The smartphone market in India has become quite aggressive in terms of pricing. While the under Rs 15,000 segment is populated with a number of handsets, the under Rs 10,000 has seen a slight decline. That is all going to change as Xiaomi has launched a highly competitive smartphone for the ones seeking a balance of good performance and features within a tight budget.Behold the new Redmi 3S Prime which is Xiaomi’s latest handset for the Indian market priced at Rs 8,999. We take a quick look at the smartphone is check out how much does it offer at its price.
The Redmi 3S Prime looks as if Xiaomi shrunk down its most popular device, the Redmi Note 3. It features a very similar look including the matte metal back curving at the edges. These curves also help in maintaining the overall thickness of the handset as the company has crammed in a massive 4,100mAh battery inside without adding a bulk. The handset feels pleasing in the hand and due to its 5-inch form factor, it feels comfortable too.The front, like the Redmi Note 3, has a glass covering with a raised chrome rim around it. It also has capacitive Android navigation keys, like most Xiaomi smartphones, sitting below the display. There is also an LED notification light just below the home button which isn’t noticeable until it actually lights up.Around the edges on the right are the volume and power keys which offer a good tactile feedback. At the top there is the secondary microphone, an infrared blaster port and 3.5mm audio jack. The left edge houses the hybrid SIM tray and at the bottom is the microUSB port and the primary microphone. Moving to the back, the camera and the LED flash are on the top left corner with the fingerprint scanner in middle and the speaker grill at the bottom. The smartphone will be coming in three colours just like the Redmi Note 3; Silver, Gray and Gold.At its price, the Redmi 3S Prime is quite a looker and probably one of the most well made smartphones.
While the Redmi 2 series featured a 4.7-inch display, the new Redmi 3S Prime sees an increase and features a 5-inch display. The resolution remains the same though at 1280×720 with a pixel density of 294ppi. It doesn’t look shabby as the colours pop out nicely. Even the viewing angles and brightness levels didn’t disappoint us. The lower resolution might be an issue for consumers who seek the best specifications, but it is probably the best way to improve the battery backup.
The smartphone is powered by a Snapdragon 430 chipset, making it the first smartphone in India to run on the new SoC. It is an octa-core processor with four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.4GHz and the other four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.1GHz. For handling graphics intensive tasks there is an Adreno 505 GPU. There is also 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage which can be further expanded via a microSD card. Out of the 32GB of storage, you get close to 25GB of user accessible storage. The hardware sounds impressive for something under Rs 10,000 and it definitely makes the smartphone run smooth. However, we haven’t used the handset all that much to give a verdict of its performance. In the connectivity department you get the option of using two SIM cards (or one SIM and one microSD card), 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, microUSB and even an infrared blaster port. The highlight feature here is the battery which is a whopping 4,100mAh unit which is more than Redmi Note 3, pretty amazing how the company squeezed that in such a small design. It is claimed to offer a 2-day backup on moderate usage.
The smartphone runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with MIUI v7.5 on top. According to Xiaomi, the handset will get the new MIUI 8 update on the 23 August. It runs smooth without any major issues and there is hardly any bloatware onboard. This also means that there isn’t anything interesting on the UI except for some themes and options to have random lockscreen wallpapers.
The handset features a 13MP camera at the back with an f/2.0 aperture, phase detection auto focus and an LED flash. The front camera has a 5MP sensor which can also take 1080p videos just like the rear unit. Pictures look average but definitely not bad for a smartphone that is this cheap. Focusing does take some time but image processing seems fast. The camera app offers a few nifty features including HDR, Panorama, filters and so on. If you like to shoot occasionally, the camera on the handset is not that bad.
The Redmi series has come a long way and Xiaomi has got yet another impressive looking device in the form of the Redmi 3S Prime. The smartphone seems like a really good choice for someone looking for a smartphone under the Rs 10,000 budget. The clean design is impressive and the features offered at this price are probably the best that one can get, especially with that large battery, we expect that it will also be one of the best smartphones with a long battery backup. There is also a 16GB version with 2GB of RAM is priced at Rs. 6,999 without a fingerprint scanner called the Redmi 3S in case you are interested for an even cheaper deal. The Redmi 3S Prime and the Redmi 3S will be available this month with the first sale starting on 9th August at 12pm.