Xiaomi's aggressive expansion of product lineup in India continues with the latest launch Redmi Y2, which is the successor to last year's Redmi Y1. The Xiaomi Redmi Y2 brings various improvements to the table when compared to its predecessor- a powerful processor, upgraded selfie camera, better design and more importantly, it packs dual rear cameras this time around. And the price of the smartphone is now higher too at Rs 9,999 for the 3GB RAM and 32GB storage option. The Redmi Y2 faces competition from its own sibling- Redmi Note 5 as both the devices boasts similar hardware. I have been using the Redmi Y2 for more than 48 hours now and here's what I think about the smartphone.
Xiaomi Redmi Y2 Design and Display
Let me get this straight: the Redmi Y2 looks better than the Xiaomi's best offering right now- the Redmi Note 5 Pro. The new entrant sports a similar rear camera module, but the antenna lines on the top and bottom give the device a better look than the Note 5 Pro. The Redmi Y2 is available in three colour options- Gold, Rose Gold and Dark Grey; The Dark Grey colour variant looks better than the other two. One more area where the Redmi Y2 scores better than the Redmi Note 5 Pro is the slippery nature. Yes, the Redmi Y2 doesn't feel as slippery as the Note 5 Pro when taken into hands. Do make a note that the Redmi Y2 is constructed entirely out of plastic, which will be evident when you take the device into hands.
Moving onto the front, we have a 5.99-inch display with HD+ resolution. The panel itself is not as good as the one present in the Note 5 or Note 5 Pro, but during my usage, I was able to read the text under decent sunlight conditions. Numbers wise, the Redmi Y2's display has a maximum brightness of 450nits.
Xiaomi Redmi Y2 Hardware and Software
The Redmi Y2's hardware is pretty much similar to the Redmi Note 5. The smartphone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset, clubbed with 3GB/4GB of RAM and 32GB/64GB of internal storage. There's a dedicated microSD card slot for storage expansion. Software side of things, the Redmi Y2 is the first Xiaomi smartphone to come with Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box, but it's still based on MIUI 9.5 and not MIUI 10. As always, MIUI 9.5 comes loaded with features and being a Full Screen display smartphone, Xiaomi has added gesture controls to the smartphone too, which in my time worked well, but the experience was not smooth as seen on the Mi Mix 2.
As expected, the Redmi Y2 is snappy during my usage- apps opened without any issues and the Snapdragon 625 SoC is a power-efficient one too. Initial impressions about the 3080mAh battery are it can deliver a day's worth of battery life, but not anything more than that. During the first 24 hours, the phone offered a screen-on time of close to four hours, which is pretty decent for a budget smartphone.
Xiaomi Redmi Y2 Cameras
Xiaomi is touting the Redmi Y2 as 'AI-Selfie superstar,' because the phone comes loaded with a plethora of AI camera tricks. While Xiaomi touts the selfie camera on the Redmi Y2 as its highlight feature, I believe that there's a lot going for the rear cameras too. The Redmi Y2 has a 16MP selfie shooter which also has support for an LED flash. The AI-Selfie superstar comes with four main features- low-light selfie, Auto HDR mode, AI Beautify and AI Portrait Selfie. Images captured with the selfie camera came out really well with the decent amount of details, and the colours are accurate too.
Moving onto the rear cameras, the Redmi Y2 sports two sensors- a 12MP primary sensor with 1.25µm large pixels, PDAF and f/2.2 aperture. The secondary sensor is a dedicated depth capturing sensor to add bokeh effect to the images. Not only the front camera has Beautify mode, but Xiaomi has also added the same to the rear camera too and it works on AI. Xiaomi says that the AI Beautify 4.0 is designed keeping Indian users in mind and it's capable of detecting elements such as makeup, beards, nose rings, etc.
Here are some of the camera samples captured using the Redmi Y2.
Xiaomi Redmi Y2 Conclusion
The Xiaomi Redmi Y2 has a lot going for it. The dual rear cameras and the 16MP selfie shooter on the front is a clear winner for the Redmi Y2 over its sibling Redmi Note 5. But the lack of Full HD+ display could be a deal breaker for many and the battery life on the Redmi Y2 will surely be less when compared to the Note 5's 4000mAh battery. Of course, Xiaomi doesn't want to make its product lineup too complex by adding same features in every smartphone. The Redmi Y2's first sale is on June 12, and it will be exclusively available via Amazon India. Initial impressions are the Redmi Y2 has the best cameras on a smartphone under Rs 10,000. We will be bringing out the full review of the product very soon. Stay tuned for that.