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Xiaomi Y1 Review: Best Affordable Selfie Smartphone?

Xiaomi has become one of the favorite smartphone brands in India and in the short 4 years time that it has been active in India. The success is the result of company offering capable hardware at extremely aggressive prices. Continuing with its success approach, the company recently announced Redmi Y1 which is its first selfie-centric handset in India. But is it really worth it? Let’s discuss in our Xiaomi Y1 review.

Key Specifications of Xiaomi Redmi Y1:

Model Xiaomi Redmi Y1
Display 5.5 inch HD display with Corning Gorilla Glass
Processor 1.4 GHz Octa Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor
Camera 13 Mp rear and 16 MP front cameras
Battery 2500mAh
Internal Memory 32GB 64GB
Dimensions and Weight 153 x 76.2 x 7.7mm and 153 grmas
Software Android 7.0 Nougat OS with MIUI 9
Dual SIM Yes
Price 8,999 INR 10,999 INR

Design and Build Quality

This selfie smartphone looks fine and is quite light. It is overall built with plastic with a metal finish on the rear panel. The rear camera and LED flash sits on the top-left, and the fingerprint scanner is mounted on right in the middle and can be easily accessed with your forefinger.

The Micro USB port and speaker grill are integrated at the bottom edge, and top edge carries a 3.5mm audio jack along with the secondary mic. The power button and volume rocker are within easy reach on the right edge.

Redmi Y1 packs a 5.5-inch display with a 2.5D curved touch glass on top, but there are thick bezels around it that increase the overall footprint but shouldn’t be a deal breaker. Overall, Redmi Y1 isn’t anything radically different than other Xiaomi phones, but it still looks and feels decent and is solidly built.


Redmi Y1 comes with 5.5 inch HD display which is protected by 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass. The display isn’t very sharp, but most people won’t notice the difference. Even we are not complaining as it is an affordable smartphone.

The colors are punchy and contrast is reasonably high. This sunlight visibility is fine too. Overall, the display isn’t particularly mesmerizing, but it’s certainly good in terms of quality especially under 10,000 INR price.


Redmi Y1 sports a 13MP autofocus rear shooter with LED flash, PDAF, and f/2.2 aperture. Selfie snapper has 16 MP resolution Omnivision sensor, LED flashlight, 76.4-degree wide-angle lens. The camera performance isn’t vastly different than what you get with other Xiaomi phones.

Compared to what we see in phones under 10,000 INR, the rear camera on the Redmi Y1 is one of the better ones. You can shoot above average shots for social media purposes in adequate lighting but don’t expect much out of shots clicked in low or tricky lighting conditions.

The 16MP front camera can shoot sharp selfies which are better than what we usually see on other Xiaomi phones. The performance is at par with the phones like Vivo V5s and Zenfone 4 Selfie in good light conditions but again in low light conditions, it could have been better even though it comes with a front-facing flash.

Performance and Software

The Redmi Y1 is powered by Snapdragon 435 mobile platform paired with 3GB/4GB RAM and 32GB/64GB storage and is running Android Nougat based MIUI 8 out of the box.  It will be upgraded to the new MIUI 9 very soon.

The phone can handle day to day apps multitasking and even high-end gaming without any major issues. You can run games like Asphalt 8 and Riptide Gp2 on the device easily.

The performance has always been one of the forte of Xiaomi affordable phones, and that’s true for the Redmi Y1 as well. The MIUI software is quite mature by now, and the upcoming MIUI 9 will only make the overall experience better.

Battery, Price, and Verdict

Xiaomi Redmi Y1 comes with a 3000mAh battery, which is slightly short of what you’d get on Redmi Note 4 and Redmi 4. The battery can still last for about one day of moderate to heavy usage. Xiaomi still refrains from adding fast charging support for some reason.

The 3GB RAM variant of Redmi Y1 costs 8,999 INR. Like all Xiaomi phones, it offers great value for your money, and it is currently one of the best selfie smartphones you can buy in the market under 10,000 INR price tag. The phone offers a good display and powerful specs. There are few things which could have been better like bigger battery and metal construction. Although for that you do have Redmi 4 available.

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Pooja is passionate about blogging and Tech which makes life easier and interesting. While she is not exploring tech trends, you can find her devouring epic fantasy adventure literature and movies from across the globe.