I was thinking what i should write about and then one of my friend came to my room and asked “Hey, you purchased 3S Prime didn’t you? How is it holding up?” and that gave a topic to write on.
Before starting the review i would like to tell you the type of user i am. I fall into the sometimes medium sometimes heavy user category (i made it up but only because i needed to). Which means i have -:
- played graphic intensive games on my phone.
- used heavy apps with high background activity.
- used it for hashing files, phrases and also used it for encryption and decryption.
- definitely used social media apps on it eg fb, messenger , Insta, Snapchat (once, but i hate it), whatsapp, wechat (hated), telegram (kinda okay), KiK( 😉 ), Outlook, Onedrive , Gmail, Protonmail , Twitter, steam etc
- used it for photography.
- Used it for light C, C++, Python programming and compiling.
- Used it heavily as a hotspot.
- Used smart assistants on it like, Google Now, Cortana, Google Assistant.
- ROOTED IT!
- USED IT WITH MIUI WHEN IT WAS ROOTED.
- CHANGED TO RESURRECTION REMIX ROM.
- USED KALI NETHUNTER ON IT AND STILL DO.
- Formated it, wiped it, bricked it once but repaired it.
I guess i have tinkered with it enough to provide you all with an honest and accurate review. So here we go….
- Body, Design and Feel!
I am not a big fan of slim phones but this one is just slim enough to make it feel good and strong in hand. The back is of anodized aluminum which is good for structural integrity but makes it very slippery and since I purchased it till the day I purchased an armor cover for it I always used to be extremely cautious while using it.
“Great Design, Screen need a tempered glass, Slippery
body, Speakers on back might not seem as loud as they actually are.“
The screen is disappointing as there is no Gorilla glass protection and i would recommend you to get one as soon as you get the phone. Finger print scanner placement is something i like the most in its Design. Speakers are at the bottom of rear side which is not good for those who love it loud. Front has the usual placement with included Capacitive Hardware keys which you can customize in MIUI Settings. The notification LED is below the capacitive Home button and is only visible when it lights up. The Volume Power buttons are on the right but we need to stop here, maybe it is that the unit I received has this irregularity but my phone’s power buttons tactile feedback is pathetic, it was fine when the phone had arrived but now the button appears to have become a bit depressed (not a very good choice of words), this makes pressing it hard specially with that Armor case. Apart from the problems I described here I don’t think the design has any other flaws.
- Screen, Display, sound and Sensors
Redmi 3S Prime has a 5 inch 720 x 1280 HD screen with a Pixel density of around 294 ppi. It is a great screen, it is sharp enough for everyone (i just can’t understand this hunger for more ppi when your eyes can’t distinguish is around 300ppi varying on eye to eye), colors are great and natural. Screen is bright enough for reading articles with medium fonts in sunlight but for interactions involving smaller letters or symbols etc may be difficult so I would have loved it even more it. As I suggested you earlier do get a Tempered glass screen protector.
“HD screen with 294ppi, Great Colors and brightness, Rear
speaker quality not very good, All important sensor’s present, IR Blaster
is a great addition.”
The rear speaker is loud but I would have loved if it were louder. But in terms of quality of sound it lags behind other Moto G Play etc phones in same price category. The front call speaker is good enough and at full volume can also work as a speaker phone ( 🙂 ).
Redmi 3S Prime has Fingerprint Sensor, Magnetometer, Proximity Sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Light Sensor and an IR Blaster (My personal favorite). For a phone costing Rupees 8999 its a pretty impressive set of sensors. Thanks to the presence of all major sensors, you can use your phone for more accurate gaming, precise navigation, Controlling devices controlled by an IR remote and of course you can look for apps like cpu-z and aida64 to get raw data from these sensors (no root access needed). The presence of fingerprint sensor is responsive not the fastest one but fast enough, It has made unlocking the phone an extremely easy process and i love it for that.
- Network, Connectivity, GPS and Connection ports
Redmi 3S Prime is a 4G phone with LTE BAND 3, 5 and 40 support ie all the bands JIO offers their services on. It is a dual sim phone with both slots capable of running 4G but not together ie only one of the two sims can be on 4G, the other one will work on 2G.
