Xiaomi Redmi Pro – Dual Rear Cameras and your very own Portable DSLR Bokeh

Xiaomi’s very first phone to offer Dual Cameras and boasting DSLR Bokeh. Blurred out the background or change focus on the fly and take high quality photos and videos. The phone also packs a powerful Helio X25 Chip, Front Fingerprint Scanner and a high capacity 4050mAh battery.

PROS of the Xiaomi Redmi Pro Part 1 (In depth on the Camera)

  • Premium build and Quality of materials
  • Overall Good Camera Features (depth of field adjustments works most of the time)
  • Impressive quality shots on good lighting
  • Fast Shutter speed and focus time (PDAF)
  • Improved UI on MIUI 8.0 update (especially on stereoscopic mode)

CONS:

  • Average Front Camera (480p only)
  • No 4K Video Mode

PROS (Part 2 of the Review)

  • The Performance is quite stable, fast and gaming is overall buttery smooth (Mediatek Helio X25 and Mali-T880)
  • The phone can easily handle multitasking
  • There are plenty of features added on MIUI 8.0 (Dual Apps, Second Space etc…)
  • Best screens available (OLED 1080p with Antiscratch protection)
  • The Fingerprint Scanner is fast and accurate
  • Supports Hybrid Dual SIM (2nd sim slot supports MicroSD)
  • Fast WiFi, Supports Dual Band 2.4/5GHz
  • 9 hours and 27 minutes screen time (great battery life)
  • Premium build (Brush Aluminum Finish)
  • USB Type C with fast charging support

CONS:

  • Came with Chinese ROM (bloatwares and lack of Playstore) – International ROMS now available
  • TDD-LTE version (at least for my version, I cannot test 4G LTE)

Availability? (July 7)

Xiaomi Redmi Pro (3+32gb Helio x25) retails at $257 – Buy here

OTHER LINKS

Xiaomi Redmi Pro retails at $249 – Buy here

You may be interested: Smartphone Deals

Xiaomi’s newest handset and also the successor to the Redmi 3, Xiaomi Redmi Pro comes with some pretty innovative and nifty upgrades. It is also first phone to offer a Dual Rear Cameras. A main 13 megapixel Sony Sensor camera that captures still pictures and video and a 5.0 megapixel Samsung sensor that offers adjustment on depth of field.  Xiaomi has advertised it to offer DSLR Quality Bokeh.

More so, the Xiaomi Redmi Pro is a high midrange category Smartphone that powered by  the new Mediatek Helio X20/X25 chipset and Mali-T880 Graphics. Actually there are a couple of versions available:

  • Basic version: 3 GB RAM + 32 GB eMMC Storage + Helio X20 (1.39 GHz speed)
  • Pro version: 3 GB RAM + 64 GB eMMC Storage + Helio X25 (up to 2.5GHz speed)
  • Pro version: 4 GB RAM + 128 GB eMMC Storage + Helio X25 (up to 2.5GHz speed)

Xiaomi Redmi Pro Camera Review Part 1 (Build, Design, Display, and Camera)

This is my Full Review of the Xiaomi Redmi Pro Part 1. This will only focus mainly on the Camera, since that is the biggest selling point of the phone. I will also be talking about the Build Quality, Design and the Quality of the Screen.

I broke down this review into two parts because the phone came with Chinese ROM, and so, I will not be focusing on the OS, as well as the Benchmark scores as it seems irrelevant. Part 2 will on the OS, Benchmarks, Battery life, Gaming and Connectivity.

Premium build and design similar to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

The build is actually very similar to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, except for a few subtle differences, like the a 5.0 megapixel camera at the back occupies the supposed Fingerprint Scanner location. Anyway, the overall build is very good, the phone is well made and the shiny Aluminum Shell makes it look elegant and premium. The curved ergonomics also make it convenient to hold even one handed. The handset is also light with perfectly balanced weight distribution.

