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Monday, August 19, 2019

Perfect Pick for First-time Users!

Huawei P30 Pro, the Chinese phone maker’s newest flagship, has made its much-awaited India debut today at a hefty price of Rs 71,990. It is a powerful smartphone which stacks up well against the myriad of flagships already available in the market. However, being a Huawei P-series smartphone means there’s a primary focus on one aspect and that’s the photography experience. The company always pulls an innovative camera feature from its hat each time and the P30 Pro is no different.

This flagship is being touted to have some of the best cameras ever on a smartphone, so we put it to the test, checked out each and every camera feature of Huawei P30 Pro, and here’s what I think about its cameras:
Huawei P30 Pro Camera Specs

Before we dive into my experience with the Huawei P30 Pro’s cameras, let’s take a quick look at the camera specs and features.

The smartphone comes laden with a quad-camera module on the rear, which is a step up from its previous flagships – the P20 Pro or Mate 20 Pro. The camera setup still sports a primary 40MP sensor, but it has been upgraded with the inclusion of RYYB Bayer color filter array to capture 40% more light and bump the maximum ISO rating to 409600. It’s now termed as a SuperSpectrum sensor.

The second sensor on board is a 20MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide angle sensor with over 120-degrees field-of-vision, which is becoming a staple in devices launching these days. And finally, we have the most valuable addition to the lot, an 8MP (f/3.4) periscope/telephoto camera that can capture photos at 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid SuperZoom, and a mind-boggling 50x digital zoom as well.

Finally, there’s a time-of-flight (TOF) sensor on the right of the triple camera setup, below the flash and temperature sensors. This will allow the smartphone to capture more depth information, enhancing the portrait and night shots, plus helping in AR applications in the future. You can read more about the quad-camera module right here, but let’s talk about the camera app in brief.

The native camera app baked into the Huawei P30 Pro is feature-laden and complex. Yes, the camera app is quite intricate and you’ll probably need some time to discover and get used to all the extra features, such as slow-mo, light painting, silky water, super macro, and the Aperture mode. The app is snappy, the shutter speed is great, and there’s a Pro mode on board as well, so camera enthusiasts can be merry!

camera app - huawei p30 pro

Now that we’ve gotten everything else out of the way, let’s take a look at some samples captured using the Huawei P30 Pro:

Note: The camera samples captured with Huawei P30 Pro need to be embraced in all their glory, so we have attached links to full-resolution photos for each category. You’ll be able to check out the details in each picture and form an opinion of your own as well.
Huawei P30 Pro: Daylight Samples

The pictures captured from the Huawei P30 Pro in broad daylight are some of the best I have ever seen from a smartphone camera, right at the top next to the Pixel 3. I clicked more than I can imagine, so did Rupesh, and we reached on a common conclusion that Huawei has seriously stepped up its game with its latest flagship.

The Huawei P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro already captured some amazing pictures, however, the upgraded rear camera setup on the P30 Pro improves on its shortcomings. Huawei is finally giving up on over-sharpening its pictures, but there’s surely some AI-backed over-saturation still in place. The dynamic range of the device is pretty high, the details have been preserved even when zooming in, and there’s no major complaints. I started liking the involvement of AI in the process over time as it made the clicks more social media-ready.
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    Ultra Wide Angle Samples

The Huawei P30 Pro also includes an ultra wide-angle rear camera, as you might already have read in the specifications above. It has a field-of-view of more than 120-degrees & that can help you capture some breath-taking shots, especially that of a skyline, sunrise, marketplace, or whatever you can possibly imagine.

After begging phone makers to follow LG’s suit for years, it’s now that they’re picking up the ultra wide-angle camera to be a prominent attraction for their multi-camera modules. There’s another flagship, the Galaxy S10 Plus with an equally capable sensor of the same kind as the P30 Pro, so we pit them against each other and captured a multitude of ultra wide-angle pictures in both day and night situations:
Galaxy S10 Plus
Huawei P30 Pro
Galaxy S10 Plus
Huawei P30 Pro
Galaxy S10 Plus
Huawei P30 Pro
Galaxy S10 Plus
Huawei P30 Pro

The ultra wide-angle photos clicked from both the Galaxy S10 Plus and Huawei P30 Pro are pretty good and I was surprised to see the latter match up to the former. While I adore the wider FOV of the Galaxy S10, P30 Pro isn’t too far behind or maybe it was intentional on Huawei’s part to not go overboard as the Galaxy S10 whose pictures have a slight fish-eye effect at the edges in most cases.

