Xiaomi is known for launching back to back phones every month. It is the company that manufacturer smartphones with category-defying features and specifications. Recently they separated Redmi as an independent sub-brand to focus Mi as the flagship smartphone maker. The sub-brand Redmi focuses mostly on the budget and midrange devices. Last month they launched the entry-level Redmi GO in the Nepalese market. It is the most affordable offering from Xiaomi coming at just Rs 8,999, but does it justify the price? Let’s find out in this full review of the Xiaomi Redmi GO.
Xiaomi Redmi GO Review
The phone comes in a polycarbonate shell, but that doesn’t mean that it feels cheap. The phone feels like it’s much more expensive than it really is. This is the first ever budget smartphone that I have tested as a daily driver and I found it pretty handy, all thanks to the small form factor. It does have some cons but it never felt like I’m holding a cheap phone. The Redmi GO comes in a catchy Blue color back and feels more like the Redmi 4A. The phone has a plastic back, however, the battery is still non-user removable.
The phone has everything at the place it should the. The power button and the volume rockers are on the left whereas the dual SIM Card and microSD card tray sit on the left. The microphone, micro-USB port, and speaker sit at the bottom whereas the top houses only a 3.5mm port and a secondary microphone.
The Redmi GO has a 5-inches HD IPS LCD display up front. The phone still has three capacitive Android buttons with no backlit and thick borders all around the display. We wish that the phone had an 18:9 panel since it is launched in 2019. Surprisingly, the Redmi GO has a display of resolution 720×1280 pixels.
This screen is quite sharp with good viewing angles, however, colors are a bit muted. Talking about the quality, the display is good enough for day to day usage. The brightness level is also surprisingly good! For everyday use like watching Youtube, playing some casual games, and scrolling through Facebook, the display will work well.
Xiaomi Redmi GO packs a quad-core Snapdragon 425 underneath. It is the same processor we’ve seen on the Redmi 4A and 5A. The Snapdragon 425 has four low-power 1.4GHz Cortex-A53 cores and Adreno 308 integrated GPU. The phone also packs 1GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage. The in-built memory is backed by a dedicated microSD card slot that will let you add up to 128GB of storage. The problem I’ve faced in this device is that the apps, by default, is installed in the 8GB of internal storage. There is no option to move the apps to the microSD card. So, the internal storage fills up very quickly.
The Redmi GO is not meant for gaming. So gamers can just ignore it right away. However, the phone can run some basic games like Subway Surf, Temple Run 2, Death Moto without a lag. The performance of the phone is quite good for the price.
The phone could easily perform basics tasks like scrolling through Facebook and browsing. Although the performance of the normal app is not that bad, users can get more value from the phone by using the GO Apps. Toned down apps like the Facebook Lite, Youtube GO app are available out of the box. You can use them to get the best performance!
Xiaomi has chosen to adopt Android Go, but we still have the Android 8.1, rather than the latest Android 9 Pie. For those unaware, Android GO is a toned down version of Android made especially for budget smartphones. This helps to optimize performance for the devices with less powerful specifications. And the OS on the phone does just that! The presence of Android GO on this phone has made the phone a lot smoother.
The Redmi GO runs on the custom Mint launcher rather than the stock Android UI. The launcher is relatively clean with several customization options for the home screen and app drawer. The launcher is similar to one on the Pocophone F1.
The Redmi GO has a single rear camera of 8MP with an aperture of f/2.0. The camera doesn’t sound that great but it is definitely not a bad one. In our review period, the camera didn’t fail to impress up. However, the default camera app is completely scanty, with no extras features apart from Auto HDR, AI Beautify and some basic color filters. In the manual mode, you can set the white balance, ISO, shutter speed, and focus. The phone doesn’t sport a panorama mode, much less a portrait mode.
Talking about the image quality the photos came out pretty decent in the broad daylight. The pictures depict accurate colors and retain a good amount of details. The camera could identify textures in the frame and it really is a good camera for casual users. However, the pictures came out with a lot of grains when shot on low light. The camera did a reasonable job when shooting against the light, but HDR isn’t automatic and causes slight shutter lag. The edges of objects weren’t always well defined but considering the pricing, it is acceptable.
The 5MP front shooter of the Redmi GO has an aperture of f/2.2. Both the front and rear cameras can, now, record videos in full high definition. This budget device also supports Auto HDR and AI Beautify mode for selfies and it works pretty decently. The Redmi GO is not a selfie expert phone. So, is advisable that selfie lovers not look up for this one.
The company claims that the 3,000mAh battery on the Redmi GO can provide up to 10 days of standby time and up to 12 hours worth of calls or 78 hours of music and 5 hours of video playback. In our use, with a lot of camera sessions, browsing through social media, YouTube, and games we could get about 5 hours screen-on-time. At the price point, the Redmi GO is a great option if battery life is a priority.
Verdict: Xiaomi Redmi GO Review
The Redmi GO is a decent smartphone that packs all the essentials. It has an eye-catching design, big 5-inch display, decent camera optics, efficient Snapdragon 425chip, and good battery performance. The inclusion of the Android GO operating system is its another selling point. Not only does it makes the phone more smooth but also boosts its performance.
For the price of Rs 8,999, the Redmi GO is a perfect package as your first smartphone. Do give it a thought while buying a smartphone under Rs 10,000 in Nepal. For those venturing into the smartphone segment for the first time, the Redmi GO is a good option. It is also a great buy for those who are on the lookout for a secondary phone.
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