Xiaomi Redmi S2 Review, The Perfect Selfie Phone Has Born!

The smartphone market is full of terminals capable of capturing great selfies. However, most of these have prices not very accessible to the general public. This problem results in some users ending up disappointed when they have to set down with inefficient cameras or have to save large amounts of money in order to buy a smartphone that meets their needs. In this theme, Xiaomi has ended, for several years, with many of the disadvantages in terms of low budget. They have given their fans quality phones (in every way) at unbeatable prices. However, until today we had not seen one focused clearly on the selfies, that trend that continues growing up. Finally, the company set its sights on this trend and launched the Xiaomi Redmi S2, the best budget phone for taking selfies.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 - Review

The Xiaomi Redmi S2 is the first mobile to be part of the new Redmi S series. According to the official description, all successor smartphones will be focused on capturing high-quality selfies with AI support. The best is the fact that they will be marketed at a low-mid-range cost. As a result of it, a question arises: the rest of specifications and features have been sacrificed in return of excellent photographs? To get rid of doubts, today we’ll be putting to the test a Redmi S2 unit (courtesy of Gearbest.com) that will allow us to delve into each aspect of the terminal.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 Review: Design and appearance

Keep in mind that the terminal is not premium or high-end. In fact, in the design, we can see a slight sacrifice, since the phone is meant to be affordable for everyone. Although it is quite attractive and is within the current trends, construction has left quality aside a bit to focus on the economy. Although aluminum predominates mostly as the manufacturing material, you can also notice areas where plastic has been included. This can mainly be noticed in the upper and lower antennas.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 - Design and appearance

However, the phone looks and feels good. It is advisable to be careful when you are using it and always keep it with some kind of protection. Now, moving onto the design itself, as we already mentioned, it follows most of the trends. Mainly, it continues with the characteristic appearance of most Xiaomi smartphones of this last year. The resemble with the Xiaomi Mi 6X is undeniable.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 - Design and appearance

Continuing where we left off, the few trends that this smartphone doesn’t incorporate is the full screen without bezels. We can see that the side bezels are reduced almost entirely but those at the top and bottom are quite visible. We assume that they have done this way to reduce costs. However, the lower bezel is very pronounced despite not having capacitive buttons (they are included in the screen). Actually, what we do get, are rounded edges for better grip and ergonomics, as well as an 18:9 aspect ratio.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 - Design and appearance

The measurements of the phone are 16.07 x 7.73 x 0.81cm and the weight is only 170g. It is available in colors like rose gold, gold and gray. By the way, the revision unit is gray, which is a slightly bright color. This, at certain moments, creates the illusion that it is silver.

Design details

On the right side of the phone, you will find the volume control and the power button. On the opposite side, there is the SIM card + memory card tray. You will love to know that it incorporates 3 slots, thanks to this you will no longer have to sacrifice a SIM card to expand the internal storage.

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Along the top edge, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack, an infrared emitter, and a noise-canceling microphone. However, on the lower edge, we have the call microphone, the speaker, and a micro USB port. This one is a lackluster feature to be honest, Xiaomi continues to use the older connection standard in their cheaper devices.

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The back panel is almost a copy of many other terminals that we have seen in recent months, especially by Xiaomi. We started with a dual and vertical camera module with a LED flash between them. Below is a central fingerprint scanner and at the end, we have the Mi logo. It’s a nice layout, but we have seen it a million times by now.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 - Design and appearance

Xiaomi Redmi S2 Review: Display

The screen is quite adequate for this price range. This is an IPS LCD panel manufactured with low-temperature PolySilicon and has a diagonal size of 5.99 inches (13.61cm high x 6.8cm wide). This results in a 74% display area. It comes with a decent HD+ resolution of 1440 x 720 pixels that is accompanied with a density of 269ppi. In turn, the color depth is 24 bit, giving an approximate of 16 million colors on the screen; it covers a spectrum of 70% of the NTSC gamut and the resolution of contrast is 1000:1.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 - Display

The viewing experience is not the best on the market but the screen fulfills its function 100% and doesn’t have black frames on the sides. You should be a true expert to detail the deficiencies that may have. We can be sure that a standard user will be quite satisfied with the panel of the Xiaomi Redmi S2, because it provides everything necessary without sacrificing too much.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 - Display

Xiaomi Redmi S2 Review: Hardware and performance

For many of you, it will be very monotonous to read that Xiaomi has launched a new smartphone with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 (MSM8953) processor. But yes, this is the 64-bit and eight-core chipset characteristic of the mid and low-end; and of course, the Chinese company is still using it in this opportunity to power its new budget phone. As we know, this focuses mostly on a standard performance that fulfills its functions but doesn’t offer anything out of the ordinary. It is made up of an ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, which uses 14nm process technology and works at 2.0GHz clock speed.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 - Hardware and performance

The SoC is accompanied by the Qualcomm Adreno 506 GPU for graphics processing. In turn, it comes with 3GB or 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM with a frequency of 930MHz. Storage can also be variable between 32GB and 64GB. It is clear that in full 2018 this amount of internal memory is small. Therefore, the smartphone comes with a dedicated slot for the expansion card and SIM cards. It is no longer necessary to share the tray with a SIM card, it has its own individual space.


