Xiaomi Redmi 1s camera review: a pair of snappers that will keep you trigger-happy

“Here’s how the Redmi 1s fared in our camera test.”

Xiaomi Redmi 1s_primary camera

While budget smartphones have progressed leaps and bounds in screen resolution, processors and internal storage, one aspect which continues to be compromised is the camera department. Fixed focus, no flash and the lack of a front camera are sacrifices we’ve become accustomed to, but no more. For its price of Rs 5,999, the Xiaomi Redmi 1s brings to the table an 8-megapixel primary camera with LED flash, and even throws in a 1.6MP front snapper. But as we know, megapixels are rarely an indication of image quality, and to put the camera prowess to the test, we tested the snappers under a variety of conditions. Here’s how they fared. 

Long shot

Xiaomi Redmi 1s camera sample_long shot

From the long shot captured as part of our Xiaomi Redmi 1s camera review, it’s evident that colours are fairly dull, even though it is a cloudy day. That said, the camera retains detail, with the image appearing fairly sharp even when zoomed in. 

Close up

Xiaomi Redmi 1s camera sample_macro

The Redmi 1s camera has captured the macro shot beautifully, keeping the subject in the foreground and sufficiently defocussing the background. The image is crisp and clear, although the red tone has been oversaturated, a common occurrence on smartphone cameras. 

Close up (zoomed in)

Xiaomi Redmi 1s camera sample_macro close up

A cropped version of the same macro image reveals that the photo is sharp even when zoomed in, with barely any pixelation or noise. 

HDR off

Xiaomi Redmi 1s camera sample_HDR off

Without HDR, this Xiaomi Redmi 1s camera sample looks very dark, with the various trees barely discernible from each other.


Xiaomi Redmi 1s camera sample_HDR on

Turn on HDR and voila! The image instantly comes to life, neatly segregating the foliage and drawing attention to the tiled house in the middle. Even the sky comes to life, revealing the rain clouds gathering on the left.

Front camera

Xiaomi Redmi 1s camera sample_front camera

We’re not going to take a selfie to demonstrate the capabilities of the Redmi 1s’ front camera, but from the image sample above you can see that it’s actually a decent snapper. Skin tones appear natural, grain is minimal and there’s no evidence of haziness or over-sharpening that’s a common occurrence on most front cameras.

Low light

Xiaomi Redmi 1s camera sample_low light

This low light Redmi 1s camera sample is quite dark, but even then noise isn’t overpowering and the image could be usable with a bit of editing.

Low light (with flash) 

Xiaomi Redmi 1s camera sample_with flash

The flash is quite effective, bringing out all the colours nicely and displaying the different textures in the image.

Night shot

Xiaomi Redmi 1s camera sample_night shot
This image taken at night as part of the Redmi 1s camera performance test is slightly blurry in patches, but overall is a very usable image. The photo isn’t all that grainy and the camera has been able to capture a fair bit of detail.

To sum it all up, the Redmi 1s offers a very capable pair of cameras that deliver good results across all conditions.

You can take a gander at our unboxing and frequently asked questions about the device, and read more about the camera in our full review.

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