I’ve had a week or so to properly explore every aspect of the Xiaomi Redmi S2, and these are my first impressions of every category that matters to the average consumer.
The first time I opened the box of the Redmi S2 and held the phone in my hand, I instantly knew that it was a superbly built device. It felt cold to the touch, reminiscent of a device with a metal housing, but I’ve since discovered that it is indeed plastic, but I can bet anything you won’t be able to tell the difference.
I haven’t dropped the device yet to test how it handles sudden force but based on the free silicone case it comes with I’m sure it will handle most impacts quite well.
The screen comes at a decent 720x1440p full HD resolution and even though I’ve seen some complaints about this online I think it’s a bit nitpicky. The screen never lags or shows errant pixels, getting up to a brightness level enough to see the screen with no problems in scorching West-African sun.
PERFORMANCE & BATTERY
The Redmi S2 comes packed with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage as well as a Snapdragon 625 chip which is meant to deliver high performance with minimal battery drain.
Based on my experience so far, I can say that the 3080mAp battery this thing packs easily gets me through a day or so at heavy usage. I usually play heavy 3D games on it like Asphalt 8 and it handles easily (pardon driving pun) without lag or excessive battery drain.
Another thing that impressed me about this phone is how well the cooling system performs. The LiquidCool system Xiaomi put in the Pocophone F1 is making waves at the moment and they must have a knack for this because even when playing games or watching YouTube videos while the phone was on charge it never caused even the slightest bit of overheating.
The Redmi S2 comes straight out of the box with Xiaomi’s MIUI 9.5 but within a day of use I got an update to MIUI 10, which was rather impressive.
MIUI is smooth and simplistic and didn’t give me any reason to download a third-party launcher. Many people complain that it looks a bit too much like iOS but I didn’t think that’s particularly a negative thing since I’ve always appreciated iOS’ focus on simplicity and performance and MIUI 10 delivers in this regard.
Xiaomi also has a policy of taking user views into consideration and delivering quick updates to fix issues and this is something I find wonderful.
I intentionally left this category last because I think this is the main reason I think anyone would consider the S2 over other similarly priced devices like the Moto G6 or LG G5. Xiaomi have hyped this phone up to supposedly have a camera set up to rival some higher-end devices and based on my experience so far, it doesn’t do a bad job.
The dual camera set-up on the rear does a wonderful job in well-lit environments. The HDR setting does an amazing job and the fact that you can control saturation and contrast will make this a decent experience for anyone who uses the phone.
The real selling point of this phone is its front camera which comes at a massive 16 megapixels and makes taking selfies a delight. The portrait mode is sharp and recognizes edges rather well and I’ve had no real problems with exposure settings.
In lowly lit environment the camera may struggle a bit with noise but I think the HHT multiple layering setting does a good job with this issue.
Here are some photos I took with the Redmi S2:
Overall, this is a decent device for the price. It comes at around 780 Ghana Cedis on Jumia. It delivers in basically all categories with no glaring problems. I would definitely recommend this phone for anyone who requires a decent camera on a budget phone.
So far, so good I’d say.