The samples from both the smartphones can be shared on social media – with the color reproduction of the Galaxy S10 pictures being slightly saturated as compared to the P30 Pro, which produces more detailed shots and you can even read addresses on billboards using samples from the same. Check out the full-res images on Google Drive and don’t forget to zoom in.
Huawei P30 Pro: Zoom in Close!

“If you want to go to the moon; I’ll take you there, baby zoom” sings DNCE frontman Joe Jonas and it’s probably the most ideal way to describe the insane zooming capabilities of the Huawei P30 Pro. This is the first-ever smartphone to carry a periscope camera setup and it brings in tow amazing, never-seen-before zoom capabilities.

The telephoto camera itself has 5x optical zoom capability baked in, which is better than the 3x optical zoom on the P20 Pro, but the prism module inside allows it to capture 10x hybrid zoom pictures. Then there’s the 50x that open more possibilities for smartphone photography, making you want to pull out your phone and check how far you can see – which has been the case with me over the past week.

And since the moon didn’t make an appearance in Delhi over the past couple of days, we had to settle with the camera samples attached below. I ain’t waiting around and putting forth my best 50x zoom picture I’ve captured to date first.

Here you can see a building with an autumn tree in the first picture, let’s zoom and you would see two birds perched on a branch in the second picture. The third photo focuses upon the bird perched on the top, and you can check out the fourth 50z picture yourself. Get ready to be amazed though!
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1x Zoom
5x Zoom
10x Zoom
50x Zoom

There’s a common denominator in all these pictures and you will notice it in the camera samples we attach below as well. The 50x zoom picture isn’t the sharpest and detail, of course, is lacking as compared to other zoom samples. This is because the subjects for your 50x zoom pictures are quite far away and even though there’s dual OIS onboard, you’ll still need to keep your hand really stable or use a tripod to get the best result.

I mean, you can see the colors of the bird’s feathers in the photo above and it’s perched really far away, so what more do you need. Here are some more 5x, 10x, and 50x zoom samples to show off this mind-boggling feature of the Huawei P30 Pro:
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1x Zoom
5x Zoom
10x Zoom
50x Zoom
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1x Zoom
5x Zoom
10x Zoom
50x Zoom

Though the 50x digital zoom feature is simply astonishing and can help you catch a glimpse of things that may not be visible to the naked eye from that distance, it falters in low light. There’s a ton of noise in the 50x low-light pictures and even though you’ll make out what’s shown in the frame, it won’t truly be usable for sharing on social media or with peers. Here’s an example:
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1x Zoom
5x Zoom
10x Zoom
50x Zoom (it says Refuge on that neon sign)

You can check the full-res samples from above using this Google Drive link. However, if you want to check out more camera samples and see how the zoom capabilities on the P30 Pro compare to other popular flagships, including the iPhone XS Max, Pixel 3 XL, and Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, then check out our YouTube video on the same right here:

Huawei P30 Pro: Night-time Magic

I bet you have already seen the magic of the 40MP SuperSpectrum sensor in low-light situations on Twitter and a number of publications are drooling over the samples. Well, there’s no point hiding the fact that I’ve been doing the same since I got my hands on Huawei’s latest flagship and you can find some samples to prove the same:
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The one thing you would’ve easily noticed in these low-light photos is that all of them are brightly lit. They don’t exactly look the same as the scene that my eyes might have percieved, thanks to the increased intake of light, but it makes the pictures look stunning. And if you think details are lost in the process and the pictures would be soft, well, take a closer peek as that isn’t the case.

I mean, the enhanced state of low-light photography does give more users a longing for similar features in their smartphone but one important question still remains – what if I want to capture my surroundings in its true form instead of having my smartphone’s AI blow up the saturation and light?

    Huawei P30 Pro vs Google Pixel 3 XL

Apart from solo captures, it goes without saying that you have to compare the low-light performance of the Huawei P30 Pro to the smartphone camera king – Pixel 3. The Night Sight completely changed our perception towards low-light photography and P30 Pro is here to further redefine low-light captures with its new SuperSpectrum sensor.

In the samples that follow, I am going to show you how the P30 Pro’s cameras perform against the Pixel 3 XL and its impressive Night Sight technology in low-light and totally dark scenarios. Talking about the latter first, well, the photos captured using the default mode on Pixel 3 are an almost accurate representation of what our eyes see.

