Xiaomi Redmi 2: First impressions review

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In what appears to be a strategic move, Xiaomi has introduced the (two-month-old) successor to the low-cost Redmi 1S two days after Motorola brought its new Moto E to India. Named the Redmi 2, the new phone looks more or less the same as its predecessor, but comes with enhancements enough to tag it as an upgrade. But can the improved specs help the Redmi 2 give the competition, including the new Moto E, a run for their money?

We spent some time with it to ascertain what’s new in the phone and where it excels the competition and the areas in which it lags.One of the key highlights of this dual-SIM phone is that both the SIM slots support 4G network as against the Redmi 1S that has one slot for 3G and the other for 2G. While both the Redmi 2 and the new Moto E carry the same price tag of Rs 6,999, the major difference here is that the Redmi 2 is a 4G phone, while Motorola is yet to launch the 4G variant of the Moto E. The price of the 4G variant of the new Moto E is likely to cross the Rs 7K mark.
Design-wise, there are barely any changes that would come to your immediate notice. On a closer look, you will find that the flash at the back has been repositioned, the micro USB connector at the bottom has been shifted to the right, and the bezel surrounding the display in the Redmi 2 is a tad narrower. Quite like the Redmi 1S, the Redmi 2 feels comfortable in hands and offers an easy grip.

Appearance is where the new Moto E trumps the Redmi 2. Motorola has refreshed the look of the new Moto E with its swappable band design – that not only enhances the look of the phone but also adds to the phone’s ergonomics. While the second-gen Moto E looks new even from outside, the same cannot be said for the Redmi 2.

The display size and the screen resolution on the Redmi 2 have been kept the same as its predecessor. In comparison to the new Moto E that has a slightly smaller screen with a screen resolution of 540×960 pixels, the Redmi 2’s 4.7-inch 720p display offers better viewing angles and produces relatively rich colours. Xiaomi’s VP Hugo Barra at the Redmi 2 launch event in Delhi demonstrated the scratch resistance of the display by rubbing it with a pair of scissors. The same test was later performed by some members of the press present.

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