After weeks of speculations, Xiaomi has finally pulled the wraps off the Redmi Note 5 series in India on February 14. It has a big task at hand -- to replicate the success of the company's bestselling phone to date, the Redmi Note 4.
The new phone comes in two variants—one generic Redmi Note 5 and the top-end Redmi Note 5 Pro—with prices starting at Rs 9,999 and Rs 13,999, respectively.
Will the new Redmi Note 5 create a similar frenzy like the Redmi Note 4, which sold over 9.6 million units in India alone? IBTimes, India was present at the launch event and spent a quality time at the Redmi Note 5 series demo booth. Here's our take.
Design and display:
The new Redmi Note 5 and the 5 Pro look identical from the front side. They look absolutely stunning with the 5.99-inch full HD+ (2160x1080p) FullView screen having 18:9 aspect ratio. We played some sample HD videos on the screen, it offered immersive cinematic viewing experience.
On the back, the Redmi Note 5 looks almost same as the Redmi Note 4, due to camera and fingerprint sensor position, if you looked at it from a distance. But up close, the design change is quite visible. The new model is curvier and high-grade metal shell, exuding an air of premium when held in hand.
As far as the Redmi Note 5 Pro is concerned, it has borrowed the design from the iPhone X (pronounced 10). The vertically aligned dual-camera is strikingly identical to an Apple device, but it just can't fool anyone as the fingerprint sensor gives away the clue. But, the Redmi Note 5 Pro's build quality is impressive for a mid-range phone.
Processor, RAM and storage:
The top-end Redmi Note 5 Pro houses Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 octa-core backed by 4GB/6GB RAM and 64 GB storage.
On the other hand, the Redmi Note 5 features Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core, 3GB/4GB RAM and 32GB/ 64GB storage.
Both the devices were swift in response in terms of app loading, switching between multiple apps and camera launching. But this ease in performance could be found in any new models, as they are fresh out of the packets.
For Android phones, the lag in loading and switching between apps usually begin to show up after months of usage. We will be doing the long-term review on these phones and share our thoughts on a later date.
The Redmi Note 5 Pro comes with two cameras, a primary 12MP shooter with Sony IMX486, 1,25µm pixel size, f/2.2 aperture, PDAF (Phase Detection Auto Focus) and a 5MP secondary snapper with Samsung sensor, 1.12µm, f/2.0 aperture. They are assisted by dual-tone LED flash in low-light condition.
On the front, it features a 20MP with Sony IMX376 sensor, f/2.2 aperture, full HD (1080p) and LED flash.
During the short time, we spent with the Redmi Note 5, the camera truly looked promising. It produced stunning images in the demo zone.The picture quality is on par with upper mid-range phones (around Rs 20,000 and Rs. 35,000).
Even the front-camera too produced good quality images. But, we will reserve the final verdict until we test it under various lighting conditions.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 comes packed with a 12MP rear-side camera dual-tone LED flash, 1.25µm pixel size, f/2.2 aperture, PDAF (Phase Detection Auto Focus). On the front, it features a 5MP camera with f/2.0 aperture and LED flash.
Since the photos were taken at an indoor exhibition, we couldn't fully test the camera capabilities in bright sunny condition. We will be getting the units soon and will post the full review in coming weeks.
Both the Redmi Note 5 variants feature 4,000mAh cell and battery life depends on the usage pattern of the user. Going by the reviews we have done on devices running similar capacity battery (including the Redmi Note 4), the new phones can easily last a full day under mixed usage and if used little conservatively, it will run for an additional half day.
We will be able to fully assess the Redmi Note 5 battery life only after conducting tests including voice-calls, video calls, internet surfing, social media messenger readings, among other stuffs we do regularly.
We are not sure if the generic Redmi Note 5 would receive Redmi Note 4-like response, but the Redmi Note 5 Pro has the potential to match the 2017 model's popularity. It has got Qualcomm's new beast Snapdragon 636 in its belly, which can deliver flagship phone-like performance and will be assisted by 6GB RAM and 64GB storage. It also has a full-day battery and most importantly, the primary dual-camera (12MP+5MP) and even the front 20PM shooter looks promising.
So, if we were to bet, the Redmi Note 5 Pro, has everything, the unbeatable specs and cost-effective price-tag, to beat the Redmi Note 4's 9.6 million mark and much faster.
Both the devices will be available on Flipkart, Mi Home and Mi.com e-store from February 22 onwards [price-list below].
Key specifications of Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro and Redmi Note 5:
|Models||Redmi Note 5||Redmi Note 5 Pro|
|Display||5.99-inch full HD+ (2160x1080p) screen with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection and 2.5D curved glass
||5.99-inch full HD+ (2160x1080p) screen with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection and 2.5D curved glass
|OS||Android v7.1.2 Nougat-based MIUI 9||Android v7.1.2 Nougat-based MIUI 9|
|Processor||14nm 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core||14nm 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 octa-core|
|GPU||Adreno 506||Adreno 512|
|RAM + storage configuration||
(Note: Storage expandable up to 128GB)
(Note: Storage expandable up to 128GB)
|Add-ons||Fingerprint sensor, hybrid dual-SIM (nano+nano or microSD), Infrared sensor, Bluetooth v4.2, Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n; dual-band: 2.4GHz+5GHz), GPS/GLONASS, 3.5 mm audio jack||Fingerprint sensor, Face unlock (coming before March-end), hybrid dual-SIM (nano+nano or microSD), Infrared sensor, Bluetooth v5.0, Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n; dual-band: 2.4GHz+5GHz), GPS/GLONASS, 3.5 mm audio jack|
|Dimensions||158.5 x 75.45 x 8.05 mm||158.6 x 75.45 x 8.05 mm|
|Colors||Black, Gold, Lake Blue and Rose Gold||Black, Gold, Lake Blue and Rose Gold|