How many phones have Xiaomi released in 2018? Two, four, six? To be honest, I cannot count, because there are so many. We already made unboxing and review of Redmi 5 Plus. In this article, we want to talk about Redmi S2. It is another new budget phone from Xiaomi with 16-megapixel front camera and flashlight. Is it the best budget Xiaomi phone in 2018? We will try to answer this question after full review.
Thanks GearBest online store for providing the sample of Xiaomi Redmi S2. We have a version with 4GB of RAM + 64GB of internal memory, but also you can buy 3GB + 32GB model. Below you can find the best offers on Redmi S2.
As you know, all smartphones from Redmi series come in red box. Xiaomi Redmi S2 is no exception. It is rectangular box of red color with logo on the front side, and specification list on the back.
By the way, you can notice Global logo on the side. It means that we receive international version with Multilanguage support and Google services.
Inside the box, there is smartphone, silicone case, power adapter, USB cable, SIM needle and user interface.
It is very good that Redmi S2 has silicone case in the package. However, we recommend you to buy another protective case from Gocomma. It costs just about $1, however it is much more durable than the case in the package. In addition, it is dirt-proof, so you should not afraid of dirty, dust and fingerprints.
We already said that Xiaomi have already released many phones in 2018. Many of them look similar to each other. Redmi S2 is something in between Redmi 5 Plus and Mi 6X. If you place all budget phones on the table, it will be very difficult to identify the smartphones.
However, Xiaomi Redmi S2 looks and feels very good as for budget phone. My dark grey version has black front panel and grey backside. The main feature of the front panel is front camera and flashlight to make high-quality selfies.
As for back panel, there is dual vertical camera, just like iPhone X, flashlight between camera sensors, and fingerprint reader in the center. I should note that camera protrudes from the body, so it is better to use protective case not to damage and scratch the camera.
From top and bottom, you can see antenna lines. They look very harmonious and nice.
The power and volume rocker are located on the right side. The slot for two SIM cards and MicroSD memory card is on the left.
Xiaomi phones are famous for their IR blasters. Redmi S2 also has it on the top. In addition, there are 3.5 mm audio jack and mic.
At the bottom you can see microUSB port (yes, there is microUSB, not Type-C) and speaker grill.
Xiaomi is the king on budget market, and Redmi S2 proves this. It is beautiful, high-quality smartphone. The only drawback is microUSB port, but we do not think it is a big problem.
We return to others budget phones from Xiaomi in 2018, because Redmi S2 have completely the same display as other devices. It has a diagonal of 5.99 inches, HD+ resolution (720×1440 pixels), 18:9 aspect ratio and 268 PPI.
You can say that HD resolution is not enough for 2018, and even the same Redmi 5 Plus has Full HD+ resolution. However, we believe HD+ is still good. We have watched some videos on YouTube, read news blogs, etc. and we do not have any issues. The brightness is enough for using the phone in direct sunlight.
Xiaomi Redmi S2 is equipped with Snapdragon 625 chipset, Adreno 605 graphics and 4GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in memory with microSD cards support up to 256GB. If you want to save a little money, then you can get a version with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. It still has very good performance.
Below you can see screenshots from CPU-Z app. They show you detailed information about CPU, battery, system, thermal, sensors.
Here is benchmark results from AnTuTu, GeekBench 4, AndroBench, SpeedTest and GPS Test.
If you are not interested in benchmarks, then we can share with your personal impressions. Xiaomi Redmi S2 works very well. It has fast and smooth user interface. Most apps starts very quickly, and only heavy games, such as PUBH Mobile and Tekken, take some time to launch. However, when the games are started, you will not notice any lags or slowdowns.
Xiaomi Redmi S2 runs on Android 8.1 Oreo with MIUI Global 9.5. While we were testing the phone, we received the first update MIUI V126.96.36.199. It says that the smartphone will regularly receive new software updates.
Xiaomi phones use the same user interface, so there is nothing new for permanent user. There are already pre-installed Google Services (Play Store, YouTube, Maps), Microsoft apps (Word, Excel, Skype), and even Xiaomi apps (Mi Store, MIUI Forum, Mi Remote, Browser).
The Security App provides very useful functions to optimize the system. You can use cleaner, boost speed, security scan and battery usage.
Xiaomi Redmi S2 comes with its own file manager. All files are sorted by folders Videos, Docs, Images, etc.
The smartphone has split-screen function. You can use it to split the screen on two parts, for example, for watching YouTube and reading news.
The last interesting feature we want to talk about is Face Unlock. Of course, Redmi S2 does not have special 3D face recognition technology, and it uses front camera for unlocking. However, it is still very interesting function. You can find it in Lock screen & password menu. If you do not have Face Unlock, then you need to change the region on Russia or India.
The camera is the main highlight of Xiaomi Redmi S2. It has very good rear camera, but the front one is even better. The smartphone comes with 12MP + 5MP rear camera, and 16MP front camera. The flashlight on the front helps to make high-quality selfies.
Just like the user interface, camera app doesn’t differ from other Xiaomi phones. There is Short Video, Video, Photo, Portrait, Square and Manual modes. The most interesting functions are on front camera. You can use beauty mode from 0 to 5. In addition, there is slender, big eyes, tone and smooth functions.
The camera makes very good images in good lighting conditions. The shots are bright, detailed and colorful. The second sensor on the back provides boke effect. It works pretty well.
You can find original photos here: flickr.
The selfie photos are also good. To be honest, I am not a big fan of selfies, but the image looks very decent.
The images at night are not as good as in daylight. However, I cannot complain on Redmi S2, because I haven’t seen budget phones with good camera performance in low light conditions.
The video is recorded in Full HD, HD and SD resolutions. In settings menu you can active image stabilization. The footage is really smooth, but we would like to have 4K video recording.
Xiaomi Redmi S2 has 3080mAh battery. It is not very big battery, because even Redmi 5 Plus comes 4000mAh battery capacity. However, it should provide good battery life, because Redmi S2 has only HD+ resolution and energy efficient processor.
The smartphones doesn’t have fast charging, so full battery charge takes about 2.5 hours.
After testing Xiaomi Redmi S2, we can say that it is very good budget phone. The version with 4/64GB costs about $170, while the price model with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage is $150.
We think it will be difficult to find something better for this price. Perhaps, the main drawback is battery, because it is only 3080mAh. However, Redmi S2 offers very good performance, international software and great cameras. Much more advantages than disadvantages!