Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime review
While the Xiaomi Redmi Note series has been hit or miss, with weak battery life in the Redmi Note 2, and the short life of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 MTK version, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro is excellent and the smaller Redmi non-Note phones have been solid picks.
We liked the previous gen, Xiaomi Redmi 3, but the Snapdragon 616 is just a bit sluggish. Thankfully Xiaomi has stepped up their game big time with the Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime aka Xiaomi Redmi 4 Pro.
- NOTE: “Redmi 4 Pro” and “Redmi 4 Prime” are used interchangeably throughout the review and are referring to the same phone — 1080P Snapdragon 625 Redmi 4.
- NOTE: This is a review in progress. Currently in the rough draft stage.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime review power
This is where it’s all at. The Xiaomi Redmi 4A and Xiaomi Redmi 4 non-Prime are running on Snapdragon 430, which isn’t much of an improvement over Redmi 3’s 616, the Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime is running on the excellent Snapdragon 625.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime Antutu
The Redmi 4 Pro with Snapdragon 625 scores a big 62341 on Antutu, a 75% increase over the original Redmi 3 which scored 35k.
- Full Redmi 4 Antutu: 62341
- 3D: 13773
- UX: 24067
- CPU: 19939
- RAM: 5562
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Geekbench
The Redmi 4 Prime Geekbench gives us an 834 for single-core and 2907 for multi-core. This is in line with flagship SoCs of 2015, such as Nexus 6P with Snap 810, and incredible we can see such power in Qualcomm phones at this price point just a year later.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime review fluidity and OS quick notes
The Redmi 4 Prime is very fluid, and anyone but the most demanding of power users should see no difference in fluidity between this phone and flagship phones costing far more.
- Transitions and animations are smooth
- Recent apps in memory come up quickly
- Rapid typing is butter smooth with no hiccups or slow downs
- Deep sleeping without issue
- On 32gb version have 25gb free for user
- Bloat apps are easily uninstallable without root
MIUI dual-app support
With MIUI we have the option to logon to a single app with multiple accounts. This is called dual apps. It can be handy if you have multiple accounts, for example a Facebook account for business, and another for personal.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime ROM
The OS on the Redmi 4 Prime is Android 6.0.1 overlayed by MIUI 8. We received ours with a multilingual Global ROM. This is not an official OTA updatable, but more of an under the table type ROM that Xiaomi puts on their phones for resellers.
We have used this ROM throughout the last two weeks without issue, but those who want to be on the latest with all of the bug fixes and updates will need to flash the official CN/EN ROM. The unfortunate side effect of this is that we lose all system languages except for CN/EN. You can still use keyboards in your own language, but apps and such will be set to Chinese or English depending on which you choose. This shouldn’t be an issue for most users, but those whose English isn’t so great may find themselves sometimes frustrated.
The other side effect of going to the official CN/EN ROM is that you will need to install Google Play, which is not a problem. See the video guide below.
At this point it’s unknown whether an official Global will be coming to the Redmi 4 Prime. Our stance on it is that the unofficial Global the Redmi 4 comes with from the shop should be more than fine for nearly everyone.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 style
The Redmi 3 is very nice looking phone, but taking a look at the Redmi 4 shows it’s a slicker iteration. The sides are metal and cut at angles that make it a pleasure to look at.
Here Xiaomi took a cue from the fantastic looking Redmi Pro and comparing the two side by side we see the sides are identical in style. They didn’t follow suit with the back though, which is matte metal on the Redmi 4 as opposed to brushed steel style on the Redmi Pro.
The very bottom of the phone shows two speaker ports, one of them being a fake port. This isn’t abnormal, and even some major manufacturers are following this trend.
The back is extremely resistant to fingerprints and appears to be quite resistant to dirt / dust smudging as well.
Overall the Redmi 4 looks great and is a mobile you can be proud to carry.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime review fingerprint sensor
The fingerprint sensor on the Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime is exceptional. The best we’ve seen from Xiaomi so far.
