REVIEW: Xiaomi Redmi S2 with Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC

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Xiaomi Redmi S2 is the smartphone that today we present in his review, a model at a very good price for your specifications. As usual in this range we have the Smartphone in this occasion the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 that allows us to use Android without any problem, also integrates a Qualcomm Snapdragon X9 LTE modem with all available bands. The screen is a 5.99 inch with 18:9 format that makes it more manageable and reduces the top and bottom frames, let’s see in our review how this interesting smartphone behaves.

  • Xiaomi Redmi S2 can be found on Gearbest.com only for $159.99 (€137.6) including shipping.

PRODUCT DETAILS

ModelXiaomi Redmi S2
Basic SpecsSoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 (MSM8953)
Octa Core Cortex A-53 2,0 GHz / 14 nm
System: MIU 9.5 / Android 8.1 (64bit)
RAM / ROM: 3 GB DDR3 / 32 GB eMMC
Screen: 5,99″ LTPS IPS / 1440 x 720 /  19:9 / multi-touch de 10 puntos
Networks: Wifi b/g/n 2.4/5GHz / BT 1.4 / 4G FDD-LTE: B1,B20,B3, B4,B5,B7,B8
Rear camera: 12 MP PDAF + 5MP  / Video 2160p@30fps
Frontal camera: 5 MP / Video 1080p
Ports: microUSB / Jack audio 3,5mm
Battery: 3080mAh
Check full Specifications

Description

The Xiaomi Redmi S2 smartphone has a plastic body that emulates the metal, the finishes are correct and the set is nice but somewhat slippery, the silicon case gift by default is appreciated. The design is simple but elegant we have side bevels and some lines that accompany the ends in the rear area.

  • Measurements and weight: 7.05 x 6.73 x 0.169 inches (179 x 171 x 4,3 mm) / 0.7 lb (320 gr)
  • Materials: plastic and glass
  • Interfaces: Power, Volume, audio jack, microUSB charging and OTG, 2x SIM + 1x microSD, fingerprint reader, IR emitter
  • Cameras: Rear 12 MP PDAF + 5MP, Video 2160p @ 30fps / Front 5 MP, Video 1080p

Screen

The screen of the Xiaomi Redmi S2 smartphone has a size of 5.99 inches IPS and is in 18:9 format, the screen resolution is 1440×720 pixels which gives us a density of 320 DPI. The illumination of the IPS screen has sufficient power and works well outdoors, has low resolution and is noticeable compared to other FullHD screen models. In general, we have good image quality, the colors are bright and the contrast is correct.

  • Size: IPS 5.99 Inches, 1440×720 resolution, 18: 9 format
  • Light power: Automatic brightness. Good indoors, basic visibility outdoors. No leakage of light
  • Viewing angles: Correct, IPS type
  • Tactile precision: Good, 10 touch points
  • Extras: Read mode, pocket mode, shutdown programmer

Cameras

Within the camera settings we can take pictures in panoramic mode or applying any of the predefined filters, within this option we have the settings in detail of the cameras where we can retouch the output format and different options, we recommend to turn off the watermark of Xiaomi in the photos.

  • Video modes: Rear with digital stabilizer up to 4K@30fps if we use the Open Camera app. / Frontal 1080p @ 30fps


The cameras in the back, one with 12 MP with flash that integrates automatic autofocus with digital stabilizer for video and a second camera with 5MP for the effect blur. The performance is quite good with lighted environments, in low light environments we have a fairly low performance colors are turned off and the grain is noticeable, the flash will only serve to illuminate just enough to get a basic result.

The front camera with 12 MP works fine for basic use, it has several beauty modes. In the rear camera we can also use automatic defocus in portrait mode leaving the background unfocused

Speakers, microphone and security

Integrated into the Xiaomi Redmi S2 we have a microphone and two speakers in the lower part of the mobile, for unlocking we have a fingerprint sensor and we can also use the classic pattern unlocking system on the screen.

