Xiaomi Redmi S2 Review: A Budget Smartphone of Redmi Series With Selfie Steady Camera

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After making a crowded in the mid-range market by launching Redmi Note 5 which relies on the ability of AI and Snapdragon 635 chipset. Xiaomi seems still not satisfied to expand its wings in the homeland market. Where the Chinese manufacturer has just officially launched the latest smartphone that is Xiaomi Redmi S2. This phone is referred to as the best selfie in the line of Xiaomi Redmi Series smartphones.

Enchanting selfie capabilities of Redmi S2 created by the excellence of 16MP front camera supported by pixel binning technology and Xiaomi’s AI Beautify feature. Xiaomi himself stated using the S series to reach young users. Especially for those who like self-expression activities and want to share and connect with others. Xiaomi itself has launched the starting selling price of Redmi S2, which amounted to $165.99.

This price is practically cheap for the mid-range mobile phone. Overall, we can say that the Redmi S2 is an alternative product to the Redmi 5 Plus with a reduced screen resolution, but with a better camera. The Xiaomi Redmi S2 is available in 3 colors: gray, gold and Rose Gold. We loved our Grey-colored test device, which gives it a slightly feminine touch. So let’s get to know all the details of Redmi S2 and surprise yourself with what Xiaomi is creating.

We are thanks Gearbest for providing the Xiaomi Redmi S2 for review

Unboxing

In the box, I got the smartphone, micro USB cable, 5V / 2A charger and a plastic protective case, quick start guide. I have to say that it came to review in the global edition with software that supports Google Play, etc.

Design and Appearance

Designed to be clear at first glance, it is part of the Redmi series, Xiaomi’s low-cost phones. It has glass on the front and plastic in the back, unibody type case. The dual camera is beyond the general line and I would say that the package from the package should be used from the very beginning to avoid accidental scratches.

The Redmi S2 has a plastic shell that makes it weigh only 170 grams. The smartphone does not look as elegant as the Redmi Note 5 or the Redmi 5 Plus, with their metal body. However, the phone is of high quality and there are no gaps or inaccuracies in the processing.

Thanks to the 18: 9 aspect ratio of the screen, the smartphone is longer and narrower than traditional 16: 9 mobile phones and can, therefore, be kept comfortably in one hand. The dimensions of the smartphone are 160x77x8.1mm.So, the Redmi S2 is a pleasantly slim phone, even if the operation of the huge 5.99-inch one-handed display is quite difficult.

Important aspect: The Red S2 with its 5.99 inches and 74.5% display/body ratio is higher than the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus (length and width), although the S8 Plus has a slightly larger 6.2-inch screen. Redmi S2 has margins at the base and at the top, it would have been great if the front speakers had been brought in the front speakers.

On the front, there is a selfie camera with soft LED flash, earphones and a LED notification. The position of the Redmi S2 navigation button is placed inside the screen, this is because the design is bezel-less.

While on the side, on the left side there is a dedicated slot to put two SIM Card and microSD.

On the right side, there is the power button and the volume rockers on it.

At the bottom, Redmi S2 looks like it has two speakers, but in reality, it is not like that. Because 1 of them is a microphone that looks similar to the speakers. Between the speakers and the microphone, there is a battery charging port or data transfer.

Xiaomi also still maintain the use of 3.5mm audio jack that is placed at the top side by side with infrared sensors.

At the rear, Xiaomi put the dual camera with LED flash support and fingerprint sensor. The camera design is very similar to the iPhone X that is arranged vertically. However, we recommend using silicon case congenital in use, because it is very useful to protect the camera from Redmi S2 jutted out so that the lens is not easy to scratch due to friction.

Screen

The 5..99-inch display has an HD + resolution of 1440 x 720 pixels. Thus it reaches a pixel density of 269ppi. The display cannot keep up with current FHD panels, but the resolution is sufficient for a clear image. This screen specification is quite standard and widely used by in its class. With a screen like this, will certainly make us very satisfied when using this Smartphone to play games or watch videos. For the feature, we quite like the feature reading mode contained in the settings.

This feature is useful to reduce the emission of blue light thus making the screen color to be somewhat dim and comfortable to see. In addition, we can also adjust the contrast and color of the display screen in accordance with what we want and its touchscreen records up to 10 touch points at the same time and works very reliably.

Performance

Xiaomi Redmi S2 arrived at the review was powered by Snapdragon 625 with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 was one of the most popular mid-range chipsets because it went well in the autonomy tests. I would say that this is the best Qualcomm hardware configuration you can get on a mobile phone.

Built on a 14nm process with 8 cores on the ARM Cortex-A53 climbing at 2.0 GHz, Adreno 506 in the graphics accelerator position. For reasons of cost, the Redmi S2 does not have Wi-Fi ac and MU-MIMO, nor does it upload in 4G to 150 Mbps, just single band without shooting at 2160p. But we’re a little wondering why Xiaomi did not raise the level of the processor to Snapdragon 636 like Redmi Note 5. Possible this is done Xiaomi to reduce the price of Redmi S2 to remain affordable.

Although still using the old processor, in fact, the performance shown from Redmi S2 did not disappoint. After being tested benchmark with AnTuTu, the score earned is at 76,827 points more, still very satisfactory for mid-range Smartphone.

In the following GeekBench 4.2 tests, the Redmi S2’s Snapdragon 635 great performance, with a single-core score is 811 and a multi-core test score is 4144, which is also relatively a good score. Finally, in the test of 3D Mark (OpenGL ES 3.1), Redmi S2 also scored 475 points.

