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Redmi Go Review - Affordable yet capable!

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Redmi, Xiaomi's new sub-brand has a special treat to its Filipino fans on a very tight budget, the Redmi Go.
Redmi Go Review - Affordable yet capable!
Redmi Go review!

Priced at PHP 3,990, Redmi Go is the first Android (Go edition) smartphone from the Chinese company. It is also the most affordable phone with 4G LTE connectivity from the brand yet.

Here's our full review!

Note: Xiaomi sent us the unit bare-bones, so the usual unboxing and first impressions part won't be included in this review.

Build Quality/Design

All plastic back and frame
All plastic back and frame

Redmi Go sports a respectable build, especially at this price point. Curved backplate is made out of plastic. The frame is also made out of plastic. But, the type of plastic they used feels good in the hands. Most likely, it is durable enough to withstand few light drops.

In front, it is one of the few left with a flat screen. Yes, a flat screen, not a 2.5D curved panel. It is fine though, this handset is a budget phone, not a mid-ranger. At least, the screen is glass, not plastic.

There's no mention of Gorilla Glass or any other sort of glass protection.
Top
Top
Bottom
Bottom
Left
Left
Right
Right

Design-wise, it looks like a traditional phone. It doesn't look premium, but it doesn't look bad at all as well. Some may even like the way it is designed as it is neat and simple looking.

The back, is curved. You will find the single main camera at the back and the flash as the back.

In front, it is one of the few left with a traditional 16:9 screen. It would have been nicer if it has the taller 18:9 screen, but it is just fine for the price. As expected, top and bottom bezels are thick. Though the side bezels are quite slim.

The handset measures at 140.4 x 70.1 mm and pretty slim at 8.35 mm.

The earpiece and selfie camera are located on top of the display on the thick top bezel. On top, there's a 3.5 mm headphone jack slot and the first microphone. Below, there's the second microphone, micro USB port, and the down-firing single speaker.

At left, the slots for the micro USB and dual nano SIM slots are located. At right, the usual power button and volume keys are placed.

Overall, it is a nicely built phone with slim and compact design. It is easy to operate even on one-handed mode.

It is not slippery, but prone to fingerprint smudges without a case.

Display Quality

Bright HD screen
Bright HD screen

Like what we said earlier, Redmi Go has a traditional 5-inch display with 16:9 screen aspect ratio. It has a sharp enough 1280 x 720 resolution with 294 ppi for a phone with a compact 5-inch display.

Color reproduction is respectable with a slightly cooler color tone. Like other IPS panels, it has pretty good viewing angles even if it doesn't have a 2.5D glass on the top. Screen brightness levels are pretty strong for a budget device as well.

It has thicker than expected top and bottom bezels. But, its side bezels are pretty slim.

It would have been better if it has a taller 18:9 screen with more screen screen real estate like the other Android (Go edition) phones from the other brands.

On the display settings, you will find the adaptive screen toggle, auto rotate toggle, night light (eye comfort), display size, and more.

It also has 10 points of touch which is rare for a budget device.

Audio Quality

Redmi Go has a single down-firing speaker. It is one of the loudest sounding single speaker found on a budget phone. But it isn't just loud, it is also good sounding overall. Mids are excellent (for the price) and it has noticeable highs. Lows could even be called as decent which is rare for a phone with a cheap price tag.

Loudspeaker on a budget!

At max loudness, distortion is not even noticeable if you are few meters away from the phone.

Audio from its 3.5mm headphone jack slot also sounds great. It clean and balanced sounding. It even has good enough driving power to make few multi-driver in-ear earphones and low-powered headphones shine a little. But of course, do not expect it sound like a dedicated DAP (HiFi) music player.

For Bluetooth, connection is mostly stable. It is compatible with my 1MORE Triple Driver BT earphones.

The microphones are very impressive. Calls quality is mostly okay. Recordings aren't as noisy as other budget phones as well. The voices that we recorded using the phone are mostly detailed. Again, impressive.

Battery

Good battery performance
Good battery performance

Redmi Go only has 3,000mAh of juice, but it only has an HD screen. Plus, it runs with the lightweight and super power-efficient version of Android, Android (Go edition) OS.

Sadly, PC Mark is not compatible with the phone, so we manually did our battery test. In my actual daily usage with 4G LTE most of the time, Redmi Go clocked a grand total of 17 hours and 6 minutes before it died. It is equivalent to 4 hours and 15 minutes of screen on time. There are even times where I will use the 4G hotspot mode.

Its battery performance is pretty good regardless of price. It also has few power saving options to help you save more power.

Charging time is slow though. Using a 5V/1A charger, charging time is roughly around 3.15 hours. I tried my other quick charge chargers with over 5V/2A output, but the charging time is the same.

Camera

Single main camera
Single main camera

Redmi Go has a single 8MP camera with f/2.0 aperture size. It also has AF and a single LED flash. The camera looks like a basic MIUI based camera app. It has an auto HDR feature, 13 filters, and 11 different scenes.
Camera UI
Camera UI

The 11 scenes will allow you to pick the scene you want such as normal, vivid, film, black and white, and more.
Manual/Pro mode
Manual/Pro mode

But wait, there's more! Redmi Go is one of the cheapest smartphone in PH with a manual camera mode. It also comes with white balance, focus, shutter speed, and ISO adjustments. You can adjust the shutter speed from 1/1000s to 8s.