As we mentioned before, it is a smartphone with a low-end chipset. So we should not expect extraordinary performance. In some moments, when you want to change from application to application, you can notice slight delays. This happens more than anything in those applications that have some kind of animation. On the rest of activities, the mobile behaves well and is quite receptive since its processor is optimized to offer stable performance during common use.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 - Hardware and performance

AnTuTu Score

There is no more reliable benchmark tool for checking the performance of a smartphone than AnTuTu. The review unit was tested and, as expected, the result is low compared to many other terminals. The Xiaomi Redmi S2 only scored 68913 points. However, don’t be disappointed, we already mentioned that the phone behaves well; the lags are not common and only the expert users could find them annoying.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 - Hardware and performance


Finally, we can never miss the trial by fire: try a mobile video game. In the majority of the occasions, are taken as a base the most popular ones or those who suppose a graphics and performance effort for the terminal. This way you can check how prepared is for intensive use in this category. In this case, Asphalt 8 was executed. As you can see in the video that we shared at the beginning, the smartphone took a considerable time to open the application. This definitely is not a device intended for these activities; but it still performed well once the game started, which is a point in his favor.

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Xiaomi Redmi S2 Review: Software

The Redmi S2 comes with MIUI 9.5 OS, which runs on the Android 8.1-Oreo operating system. MIUI combines the best elements of all user interfaces with good results and presents some new and original features.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 - Software

For example, ‘Second Space’ allows you to install a backup of the same application with different login credentials. This is useful for those who run more than one account on social media platforms. The system ‘Quick Ball’ is also important because it allows you to use shortcuts for various functions without effort.

Also, MIUI presents an option to remove the traditional Android commands like Back, Home and Applications and replaces them with gestures. To go to the home screen, slide up from the bottom, while ‘Back’ is executed by sliding your finger from either side of the screen. To see your active applications, slide up and hold your finger on the screen. These gestures are optional, but we think they work very well, and once you’re used to them, it’s hard to go back to the old buttons on the screen.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 - Software

The current revision unit is the global version, so it comes with Google services installed, which is not usually the case with Xiaomi phones destined for the Chinese market. That means you don’t have to do the usual routine of installing Google support manually, and the UI is not in Chinese. The global version of the Redmi S2 is compatible with several languages and can be used in almost any part of the world thanks to its broad support for international mobile network bands.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 Review: Connectivity

Let’s talk a little about the connectivity that this terminal offers us. As usual, it comes with a series of sensors such as: proximity, natural light, gyroscope, accelerometer and compass. However, the most relevant is the fingerprint sensor incorporated in the back, which is made up of FPC1028 fingerprint cards. It is really fast and precise.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 - Conectivity

GPS, A-GPS, Beidou and GLONASS are included for navigation. For the wireless connections, it supports 2G, 3G and 4G LTE networks with Dual SIM (Nano SIM) in standby mode. We also have WiFi 802.11 b/g/n with the support of WiFi Direct, Display and Hotspot; in addition to Bluetooth 4.2 A2DP. The Micro USB 2.0 port includes USB OTG compatibility and mass storage.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 Review - Conectivity

One of the highlights of the Redmi S2 is that it is one of the few (if not the only) budget smartphone model that comes with the AI unlocking feature. Although the technology is still quite new and may present some flaws here and there, it is definitely good to have the option to try facial recognition without having to get a high-end smartphone.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 Review: Camera

The camera is the most attractive section of this terminal. Starting with a dual configuration on the back that consists of two sensors. The main one has a 12.0MP resolution, type CMOS and model Sony IMX486 Exmor RS with a size of 1/2.9″. It also has a pixel size of 1.25µm, aperture of f/2.2 and a focal length of 3.84mm. The second is Samsung S5K5E8, has a resolution of 5.0MP and is CMOS BSI type, in turn, the size of this is 2.9 x 2.15mm with a pixel size of 1.12µm.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 - Cameras

