Xiaomi Redmi 4 review: Blue-plate special

GSMArena Team, 05 July 2017.

Hardware overview

The Xiaomi Redmi 4 comes in a plain white box with just the charger (a regular 5V/2A unit with no fast charging) and a USB cable. Even high-end Xiaomis don't have a headset bundled, so we can't complain about it missing in the budget Redmi 4's package.

Retail package and contents - Xiaomi Redmi 4 review
Retail package and contents

The Redmi 4 is quite similar to previous iterations in terms of physical dimensions - at 139.2 x 70 x 8.7mm there's a fraction of a millimeter in each direction to set it apart from the 3x (or any other of the numerous Redmi Threes). The 8.7mm of depth and an overall small footprint make it seem a little chubby at first, but we know that's in no small part due to the 4,100mAh battery inside, so we're good. The same goes for the 150g of weight, which would have otherwise been a little too much for a 5-incher.

Unlike the all-plastic Redmi 4a we had a month ago, the Redmi 4 sports an aluminum back - a touch of premium on an affordable device.

There are a couple of plastic antenna strips top and bottom, and we somehow managed to scratch the bottom one, despite our typically careful handling of review devices.

Xiaomi Redmi 4 review

The camera is in the top strip, joined by the flash. The camera module sticks out just a tiny bit, and the ring around the lens is slightly raised above the glass, so it should be safe.

The fingerprint sensor is here on the back as well, as that's how most Redmis roll, while some flagship Mi phones have it on the front.

Metal back with plastic strips - Xiaomi Redmi 4 review Fingerprint reader - Xiaomi Redmi 4 review
Metal back with plastic strips Fingerprint reader

The Redmi 4, on its front, has the customary set of capacitive navigation keys below the 5-inch display. It's a 'reverse' arrangement of Recent Apps/Home/Back. Under the Home key there's a notification LED - not the usual top-bezel location, but it works just as fine. Up top there's the earpiece with the 5MP front camera to its right and the ambient light/proximity sensors on the other side.

A phone like any other - Xiaomi Redmi 4 review More so with the display off - Xiaomi Redmi 4 review Usual stuff around the earpiece - Xiaomi Redmi 4 review Capacitive keys - Xiaomi Redmi 4 review
A phone like any other More so with the display off Usual stuff around the earpiece Capacitive keys

The microUSB 2.0 port is on the bottom - the Redmis don't get USB-C just yet. Don't be fooled by the two grilles, there's just one loudspeaker and it's behind the right one. The primary mic is around here too.

Loudspeaker and microUSB port on the bottom - Xiaomi Redmi 4 review Loudspeaker and microUSB port on the bottom - Xiaomi Redmi 4 review
Loudspeaker and microUSB port on the bottom

There's more good stuff on the top - the 3.5mm jack goes without saying, but you'll also find an IR emitter, and we've always appreciated Xiaomi's remote control app. The secondary mic is here too.

The top plate is home to the 3.5mm jack, IR blaster, and secondary mic - Xiaomi Redmi 4 review The top plate is home to the 3.5mm jack, IR blaster, and secondary mic - Xiaomi Redmi 4 review
The top plate is home to the 3.5mm jack, IR blaster, and secondary mic

The right side of the phone features the power button and the volume rocker - all click positively. The card slot is on the left and it takes a microSIM and nanoSIM or microSD card. A hybrid slot is better than nothing, but still not ideal.

Right side - Xiaomi Redmi 4 review Power button and volume rocker - Xiaomi Redmi 4 review Left side - Xiaomi Redmi 4 review Card tray - Xiaomi Redmi 4 review
Right side Power button and volume rocker Left side Card tray

Xiaomi Redmi 4 battery life

The 28nm chipset inside the Redmi 4 may not be particularly efficient, but there's plenty of battery to make up for that - 4,100mAh is a lot for a 5-inch phone. While the Redmi 4 performance in our tests wasn't mind-blowing, it still posted some respectable numbers.

We're happy to report that it lasted for around 12 hours in each of our tests carried out with the display on - browsing the web over Wi-Fi and watching videos. A little short of 20 hours on a 3G call isn't too shabby either. Feeding those numbers along with standby draw in our super-complex (not really) formula we get an overall endurance rating of 80 hours.

