Xiaomi’s latest affordable smartphone, the Redmi 2, has now been launched in Malaysia. Coming in just two months after its launch in China, this budget smartphone promises to really dominate the entry-level market with its impressive specs for just RM449. Let’s take a quick look at this new Xiaomi smartphone.
Physically, the Redmi 2 is smaller and lighter than its predecessor, the Redmi 1s. Its sides are also more curved, while the back has switched to a matte cover – both make the phone a lot more comfortable to hold than the Redmi 1S. The button positions are the same, and the overall design is largely untouched.
In terms of hardware, it appears Xiaomi has given the Redmi 2 has also been given a subtle boost. There’s a refreshed Snapdragon 410 1.2GHz quad-core chip, but with only 1GB of RAM and 8GB of expandable storage. There are 8MP rear and 2MP front camera sensors, and a new 4.7-inch fully-laminated IPS display with a 720p resolution, protected by Dragontrail glass. The battery has been boosted 10% to 2,200mAh, too.
But here’s the killer feature on the Redmi 2: dual-standby LTE connectivity.
It is pretty rare to find an LTE device at this price point, let alone a dual-SIM, dual-LTE one. The Redmi 2 is the first dual-LTE device to be officially available in Malaysia, and it’s even more impressive that it is at this price point. More importantly, Xiaomi is ensuring an exceptionally pain-free SIM switching process that is done on a software level so users do not need to turn off the phone, take out the battery and switch SIM card slots.
Running on MIUI 6, the Redmi 2 comes with interesting software solutions that make it easy for SIM switching. For instance, on the Phone app’s dialler and Messaging app, there are two call or send buttons – one for each SIM. You can also rename these SIMs to display more than just the carrier name (Work and Personal, for example). You can also customise the status bar to show the names of each SIM next to the signal bars.
At the moment, it is hard not to be impressed by the Redmi 2 in our first official encounter. The device, while simplistic in design, feels decent for the price. MIUI 6’s animations are fluid and appear to run well on just 1GB of RAM. That being said, there’s a lot more to test out – day-to-day usage as well as the camera will definitely be our focus as we work on a review.
The Xiaomi Redmi 2 will be available for its first flash sale on 17 March 2015 at 12pm, at a retail price of RM449.