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XIAOMI REDMI 4A – IN-DEPTH REVIEW OF THE BUDGET KING!!!

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Reviewing a phone that just costs 6000 rupees seemed a bit too odd for me, only until I started using the Xiaomi Redmi 4A. The Xiaomi Redmi 4A is a decent phone with decent specifications when it comes to the punchline ‘Bang for the Buck’. Let’s begin the in-depth review of the Xiaomi Redmi 4A, keeping in mind that Xiaomi set a new budget mark for an affordable and fairly cheaper android smart phone. Is the Redmi 4A a hit or a miss? Let’s find out!

After using the Redmi 4A for about a week and digging well into the software and the OS, I personally think that the Redmi 4A is actually a decent phone for the price we pay for it.

LOOK AND FEEL

The Redmi 4A does look premium and the device does not seems to have been built of a low quality material. Although the phone is being encased in a plastic body, it will definitely make you feel proud owning one. The Redmi 4A’s first impression on me was how light the phone feels. I felt like I’m holding nothing in my hand. You get a light phone at a light price! The texture, the matte finish on the back plate will definitely make you wonder as to how such a premium feeling phone be available at such a low price. All in all, the Redmi 4A is a sleek and classy phone like all other Redmi devices except for it is encased in a plastic unibody, which does not steal away its beauty either. The phone sits perfectly in hands, thanks to the chamfered edges. Reaching the navigation keys and the volume rockers on the device is not difficult.

PHYSICAL APPEARANCE

The Redmi 4A comes encased in a high quality plastic unibody design. The plastic is tough but still prone to some scratches and might break if it unfortunately suffers some physical brutality. Looking at the phone, I can pretty much say that the phone is engineered brilliantly and it does resemble its elder Redmi brothers despite lacking a fingerprint sensor and a metallic body.

At the front of the device we have a 5” 720P HD screen comprising of 291 PPI. The screen is really sharp and vibrant. Text and images appear sharp on the HD display even in broad daylight. The Maximum brightness on the screen is pretty good too. The touch screen is very responsive – another reason why this phone is a bang for the buck!

At the top, we do have a 5MP secondary camera and an earpiece speaker. At the bottom of the device we can see the capacitive touch keys and they are not backlit. A great touch to the device is the notification LED, which is placed below the home button and makes this device unique from rest of Redmi devices.

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At the back of the device, engraved beautifully in the plastic body are the 13MP primary camera, an LED flashlight and at the bottom are the speaker grills to output device audio.

At the top of the device is a 3.5 MM audio jack, an IR blaster and a noise cancellation microphone. Yes, it does cancel out noise decently for the person on the other end of the call. At the bottom of the device is a micro USB 2.0 charging cum data transfer port.

At the right side of the device are the seamlessly engraved volume rockers and a power button. The buttons have a nice tactile feel to it. While on the right side of the device is a dual SIM tray. The device supports a Hybrid SIM slot which can be either used for two SIM cards or one SIM card and one SD card together. Thankfully, both the slots support 4G SIMs but unfortunately, you can only use one out of the two 4G SIMs. The device also supports VOLTE.

USER INTERFACE

The Redmi 4A runs on the butter smooth MIUI8.1 out of the box. There is no app drawer on the MIUI8 and all apps are placed on the homescreen itself. The homescreen supports customizing icon layouts, wallpapers and widgets. You can also change different screen transitions from the choices provided.

The notification shade when pulled once displays a search bar, current weather, top four notification tiles and the brightness slider. The notification shade can be further expanded to reveal the remaining notification tiles.

The MIUI8 is acclaimed to be a highly customizable ROM out of the box and I agree with this statement. Diving into the settings section revealed the features this budget phone has to offer me and I was definitely taken by surprise seeing the features this budget phone comes with. You can customize font and font sizes to your preference. A lot of fonts are available on the MI store and can be downloaded for free.

