Starmobile OCTA Review

The Starmobile OCTA sports an octa-core processor, NFC, and wireless charging. Here's our review.

MyPhone Agua Infinity Review

MyPhone's first octa-core processor, the Agua Infinity, features an octa-core processor and a metal frame. Here's our review.

JBL Synchros S300i Review

For a pair of space-looking headphones, the JBL Synchros S300i sounds nice. Check out our review.

Jabra Revo Review

The Jabra Revo is an affordable pair of cans with a lot of performance to back it up. Review after the jump.

AKG K495 NC Review

For a pair of cans just under P20,000, does the K495 NC's performance justify the price even in 2014? Read our AKG K495 NC review.

Xiaomi to Open First Pop-up Store at SM Megamall

Good news Mi fans! Xiaomi Philippines will soon open its first ever pop-up store in the country. It will be located at the upper ground area of SM Megamall Building B from October 23 to October 29, 2014 only. Pop-up stores are fashionable at the moment since they allow customers to physically interact with a brand at the same time letting the brand test the waters of opening a physical store.

Related: Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review

During this limited time, customers will - aside from being able to buy the Mi 3 for P10,599 and the Redmi 1S for P5,599 - be able to demo said handsets, shop for cool accessories (these may include cases, Piston headphones, and Xiaomi powerbanks), and participate in fun activities.

So if you're looking forward to your next flagship phone at a very affordable price, you should visit this pop-up store this week.

Cherry Mobile Excalibur Unveiled, Another Budget Octa-core for P6,999

Cherry Angel - one of the top retailers of Cherry Mobile devices - recently shared via its Facebook page latest octa-core smartphone, the Cherry Mobile Excalibur. Named after a legendary medieval European sword, the Excalibur boasts - on top of the octa-core processor - a 5-inch HD IPS display, an 8-megapixel Sony BSI camera, Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box, and dual-SIM connectivity. However, as powerful as it may sound, the device sports a mediocre 1980mAh battery. Experience dictates that such a battery rating will only last around 6 or 7 hours, if not less.

Cherry Mobile Excalibur Unveiled, Another Budget Octa-core for P6,999

Cherry Mobile Excalibur Unveiled, Another Budget Octa-core for P6,999

Design-wise, the Cherry Mobile Excalibur is reminiscent of a Huawei smartphone, with its slate form and sharp corners. Among the value-added highlights of the device is its tap-to-wake feature, popularized by the LG G2.

The Cherry Mobile Excalibur is priced at P6,999 9 (SRP), similar with the also recently released octa-core from the same company the Cherry Mobile Pulse.

Cherry Mobile Excalibur Unveiled, Another Budget Octa-core for P6,999

Cherry Mobile Excalibur Specifications

OS: Android 4.4.4 KitKat
Processor: 1.4GHz MT6592 octa-core processor, Mali-450MP4 GPU
Memory: 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, microSD expandable up to 32GB
Display: 5-inch HD IPS display, 1280x720p
Camera: 8-megapixel Sony rear camera w/ BSI, AF, LED flash, 5-megapixel front-facing camera
Connectivity: 3G/HSPA+, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS w/ A-GPS
SIM: Dual SIM, dual standby
Battery: 1980mAh Li-ion battery
Price: P6,999

Meizu MX4 to Sell for P14,999, MT6595 & 20.7 MP Camera in Tow

Inarguably the best handset Chinese smartphone company Meizu has announced, the Meizu MX4 apparently is set to hit the Philippines at the end of October via local company Novo 7 Tech. The device looks like its predecessor, the MX3, but the similarities stop there.

Meizu MX4 to Sell for P14,999, MT6595 & 20.7 MP Camera in Tow

Among the highlights of the device is its high benchmark score, thanks to its new MT6595 octa-core processor, specifically scoring as high as over 40,000 in AnTuTu (though performance on other benchmark apps vary. If there was a tweak done specifically for AnTuTu, we're unable to tell), and its 20.7-megapixel Sony Exmor RS camera - the sensor used by Sony in their top-of-the line devices (sadly, the front-facing camera is only 2-megapixels).

