Introduction


Low-cost Chinese smartphone vendor Xiaomi is at it again, presenting the latest addition to its Redmi line-up of affordable devices, the Redmi 3S. Priced somewhere between $100 – $160 in China (the price ending up a bit higher for global consumers), the handset aims to up people's expectations for affordable phones with a quality build, adequate performance with up-to-date hardware, a decent camera, and a long-lasting battery. Let's put the new pretender through its paces and see how attractive of a proposition it ultimately is!

In the box:

  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
  • Data and charging cable
  • Charger
  • SIM ejector tool
  • Informational pamphlet

Design

The metal and plastic build is unquestionably generic, but pleasant nonetheless.


The Xiaomi Redmi 3S is among the best-looking devices in its price category. While the design is objectively generic, this is still an elegant phone made of metal, with plastic substituting the aluminum for the top and bottom parts to aid signal reception. At 8.5mm thickness and 144 grams, the phone feels light, but sturdy. It has capacitive touch keys below the screen, a standard microUSB port, and the fingerprint sensor is placed on the back. Sold in Silver, Gray, and Gold, the phone leaves no complaints in the design department.


Xiaomi Redmi 3S

Xiaomi Redmi 3S

Dimensions

5.48 x 2.74 x 0.33 inches

139.3 x 69.6 x 8.5 mm

Weight

5.08 oz (144 g)

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)

Dimensions

5.74 x 2.85 x 0.32 inches

145.8 x 72.3 x 8.1 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

Motorola Moto G4

Motorola Moto G4

Dimensions

6.02 x 3.02 x 0.39 inches

153 x 76.6 x 9.8 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

Honor 5X

Honor 5X

Dimensions

5.96 x 3 x 0.32 inches

151.3 x 76.3 x 8.15 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

Xiaomi Redmi 3S

Xiaomi Redmi 3S

Dimensions

5.48 x 2.74 x 0.33 inches

139.3 x 69.6 x 8.5 mm

Weight

5.08 oz (144 g)

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)

Dimensions

5.74 x 2.85 x 0.32 inches

145.8 x 72.3 x 8.1 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

Motorola Moto G4

Motorola Moto G4

Dimensions

6.02 x 3.02 x 0.39 inches

153 x 76.6 x 9.8 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

Honor 5X

Honor 5X

Dimensions

5.96 x 3 x 0.32 inches

151.3 x 76.3 x 8.15 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display

An okay display whose resolution could have been higher and color temperature warmer.


Outfitted with a 5-inch, 720p resolution IPS panel, the Redmi 3S display is certainly nice, but it also shows the corners cut by Xiaomi. A 1080 x 1920 px resolution would have fared better for a screen this size, improving its sharpness. Still, the presence of a night reading mode and a color temperature adjustment slider is quite welcome. While colors appear quite cold by default (at 7942 Kelvin), the screen boasts nice brightness properties and a fairly good contrast ratio. It may be an average panel, but it does the job well enough and it doesn't strain the eyes with odd imperfections and major unpleasantness.



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35 Comments

1. Barney_stinson

Posts: 672; Member since: May 30, 2016

really??? its best bang for buck

15. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

One question:- which is the best phone in $150 price group? Why they even try to review any non-american phones??

23. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

yeah right.. they can't just give it 6.5 score without mentioning any better phone for that price.. (its base price is 140 EUR here, and won't reach $200 even with shipping fee and tax) and its have great battery life (last more than 50% longer than competitors) at least other site is still fair enough, lol pcadvisor.co.uk - 4/5 "The best £120 you'll spend today" BGR.in - 4.5/5

16. NonFanBoy

Posts: 180; Member since: May 28, 2015

Don't pay attention to their reviews. It never makes sense. Display : "An okay display whose resolution could have been higher" and here we have a 720p display on a 700$ phone which goes by the name of iPhone 6s. "And colour temperature warmer" while they mention in the very next para that there is a slider to adjust that. Didn't read any further.

29. megaSUNNY

Posts: 88; Member since: Jun 26, 2012

Really dude, just shocked. I had a hands on with that mobile in India here. Excellent bang for buck. Don't know what they were expecting with such a low cost mobile despite having useful specs(battery especially). Really a pathetic review.

2. Kumar123 unregistered

It's really sad how poor score Xiaomi's phone get here despite being their phone having the best bang for the buck ratio.

3. mike777

Posts: 8; Member since: Aug 11, 2016

Its a disgrace how biased the reviews on PA are. A 6.5??? Really??? 8 hours of SOT on your beloved Iphone is excellent, so what is 13 hours then? Also excellent? Wow. This is the king of budget phones for a 100 bucks. How come Samsung can make a "budget phone" for the same amount of money and the screen sucks, the performance sucks and battery sucks. You guys should really reinvent your scoring, because this makes no sense. And also it would not be a bad idea if you rename yourself to applefanarena. Then it would make more sense. If you're making reviews and you've already decided that it will suck cause it's not Apple or Samsung, why are you making it at all. Ridiculous It will be a feast to read your review of the upcoming Redmi 4, if you should dare to make one.