The Night Sight, however, gathers light and gives you a brighter picture that makes the subject pronounced but with a lot of noise and the details being soft. The color profile is decent, but take a look at the Huawei P30 Pro samples to find these shortcomings to be fixed.
Pixel 3 Auto Mode
Pixel 3 Night Sight
P30 Pro Auto Mode

The P30 Pro captures low-light photos with a ton of detail and a color profile that’s slightly cooler than the Pixel via the default ‘Auto’ mode. You don’t need to jump into Night mode to get some amazing results, which you can zoom in and view the intricacies of a subject – be it a figure or architectural marvel. You can check some of our camera samples right here:
Pixel 3 Auto Mode
Pixel 3 Night Sight
P30 Pro Auto Mode
Pixel 3 Auto Mode
Pixel 3 Night Sight
P30 Pro Auto Mode

As you can see in the pictures attached below, the Huawei P30 Pro hands-down beats the Pixel 3 in auto mode captures. On the other hand, the Night Sight pictures (in the middle) capture a lot more light and the colors look saturated but there’s much noise and details seems to be soft as compared to the P30 Pro. The P30 Pro offers a more accurate shot in low-light conditions in auto-mode – that too with better color reproduction and an ample amount of detail.
Pixel 3 Auto Mode
Pixel 3 Night Sight
P30 Pro Auto Mode
Pixel 3 Auto Mode
Pixel 3 Night Sight
P30 Pro Auto Mode
Pixel 3 Auto Mode
Pixel 3 Night Sight
P30 Pro Auto Mode

The samples attached above, which you can view in full-resolution on Google Drive right here, show off how a change in the Bayer filter makes it possible for the Huawei P30 Pro the power to see in the dark. The Chinese giant has thrown a challenge out to each and every phone maker, especially Google, and Rupesh is certainly right in saying that Night Sight has just been destroyed by the P30 Pro

    What I Call Galaxy (not the S10)

I know the aforementioned comparison already has you captivated, but wait till you see what I’ve been calling the ‘Galaxy’ images. Huawei CEO Richard Yu, at the P30 Pro Paris launch event, showed off a photo of the starry night captured using the default mode on the smartphone at Namibia desert (picture above) and I couldn’t control my excitement.

While I have tested out a myriad of smartphone cameras, I had never seen anything like this before and badly wanted to capture a similar photograph here in Delhi. Thus, began Mission Galaxy, a sample for which I shared on Twitter, but here’s one of the best clicks:

stars huawei p30 pro

I would like to apologize beforehand for the not-so-clear look at the stars as I didn’t find the time to travel to a location with significantly low light pollution and captured all these pictures right from my home’s terrace. There’s some obvious banding and the light from the structures below is seeping into the frame, but you can still see the stars shining around that cellphone tower. Most of the stars were not visible to my naked eye and made an appearance only on the P30 Pro’s viewfinder – making me smile and wanting to click more ‘Galaxy’ pictures.

I feel that the samples, which you can view in full-resolution on Google Drive right here, turned out pretty decent and show off another facet of the low-light capabilities of the device. You can check out some more “Galaxy” camera samples right here:
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    Night Mode – Do You Even Need it?

We have already got a taste of P30 Pro’s camera prowess in low-light, as well as totally dark scenarios. The smartphone is able to let in more light and capture great photos at night from the default “Auto” mode. The results are comparable to or sometimes better than the ‘Night Sight’ on Pixel 3. I mean, you don’t even need to switch modes on your device to capture such pictures and it takes merely a couple of seconds.

So, the question which now arises is – do you even need the Night Mode on Huawei P30 Pro? It’s a mode that’s included in the camera app (also available on P20 Pro) and takes long-exposure shots, about 7-8 seconds, during which you need to hold the smartphone really stable, to capture brightly-lit and detailed photos in low-light.
P30 Pro Auto Mode
P30 Pro Night Mode

From my experience, the auto mode on the Huawei P30 Pro provides exceptionally good low-light pictures with a lot of detail, while the Night Mode bumps up the saturation and takes away some of the details in the process. The pictures captured in Night Mode are quite sharp as well and the final result tends to slightly better and shareable with peers.

