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Xiaomi Redmi 4 vs Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime: improving an already good device

|November 5, 2016 |Android Phones, Mobiles, Android, Xiaomi, Comparisons

"Wondering how does the new Redmi 4 stack up against its popular predecessor, the Redmi 3S Prime? Let’s find out"

Rumoured for weeks, the Redmi 4 is finally official as Xiaomi has pulled curtains off the phone in China. It doesn’t come as a surprise that even though there is no information regarding the Indian launch of the handset, users around the country have been quite excited about the latest offering from the brand. And, this can be expected given how popular its predecessor, the Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime (review) is in India. But the important question is whether Xiaomi has done enough to make the Redmi 4 a worthy upgrade over the Redmi 3S Prime? Here’s how the two budget powerhouses stack up on paper.

Design and Display

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When it comes to the design, there's a lot of similarity between the two smartphones. Both the Redmi 3S Prime and the Redmi 4 flaunt premium metal unibody designs with fingerprint sensors at the back. And not just that, the similarity continues to the colours the smartphones are available in – silver, grey, and gold. However, the Redmi 4 is a tad bit taller and thicker than the Redmi 3S Prime, as well as 12g heavier. The 2.5D curved glass on the front of the Redmi 4 is also more pleasing to the eyes than the flat glass on its predecessor. As customary with most Xiaomi phones, the smartphones come with capacitive navigation buttons below the display. Overall, there’s hardly anything to differentiate the two devices on the basis of looks alone.

The display is where the Redmi 4 takes the lead. While both smartphones are compact and fit to use with one hand due to the 5-inch display panels, the screen on the Redmi 4 is actually much crisper. That’s because it bears full HD resolution unlike the 720p resolution of the Redmi 3S Prime. It’s interesting to see that an entry-level Xiaomi phone now comes with a 1080p panel. However, there's a lower-priced variant of the Redmi 4 as well, which comes with the HD resolution.

Performance

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Powered by one of the latest 64-bit processors from Qualcomm - the Snapdragon 430, the Redmi 3S Prime offers fluent animations and performance, thanks to a generous 3GB of RAM. But the Redmi 4 takes the deal a step further by offering an octa-core Snapdragon 625 SoC coupled with 3GB of RAM and an Adreno 506 GPU. Interestingly, the standard variants of both the phones feature Snapdragon 430 processors and 2GB of RAM.

Camera, Storage and Battery

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Another area where the two phones match evenly is the camera prowess. Both come with 13MP primary snappers with phase detection auto focus and no 4K support. The only difference here is that the Redmi 4 boasts a dual-tone LED flash, something the Redmi 3S Prime misses out on, as it uses a single LED flash. Xiaomi’s camera app comes with numerous shooting modes like HDR, Continuous shooting and Face detection, all of which are available on both the smartphones. On the front, both handsets sport identical 5MP shooters to capture selfies.

The similarities extend to the storage front too, as both handsets offer 32GB of memory on board. But if you want more, you always have the option of extending the capacity by an additional 128GB using a microSD card in either of the two smartphones.

Neither of the smartphones features a removable battery, an omission that has become quite common in today’s day and age. You’ll find 4,100mAh Li-Po batteries inside both devices, which is perhaps their biggest USP. In our HD video loop test of the Redmi 3S Prime, the device lasted a full 14 hours before giving up, showing how brilliant the battery is. We expect nothing less from the Redmi 4 in this aspect. That said, while you might need to charge your smartphone fewer times with such great battery life, such a big capacity also means that it will take a long time to juice up the device from zero to 100.

Software and Connectivity

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MIUI is one of the most feature-loaded takes on stock Android. In fact, you’d hardly notice differences on smartphones running different versions of Android but the same version of MIUI. At present, both smartphones run the latest version of MIUI 8 on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. MIUI 8 brings a bunch of new features into the mix including a totally revamped notifications tray, more accents around the system UI, and even the ability to store two instances of the same app. The last one is quite important for dual-SIM users who want to use two separate WhatsApp accounts on the same device.

Other connectivity options include 4G, VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, mobile hotspot, and A-GPS on both the devices.

Pricing and Availability

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The Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime is already available in India across channels at a price of Rs 8,999, while its standard model is priced Rs 2,000 cheaper at Rs 6,999. On the other hand, the Redmi 4 has been priced in China at RMB 899, which translates to roughly Rs 8,880. The standard version of the Redmi 4 will set you back by RMB 699, or Rs 6,900 approximately. Having said that, the Indian launch of the Redmi 4 is covered by clouds of uncertainty.

Closing Thoughts

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In our review, we found the Redmi 3S Prime to be a very good pick in the affordable segment. And the Redmi 4 seems to carry forward its legacy. It improves on all the aspects where it predecessor seemed to fall behind. In a nutshell, the Redmi 4 is a promising device, with the only thing holding it back is its uncertain launch date in the Indian market.

 



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