The Xiaomi Redmi Y2 is priced from Rs 9,999.
It is aimed at selfie lovers with a 16-megapixel AI-powered front camera.
It is available via Amazon India and mi.com.
Towards the end of last year, Xiaomi launched a new smartphone series in India called Redmi Y. As the company explained, this series catered to the young generation who crave for smartphones offering superior selfie experience. The first device in this series was the Redmi Y1. Today, Xiaomi has launched the second device in this new series dubbed Redmi Y2.
The Redmi Y2 is priced from Rs 9,999, and it will be going on sale via Amazon India and mi.com from June 12. While the new smartphone brings in a lot of changes internally and externally, the focus continues to be on offering a great selfie experience. I have spent the last few days using the device, and here’s my review of the new Xiaomi Redmi Y2.
The back panel, on the other hand, seems to have been completely borrowed from the Redmi Note 5 Pro. The placement of the vertically aligned dual-camera setup, fingerprint sensor, and the Mi logo do remind you of the more expensive Xiaomi device. While it may look like a metal body, the back panel is actually plastic that has been given a metallic finish. The overall design then is quite familiar, and there’s not much to complain about.
As is the norm these days, the Redmi Y2 too flaunts a 5.99-inch screen with a tall 18:9 aspect ratio. Though it runs at HD+ resolution, the display is quite decent in day-to-day usage. But there are certain limitations of an HD+ display, and you notice the lack of punch and vibrancy when looking at high definition photos or videos.
The tall display also means Xiaomi has opted against adding capacitive navigation buttons below the screen. Instead you can choose between on-screen buttons or Redmi Note 5-like full-screen gestures. While the gestures work as advertised, the experience is anything but smooth. Let’s take the home screen gesture as an example. While swiping up from the bottom does take you to the homescreen, the execution is a tad jarring. The delay maybe less than a second, but it is noticeable during everyday use.
Watch: Gesture navigation on Xiaomi Redmi Note 5
Powering the Redmi Y2 is the capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset paired with 3GB/4GB of RAM. Though it may be over two years old, the chipset continues to prove itself as a capable and efficient performer. It is popular with Xiaomi, and you can also find it powering the Redmi Note 5.
Real-life performance may not set benchmark charts on fire, but it is on par with what you expect from affordable devices. Apps open and close with ease, and multi-tasking too is handled well to an extent. It is only when playing graphic-intensive games like Asphalt 8: Airborne or Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery that you notice the internals struggling a bit.
The Redmi Y2 runs Android Oreo-based MIUI 9.5. Xiaomi’s UI has been vastly improved over time, and it is not as heavy as the previous versions. There are very few pre-installed apps, and most of them can be uninstalled as well. Apart from the gesture support, the smartphone also comes with Face Unlock. Despite the price segment, the feature works quite well, and there is very little delay between the phone recognizing your face and unlocking. Understandably, the only time it struggled was in dark-ish environments. But at these times, you can always go back to using the fingerprint sensor or the good old passcode.
Making sure everything ticks is a 3,000mAh battery underneath. On judicious usage, the battery is good enough to sail through the day on a single charge. But if you end up gaming quite a bit and use the camera, you will have to look for the charger in the evening. Xiaomi has bundled a 5V/2A charger, and the battery can be charged from zero to 100 percent at a shade under two hours. You don’t get the advantage of burst charging though.
All about the selfie
The Redmi Y2 is all about the selfies, and its Snapchat and Instagram-loving target audience. The Redmi Y2 features a 16-megapixel snapper up front with f/2.0 aperture, and a lamp flash. Unlike the Redmi Y1, the front camera on the new smartphone comes with a Portrait Mode, and AI-capabilities.
We clicked a lot of photos using the front camera, and the results are quite good. In ideal lighting conditions, the front camera is able to capture some really good photos showing plenty of details. The quality suffers a bit when indoors in ambient lighting conditions, but again it is understandable.
Taking things to the next level is the portrait mode. The smartphone uses software to blur the background, and more often than not the results are decent. But in some cases the blurring can get a bit aggressive, and it looks as if background has been blurred out with a brush. But considering we are talking about the budget segment here, the overall results are more than acceptable.
At the back, you get a dual-camera setup (12-megapixel+5-megapixel), which too is AI-driven, and gets its own Portrait mode. The quality of the photos clicked using the rear camera is again quite good in ideal lighting conditions. There is however a dip in quality indoors under ambient lighting conditions.
In portrait mode, the camera is able to click photos with just the right amount of blurring. But you do have to click multiple photos to get one right. Xiaomi says that the AI on both cameras monitors the photos you click, and claims the results will get better over time.
Xiaomi has been quite clear about the kind of audience it is targeting with the Redmi Y2. Having used the phone, I must say it succeeds in catering to their needs. If you like clicking a lot of selfies, and sharing them on social media, the Redmi Y2 is the perfect smartphone for you.
At its price, it offers a good combination of performance and camera capabilities without forcing you to stretch your budget too much. Think of it as a device with the camera of the Redmi Note 5 Pro, the performance and efficiency of the Redmi Note 5, and the build and affordability of the lower end of the Redmi range.
But with Xiaomi, it has become an unintended tradition where a new smartphone is near impossible to find in the initial days of launch. Chances are the same could be the case with the Redmi Y2 as well. If you are in urgent need of a smartphone, you will be better served by the Redmi Note 5, which is easier to buy right now. The smartphone may not have the AI-powered dual-camera setup, but it does come with a Full-HD+ display, and a bigger 4,000mAh battery.