Xiaomi Redmi 3S review: Game of Iterations
A 13MP main camera with a LED flash
Xiaomi Redmi 3S features the same 13MP camera as the Redmi 3's. It is equipped with a standard single LED flash. The snapper also features a hybrid autofocus system utilizing phase-detection for faster and more accurate focus.
The camera interface is fairly simple and features toggles for the HDR mode, the flash and the video camera. The available advanced modes are Panorama, Beautify, Scenes, Timer, and Manual as well as the camera settings. Seventeen live filters are at your disposal, too.
We found the Xiaomi Redmi 3S to perform very well regarding image quality. It snaps the photos very quickly, resolves above average amount of detail, and the noise levels are kept reasonably low. The white balance is accurate, and we like the lively color rendition. The dynamic range turned out average, but sometimes it managed to surprise us by capturing a lot of detail in the shadows without turning the HDR mode on.
The HDR mode is conservative enough and rescues both the highlights and shadows without making the image look flat. Those aren't the best HDR photos we've seen, but are definitely among the better ones, and we liked all of them.
Panorama shots are available too. Shooting is easy, but the stitching takes a while to complete. The result is rather disappointing, though - the resolution is about 2000x740px, and the image quality is quite poor.
Xiaomi Redmi 3S features a 5MP front-facing camera for high-res selfies. The images come out soft with average detail, but will do for Facebook or similar social networks. Their contrast turned out good, as were the colors and the dynamic range.
The Xiaomi Redmi 3S is more than capable of pulling its own weight in our Photo Comparison tool. You can see how it stacks against other 13MP snappers we've tested.
1080p video recording
The Xiaomi Redmi 3S is capable of recording up to 1080p@30fps. The bitrate of the video recordings is uninspiring at about 15 Mbps while audio is captured at 96 Kbps with two channels (stereo).
The resolved detail in the videos is modest but enough for the class. We noticed some over-sharpening though. The colors and contrast are good, and the framerate is smooth and consistent at 30fps. The dynamic range is average.
The recorded audio is quite poor though, with various artefacts and unpleasant creaks due to the low bitrate.
And here is a 1080p video we've uploaded on YouTube.
You can also download the 1080p video sample (10s, 19MB) taken straight off the Xiaomi Redmi 3S.
Here the Xiaomi Redmi 3S enters our video comparison tool. There are plenty of 1080p camcorders you can compare it against. It resolves an average level of detail, but contrast and colors are excellent.