Xiaomi Redmi 2 Review
An 8-megapixel camera that exceeds expectations for this super affordable class of devices, but still has its issues.
The Xiaomi Redmi 2 ships with an 8-megapixel main camera with single-LED flash and with an f/2.2 lens with 28mm focal distance (in 35mm equivalent terms).
At first sight, the camera app is very reminiscent to the one we’ve seen on iOS, with a very similar interface, and even the option to control the exposure in a manner similar to that on iOS. And while it copies its design approach and simplicity, it does have quite a few settings that you can manually tweak, including a manual shooting mode. Speaking of different modes, you can swipe left or right inside the app to bring up various filters, as well as access different modes like HDR and Panorama.
The actual Images on the Redmi 2 turn out very well: with lively colors and great dynamics. Colors tend to be overblown, much more vivid than they look in reality - some may like this effect, others might prefer more realistic tones. The overblown color situation is particularly noticeable when you capture macro images of colorful things - we took a few macro images of flowers and you can see that colors just look neon-like, way overblown, and while in other images the effect is not all that noticeable, it does more harm than good to the close-ups.
Turning over to video, the Redmi 2 can record in up to 1080p at 30fps and a bit-rate of around 30Mbps. Having 1080p video on such an affordable phone is definitely an appreciated feature, and we’re happy to report that footage looks good: the handset manages to auto-focus fairly fast (it’s not the fastest, but not sluggish either), colors are good, and footage looks fine. The one issue we do have is with the microphone as there is no noise cancellation and wind noise creeps in, ruining a lot of the audio quality of a recording.
Media apps are simple and well done, but their extra features are reserved for Chinese users.
The media experience on the Redmi 2 is tailor-made for the Chinese market starting from the gallery app, and going to the music and video players.
The gallery, for instance, is a fairly straightforward affair, and it offers you the nice option to back up your images in the Xiaomi cloud. This is a nice option (we did notice some Chinese characters when registering and setting up the account, but nothing that would make registering impossible for those who don't speak Chinese), and the phone backs up your images effortlessly, but we did notice that trying to retrieve or just browse through those images was a bit slow.
We’ve already touched on the video player in the interface part, but let us quickly recap that it has no issues playing various formats and codecs of videos. It is also tightly integrated with an online streaming function that allows you to watch the latest Chinese soap operas and even full-on movies without paying a dime (again, possible copyright issues arise here).
The music player is a very straightforward affair with no fancy options: it shows you all your music arranged in alphabetical order, and you can also conveniently view songs by files and folders. The single speaker on the back blasts out tunes in a fairly loud and clean manner, and while it lacks any depth, we do like the sound quality.