Related: Xiaomi Mi 4 Specifications

The Meizu MX4 16GB variant sells for P14,999, while the 32GB is priced at P16,999. There's no pricing released for the 64GB variant. On a personal note, if there's one thing I'm sure of, the local smartphone crowd will find choices tough as they pick from other strong-name brands such as Xiaomi this holiday season.

Meizu MX4 Specifications

OS: Android 4.4.4 KitKat, Flyme 4.0 UI
Processor: 2.2GHz MT6595 octa-core processor, PowerVR G6200 GPU
Memory: 2GB RAM, 16/32/64GB internal storage, no microSD card slot
Display: 5.36-inch Sharp IPS OGS display, 1920x1152 screen resolution, 418ppi, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Camera: 20.7-megapixel Sony Exmor RS rear camera w/ AF, BSI, dual-tone LED flash, 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera, 4K video recording, 720p slow-motion capture feature
Connectivity: 4G LTE, HSPA+, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 w/ A2DP, GPS w/ A-GPS & GLONASS
Battery: 3100mAh non-removable Li-ion battery
Dimensions: 144 x 75.2 x 8.9 mm, 147 g
Colors: Gray, gold, white
Price: P14,999 (SRP)

Legend of Master Online Review

Mobile game developer Gamevil have been spewing out games for as long as I can recall. The earliest game I played from them was the first Zenonia (which I never finished, because I refused to shell out a dollar for the full game). This harsh cycle of RPG games continued until the release of Legend of Master Online, the latest game in their roster.

Legend of Master Online Review

Legend of Master Online begins - if your smartphone manages to run it - with the overused game trope of humans fighting against demons, which leads to you selecting generic RPG classes, such as a tanker (Guardian), a magician (Sorceress), and a long-range character (Ranger), with each game account having three character slots, allowing you to play all classes. Gameplay is very straightforward, with the learning curve low. Legend of Master Online combines the formulaic Gamevil hack and slash format with a ring of Diablo to it. You get to kill demons of all shapes and sizes (there's a huge dog-like demon that looks like it was pulled out from Bleach), get items, then rinse and repeat. Thanks to this - plus the game's auto feature (basically auto-pilot, which means less you can grind even if away from your smartphone - I got dragged easily into the game.

Legend of Master Online Review

Legend of Master Online Review

Hack and slash aside, the game offers players customizable options for their characters, such as a Craft feature, allowing you to craft weapons, armors, and other enhancements to better your gameplay experience. There's also a Quest system which, to sum it up, gives you gold and in-game currency for reaching certain levels and milestones (you should link your Google Play account here). However, no hack and slash game is complete without skills you can level up to finish fights against baddies faster.

Legend of Master Online Review

Legend of Master Online Review

Legend of Master Online Review

One of the biggest features of Legend of Master Online (aside from its Single Dungeon and Dungeon of Tribulation single player options) are its Multi Dungeon and Battle modes. In Multi Dungeon, you can join a party of three - via game rooms - to beat difficult dungeons together. While not new, the idea of playing a hack and slash game live with people in other parts of the world, especially in a Gamevil game, is fun. The closest I can compare this to is the Dungeon Hunter PS Vita game. In Battle Mode, you'll be pitted against other players in your level range in either a team battle or a single player battle. It's entertaining at best, since you get to test your skills against a real person, but it gets annoying real fast, especially if you're pitted against a Ranger or Sorceress character, which most of the time just runs around the PvP arena trying to spam cheap hits while far from striking distance (this is like a cheap Sentinel-Storm-Cable team at Marvel vs Capcom 2). This said, the ruling class as of the time of writing is a Guardian (team battle is more chaotic, with everyone running around trying to spam cheap hits. Basically like single player, but worse). Fortunately, there's a kill-time setup in which the player with the most kills in the alloted time wins.

Legend of Master Online Review

Legend of Master Online is one of the finest-looking games Gamevil has ever produced in terms of graphics. The shades and sprites of the characters, the monsters, the skill animations, and the world environment will easily pass as a handheld game. One of the main effects I appreciate are the glows of weapons when refined to certain levels. The controls aren't clunky at all; if anything, this is what the tons of RPGs Gamevil have produced taught them - good touch controls. You hit monsters properly, the character on-screen doesn't jitter, and distance and placement between on-screen buttons are great.

