Xiaomi Redmi 3s Review

redmi-3s

We got the brand new Xiaomi Redmi 3S from Everbuying, and after some day of tests we are reviewing it.

Some months after the release of Redmi 3, Xiaomi released the Redmi 3S. The new Redmi 3S is equipped with a high performance processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, a huge 4100mAh battery with a greater capacity, attractive all-metal casing, a very good quality 13Mp camera with support of phase focusing.

Impressive is its thickness, this phone is even less thin than the previous generation of smartphones, just at 0.9mm, and with its 5-inch screen Redmi 3S is very comfortable in hand and is pleasant to the touch. Its dimensions are 139.3 x 69.6 x 8.5 mm and just 144 grams.

This model comes with original MIUI 7.8 firmware (with Google Play Store, you don’t need to install it on your own) and will be soon updated to the new MIUI 8.

Available @ Everbuying

Xiaomi Redmi 3s review

Design and feel

This phone has a very nice design, similar to the Redmi Note 3. The metal-cover on the Redmi 3S is of top-notch quality, when held in hand. It guarantees premium feel, which no other phone can match it in the budget category. The brushed metal-finish flawlessly blend well with the metal on the rear.
The Redmi 3s is made almost entirely of metal, save for two plastic strips running along the top and bottom of the rear for the various antennas to work. The strips are certainly noticeable, but not as prominent as the plastic antenna lines on the iPhone 6 and 6s series, for example, so some might actually prefer this.

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It features a 3.5mm jack on the top with IR blaster with smart TV remote control feature, and in the bottom it features a micro USB port.

On the right side, it houses the volume (up+down) button, on top of the power button, while on the left it houses hybrid SIM slot (2 SIMs or SIM + SD card).

Initial setup

5This phone uses MIUI 7.8 OS, that is based on Android 6.0.1. It is very simple to use and set up.
The first time you turn on the phone, just insert your google account credentials and in seconds the phone will be ready for use, with many features and no worries. You will easily find pre-installed Gmail, Chrome and Google Play Store from where you can install every app you need, like Facebook, Whatsapp, Messenger.
However, not all functions are easy to find if you are used to different OS (like Samsung devices). Anyway after some hours or 1-2 days you will find every options and can configure this phone for your needs.

Display

This phone has a 5″ IPS screen. It’s a nice size, you can use it with one hand easily, and it’s very handy. It has a resolution of 1280×720 pixels, is very sharp and bright, even under the sun. It has a density of 294PPI.
It has the advantage of being oleophobic, to have a good light sensor and look good in the sun. But blacks and color quality are not the best. A little below the redmi 3 pro.
With all pixels grouped in close proximity, it offers delightful viewing experience. Xiaomi device also comes with reading mode.
The only flaw we found is that the Redmi 3S Prime’s capacitive buttons at the base are no back-lit. It is a little difficult to navigate the phone in the dark. Anyway, I got used to this in a couple of days.

Performances

Redmi 3s comes with 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 quad-core processor backed by Adreno 505 graphics engine, 2GB RAM and 16GB inbuilt storage.

During my tests, it performed well in almost all aspects. The phone was able to launch the phone apps quickly and showed no sign of lag even when we launched multiple apps and switched between them.

It also performed well when playing games, there was hardly any drop in the frame rate. However, it began to show signs of stress and started getting hot when playing graphic intensive games, after we extended the session over 30 minutes. That being said, Redmi 3S Prime is far better compared to other devices in the budget category

Antutu

I installed Antutu, the number one benchmark software for phones. It reached a result that is classified as “medium class phone”, 36067. It’s not bad, but while it was running I could see that renderings and games were fluid. My Samsung S5 can reach a slightly better result, but videos and renderings were not fluid, but jerky. So it’s a strange fact. Anyway, performances are good for a phone with this price, though they are far from top class (and price) phones.

Real Racing

I tested the phone with real racing, a car racing game quite heavy and demanding. Performances are good, i could race in every situation with good details and fluidity. So this phone can be used for performance demanding games. You can see the results of a game in the video above.

