Redmi Y3 Review – The selfie alternative to Redmi Note 7

    After two successful generations, the Redmi Y3 is finally here. The Redmi Y3 is the selfie-oriented budget smartphone from the brand and is the successor to the Redmi Y2 smartphone. The Redmi series has been immensely successful in the history of the brand, so much so that the company is almost positioning the Redmi line-up as a sub-brand much like the Poco sub-brand. The Redmi series added two new smartphones, the Redmi 7 and the Redmi Y3 to the already immense line-up. The Xiaomi Redmi Y series was introduced about two years ago targeting the selfie-loving audience, the new Redmi Y3 boats a fabulous 32MP selfie camera and comes for an affordable price tag of Rs 9,999.

    Xiaomi Redmi Y3 Back

    Design and Display

    The Redmi Y3 was launched alongside the Redmi 7, while both the smartphones look identical there are differences in the colors, front cameras, and Storage/RAM configuration. The dimensions are identical as well and it is almost impossible for a regular person to physically distinguish them. The Redmi Y3 is pretty heavy at 180g and is also chunky to hold, the build quality is pretty good despite the use of plastics. We got to use the black variant of the Redmi Y3 which looks relatively subtle when compared to the Elegant blue variant. The smartphone is also available in a Bold Red trim apart from the above-mentioned colors. The glossy back of the smartphone attracts a lot of fingerprints and smudges easily, however, the plastic back does look and feel sturdy adding more confidence in the device.Xiaomi Redmi Y3 Top

    Xiaomi Redmi Y3 Right

    Xiaomi Redmi Y3 Bottom

    Xiaomi has coated the device with a P2i nano-coating to offer resistance against humidity and water splashing, while the smartphone doesn’t have any official IP rating, the little water splash protection is appreciated. The buttons of the smartphone are placed on the right and have very good feedback, the Redmi Y3 has a dual-SIM slot on the left and supports two Nano SIM cards and a microSD card. The 3.5mm jack is on the top of the smartphone along with the IR blaster used to remote control devices like TV, AC and other, the bottom of the smartphone only contains the speaker grille, microUSB port, and the microphone.

    There is a small notification LED on the bottom of the device tucked in the chin to indicate notifications and charging status. The rear of the smartphone houses the dual camera setup, flash, and the fingerprint sensor.

    Xiaomi Redmi Y3 Back Bottom

    The Redmi Y3 has a water tiny notch in the shape of a dot on the top of the display that accommodates the front selfie camera. The bezels are thick and noticeable on all the sides including the top. The bottom chin of the smartphone is even bigger and holds the 6.26-inch display in place. The smartphone only has an HD+ resolution panel so the images and especially the text don’t appear as sharp on the smartphone when compared to similarly sized devices with a FullHD+ display. Despite the lower resolution display, the color reproduction and viewing angles were pretty good and we were impressed by the overall display quality.

    Xiaomi Redmi Y3 Front Bottom

    The brightness of the Redmi Y3 does appear low on first look but on regular usage even in the outdoor conditions, it is very much manageable without major issues. The device comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection for the display protecting it against scratches, chips, and cracks.

    Redmi Y3 Performance

    The Redmi Y3 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 chipset which is the same one that powers the Redmi 7 and the Asus ZenFone Max M2. The chipset is a decent performer for most casual tasks but doesn’t stack up well for intensive workloads and high-end games. The Redmi Y3 comes in two variants, the base model has 3GB of RAM and 32GB internal storage while higher 4GB variant has 64GB internal storage. The device comes with support for dual 4G VoLTE but only has a Single-band Wi-Fi.

    Xiaomi Redmi Y3 Android Pie

    In terms of the software, the device runs on MIUI 10.2 based on Android 9 Pie. The UI on the device will be very familiar to someone who has used the MIUI in the past. There is some bloatware that comes preinstalled on the device, while most of them can be uninstalled, notifications keep spamming through the term of usage. The pre-installed applications include Mi-Pay, a new UPI wallet for payments allowing you to perform UPI payments without the need for a third-party application.

