Reviewing the Xiaomi Redmi 4A: The ultra budget choice of the year?
Even though it was founded only recently, in 2010, Xiaomi has quickly become one of the largest smartphone manufacturers in the world. The company does great in budget markets like China, India or Eastern Europe. We recently received for testing their newest low budget smartphone: Xiaomi Redmi 4A. This smartphone runs on Android 6 and promises a good user experience at around 110 USD. It is also sold in many markets, including the USA. Does this very affordable smartphone offer a good user experience? Let's find out, in this review:
What is the Xiaomi Redmi 4A smartphone good at?
The Xiaomi Redmi 4A is a great smartphone for:
- Fulfilling basic smartphone needs, such as browsing the web, running social media apps or taking a quick picture
- Keeping you connected to the world while not asking you to charge it every day, because its battery can last for two days in a row
- Giving it to your child or to someone elderly, as their first smartphone to use
- A great backup smartphone, in case your main one breaks or it remains without battery
Where To Buy
Pros and cons
The Xiaomi Redmi 4A has quite a few good things to brag about:
- It is very affordable
- The main camera is better than the average you get for a similar price
- The battery can keep the smartphone running for more than a day
- The display has good colors and brightness
- It has enough hardware power to meet basic user needs
- It is a Dual-SIM smartphone which means you can use two SIM cards simultaneously
- It offers 4G LTE connectivity so internet should be speedy
On the other hand, the Xiaomi Redmi 4A also has a few not so positive things about it:
- More demanding apps might become sluggish over time because of its low-end hardware
- Gaming is not a great experience
- Signal reception could be better
- According to xiaomidevices.com, there's no official plan for upgrading to Android 7 Nougat
The Xiaomi Redmi 4A is a bargain. It costs very little and offers all the basics you need. It doesn't impress with its hardware nor with its looks, but it manages to impress with its long lasting battery and with the good quality of its screen, camera and build. Xiaomi Redmi 4A is not for those who want speedy internet browsing sessions or high framerates in games. It is however, a great smartphone for those who are just meeting with the Android world and don't want to spend lots on it. It is also a great choice for your children and for your grandparents.
It could also be a good choice for your backup smartphone, to keep in your backpack while travelling or use it when your main one breaks. In the world of ultra budget smartphones, Xiaomi Redmi 4A might be the best choice you can make.
Hardware specifications and packaging
The Xiaomi Redmi 4A smartphone arrives in a small white box with a simple design. It is made from cardboard and it features a large 4A text engraved in white on its top. One of its sides holds a small MI logo and the other something written in Chinese.
If you turn the box upside down, you can see that there are a few stickers attached. They tell you the exact model of your smartphone, as well as other information such as the IMEI or serial numbers. Most of the other details printed on those stickers is in Chinese however, so unless you speak this language, they are not very useful.
Open the box and you can see the Xiaomi Redmi 4A smartphone sitting on top of an inner paper tray.
Once you take the smartphone out, you can take a look at what is bundled with it: a power adapter, a USB 2.0 cable, the warranty card, the user guide, and a SIM insertion tool. There are no headphones included, probably because they would have slightly increased the smartphone's price.
The Xiaomi Redmi 4A smartphone is available in three different color variations: Gold, Rose Gold, and Dark Grey. The model we tested was the more sober one, Dark Gray.
The Xiaomi Redmi 4A has a 5.0 inch IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels and 296 PPI pixel density. You can read more about PPI and what it means, in this guide: What is PPI and does it matter?. Unfortunately, there is no Corning Gorilla Glass protecting the display.
This smartphone is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 425 processor running at a top speed of 1.4GHz and an Adreno 308 graphical unit running at 500MHz. It works with 2GB of RAM and offers an internal flash storage space of 16GB. If you need more storage capacity, you can use the secondary SIM slot to insert a microSD card with a maximum size of 128GB.
The rear camera on the Xiaomi Redmi 4A has a sensor of 13 megapixels, an aperture of f/2.2, autofocus, and benefits from a LED flash for low-light photography. The front camera has 5 megapixels and an aperture of f/2.2.
In terms of connectivity, Xiaomi Redmi 4A comes with support for the 802.11 b/g/n wireless standards but not 802.11ac. This means that you can use it connect only to 2.4GHz wireless networks. There is also a Bluetooth 4.1 chip inside the smartphone for connecting it to various devices.
The Xiaomi Redmi 4A is a Dual-SIM smartphone and it works in Dual SIM Dual Standby mode. When you have two SIM cards inserted, the smartphone supports 4G calls and data connections only on the primary SIM, while the secondary works only in 2G.
Xiaomi Redmi 4A comes with a variety of sensors installed, such as an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and a proximity sensor. There is also a GPS chip, FM radio, and even an infrared port on it. The Xiaomi Redmi 4A comes with a non-removable battery of 3120 mAh that should offer it plenty of autonomy.
Regarding its size and weight, the Xiaomi Redmi 4A is rather small and light: it is 5.51 inches (139.9mm) in height, 2.77 inches (70.4mm) in width, 0.33 inches (8.5mm) in thickness, and it weighs only 4.66 oz or 131.5 grams.
If you want more details on the specs and features of the Xiaomi Redmi 4A, visit its web page: Xiaomi Redmi 4A Specifications.
The Xiaomi Redmi 4A offers a simple unboxing experience, but a pleasant one nonetheless. The hardware specifications of this smartphone are not impressive but they are good for its ultra low price tag.
Design and build quality
The Xiaomi Redmi 4A has a classic design, with sharper lines than its predecessors. It is a small smartphone with a 5 inch screen, and a very light one too, mainly because its body is made from polycarbonate. At first glance it looks like the body is metallic but the appearance is misleading.
The hardware buttons are placed in their traditional spots: both the volume rocker and the power buttons are on the top left edge of the smartphone. Although they don't have different textures, you should not have problems identifying which is which because the volume rocker is made from a single piece and it is a lot longer than the power button.
On the left edge, there's the SIM tray which you can eject using the pin from the box or any paper clip you have at hand. The bottom edge holds the micro USB 2.0 port used for charging and data transfers, and the top edge is home for the infrared port and the audio jack.
On the back of the smartphone, you can find the rear camera and the LED flash placed right at the top. Unfortunately, the camera is very close to the edge and that means that you can easily cover it with your fingers while taking photos or recording videos.
On the back, towards the bottom of the smartphone, there is the speaker grille and a silverish MI logo.
The software buttons are all found beneath the display on the front side of the smartphone. We like the fact that they are separated from the screen. However, there are also two things that we did not like about them: one is that they are not backlit so they are hard to identify during the night, and the second is that they are positioned opposite from the standard Android smartphones. From left to right, the Xiaomi Redmi 4A has Apps, Home and Back. The usual order is Back, Home and Apps. It works but you must adjust to this arrangement.
On the top side of the screen, you can find the rather small earpiece and the front camera.
Overall, the Xiaomi Redmi 4A does not disappoint when it comes to design and build quality. Sure, it does not look spectacular, nor does it have a body made from metal or glass like pricier smartphones. However, the polycarbonate body feels well assembled and it should not break easily.
If you would like to read more about the smartphone experience offered by Xiaomi Redmi 4A, its camera, bundled apps and performance in benchmarks, open the second page of this review.