Review) or Redmi 3S. The icons don’t look as sharp as those phones, and the colors look a bit lighter than the Redmi 3s or Redmi Note 4. The display is even cooler than other Xiaomi phones
That said, it still qualifies as a good display. Touch response is satisfactory, low, but not ideal latency. The colors still look pretty good for an entry level device and there are no light leaks or other distortions. It is also bright enough for indoor use, although you will have to wrinkle when exposed to sunlight.
This is actually our first encounter with the new Snapdragon 425 SoC from Qualcomm. To replace the Snapdragon 410 and 412 in the entry segment, the processor uses a quad-core Cortex A53 cluster, 1.4GHz and Adreno 308 GPU. However, the important thing here is to add an X6 LTE modem and the theoretical maximum download speed is 150 Mbps. It is actually quite advanced, enables FHD video recording in the entry segment and supports cameras up to 16 megapixels (funny fact: it supports dual-ISP).
You can probably guess, though, that the Snapdragon 425 doesn’t match the 625, and it’s 650 or 652 miles away. However, you can get it on the market right now and it is still the best on the Redmi 4A. You see, it works really hard. The average clock speed is about 1GHz, while the GPU is at an average frequency of about 390 Mhz (possibly rendering the display). Looks like Xiaomi is churning out as much as possible from the processor.
The results, though, are quite impressive. We don’t want to say that Redmi 4A has no lag. In fact, we have seen slight staggering from the offset, but in this price range, they are much easier to ignore. App load time is actually shorter than for phones like the Xolo Era 2X. What we didn’t find on the Redmi 4A was heavy lag and the system never freezes, even under pressure.
This is not a phone for gaming, but you should be good with simple games like Temple Run or Candy Crush. We’ve seen notable frame drops and lags in games like WWE Champions, Asphalt 8 and Marvel: Contest of Champions, but they’re still playable. The average frame rate is 29fps, one lower than 30fps, which is the lowest for gaming. However, the frame rate stability is about 28%, which is below average.
All in all, the Redmi 4A offers decent performance and at this price for a phone, it is quite impressive. It can connect to 4G networks and we recorded 8-10Mbps network speeds in the best connected areas. Browsing performance is also satisfactory, pages are loading at decent speeds, and the phone can even handle video shows on players in Chrome Windows.
Storage and OS
The choice of 16GB storage on the Redmi 4A is at least a flawed mistake for us. While testing the device, we only downloaded our benchmarking apps, Asphalt 8, WWE Champions and Marvel: Contest of Champions, and the phone is already flashing low storage alerts. That, in our opinion, is a very real problem.
This also keeps the phone from being very durable and it is disappointing that Xiaomi does not offer 32GB variant in it. The 16GB is actually an upgrade from the Redmi 1S, and that’s the industry standard at the moment, but one would expect Xiaomi to break it, to offer this phone better than entry segment buyers are accustomed to.
You get about 10GB of usable space, which is quite easy to use.
Another disappointment is that Xiaomi does not have Android Nougat on this device. Admittedly, phones in any entry segment do not have the latest OS, but it’s time to launch them. Given that Xiaomi has previously unveiled its MiUI-flavored tech on Android Nougat, one would expect new devices to come out of the OS.
As mentioned above, the Snapdragon 425 phone allows a 16MP camera sensor. However, Xiaomi chose to go with a 13MP sensor on the Redmi 4A. Since the Redmi Note 3, we’ve noticed a decline in image quality enabled on its phones, which continues here. The pictures on the phone’s display look decent, but they’re quite pixelated and noisy, while the colors look a bit dark. The camera is definitely weaker than the Redmi 3S, as you can see in the comparison image below. The Redmi 3S (review) has created the color of Panchia, although the details remain largely the same.
Camera sample size has been resized for the web. Click on the gallery below for full size images
Photo taken by Redmi 3S (left) vs. Redmi 4A (right)
The Redmi 4A, though, focuses much faster than other entry level smartphones. In addition, image processing is fast, and can take some decent shots in daylight. In most cases the color is not visible, but not really enough to make this camera unusable. For an entry level buyer, this is a decent camera, if not the absolute best. You will not get the best shots when shooting in low light, but at this price it is also expected.
Xiaomi specializes in keeping the largest battery possible in the body of the smallest phone. It runs on the Redmi 4A, which has a 3120 mAh battery. It runs just under 9 hours of PC Mark Work 2.0 battery test, which is about 4 hours less than what we found in regular use.
Charging once every morning, at 10 am, we have easily completed a complete task, it needs to be charged again at 10 am. Although it has a respectable battery life, it does mean that you will need a power bank or charger for a long time.
The last row
So, the thing here is, Xiaomi Redmi 4A is a great entry-segment smartphone. However, if you want to go with a 16GB device, you will get a better phone with Xiaomi’s own Redmi 3S, just over a thousand bucks. You get a good camera, good display and somewhat faster performance. The Redmi 4A is for those who can’t afford the extra one thousand or want the best of the most basic performance. Like 16GB of storage, its sub-par camera is a bummer.