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REVIEW: Xiaomi's Redmi 2 smartphone.

The popular Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi recently announced the availability of its latest smartphone in the Redmi Series, the Redmi 2.

The Redmi 2 became available in the Philippines last April 28. Xiaomi is selling its phones in the country through its online selling partner Lazada for P5,999.

Research firm Strategy Analytics found in a 2014 study that Xiaomi placed third in terms of the global smartphone market share after Samsung and Apple.

Xiaomi smartphones are hugely popular for their cheaper price points.

In this INQUIRER.net's review of the Xiaomi Redmi 2, we will try to find out the key features of the smartphone to find out how it stands against other smartphones in the market.

Introduction - Key Features

Specifications:

OS: Android 4.4 Kitkat

Processor: 64-bit 1.2 Ghz Quad core

RAM: 1GB

Storage: 8GB Flash up to 32GB expandable MicroSD

Screen: 4.7 inches

Camera: 8 megapixel rear camera with flash and 2 megapixel front camera

Dual-SIM capability

WiFi, tethering and hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, FM Radio, and GPS capabilities

Battery capacity: 2200mAh

Unboxing - the Redmi 2

Redmi 2, similar with its predecessor, Redmi 1s, has no buttons at the front face and the front camera is situated at the upper left corner.

Along the right side, the volume and power buttons can be found. Its 3.5mm headset jack is at the top, while its micro USB port is at the bottom. The rectangular USB port is prone to mistakes as it is not easy to see if you are connecting the USB cord the right way.

The back cover is matte-sprayed, which makes it fingerprint- and grease-resistant.

The 8.0 megapixel camera, LED flash, and speakers are positioned at the top, while the Mi logo is engraved on the lower half of the back.

Redmi 2 boasts that it is lighter, weighing only 133 grams, even though Xiaomi has kept the same 4.7 display of Redmi 1s. It is also thinner, having a width of 9.4 millimeters.

Its screen is made of DragonTrail Glass that is scratch-resistant. A USB cord is included in its retail box.

User interface - MIUI 6

Like Huawei, Xiaomi uses its own user interface, as is apparent in Redmi 2.

MIUI 6 operates with smooth transition and has a display of light, minimalistic icons.

It is composed of its own security center, music player, calendar, MI Cloud, email, weather, clock, recorder, notes, compass, calculator, and flashlight.

A large number of free themes can be downloaded and installed for the MIUI. It also allows customization so users can design their own interface.

Notifications can be set to float, similar to iOS notifications. The pull down menu shows the notifications list and a quick access panel to a wide range of settings: WiFi, Bluetooth, mobile data, hotspot, screenshot, and torch (flashlight) among others.

The lock screen can be unlocked by sliding up while swiping left will open the camera.

One can activate Lite mode in order to have a more simplified home screen and menus. Guest mode can also be activated for privacy protection.

Camera

Redmi 2's camera application has three sliders-camera modes, the camera itself, and 12 filters.

The camera can be set to panorama, countdown, manual, highlight tones, close handheld twilight, and scene mode.

The 8.0 megapixel rear camera has an F/2.2 aperture and a 28 millimeter wide-angle lens.

Meanwhile, the 2.0 megapixel front camera sports a beautify feature icon on the left, which can be turned off or set to low, mid, or high. It also has facial and age detection features though their accuracy is questionable.

Conclusion

When Xiaomi combined the power of an Android operating system and its own user interface, it created a hybrid that looks like an iOS device but feels like an Android gadget.

Priced at P5,999, it is recommended for those who want a superb display, a satisfactory camera, and a large storage capacity.
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Jun 24, 2015
Words:658
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