Ahad, 9 April 2017

[Review] [Eng] Redmi 4 Prime - A worthy successor


The Redmi series from Xiaomi has been in its glory with the third generation last year. The Redmi 3 (and 3s) and Redmi Note 3 has successfully attracting lots of attention with their affordable-premium phones. They've bring premium the metal body and fingerprint sensor to the sub RM1000 phones while setting a new benchmark in this segment.

But that is last year's story. Well let see how the forth generation of Xiaomi's Redmi do this time. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the review of the highest tier of the smaller screen forth generation Redmi, the Redmi 4 Prime.

Introduction

Since the previous 2 weeks I had this phone as my daily driver. To recap currently there are 4 version of Redmi 4 which is by sequence Redmi 4A is the cheapest among all with Snapdragon 425 and plastic back, followed by Redmi 4 with Snapdragon 430. Next in the line is Redmi 4X with more powerful Snapdragon 435 and finally the most powerful among all is the Redmi 4 Prime which powered by Snapdragon 625.

Review @ Lepakcc - Redmi 4 Prime



Here's the spec of Redmi 4 Prime


Redmi 4 Prime
Screen 5" IPS with 1080p resolution at 441 ppi
Processor Snapdragon 625 Octa-core 2.0 GHz
GPU Adreno 506
RAM 3 GB
Storage 32 GB internal storage and microSD slot at SIM 2 (hybrid)
Back camera 13 megapixel f/2.2 PDAF, 1080p video
Front camera 5 megapixel f/2.2, 720p video
Battery 4,100 mAh
OS MIUI 8.2 (Global) based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow 
Others Infrared blaster for remote control
Gyroscope
Compass

On paper the Redmi 4 Prime looks promising. While the price of this phone is below RM700, it using the same processor (or platform) same with RM500-more-expensive Asus Zenfone 3 which I've also done with the review before and I'm really satisfied with the performance and its power efficiency thanks to the advanced 14nm process technology.

In terms of availability in Malaysia, this phone is at the moment not making its way officially via Mi Malaysia but many grey importers like DirectD, Satu Gadget and Winds Mobile has made it widely available in this country with decent warranty coverage offered.

For me the most important for the outside China market is the global version of its MIUI is available. Unlike Redmi Pro, the 4 Prime has is just recently. With this so-called global ROM user would have deep Google integration just like any other Android global user would expect.

Design and build


I was impressed with the last years Redmi 3 and so the expectation of the new generation were set so high - and I'm happy with it. This phone is even better and brings the mid-range even closer to the premium flagship.

It has aluminium-alloy metal body covering from the whole side to the bottom while having only a small area of plastic covered on upper part of the back to place its antenna. Sometimes it look a bit weird where the top and bottom part is different.


There's a slight curve at the back reassemble of their flagship Mi 5. The curve make this phone feels thinner in your hand.



Xiaomi has the new design language for this phone. Now no more chrome plated bezels instead chamfers is being used on the front and the back edge. The sides are more flat compare to the rounded one on last generation. While having this good looking design is has drawbacks, you can feel it a little sharp on the front side between the screen and the bezel.

3.5mm headphone jack, 2nd microphone and IR blaster on top side
Volume rocker and power button on the right side
Speaker grill is on the left and a speaker-grill-looks-like microphone hole on the left
Right, no stereo speaker here. The bottom-firing speaker is on the left side of the micro USB port here.

The 3 navigation capasitive keys has no illumination. While I am previously use Asus phones, the absent of this backlight really annoying due to the swap back and recent and I can't prevent myself from pressing the wrong button in the dark.


The notification light, camera and earpiece is at its usual location together with the proximity and light sensors. Thanks to the usage of RGB LED, the notification light can display multiple colors and it also works with the custom color setting in apps like Whatsapp.


2.5D glass covered the whole front panel and it really looks nice. But the screen is not cover all the black area, is has about 2mm more bezel surrounding it. With this size they could make it 5.2 inch but in this price range, what else you can expect.

Hardware dan multimedia

Screen - With just 5 inch and gorgeous 1080p resolution, this screen has lots of detail. More precisely it has 441 pixels per inch. It doesn't have fancy names like IPS+ or Super IPS but, to be honest I am really impressed with it. Colors popped up really really well. It even looks better with Zenfone 3's Super IPS+ display, here's the proof.

Comparison between Redmi 4 Prime (right) and Zenfone 3
Colors are great, brightness is perfect and contrast I could say, above average for IPS screen. Backlight can be adjusted from very bright to insanely dim. 


Fingerprint scanner - This rounded piece of tech is located below the camera. It is just as expected. Not really fast, took almost full 2 second to unlock. It got my fingerprint correctly in 8 over 10 trials. Additionally this scanner can be used as shutter button to snap a picture.

Speaker - I like where Xiaomi put it. Instead of speaker on the back, this time they move it to bottom. The sound is loud. But its not crisp. It has lots of treble and no bass.