Phone use

Good signal reception. In conversation I could hear very well, no problems in this field.

Camera

Pictures

Xiaomi comes packed with a 13MP camera with 5-physical lens, f/2.0 aperture, PDAF (Phase Detection Auto Focus), HDR, full HD video recording, 0.1 second phase focusing speed.

This camera really surprised me. It makes really sharp pictures, with natural and bright colors even at noon and good details. Automatic focus is fast and precise, even in low light.

During the testing, the rear camera performed very well outdoor. I was able to get really good shots in daylight conditions. The auto-focus feature was quick in tracking subject’s change in position. However, its performance get worse in dark environment. Auto-focus feature gets slower but picture quality is still very good with HDR on, expecially if compared to other budget phones in the market.

And on the front, it features a 5MP snapper with f/2.2 aperture, full HD video recording ability, face-recognition feature, 36-intelligent self-portrait selfie styles.

Its front camera was able to get decent quality selfies and we were pretty impressed with age predictor applications. It was consistent in foretelling the approximate age of the person.

Here you can find some sample photo shot with Redmi 3S with rear camera.

Flowers - Good details, perfect focus, natural colors
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Videos

This is a short video shot with Redmi 3s. It’s quality is deteriorated by youtube, but you can see that Redmi 3S can shoot sharp and bright videos.


Audio

Very high volume and quality, even when you put it on a table face up, although the speaker is in the rear part of the phone. There is the FM radio and the playback volume is really high.

Battery

Xiaomi Redmi 3s features a huge 4,100mAh battery. Long battery life is another hall mark of the Redmi 3S.

I tested the phone sending Whatsapp messages, watching videos on YouTube, gaming, internet browsing, calling, and the battery easily reached the end of the day with still 20% of power left. If used moderately, it will easily last two days. However, the battery requires almost 2.5 hours time to get fully charged.

Fingerprint scanner

On the rear there’s a fingerprint sensor, just put your finger on it and you can unlock your phone immediatly. The sensor is very effective, with a rate of 100% success when I tried it for some days. So it’s very reliable and fast, you don’t need anymore any code or password to unlock your phone securely.

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Conclusions

In our opinion, currently, there is no phone in the budget category (<150$) that can match Xiaomi Redmi 3S, be it in build quality or in performance. For 35$ more you can get the Redmi 3 pro, it has slightly better performances, and identical design. If you want to spare the money, it’s really a good choice, for the very good camera, the long lasting battery, performances, design and a very good price.

If you are planning to buy a high-quality phone under 150$, I think Redmi 3S is one of the best choices.

Pros:

  • Top-class build quality (and classy design too)
  • Powerful processor
  • Surprisingly excellent camera
  • Excellent battery life
  • Excellent price for what you get

Cons:

  • No back-lit buttons on the display panel
  • It gets hot when is under stress, and when charging
  • MIUI 7 needs some configuration after the – easy – initial setup.

Available @ Everbuying

Xiaomi Redmi 3S Overview

Now let’s see briefly the main features of this phone, so you’ll have a complete idea of it.

Hardware

Redmi 3s comes with the brand new Snapdragon 430 CPU, a 1.4GHz octacore processor, and Adreno 505 GPU for fast performances. The version we tested has 2GB of Ram and 16GB of ROM.

Display

This phone has a 5″ screen. It’s a nice size, you can use it with one hand easily, and is very handy. It has a resolution of 1280×720 pixels, is very sharp and bright, even under the sun.

Camera

Redmi 3s features a very nice 13MP camera. We already talked about it with some samples. It has a flashlight for dark scenes. The front camera has a 5MP sensor.

Fingerprint scanner

On the rear there’s a fingerprint sensor, just put your finger on it and you can unlock your phone immediatly. The sensor is very effective, with a rate of 100% success when I tried it for some days. So it’s very reliable and fast, you don’t need anymore any code or password to unlock your phone securely.

