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The best budget smart phone for selfies?

Xiaomi is the king of low-budget smartphones in India, period. Every new phone they launch is being eaten by the public as if they were offering it for free. Here's a number for you: Xiaomi sold 9.2 million phones in India in the last financial quarter. To put it in perspective, 100,000 smart phones are sold every day. Well it looks like Xiaomi wants to increase that number exponentially this quarter as they have just launched a new budget smart phone called Redmi Y1 which is being marketed as the selfie smart phone. The nickname of the selfie smart phone is the first in a Xiaomi device and therefore in this article we are going to put Redmi Y1 to the test to see if it deserves your attention and your money. So if you are planning to buy this smart phone please read our review to find out if Xiaomi Y1 is the best budget selfie smart phone or not:

Redmi Y1 Specifications

Before we get into the actual review itself, let's get the hard truths, i.e. out-of-the-way specs. You can check all the hardware and software details in the table below.

Dimensions153 x 76.2 x 7.7 mm (6.02 x 3.00 x 0.30 in)
Weight153 g
Monitor5.5 inch IPS LCD capacitive touch screen (720 x 1280 pixels)
ProcessorQualcomm MSM8940 Snapdragon 435 (Octa-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53)
Storage32GB / 64GB
Primary Camera13 MP (f / 2.2 aperture) with phase detection autofocus, LED flash
Secondary Camera16 MP with f / 2.0 aperture
Battery3080 mAh non-removable lithium ion battery
Operating SystemMIUI 9.0 runs on Android 7.0 (turrn)
SensorsFingerprint (rear mounted), accelerometer, turn, proximity sensor, and compass
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n, Wi-Fi Direct, access point / GSM / HSPA / LTE
PriceINR 8.999 / INR 10.999

What's in the box

Xiaomi is known to include minimal accessories with its smart phones, and the Redmi Y1 unpacking was the same. The box is very nice on the outside . The red and white color scheme is very nice to see, however the interior of the box is a great thing. There are compartments with nothing inside them . I seriously thought something was missing from my box, but it turned out that the case was the same with other people. Here is a list of what you get inside the box:

  • Redmi y1
  • Power adapter
  • Micro-USB to USB A charging cable
  • SIM ejector tool
  • Paperwork

Design and build quality

If you look at the device, see that the Redmi Y1 follows the design language of its predecessors . Although the Y series is a new line from Xiaomi, the design language remains the same. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. The smart phone is good to look at and feels great in your hand. The part front of the smart phone houses a 5.5-inch IPS panel flanked by the selfie camera and caption buttons at the top and bottom respectively. However, the buttons are not backlit, which is a shame.

The back of the phone houses a quick fingerprint sensor along with the main camera. The right side of the phone has the volume control and the power button, while the SIM tray goes to the left. The bottom has a single power speaker and a micro-USB port for charging, while the upper part contains the headphone jack and the infrared emitter. For a phone of its size, Redmi Y1 is quite light and weighs only 153 grams . The weight distribution is also very good and therefore the phone really feels good in the hands.

However, not everything is here. Although the phone feels good in the hands, you cannot escape the plastic structure of this phone . Both the back plate and the sides are made of plastic, which tarnishes its good build quality. I don't see this phone holding up well over time. A major complaint I have with Redmi Y1 is the SIM card tray . Since the phone supports dual-nano SIM along with a microSD card slot (which is good), the SIM tray is very long. Nevertheless, the tray is made of plastic and it really feels fragile . I really felt like I was going to break it when I inserted my SIM into the phone, so consider it as a fair warning.

To sum up, the phone feels good in the hand and also looks good from a distanceBut when it comes to the material used and the long-term durability of the phone, I don't think Xiaomi is winning any awards here. If you are like me, the material used in this phone will irritate you, especially because you know that Xiaomi uses metal in its own Redmi 4, which costs much less than the Y1.


