After plenty of teasers and lots of speculation as to what Xiaomi plans to launch, the Chinese company has finally launched its latest phone. The Xiaomi Redmi Y1 is a new device, launched globally in India. It s targeted at the selfie-loving Indian, with its 16-megapixel front camera and flash. With prices starting from Rs 8,999, it s aimed squarely at Vivo and Oppo, two competing brands that have captured the offline space in India with similar positioning. Also Read - Oppo A56 5G with Dimensity 700 SoC, a 5,000mAh battery launched: Check detailsAlso Read - Best gaming phones under Rs 25,000 to buy in India in October 2021
We ve had a chance to play around with the new Xiaomi Redmi Y1, and we ve given the high-resolution front camera a try. Apart from that, the phone is a mid-range device with a fingerprint sensor at the back and Android Nougat out-of-the-box. Interestingly, the device has been launched with MIUI 9 to coincide with the latest iteration of Xiaomi s trademark software being rolled out in India. It will be available in two variants 32GB variant with 3GB RAM priced at Rs 8,999, and 64GB variant with 4GB RAM priced at Rs 10,999. Here s our first look at the new Xiaomi Redmi Y1.
Our earlier speculation pointed to the Mi Note 3 based on the teasers that hinted at a selfie-friendly phone. However, we failed to notice that one other existing device in the Xiaomi range also sports a high-resolution front camera the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime. While the Xiaomi Redmi Y1 can be called an entirely new range, it s really just a rebranded Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime. A comparison of the specifications shows that the two phones are nearly identical.
That aside, the Redmi Y1 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 SoC, and comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. While I haven t extensively used it, performance is in line with what you d expect from a device with these specifications. With enough RAM and storage, the device will appeal to budget buyers that need a bit more from their phone when it comes to multi-tasking and media content.
The Xiaomi Redmi Y1 also features a 5.5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) display. While it isn t the most detailed or even the brightest that you can expect for this price, it s decent enough for basic use. You also get Corning Gorilla Glass on top for protection. Additionally, the phone features dual-SIM connectivity, 4G with VoLTE, and a dedicated storage expansion slot. ALSO READ: Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 Review
If you like selfies
The stand-out feature of the Xiaomi Redmi Y1 is its 16-megapixel front camera. It s the company s first phone in India with a specific focus on the front camera, and is meant to cater to India s growing love for selfies. Devices from manufacturers such as Vivo, Oppo, Gionee and others have touted high-resolution front cameras, and the Redmi Y1 hopes to bring Xiaomi into the game. Apart from the 16-megapixel sensor, the Redmi Y1 also has soft lamp flash for the front camera.
(Camera samples shot with the Xiaomi Redmi Y1)
At first glance, images appear detailed enough. However, zooming in reveals a bit of grain in the finer parts of some the selfies we clicked. This can be put down to the chipset, which is definitely a budget-friendly option. However, for most purposes (that is, social media posts and pictures you might want to share on WhatsApp or over email), the Xiaomi Redmi Y1 takes decent photos that will be visibly better than most devices in this price range. In low light, the soft lamp flash will help as well.
Also announced alongside the Xiaomi Redmi Y1 is the company s latest iteration of its custom software MIUI. Although the unit we used comes with a beta variant, sale devices are expected to roll-out with a stable version of the UI. MIUI 9 comes with a few visual tweaks and more stability and ease-of-use across the system. Some of the improvements include lock-screen shortcuts, smart notifications, split screen mode and more. ALSO READ: Xiaomi Mi A1 Review
The Xiaomi Redmi Y1 may be a rebranded version of an existing phone under the guise of a new series, but all of that is technical and matters very little to a customer. Buyers in India are more concerned with value-for-money, and that has been a department where Xiaomi has consistently excelled. With the Redmi Y1, Xiaomi continues to offer solid specifications for a competitive price. And more significantly, it shows that the brand is listening to customers, and offering products with features that matter.
With many Indian buyers showing an affinity for selfies and front cameras that can deliver good pictures, the Xiaomi Redmi Y1 will appeal to these customers. While it s a basic device at its root, the appeal of the 16-megapixel front camera with flash is certainly worth it for someone that wants it. We ll be bringing you our full review soon, so stay tuned to BGR India.