Xiaomi has been dominating the budget smartphone market in India ever since they introduced the Redmi 1S. Later they captured the mid-range segment by launching the Redmi Note 3 and as you all know the rest is history. Now, Xiaomi is one of the major smartphone manufacturers in the country and has reached a point where they can compete or even beat Samsung in terms of sales. All thanks to the value for money smartphones they brought to the Indian market.
When it comes to sub Rs.10,000 price bracket, Redmi 4 has been and still is one of the top picks in 2017. But the poor offline presence of Xiaomi and marketing techniques by companies like Oppo and Vivo has hindered Redmi 4 from becoming the real champion. Xiaomi phones have far better internals compared to its competitors, but one aspect where they fall short is with regards to the camera or rather selfies which most other manufacturers tend to market heavily, especially in the budget segment.
Finally, Xiaomi understood the importance of “selfies” in India and introduced a new entry-level series – the Redmi Y series, focused mainly on selfies. Xiaomi also chose to have a celebrity endorser and better marketing for the Y-series as these techniques are successful in impressing those people who don’t really care about what comes inside their smartphones. Note that a large percentage of people buying smartphones in sub Rs.10,000 segment belongs the above-mentioned category and Xiaomi has played quite a nice game this time.
Xiaomi introduced 2 new smartphones under the Y-series – Redmi Y1 and Redmi Y1 Lite. Both these smartphones compete directly with Xiaomi’s own Redmi 4 and Redmi 4A respectively. In this article, let’s compare the better variant out of the pack i.e. Redmi Y1 with the budget king – Redmi 4.
When comparing budget devices, there is no better place to start from other than price. The Redmi Y1 comes in 2 variants. The one with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage costing Rs.8,999 and the 4GB/64GB variant costing Rs.10,999.
The 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB variants of Redmi 4 also carry the same price tag. But the Redmi 4 has one more variant with 2GB/16GB configuration which costs Rs.6,999.
Note that in this specific comparison, we are considering the higher end variants of Redmi 4 i.e. 3/32GB and 4/64GB to make it as fair as possible, both in terms of price and internals.
The Redmi 4 sports a metal unibody design, while Redmi Y1 comes with a polycarbonate back. The polycarbonate back itself has a metallic finish, so aesthetically both handsets look similar. But the Redmi 4 definitely feels premium in hand and the metallic build gives it extra strength and rigidity when compared to the Y1.
Redmi 4 also provides better single hand usability due to its overall smaller footprint, but note that the Redmi 4 is about a millimeter thicker than the Redmi Y1.
Coming to the color options, Redmi Y1 is available in Dark Grey as well as Gold and Redmi 4 is available in Black and Gold.
Redmi 4 has a 5-inch display whereas the Redmi Y1 sports a 5.5-inch display. Both displays have same resolution that is, 1280×720 and uses the same IPS LCD technology. As far as protection is concerned, Y1 has Gorilla Glass 3 while Xiaomi hasn’t specifically mentioned the type of protection used on Redmi 4, they just insisted that it has one.
The display on Redmi 4 would be sharper due to the smaller size, but Y1 can provide better media and gaming experience with its large 5.5-inch screen. If you are a pixel peeper, you might not love the display on Redmi Y1 though.
Camera, especially the front camera is the unique selling point when it comes to Redmi Y1. As for specifications, Redmi 4 comes with a 13MP f/2.0 rear camera and a 5MP f/2.2 front camera. The rear camera is also assisted by an LED flash. Redmi Y1 has a 13MP f/2.2 rear camera and a 16MP f/2.0 front-facing camera. There is an LED flash present on both front and rear.
Qualitywise, rear cameras on both smartphones perform quite similarly. At times the Redmi 4 pulls ahead due to its wider aperture, but in most scenarios, they are neck to neck and perform decently for the price they are available at. Both are also capable of recording video in 1080p up to 30fps.
When it comes to front facing camera, Redmi Y1 just blows Redmi 4 out of the water. The Redmi Y1 produces sharp images with a ton of detail and fairly accurate skin tones. The front-facing flash comes useful in low light situations and is subtle so that the image wouldn’t look blown out. There isn’t really a smartphone which provides comparable selfies even in Rs.15,000 range. Xiaomi has kind of nailed the front camera performance on Redmi Y1.
Redmi 4’s front camera is just average and is okay for video calls and occasional selfies.
Software and Performance
Another difference between the Redmi 4 and Redmi Y1 is in terms of software. While Redmi Y1 runs latest MIUI 9 on top of Android Nougat, the Redmi 4 is still stuck with MIUI 8.5, also based on Nougat. It will definitely be updated to MIUI 9 pretty soon though, but as of now, the Y1 runs the latest software from Xiaomi. To know more about the new features of MIUI 9, check out this article.
Performance would be same on both handsets as both of them sport the same internals. Octa-core Snapdragon 435 with either 3GB/4GB RAM and 32GB/64GB internal storage can easily handle daily tasks, light multitasking, and even moderately heavy games. Redmi Y1 and Redmi 4 are the best performing phones in their segment.
The battery is another place where the Redmi Y1 falls short. Redmi Y1’s 3080mAh battery will be enough for a single day usage but it cannot even come close to the Redmi 4’s 4100mAh battery. Especially with a smaller screen to push, Redmi 4 can easily give 2 days of moderate usage on a single charge.
Connectivity and Storage expansion
Both handsets have dual-SIM support, but Redmi 4 employs a hybrid SIM solution where you should go with either 2 SIMs or 1 SIM + 1 MicroSD card. Redmi Y1 has a dedicated microSD card slot so that you can use 2 SIMs and a microSD at the same time.
As far as connectivity is concerned, both of them have 4G VoLTE, 802.11 b/g/n, 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, GLONASS, 3.5mm headphone jack and Micro-USB port.They also come with all necessary sensors like ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope and an IR Blaster. Both of them also have rear-mounted fingerprint scanners.
The Redmi 4 and Redmi Y1 are both very good devices in their segment and you can’t go wrong with any of them. Here is a protip: Don’t choose the Redmi Y1 just because of the fact that it is a new device. It has the same internals as that of the Redmi 4 and as mentioned, both would offer similar performance. In my honest opinion, choose the Redmi 4 if you are not that into the selfie game and you are okay with a smaller display because it has a lot more to offer like a metal build, massive 4100mAh battery, and premium look.
Now, if you can extend your budget to Rs.9,999, you can get the 3GB/32GB variant of Redmi Note 4 as Xiaomi has announced a permanent price cut for the handset. 4GB/64GB variant would be available at Rs.11,999. Redmi Note 4 is a far superior device when compared to Redmi 4 or even the Y1. It has a 5.5- inch 1080p display, Octa-core Snapdragon 625, 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera and a massive 4100mAh battery.
Which one would you choose – Redmi 4, Redmi Y1 or the Redmi Note 4? Let us know in the comments below and stay tuned to the Mr.Phone for more.