The game's BGM and effects meanwhile are nothing short of boring. With enemies and dungeons looking the same for every level (moving into a new level adds new enemies to slay), adding the same soundtrack combined with the metallic clunk of a sword hitting a demon makes you want to mute your smartphone and auto the game all the way.

Legend of Master Online Review

All the above said, it goes without saying that a Gamevil game is a Gamevil game. Legend of Master Online is a pay-to-win game. Yes, you can play the game for free, and yes, no one is forcing you to purchase anything, but there are just a lot of features in the game - almost all of them not necessary but will bring about a huge convenience - that requires the use of Legend of Master Online's in-game currency simply called K. And these Ks are not cheap too. 14,000 Ks cost $99.99 (around P4,499 converted), and that's apparently already 27% off. The in-game currency is implemented through almost all aspects of the game. Want to increase your ridiculously small inventory capacity? Buy more with Ks. Want to enhance your sword without fail? Use Ks. Hey, here's a wonderful looking costume with great stats, but it'll set you back 12,000 K! There's also the fact that after the first few levels, enemies are almost impossible to defeat without a ton of potions, which unfortunately requires a lot of gold and several craft items. But what if you don't have enough gold? Well, you should buy Ks, or get stuck grinding at the lower levels again for maybe a few weeks more. However, Gamevil's position on in-app purchases are totally understandable. It's the hottest trend in the gaming industry as of late, and it would only get worse. Players are the victims here. Long gone are the times where you can get legendary armor in a game by just being really good at it, i.e. playing with copious amounts of time.

Legend of Master Online Review

In closing, Legend of Master Online is a good game to kill time, if not for its always-on internet requirement. You get to hack and slash everything in a very linear game while also being able to blow off some steam on other players around the world via PvP (provided you're really strong or really loaded in in-game currency). It's the closest you can get to a decent dungeon multiplayer on mobile, and it's even free-to-play. I'm giving this game a one thumb up, just because Ks are stopping players from experiencing the full game.

Legend of Master Online is available on Android and iOS for free and requires 479MB of storage.

Gionee Elife S5.1 Launched, Guiness-certified World's Thinnest Smartphone

Chinese electronics manufacturer Gionee recently released in China the world's thinnest smartphone, the Gionee Elife S5.1. Measuring at only 5.1mm (0.2in), it's so slim that it even made it to the record books, courtesy of the Guinness Book of World Records. For reference, the closest thinnest device to the Elife S5.1 that's not a Gionee is the Vivo X3, measuring at 5.57mm.

Gionee Elife S5.1 Launched, Guiness-certified World's Thinnest Smartphone

Related: Gionee Elife S5.5 Specs and Price

The Elife S5.1 is a decent mid-range device sporting a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display, a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor (similar with the Xiaomi Redmi 1S), 1GB of RAM, and a 16GB internal storage. It would also come with an 8-megapixel rear camera, LTE connectivity (at least in China), and will come in black, white, pink, and mint green. As with all top-tier Gionee devices, the Elife S5.1 would run on Android 4.3, but with their own Amigo 2.0 UI.

The Gionee Elife S5.1 is now out in China for around $325 and is expected to hit India this November. No annoucement has been made yet for the Philippine market (though we're pretty sure it would hit our shores). We estimate that it will be priced around P14,999 (SRP).

Gionee previously released the Elife S5.5 and the Elife E7 in the Philippines.

Gionee Elife S5.1 Specifications

OS: Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, Amigo 2.0 UI
Processor: 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, Adreno 305 GPU
Memory: 1GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, no microSD slot
Display: 4.8-inch HD (720p) Super AMOLED display. 1280x720 screen resolution,
Camera: 8-megapixel rear camera with AF & LED flash, 5-megapixel front-facing camera
Connectivity: 3G HSPA+, 4G LTE (TBC), WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi hotspot, GPS, Bluetooth, micro USB v2.0
SIM: Micro SIM
Battery: 2100mAh Li-ion battery, non-removable
Dimensions: 139.80 x 67.40 x 5.15mm, 100 g
Colors: Black, white, pink, mint green
Price: P14,999 (estimate)

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Hands-on

With the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus barely out in the country yet (a few online stores already have it on sale, with some big names, such as Villman, deciding to join in and take a slice of the pie), we were fortunate to do some hands-on time on both devices without breaking our banks. So without further ado, here's our iPhone and iPhone 6 Plus hands-on.

