At the Xiaomi Malaysia launch event earlier today, the company also took the opportunity to show off the next product that’s coming to Malaysia very soon. The Redmi 1S, Xiaomi’s highly affordable smartphone, is coming to Malaysia in June, but many units of the model were on display at the experience zone of the event. Naturally, we took a brief look at the Redmi 1S, and here’s our first impressions.
The Redmi (or Hongmi in its native China) was one of the most popular Xiaomi smartphones, and for the Malaysian market, Xiaomi will be selling the refreshed variant of the Redmi. Known as the Redmi 1S, it retains the same price tag, dimensions and weight, but Xiaomi has managed to double the storage and fitted in a more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 1.6GHz quad-core chipset.
Xiaomi is selling the original Redmi in Singapore at the moment, but Xiaomi Global VP Hugo Barra has confirmed that Singapore will also be receiving the Redmi 1S for sale at the same time as Malaysia.
Now on to the Redmi 1S itself. One of the very first things I noticed about the Mi 3 is with its heft. It’s not particularly heavy per se, but more solid compared to other devices in its class. The matte plastic back cover is a very welcome addition, giving an assured grip and minimizing ugly fingerprint stains that usually plagues devices in this price range. One interesting note I made during my hands on earlier today was how solid the device was, despite have a removable back cover.
While the world has moved on to ever-larger screens, the 4.7-inch Redmi 1S feels comfortable both with one- and two-handed usage. The display itself, too, is more than decent, with great viewing angles. In fact, this is one device that really does not feel like it is worth less than RM500; it certainly feels a lot more expensive that it is.
On another note, those interested in the Redmi 1S as a smartphone for the elderly, you’ll be glad to know that the Redmi 1S sports a Lite Mode that is easy to enable, but quite difficult to get out of. Text fonts are huge, and the entire layout has been simplified to make it easy for those more familiar with feature phones. For the less tech-savvy people from the older generation, this is a huge plus.
We also managed to test out the Redmi 1S’ 8MP camera, and here are the sample images taken with the Redmi 1S:
Click on each image for full resolution
And here’s the camera’s HDR feature at work:
The current bang-for-buck king is the Huawei Honor 3C, no doubt about that; but for anyone looking for an alternative, the Redmi 1S may well be an intriguing challenger.