“All your questions about the Xiaomi Redmi 1s answered.”
The Xiaomi Redmi 1s is the second smartphone from the Chinese company to go on sale in India. After selling 95,000 units of the Mi 3 over six flash sales in the country, Xiaomi has temporarily (we hope) retired the device to concentrate on the new entry.
If the Mi 3 was a flagship with mid-range pricing, the Redmi 1s is a mid-ranger at budget cost. Boasting specs usually seen on smartphones double, and even triple its price, the Redmi 1s makes for a very tempting proposition at its newly-slashed price of Rs 5,999. We’ve got the smartphone with us for review, but before we get into the details of performance, we’re going to attempt to answer a few frequently asked questions about the device.
How about starting with a lowdown on the core specs of the Xiaomi Redmi 1s?
Sure. The Redmi 1s features a 4.7-inch display with a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels (~312ppi). It’s powered by a 1.6GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 chipset, paired with 1GB of RAM and Adreno 305 graphics. There is 8GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD. Other specs include 8MP rear and 1.6MP front cameras, and a 2,050mAh battery.
Can you elaborate on the camera specs?
The primary camera on the Redmi 1s is an 8-megapixel autofocus shooter, accompanied by LED flash. It includes features like face detection, Panorama, HDR, Advanced Mode, filters and more. For selfies and video calls, you get a 1.6MP camera with a countdown timer feature. The rear camera can record videos in 1080p, while the front camera can shoot in 720p.
What are the box contents of the Redmi 1s?
As mentioned in our unboxing, apart from the smartphone, you’ll find the warranty and standard documentation, micro-USB cable, a two-pin wall charger and user-replaceable battery. Xiaomi will also include a micro-SIM card adapter and a free screen guard in the retail box.
Can you comment on the Redmi 1s’ build quality?
The Redmi 1s offers superb build quality for its price. Even though it’s made of plastic, the smartphone is very sturdy. The back panel is not flimsy, and overall, the device looks quite premium and doesn’t come across as a budget device.
What are the customisation options available for the Xiaomi Redmi 1s?
The Xiaomi Redmi 1s is available only in a slate grey. but you can swap out the back panel for any of the variety of colourful options Xiaomi offers. Apart from this, you can also add protective silicon gel cases in different colours, and as well as a flip cover. All the official accessories for the phone should be available when the Redmi 1s goes on sale.
Does the Redmi 1s offer Gorilla Glass protection?
No, the Indian variant of the Redmi 1s does not offer Gorilla Glass protection. Instead, you get a layer of Asahi Dragontrail glass, which performs the same function of keeping scratches at bay.
How much storage is available on the Redmi 1s? Does it support microSD and USB OTG?
The Redmi 1s offers 8GB of internal storage. Out of this, a little over 4.5GB is available for apps and media. You can expand the storage by an additional 64GB via microSD. The Redmi 1s also supports USB On-the-Go, that lets you attach a flash drive to the device.
What are the other connectivity options available?
Apart from USB OTG, the Redmi 1s supports 3G, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS.
Does the Xiaomi Redmi 1s support dual-SIM? What type of SIM cards does it accept?
Yes, the Redmi 1s is a dual-SIM device. Unfortunately, both SIM card slots accept only regular-sized SIMs. As mentioned earlier, Xiaomi has promised to include a pair of SIM card adapters in the retail box for those who currently use micro-SIM cards.
Does the Redmi 1s support 3G on both SIMs?
No, 3G is only supported on SIM 1. The second SIM slot only supports EDGE.
What sensors are available on the Xiaomi Redmi 1s?
The handset offers the usual array of sensors, like proximity, ambient light, gyroscope and accelerometer.
What is the SAR value of the Redmi 1s?
SAR or Specific Absorption Rate is the rate at which radio frequencies emitted by mobile phones are absorbed by the body. In India, the SAR limit is 1.6W/kg, and the Redmi 1s has a SAR value of 1.210W/kg, which is well within the permissible limits.
What is the battery capacity of the Redmi 1s? Is it user replaceable?
The Redmi 1s is fuelled by a 2,050mAh battery, which is user replaceable. In fact, Xiaomi will be selling spare batteries and a separate battery charger (pictured above) on Flipkart in the coming weeks.
Does the Xiaomi Redmi 1s run MIUI? Does it offer any special software features?
Yes, the Redmi 1s runs Xiaomi’s custom ROM, MIUI v5, based on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The user interface features several software tweaks which you can read about in detail in our Xiaomi Mi 3 review.
The Redmi 1s also features a special Lite Mode which removes all the complications of the UI and replaces it with a simple and easy-to-navigate interface. Lite Mode features large blocks and fonts, making it easy for the elderly to navigate. Key apps like the dialer, contacts, camera, gallery, messages and more are displayed on the home screens. You can also assign blocks to frequently-accessed contacts. We’ll delve more into the details of Lite Mode in our full review.
Can I access the Google Play Store and Google services on the Redmi 1s?
Although these services are banned in Xiaomi’s home country, China, the Redmi 1s units sold in India will come with access to the Play Store and all Google apps.
When and where can I buy the Redmi 1s?
The Redmi 1s can be purchased officially only via Flipkart. Similar to the flash sale model for the Mi 3, you’ll need to register on Flipkart to be eligible to buy the smartphone. The first flash sale is scheduled for 2 pm on September 2nd, and will follow every Tuesday for the foreseeable future. However, if the Mi 3 sales were anything to go by, stocks are likely to get sold out pretty quickly.
What’s the competition like for the Xiaomi Redmi 1s?
For its specifications, it looks like the Redmi 1s could soon reign supreme in the budget category. The previous kingpins included the Moto E, Micromax Unite 2 and ASUS Zenfone 4, however they pale in comparison to the Redmi 1s. (Check out this spec comparison for more details). With its HD display, a quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor and an 8MP primary camera with flash, the closest any device gets to the Redmi 1s is the ASUS Zenfone 5, which retails for nearly double the price.
We’ve covered most of the basics, but if there are any other questions that you’d like answered, please let us know in the comments below. Until then, stay tuned for our full review, coming up soon.