  • Speaker: Fine though it could be more powerful.
  • Microphone: Fine without distortion on call.
  • Lock: Fingerprint sensor on the back with good unlocking speed. No facial unlocking available
  • NFC: Not included.

ANDROID SYSTEM

Environment and user experience

The Xiaomi Redmi S2 offers good performance with its 3 GB of RAM and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor allows us to run any app smoothly, we have not noticed any performance losses and we don’t have had forced shutdowns of apps throughout the testing period of this review.

  • Installed apps: Xiaomi environment apps, radio, compass, scanner, capture, Microsoft apps and Google play.
  • Extras: Second space to have two different environments. Bar notifications very customizable. App manager at startup.
  • Languages: All the international Android languajes.
  • Launcher / Multitasking: Allows to change the launcher / Multitasking with change of apps and split screen.
  • Root: The system is NOT root.

System, support and apps store

The Xiaomi Redmi S2 has the classic system of Xiaomi called MIUI 9.5, at the end of July it will be updated to MIUI 10 incorporating important novelties, the firmware is the Global version without Chinese content.

  • System version: Android 8.1 (64 bit) / Kernel 3.18.71 / Security patches 2018-05-01
  • Store apps: Google Play certified and working properly

HARDWARE TESTS

Storage and RAM

We perform our usual memory tests and internal storage in the Xiaomi Redmi S2 using the SD bench app, we can expand the internal storage of the system using the slot for the microSD card. The results are very good.

  • Storage: Total 32GB / Available 25GB
  • RAM: Total 3 GB / Available 1.8 GB / LPDDR3
  • microSD: 89 MB/s reading / 30 MB/s writing.

Battery and temperature

Integrated into the Xiaomi Redmi S2 we have a 3080 mAh battery, the autonomy is quite good for a product of this type, it all depends on the use of the screen and the processes that we run. If we play continuously the battery discharges quite fast, but in a basic use and in the sleep mode the duration is quite long.

  • Battery recharge: 1.5 hours
  • Temperature: Spot heating in the back in heavy play

Wifi, Bluetooth and modem

We test the Xiaomi Redmi S2 with all its network adapters, for the Wi-Fi network we connect with an ASUS RT-AC1200G+ Router, a mid-range device. We perform tests on the use of streaming using the iPerf measurement tool to see the maximum performance of each network adapter.

  • Speed and Wifi range: Correct speeds. At 16 ft (5 meters) with a wall we have 46 dBm signal, a good result.
  • SIM: two nanoSIM + microSD card
  • Modem: Qualcomm Snapdragon X9 LTE, 300 Mbps / 150 Mbps, with VoLTE support
  • Bands: 3G 2100,1900,850,900MHz / FDD-LTE: B1, B2, B5, B8 / TDD-LTE: B38, B40
  • Bluetooth: Works correctly and connects without problems.
  • We recommend reading our Tutorial for SAMBA on Android networks if we are going to use files from our network PC

Sensors, radio and GPS

As described in the specifications of the Xiaomi Redmi S2 we have several systems of sensors and support for GPS, within the settings we have special functions like the pocket mode.

  • Sensors / GPS: Accelerometer, gyroscope, light sensor, proximity / GPS + GLONAS with precision 6m / Compass YES.
  • Radio: Available WITHOUT connecting the headphones.

PERFORMANCE TEST

SOC

Inside the Xiaomi Redmi S2 smartphone we have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 (MSM8953) Octa core SoC with Cortex A-53 cores that reach a maximum speed of 2.00 GHz. In the graphic section we have the Adreno 506 GPU that as we will see in the tests have a pretty good performance today for the vast majority of games that we can download from Google Play. A SoC that allows us to move the system smoothly in almost all scenarios, in combination with the 3 GB of DDR3 memory and the efficient internal storage we have good results.

Benchmarks

Games and gamepads

The Xiaomi Redmi S2 tablet with the Snapdragon 625 SoC integrates the powerful GPU Adreno 506 allows us to move all the Google Play titles without performance problems and a good compatibility.

  • Compatibility: It is possible to play demanding titles such as PUBG with slight frame skips, the battery drains quickly.
  • Controls: Compatible with Gamepads by cable or bluetooth.