Battery

Altough this phone is very light, thin and small, it has a huge 4100mAh battery. You can easily reach the end of the day even with heavy usage, and with normal usage you can reach even the end of the second day. I left it with wifi on, without using it for 4 days and nights but receiving updates and notifications, and it still had 20% of battery left.

Dual Sim

You can choose to use 2 sim cards with 2 different numbers at the same time, or use one sim and a micro SD card up to 129GB to increase your space for photos, videos, music, apps.

OS

This phone uses MIUI 7 OS, that is based on Android 6.0.1. It is very simpl to use and set up- The first time you turn on the pone, just insert your google account and in seconds the phone will be ready for use, with many features. You will easily find Gmail, Chrome and Google Play Store from where you can install every app you need, like Facebook, Whatsapp, Messenger.

Main Features:

Display: 5.0 inch 1280 x 720 HD screen
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 Octa Core 1.4GHz
System: Android 6.0
RAM + ROM: 2GB RAM + 16GB ROM
Max Storage Expansion: 128GB
Camera: Back camera 13.0MP + front camera 5.0MP
Bluetooth: 4.1
Feature: Fingerprint Scanner, GPS, A-GPS
SIM Card: Dual SIM dual standby, one is micro SIM card, the other is nano SIM card
Network:
2G: GSM 900/1800/1900MHz
3G: WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100MHz CDMA 2000 BC0
4G: FDD-LTE 1800/2100/2600MHz

Specifications

Basic Information Brand: XiaoMi
Type: 4G Smartphone
OS: Android 6.0
Service Provide: Unlocked
Language: English, French, Spanish, Russian, German, Italian, Portuguese
SIM Card Slot: Dual SIM,Dual Standby
SIM Card Type: Micro SIM Card,Nano SIM Card
Hardware CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
Cores: 1.4GHz,Octa Core
GPU: Adreno 505
RAM: 2GB RAM
ROM: 16GB
External Memory: TF card up to 128GB (not included)
Network Wireless Connectivity: 3G,4G,A-GPS,Bluetooth,GPS
WIFI: 802.11b/g/n wireless internet
Network type: FDD-LTE+WCDMA+GSM
2G: GSM 900/1800/1900MHz
3G: WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100MHz CDMA 2000 BC0
4G: FDD-LTE 1800/2100/2600MHz
Display Screen type: IPS
Screen size: 5.0 inch
Screen resolution: 1280 x 720 (HD 720)
Camera Camera type: Dual cameras (one front one back)
Back camera: 13.0MP,with flash light and AF
Front camera: 5.0MP
Touch Focus: Yes
Auto Focus: Yes
Flashlight: Yes
Camera Functions: Face Beauty,Face Detection,HDR,Panorama Shot
Media Formats Picture format: BMP,GIF,JPEG,PNG
Music format: AMR,Mid,MP3,WAV
Video format: 3GP,AVI,MKV,MP4
Games: Android APK
Other Features I/O Interface: 1 x Micro SIM Card Slot,1 x Nano SIM Card Slot,TF/Micro SD Card Slot
Bluetooth version: V4.1
Sensor: Ambient Light Sensor,Gravity Sensor,Gyroscope,Proximity Sensor
FM radio: Yes
Sound Recorder: Yes
Additional Features: 3G,4G,Alarm,Bluetooth,Browser,Calculator,Calendar,Fingerprint recognition,GPS,MP3,MP4,People,Wi-Fi
Battery Battery Capacity (mAh): 4100mAh
Battery Type: Lithium-ion Polymer Battery
Package Contents Cell Phone: 1
Power Adapter: 1
USB Cable: 1
Dimensions and Weight Product size: 13.90 x 6.90 x 0.80 cm / 5.47 x 2.72 x 0.31 inches
Package size: 15.90 x 8.90 x 5.10 cm / 6.26 x 3.5 x 2.01 inches
Product weight: 0.144 kg
Package weight: 0.500 kg

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