So, yeah, you do need the night mode to intake more light and take even brighter shots when you’re not satisfied with the Auto mode.
Huawei P30 Pro: Selfies & Portraits

We have talked enough about the quad-rear camera module and there’s a 32MP selfie camera aboard the P30 Pro as well. I’m not really a selfie person but the pictures you get from this smartphone are pretty good, considering the high megapixel count, but the details are still slightly soft when you compare it to the Pixel 3 – as we’ve done below.
Pixel 3 XL
Huawei P30 Pro

I’ll say that the color reproduction and skin tones are quite appropriate as well, with the blur around the subject in the background feeling natural and not too overpowering. The portraits captured from the rear camera are even better, with enhanced edge detection & more detail, meaning the TOF camera on board is doing its job well.
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Selfie Camera
Selfie Camera
Selfie Camera
Selfie Camera
Selfie Camera
Rear Camera
Huawei P30 Pro: Video Recording

Huawei has included a myriad of camera features in the P30 Pro and you’ve already seen how each of them perform in real-life, however, video recordings appears to be one such segment where the company has me a little unsatisfied. This over Rs 70,000 smartphone offers you recording support up to 4K (UHD) but solely at 30fps. You have to bump down the resolution to 1080p to get 60fps support, which is a huge shortcoming in my book.

Speaking of the video quality, well, Huawei has baked dual-OIS into its camera hardware and it certainly shows in the samples attached above. The color reproduction is relatively good (a little on the saturated side but still good) but the stabilization is what takes the cake here for me. The videos are super smooth and stable for a hand-held video recording from a moving vehicle.

One of the highlights of the P30 Pro obviously is its low-light prowess and it trickles into your video department as well. The low-light videos are pretty decent, especially for yet another hand-held moving vehicle recording, but the quality isn’t particularly good. The samples attached below has life-like color reproduction but the details are really soft for any and all subjects in the frame.

    Extra Features

In addition to the traditional video shooting modes, Huawei also introduced some extra video modes with its Kirin 980-powered Mate 20 Pro flagship last year and well, they’re being carried forward with the P30 Pro. I’m really impressed with the edge detection, as well as real-time bokeh, that’s been applied during the ‘AI Background Blur’ mode video sample here:

There are times when the blur isn’t perfect and you can see some jagged edges or outer glow on my kurta, but I still think it’s great for casual users or YouTubers. I also like the fact that Huawei hasn’t given you the option to tweak the blur as you may toy around a little much with it to make the background blur look unnatural.

Another great video shooting mode available on the P30 Pro is AI Color, where the device intelligently singles out a colorful object in the frame and paints everything else in monochrome shades. In the video attached below, you can see that Sharun is colorful & the Beebom office in the background is painted in black and white.

Huawei P30 Pro: Super Macro

If you’re not too impressed with the zoom capabilities of the Huawei P30 Pro and feel like the 50x digital zoom is just a gimmick, lend me an ear and check out another one of my favorite features – Super Macro. This features comfortably sits under the ‘More’ section in the camera app at the very bottom, but it’s also a highlight of this camera setup if you’re into clicking close-ups. You can check out our samples right here:
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Super Macro (1x)
Super Macro (3x)
Super Macro (1x)
Super Macro (3x)
Super Macro (1x)
Super Macro (3x)
Super Macro (1x)
Super Macro (3x)

The Super Macro mode on the P30 Pro also goes a step further from other smartphone cameras and includes up to 3x digital zoom, making it possible for you to get closer to objects. Though the 3x zoom pictures don’t have as much detail as the standard Super Macro pictures, the detail in the 3x picture is still really appreciable. See those hair on the feet of the spider or the cracks in the Ducati logo. It instantly makes a user go ‘wow’ and jaw drops to the ground when you see pictures like these.
Huawei P30 Pro Camera Review: What More Can You Ask For?

That wraps up our detailed camera review of the Huawei P30 Pro and I believe, you must have learned everything you need to know about the quad-camera module on this device. Huawei has yet again managed to push the boundary of mobile photography and the P30 Pro is the epitome of the best smartphone camera available in the market. Period.

Huawei P30 Pro’s camera capabilities, especially the zooming, AI+ToF-enhanced portraits, and dual-OIS-stabilized videos are something you wouldn’t find on any other smartphone right now. It does have its minor shortcomings here and there, but the overall quality has me stumped and begs me to use the camera more often.