4. may_czos

Posts: 955; Member since: Nov 22, 2014

1. HD resolution for $120 is perfectly adequate. 2. Snapdragon 430 doesn't suppoert DDR4 RAM. 3. GPU performance is surprisingly decent, it's much better for games than Moto G4.

26. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

and it doesnt overheat like SD617 inside motoG4 :P

5. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

The review is not really fair at all. The device is truly a bang for buck no doubt about that. Even cons are not justifying the given score. They always point out non availability of device and take 2 points immediately. Of course it is a con but to really know the value of this device you have to buy it from where it is officially available. Otherwise it's like measuring the value of oxygen on a planet where people breathe nitrogen.

6. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

5inch 720p on a super budget device is bad but 4.7in 750p on a high end device is fine?

9. mahima

Posts: 739; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

exactly, 16gb memory with expandable memory is a con? iphone 16gb with 5x the price will still score 9.5.

14. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

True! Why are they complaining about the resolution? Let's look back on a flagship of yesteryear, the note II. Granted it's old but it had an HD arrangement on a screen that spread out 5.5 inch. And it was perfectly fine...these guys are shooting too much.

7. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

How can no world-wide network support be a con for a budget device aimed at one market?

11. mahima

Posts: 739; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

two markets, China and India, and it support all 4g network in this two countries. Every xiaomi phone review got this con... typical pa

17. hemedans

Posts: 758; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

even Africa xiaomi is present in countries like Nigeria and Kenya

24. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

its on some parts EU as well, and somewhere around southeast asia

8. mahima

Posts: 739; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

little storage space in base model? iphone 16gb with 5x cost is good? phone-bias-arena, at least redmi 3s still have micro sd slot. The review system is just stupid.

10. mahima

Posts: 739; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

who is this louis D? worst phone review I've read in a while

18. PHYCLOPSH

Posts: 652; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

Wow, I think this phone should've gotten at least 7.5 for the battery alone.

19. ech2wo

Posts: 7; Member since: Jul 07, 2016

I'll give a 9

25. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

no worries, this phone is getting great score on other site, lol pcadvisor.co.uk - 4/5 BGR.in - 4.5/5 and more to come

20. Arthurhkt

Posts: 725; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

Wow wow wow, chill guys, I think PA did give it a decent score ya know? I mean for a phone which is not belongs to Samsung or Apple, 6.5 would be the 8.5 of Samsung or Apple. We really should accept that the scoring scheme for PA is quite messy, I should give Redmi 3S a score of 5/7.

21. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

It's a decent phone for those that only want to spend $100 >

22. Arthurhkt

Posts: 725; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

It is a decent phone, I am using it, but too bad it is not Samsung or Apple, so the scoring system for PA for any non Samsung/Apple phone will be different.

30. EcoCare

Posts: 444; Member since: Jul 30, 2014

Shows how inconsistent PA rating system is. They want to review non-American phones, yet they have to lower the score simply because it doesn't support proper cellular bands for the US itself! How silly is that?

31. amash1o1

Posts: 3; Member since: Jul 28, 2016

This phone is best in budget catogery ,and even having features which no smartphone have in this catogery you are giving just 6.5. maybe they are jelous that redmi 3s is perform better than their iphone in some department.

32. tkstevefox86

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 16, 2016

My review of the Xiami Redmi 3S - THE COMPACT KILLER! youtube.com/watch?v=FbIK9jbaMUQ

33. Francescolg

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 09, 2017

Worst review about the Redmi 3s that I've read so far. It contains false information and a wrong estimated price. The phone, actually, starts at 110 bucks (when in very special offer) up to 150 bucks (~normal price). The camera has autofocus (!) and it's pretty fast and da_n good for that price range! (100-150bucks) Additionaly, it has also hdr-sth.. (when there are light and dark zones on a picture. The hardware is better than a simple moto-g4!! Don't believe their stats, 430 sd processor and adreno 5 FTW! And here you get a very good (!) fingerprint-scanner and an ir-sensor (universal remote control). Also the screen is very nice and readable in sun light conditions!! Please, absolutely (!), check other reviews before making a decision, like gsm arena and watch videos on youtube! This phone is best bang for the buck! If very good camera pictures are REALLY important for you, than go for a) Moto g4 plus or b) LeEco LeMax2 (price range 150-250)!

34. Francescolg

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 09, 2017

I forgot, there is also the international version (with MiUi 8.x Global Stable) which supports LTE band 20!! (if you're from GER or from the UK, buy this one!)

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Redmi 3S
  • Display 5.0" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, Octa-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 4100 mAh

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