VIDEO AND AUDIO TEST

Video playback test

We tested the video playback on the Xiaomi Redmi S2 phone, a model that has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 (MSM8953) SoC that integrates an Adreno 506 GPU in the graphic section. To play local files we recommend using MX Player with NEON codecs since the default player does not have as much compatibility.

Video test results

Format H.264Result
BBB – H.264 8bit – Simple@L1 – 1080p@25fps – 7 MbpsCorrect
Samsung Oceanic Life – H.264  8bit – High@L5.1 – 1080p@30fps – 40 MbpsCorrect
Timelapse – H.264 8bit – High@L5.1 – 4K@24fps – 43 MbpsCorrect
Anime – H.264 10bit – High 10@L5.1 – 1080p@24fps – 10 MbpsFrameskip
Format H.265
Tears of steel – HVEC 8bit – Main@L6.2@Main – 1080p@24fps – 17 MbpsCorrect
Samsung UHD Dubai – HVEC 10bit – Main 10@L5.2@Main – 4K@24fps – 51 MbpsFrameskip
Jellyfish – HVEC 10bit – Main 10@L6.1@High – 4K@30fps – 392 MbpsFrameskip
Anime – HVEC 10bit –  Main 10@L4@Main – 1080p@24fps – 21 MbpsCorrect
Format HDR
Life of Pi HDR10 –  HVEC 10bit – Main 10@L5.1@High – 4K@24fps – 45 MbpsFrameskip
LG Demo – Dolby Vision – HVEC 12bit – Main 10@L5@Main – 4K@24fps – 30 MbpsNo compatible
Planet Earth II – HDR HLG 10bit  – Main 10@L5@High – 4K@25fps – 31 MbpsFrameskip
The world in HDR – VP9 Profile 2 10bit – 4K@60fps – 20 MbpsNo compatible
Peru 8K HDR – VP9 Profile 2 10bit – 8K@60fps – 20 MbpsNo compatible

Streaming services

We pass the classic tests on streaming services using the Xiaomi Redmi S2, we check that those that work do it correctly, this model only has DRM certificate Microsoft Widevine L3. Consult our guides where we explain in detail all the most known streaming services, what are their limitations in each platform and how to configure them to see content in HD or 4K quality if possible.

  • NOTE: We remind this product do not have official support for these streaming apps, the compatibility with these services can vary depends of any new limitations imposed for this companies. The tests are perform with the indicated firmware and the version of the streaming app at the date of the review.
Servicio streamingCalidad
YoutubeHD (720p)
NetflixSD (480p)
Movistar+HD (720p)
HBOHD (720p)
Amazon Prime VideoSD (480p)
beIN ConnectHD (720p)

CONCLUSIONS

Score

Xiaomi Redmi S2 -

8.2

DESIGN AND CONNECTIVITY

7.5/10

HARDWARE

8.0/10

SOFTWARE

8.5/10

SUPPORT

8.5/10

PRICE

8.5/10

Pros

  • Price and specs
  • Modem with all the bands
  • Good rear camera with EIS
  • Android 8.1
  • Support and OTA's

Cons

  • Plastic body
  • The screen could be better

Opinion

As we have seen in our review, the Xiaomi Redmi S2 smartphone follow the path of the Xiaomi products for the Redmi range, a very tight price and a large number of features that makes its competitors from other brands are in troubles to fight they. Interestingly, the competition of this model is from Xiaomi itself with its model Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 that has similar specifications but better screen, it is also true that the price is somewhat higher.

In general the Xiaomi Redmi S2 has surprised us positively for its cameras and internal storage speed, a model that has a firmware with a global version that comes in all languages, Google Play installed and with OTA updates. Undoubtedly a very interesting product if we are looking for something economic and with many strong points, if we get it in a punctual deal with nice price will not fail with the choice.

WHERE TO BUY

  • Xiaomi Redmi S2 can be found on Gearbest.com only for $159.99 (€137.6) including shipping.

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