Other than that, MIUI8 comes with 5 preinstalled themes and still offers you the ability to download different themes from the MI store. Additionally, the MIUI8 also offers its users to use two devices on a single device through Second Space. Second Space creates a partition on your device and sets up a virtual device on your phone which you can set up and use as per your liking.

MiUI also offers its users the ability to clone apps using Dual Apps. Well, now I can use two same apps on a single device without worrying about anything. This is a good option, if you don’t opt for Second Space.

Talking about gestures, double tapping the screen wakes up the device and three finger vertical swipe captures the screenshot.

DISPLAY

The Redmi 4A’s display although being a 720P, it is still vibrant and sharp. The 5 inch display is colorful and the maximum brightness of the display is good enough and makes the screen content easily visible under direct sunlight. 

The screen is sharp and colors pop put nicely. Images, videos and even gaming is quite impressive watching on this display.

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PERFORMANCE

Housing a 4 core Snapdragon 425 chipset and 2 GB of Ram, the Redmi 4A pleasingly offered me a butter smooth operation on the device. Yes, the 2GB of Ram did feel less to me as I am someone, who loves to multitask. The phone did kill apps from the background when I launched about 5 to 6 apps at a time. Using apps likes Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram and YouTube caused no issues whatsoever. The device handled all of these apps like a breeze.

Coming to the gaming performance of the device, an Adreno 308 GPU supports the device on the gaming front. A GPU on a 6K phone? Yes, this is what I sarcastically asked myself. Well, playing casual games like Subway Surfer, Shadow Fight 2, Vector and Clash of Clans did not show any lag. But, when I put the device to heavy gaming test, the device began struggling to render those Asphalt 8 and Modern Combat 5 frames.

BENCHMARKS

The Redmi 4A when put to benchmark tests did not fair so well, the score we got to see in GeekBench were ridiculously below average. Talking about real time usage, the phone does fair well and I did not feel like that the phone lagged in normal operations and casual gaming.

My verdict: This device is capable of doing casual activities and casual gaming but stop right there and don’t expect much from it.

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CAMERA

The Redmi 4A’s 13 MP primary camera is capable of capturing great pictures in daylight environment. I was really satisfied with the images that this budget friendly device was able to capture. The color reproduction of the captured images are great too, the images are sharp and crisp but distant details do fade out and saturate away. When it comes to low light photography, the images are grainy and not very pleasing.

The 5 MP front camera also serves justice to the device and is capable of clicking amazing selfies, which I loved showing off to my friends.

The camera app of the Redmi 4A is robust, it packs a plethora of features, starting photo filters to camera modes.

The camera on the Redmi 4A is capable of recording 1080P videos at 30 FPS. You cannot record slow motion videos on this device.

BATTERY LIFE

I was amazed with the battery life on the Redmi 4A, the 3120 mAH of battery does not seems like it. The HD display does not seem to be sucking off a lot of battery. With the brightness being cranked up to the max, GPS and WIFI turned on, the device with a full charge was still left with 60% of battery at the end of the day.

I used 4G and WiFi in regular intervals. Streamed videos on YouTube, recorded full HD videos, played some casual games and did some regular voice calling and video chatting. To be frank, I wanted the device to drain battery quickly but this was not the case. You’d really won’t have to worry about the charger if you haven’t carried along, the device will not betray you.

The phone does take a lot of time to charge up but it’s okay, it doesn’t charge out quickly either. It does take approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes to charge from 0% to 50%. Though Xiaomi claims that the phone supports fast charging but I think it’s just a regular charging speed.

SOUND QUALITY

The loudspeakers on the Redmi 4A are loud but the loudness also comes with a noticeable distortion even on low volumes. But, listening to music on a good pair of earphones is really a great experience. The music app on the device supports equalizer and earphone adjustments, which you can change as per your taste.

CONCLUSION

Well, there is very less to say about whether you should or should not buy the device considering the price at which it is available. I’d clearly say that this device is bang for the buck. This device offers everything you’d ask for and will always stay as your trustworthy friend when your charger is away!

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