What are your opinions on the Huawei P30 Pro’s quad-camera module? Do you think it is outright better than the Pixel 3 or not? You can check out all the full-res samples via this link right here and let us know your thoughts in the comments below. You can also share any camera-related queries you have down under and we’ll get back to you on the same. Xiaomi currently holds the pole position in the Indian smartphone market and it’s going to only further this lead, thanks to the introduction of the Redmi Note 7 series. It, however, also plans to capture the entry-level segment and the growing number of 4G users in the country by debuting its most-affordable smartphone to date – the Redmi Go.

I know, Redmi Go (Rs 4,499) isn’t the most exciting smartphone to launch in India in the previous month, but it’s going to be a boon for users looking to upgrade to a smartphone experience. That’s the audience Xiaomi is targetting with this handy smartphone, running Android Go Edition, packing a decent processor and dual-cameras.

Xiaomi lent us the blue variant of the Redmi Go and I’ve been using it as my daily driver over the last two weeks now and my experience has been quite satisfactory, except for a couple-odd issues. So, keep reading to know whether the Redmi Go is worth its Rs 4,499 price tag and if you should buy it or not:
Xiaomi Redmi Go: Specifications

Instead of diving straight into my thoughts on the Redmi Go, here’s a quick peek at some key specifications:
Dimensions    140.4 x 70.1 x 8.35 mm
Weight    137 grams
Display    5-inch HD (720x1280 pixels; 296 ppi)
Processor    Qualcomm Snapdragon 425
GPU    Adreno 308
RAM    1GB
Storage    8GB (Expandable up to 128GB)
Primary Camera    8 MP, Scene Recognition, Real-time filters
Secondary Camera    5 MP, Auto HDR, HD Calling support
Battery    3000 mAh
Operating System    Android Oreo (Go edition)
Colors    Black and Blue
Price    Rs. 4,499
Xiaomi Redmi Go: What’s in the Box

Xiaomi ships the Redmi Go in a familiar red cardboard box with the smartphone branding up-top. Digging in, you will first find the device sitting at the top, followed by all of your essential accessories tucked into the bottom. There’s no earphones or case bundled with the smartphone here, which is understandable at this price point.

redmi go unboxing

Here’s everything you will find inside the Redmi Go box:

    Redmi Go handset
    1x microUSB cable
    1x Charging adapter
    1x SIM ejector tool
    1x User manuals

Xiaomi Redmi Go: Design and Build

Right off the bat, Redmi Go’s design will remind you of older Xiaomi budget phones that boasted a polycarbonate build with a metallic finish. The Redmi Go has been launched in two color variants, black and blue, where we have the latter one and it looks shiny and vibrant than the former. The smartphone is really compact and fits well in your hand, making it comfortable to use for longer durations.

redmi go rear

The polycarbonate build isn’t premium, but it isn’t cheap either, and the Redmi Go has a sturdy build that’s good enough for the retail price. The back panel does attract smudges quite easily but the blue variant helps mask it, however, the same cannot be said for the myriad of scratches. Even the ‘Mi’ logo at the bottom rear of our unit has started to wear off within just two weeks.

    Redmi Go feels pretty sturdy in the hand and its compact size is perfect for comfortable use, especially for longer durations.

There’s also no clutter or bumps on the rear, which I really like, and is something which premium phone makers are now trying to achieve in prototype with no ports or buttons. The camera and flash rest flush with the back and I’ve gotten over the higher placement for the sensor, which I found to bug me for a couple of days in the beginning.

The front of the smartphone boasts a tiny 5-inch HD screen, with huge bezels at the top and bottom (something that’s necessary to mention in 2019 and we’ll talk more about it below). The latter here hosts your capacitive buttons for navigation across the device. It doesn’t come with on-screen buttons, yeah, and the capacitive buttons don’t have a backlight, so using the Redmi Go could be a difficult affair. You’ll, however, get used to the position of the capacitive buttons in a couple of days, well, at least I did.
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The power and volume buttons on Redmi Go sit at the usual position, on the right edge, and are made from plastic. They feel a little mushy for my liking. Redmi Go includes the microUSB port, speaker, and a primary microphone at the bottom edge, and the 3.5mm headphone jack up-top with a secondary noise cancellation mic.
Xiaomi Redmi Go: Display

Xiaomi has opted to go with a 16:9 display on the Redmi Go in contrast to the taller 18:9 displays that’ve found their way to most devices, of recent. While anyone would prefer to have a bigger display on their phone, I came to appreciate the smaller form factor on this device. It was surely a pleasant change over the massive screens that we all keep staring onto all day.