We also do a gaming test on Redmi 2S. In this way, you can check how prepared you are for intensive use in this category. In this case, Asphalt 8 and PUBG Mobile with high settings was executed. The smartphone took almost 2 minutes to load the PUBG, but Asphalt 8 loaded in just 30 to 45 seconds.  Definitely not a device intended for these activities; but he still performed well once the game started, which is a point in his favor.

In fact, after we measure its body temperature after playing the game for 25 minutes, it turns out the temperature is still quite normal in the range of 35 degrees Celsius.

Operating System

Xiaomi Redmi S2 is already present by using OS based on Android 8.1 Oreo whose UI display is customized by MIUI 9.5. MIUI 9.5 itself offers a number of updates to the look and the latest technology so as to provide better performance than previous versions.

Preinstalled applications on Xiaomi Redmi S2

  • Google Apps – Google Search, Gmail, Maps, YouTube, Drive, Play Music, Duo, Google Photos, Google Chrome, Play Store.
  • Microsoft Applications– Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Skype
  • Xiaomi Applications – Compass, Mi Drop, Recording Screen, Scanner, View, Remote Control, MIUI Forum, Mi Video, Notes, Weather.
  • It has Facebook preinstalled. I can not say that bloatware is nonexistent, but there is no excess of zeal in this respect. Microsoft applications can be uninstalled for example.
Camera Specs and Samples

This is the most featured feature by Redmi S2 where it has dual rear camera resolution 12MP + 5MP AI. The main sensor is 12MP resolution and has a large 1.25µm pixel that produces brighter images in low light conditions. The 5MP secondary sensor is used to obtain the best bokeh photo.

On the front, there is the 16 MP camera, with HDR and 1080p recording capacity. It also has LED flash.

For its front camera, in Portrait mode, front, and rear camera Redmi S2 already supports AI Beautify feature that is able to detect makeup and keep it intact, while the algorithm has also been optimized for various popular selfie face expressions.

Selfies

As for capturing selfies, despite having a large dimension, they are surprising. At times, in darker environments, there is even some difficulty focusing. The flash can aid in some shots taken in darker environments, but nothing relevant.

Portrait mode

This mode uses both cameras to reproduce the bokeh effect in the background, and the person or object must be at a distance between 2 m and 2.5 m.

The result is very good, given the range it is in and what the competition is capable of offering. It is clear that you notice some areas that have been blurred and are not really in the background, or the other way around, but this also happens in the top of the range. At night the result is not so good, as you can see from the examples.

The usual features

Although this camera is dual, it does not allow 2x zoom, like some of the genre, nevertheless brings the usual functionalities associated with any Xiaomi camera. It has autofocus, touch screen, HDR, panorama mode, audio mode (triggered by noise), manual mode (with white and ISO adjustment), face detection and Beauty mode for the front camera.

Following are some examples of photos in various environments

Connectivity

I’m glad to see that it does not work on the combo solution, and the Redmi S2 offers two dual SIM slot cards + dedicated slot for microSD cards up to 256 GB.

As for the covered spectrum

  • 2G – 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz;
  • 3G – 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz;
  • 4G – LTE band 1(2100), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 20(800), 38(2600), 40(2300)

It knows 4G through two-band spectrum aggregation and speeds of up to 300 Mbps in download and 50 Mbps in upload. Other connectivity features Wi-Fi in b / g / n and single band, Wi-Fi direct and hotspot, Bluetooth 4.2, A-GPS, GLONASS and BDS on the location, infrared port, FM radio.

SpeedTest has reached speeds of up to 60 Mbps in download and upload. Snapdragon 625 in full version knows Wi-Fi ac + dual-band, Mu-MIMO etc. It’s not the case here where they came with a basic version of the processor that once made the mid-range category.

Security and Battery

For security features, Redmi S2 is equipped with features fingerprint sensor and face to unlock. Laying the fingerprint sensor itself is quite fitting because we do not have to bend the finger when using the sensor. Of course, this is very useful for people who have big hands and long fingers are often problematic because they have to bend the finger first.

As for the battery, Xiaomi Redmi S2 equipped Li-Po battery with a capacity of 3080mAh. Unfortunately, Xiaomi not embeds the features of fast charging on this phone. There is also a battery saver feature that serves to save battery consumption so that its use can last longer.

For a battery capacity of 3080mAh, using this smartphone for browsing, watching videos and gaming. Though it took me 2hrs and 30 mins because it doesn’t support fast charging which is okay considering it’s not that expensive. I’ve used the phone mostly on watching videos and browsing on social media and it took me 16 hours to completely drain the battery. I’d say that this smartphone has an average battery capacity for a budget smartphone.

Audio

Playing music with phone’s speakers on is loud enough to be heard in the huge room. It produces clear audio that is decent when you just want to listen to music or play games. You can listen for yourselves.

Conclusion

To start the verdict it is inevitable to talk about performance. Its Qualcomm SoC is already known for the good performance associated with the mid/low range and the optimization of the operating system through MIUI 9.5 complements this conclusion. At the level of photography, the results are in sight.

Admittedly, the rear f / 2.2 aperture sensor slightly compromises captured pictures in dimly lit environments, but both selfies and portrait photos deserve our positive ratings. With so much positive aspect to highlight, this would be a perfect smartphone in the range if it brought Wi-Fi ac and USB Type-C.

Lastly, we want to thank Gearbest again for sending the unit that was taken for review in this opportunity. For those of you who are interested in buying Xiaomi Redmi S2 that is currently available at Gearbest in just 149.99 (4GB + 64GB ) using the discount code IT$MPPS2 and it is available in 3 colors gray, gold and Rose Gold.

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