For the last couple of weeks, Xiaomi India has been teasing its selfie-centric new series launch in the country. Finally, Xiaomi put an end to our curiosity and launched a new series dubbed Redmi Y, where Y stands for 'You.' The Chinese smartphone manufacturer unveiled two budget smartphones the- Redmi Y1 and Redmi Y1 Lite.
Having said that, the Xiaomi Redmi Y1 and Y1 Lite feature similar hardware as the Xiaomi Redmi 4 and Redmi 4A smartphones, which boast of the best hardware in the price range, and in fact, both the Redmi 4 and Redmi 4A are among the top-selling smartphones in the country.
But what has changed with the Redmi Y1 and Redmi Y1 Lite is the addition of better selfie camera. As per Xiaomi, the Redmi Y1 has the best selfie camera in its price range. We have been using the Redmi Y1 for more than 24 hours now, and here's what we think of the smartphone.
Let's get this rolling with the USP of the Redmi Y1- the selfie camera. The Redmi Y1 is a selfie-focused phone which comes with a 16-megapixel front-facing camera aided with LED flash. Xiaomi calls it as selfie-light, and it the sensor has a large aperture of f/2.0. After testing it for a couple of hours what I have discovered is the front-facing camera definitely does live up to the claim #YourBestSelfie; Xiaomi is now trying to attract a different demographic, though. On the rear, there is a 13-megapixel shooter with phase detection autofocus. However, we will post the full review after testing both the cameras thoroughly.
The Redmi Y1 features a huge a 5.5-inch HD display with a screen resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels; for comparison, its footprint is pretty much same as the Xiaomi Mi A1, which also rocks a 5.5-inch screen. The device is wrapped in plastic which has a brushed metallic finish and it is available in Gold and Dark Gray colours. Sadly, Xiaomi has gone with a plastic body, instead of the metal body.
The fingerprint sensor resides on the back; it is quick, responsive, and is perfectly placed within the reach of index finger. The device runs MIUI 8 out-of-the-box, which is Xiaomi's own customised Android 7.1.2 Nougat-based OS. However, the MIUI 9 update will hit the device in mid-November, and that too a stable version.
Coming to the hardware, the Redmi Y1 is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 435 Mobile Platform with Adreno 505 GPU to handle the graphics. It comes in two variants: 3GB RAM + 32GB internal storage, 4GB RAM + 64GB internal storage; the former will run you Rs. 8,999, and the latter has been priced at Rs. 10,999.
The best part of the Redmi Y lineup is that they come with a dedicated microSD card slot. Xiaomi fans have been asking the company for a long time now to include a dedicated microSD card slot instead of the hybrid card setup. The phone has all the connectivity options such as 4G LTE, VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, and GPS. A micro USB port rests at the bottom of the phone.
With the Redmi Y1, Xiaomi has gone with a smaller battery of 3080mAh unit, which is even less than the battery seen on the Redmi 4A. Hopefully, the smartphone lasts for a single day with intensive usage like the Redmi 4.
Over the last two years, Chinese brands Oppo and Vivo have made an impression that the selfie market is a premium one, and consumers have fallen to that strategy. However, Xiaomi is looking to change the entire market strategy with the Redmi Y lineup and especially with the Redmi Y1.
The Chinese smartphone manufacturer is taking the selfie game seriously to take on the likes of Oppo and Vivo. In fact, the brand even endorsed Katrina Kaif as the ambassador for the Redmi Y lineup, which tells the entire story.
Nevertheless, unlike the rival selfie-centric smartphones, the Redmi Y1 stays on budget and is definitely a value-for-money phone. The first sale of the phone is scheduled to happen on November 8. Will you be getting one? Let us know in the comments section below.