Redmi Go sports a 5-inch HD LCD display, with a 1280×720 pixels resolution and it’s pretty decent for a smartphone in the sub-Rs. 5,000 price range. This display panel is certainly not the brightest. It will perform adequately indoors, with contents easily visible, but you shouldn’t expect the same results outdoors. The screen suffers in broad daylight and the viewing angles are okay-ish, to say the least.

The touch response is pretty shabby and latency creeps into the picture most of the time, which is in part due to the measly 1GB of RAM. To deliver a final word on the Redmi Go’s display, well, you can put all of the shortcomings aside simply by taking into account the price of the device.
Xiaomi Redmi Go: Performance

The Redmi Go is powered by the Snapdragon 425 chipset, coupled with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage. These are low memory and storage specifications in contrast to most entry-level smartphones, which also cost a grand or two extra. Xiaomi has also not given users any choice and launched merely the lower-end variant of the smartphone in India, leaving out the 2GB+16GB variant.

Since we are getting only 1GB of RAM, I’d already anticipated the Redmi Go to stutter and lag in daily use, without fail, and that’s exactly how my daily experience with the smartphone has been. The occasional frame drops and lag is common when opening the app drawer, scrolling through Instagram, reading stories in Chrome, or sometimes even typing out a text.

Thankfully, multi-tasking isn’t too bad and the smartphone retains some recently opened apps in the memory. You should, however, mostly run lightweight apps or services on this device as opposed to heavy and memory-intensive tasks. As you can see in the video I’ve attached above, it takes a couple seconds or more for apps to open at times. This can be annoying for someone with little or no patience, but for someone switching to the Android ecosystem for the first time can live with it.

    1GB RAM certainly is a bottleneck for overall performance, but first-time smartphone users shouldn’t really be worried.

The 1GB surely is a bottleneck for the overall performance of the smartphone, but users who’re mostly going to use it for calling, WhatsApp, and watching YouTube videos will be satisfied with the Redmi Go. They may encounter one issue though and that’s storage. If you think your mom or dad can live with 8GB (usable only around 5GB) of storage, then you’re mistaken – because ‘Good Morning’ WhatsApp messages.

The storage can turn out to be a bottleneck too, but Xiaomi has included a dedicated SD card slot on the Redmi Go and you can use it as internal storage. This means you can expand your storage, especially to store media files, and can transfer compatible apps to the microSD card. New apps that support being installed on an SD card will automatically be installed on the SD card, which is awesome.

Note: You can check out what apps installed on your smartphone can be transferred to your SD card by downloading the AppMg III app (Free) from the Pl55ay Store.

This is an entry-level device and if you’re expecting to use it for lengthy gaming sessions, especially PUBG Mobile, then you would be disappointed. Redmi Go only has 1GB of RAM and the minimum requirement for the game is 2GB RAM, so PUBG Mobile does not run on it. We still installed and tried running it, just to be greeted with an error telling us our device was unsupported.

    Dont’ expect to run PUBG Mobile on Redmi Go, or any Battle Royale game for that fact

So, with PUBG Mobile out of the picture, I resorted to its renowned alternative – Garena Free Fire in an attempt to push the Redmi Go to its limits. This game did open, assumed the lowest (smooth) graphics setting by default and I was able to play a couple matches but with constant frame drops and lag. I couldn’t complete any of the games as the ping was usually off the roof and the game crashed on me each time.

Finally, I gave up on battle royale games and tried other popular game titles that weren’t as graphics intensive including Temple Run 2, Alto’s Odyssey, Ludo King, and more. Well, these games all run pretty smoothly and without any hiccups, further confirming that the Redmi Go isn’t meant for a younger cousin who’s a PUBG Mobile fanatic, but parents who rather prefer the snake game.

    Benchmarks

The 1GB RAM appears to be a bottleneck for benchmark apps as well. I was successfully able to run Geekbench 4 on the Redmi Go, but the AnTuTu benchmark app just doesn’t work and freezes at zero percent in one of the tests. You can find the benchmark scores attached below:

Xiaomi Redmi Go: Cameras

Even at its sub-Rs 5,000 price point, Redmi Go offers users an 8MP (f/2.0) rear camera, with a single LED flash and a 5MP (f/2.2) selfie camera on board. Xiaomi has packed a number of features into the camera app of this smartphone, including real-time filters, Auto HDR, the ability to choose between 11 different scene type and manual controls, to make sure users have a fulfilling experience – even at an affordable price.

