The Chhota Sultan: Xiaomi Redmi 3S review

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Looks like small screen smartphones are coming back with a vengeance. After an onslaught of big and chunky phones flooding the market, it’s refreshing to see something small, handy and compact.

A couple of weeks after launching the mammoth 6.7-inch Mi Max, Xiaomi has now released the smaller Redmi 3S. Design wise this 5-inch device looks and feels much like the ‘chota bhai’ of the Redmi Note 3. It comes with the similar metal body and curved edges in three colour variants of gold, silver and grey. Weighing 144 grams with 8.5 mm thickness, we felt that it had a light yet sturdy body. The 3S comes with a 1280 x 720 resolution Full HD display with reading mode and colour temperature adjustment.

One highlight is its battery life. The Redmi 3S features a 4100mAh battery, which is rare in this segment. According to Xiaomi this device can give up to 2 days of battery life on moderate use. Xiaomi has also added the IR Blaster to a device of this size, which can convert the phone into a universal remote for electronic devices such as TV air conditioner, DVD player, projector, etc.

The 13 megapixels rear camera comes with 0.1 seconds ultra focus, PDAF (phase detection autofocus), High Dynamic Range and HHT (hand held twilight, for low light shots). The front camera is of 5 megapixels and comes with f/2.2 aperture, face recognition and editing tools like beautify.

 The Redmi 3S runs on the Android 6.0 with the MIUI 7 interface, which can be upgraded to the latest MIUI 8 within a few weeks. It is powered by a Snapdragon 430 chipset with 2GB of RAM. The device sports a hybrid slot that can have either dual SIM or a single SIM and Micro SD card. The internal memory of 16GB is expandable up to 128GB. The device supports 4G and VoLTE.

Xiaomi has also released an upgraded variant, the Redmi 3S Prime, with a fingerprint scanner, 3GB RAM and 32GB memory (expandable). The Redmi 3S and the 3S Prime are priced at Rs 6,999 and 8,999 respectively. They come with some impressive features for a budget device.

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