    Xiaomi Redmi Y3 About

    The device runs pretty well for most daily activities such as social media applications, chatting applications, streaming music and browsing the web. MIUI runs very smoothly on the device and switching apps is convenient without any lag, we did face occasional lag and the device became unresponsive when there were too many applications running in the background. The phone remains at normal temperature despite extended use in most cases and we could see it getting warm very occasionally only during intensive gaming over extended periods.

    The Redmi Y3 shows good real-world performance and runs most applications smoothly, however, in games like PUBG, the device defaulted to the low present.

    Redmi Y3 Camera

    The Redmi Y3 comes with a 32MP front camera and produces some really good images. The software on the Redmi Y3 uses a 4 to 1 oversampling to save an 8MP resolution image by default, this reduces the file size extensively resulting in less space occupied on the phone and also making it easier to share. There is also an option to capture the image in the full resolution of 32MP using a toggle in the viewfinder of the Camera app. The Redmi Y3 captures detailed selfies when shooting in the full resolution of the sensor and also while combining the pixels to form an 8MP image. We did notice a slight improvement in the detail of the background objects when capturing images in the 8MP mode compared to the full 32MP mode. The oversampled shots took around 5MB space for the capture while the full-resolution 32MP images took a solid 20MB per image. The capture and processing of the full resolution 32MP image also took considerably longer.

    Xiaomi Redmi Y3 Camera App

    Xiaomi Redmi Y3 Front Top

    The Redmi Y3 performs much better in the selfie department when compared to the other devices in the same segment such as the Redmi Note 7 and the ZenFone Max Pro M2. While the details are higher on the Redmi Y3, the skin tone is a little blown out and artificial in most cases. The background details captured on the Redmi Y3 are unmatched and appear sharp and crisp.

    The over sampling helps further more in low night captures and helps reduce the noise that is captured in the full resolution mode. The selfies are captured much better on the Redmi Y3 and shows much better details overall when compared to the competition. There is also an extremely powerful front flash that gives one of the best lit selfies. The selfie mode in the Redmi Y3 is not very convincing and appears very artificial. The front camera shoots in FullHD resolution at 1080p and the quality is pretty good. The Redmi Y3 has EIS for the front selfie camera but still results in pretty shaky videos. The rear camera on the Redmi Y3 is a 12Mp shooter with an f/2.2 aperture, there is an additional 2MP depth camera similar to the Redmi 7. The camera application also comes with AI scene detection that can be turned off, this is only available for the rear camera and unavailable for the selfie mode.

    Xiaomi Redmi Y3 Camera

    The Autofocus is sometimes slow and especially difficult to use in the video mode, the images pack good detail when captured in bright light situations. The colors look decent with the right saturation, the Macro shots also come good but sometimes the colors were completely misplaced. The primary sensor still struggles to capture the details and sharpness, the objects that are slightly far appear completely soft. The image quality is decent in the outdoors but not the best in the indoors. The video recording mode supports capture at 60FPS at 1080p resolution, while there is an EIS option in the camera app, the result wasn’t very evident. The camera app is very similar to the other Xiaomi phones and all the options for panorama, pro and other are very well laid out.

    Battery and Verdict

    The Redmi Y3 comes with a 4,000mAh battery which fares pretty well over a day of usage. We could easily pull through an entire day with room for the second on a single charge. This usage typically involved slight gaming, chatting, social media apps and surfing the web. While the device doesn’t support fast charging, the 10W included adapter gets the device from a zero to about 50 percent in an hour of charging.

    The Redmi Y3 is completely worth the price and offers good value for the money if you are into taking selfies. The device does compromise slightly on the specifications a bit to provide a better camera experience. The Redmi Y3 does have an edge over the competition when it comes to capturing selfies, especially in the low light conditions. The 4GB variant at 11,999 has some stiff competition and there are other options with more powerful specifications, but if selfie camera is your priority then the Redmi Y3 might be one of the best options in the price range.

    Sanath Swaroop
    Sanath Swaroop
    A writer at heart, an engineer by choice(Fate) and a musician by hobby.

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