redmi go camera module

The photos captured with the Redmi Go look lackluster and not-as-good when viewed on the HD screen of the device, but transferring them to a PC makes you realize they’re not really bad. They’re good pictures that your mom or dad can share with their friends. Don’t believe me, well, here are some camera samples I captured over the past week:

    Daylight Samples

The Redmi Go performed better than my expectations in broad daylight, with the photos turning out to be pretty good for a sub-Rs 5,000 smartphone. There’s ample detail, the dynamic range is decent, and the color reproduction also isn’t too bad either. The photos captured look over-sharpened in most of the cases, with subdued shadows, but that’s manageable and you can easily share these photos on social media.
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    Lowlight Samples

Redmi Go isn’t really meant for low-light photography and the captures are half-decent. The camera samples captured in such scenarios are worth sharing and will give others a sense of what’s happening or what the picture represents. However, the pictures usually come out to be grainy (with a lot of noise) and don’t have a lot of detail.
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    Selfies

Even though you get a 5MP selfie camera, you don’t get the infamous portrait mode that has gained importance over the past few years. It has become a necessity for buyers to have this background-blurring feature on their phones. As for the selfies clicked with the Redmi Go, they’re okay-ish with a decent amount of details but look soft in all situations. Be it indoors or outdoors.
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    Xiaomi Redmi Go: Videos

The Redmi Go is capable of recording videos up to 1080 pixels resolution at 30fps from both the front and rear cameras. This is pretty great for casual video recordings as the sensors aboard this device aren’t the greatest (overall, not in the segment) and you can expect pretty good results. You can check out the sample video recording right here:

The video recordings look decently detailed with good color reproduction, but they aren’t stabilized and look jittery. I, however, can’t complain about it as I never expected it to be included in the first place – especially at the Redmi Go’s selling price. The device is also a wee bit slow to focus at times, but that shouldn’t affect users who would mostly whip out their phones to capture family members have some fun and share videos on WhatsApp.
Xiaomi Redmi Go: Software

As should be evident from the name of the smartphone, the Redmi Go is powered by a lightweight version of Android known as Android Go. Xiaomi is offering users Android 8.1 Oreo (Go Edition) with this smartphone and I’m really disheartened to see the latest Android flavor not being offered out-of-the-box even when it has been out for more than six months since its release.

Being a Go Edition smartphone, the Redmi Go comes baked in with a myriad of Go apps including Google Go, Assistant Go, Gmail Go, YouTube Go (which surely comes in useful when you want to save data and keep video offline for viewing later), and Maps Go. We, however, get the official versions of Google Photos, Chrome, and Gboard pre-installed.

The smartphone also has some bloatware apps like Facebook Lite, Amazon, Xiaomi’s Mi Drop file transfer app, and lightweight Mint browser pre-installed, but it doesn’t cripple the user experience in any way – except for taking precious storage space. While I can uninstall the former two, the latter two can’t be removed.

Leaving that aside, my overall experience with Android Go has been quite fulfilling, except for couple-odd features that I found to be missing on this lightweight Android version, like notification access and inability to install the official YouTube app (though you can sideload it).

    Android Go offered a pretty fulfilling experience on the Redmi Go

Redmi Go offers you a stock Android experience, something a lot of users prefer, but the Chinese giant can’t go without showing off its flair at some point, thus, the device comes plastered with Mint Launcher. It’s nothing new though. Instead, it’s merely a rebranded version of Xiaomi’s own Poco Launcher, bringing all the goodness of that app in tow.

There wasn’t really a need for a third-party launcher here, but it seems as though Xiaomi wants to differentiate its Go Edition smartphone from others. Putting everything aside, I’ll state that Android Go is feature-rich and adequate for anyone looking to make a move to Android smartphones for the first time.
Xiaomi Redmi Go: Audio and Telephony

Redmi Go includes a single bottom-firing speaker and it’s pretty good. The audio output gets loud enough for you to be able to share your music taste with peers and it’s clear too, however, don’t expect much bass from this teensy smartphone. Xiaomi has long offered a 16-step media volume control for its devices, which is excellent, and Redmi Go comes as no exception.

redmi go calling audio experience

As for the telephony experience, well, I didn’t encounter any issue with the audio output from the earpiece sitting in the top bezel here. It’s crisp and decently loud, enabling the users to hear the caller clear even in noisy locations. The addition of two microphones on the Redmi Go enhances the calling experience and none of the callers complained of my voice not being audible or clear.
Xiaomi Redmi Go: Connectivity

Even though the Redmi Go comes as Xiaomi’s most affordable smartphone to date, the Chinese giant hasn’t really compromised on the feature set. The device includes 2 SIM card trays – one offering you access to only a single nano-SIM card, whereas the other packs support for a nano-SIM card, as well as microSD card (up to 128GB storage).

