By now, Xiaomi’s Redmi 3s Prime is being revered all over the internet for being a ‘great value for money’ option. We have been living with it over the festival weekend and will now share our experience with the new budget handset as answers to some common pertinent questions. Let’s begin.
Xiaomi Redmi 3S and 3S Prime Specifications And Features
|Model||Xiaomi Redmi 3S||Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime|
|Display||5-Inch, HD, IPS Display||5-Inch, HD, IPS Display|
|Processor||Octa Core Snapdragon 430 SoC, Adreno 505GPU||Octa Core Snapdragon 430 SoC, Adreno 505GPU|
|Internal Storage||16GB, expandable up to 128GB||32GB, expandable up to 128GB|
|Software||MIUI7 (Android Marshmallow)||MIUI7 (Android Marshmallow)|
|Primary Camera||13MP sensor, LED Flash, PDAF||13MP sensor, LED Flash, PDAF|
|Secondary Camera||5MP Front-Facing Camera, F/2.2 aperture lens||5MP Front-Facing Camera, F/2.2 aperture lens|
|Battery||4100 mAh||4100 mAh|
|Others||Dual SIM, 4G LTE, sensor, OTG, IR Blaster||Dual SIM, 4G LTE, Fingerprint sensor, OTG, IR Blaster|
|Price||6,999 INR||8,999 INR|
- Capable performer
- decent camera
- Excellent battery backup
- Unrefined software
- Display quality could have been better
Design and Display
Question: How is the Redmi 3S Prime design?
Answer: If you don’t appreciate design nuances, you will find the Redmi 3s Prime to be identical to the Redmi Note 3 on the outside. Essentially, this scaled down variant of the ultra-popular Redmi Note 3 shifts the camera module and speaker grill from the rear metal plate to plastic strips on top and bottom, in turn making them a bit broader (which makes it a bit less refined in comparison).
At the same time, there is no real reason to complain. The Redmi 3s Prime is compact, comfortable and quite light (considering it house a 4100 mAh battery inside). Since 5-inch display phones are rare to come by these days, make sure that you understand what you are getting into before you place your order. If you prefer bigger displays, the 2GB Redmi Note 3 variant for extra 1000 INR makes more sense.
Question: Xiaomi Redmi 3s has capacitive keys or on-screen navigation buttons?
Answer: Capacitive keys. They are not backlit.
Question: How is the display of Redmi 3s?
Answer: Xiaomi is cutting some corners here. It certainly isn’t as crisp as full HD panels lurking in and around the same price bracket, but color tones and temperature feel well balanced. The display contrast, however, leaves a lot to be desired, which means you don’t get to relish punchy colors while watching multimedia content.
Though a few customization options are present, they aren’t very effective. The Reading Mode is a welcome addition. You can toggle its strength and run it in select Apps.
Question: How is the outdoor visibility on Redmi 3s Prime? Does it offer automatic brightness control?
Answer: The display is legible outdoors. Yes, Auto-brightness works fine too.
Question: What about Gorilla Glass on Redmi 3s Prime?
Answer: There is no Gorilla Glass protection, but Xiaomi is most probably using some other scratch resistant coating here.
Performance and Storage
Question: How much internal storage space is free on Redmi 3s Prime?
Answer: Out of 32GB, 25.75GB is available to users. That’s pretty good for the asking price.
Question: Does Redmi 3s Prime support microSD card? Can Apps be moved to SD card on Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime?
Answer: Yes, since the handset has a hybrid SIM slot, you can always use an SD card at the expense of second SIM card. Apps cannot be moved to SD card.
Question: Does Redmi 3S Prime support Adoptable storage?
Answer: No, it doesn’t.
Question: Does Redmi 3s Prime support USB OTG?
Answer: Yes, USB OTG is supported.
Question: How is the day-to-day or general performance? How is gaming performance of Redmi 3s Prime?
Answer: The Redmi 3S Prime strikes the right balance between power efficiency and performance grunt. We didn’t run into any grave performance issues in our time with the handset. High-end graphic intensive games are very playable too.
Question: What are benchmark scores of Redmi 3S Prime?
Answer: Synthetic benchmark scores to back that up are as follows.
|Geekbench 3.0||637, 2721|
|Vellamo (Browser, Metal, Multicore)||2605, 1228, 2120|
|NenaMarks 2||59.8 FPS|
Question: Does Redmi 3S Prime has heating issues?
Answer: No, the handset manages heat dissipation well in day to day usage.