Can easily slip of your hand

The glossy rear cover is very slippery, so you should be careful holding the phone one handed.

Inputs and Outputs (I/O)

Here are some I/O’s available of the phone:

  • USB Type C Reversible Port at the bottom
  • 3.5 mm Audio Port
  • IR Blaster
  • Hybrid Dual SIM Support (Sim card 2 supports MicroSD card slot)

xiaomi-redmi-pro-pic-3

All about the Dual Cameras (Blurred out the backgrounds!)

This review mostly focuses on the Dual Rear Cameras, when I did the review, I did enjoy tinkering with the camera especially with the Depth of Field feature. A brief overview, the Xiaomi Redmi Pro has 2 rear cameras. A 13 megapixel Sony IMX258 BSI CMOS Sensor which captures pictures and videos, and a 5.0 megapixel Samsung Sensor that captures Stereoscopic depth of field view. Here are some features of the camera

  • The 13 megapixel camera is capable of up to 1080p Full High Definition Video Recording
  • No 4K video recording available yet even with the new firmware update.
  • Dual Tone Dual LED Flash
  • The shutter speed is fast, and focus time is also snappy. (PDAF – Phase Detection Auto Focus)
  • 5.0 megapixel stereoscopic mode can be enabled or disabled anytime.
  • Stereoscopic mode works most of the time effects is much more noticeable
  • When Stereoscopic mode is enabled, you can’t enable HDR (High Dynamic Range)
  • Stereoscopic mode (Aperture range from 0.95 to 5.6)

Camera UI Updates on the MIUI 8.0

Before doing the review, I did update the phones firmware to MIUI 8.0 which grants new additions to the User Interface (UI). Instead of a slider bar for the Stereoscopic settings, you can view the aperture changes of itself. Here are some shooting modes available below

  • Audio
  • Beautify
  • Straighten
  • Manual Mode (White balance and ISO Adjustments – up to 1600)
  • HHT (night shots)
  • Scene Mode
  • Panorama
  • HDR (Auto mode available)

Video mode:

  • Time lapse
  • Slow Motion (works only on 720p HD)
  • 1080p Video Recording

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Camera Performance

The camera performance is actually quite impressive in absolute good lighting, there is no oversaturation of the colors and overexposure. On the other hand, low light shots is also above average in terms of quality but still suffers from noise, but can be mediated easily by the Dual Tone Dual LED Flash.

Does Stereoscopic mode work on good lighting?

Yes most of the time, especially on good lighting, it works perfectly. Also when images are close by, you can easily isolate what you want to focus or blurred. Take for example the shots below. Above is the background focused and below is the background focused. (more samples on the video review)

xiaomi-redmi-pro-pic-5

Does stereoscopic shots work on Low light?

On dramatic sequences like with lights, the stereoscopic mode works best, take for example this lamp light below. Above is the lamp light focused and below is with the background focused. (more samples on the video review)

xiaomi-redmi-pro-pic-6

Good Video Mode Performance

Even with the lack of OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), the video recording on 1080p HD is very good. There is no delay on focusing and the lens adjusts immediately to changes in lighting.  The contrast and color vividness are  good and even with low light areas, it still takes good videos. (Video Sample on the Video Review).

Does Stereoscopic Mode works on video mode?

Yes, works as it is in Photo mode, you can easily adjust which part to be focused or blurred which is actually fun and interesting, I did have fun tinkering with this part, a feature which I could only do effectively with my DSLR Camera. However, it isn’t perfect, you do have to adjust the angle and the distance, if you are too far away, it doesn’t focus perfectly and the video or photo look weird. Anyway, the feature is great

Front Camera, not as good as the main

The Front Camera is clearly not as good as the Main Cameras, it can only shoot 480p video recording and the pixels are not

