Xiaomi has been famous for delivering products that are cheap yet good. The Xiaomi Redmi 1S was a very popular device when it was still available in the past for the same reason. Its successor, the Redmi 2, was introduced earlier this year and it comes with better specifications and the similar affordable price tag. Cheap being cheap, is the Redmi 2 good enough to satisfy everyone? Let’s find out!
- Introduction & Design
- Display, Essentials & Software
- Storage, Performance & Battery
Like the other budget devices, the design of the Redmi 2 is not outstanding. When you remember how much it costs, its simple and uninspiring look is forgivable and really expected. There is a total of 5 colour options being introduced, but only the white and dark grey units are available officially in Malaysia. The eye-catching choices like the yellow, pink and green units are left out. Since they look so much more attractive, I really wonder why only the less fancy duo are being brought here.
The back of the phone is made of plastic and it feels comfortable in my hand. With a 4.7″ display, the Redmi 2 is considered small by today’s standard and I really have no problem using the phone with one hand. Xiaomi had chosen a matte finish for the plastic back regardless of any colour options. The decision is well made as the back is nice to touch and fights well against fingerprints. It can be a little slippery for some so little extra care might be needed if you are not using a case.
The front of the phone sits the display, the front facing camera and the buttons. The three capacitive buttons are red and that is the only part of the phone that literally lives up to its name. There is no backlight under the buttons so it might be a little problem for new users to find the exact positions in the dark. There is a notification light just below the home button.
The back of the phone sits the rear camera, the LED flashlight, the speaker and the shiny MI logo. The rear camera bumps out a little but it is nothing to worry about at all. The back of the phone is removable and replaceable. You can access to the battery (removable too), the microSD card slot and two of the micro SIM card slots.
The power button and the volume rocker stay on the right and their position cannot be better. They are easily reached and they are really tactile. The 3.5mm audio jack is on the top and the micro USB port is at the bottom. One little complaint here is the shape of the drill hole for the micro USB port. The hole is rectangular instead of following the shape of the port. This is not big deal but it makes it harder to find the correct orientation while inserting the cable. Plugging in the cable in the wrong orientation forcefully might damage the port. I guess the design decision is to make it easier to drill the hole and to save manufacturing effort.
The phone is cheap and it has a simple look that reflects that. At least, it is far from ugly and it feels quite comfortable in hand.
The phone is cheap and it has a simple look that reflects that. At least, it is far from ugly and it feels quite comfortable in hand. Generally, I find no major problem with the design but I did not feel that it looks better than any other budget devices out there. That being say, the look of the phone should not be a deal breaker or deal maker at all, at least in my opinion.