Xiaomi Redmi

Xiaomi launched the Redmi in Singapore in February 2014. Since then I have been wanting to get what is known as Hongmi in China which sports a quad-core 1.5Ghz ARM processor that runs a modified version of Android OS’ Jelly Bean i.e. MIUI. The 4.7”-inch 720P IPS display phone comes with a 8MP BSI camera (probably came from Sony, but if it was true — Xiaomi would have mentioned it all over).

The UI in the camera application does not look very different from other Android implementations. In other words, it looks clean and easy to use but there is nothing more to shout about. It offers a choice of simple UI or a slightly more advanced UI with more options selectable (white balancing, more shooting modes, EV setting, etc).

 

Simple mode UI

Simple mode UI

 

The EXIF data says that the focal length and aperture are fixed at 3.8mm (3.8mm is equivalent to 28mm – source) and f/2.2 respectively. This means the sensor size is approximately 76% that of the Xperia Z1. In the settings, the user can choose “standard” camera frame which fully uses the 8MP resolution i.e. 3264×2448 in a 4:3 form factor. Besides “standard”, there is also the “full screen” mode which comes in 16:9 form factor where the image will be cropped at 3328×1872 or 6MP.

All photos below are taken in “full screen” mode.

 

Photobook, shot indoors. (ISO431, 1/14s)

Photobook, shot indoors. (ISO431, 1/14s)

Diddy Kong (ISO143, 1/33s)

Diddy Kong (ISO143, 1/33s)

Love the red color on the benches (ISO115, 1/33s)

Love the red color on the benches
(ISO115, 1/33s)

 

From the previous two photos, the camera app chose lower ISO instead of higher shutter speeds which I found odd. This device is predominantly meant for handheld use and as such I would give priority to faster shutter speed instead of lower ISO. I suspect Xiaomi is trying to “hide” sensor noise at higher ISO.

 

Lizard (ISO115, 1/1859s)

Lizard (ISO115, 1/1859s)

Trying light trail handheld (ISO820, 1/8s)

Trying light trail handheld (ISO820, 1/8s)

Unimpressive Night mode (ISO920, 1/5s)

Unimpressive Night mode (ISO920, 1/5s)

Singapore flags (ISO122, 1/5917s)

Singapore flags (ISO122, 1/5917s)

A really simple distortion test. Quite OK!

A really simple distortion test. Quite OK!

Jurong East (ISO132, 1/50s)

Jurong East (ISO132, 1/50s)

Jurong East (ISO370, 1/20s)

Jurong East (ISO370, 1/20s)

Blue cloudy sky  (ISO136, 1/7092s)

Blue cloudy sky (ISO136, 1/7092s)

Portsdown Road (ISO115, 1/654s)

Portsdown Road (ISO115, 1/654s)

Church (ISO408, 1/17s)

Church (ISO408, 1/17s)

Singapore Flyer  (ISO115, 1/3215s)

Singapore Flyer from a moving car (ISO115, 1/3215s)

My lunch (ISO133, 1/33s)

My lunch (ISO133, 1/33s)

East Coast Park (ISO128, 1/4425s)

East Coast Park (ISO128, 1/4425s)

Some lens flare (ISO124, 1/124s)

Some lens flare (ISO124, 1/124s)

 

If you have also found the exposure numbers being odd or random or non-standard, me too! And I don’t know why Xiaomi does it this way!

As it is priced very competitively, I can conclude that it is indeed a very good replacement for your point &  shoot camera! And its more than just a P&S, its a smart phone! But if you’re expecting to buy a red phone, you will probably be disappointed as Redmi does not come in red (yet)!