Gorgeous OLED Display

The 5.5 inch IPS OLED 1080p Display is also one of the best highlights of the Xiaomi Redmi Pro. I can say that it is far more superior when compared to an ordinary IPS Display. The Colors are more vivid and more pronounced, the pixels are also much higher an even on direct light, it is still very much usable. Touch sensitivity is also accurate and there are no issues with delayed response.

xiaomi-redmi-pro-pic-2

PROS of the Xiaomi Redmi Pro Part 1 (Camera Performance)

  • Premium build and Quality of materials
  • Overall Good Camera Features (depth of field adjustments works most of the time)
  • Impressive quality shots on good lighting
  • Fast Shutter speed and focus time (PDAF)
  • Improved UI on MIUI 8.0 update (especially on stereoscopic mode)

CONS:

  • Average Front Camera (480p only)
  • No 4K Video Mode

Your very own mini DSLR Bokeh

After using the camera extensively just for this review, all i can say is that I am impress with it. Although it might not be on par with some high end DSLR in the Market. Stereoscopic mode is a fun feature. You can easily blur out the background or focus on a specific image whenever you want. The camera sensor also works great on low light situations and the image quality is actually quite impressive on absolute good lighting. My only complaint of the phone is that it comes with Chinese ROM and TD-LTE (as for my model and version), which is also the reason why I broke this review into two parts. Anyway, not only the camera, but also the OLED display is also one of the best feature, it is an absolute beauty and compared to ordinary standard screens. (please refer to the full review above)

Part 2 of the review will focus on (coming up)

  • MIUI 8.0 Android 6.0 Marshmallow (International ROM – if already available)
  • Focus on Gaming with new International ROM

Xiaomi Redmi Pro Review Part 2

This is Part 2 of my review of the Xiaomi Redmi Pro (October 10, 2016). The Review above focused on several key areas

  • Benchmarks
  • Gaming
  • OS (which includes features)
  • Connectivity
  • Battery Life

Beginning with Benchmarks

The Mediatek Helio X25 performs well and is consistent as a Mid-tier Chip, here are the results below

  • PCMark Work Experience: 5193
  • Geekbench: Singlecore (1738) and Multicore (2900)
  • Antutu Benchmarks: 80016
  • PC Mark Storage Score: 2487

The GPU (Mali-T880), from the scores below is also capable of running 3D games without any issues.

  • Geekbench: 2549
  • 3DMark Ice Storm: Max Out
  • 3DMark Extreme: 9558
  • 3DMark Unlimited: 15073
  • 3DMark Slingshot 3.0 (1109)
  • 3DMark Slingshot 3.1 (897)

PCMark’s Battery Life Test: 9 hours 27 minutes (with 20% battery life left)

On gaming, I tested it with 3D intensive titles such as Mortal Combat X, Modern Combat 5 and Asphalt 8. All of these games ran with no noticeable lag and slowdowns. And thus, you would expect similar games to run fine without any issues.

MIUI 8.0 but Chinese ROM

The Xiaomi Redmi Pro runs MIUI 8.0, a heavily customized version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The ROM however is in Chinese, so expect a lot of bloatwares preinstalled as well as the lack of playstore. I did manage to install playstore manually. The file is available below

There are quite a few changes made from the MIUI 7.5 and here it is below.

  • Notification window format has changed. Swiping left or right to enable or disable functions such as WiFi, Auto Rotate. Whilst it does make it look more clean, it can be time consuming trying to scroll through it.
  • Dual APPS, basically allows you to have 2 separate accounts on every app, it is just like having 2 phones in one.
  • Second Space (a feature which allows you to make a separate partition), a storage space where you can place your files
  • Wallpaper Carousel, cycles and even adds new Wallpapers, so you have unique or new Wallpapers each time you wake the phone

There are also not so new features available

  • One Hand Mode
  • Quick Ball (similar to Assistive touch)

Gorgeous OLED Display

The 5.5 inch IPS OLED 1080p Display is clearly one of the best. The colors are vibrant, vivid and the contrast are deep and even in direct sunlight, the phone is still very much usable.

