Xiaomi Redmi Go
Redmi Go launched as the most basic entry-level smartphone offering from Xiaomi in India. The Chinese handset manufacturer seems to follow the “Jack of all trades” way too much. As of now, Xiaomi is selling a smartphone for every user starting from the most basic entry level to the mid-premium price segment. The Xiaomi Redmi Go is the first ever smartphone from the Chinese handset maker to get the Android Oreo Go Edition.
Xiaomi made it clear from the start that the Redmi Go was specifically targeted at those buyers who are making a move from using feature phones to Android touchscreen phones. The Redmi Go is currently the cheapest Xiaomi Redmi device on sale in the Indian market for Rs. 4,499. Read our first impression of the Redmi Go here.
Of course, feature phones in the Indian market is still an untapped segment which Xiaomi is now planning to take over slowly and steadily. A report by the IDC stated that over 181.3 million units of feature phones were shipped in India last year. The feature phone from Reliance Jio – the JioPhone contributed to about 36.1 per cent of the sales of feature phones. So it is no surprise that JioPhone took the stride ahead with its launch, but Xiaomi Redmi Go at the first look, and after proper review, looks to be a strong contender. To know if the Xiaomi Redmi Go is really what feature phone users want, read our review.
- Android Go of course!
- Compact and curved design
- Aluminium back
- Ambient Display
- For an asking price of Rs. 4,499, for God’s sake, come on!
Xiaomi Redmi Go Review: Looks, Build, Design, and Display
We had mentioned in our first impressions that the Xiaomi Redmi Go looks like a fat iPhone 4s. We are repeating this, the Redmi Go gets a super compact form-factor with a curved back design. The display is glass, not plastic. The rear panel feels solid and does not feel it will dismantle at the first drop.
Of course, when we say the display is glass, we mean it will break because of its glass! The display glass is susceptible to scratches and may crack, but that’s the same with every other phone with a glass panel – be it the Redmi Go or the Apple iPhone Xs Max. We are repeating this because feature phone users will have a new thing to worry about. Usually, the build quality of a feature phone is more plastic and less glass or metal considering it does not get any sensors, or gyroscopes or such. So users do not generally worry about scratches, or dents, or just plain dropping of the phone.
Glass and metal are for the premium segment; they said until Xiaomi stepped in and just said: “that just ain’t happening.” The Redmi Go gets a very decent build quality than a standard feature phone. The bottom part of the frame which is made out of plastic, gets the speaker grille, micro-USB charging port, and a microphone. The left side of the frame houses the SIM card display and an SD card tray. The top side houses the 3.5mm jack and another mic. The right side houses the volume rockers and the power buttons, which do not feel flimsy and are made out of plastic.
The front panel is glass and houses the display which gets big bezels and sports a 5-inch HD display. This a significant upgrade from those mediocre pixelated displays you find on feature phones. The present glass protection is a Gorilla Glass 3 with 2.5D curved glass. The IPS display resolution is 1280 x 720 pixels.
Considering what we expected, the Redmi Go has already surpassed our expectations from the start. There are features which are usually found in more premium phones, but Xiaomi has not compromised with the features for an entry-level device. The display is vibrant, and the colour distribution shows a broader colour gamut. Other major features we used and did not expect was the ambient display and night light. Xiaomi is serious with the Redmi Go.
Xiaomi Redmi Go Review: Software and Performance
We thought hard about this segment. For users who are switching from the feature phone segment will feel the Redmi Go is super quick, based on our findings. The Xiaomi Redmi Go is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 chipset which is coupled with a quad-core CPU which has been clocked to 1.4GHz. The Redmi Go is sold in two variants – 1GB RAM with 8GB of internal storage, and 1GB of RAM with 16GB of internal storage. The internal storage is expandable via microSD to up to 128GB. The Redmi Go interestingly gets a dedicated microSD storage slot on the Redmi Go.
Normal usage on the Redmi Go felt decently fast enough and smooth. The Redmi Go runs on a stripped down version of the Android 8.1 Oreo. We did like the fact that even though the OS was a stripped out version, there was still support for Google’s Go suite of apps, some of which carried the Lite suffix to show that they will consume less memory. The smartphone was preloaded with a couple of third-party apps like Amazon, Facebook Lite and Mint Browser. The Xiaomi Redmi Go also gets Radio functionality. But on the other hand, it is understandable that a majority of the smartphones sold will have some form of bloatware, and so do the Redmi Go. But it was minor, and nothing that we did found distracting or interruptive in our daily browsing.
Now a major point. The Xiaomi Redmi Go launcher was not the standard Android launcher. The one on the Go is called the Mint Launcher and allows some themes and icon design customisation options. The Launcher even though with its Pandora’s box of customisations, does make us miss the actual Android experience. The Mint Launcher does not slow down the phone during our tests, but still, we would have wanted the Android UI. Playing HD videos do seem to have a minor effect on speed, but it still is fine considering the price.
Basic internet browsing, app switching, calls, messages, and social media browsing looked decent enough. Gaming performance is mediocre and does not support high-end games like PUBG, NOVA, or Real Racing, but basic gaming is okay. We are not surprised considering – and we repeat – the Go has been targeted at those buyers making a switch from feature phones to full touchscreen smartphones.
Xiaomi Redmi Go Review: Camera
The Xiaomi Redmi Go gets an entry-level camera which comes with a standard set of features but interesting ones. The smartphone features an 8-megapixel module on the rear panel and a 5-megapixel on the front for selfies. The camera can also record videos in full HD, gets Auto HDR, and AI Beautify mode for selfies among other features.
Our use of the Redmi Go’s camera seemed decent enough for the price. Photos were good during daylight with decent colour accuracy. However, low-light photography was not the phone’s strongest point. Daylight images looked, and good normal users will find the camera satisfying.
Considering the Redmi Go is a budget smartphone, camera performance was decent enough, and we are not complaining.
Xiaomi Redmi Go Review: Battery
The Xiaomi Redmi Go sports a 3000mAh battery which according to Xiaomi, provides up to 10 days of standby time and around 12 hours of calls or 78 hours of music, and 5 hours of video time.
We used the Go as our primary device for over a week, and the phone was able to get through an entire day of calls, text, social media, music, and internet browsing and with enough left to make it to the end of the day. The Redmi Go takes little over 90 minutes to fully charge.
Xiaomi Redmi Go Ratings
- Design: 7/10
- Display: 7/10
- Performance: 7/10
- Cameras: 6/10
- Battery: 9/10
- Overall: 9/10
Xiaomi Redmi Go Review: Price and Verdict
The Xiaomi Redmi Go, for an entry-level smartphone ticks all the right boxes, and more. The Redmi Go gets a 5-inch display, two cameras, a capable Snapdragon chipset, 3,000mAh battery, and a form factor which does not make it feel like its an entry level device. The glass top, aluminium back, rear camera with LED flash, Android Go, and the stellar price makes it the perfect first Android phone for you.
So if you are using a feature phone right now, we would suggest how about moving to a touchscreen one?