Redmi Y2 Quick Review – Better Design, Better Selfies

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As far as market share goes, Xiaomi is at its all-time high in India. A year ago, we would have mocked the possibility of a Chinese brand surpassing the likes of Samsung but Xiaomi has surprisingly been leading the shipment charts countrywide for three successive quarters now.  Even when it might not be raking in the highest margins, its accomplishments can’t be berated. In fact 9 of the top 10 affordable phones belong to Xiaomi.

This success has been possible because Xiaomi has managed to deliver the best possible performance (and specs) at competitive prices. On this high note,  Chinese smartphone maker today launched its second selfie-centric phone in India, the Redmi Y2, to keep the ball rolling.

Is the Redmi Y2 all set to be another smash hit? Or the ‘real you’ phone pales in comparison to what rivals have to offer? Let’s discuss that and more in our Xiaomi Redmi Y2 Quick Review.

Xiaomi Redmi Y2 India Price and Specifications

Model Xiaomi Redmi Y2
Display 5.99-inch (1440 × 720 pixels) HD+ 18:9 IPS display
Processor 2.0GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 625 14nm Mobile Platform with Adreno 506 GPU
Internal Storage 32GB/64GB, expandable up to 256GB (dedicated card slot)
Software Android 8.1 Oreo- MIUI 9
Primary Camera 12MP+5MP LED flash, PDAF, f/2.2aperture, EIS, Full HD recording
Secondary Camera 16MP front-facing camera with soft LED flash and AI beauty feature
Dimensions and Weight 160.73 × 77.26 × 8.1mm; 170g
Battery 3080mAh built-in battery
Others Dual SIM, 4G LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth 5, GPS, micro USB 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack, Fingerprint sensor, and IR Blaster
Price Rs. 9,999/ Rs. 12,999

Redmi Y2 Design and Build

The Redmi Y2 might very well be the best looking affordable phone from Xiaomi in the last two years. The company had been sticking to the triple-layer back panel (metal back with plastic strips on top and bottom) for way too long and the neat metal-finish polycarbonate back feels like a refreshing change of pace.

I am sure there will be mixed reactions to the camera module being inspired by iPhone X, but that’s not something that particularly bothered us. Perhaps, the fingerprint sensor and faux antenna lines are differentiators enough.

Conforming to the 18:9 display trend, the Redmi Y2 is a tall, lanky phone. Which is why we felt that fingerprint sensor would have been more accessible a few notches below from where it currently is. From the front, Redmi Y2 looks similar to Redmi Note 5-series phones.  There is substantial bezel surrounding the display.

  • We appreciate Xiaomi finally moving away from the triple-layer back panel design
  • The Redmi Y2 has a neat polycarbonate back that curves in the right places. We quite like the look and feel.
  • The fascia has 18:9 screen, but there is substantial bezel surrounding the screen.
  • The USB port is still regular micro USB Type-A. The Xiaomi-signature IR blaster and audio jack are present up top.

Redmi Y2 Display

The Redmi Y2 has a 5.99-inch (18:9) screen with 720p HD+ resolution. We switched to the ‘Automatic contrast’ and ‘Warm’ color preset under display settings as we find the default Whites to be a tad blue-ish on Xiaomi phones.

Also Read: Xiaomi Redmi Y2 vs Realme 1 Specs Comparison

The overall display quality felt good. The HD+ resolution is fine on the base variant but could understandably feel like a compromise on the higher 4GB RAM variant that costs 12,999 INR. Especially when the Oppo Realme 1 offers a sharper full HD+ screen at a lower price.

  • The 720p HD display is reasonably good in terms of quality. MIUI software allows users to tweak color and contrast from display settings.
  • The software also includes night mode and a reading mode that are less stressful on eyes.
  • Xiaomi doesn’t mention Gorilla Glass protection on Redmi Y2 official page.

Redmi Y2 Performance and Software

The Redmi Y2 is powered by Snapdragon 625, which is a last year SoC missing modern perks like Dual SIM Dual VoLTE support. I am undecided if I’d rather have Snapdragon 450 instead, but yes, the performance on the Y2 isn’t expected to disappoint usual consumers. It must also be mentioned that iys arch nemesis, Oppo’s Realme 1, offers a better SoC.

The base variant, which shall be the more popular one, comes with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. The handset has a dedicated card slot for storage expansion. The MIUI 9.5 software on the phone is based on Android Oreo. The MIUI is a stable and mature ROM which should ultimately work in Y2’s favor.

  • Redmi Y2 is powered by Snapdragon 625. This is a competent SoC, but it’s frankly aging now.
  • The base variant has 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. The Higher 4GB RAM variant feels a tad expensive for the features it offers.
  • Both variants include a dedicated card slot.
  • The Redmi Y2 runs MIUI 9.5 out of the box and not MIUI 10. The next iteration update, that was introduced on stage alongside, isn’t expected to reach Y2 at least for the next couple of months.

Xiaomi Redmi Y2 Camera Performance

The selfie camera takes center stage with the Redmi Y2. Xiaomi calls it, well, an “AI camera”.

The 16MP sensor on the front has bigger pixels (1.25 micrometer) in order to capture more light. The AI enables it to capture software powered bokeh shots. The list of selfie-essentials also includes Auto HDR and a beautify mode customized for India.

On the rear, the Redmi Y2 has a 12MP + 5MP camera combination, where the extra sensor is used for depth sensing. And so you get portrait mode for both front and rear shooters. The images we clicked at launch venue turned out to be fine for the price but not groundbreaking. We will reserve our verdict for now. We are also adding a few camera samples below for your perusal.

Redmi Y2 Quick Review –  Should you buy it?

The Xiaomi Y2 will be available online on Amazon, but it feels more like a phone meant for offline markets. Maybe that’s because the selfie game it pedals has long been a cure-all formula for pushing phones offline. From an online market standpoint, it doesn’t have the best specs for its price – something we have come to expect of Xiaomi.

But holding Redmi Y2 in my hands, I still can’t decide a phone that I’d rather buy in this budget.

The Oppo Realme 1 is a befitting challenger but the Color OS feels horrid in comparison to MIUI 9.5. Moreover, Xiaomi has ushered in some much-needed design improvements this time. Perhaps once more an affordable Redmi phone will benefit from lack of viable alternatives. The competition is closing in, though.

Also Read: 10 Best Phones With Dual SIM Dual VoLTE Support That You Can Buy

Deepak SinghDeepak Singh
Deepak has more than 8 years of experience in covering technology for several eminent publications in India. He currently leads an enthusiastic team of young writers at Smartprix and tries to uphold the highest quality standards.

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1 Comment
5 years ago

Hi, I would like to know which smartphone is the best while comparing Vivo V9, honor 9i, honor 9 lite, MI note 5 Pro

Deepak Singh
5 years ago

out of the options you have mentioned, you can go with Redmi Note 5 Pro or Vivo V9. It basically depends on your requirements and usage