IR blaster - Some might forgotten about this. But for me it is really useful and I wish other manufacturer to keep this exist. You'll know the important of this thing when your air-cond remote control suddenly not working on late night.

Others - Redmi 4 Prime has quite a good set of sensor including gyroscope, light, pedometer, motion detector and compass.

Battery

One of the advantage of having 14nm process is increase in power efficiency. Plus it using power efficient Cortex A53 for all of its cores, the Snapdragon 625 is capable to give outstanding battery life to the device. That is not enough, Xiaomi seems like to have all to the max, Redmi 4 Prime have a massive 4100 mAh battery in the small package.

As for the result, one full charge can last until 22 hours with my normal usage. Which is normally I had is 15 hours for single charge. On average I got screen on time recorded at more than 6 hours.


Charging however is on the other side. This phone comes with 2.1A power adaptor. It using China plug since this unit is not official Malaysian set so I need another adapter for it, that should be just fine. What I am not fine with is the charging time. In full 1 hour this device only managed to get the battery half charged while the second hour bring it to 80%. I've recorded 3 hours 8 minutes to get it fully charged.

System - MIUI 8.2, Android 6.0 Marshmallow

When I got this phone it was in MIUI 8.1 but few days ago it got an update to 8.2 via OTA. As a fan of stock Android, MIUI is not just work for me. At least after 2 days I changed to Nova Launcher to get better stock feeling.


It sounds not fair, right? My arguments is MIUI has too much customization on Android. While they trying to make it better, it sometime annoying. The transition and animations feels slow, notification need 2 fingers to expand, launcher without app drawer, that's what I'm talking about.

Of course it is not all bad. MIUI 8 has lots of cool stuff too. This ROM is also loaded with few exclusive features. The one I like most is Second Space. This function can make the device become 2 in 1. It means you can have another system with separated files and apps.

And you can switch between between these 2 "space" back and forth just by using your fingerprint. Each fingerprint can be set to unlock the first or second space and the device will bring you directly to which space according to which finger.

Other exclusive feature is Dual Apps which allow users to clone the app like having 2 Whatapp or Facebook in single device.

Like it or hate it, MIUI sometimes annoying but undeniably the developers had brings a lot of innovative ideas to make it better. Just one thing have to bear in mind, due to major modification need to be done, every Andoid update taking longer time to be adopted in MIUI. Like says, I don't know when this phone will taste the goodness of Nougat.

Performance


Snapdragon 625 not just power efficient, but also a capable gaming chip. Mating with Adreno to drive the graphic department, this phone don't have any problem to run whatever game on the Google Play Store. It make sense when Asus also decided to use this chip in their latest Zenfone 3 Zoom which cost almost 3 times more expensive than Redmi 4 Prime.


On Epic Citadel benchmark, the Prime scores 44.7 fps on Ultra High Quality and 59.8 on more lower High Quality setting.


While on Antutu, it scores 61k. I could say that this is one of the best sub RM700 Android phone, while other will be last year's Redmi Note 3 with Snapdragon 650.

Camera

Up until this point, I couldn't any major drawbacks yet. Just until I tried taking photos in low-light, it feels like I have been reminded that I am not on a flagship phone, perhaps I'm on a cheap mid-range. It is just because the camera just not performed very well in low-light.

Camera took decent photos in daylight
The 13 megapixel shooter with f/2.2 lens is quite a performer when there's enough light. But in the dark, small aperture need longer shutter opening time and the result will be a grainy blurred image.


The picture above is one of the best of my night shot. Need a stable hand and luckily my daughter is not moving at the time. Otherwise I will not make it.
.
The camera UI is quite simple. Also there's manual mode but the "manual" setting is limited only on White Balance and ISO. For video there is no slow motion, just time lapse available. 

Photo form front camera
It goes the same with the front camera. Good in daylight struggle at night. No wide lens and only 720p videos. This maybe ok for selfie but not for wefie.

Here's some photos shoot by Redmi 4 Prime



Conclusion

Considering the price, no other can beat Xiaomi. That is fact. This phone compete with it siblings, the Redmi Note 4. But the choice will be on which size you prefer.


This is why you should choose this phone
  • Cheap with high spec
  • Powerful processor
  • Big battery + power efficiency
  • Good looking
  • One of the best IPS screen
  • IR blaster as remote control
  • MIUI exclusive features
And this will be the cons
  • No official Malaysian set (MY set)
  • No backlight on navigation capasitive keys
  • Poor camera performance in low-light
  • Slow charging
To conclude, I could say that if you looking for something small, premium and quite powerful, this will you mid-range of choice. But if you are looking something for better selfie or taking photos, you might want to search for another phone.

Final words - stay tune for more reviews in Lepakcc. Next plan is we will publish the English version of all our next reviews. Don't forget to Like and Follow our Facebook page Lepakcc.com. See ya.

2 ulasan:

  1. Tanpa Nama13/4/17 17:55

    "Back camera & Front hadapan" LOL

    BalasPadam
  2. Translation error. Haha. Corrected. Thanks bro

    BalasPadam