Xiaomi Redmi 2 Review
Xiaomi has quickly grown to become one of the world’s top five phone makers. However, its success is based solely on the Chinese market, with no Xiaomi devices that you can officially purchase in the United States or in Europe.
Luckily, third-party resellers make the task of getting a Xiaomi phone relatively easy, and for those who want to experiment with one, we review one of the company’s most affordable handsets: the Xiaomi Redmi 2.
A 4.7” phone with a 720p display, a Snapdragon 410 system chip, and an 8-megapixel camera, it takes the most pride in its software: Android 4.4 KitKat skinned with the rich and deep MIUI version 6.0. It’s also got a removable battery and expandable storage, rounding up this impressive package for a device that costs $130 off contract. Is it all as good as it sounds on paper? Let’s find out.
In the box:
- Xiaomi Redmi 2
- 1A - 5V wall charger
- microUSB Cable
- User manual
The Redmi 2 is made out of matte plastic that feels nice to touch, and overall the phone is impressively lightweight.
The first thing that you notice when you hold the Redmi 2 in your hand is just how lightweight the phone is. Put it on a scale and it will tip the scales at just 4.72oz (134g). In terms of materials, it’s an all-plastic affair with a matte, polycarbonate finish and a variety of color options for the back cover, which also happens to be removable. Unfortunately, while this has its advantages in the form of easy access to the battery, SIM cards, and microSD card slot, in the case of the Redmi 2, it also translates to a body that does not feel tightly put together. Parts move and screak slightly when you hold the phone - it’s not a terrible issue by any means, but we also can’t say it contributes to solid build quality.
Right below the display, you have three small-ish, red capacitive buttons. The physical buttons are all on the right side: a power/lock key in the middle and a volume rocker above it, both clicky and comfortable to press. The speaker of the phone is located on its back, where there is also the main camera and a single LED flash.
The 4.7” 720 x 1280-pixel IPS LCD display is sharp enough to disallow nasty pixelizations, and it offers pleasing colors with some slight issues.
The Xiaomi Redmi 2 features a 4.7-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. This translates into a fairly decent pixel density of 312ppi - sharp enough not to notice much pixelization at regular viewing distances, but still, jagged pixel edges are noticeable when you look at the phone from up close.
In terms of colors, Xiaomi offers some customization options, and the default setting is not accurate at all - with overly cold, bluish colors. Luckily, when you go into Settings -> Additional Settings -> Display, you’d see that you can pick between Warm, Standard, and Cool for the color temperature, and Brilliant and Standard for saturations. Switch to the Warm color temp and Standard saturations, and you end with a very decent display in terms of color quality. We ran our display measurements in this mode, and they confirmed what our eyes saw: color temperature is still on the cold side at 7800K (6500K is the reference value), and gamma is consistently over the top at an average of 2.35, which results in colors that look noticeably darker and appear more contrasty. Color saturations, on the other hand, are just very slightly shifted towards the blue, but for all else, they are fairly well calibrated to fit inside the standard sRGB color space. It’s worth pointing out that the Redmi 2 has one of the best displays in its class of affordable devices where other screens often have serious color issues.
Outdoors, the display is not hard to read at all as it can reach a maximum brightness of the excellent 552 nits. Viewing angles are also very decent, with colors retaining a lot of their vibrancy even at an angle, but brightness does get noticeably reduced when you look at the phone from the side.
Right above the screen are a light sensor and a proximity sensor, so that the phone can automatically switch off its display when you’re in a call and automatically adjust its brightness. Those are features that come standard on higher-end phones, but some lower-end phones of the Redmi 2’s class still miss them.