Meet Vodafone Uganda’s Xiaomi Redmi 4A smartphone: specs, features, price + our first impressions

Summary

The Xiaomi Redmi 4A is a good performance mid range device from Vodafone Uganda. It comes with 2GB RAM/16GB ROM, a crisp front and rear camera, a 3120 mAh high endurance battery and fluid operating system (the MIUI 8) that makes using the device so much fun.

The Redmi 4A MIUI comes preloaded with a couple of apps and tricks like gesture control, Mi-Remote, Second Space, that you will love

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Redmi 4A Unboxing

The Xiaomi Redmi 4A comes in a neat white minimalist rectangular packaging. Nothing flashy. There’s a huge “4” on the top, some words in Chinese and the Xiaomi logo on the sides.

In the box is the device itself, a little pouch with what seems to be a manual and some documentation. There is also a lollipop SIM card ejector. When you lift the pouch, you have access to the USB charger cable and the 2 pin charger head which will need an adapter to fit some sockets locally. We didn’t find earphones or any other accessories other than those mentioned.

Xiaomi Redmi 4A Specifications

Announced: 2016, Nov
Available: 2016, Nov
Colors: Gold, Rose Gold, Dark Gray
SIM: Dual SIM (Nano-SIM/ Micro-SIM, dual stand-by)
OS: MIUI 8 based on Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow)
Network: 4G / 3G / 2G
4G LTE Bands: LTE band 1(2100), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 20(800), 38(2600), 40(2300)
Dimensions: 139.9 x 70.4 x 8.5 mm
Weight: 131.5 g
Display: 5 inch 720 x 1280 pixels HD display. IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors (296 ppi)
CPU: Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53
Memory:16/32 GB, 2 GB RAM
Camera: 13 MP, f/2.2, auto-focus, LED flash; 5 MP, f/2.2
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 4.1, A2DP, LE
Sensors: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity
Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 3120 mAh battery

Our experience

  • Redmi 4A Design

The Redmi 4A is a 5 inch device weighing only 131 grams with a screen to body ratio of 69%. It has hard printed navigation buttons at the front bottom side and the ear piece, proximity sensor and front camera at the upper front. The power and volume buttons are located on the right, the SIM card tray on the left, while the earphone jack and infra-red blaster are at the top. The USB charging port and microphone are at the bottom.

On the backside is the camera and flash on the top left. The Speaker is located at the rear bottom center with the Xiaomi logo just above it. On first sight, the Redmi 4A looks slightly bulky but you get used to it really quickly.

The fact that it is 5 inch makes the device easily fit in your hands. It was very comfortable to hold and use (This would work perfectly well for those with small hands or fingers). There is nothing fancy about the Redmi 4A’s design except it is functional.

  • Redmi 4A Camera

The Redmi 4A camera is interesting for multiple reasons. The 13MP rear camera is quite crisp with a good enough color rendering to give you vibrant and clear pictures for your SWIFT (Snapchat – Whatsapp – Instagram – Facebook and Twitter)

It is not the best camera on the market (For this price, you wouldn’t expect a DSLR for a smartphone camera) but it is way above average and better than many smartphone camera’s I have used. We noticed a quick focus and fast shutter that makes taking images were faster with the possibility of taking blurry images reduced.

We also noticed a higher ability to focus on close range than other smartphone cameras. The 4A’s macro ability will get photo enthusiasts crazy about its camera. The selfie camera has a feature that helps you dramatically increase brightness when taking selfies in low light. We found this quite impressive.

  • Redmi 4A Battery

The battery take between 60 – 90 minutes to fully charge and based on our first impressions and the few days we had it, the battery takes you a whole with average usage. But if you are a power user, you  will need to adopt a couple of juicing techniques to stay powered up.

We didn’t do a battery strain test to see how far the battery can go but preliminary tests show good performance. Overall, we like the battery endurance of Redmi 4A

  • Redmi 4A MIUI

The MIUI is Xiaomi’s skin or call it a theme that runs on top of Google’s Android OS. It is their version of what Android should look like. There are certain custom apps from Xiaomi that make using the Redmi 4A fun and enjoyable.

Apps: Mi Drop lets you transfer files wirelessly, Second space lets you run dual accounts of almost any app including the phone. Imagine have your account and your daughter’s account on the same phone while seamlessly switching in between. In built scanner app for QR codes, documents etc, Mi Remote and Mi TV – Unfortunately these work best with compatible Xiaomi devices.

Features: Gesture controls like 3 finger swipe to take a screen shot, Double tap to wake or put the screen to sleep, Lite Mode; gives you a simplified version of your phone taking away all the clutter. Quick Ball; gives you access to quick setting from any screen. One handed Mode; shrinks the display to fit use with one hand. App lock lets you lock particular apps that you do not want people to access on your phone without a password. Mirror cast; allows you to wirelessly cast your display to another bigger or compatible display like a smart TV for instance.

  • Redmi 4A Overall performance

One of the best things about the Redmi 4A is the MiUI 8 and how responsive the phone is. It makes for an excellent user experience. We didn’t have long periods with the device but for the time we had it, It was smooth and fluid with no lags or crashing.

We didn’t like the fact the device comes with no earphones, screen protector or phone case, but the general experience with  call quality, user experience, battery endurance, and above average camera, we definitely loved the Xiaomi Redmi 4A

Xiaomi Redmi 4A Price and where to buy

The Xiaomi Redmi 4A is being sold exclusively by Vodafone Uganda and can be found at all Vodafone Care shops at only Ugx 550,000. Here is a complete list of all Vodafone Care shops in case you need to find them. You can also choose to order the device online from Vodafone Uganda

 

What we liked

  • Xiaomi MiUI 8 experience was fluid and pleasant
  • The Camera
  • Lasting battery
  • Good overall performance

What we didn’t like

  • Accessories not readily available on the market
  •  Price is slightly high
  • Plastic back makes it look cheap

Bottom Line

Xiaomi is an amazing brand that is hard to find in Africa. They have top end affordable devices majorly for the Asian market. Thanks to Vodafone, we can also now easily access Xiaomi phones in Africa. If you are looking for a good experience on a budget, a good first smartphone, or are looking for a temporary replacement for a lost phone, the Xiaomi Redmi 4A is your best shot.

As a mid-range device, it comes with 16GB memory, 2GB of RAM and that is more like the minimum standard for a good experience on any smartphone. If you held this as your smartphone, you will have set the bar for yourself a little too high because after here, you will have to do a little hard work to find a device that beats the Redmi 4A performance  and feel on a budget.