Mobile Phones Guide

Xiaomi Redmi review

Xiaomi Redmi - A Budget Phone with Endless Customization

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Launch SRP S$169

Overall rating 8/10
Design:
7.5
Features:
9
User-Friendliness:
8
Performance:
8
Value:
9
THE GOOD
Great value for money
Good image quality
MIUI offers endless customization options
Memory card slot
THE BAD
Battery performance could be better
Sluggish performance at times
Phone gets bogged down in advanced themes
MIUI can be overwhelming; takes time to fully absorb its capabilities
More Awards:
Best Valued for Money


Top Five Features of MIUI V5

Top Five Features of MIUI V5

 

Dual-SIM Support (only applicable to the Redmi)

As mentioned earlier, there are two slots to accommodate normal-sized SIM cards. The left slot (labelled "1") supports 3G data connection while the right slot (labelled "2") supports a 2G data connection. 

From the screenshots above, you can see that the management of theSIM cards is very easy and straightforward on MIUI. We find the option to enable/disable data roaming for the SIM cards very useful, especially for consumers who travel overseas regularly and do not want to incur unnecessary data roaming charges. You also can select which SIM card to send text messages or make calls.

The Moto G can perform these functions although they are not as accessible. For example, you can set the option to prompt you on which number to use before sending a text message or making a call. MIUI V5 eliminates the extra step and places the option to use either SIM card at the bottom.


 

Themes

Themes is the most popular MIUI feature and perhaps the defining feature that attracts so many users. Currently, MIUI users can choose from over 4,000 themes. According to Xiaomi, there are some themes that are carefully designed by renowned designers and the degree of attention and details poured into these themes are jaw dropping. We show you some of the most beautiful themes available: 

Singapore Theme

Stone Age Theme 

Transformers Theme 

Mood Theme 


Having seen four of our favorite themes, we are pretty sure that you are eager to try them out. There are several points to take note when using themes. The graphic-intensive themes generally have large file sizes.

For example, the Stone Age theme has a file size of 17.02MB. There is another theme, Dream Adventure which takes up about 129.39MB of storage space. The simpler themes such as Coca Cola have smaller file sizes of below 10MB. Therefore, do keep a watch on the available storage space when you download themes on the Redmi.

We also noticed that the graphics-intensive themes generally cause the phone to slow down significantly. This is expected since they consume more system resources to function. Here are two screenshots comparing the available RAM when the Redmi is running two different types of themes:

When the theme store is launched on 21 Feb, only free themes will be supported as payment integration requires more time and work. Below are three screenshots taken of the beta version of the theme store:


 

Storage Management

Although there is a microSD memory card slot to augment the 4GB internal storage space, it is still important to manage the storage space on the Redmi. Out of the box, the Redmi comes with 2.11GB internal storage space. Actual usable storage space is about 1.52GB after the preloaded Google apps are updated.

Xiaomi has included a feature called Cleaner in the Security app, which functions like disk cleanup on the PC. Powered by Clean Master, Cleaner scans the internal storage and the memory card to free up memory space. In case you didn't know, there are apps that download and cache data in the background without your knowledge, and do not "clean themselves up" when you uninstall them. Cleaner finds such data and categorizes them into cache, ad files, packages and residuals. Cache and ad files need no explanation; packages are installers that still lurk around after you installed the apps, while residuals are data that apps left behind after you uninstall them from the device.

 

App Permissions

Due to the open nature of Android, developers are free to code their apps to do a lot of things which include running in the background and gaining access to the system resources and user data. While most consumers don't really care about them, there are others who are concerned about how these apps are gathering personal information.

Keeping to its policy of giving users full control over their devices, Xiaomi came up with a feature, Permissions in the Security app. There are two ways users can control how their apps behave on their devices: auto-start management and app permissions. 

App permissions allow users to control apps at the individual level, which is extremely useful in the case of Android as there are plenty of rogue apps that misbehave in the background. It should ease users' concern of privacy invasions and stealth mining of personal information by app developers.


 

Power Management

We all know how battery technologies haven't caught up with advancements in processing power and the increasing number of features and functions that are loaded on smartphones today. Having the battery last an entire day at work is a blessing that not many smartphone users get to enjoy and Xiaomi attempts to improve the battery mileage of its devices with its Power feature.

There are three ways in which you can manage power consumption on the Redmi. The first method is battery configuration where you can select one of the three preset power settings (default, marathon, sleep) or do a custom configuration of your own.

The second method involves enabling auto-switch of modes when the battery percentage drops or charges to a certain level. The third method allows you to schedule certain timings in the day to activate the modes.