The first thing that you'll notice with the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus are their beautiful sizes. Finally Apple did something right with regards to the display and overall device size. I'm not too fond of 4" and 5.5" smartphones, but holding the iPhone 6 was just like a pair of shoes having a perfect fit on your feet on first try. That 4.7-inch display and overall device dimension hit the sweet spot for me (I jokingly mentioned that if ever I was going back to Apple, I'd pick the iPhone 6 without a beat. Pardon me, Android gods).

iPhone 6 iPhone 6 back

Moving on, another design aspect that makes the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus comfortable on the hands are the rounded sides. The most recent flagships I recall having this feature are the HTC One M8 and the LG G3. I appreciate the smartphone following the contour of my hands. This round design also extends up to the edges of the glass display too (similar with the glass display of the Samsung Galaxy S3). However, I found the HTC-ish lines lining up the back of the smartphone visually unpleasant. The Android manufacturer pulled those off perfectly on their HTC One devices; with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus I can't say the same. To each his own, I guess. I believe this was done to emulate some sort of border, because if you'll recall, the iPhone 5 and 5S has different color schemes on their metal backs and sides, but retained only the top and bottom rear areas similar with the front.

The SIM slot and the sleep/wake button are now positioned at the right side of the device, with the volume rocker and the sound/mute button at the left side.The buttons seem durable enough to withstand constant pressing. A 6-hole speaker, the Lightning cable port, and a 3.5mm CTIA audio port are meanwhile located at the bottom of the device. The camera, on the other hand, has a metal ring attached to it, making it somewhat not flushed with the rest of the back. Right beside it is the mic and the LED flash.

iPhone 6 Plus iPhone 6 Plus back

The front of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus seems to not have changed significantly, with the Touch ID button still located steadfast at the lower portion of the front. With regards to the display itself, even at up to 5.5-inches, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus's screen resolution and definition are very clear; just like its predecessors, it's still fantastically Retina (are we still using that term in 2014?). Both devices aren't too heavy; in fact, the iPhone 6 Plus was light enough for one-handed operation - or maybe it was just me, but I digress. But this I can say: I didn't dare try bend both iPhones since they weren't mine, plus the fact that doing so would probably land me in no money land.

Software-wise (and as pictured), the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus both run the latest iOS 8 mobile operating system. There's nothing much to say here, except that it's full of bugs that cause patchy WiFi and vanishing cellular network signals, and that smart keyboards have finally made it to Apple after four years and is finally here to stay.

iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus side to side

So that's it for our Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus hands-on. We're hoping we can get more time with both devices so we can publish a full review.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Flash Sale Alert, Get Additional Accessory Bundle for P10

Seems like everybody can't get enough of Xiaomi smartphones nowadays, and the Chinese company is just too happy to oblige.

Xiaomi Philippines will hold another flash sale for their budget Redmi 1S smartphone this coming September 25, 2014 (that's a Thursday) at 11 AM. What's good about this specific flash sale is, for an additional P10, you'll get an additional accessory bundle consisting of a rear shell, a TPU case, and a screen protector. That's more than P500 in value for sure.

Related: Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Flash Sale Alert, Get Additional Accessory Bundle for P10

But as with all promotions, there's a catch. First, you have to pre-register to be eligible for the said flash sale. Secondly, you should be among the fastest to purchase a Redmi 1S to avail of the P10 accessory bundle, because it's reportedly very limited in stocks only (common sense dictates that you should also have a rock-solid internet connection for this to work).

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Flash Sale Alert, Get Additional Accessory Bundle for P10

The Xiaomi Redmi 1S previously sold for P5,599 only. With the accessory bundle, the unit now sells for P5,609 - a measly increase if you'll ask me.

If you're interested in participating in this sale, you should go to and register. Registration ends tonight, September 24, at 11:59 PM.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review

Budget smartphones with top-tier - or at least near top-tier - specifications are what's selling like pancakes right now, and that's what Chinese giant Xiaomi is taking advantage of. Gone were the days where a powerful smartphone costs a kidney (I'm looking at you, Apple); you can have something that suits your needs plus a couple of additional features for a very affordable price in the form of the Xiaomi Redmi 1S.

