Xiaomi is currently on everyone’s lips. Why? Because the Chinese are considered the most valuable start-up in the world and with their cheap smartphones and now also tablets are slowly but surely long established manufacturers dangerous. But what good is such a Xiaomi device actually? We have the Xiaomi Redmi S2, the second edition of the successful model Redmi S1, which has conquered the market in his home for only $135.35.
The concept behind Xiaomi is basically simple. Take cheap hardware, sell it at a price that is little above cost, and quickly gain a large number of customers. The whole thing is bundled with its own operating system, which works with its own services. Profit then makes you ultimately me the additional income from it. Cross-financing somehow and thus a mix of the business models of Google and Apple – just from one and the same provider. At least so far, the success of Xiaomi is well known, even if the revenue will probably never reach the crazy level of the Apple world, but that’s another topic.
With the Xiaomi Redmi S2, Xiaomi is launching an affordable smartphone with dual camera and mid-range features. So the mobile phone is primarily aimed at buyers who do not want to spend too much money on their new mobile phone and yet do not want to do without good photos. But behind the approximately 140€ expensive camera smartphone hides itself also otherwise a quite interesting total package. With a Snapdragon 625 processor, 3/32 or 4/46GB memory and a large 6 inch display in 18:9 format, the equipment is more than competitive. In the following article we will therefore shed some light on what awaits us with the new Redmi S2.
The “S” among the Xiaomi Redmis should not only become a single offshoot, but also ring in a whole series. The focus in the S series is on photography and accordingly the letter also stands for “Selfie”. How it goes on and when the next Redmi S awaits us is not yet known. The Redmi S2 is Xiaomi’s cheapest dual-camera smartphone yet.
With a Snapdragon 625 processor, the Redmi S2 is also faster than the Redmi 5 and just as powerful as the Redmi 5 Plus. Also the memory version with 3GB RAM and 32GB memory or 4GB RAM and 64GB memory correspond to the equipment of the Redmi 5 Plus. With regard to the display, however, the Redmi S2 cannot keep up with the 5 Plus. Both models have a 5.99-inch display in 18:9 format, but the S2 has only one HD+ panel, while the 5 Plus resolves with Full-HD. In this respect it can be said that the Redmi S2 is an alternative product to the Redmi 5 Plus with a reduced display resolution but a better camera.
The Redmi S2 has a plastic housing, which gives the mobile phone its light weight of 170g. Thanks to the 18:9 format of the display, the smartphone is longer and narrower than conventional 16:9 mobile phones and can therefore be held comfortably in one hand. The dimensions of the smartphone are 160x77x8.1mm. So the Redmi S2 is also a pleasantly slim mobile phone. The Xiaomi Redmi S2 is available in 3 colours: Platinum Silver (black/grey), Champagne Gold (white/gold) and Rose Gold (white/pink).
Although one cannot speak of an edgeless design, according to the first photos Xiaomi tried to reduce the display edges as much as possible. The 5.99 inch display has an HD+ resolution of 720 x 1440 pixels. Thus it achieves a pixel density of 269ppi. The display can’t keep up with current Full-HD panels, but the resolution is sufficient for a sufficiently sharp picture. The display works with IPS technology and should therefore provide natural colours and very good viewing angle stability.
The design of the smartphone otherwise corresponds as far as possible to the Redmi models of the fifth generation. Remarkable is the vertically arranged dual camera on the back, which reminds of the new Redmi Note 5. Otherwise, there is a fingerprint sensor on the back. A face unlock algorithm is also available for unlocking.
The Xiaomi Redmi S2 works with a Snapdragon 625 processor. The chip provides an optimal performance package for mid-range smartphones, since it is fast enough for almost all conceivable requirements and also works very economically. To give you a preview of the performance of the Redmi S2, we quote our Redmi 5 Plus review report below.
The new Redmi S2 will do the same or similar. Especially in gaming we expect a slightly better performance, because the HD+ display requires less computing power.
Xiaomi also provides another treat for the system, as the Redmi S2 comes with the latest Android 8.1. Xiaomis MIUI will of course be installed over the Android base. Since the smartphone will initially appear on the Chinese market, the system will only be available in English/Chinese and without Google Playstore. However, the global version of the Redmi S2 is already in the starting blocks and with it German and Google Apps will be available ex works. If you already order the China version of the smartphone, it is best to apply for an unlock and install the Xiaomi EU ROM. However, we recommend to wait for the global version of the Redmi S2.
On the back of the Xiaomi Redmi S2 is a dual camera, which, unlike many low-budget dual cams, is not a fake sensor. The main camera has a resolution of 12 megapixels and an aperture of f/2.2. It is supported by another 5 megapixel camera, which is used for portrait photos with depth of field.
And that’s how the setup comes into play, like the celebrated Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, which inspired us with its brilliant recordings and doesn’t have to hide from the comparison with flagships. Whether it is exactly the same camera setup is not yet known. Experience has shown that Xiaomi, along with Samsung, Apple and Huawei, is one of the few manufacturers where this effect is convincing, but it is not yet possible to judge whether this also applies to the inexpensive Redmi S2. According to Xiaomi, the portrait function is also supported by AI software, which is intended to improve the separation of foreground and background.
The AI software alone should also make it possible to record selfies with a bokeh effect with the front camera. This promise was also made by Huaweis’ new P Smart, but the pictures were not convincing. Let’s see if Xiaomi achieves better results here. The sensor has a resolution of 16 megapixels, so sharpness – at least in daylight – should not be a problem.
The Redmi S2 supports all 2G and 3G frequencies required in Germany. The China version will cover the following LTE frequencies:
- TDD-LTE (Volume 34/38/39/40/4)
- FDD-LTE (Volume 1/3/5/7/8)
But this will then be available in the global version, which according to Gearbest supports the following frequencies:
- TD-LTE (Band B38/B40 )
- FDD-LTE (Band 1/20/3/4/5/7/8)
For a better network reception it is worth waiting for the Redmi S2 Global version. Another positive surprise is the SIM slot. This is a 3-in-1 slot in which two Nano-SIM cards as well as a Micro-SD can be used for memory expansion.
The S2 Wifi offers further connection options with b/g/n standard and Bluetooth 4.2. GPS is also supported, of course, and in addition to the standards (brightness, approximation, acceleration) there will be a gyroscope and an E-compass on sensors. Neither is necessarily standard in this price range. Fortunately, the S2 also has a 3.5mm headphone jack. To charge the mobile phone, a micro-USB connection was installed. Here we would have liked to have seen the new Type-C standard, but somewhere with the low price you also have to make cutbacks.
The battery of the Xiaomi Redmi S2 will measure 3080mAh. Together with the economical Snapdragon 625 processor and the low display resolution, this will result in a good to very good battery life. We estimate that the Redmi S2 will last two days under normal use, but we can only assess the exact performance of the battery in the next test report. The battery is charged with 5V/2A via the Micro-USB port, which will take about 2 hours.