Xiaomi devices are going are almost on their way to hit the people’s mind soon. This is because of their high-end specs available at a very low budget. The made a different approach for the Indian market this year as it launched three smartphones catering to three different price segments, form factor as well as consumer needs. Today, we’re taking a look at one of the sub Rs. 10,000 smartphone by Xiaomi – the Redmi 3S Prime. If you found out that Redmi 3S doesn’t suit your daily tasks or if you need more power, then Redmi 3S Prime is also one of the best phones under 10000. But is it really worth for that money? Let’s find that out in our full review.
The design here is much familiar to its younger sibling the Redmi 3S which just didn’t include the fingerprint sensor at the back. You get the same camera with a little bump, same speakers, ports, sensors, and everything just looks exactly the same as the Redmi 3S since its name suggests that all. The phone feels lightweight in hands mostly but feels a little bit slippery too. To the right, you get volume rockers and a power button itself. Whereas on the left side, you get a sim tray for your SIM slot and it does actually support a microSD card slot which can also be used as a second SIM slot too. On the bottom of the device, the phone has a mic and the standard USB port. To the left, we get the SIM tray slot and whereas on the top we get a 3.5mm jack, IR Blaster, and a secondary noise-cancelling mic. When it comes to the overall design, Redmi 3S is good but I feel like it should have done something in different to make it completely differentiate from the Redmi 3S though.
Coming to the display upright there, the 720p panel on the 5-inch Redmi 3S isn’t having a higher a density though with a 241 ppi. But it’s good for a normal user, though. Xiaomi’s Sunlight Display hardware feature, which the Redmi Note 3 sports but is absent in this smartphone, could have further improved legibility under direct sunlight. The brightness levels on the Redmi 3S Prime were good and colors never looked oversaturated. The viewing angles on the Redmi 3S Prime were also decent and the display for the most parts was fairly sharp and reproduced accurate colors.
It isn’t Gorilla Glass so we don’t know about the protection as well. The screen gets barely visible in the daylight even with the full brightness, it is good that at least the software includes a Sunlight display feature too.
The performance is completely on a different level compared to the Redmi 3S. You get the same Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor clocked at 1.4 GHz. But what differentiates the Redmi 3S Prime from the Redmi 3S is the RAM which is 3 GB here instead of the 2 GB RAM on the Redmi 3S. We get an onboard memory of 32 GB out of which we get 26 GB available. Since it supports microSD card, I won’t complain about the memory issue but you need to sacrifice a SIM for that, though.
You get quite a good amount of performance out of the box with the Redmi 3S Prime which is much better compared to the Redmi 3S. On daily basis, it performed very well but if you turn to be a power user it’ll still perform very well. Playing hardcore games like Assassin’s Creed, N.O.V.A. 3, Dead Trigger 2, etc. came out to be nice too. I didn’t face much frame drops or lags mostly. It was quite a good satisfactory performance when it came to Redmi 3S Prime.
The fingerprint on the other side works pretty much good too. It’s not much accurate as other devices I’ve used but it is quite good, though. It wasn’t too slow or damn too fast, it was just fine. So, the overall performance just impressed me with some extra RAM storage.
The Redmi 3S Prime runs on the same MIUI 8 software (recently updated from MIUI 7) which is based on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow under the roots. I’m still not yet a big fan of the MIUI but with the latest update, I got a bit used to the MIUI a little bit. But, I won’t say that it’s the best UI ever. I would still say rather than using different overlays, go with the “Stock Android” anyways.
By the way coming to the point, I think that it would be quite a little bit harder for everyone to find a bit harder to find the settings for each thing. At least, there is a search bar on the top. Getting used to MIUI is like getting used to iOS after using an Android device. Check out the screenshots below to get a complete overview of the MIUI.
As usual, there isn’t any app drawer which I didn’t like at all. So I go over to the Play Store as always and grab a custom launcher for any device which doesn’t come with stock UI and most probably I’m used to running Nova Launcher.
On to the camera side, I got a very good satisfactory experience with the 13 MP rear camera and the 5 MP front camera. It is the same camera we get on the Redmi 3S also but I felt like there should have been some improvements too after an upgrade from the 3S to the 3S Prime.
The rear camera offers the same 13 MP camera with f/2.0 aperture with PDAF support which was on the Redmi 3S so there isn’t much a big deal or difference in the cameras, though. The camera took sharp images with a good amount of detail. Indoor shots in well-lit conditions were particularly impressive and didn’t have noise or lack detail in textures when zoomed in. Low-light shots were slightly washed out, though turning HDR mode on fixed this to some extent. I also didn’t face issues in locking focus at any time. Take a look at the rear camera samples below.
The 5 MP front camera clicked some decent selfies and came with 36 smart “beautification” profiles which can be used to enhance images. There’s also face recognition, which worked soon after a face was detected in the frame. Another great feature is the ability to record videos at 1080p quality with the front camera.
The 4,100 mAh battery on the Redmi 3S Prime is massive when you compare it to other devices available at the same price. I was getting almost a day on full usage with completely VoLTE and gave out me around 7 hours of screen on time. On the Geekbench 3 battery test, the phone lasts for over 16 hours which is quite great.
To let you know, I play Pokemon Go every day and I didn’t have any devices which ran Pokemon Go for a very long time. But on the redmi 3S Prime, when I ran Pokémon GO on this phone, and it lasted for a good 6.5 hours. That is seven hours of screen on time while running a game. While other devices get me only 3-4 hours only on the other way. Also, I tried keeping the phone idle for some time and the standby time was crazy giving me 4 days of standby time. After that, I can say that this phone will last more than any normal users expect.
I was well surprised by this device at the beginning. The design is excellent, the hardware is very well balanced and even the performance feels great for a budget smartphone. The hero feature is definitely the massive battery, something which almost every smartphone user would love and appreciate. The device only lets itself down on the display, the camera, and the UI departments.
Priced at Rs. 8,999 you can consider this as one of the best phones under Rs. 10,000. Want some better options, then get ready to sacrifice a great battery then. You can also consider Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (2 GB RAM) which comes under Rs. 10,000 only.