Redmi Y1 It has a 5.5 inch IPS LCD capacitive touch screen with a 720 * 1280 screen resolution, which gives it a PPI of 236 . Although the screen may not look good on paper, and I must say that I had my own reservations, in person, the screen looks great. The colors are striking and it is clear that Xiaomi is gone for a colorful and saturated display here. The screen also gets very bright and I had no problem using this in sunlight.

I have a little problem with the screen. It has a black border around it, which by the way is normal for any white-faced smart phone, however in this case, it feels like the screen is a little behind the front glass panel, which really distracts me. Don't get me wrong, touch sensitivity is on point and you won't encounter any problems in everyday use, however it is something that will annoy you as once you see it you will always notice it.

Other than that, I have no qualms on the screen. Yes, the resolution could have been better, but for the price, I'm ready to give Xiaomi a pass here, especially considering the fact that the screen looks good from a normal viewing distance And an average user won't find any pixel problems. With this.

User interface

There's not much to talk about here as the phone is shipped with the familiar MIUI. People hate it or love it, and no matter which category you fall into, Xiaomi Y1 will not change your opinion. A good thing for MIUI lovers is that the device ships with the latest MIUI 9, which offers a huge performance improvement with faster application launch, better notification management, and more. Click here if you want to know all the news about MIUI 9.

For those unfamiliar with the MIUI interface, it's basically an iOS-like user interface where all the cones are placed on the home screen without an app drawer. Xiaomi also includes a complete suite of its own apps that adds a ton of functionalities to phones. New to MIUI 9 is the MI Drop app, which is like Airdrop on iPhones and allows you to easily share files between devices . There are also some India-specific features including exclusive themes, stickers, and more.

Usually, I think MIUI is one of the best Android ROM designs, since it adds a lot of functionalities while keeping the user interface very agile. Some people may not like removing the app drawer, but I don't think it's too big of a problem. In any case, you can always use a launcher if you can't live with MIUI because that's the beauty of having an Android device. For me, the MIUI 9 with Android 7.1.2 Nougat has been incredible and I love it. However, a part of me wishes they had released it with Android Oreo.


The Redmi Y1 is being powered by a Snapdragon 435 octa-core with 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53 cores . On paper, the processor doesn't seem to be that powerful, however, in my tests, the processor was able to easily handle itself. Normal day-to-day use resulted in fast, fast performance with virtually no lag . The phone was able to carry out all my commands and never felt that it had to wait when it was doing something. However, since this is a budget smart phone, some limitations can be expected. Heavy titles like Asphalt Extreme tend to take longer to load on this device.

That being said, once the loading part is finished, I was surprised by the smoothness of the game. Yes, there are drop frames here and there, but nothing that stands in your way for you to enjoy the game. Also, Whether you buy the 3GB or 4GB RAM version, the phone has enough applications in memory to have no problem. Lastly, I don't believe in benchmarks myself, as they never tell you the full story, but I do know that some of you do, so I have attached a picture below that shows the Geekbench and AnTuTu scores.


At last, we are on the holy grail of review, the cameras. As I mentioned earlier, Xiaomi is promoting this smart phone as the selfie phone, so we took it upon ourselves to test that claim. Let's first get the specs out of our way. Redmi Y1 has a 13 megapixel main camera with af / 2.2 aperture and an LED flash. However, this is not the highlight here, the main USP of this device is the front camera that houses a 16 megapixel sensor with f / 2.0 aperture and has its own flash . Yes, there is a selfie flash for all selfie lovers. This is one of those rare phones where the front camera is better than the main camera.

However, megapixels aren't everything, so let's try this, okay? We take a lot of pictures with the front and rear cameras, and we can report that indeed the front camera works better than the rear one . However, it is not because of those megapixels. The larger f / 2.0 aperture has more to do with this than anything else. The larger aperture helps bring more light, so the Selfie camera produced photos with better dynamic range and better performance in low light conditions .

I like to credit where it's due and Xiaomi deserves a mention for its post-processing prowess . Many times when I was clicking on a photo, the camera viewfinder showed a lot of noise, however the photos turned out to be quite decent. I also liked the fact that shutter speed was fast and I never missed a photo opportunity with this. For what Xiaomi offers at its price, the cameras, especially the front one, get good ratings from me.

