8.3 Awesome

We have never seen a battery backup this good in a smartphone, and on top of that, Xiaomi Redmi S2 comes with dual lens setup, AI features, and a 6-inch display. The only thing bad about it is the MiUi software which could be problematic and we hope they will change it stock Android very soon. The TechSeer will give it an 8.3 out of a solid 10.

  • Design 8.0
  • Display 7.5
  • Camera 7.5
  • Hardware & Performance 8.0
  • Battery Life 9.0
  • Value for Money 10

Xiaomi has unsurprisingly again managed to gain all of our attention with its exquisite mid-range smartphone “Xiaomi Redmi S2” after a successful delivery of Xiaomi Mi A2 (Review).

Xiaomi Redmi S2 (Redmi Y2) Phone Review

Xiaomi launched its new budgeted “Xiaomi Redmi S2” phone in May 2018. It goes with the name Xiaomi Redmi Y2 in India. The Xiaomi Redmi S2 is the successor to its well-received predecessor, the Redmi Y1 and on par with Xiaomi Mi Note 5 Pro (Review).

Xiaomi Redmi S2 has a starting price of around 150 Euro that comes out to be 170 USD or 12000 Indian Rupees. You can purchase it from Amazon, eBay or Gearbest with good deals.

Pros

  • Excellent battery life
  • Good average cameras, audio quality, and design
  • Now supports 4K video recording
  • AI featuring front camera
  • Very Cheap

Cons

  • Plastic made
  • Limited market availability
  • MiUi could be problematic

Xiaomi Redmi S2 Spec sheet:

  • Body: Plastic body
  • Screen: 5.99″ IPS LCD display, 720 x 1,440 pixels, 269ppi
  • OS: Android OS v8.1 Oreo, MIUI v9.5
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 625 chipset: octa-core 2.0GHz Cortex-A53 processor; Adreno 506 GPU
  • RAM: 3 or 4 GB
  • Camera: Dual: 12MP F/2.2 + 5MP, live bokeh effects, LED flash, phase detection autofocus, 1080p@30fps video with EIS;
  • Selfie: 16MP front-facing camera, HDR, LED flash, 1080p@30fps video
  • Storage: 32GB/64GB of built-in storage
  • SIM: Dual-SIM (nano-SIM)
  • Connectivity: LTE; Dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n GPS/GLONASS/Beidou, Bluetooth v4.2, microUSB port, IR blaster
  • Battery: 3,080mAh non-removable battery
  • Misc: Fingerprint sensor (rear-mounted)

Design

The Xiaomi Redmi S2 is made up of plastic but finishing looks more like metallic. There are antennas lines on the back and screen is bigger and taller than its predecessor.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 comes with a 5.99″ screen with more trimmed bezels than the previous model. There are no capacitive keys this time and the Redmi Y2 replies heavily on its MiUi software now which we will discuss later on.

The Xiaomi Redmi S2 has a solid grip due to lack of glass back and plastic make. Xiaomi Redmi S2 features a Gorilla Glass 3 which is a very reliable glass against scratches so you won’t be getting a factory applied protector on the screen this time. Guess this is just to reduce their overall cost as well.

You will still get the Fingerprint scanner on Redmi Y2 which we find is very accurate, apart from that you will also get a 3.5mm headphone jack, microUSB port and 3 slots (2 for SIM cards and one for microSD).

On the bottom, you will find a single firing speaker which ranked above average in the loudness testing. Sure, it was not comparable with the Razer Phone (Review) but we have seen way worse than this.

The Xiaomi Redmi S2 pulled off a remarkable audio performance when we tested it with external amplifier and standard phones.

Display

The Xiaomi Redmi Y2 features 5.99-inch display (720×1440) with 18:9 aspect ratio. This is above average for a smartphone at this price range but 269ppi is below average for a screen of 5.99-inch. Xiaomi could have done better in this department.

The maximum brightness you can achieve on Xiaomi Redmi S2 is 500 nits which is pretty awesome. The contrast ratio is 1000:1 and the black levels are just average. You can use it comfortably outside in direct sunlight at 500 nits.

You can change the color and temperature settings through MiUi software but we stuck to default mode as it gives the most accurate colors. But you can get rid of blue tint by changing from Auto contrast to Standard contrast.

Hardware and performance

The Xiaomi Redmi S2 (Xiaomi Redmi Y2) features a Snapdragon 625 chipset which is very popular in mid-range smartphones and Xiaomi Redmi S2 comes with a very budgeted price but with the same chipset and 720p display.