The Xiaomi Redmi 1S is a 4.7-inch HD Android smartphone that sports a relatively new 1.6GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM, and an 8-megapixel rear camera. Its main highlight is its price-performance ratio, though admittedly the device is far from perfect. Here's our Xiaomi Redmi 1S review.


The Xiaomi Redmi 1S upfront looks like a very uninspired smartphone from 2013. It looks very basic - not that there's nothing wrong with that, though there's nothing right with that either. In a local perspective, the Redmi 1S looks like most of the budget Cloudfone line, with its slab design and flushed camera.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review

The front sports the smartphone's 4.7-inch display, a front-facing camera, a couple of sensors, a notification LED with multiple colours (same as the one from the Xiaomi Mi 3), and three soft-touch buttons. Unfortunately - and this I emphasize - the Redmi 1S's soft-touch buttons don't have LED lighting, so in dimly-lit environments you'll be relying only on muscle memory for navigation, which consequently affects user experience. For reference, certain mobile devices at the Redmi 1S's price point have LED lighting on their soft-touch buttons.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review

The device's plastic backside meanwhile sports an 8-megapixel camera, a LED flash, a discreet loudspeaker (unfortunately placed beside the camera, and has the tendency to get muffled while holding the smartphone in the landscape orientation, especially when you're playing a game), and the Xiaomi logo, finished with an almost gunmetal gray matte paint. Honestly, if only local companies installed their logos with more flair and not just brush-on print, it would add another dimension of premium to their devices, but I digress. The sides meanwhile feature a sleep/wake button, a volume rocker, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a charging/micro USB port.

Lifting the plastic shell will reveal the 2000mAh battery, two mini SIM slots, and the microSD card slot.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review

The Xiaomi Redmi 1S is a pretty weighty smartphone. Devices with similar builds are almost always lighter, but the Redmi 1S is almost as heavy as my HTC One, which was wonderful because that in itself says something. Handling was also very manageable, since the device only has a small frame relative to today's flagship phones, and isn't that slippery.


The Xiaomi Redmi 1S sports a 4.7-inch HD IPS display at a 1280x720 screen resolution with an up to 10-point multitouch, 312ppi, and has Asahi Dragontrail Glass reinforcement. For the benefit of those who don't know, Dragontrail Glass is an additional protective layer on your display that makes it extremely scratch-resistant. You can get a knife and drag it across the display and it won't get nicked. On another note, the device's 4.7-inch display carries some of the more sizeable bezels we've seen in an international device in a while. It isn't that disappointing though, since after all, the Redmi 1S is a budget device. 

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review

The Redmi 1S's display, at 720p, produces crisp, vibrant images, with everything looking natural and well-saturated (as against oversaturated displays that look sickly colorful and in permanent HDR, but I digress). Also of note was the device's tendency to lean on yellowish whites instead of the regular bluish whites. The display was also unable to produce deep blacks - a preferential feature for apps with a night mode. These said, the smartphone gives you the ability to adjust the screen's color temperature and saturation. So for example, if you want a cooler, milder yellow on white display, just navigate to the display settings and switch the display temperature to Cool.

The Xiaomi Redmi 1S sports the company's own user interface - the MIUI (currently on version 6). The MIUI is reminiscent of Apple's iOS UI or even Gionee's AMIGO UI, operating with its rounded-corner square icons, to its no-drawer approach. To its credit, the UI doesn't have the slightest of chokes, a thing that's present on TouchWiz and AMIGO, though admittedly it can use a little more work on the design side; I don't believe the term "Simplicity is beauty" applies here. I could be wrong, since hundreds of thousands of smartphones have been shipped to buyers worldwide. The Redmi 1S's MIUI is sadly still based on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

On top of the regular Xiaomi MIUI skin, the Redmi 1S also carries what it calls a Lite Mode, wherein the phone simplifies the UI to its most basic - just a few, large squares on the home screen and rather large menu fonts. This was apparently implemented with old people in mind.


