Xiaomi Redmi 4 Review: Say hello to the new entry-level smartphone king

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Back in August 2016, Xiaomi announced an unbelievable smartphone at an unbelievable price tag. This device was the Redmi 3S Prime, a smartphone that offered a lot of value for its Rs 8,999 asking price.

The 3S Prime offered incredible value for money giving customers a decent chipset, a decent 13 MP camera, a fingerprint reader, a 4,100 mAh battery all packaged in a metal body. For its asking price, there was really nothing to complain about no matter what those components delivered.

It’s 2017, and we saw the Redmi Note 4 launch which packed in some great specifications. And like the Redmi Note 3 before it, it’s become this year’s budget favourite. Add to this the recently announced Redmi 4A, which is literally the cheapest, value for money smartphone you can buy. Indeed what was still missing was the successor to the Redmi 3.

Today, Xiaomi has announced just this. The Redmi 4 is an entry-level smartphone with a metal body, the true successor to the Redmi 3S Prime. The device features a slightly updated processor with a new, attractive design. But with competition coming from Lenovo and Motorola, how does it perform? Does Xiaomi still dominate the entry-level segment? I think it does. Here’s why!

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Build and design: 9/10

We received the black 3 GB RAM/ 32 GB internal storage variant of the Xiaomi Redmi 4 for review. It packs in literally the best that the smartphone industry can afford at the moment. With a design that utilises glass, plastics and metal in all the right places, it forms what I think is a budget beauty.

Xiaomi Redmi 4 Review Tech2 Firstpost (5)

Starting off with the front, we have a 2.5D glass screen with curved corners and a rounded lipping at the edges that not only looks premium but feels premium as well. Adding to that first impression is the weight of the device, which is there thanks to the 4,100 mAh battery.

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Comparing it alongside its sibling, the Redmi 4A, it makes the 4A look entry-level and cheap. Many who saw the Redmi 4 told me that it looked and felt better than the Redmi Note 4, which is quite of bit of praise for a smartphone that costs just Rs 8,999.

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Once you are done staring at it, lift it out of the box and you will get the cold feeling of a metal back that is a rarity in this price range. There are plastic caps at the top and bottom, similar to the Redmi 3S Prime, but they are perfectly colour-matched to the matte metal finish and don’t look out of place.

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It certainly feels a lot heavier than it looks but it is easy to get a grip on thanks to its compact size and rounded body.

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Xiaomi Redmi 4 Review Tech2 Firstpost (15)

The fit and finish is top-class and the metal buttons for the volume control and power/unlock have a good amount of travel, delivering the right, clicky feedback with little pressure.

Xiaomi Redmi 4 Review Tech2 Firstpost (11)

While the build quality blew me away. I did notice one tiny detail that felt out of place. The plastic cap (fitted on the top and bottom of the back) did not sit flush with the surface of the rounded metal back on the sides. This results in a sharp edge when you slide your finger upwards from the volume button to the top of the phone (applied to all four corners). This finishing problem does not get in your way while using the phone, so many will not notice it at all.

I also could not help but notice how the metal back plate caught fingerprints very easily. Within seconds of pulling it fresh out of the box (during the unboxing), the smartphones back was loaded with fingerprints. Luckily, this was not a problem with the display.

Publish date: May 16, 2017 2:57 pm| Modified date: May 16, 2017 2:57 pm

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