Landing itself aggressively into the budget range category, the Redmi 1s has barely any competition from devices priced at a similar range. It has everything that appeals to the masses at this price point, and the design too is decent, if we have to use a word to describe it. There is nothing special in the way Xiaomi designed the Redmi 1s, but there is nothing bad either.
For the Indian customers, for now there is only the Gray color variant available, and it doesn’t look the best, especially when compared to the light color options available in Xiaomi Mi3. Nevertheless, we aren’t comparing much here, and the Redmi 1s is one of the good large screen (4.7-inch) Android devices available at a budget price point.
On the front, there is a large 4.7 inch display, and the phone looks bigger than any other phone with the same screen size, because there are wide bezels on the either side of it and even above and below the display, Xiaomi has wasted some space. Below the screen, there are the three capacitive touch buttons, and above the display you can see the front camera and earpiece touching the edge. There is a little LED notification light touching the bottom home button.
On the sides, there are no slots for the SIM or MicroSD cards, because the back cover is removable. The physical buttons for power and volume controls are located on the right side, while a microphone and MicroUSB slot are in the bottom, and there’s a 3.5mm headset jack on the top.
The rear side of the Xiaomi Redmi 1s has a secondary mic, 8-megapixel camera and LED flash one below the other in the center top area, while a speaker is placed on the right of the camera near the corner. Nothing else is seen on the back except for the Mi branding, whose silver color shines over the gray color surrounding it.
The back cover has the physical buttons on itself, thus once you remove it, pressing of the volume rocker and power key is limited, unless you try to press at those particular places having a little bulge. Under the back cover, a removable 2050 mAh battery is seen, below the horizontal line of slots for MicroSD card and the two SIM cards.
Overall, although the phone is comfortable enough to hold with the curvy sides, Xiaomi has made this phone unnecessarily large by wasting space around the display, and the thickness is no less as the phone is 9.9mm thick. The plastic back is smooth and thus, it could slip if not held the right way, the same issue we had with the Xiaomi Mi 3. Also, isn’t the device heavy? it certainly is, with the weight of 158 grams.