Battery life

No matter how powerful a smart phone is, it won't be useful if the battery runs out in the middle of the day. I am pleased to report that this is not the case for Redmi Y1. Redmi Y1 has a 3080 mAh lithium in battery good size non-removable which is good enough to last all day . On my medium to heavy-duty day, the battery lasted comfortably all the time, ending the day with a load of around 15-20% . The 720p display is an important reason for battery life, as the phone has fewer pixels to power. If you feel like charging the charger before the end of the day, Xiaomi includes the best battery management application out there. However, I don't think battery life should be a concern for users of this device.


The Redmi Y1 comes with all the usual features when it comes to connectivity. It is compatible with 3G and 4G technology, ensuring that you can enjoy the faster Internet speed provided by your smart phone. It has two nano-SIM card slots along with a microSD, making it which means you don't have to choose between the microSD and the second SIM. This is a feature that is not present in most smartphones on the market, which is why Xiaomi gets a great advantage here. When it comes to WiFi, Supports the latest 802.11 (b / g / n) WiFi .

The phone also has a headphone jack, something that is becoming an increasingly rare product on flagship devices these days. I also love the fact that Xiaomi has included an infrared emitter in the device which allows you to use it as a universal remote control. You would like the phone to come with USB-C instead of the USB-A port, however, no budget smart phone other than Flipkart's Billion + has adopted the new standard.

Audio and telephony

The Redmi Y1 is a great phone for receiving and making calls, as the phone always shows good reception. Calls rang fine on both sides, however noise cancellation could have been better . Like most other phones in its price range, the phone comes with a single speaker that is surprisingly loud but also distorted at a higher sound level. We recommend that you use a headset with this if you want to enjoy your multimedia or game content.

Redmi Y1 vs Competition

As I said earlier, Xiaomi is the king of the low budget smart phone, and therefore the Redmi Y1 faces little or no competition here. In fact, The only smart phones you can choose on this one are made by Xiaomi . For example, Redmi 4 is an excellent device with a larger 4100 mAh battery, which is best for anyone who needs more uptime. But, I never had a battery crisis with the Redmi Y1 too. Also, although Redmi Y1 is made of plastic and might not be as sturdy as metal body phones, both its touch and appearance are better than all other plastic-bodied smartphones in its price range .

That being said, you are not buying this phone for extremely good battery life or a metallic body, you are buying this phone for the selfie camera and there is no other phone in its price range (even if it goes up a bit more), that can produce better selfies that this can. Its 16 MP front camera with f / 2.0 aperture and flash produces better selfies than all its competition. So if you like selfies, this is the best phone you can buy right now.

Redmi Y1: The Best Budget Selfie Smartphone

That brings us to the conclusion of our review. Redmi Y1 is another good budget smartphone from Xiaomi and people who buy it will not be disappointed if they know what they are getting into. It may not have a metal body or the best screen, but it has other things going for it. You will have to understand that with a low budget smart phone you cannot get everything. There is always a single selling point for all low budget smart phones, and for Y1 it is the front camera. The selfie camera is the best in its price range and you should buy this phone if you like selfies.


  • Front camera
  • Surprisingly good performance
  • Supports dual-SIM and microSD
  • Comes with MIUI 9


  • Plastic body
  • Flimsy SIM tray
  • The screen could be better

Redmi Y1 Review: Get it for the Selfie Camera

Redmi Y1 does what Xiaomi promises in its promotion, that is, it takes the best selfies in its price range. It has its own shortcomings, but at the same time, it also has its strengths. To sum up on one line, Redmi Y1 is a budget smart phone with a not-so-cheap camera. If you are going to buy this, know that you are buying it mainly for the front camera.

Buy from Amazon: Redmi Y1 (Rs. 8, 999 for 3GB / 32GB and Rs. 10, 999 for 4GB / 64GB)