- Only registering a finger once, it allows for carefree scan-ins from any angle
- It gives us the option to scan in from display off, which brings us immediately to wherever the phone was last left at
- Importantly, leaving the fingerprint sensor active even with display off does not cause issues with deep sleep
- Scan-ins are extremely rapid, even from display off
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime WiFi
WiFi range on the Xiaomi Redmi 4 Pro is excellent, easily reaching our 144ft / 44m mark while maintaining a fast, stable connection.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Pro GPS
GPS strength on the Redmi 4 Pro is great, locking within several seconds, and maintaining 11 satellites locked. SNR ranges from mid-20’s to high-30’s, with several satellites remaining locked in the 30’s.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime battery charging
The big 4000mAh battery on the Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime charges from dead to 90% in 2 hours flat, with the remaining 10% completed in about half an hour.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime battery life SOT screen on time
Everything’s been great up to this point. And now it gets only better. The battery on the Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime lasted an incredible 14h 46m, beating out the previous champion, the 6000mAh Innos D6000.
To put further light on this, the Redmi 3 with Snapdragon 616, the same 4000mAh battery, and same size display lasted 10h 30m. That’s a huge 40% increase in battery life over its predecessor.
The increase in battery life can mostly be attributed to the new Snapdragon 625 SoC, which is 14nm process in comparison to 28nm.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Pro review camera picture sample images
The camera on the Xiaomi Redmi 4 Pro carries a true 13mp sensor. This is a step up in resolution from the previous generation Redmi 3, which has an 8mp sensor. However, we know that the amount of pixels mean very little in terms of quality. What’s more important are software algorythinmgs, quality of sensor and quality of lens.
In a bizarre move, with the update to MIUI 8, Xiaomi has nixed the setting which allows us to choose megapixel resolution. This means you’re forced to take 13mp images at all times. It’s not a huge deal, as we can resize them at a later date or use a 3rd party camera app, but it’s still a strange move.
Except for this minor issue, we are beyond happy with the camera on the Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime. It produces images with good color, sharpness across the frame, and acceptable dynamic range (DR). With scenes of high contrast, shooting with HDR of course increases our DR significantly.
The images in the galleries are unedited except for resizing to 1280W and saved at 85% jpg quality. You can view them at full 1280W and compare these images to other phones at our Flickr album page (opens in new tab).
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime default shots
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime HDR
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime low-light picture samples
Even the low light images were acceptable. Are we going to be able to look at them at 100% and be amazed by sharpness? Not. But that’s the case for all small sensor cameras, including standalone consumer compacts. That’s not to say the Redmi 4 Pro beats out flagship cameras such as in the Google Pixel, but they’re quite decent and it’s impossible to expect more here.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime display
The display on the Xiaomi Redmi 4 is 5.0″@1080P. This is the first time we’ve seen the Redmi non-Note series with a 1080P display.
Shimmer from the top-down angle is well controlled and viewing from extreme angles sees the color and contrast remaining true. Extreme diagonals do not exhibit warm and cool white balance changes as we see with some cheaper displays.
Minor evidence of LED placement shows at the top of the display. Max brightness is a great 400lux (cd/m2), and minimum brightness goes down to an excellently dim 0lux. Due to the LED being placed at the top of the display, it’s 15% brighter at the top and middle in comparison to the bottom (400lux vs 350lux at brightest), but it’s not a problem and likely won’t be noticed. Edge vignetting is not present enough to be noticeable.
Overall the display looks great, and with vivid mode on gives us tons of color pop and range. Not quite at the same level as OLED, but we are very impressed.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Pro review other components
- OTG: Working without issue (tested Bluetooth mouse and USB SD)
- Step counter: Working without issue and quite accurate
- Gyroscope: Working without issue
- Compass: Working without issue
- FM Radio: Working without issue
- Ambient light sensor: Working without issue and OS appropriately adjusting display brightness
- Linear acceleration: Working without issue
- Accelerometer: Working without issue
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime review conclusion and summary
This will be coming soon. Safe to say the Redmi 4 Prime gets a huge thumbs up from us. It has exceptional battery life, a great display, fast charging, excellent WiFi and great GPS. Get it, you will not be disappointed.