    Redmi Go doesn’t support dual-VoLTE, but that’s okay and understandable at this price point. microSD card support is a boon!

This means you will not only be able to use two SIM cards at the same, where only one would support 4G at a time, but also insert a microSD card to expand the storage right from the get-go – something I suggest you do if you don’t want to be annoyed with the ‘Free up space’ notification from the Play Store time and time again.

redmi go sim trays

Further, the Redmi Go comes integrated with all your usual connectivity options including Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (you won’t be able to connect to 5GHz networks and that’s nothing to crib about at this price point), Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.1 (where I’ve noticed a few issues with static and connection drops while using Bluetooth earbuds), GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, and more.
Xiaomi Redmi Go: Battery Life

Xiaomi has included in the Redmi Go a modest 3,000Ah battery pack that it boasts is going to offer you a standby time of up to 10 days. I haven’t managed to set aside the smartphone and not use it for such a long duration, but it lasts you a complete day on a single charge with ease.

I usually had close to 20% battery left when I got back home after work, where I mostly used the device for calling, texting with friends and peers, listening to music, surfing the Internet, and watching videos on the way to/fro from work. I was getting a screen-on time of 6.5 to 7 hours, on average, which is pretty good.

redmi go battery

Xiaomi hasn’t offered any fast-charging tech with the Redmi Go. Instead, you find a 5W (5V, 1A) charging adapter bundled inside the box that would require you to plug in your smartphone for close to 3 hours to fully juice up the 3,000mAh battery.
Xiaomi Redmi Go: Bang for the Buck or Bust?

Redmi Go is certainly a “bang for the buck” smartphone, making about everything you’ll ever expect in an entry-level smartphone available for under Rs 5,000. There’s a decent display, a compact form factor with a metallic finish, powerful Snapdragon 425 processor, dual camera (one on the rear and another on the front), a huge 3,000mAh battery and a lighter Android experience for beginners.

There’s just one shortcoming for this smartphone and I won’t really call it a shortcoming. It’s Xiaomi who’s at fault in this case since the company has just launched the lower-end variant of Redmi Go in India, while there’s also a 2GB+16GB variant that would’ve been much better in terms of overall performance.

Now, let me answer the most important question that a lot of you have asked on Twitter. Who is the Redmi Go meant for? Well, this entry-level smartphone is the perfect pick for three sects of users – first, the ones who’re finally upgrading from a feature phone to the Android ecosystem for the first time, our parents and grandparents who don’t need a plethora of features but the right ones to get through the day, and finally, users who are looking to curb smartphone addiction.

If you’re someone who falls into any of the aforementioned categories, or someone you know does, then Redmi Go (Rs 4,499) is quite a feature-rich and handy smartphone for them. Another major thing to take into account, however, would be the price. There’s a possibility that you’ve got budget restrictions, maybe 5,000 rupees, then the Redmi Go becomes a no-brainer decision for you.

I, however, have a couple more suggestions in the said price bracket for users wary of bottleneck issues due to the low memory. You could wait for one of Flipkart’s sales and grab the Asus Zenfone Lite L1 with Snapdragon 430, 2GB RAM, and 16GB storage for as low as Rs. 4,999. I’m not recommending you any other Go-edition smartphone, like the Nokia 1 or Samsung J2 Core since they’re pretty dated, according to today’s standards.

PROS:

    Sturdy build
    Comfortable in-hand feel
    Okay-ish HD display
    Decent cameras
    Great battery life

CONS:

    1GB RAM is a bottleneck
    8GB storage isn’t enough
    Unnecessary bloatware

SEE ALSO – Redmi 6A Review: The Budget King May Lose its Crown
Xiaomi Redmi Go Review: Affordable, Substantial, And Worth Recommending!

Xiaomi is pretty well-versed with the budget smartphone segment in India at this point, and the Redmi Go is a great entry-level smartphone with the right mix of hardware and software to attract the growing number of 4G and Android users in the country. There’s nothing more you can expect from a sub-Rs 5,000 smartphone except for maybe a little more memory for an extra thousand bucks.

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