Snapdragon 625 has octa-cores A-53 clocked at up to 2.0GHz with inbuilt Andreno 506 GPU, certainly a better option than lower-end Mali GPUs. You will have the option to go for 3/4GB of RAM. Here are the hardware testing details from GSMArena.

  • GeekBench 4.1 (single-core): 848
  • GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core): 4313
  • AnTuTu 7: 77488
  • Basemark OS 2.0: 1186

Xiaomi Redmi Y2 outperformed Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (Xiaomi 5 Plus) due to a better GPU performance and dual lens setup.

Adreno 506 was introduced 2 years ago but still not obsolete, it can still support latest 1080p games. It did okay in the testing phase. The gaming experience is nice and the Xiaomi Redmi S2 stay cool most of the time.

Cameras

  • 2MP sensor with f/2.2 lens and 1.25µm big pixels, PDAF
  • 5 MP, depth sensor

The Xiaomi Redmi S2 features a 12-megapixel sensor with f/2.2 lens. It has 1.25µm big pixels. The secondary snapper is 5MP which provides depth sensor only. There are added features like phase-detection autofocus and an LED flash on the rear camera.

You will have an option to chose from different shooting filters, HDR mode, and flash toggle.

Like most of the Xiaomi phones, the Xiaomi Redmi S2 has a good result in broad daylight. Sharp details and thanks to the f/2.2 aperture the noise is low. Contrast is just okay and dynamic range is limited but HDR compensates for it.

Low light: Low light pictures are not that good. Don’t think about zooming these pictures either they will look like some pictures taken from an old-school VGA camera. Lots of noise and lack of stabilization.

Portrait mode: Portrait mode needs both cameras to go in more depth. It will analyze the background scene and put in-depth effect. Pictures taken from Xiaomi Redmi S2 on portrait mode are pretty good with sharp results and maxed-out at around 5-6MP. Portrait mode does not really go well with the busy environment in the background.

Front Camera: The front selfie camera has a 16MP sensor with a f/2.0 lens and features some AI abilities. You can use the AI capabilities in Portrait and Beautify modes. You can use the LED flash on the front bezel for photos and videos.

Xiaomi Redmi Y2 take impressive selfies and AI features are an add-on. They help in blurring the background and recognizing faces no matter how messy they are.

The Xiaomi Redmi Y2 records video at 1080p@30fps mode and audio at 96KBps bitrate. Good quality, colors, and contrast but okay dynamic range. There is gyro-based stabilization to stabilize the video if you are moving but you will be compensating for the details.

Snapdragon 625 in Xiaomi Redmi S2 can support 4K video recording but the default camera does not support it. Luckily you can download the OpenCamera app from PlayStore and enjoy the 4K video at 30 fps.

Software

You will get Android Nougat underneath MiUi. The software is good for the Asian market but not very popular in the western world. It has been criticized a lot in the past. The Xiaomi Redmi Y2 will get the Android One upgrade soon.

The software comes with a lot of pre-installed apps which you need to delete if you want a clean OS. You will have various customized options like better RAM management and doze mode.

MiUi 9 supports multi-window, smart app launcher, smart search, smart assistance and Split screen mode. There are a lot of widgets and shortcuts on the go in Xiaomi Redmi S2 but the bottom line is, it is not stock Android so you might have to face various bugs from time to time.

The security app in the OS is pretty useful. You can avoid malware, manage block list and limit data usage. You can check the battery behavior from the app and know which app is taking more battery.

Battery life

The Redmi S2 is packed with 3080mAh non-removable battery just like its predecessor and supports 5V/2A charging. You can charge it from 0 to 30% in 30 minutes. The Xiaomi Redmi Y2 does not support wireless charging which we don’t expect from a product in this price range.

Snapdragon is very energy efficient and that’s why it gave a pretty good score in the battery testing phase. You can easily use it all day without needing to have a Powerbank. Here are the scores.

    • 3G TALK TIME: 23:21h
    • WEB BROWSING: 12:19h
  • VIDEO PLAYBACK: 12:02h

The Verdict: Xiaomi Redmi S2 Review

Xiaomi Redmi S2 is one of the most powerful smartphones in a very budgeted price range (150 Euro only). Xiaomi has mastered the smartphone manufacturing skills by making more and more smartphones to get enough market share to compete with brands like Samsung and Apple. It sure has surpassed Huawei and Oppo so far.

We have never seen a battery backup this good in a smartphone, and on top of that, Xiaomi Redmi S2 comes with dual lens setup, AI features and a 6-inch display. The only thing bad about it is the MiUi software which could be problematic and we hope they will change it stock Android very soon. The TechSeer will give it an 8.3 out of a solid 10.

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