Xiaomi Redmi 4

Our endurance rating denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Xiaomi Redmi 4 for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We've established this usage pattern so our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Decent 5-inch 720p IPS display

The Redmi 4 relies on the proven Redmi formula of a 5-inch 720p IPS display. There is the Redmi 4 Prime that boasts a FullHD panel, but the 4 is just fine with its 294ppi density.

Xiaomi Redmi 4 review

In our tests, the Redmi 4 posted quite high numbers for brightness, particularly for its class. Less impressive is the contrast that can't reach 1000:1 due to the high illumination of blacks.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime 0.475 528 1112
Xiaomi Redmi 4a 0.513 475 925
Xiaomi Redmi 4 0.576 527 915
Xiaomi Redmi 3S 0.45 489 1087
Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime 0.43 518 1205
Meizu M5 0.453 480 1060
Meizu M5s 0.426 407 955
Sony Xperia XA1 0.512 537 1049
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) 0.00 338
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) outdoor mode 0.00 476
Sony Xperia E5 0.43 540 1243

Sunlight legibility is good, even better when you consider we're dealing with a budget-minded LCD panel.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Samsung Galaxy S8
    4.768
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    4.658
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Oppo R11
    4.454
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • OnePlus 3T
    4.232
  • Google Pixel XL
    4.164
  • ZTE Axon 7
    4.154
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 7
    3.964
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    3.935
  • Lenovo Moto Z
    3.931
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • OnePlus 5
    3.914
  • Samsung Galaxy C5
    3.911
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Sony Xperia XZs
    3.818
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
    3.804
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • LG V20 Max auto
    3.798
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    3.798
  • Sony Xperia XZ
    3.795
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Xiaomi Mi 6
    3.767
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)
    3.688
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Huawei Mate 9
    3.68
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
    3.597
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    3.588
  • LG G6
    3.556
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Motorola Moto Z Play
    3.526
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • nubia Z11
    3.466
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    3.456
  • HTC U Ultra
    3.453
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • LG V20
    3.402
  • Huawei P10
    3.379
  • Oppo R9s
    3.352
  • Honor 8 Pro
    3.341
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Lenovo P2
    3.316
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s
    3.276
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    3.244
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 2
    3.228
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Oppo F3 Plus
    3.218
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    3.206
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • HTC U11
    3.089
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Sony Xperia XA1
    3.012
  • Sony Xperia L1
    2.994
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • Huawei P10 Lite
    2.974
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4
    2.92
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    2.913
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime
    2.893
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    2.884
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium (sRGB)
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Nokia 3
    2.871
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Lenovo Moto M
    2.813
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • Meizu MX6
    2.751
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    2.714
  • Meizu M5
    2.71
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    2.679
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    2.679
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix
    2.658
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4a
    2.635
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus (max auto)
    2.582
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    2.582
  • Meizu M5s
    2.58
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL
    2.563
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c
    2.506
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Oppo F1s
    2.481
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Huawei nova
    2.467
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Lenovo Vibe K5
    2.459
  • Meizu m3 max
    2.447
  • HTC 10 evo
    2.407
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    2.378
  • Oppo F3
    2.376
  • vivo V5 Plus
    2.371
  • Meizu m1 note
    2.362
  • Huawei nova plus
    2.329
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Meizu M5 Note
    2.189
  • Huawei Honor 6
    2.169
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (X20)
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Xiaomi Mi 4S
    2.095
  • Acer Liquid X2
    2.084
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • vivo V5
    2.059
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1.996
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Meizu m3 note
    1.923
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215

Color accuracy isn't spectacular, with a clearly visible green cast spoiling your whites (DeltaE for white is 8.6). Average DeltaE is 4.6 though, which is a reasonable number. There are three display modes (Warm/Standard/Cool) and a separate saturation setting, which is either Brilliant (default) or Standard. Playing with those can get you bluer whites (rather than green) in Cool mode, while Warm is the most accurate with an average DeltaE of 3.4.