It was not long ago when Xiaomi launched the Redmi Note 4 which turned out to be a massive hit. And just when everyone out in the tech world was trying to absorb how well that particular device was doing, the Chinese brand has dropped yet another potential bestseller into the Indian market. The company has just launched the Redmi 4A, which becomes its most affordable offering in the Indian market at Rs 5,999. We managed to get some alone time with the device and here are our first impressions of Xiaomi’s new budget range Samurai.
A good spec sheet… for the price
Let’s get the specs out of the way first. For the price point, they are very good. The Redmi 4A sports a 5-inch IPS LCD screen with a screen resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. The smartphone is powered by 1.4 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor and is coupled with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage which can be expanded up to 128 GB via MicroSD card. It has a 13 megapixel primary and a 5-megapixel secondary camera. The phone runs on Android Marshmallow with MIUI 8 on top of it. Powered by a 3120 mAh battery, it supports dual SIM (micro and nano) thanks to the hybrid SIM slot. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, 3G and 4G.
Looks plastic but fantastic… for the price
In terms of design, the Redmi 4A follows the footsteps of its elder budget range brothers, the Redmi 3S and 3S Prime. We got the dark grey variant and it is very compact at 139.5 x 70.4 x 8.5 mm. It is not the lightest at 131.5 grammes but we would not call it heavy either. Unlike some of the recently released smartphones in the budget segment that come with metal frames, Xiaomi has opted to use polycarbonate plastic to encase the Redmi 4A. The front of the smartphone is dominated by the 5-inch HD screen. Below the screen, the company has placed three capacitive buttons. These buttons on the dark gray variant are hardly visible because they are marked with a dark shade and are not backlit, and looking for them is a battle even in decent lighting conditions unless you have used a Xiaomi device previously. The earpiece, the proximity sensor and the front camera are just above the display.
The resemblance with Redmi 3S Prime follows the smartphone on the back as well. Xiaomi has placed the flash and the 13 megapixel primary camera which is encircled with a metal ring on the top left side of the smartphone’s back. There are two antenna bands on the top and the base end which are not shiny or metallic and follow the same plastic routine as the rest of the phone. The company has placed the Mi logo near the antenna band on the base in a shiny reflective metal material, making it stand out on the phone’s back. The back of the smartphone also holds the speaker grille just above the antenna near the lower part of the phone.
The base of the smartphone holds the Micro USB port along with the mic while the top of the Redmi 4A sports the 3.5 mm jack and the infrared port. The SIM card slot is placed on the left side while the phone sports the power button and the volume rocker on the right. And that’s it.
But something is missing, isn’t it? Well, Xiaomi has decided to give the fingerprint scanner a miss in the Redmi 4A. To make it more affordable, perhaps but in a day and age where many budget smartphones are coming with fingerprint scanners, this definitely feels like a miss.
And it scores heavily on the price too
The phone feels comfortable to hold and is not bulky in any case. The 5-inch display makes the smartphone compact and it will fit most hands easily. One can easily use it with one hand and reaching out for the volume buttons and the power button is effortless.
The display of the smartphone is not the brightest and most colourful as we have seen in some of the budget range phones but at its price, it is definitely very good. The interface looks exactly like the interface of a Xiaomi device with MIUI 8 – it is clean and simple and yet it allows you to do more with the smartphone. The cameras on the device seem promising taking in consideration the price.
No, there is nothing which hits the ball out of the park in terms of spec and design, but we think one aspect does: the price. And if that is not important, we do not know what is. Xiaomi’s new budget Samurai has scored with its price. Will it do so with its performance as well? Stay tuned for our detailed review!