Question: How much RAM is free on first boot in Redmi 3S Prime?
Answer: At the time of first boot, approx. 2.2GB RAM is free.
Question: Does Redmi 3S Prime support Google cardboard and other VR Apps?
Answer: Yes, it does.
Question: How is the Redmi 3S Prime camera quality?
Answer: The Redmi 3S Prime captures good details in a well-lit environment, both indoors and outdoors.
For vivid images, we had to heavily rely on HDR mode. Shots clicked otherwise often had minor metering issues and were unevenly exposed.
The camera sensor holds its ground reasonably well in low lighting. It’s anything but easy to nail the camera part for affordable handsets, and thus it is important that you balance your expectations. The Redmi 1S camera is nowhere near perfect but makes for a fair deal.
Redmi 3S Prime Camera Sample
Question: Does Redmi 3S Prime camera features OIS, PDAF and Laser Autofocus?
Answer: The primary camera is equipped with PDAF. There is no Laser AF. And OIS is still a bit much to expect in this budget.
Question: How well does the HDR Mode work on the Redmi 3S Prime camera?
Answer: Yes, HDR mode is present, and it works well most of the times.
Question: Can the Redmi 3S Prime shoot 4K videos?
Answer: No. The Rear camera can record 1080p videos, though. A Time lapse mode is also present.
Question: Can you record slow-motion videos on Redmi 3S Prime?
Question: Does Redmi 3S Prime has a pro mode in the camera app?
Answer: Yes, it does. However, the manual mode isn’t very robust.
Also Read: Honor 5C Full Review – Almost There
Question: How is MIUI software on the Redmi 3S Prime?
Answer: The Redmi 3s Prime is running familiar MIUI 7.5 based on Android Marshmallow. If you have come across any Xiaomi phone in the past couple of years, you would know what the software experience on the Redmi 3s Prime feels like.
The software is rich in customization options but makes no effort to integrate Marshmallow awesomeness (no direct share, no Now on Tap, etc). As a result, the software experience feels very boring and dated. I presume that might not be a problem if you aren’t upgrading from another MIUI running handset or harbor a deep-seated liking for it. Things will get better once MIUI8 is available for the Redmi 3S Prime.
Performance-wise, the software failed to impress us. we ran into several bugs (permission management, themes, and other UI feature). All in all, the software experience doesn’t feel very refined.
Question: Does the Redmi 3S Prime support Gestures?
Answer: A few gestures are supported.
Question: Does it has Lite mode and One-Handed Mode?
Answer: Yes, it does.
Question: What kind of SIM cards does Redmi 3S Prime support?
Answer: The handset accepts Micro + Nano SIM (Hybrid slot).
Question: How is the call quality on Redmi 3S Prime?
Answer: Call quality is excellent. No issues here.
Question: How is the Battery backup on Redmi 3S Prime?
Answer: The battery backup is excellent. The Redmi 3S Prime comfortably carries you past one day mark, even with heavy usage.
Question: Does Redmi 3S Prime support fast charging?
Answer: With a 2A/ 5V charger, it takes around 2 hours 20 minutes to charge the battery from 10 to 100 percent.
Question: Is the battery removable on Redmi 3S Prime?
Answer: No, it’s not.
Question: What are the sensors present in Redmi 3S Prime?
Answer: It includes an Ambient Light sensor, Gravity sensor, Accelerometer sensor, Proximity sensor, Magnetometer sensor, Gyro sensor, IR remote and more.
Question: How loud is the loudspeaker on Redmi 3S Prime?
Answer: Audio output from rear-mounted mono speaker is just about average in terms of loudness and quality
Question: How is the audio quality via headphones?
Answer: Audio quality via headphones is about average too.
Question: How is the fingerprint sensor on the Redmi 3s Prime
Answer: Fingerprint sensor is very fast and accurate.
Should you buy Redmi 3S Prime?
The handset is strictly meant for people who prefer compact phones. Since the base Redmi Note 3 costs just 1000 INR more, you will need to look hard at your priorities before choosing between the two.
The Redmi 3S Prime gets the basics right. Performance doesn’t fall flat, the camera is pretty decent for the price and battery backup is awesome. Then again the display quality and software experience is far from ideal (and that does have a significant impact on day to day experience). If you are a first time user or aren’t very specific about your smartphone needs, you are more likely to be satisfied with the Redmi 3s Prime. Either way, it totally justifies being a successor of the Redmi 2s Prime.