The Xiaomi Redmi 1S is powered by a 1.6GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, an Adreno 305 GPU, and a 1GB RAM. It's ahead of the performance game versus other similarly priced Mediatek devices, given that the internals are from Qualcomm, though in some instances user experience was negligible - the keywords being "some instances".

We ran our standard benchmarks in the Xiaomi Redmi 1S, and here's what we got.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review

The Redmi 1S gave a good score in the AnTuTu benchmark. The device received a score of 21246, around 4000 higher than most devices in its range (most local quad-cores score around 17000), both specifications and price-wise. It's a testament on how well-built and optimized the smartphone is. Other benchmarks painted the same picture, putting the Xiaomi Redmi 1S to expectations.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review

What this means realistically is that the Redmi 1S is a more than capable smartphone in handling your daily performance needs, such as not choking in crunch time performances like heavy gaming. Benchmarks aside, the device also gives a lot of value-for-money features, just simple implementations that make using the smartphone more convenient, such as a Do Not Disturb feature, an option to record your phone conversation on the spot, and even offering the ability to disallow privacy-invasive permissions from apps.

Browsing with the Xiaomi Redmi 1S' stock browser was a good experience. It's pretty fast in terms of rendering and loading times. WiFi connectivity performance was also good: the smartphone still picks up a consistent signal - around 2 to 3 bars - 20 feet away from the wireless WiFi source.

All the above said, the device unfortunately keeps on experiencing frequent random reboots, force closes, crashes, and freezes in regular use, making it feel unpolished in the software end. For instance, opening the Google Play Store or the Gallery will result in a crash of some sort, usually involving the app in use. There was also one time where waking up the device led to a reboot. For reference, the Xiaomi Redmi 1S in question was updated with the latest software available from the MIUI OTA section. These said, I subscribe to the idea that faults in a specific unit doesn't make all the units produced faulty. In short, the review unit might be a lemon, unless proven otherwise.

Considering the experience above, the Xiaomi Redmi 1S is still a great performer for its price.

Audio and Video

With such a budget pricing, you shouldn't overexpect with the Xiaomi Redmi 1S. Sure it's got a fantastic display and a wonderful performance to boot, but it's a little weak on the sounds. More on that later.

Equipped with a 720p IPS display, the Xiaomi Redmi 1S relatively has great video playback, with no obvious pixelation or ghosting. This, however, is to be expected with devices nowadays. The NASA rocket launch video pictured below has very fluid smoke reproduction, and keeps its detail even when it gets paused (if you'll notice, most smartphones playing videos with dynamic movement loses significant image detail when the video is paused).

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review

As previously mentioned, among the Achilles Heel of the Xiaomi Redmi 1S is the audio department, specifically its loudspeaker. Music played from the device sounds weak and has strong crackling, especially on EDM and Dubstep tracks (playing the same audio track on two different devices, one being the Redmi 1S, yielded this result). For what its worth, highs and mids reproduced on the loudspeaker are moderately audible.

The Xiaomi Redmi 1S's package doesn't include headphones. You can puchase the Piston headphones separately for P695. For what it's worth, the headphones' performance is top-tier for its price, if general internet consensus is to be believed.

On call experience, the Redmi 1S's earpiece has enough power to deliver voice with clarity, making conversations moderately pleasant.


Backed by a budget but formidable hardware, the Xiaomi Redmi 1S runs games smoothly. One of the more resource-intensive games of recent memory is Edge of Tomorrow. This game throws sprites, explosions, and AI like nobody's business, but the Redmi 1S was able to handle it. The same story goes with Asphalt 8: the game has plenty of dynamic movement, windows reflections, and sunlight shifts, yet the humble Redmi 1S can process the game at full speed.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review

The Xiaomi Redmi 1S does start to heat up within 10 minutes of gaming. However, the heat was just warm enough to be tolerable, not hot. Unfortunately, gaming isn't immune to the device's random crashing.


The Xiaomi Redmi 1S sports an 8-megapixel rear camera  with autofocus and flash and a 1.6-megapixel front-facing camera. The main shooter can capture up to 3264 x 2448 pixels, and has a 1.4 ┬Ám pixel size.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review

On paper, the Redmi 1S's rear camera sounds unimpressive, but actually trying it proves otherwise. The photos produced by the device look clear and crisp, not missing a beat. Color levels are just the right level, with everything more or less with acceptable saturation and accuracy. However, warmth on images are a little off, with indoor and outdoor whites and yellows appearing with a bluish hue.

