Just last week we ran an article saying that the Xiaomi Redmi 1S would likely be released in the coming weeks, priced at just Rs.6,999 ($115), which was an astounding price for the hardware that the Redmi 1S packs inside. Thanks to an event in Delhi that saw bloggers meet both the Hugo Barra and the Redmi 1S, we now know that the handset will not be sold for Rs.6,999. It will instead be sold for just Rs.5,999 ($99) from FlipKart. It was already a bargain before, but now? Now it's almost a no-brainer.
Here's a recap on the specifications of the Redmi 1S. Unlike many other budget phones, its powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 Quad-Core CPU clocked at 1.6GHz, with 1GB of RAM on multi-tasking duty and the Adreno 305 GPU providing the grunt for the graphics. For a budget phone, that's a lot of power. A 4.7-inch IPS display with a 312ppi is present, with a more than useful resolution of 1280 x 720. There is 8GB of internal storage, with the option of increasing this by 64GB via the Micro-SD card slot that's provided. On to the cameras, and here Xiaomi have managed to squeeze in a 1.6MP front-facing camera, with an 8MP camera with LED flash on the rear that is capable of 1080p HD video recording. A 2000mAh battery provides the juice for the Redmi 1S, it's not the biggest battery we've ever seen in a phone, but considering the specs, users should easily manage to get a days normal use out of it.
The Redmi 1S is compatible with the following network bands: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz and WCDMA 900/2100 MHz with Dual-SIM capability. LTE is not supported, and while that may disappoint some people, many won't care at this price point. The Redmi 1S weighs in at 158 grams with dimensions of 137 x 69 x 9.9mm.
Software-wise, the Redmi 1S runs Miui 5 that is based on Android version 4.3 Jelly Bean, at present there aren't any details as to when it will be updated to the latest version Miui 6 that was released on August 16. One thing that you may have picked up on is that the Redmi 1S has capacitative buttons present below the display, consisting of Menu, Home and Back. It may not please fans of on-screen buttons, but they probably aren't the demographic that the Redmi 1S is aimed at.
The handset will be offered in grey, although you can spruce it up by buying one of the bright and colourful rear panels( see gallery below) for just Rs.469 ($7.75), silica covers and flip-covers can be purchased for Rs.359 ($5.93) and Rs.559 ($9.24) respectively. If you need to protect the display of the Redmi 1S, you can always buy the official screen-protector for just Rs.179 ($2.96).
Going by the bargain-bucket pricing and the impressive level of level of hardware it packs, the Redmi 1S would appear to be going head-to-head with Google's Android One initiative, the first handset of which is possibly launching in the next couple of weeks. As it is, Xiaomi have fired the first shots of what should be an intriguing battle for India's budget smart phone market, a battle that can only be good for the consumers.
The Redmi 1S will be available to purchase from FlipKart on September 2, although you should probably register your details first from 6pm, August 26th to make sure you get a slot. Again, the price of Rs.5,999 ($99) is simply amazing, and provided Xiaomi have enough stock lined up, this handset should sell like hot-cakes.
If you are in the market for a budget smartphone, will you choose the Redmi 1S or wait to see what Google's Android One handsets bring to the table? As always, let us know in the comments or at our Google Plus page.