Released in early 2019, this first entry-level Android phone from Xiaomi has come visiting us at Mobility Arena and it looks and feels all shades of cool. Mister Mobility has his Redmi Go hands-on review and first impressions ready for you.
Xiaomi hit the market years ago and kicked off a storm. The brand has sonce become known for offering super value for money smartphones budget, mid-range, and premium spaces. What Xiaomi was not known for was entry-level devcies. But in 2019, that changed.
In February 2019, the company’s sub-brand, Redmi, launched the Redmi Go, a no-frills, entry-level Android smartphone. It was a new vista for the Chines comapny and it caught our attention here at MobilityArena. We have got out hands on one and are itching to see how it performs.
It is a good idea to look at the specs and features first before we dive into the hands-on proper.
Redmi Go hands-on review: Quick Specs
- Android Oreo 8.1 (Go Edition) operating system and software
- 2G, 3G, 4G networks
- 5″ display
- Faux-Aluminium body
- 1 GB RAM
- 8 GB storage
- 8 megapixel rear camera with LED flash
- 5 megapixel front camera
- 3000 mAh battery
These are very basic specs, typical of entry-level phones. We wonder what special touch Xiaomi has going for it.
Redmi Go hands-on review: In The Box
As said, this is no-frills. The small box contains the following items:
- The Redmi Go phone itself.
- Wall adapter
- USB cable.
- Paper documentation
That’s it. There is no audio headset included though the phone has a 3.5mm port.
Redmi Go hands-on review: first impressions
Picking up the phone from the box, the first thing that struck me was how much it feels better than most entry-level smartphones I have handled. It has a faux metal finishing that instinctively feels more premium. This does not feel like an entry-level smartphone at all.
I also love the 5″ size, which makes the phone handy. I must be one of the few people left in the world who is not a fan of using big phones.
During setup, we found a software update waiting. It was nothing big, as it comes in a size of 138 MB only. Software-wise, Redmi has left the Go with a stock Android experience. You won’t find Xiaomi’s custom skin, MIUI, on this device. I say, wisely, because slapping a custom skin on an entry-level smartphone is a good way to derade its performance.
The system uses up 2.4 GB of the 8 GB internal storage. You will need a memory card with this guy. Thankfully, there is a microSD card slot that supports cards of up to 128 GB.
While it is early days yet, in use, our first impressions is that the Redmi Go feels rather snappy. So not only is this the classiest entry-level smartphone we have handled till date, it is also the snappiest in use. Of course, it runs optimised software – Android Go Edition – designed to let phones with low hardware run much smoother.
As mentioned earlier, Xaiomi was wise in leaving out MIUI of this device. That has contributed to the overall smooth running, I believe. So, this is pretty much a stock Android smartphone. But there are a few cosmetic touches. The Redmi Go has Mint Launcher and Mint Browser pre-installed as the default launcher and browser respectively, instead of Google’s default apps.
Both cannot be uninstalled, and the launcher cannot even be disabled. They are not bad apps, however. Actually, they are both very lighweight apps by Xiaomi and great replacements for Google’s default options. As a matter of fact, if you use an Android Go Edition smartphone, I recommend that that you disable Chrome and install Mint browser. Chrome is a horrible memory hog and slow poke compared to Mint.
Another pre-installed app is Mi Drop, a much better alternative to Xender for transfering your content from one phone to another. There is also a Cleaner app pre-installed. Similar apps seem characteristic of Android Go Edition smartphones. BEsides these, everything else on the Redmi Go is stock Android fare.
I mentioned an update waiting when we powered up the device. That update log indicates that it removes the Mi Community app and the Android Music player app, and preloads the Mi Store app, Mi Music app, and Mi Video app for selected regions. At the time of writing this, the update hasn’t been completed. we will have more details for you in the full review.
Redmi Go hands-on review: preliminary verdict
I easilly fell in love with the Redmi Go, and I am not the only one. In my opinion, this is perhaps the finest entry-level Android phone in town. You get a N23,000 smartphone that looks and feels like a N35,000 to N40,000 phone. I do wish that Xiaomi had found a way to squeeze in a fingerprint reader in here, but I know that is tough at the price point.
That’s it on our Redmi Go hands-on review. But do not go away, as we have more details on the way in our full review later this week. You can check out its specifications in the meantime.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.