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Xiaomi Redmi 2 will go on sale March 17, priced RM449

By Michael Low - on 11 Mar 2015, 2:11pm

Xiaomi Redmi 2 will go on sale March 17, priced RM449

It's almost here: the Redmi 2 in all its glory. And yes, it's only available in White.

It's the moment we've all been waiting for: Xiaomi will indeed be introducing the Redmi 2 into the Malaysian market for RM449, which is RM30 more than the Redmi 1S. The company's newest entry-level smartphone was unveiled by Donovan Sung, Director of Product Management (International) at Xiaomi Global, who confirmed that the unit will go on sale on March 17 (Tuesday) at 12 noon. So, which variant are we getting, you ask? Well, it appears that the Redmi 2 variant for Malaysia will be identical to Singapore, meaning it's the standard 8GB model with 1GB of RAM. When quizzed about the 16GB model, Donovan explained that the Enhanced Edition (16GB model with 2GB of RAM) was a limited-time run meant for the China market. While there are currently no plans to release it outside of China, he was particularly intrigued by the interest in the Enhanced Edition.

Xiaomi Global's Donovan Sung with the Redmi 2 phones.

No matter, onwards to the specifications! First and foremost, the Redmi 2 is a dual 4G, dual standby smartphone, which meant that you can make calls by choosing a preferred SIM card at any give time. Both its Micro-SIM card slots support three 4G FDD-LTE bands (900MHz, 1,800MHz, and 2,600MHz), allowing for up to 150Mbps downlink and 50Mbps uplink. Driving the device is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core 1.2GHz SoC, which delivers improved overall performance due to the Cortex-A53's 64-bit architecture, while the Adreno 306 GPU ensures that it will be able to handle today's graphically-intensive mobile games. As previously mentioned, the Redmi 2 will have 8GB of internal storage (expandable to 32GB, though unofficially, it's possible to go up to 64GB) and 1GB of LPDDR3 RAM. So far, so good.

The rear camera is equipped with an 8MP back-illuminated f/2.2 lens. 

In terms of cameras, the device sports an 8MP rear camera with a BSI f/2.2 wide-angle lens, and a 2MP front camera that's capable of 720p video recording and pleasing self-portraits, thanks to the Beautify mode. Based on the sample photos, it improves the appearance of the human subject's facial features without going overboard with the bloom and tweaks. The 4.7-inch IPS HD (1,280 x 720, 312ppi) screen, on the other hand, is now a fully-laminated display capable of 70% NTSC color gamut and a 1,000:1 contrast ratio. It's also fitted with AGC Dragontrail Glass, which is made from aluminium silicate enhanced glass to protect the display from unintentional scratches. Meanwhile, the Li-polymer battery is rated at 2,200mAh, a slight upgrade over the Redmi 1S' 2,000mAh capacity.

According to Xiaomi, the back cover has a finely textured, matte finish that's also resistant to fingerprints and smudges.

Other notable features include Quick Charge 1.0, which helps recharge the Redmi 2 20 percent faster than its predecessor; MEMS (microelectromechanical system) mics that improve call quality and audio recording; as well as USB OTG support, allowing you to transfer files from a USB drive, or connect peripherals like a gamepad or a keyboard, should you wish to do so. Donovan emphasized quite a bit on the comfortable grip afforded by the rounded corners and textured matte rear cover, which feels great in the hand. It's also important to note that the Redmi 2 is 9.4mm thin and 133g light, effectively shaving off 0.5mm and 33g from the Redmi 1S. The bezel width (a.k.a. the gap on the left and right sides of the display) is also reduced from 3.88mm to 3.11mm, complementing its thinner and lighter profile.

The Redmi 2 is pre-installed with MIUI 6 that brings a colorful, clean look to the familiar UI, along with little touches, thoughtful features and customization options.

  Redmi 1S Redmi 2
Thinness / Weight 9.9mm / 158g 9.4mm / 133g
CPU Snapdragon 400 Snapdragon 410 (64-bit)
GPU Adreno 305 Adreno 306
SIM 3G / 2G slots 4G / 4G slots
Display AGC Dragontrail Glass Fully laminated display,
AGC Dragontrail Glass
Camera 8MP / 1.6MP 8MP / 2MP
Battery 2,000mAh 2,200mAh (Quick Charge 1.0)
Price RM419 RM449

For RM449, the Redmi 2 is definitely a tempting buy, especially if you travel a lot between countries, or thinking of jumping into the Xiaomi ecosystem. Either way, you should mark your calendar for March 17 (Tuesday) if you wish to secure one for yourself!