Between both sensors, we find a LED flash. In addition, this camera is capable of capturing images with a resolution of 4000 x 3000 pixels and videos up to 1920 x 1080 pixels at 30fps. The most remarkable thing is that it is equipped with an AI learning mechanism that guarantees a better focus and is particularly useful in portrait mode.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 - Cameras

What Xiaomi is most proud of is the front camera of the phone. A 16MP front shooter with beautification support and facial recognition with AI that allows you to take quality selfies with high resolution even in low light conditions. For that reason, the mobile is a good option for those who love to take selfies. It comes with a sensor with a size of 1/3.1″, ISOCELL type sensor, Samsung S5K3P8SP model with a 1.0µm pixel size, an aperture of f/2.2, a focal length of 3.52mm and an LED flash. Surprisingly it allows taking pictures with a resolution of 4608 x 3456 pixels and videos of 1920 x 1080 pixels also at 30fps.

The images taken stand out over any other phone in this price range. Here we leave a gallery so that you can verify it by yourself:

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Xiaomi Redmi S2 Review: Battery

Last but not least, there is the battery section. As we supposed, we can not ask for much in this regard. It consists of a 3080mAh lithium polymer battery with a built-in charging adapter that has an output power of 5V/2A. This will be enough to cover the day-to-day needs regardless of the screen of almost 6 inches.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 - Battery

The above is a statement that was verified and that is feasible taking into account that the screen resolution is relatively low and that the processor is not very powerful. Of course, at the end of the day, you will always have the obligation to recharge it.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 Review: Specifications

Brand: Xiaomi
Tipe: Smartphone 4G
Unlock: YES
SIM card: Dual stand-by
SIM tipe: Double Nano SIM
Display tipe: Capacitive LCD IPS
Screen size: 5.99 inches
Screen resolution: HD+ 1440 x 720p
Dimensions: 16.07 x 7.23 x 0.81cm
Weight: 165g
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
Cores: 2.0GHz, octa-cores
GPU: Adreno 506
RAM: 3/4GB
ROM: 32/64GB
External memory: YES
Band technology:
2G: GSM 1800MHz,GSM 1900MHz,GSM 850MHz,GSM 900MHz
3G: WCDMA B1 2100MHz,WCDMA B2 1900MHz,WCDMA B5 850MHz,WCDMA B8 900MHz
4G LTE: FDD B1 2100MHz,FDD B20 800MHz,FDD B3 1800MHz,FDD B4 1700MHz,FDD B5 850MHz,FDD B7 2600MHz,FDD B8 900MHz
Wireless connection: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
Interfaces Hybrid slot (SIM card + memory card), micro USB port, 3.5mm jack port, fingerprint sensor.
Rear camera: 12.0MP + 5.0MP
Frontal camera: 16.0MP
Characteristics Autofocus, continuous shooting, digital image stabilization, digital zoom, exposure compensation, geotagging, panorama, HDR, AI portrait mode, AI beautify mode, facial recognition with AI.
Capacity: 3080mAh
Removable NO
Includes Xiaomi Redmi S2, power adapter, USB cable,  back case, English manual.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 - Specifications

Xiaomi Redmi S2 Review: Conclusions

It is necessary to begin these conclusions by clarifying a very important point: don’t look for high-end performance here. It is not a premium terminal so it isn’t designed to compete with the big flagships. On the contrary, it is the type of smartphone that a standard user with a tight budget needs in his/her pocket. It offers quality at low cost and that is something insurmountable. The great advantage is that without spending too much you will get a great photographic section, which you will never see on smartphones with this price range. Its design is within the trends and its large screen accompanied by a modest chipset will be your great companions during daily life.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 - Conclusions

For all that aforementioned, this is a great option if you are looking for cutting-edge technology and high-quality selfies but don’t want to spend all your savings on it. The best of all is that you don’t need to sacrifice many features as you would think. Another 100% recommended terminal that comes from the hand of the Chinese giant.

Xiaomi Redmi S2 Review: Where to buy?

We want to thank Gearbest again for sending the unit that was taken for review in this opportunity. In addition, we invite you to get the Xiaomi Redmi S2 in this online store, where you will find it for a cost of $159.99 in its global version of 3GB + 32GB gray. We leave the direct link to the product below:

Buy Xiaomi Redmi S2 on Gearbest

If you are looking for more options, you can also get the Xiaomi Redmi S2 (3GB + 32GB) in the online store of Aliexpress, where its price is between $149.99 – $ 173.99. You will find the direct link to the product below:

Buy Xiaomi Redmi S2 on Aliexpress

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