Focus is fast! Shutter speed is half of a second. 3-inch near macro shots are a bit hard to get, but it is possible if you are on a well-lit lighting condition.

Good daylight cameras

Speaking of daylight shots, results are surprisingly GREAT for the price. It has plenty of details, punchy color reproduction (a bit saturated), and good dynamic range. HDR works well too! For close-up shots, it can produce decent amount of bokeh background blur.

On dim indoor and low light shots, image quality is visibly lower. Details will be softer, dynamic range will be lesser, and there will be more grain. Try to use the pro mode (if you have a tripod) or the flash in low light scenes to take better looking images.

By the way, it is a decent type of flash.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight 1
Daylight 1
Daylight 2
Daylight 2
HDR
HDR
Close-up 1
Close-up 1
Close-up 2
Close-up 2
Close-up 3
Close-up 3
Dim cropped
Dim cropped
Indoor dim
Indoor dim
Low light 1
Low light 1
Low light 2
Low light 2

For selfies, Redmi Go has a 5MP f/2.2 camera with auto HDR and different filters. It also has an adjustable 5 levels of face beauty.

Daylight selfies are good with crisp details and natural looking colors. Face beauty looks nice up to level 2. Anything above level 2 is too unnatural for me. Indoor selfies are respectable. Low light selfies are far from decent. It doesn't have flash or even a screen flash in front.



Selfie Camera Samples

Normal vs face beauty level 2
Normal vs face beauty level 2
Indoor well-lit
Indoor well-lit
Indoor dim
Indoor dim
Low light selfie
Low light selfie

For videos, you can shoot at 1080p at the back and in front. The main camera has fast auto focus. It also has plenty of details on well-lit scenes, but it is shaky since it has no EIS or OIS for stabilization.


Selfie videos are respectable for daylight scenes. It also has slightly better stabilization than the main camera.

Video Samples


Performance

Geekbench score of Redmi Go
Geekbench score of Redmi Go

Like other Android (Go edition) powered budget phones, Redmi Go comes with basic specs. It runs with the 
1.4GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 425 quad-core processor, Adreno 306, 1GB RAM, and 8GB storage. The 8GB is expandable up to 128GB if you will use its dedicated microSD card slot.
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is playable in low settings
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is playable in low settings

As expected, even if it has low specs, the performance is decent for a phone with basic specs. The speed reminds me of phones with 2GB RAM instead of just 1GB. Its 8GB of storage is small, but it has identical usable space with some phones with 16GB default storage.


There are few scenes where we experienced lag, but it isn't as bad as phones with 1GB RAM, but with default Android OS, not Android (Go edition).

The UI

Lightweight skin
Lightweight skin

Redmi made it possible because of the Android 8.1 Oreo (Go edition) OS. It is Android's optimized operating system designed to work on phones with lesser hardware. It also has ultra-lightweight Go edition apps like Google Go, YouTube Go, Gmail Go, Go Assistant, and Maps Go.

We also noticed that it has pre-installed "Lite" apps like the Facebook Lite. It is also advisable to use other "Lite" social media apps such as Instagram Lite and Messenger Lite to keep the performance of the handset fast.

Redmi Go uses Mint Launcher to customize the layout of the phone. It have few Xiaomi pre-installed apps like the Mint Browser, Mi Drop, Mi Video, Cleaner, and Xiaomi's camera app.

However, it has few weaknesses. Some apps like NBA, PUBG, and few benchmarking apps like PC Mark and AnTuTu are not compatible with this phone.

Other features

The phone has no face unlock and fingerprint scanner. It has the old school pin or double tap to wake feature. It also has USB OTG support, but it doesn't have a gyro sensor for VR apps.

I also has 700MHz 4G LTE. Not all budget phones has 4G LTE. Lastly, this phone comes with WiFi, GPS, and dual SIM slots. It has good GSM signal connectivity most of the time.

Pros - HD screen, good loud speaker, capable daylight cameras, 4G LTE on a budget, good software optimization, affordable price tag
Cons - Charging time could have been faster, low light selfie needs improvement, few incompatible apps

Redmi Go Specs

Display: 5-inch IPS screen w/ HD 1280 x 720 resolution at 294 ppi
CPU: 1.4GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 425 quad-core processor
GPU: Adreno 306
RAM: 1GB
ROM: 8GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 128GB (dedicated)
Back Camera: 8MP f/2.0 w/ AF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 5MP f/2.2
Battery: 3,000mAh
OS: Android 8.1 Oreo (Go edition)
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, 700MHz 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.1, OTG, FM Radio, GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, proximity, sound
Others: Dual mic, Colors: black, blue
Dimensions: 140.4 x 70.1 x 8.35 mm
Weight: 137 g
Price: PHP 3,990 (PHP 3,490 new SRP)

Verdict

Redmi Go is one of the must consider if you are looking to get your very first Android smartphone on a tight budget. It could also be for those in need of a solid backup phone since it has 4G LTE connectivity and speedy optimized OS.

For me, it is one of the most capable and feature-rich found in the sub PHP 4K price range.

Redmi Go is now available at Lazada Philippines for PHP 3,990.

Build/Design - 4
Display - 4
Audio - 4.25
Battery - 4
Camera - 4.25
Performance - 4
Average - 4.08/5
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