“No network related problems till now, WiFi, BlueTooth, GPS, FM, USB 2.0,
No USB C and wifi ac support, VoLTE enabled”
It also provides Wifi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.1, A2DP, LE support, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, FM radio and Micro USB 2.0. A USB C type would have been better. What else I think should have been there is dual band wifi support ie WiFi 802.11 ac support.
I have never had any problem with any of the above features although I do some times feel that the signal reception is not at a par with my previous phone ( Lumia 540 ) but it has never been a problem. GPS is fast and 4G VoLTE works superb.
- Processor, RAM, Storage, Graphics performance
Redmi 3S Prime comes with a Qualcomm MSM8937 Snapdragon 430 processor which has 8 cores with max clock speed on 4 of them being 1.4Ghz and for other 4 it is 1Ghz this arrangement allows this processor to handle tasks smartly and also enhances power efficiency. Its not the best processor nor is it a great one but it seems to get work done, no lags in UI, most games and apps work awesome, CPU intensive tasks like hashing encrypting etc are handled nicely. The biggest plus point of using this processor is nearly no-existent heating ie the phone (at least in my case) does not heat up very much even after playing Modern Combat 5 on it for 30 minutes along with using it as a hotspot simultaneously.
“Power Efficient processor, Enough (3GB) of RAM,
32GB Storage and a hybrid SIM slot”
It has 3GB of RAM on papers but we get around 2.7GB in reality and out of that if you are using MIUI you will generally have around 1.5GB of free RAM when phone is Idle. As of now i could not find any application that would return a “Insufficient Memory” error.
On the storage front it comes with a 32GB on paper space out of which we get around 23GB if we use MIUI. You can expand storage but by sacrificing a SIM, as it has a hybrid SIM slot.
- Battery, Front and Rear Camera
Redmi 3S Prime has a 4100 mAh battery and still the phone isn’t very heavy (144 g ). Battery life is amazing. On an Average I start with around 70-80% battery in the morning (8:00AM) and at night (2:00) it comes down to around 25%. This includes around wifi hotspot being active for atleast 6 hours with JIO 4G data and VoLTE on all the time. 20-30 minutes of gaming, on phone browsing and google assistant use totaling around 2 hours, Random photos or videos and at least around 1 hour of music on full volume on rear speakers. As far as I think its pretty great performance.
“Battery Performance is amazing easily gets a day in case of heavy use,
1.5 days with medium use, 2 days with light use and 2.5 days with light use and
battery saver mode on.”
When I used it lightly ie 4G on all day but not using as hotspot, no gaming, very little browsing, Random chat message checks etc it took me around 2 Days to get the battery down to 2% from 98%. On an extremely light use with battery saver mode it took me around 2.5 days to take it to 10% level.
Thanks to Xiomi for providing propriety Fast charging, this massive battery takes around 2 hours for charging completely.
It has a 5 MP front camera with f/2.2 aperture and is capable of 1080p recording. It has face detection and beautify mode. Overall it is great for selfies in day well lit room but in low light the images are grainy and have noise.
It has a Rear camera with 13 MP f/2.0 aperture phase detection autofocus for faster focus and a LED flash. I like the rear cam more than the front one. It has more settings, modes and options. One of the things that i don’t like is the MIUI’s camera app, it does’t provide much control over fine settings of the cameras.
“A great Rear camera (13MP with PDAF) and an OK front camera (5MP)”
MI User Interface or MIUI is a great but a heavy ROM, but this phone works great with it, nearly all the features are well polished and I did not see any bugs or glitches. The only problem is that it is big, resource consuming and not at all stock like. It has a lot of useful features like Dual Apps, Multiple users, Gesture screen shots etc. For common or even heavy everyday use it would be great.
FINAL VERDICT-: Go Buy It! it is great value for money and if you are a tech lover, want to experience smooth, glitch free android then this phone is for you. If you want a stock OS then you can root it, and change ROM to Resurrection Remix.