Great Audio Quality

The loudspeakers are surprisingly good, the volume is high, the sound is crisp and you can clearly hear the bass. The 3.5 mm Audio Port with Headphones plug in doesn’t have any annoying static interference. The sound also is clear and audio quality is quite good. You also have Mi Enhancers that allows you to customize equalizer options.

All around Connectivity with a catch

The WiFi performance is very strong, stable connections and so far, I did not experience any issues. It supports Dual Band WiFi 2.4/5GHz. Unfortunately, my version came with TDD-LTE which means, I cannot use VOLTE 4G features. However 3G or HSDPA+ Works just fine with good speeds.

Front Fingerprint Scanner (10/10) but cannot wake

My self rating with the Fingerprint Scanner is an excellent 10/10. It is fast, accurate and even with damped fingers, it will still accurately recognize. Setting it up is easy and can add up to 5 different profiles. However, there is also a catch here, you can’t wake the phone just by taping the fingerprint, you need to either press the power button or tap and wake the screen. Unlike for example, the Xiaomi Mi Max, which you can immediately wake and unlock the phone just by the Fingerprint Scanner.

Excluding the camera performance, here are the pros and cons

SpecsXiaomi Redmi Pro
ChipsetBase Version: Mediatek MT6797 Helio X20 Deca Core
Advance Version: Mediatek MT6797 Helio X25 Deca Core
GPU: Mali-T880 (850MHz)
MemoryRAM: 3/4 GB LPDDR3
ROM: 32/64/128 GB eMMC
Expansion: Supports up to 128 GB MicroSD (Sim 2)
OSMIUI UI (based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow)
Display5.5" IPS OLED 2.5D Arc Glass, Scratch Resistant
1920 x 1080 pixels, 342 ppi, 100% NTSC color gamut
Main CameraDual: 13 mp Sony IMX 258 Sensor (captures still images) DSLR Quality, PDAF, Dual LED Dual Tone Flash
5.0 mp Samsung Sensor (captures depth information) - Stereoscopic mode
Front Camera5.0 mp wide angle
FeaturesFront Fingerprint ID, FM Radio
NetworkHybrid Dual SIM (Micro + Nano), Dual Standby
2G: GSM 900/1800/1900MHz
3G: WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100MHz
4G: FDD-LTE 850/900/1800/2100/2600MHz
Data: VoLTE
ConnectivityBluetooth 4.2
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Dual Band WiFi 2.4/5GHz
USB Type C
SensorsGravity, Proximity, Light, E-Compass, Hall, Fingerprint
GPSGPS/A-GPS/GLONASS
IO2x SIM Card Slot
1x 3.5mm Audio Port
1x USB Type C
Dimensions151.5 x 76.2 x 8.2 mm
Weight: 177g
Batterybuilt-in 4050mAh (Supports Quick Charging)

PROS

  • The Performance is quite stable, fast and gaming is overall buttery smooth (Mediatek Helio X25 and Mali-T880)
  • The phone can easily handle multitasking
  • There are plenty of features added on MIUI 8.0 (Dual Apps, Second Space etc…)
  • Best screens available (OLED 1080p with Antiscratch protection)
  • The Fingerprint Scanner is fast and accurate
  • Supports Hybrid Dual SIM (2nd sim slot supports MicroSD)
  • Fast WiFi, Supports Dual Band 2.4/5GHz
  • 9 hours and 27 minutes screen time (great battery life)
  • Premium build (Brush Aluminum Finish)
  • USB Type C with fast charging support

CONS:

  • Came with Chinese ROM (bloatwares and lack of Playstore) – International ROMS now available
  • TDD-LTE version (at least for my version, I cannot test 4G LTE)

Availability? (June 13)

Xiaomi Redmi Pro (3+32gb Helio x25) retails at $257 – Buy here

OTHER LINKS

Xiaomi Redmi Pro retails at $199 (price until July 10)

You may be interested: Smartphone Deals

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