Sample photos below.

As you can see, the accuracy and noise levels at night-time environments are very decent. Frankly, there are better camera on other smartphones out there, but the Redmi 1S's 8-megapixel shooter at the device's price range is a very sweet deal.

Zoom levels on the device were also pretty decent. However, the autofocus feels like it can adjust the focus further but was stopping at the maximum allowable zoom.

The Xiaomi Redmi 1S's default camera app bears MIUI elements all around, and comes with your standard mobile photography features such as panorama, HDR, face-detection and geo-tagging features. It also has about 15 filters, the most refreshing of which are the mosaic (puts heavily pixelized blurs on the subject) and the mirror (mirrors half of the subject to make two proportional copies).

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review

The Redmi 1S's camera has no shutter lag, which helps a lot in capturing time-critical photos that you would've otherwise missed if there was even a second of shutter delay. And lastly, the camera has a built-in QR code reader software. There's no need to install another separate app that does the same job. Just enable the feature on the advanced settings (it's enabled by default) and just hover around a QR code you want the device to read.


The Xiaomi Redmi 1S carries a 2000mAh removable Li-ion battery. Experience with the battery life was wonderful, primarily because it outperforms other devices with the same battery ratings or higher. Continuous and moderate regular use makes the Redmi 1S's juice last up to 12 hours. Conversely, heavy usage brings the battery from 100% to zero in about 5 1/2 hours. This is based on a video loop we performed with display brightness and volume both on maximum, with WiFi and Bluetooth enabled.

Charging time was surprisingly faster in the Xiaomi Redmi 1S versus other devices in the same range. It goes from empty to full in about 1 hour 40 minutes, provided you don't use it while charging.

Other Features

The Xiaomi Redmi 1S comes with Xiaomi's own cloud, aptly called the Mi Cloud. The service offers, among others, data usage conservation, effortless data migration from non-Xiaomi to Xiaomi devices, and an access from anywhere feature that lets you locate, lock, or erase the contents of your device remotely via It's a good feature, if not already tainted by previous issues that tell of the company's effort of acquiring user data without consent.

Secondly, the device has its own messaging service called the Mi Chat. It offers what most messaging services does, like send video messages, do wireless calls, send stickers and the like. As mentioned previously, there's also the Security app which enables the user to deny permissions certain apps are asking.

Last of the notable value-added features of the Redmi 1S is its in-house theme store. Fellow Xiaomi users from around the world share their themes via this store, and you can use them on your device for free.


The Xiaomi Redmi 1S is a nice smartphone to have, primarily because of its price, its build, its performance, and the great value for money experience it offers (I appreciate the regular OTA updates highly). It's a reliable and affordable Android that leaves almost nothing to be desired.

There's not much positive remaining to say about the device, since it's all summed up perfectly in the sentences above. However,  for around the same amount, one can avail of smartphones with more cores, such as the SKK Phoenix X1, providing better performance, albeit there could be build quality issues. There's also that constant nagging Redmi 1S issue of constant crashing of apps and random rebooting. If the above doesn't trouble you (and if you don't mind soft touch keys with no LED lighting or more cores in a smartphone for almost the same price), the Xiaomi Redmi 1S is for you.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review

The Xiaomi Redmi 1S is available for P5,599 (SRP) at a major online store.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Specifications

OS: Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, MIUI
Processor: 1.6GHz quad-core MSM8226 Snapdragon 400 processor, Adreno 305 GPU
Memory: 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, microSD expandable up to 64GB
Display: 4.7-inch IPS LCD display, 1280x720 screen resolution, 312ppi, Asahi Dragontrail Glass, 10-point multitouch
Camera: 8-megapixel rear camera with AF & flash, 1.6-megapixel front-facing camera
Connectivity: 3G/HSPA+, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0 w/ A2DP, LE, micro USB 2.0, USB OTG, GPS w/ A-GPS, GLONASS
SIM: Dual SIM, dual standby
Battery:  2000mAh Li-ion battery, removable
Dimensions: 137 x 69 x 9.9mm, 158g
Price: P5,599