3. Storage, Performance & Battery
Let’s be honest here, that amount of storage is really pitifully small.
The Redmi has 8GB of on board storage. However, you only have less than 4.5GB of free storage out of the box. Let’s be honest here, that amount of storage is really pitifully small. Even though microSD card is supported to expand the storage, the applications cannot be installed on the external memory, at least not without rooting the phone. Since most users will not root their phones, they will face problem squeezing for space to fit in all their apps and content.
The Redmi 2 is equipped with a 64 bit Quad Core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 CPU, the Adreno 306 GPU and 1GB of LPDDR3 RAM. The chipset is of course not the most powerful one we have in the market but the typically the Snapdragon 400 series has been performing quite well in the low-end space. Thus, I had my expectation level set a little higher. However, the Redmi 2 has disappointed me.
The Redmi 2 is good enough to handle a single task given to it. However, the problem starts to surface when you are trying to do more on it.
The Redmi 2 can definitely handle all day-to-day tasks easily. Browsing the web, reading mails and checking on social media are not a problem for the phone. Even though the apps loading speed is a little slow, navigating through the user interface shows a little to no lag. Simple games like Temple Run 2 is not too taxing and graphics heavy games like Asphalt 8 can be played with negligible frame skips if the graphic setting is not set to the highest.
That being say, the Redmi 2 is good enough to handle a single task given to it. However, the problem starts to surface when you are trying to do more on it. Switching between apps without loading up the apps all over again is almost unseen before. Quite often you will see the launcher is being loaded when you hit the home button. Background tasks such as downloading apps from the Play Store will be killed if you are using other apps most of the time.
These signs indicate that the 1GB of RAM is really not enough and the RAM optimisation software is not doing a great job over here. So you are left with a phone that is not really responsive. Turning on Performance Mode and clearing the RAM regularly will ease the situation significantly but to me it is still not good enough. The insufficient amount of RAM is really letting this phone down.
There is an “enhanced” version of Redmi 2 with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage being introduced in China but it is not available here yet. I am surprised why Xiaomi did not make the “enhanced” only version since the improvement in hardware will solve two of the biggest problems the Redmi 2 is facing.
[Update] The Redmi 2 Enhanced with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage is now available officially in Malaysia. It is priced at RM459 while the price of the lower-end Redmi 2 is reduced to RM399. Given that the price difference is so small, we would highly recommend you to get the Redmi 2 Enhanced as it really solves the two major problems faced by the original Redmi 2, namely slow performance and limited storage.
The unexpectedly long battery life is one of the strong suit that the Redmi 2 has.
If you are a road warrior, you are looking at the right place. While the performance is not as strong as I wish, the battery life really surprises me. The battery with a capacity of 2,200mAh is not really big by today’s standard. However, the phone can last me a whole day (almost 16 hours) with pretty heavy use. I managed to achieve 4.5 hours of screen-on time before the phone finally gives up. For moderate to light use, the phone can survive for two days easily. The unexpectedly long battery life is one of the strong suit that the Redmi 2 has.
Turning on Performance Mode will reduce the screen-on time by around 20 mins. Since the phone is not responsive enough and the Performance Mode is not impacting the battery life, I would suggest you to opt it over the Balance Mode.