After launching the Redmi 5A in December 2017, Xiaomi went silent for almost two and half months with no new launches. It finally unveiled the Redmi Note 5 series along with feature-rich smart LED Mi TV 4 series in mid-February 2018.
The new Redmi Note 5 series has big shoes to fill as its predecessor, Redmi Note 4 has set a huge target for it. Redmi Note 4 holds the record of being the company's bestselling phone and was also India's most bought handset in 2017. For those unaware, Xiaomi sold more than 5 million Redmi Note 4 [REVIEW] units.
The Redmi Note 5 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.
International Business Times India Edition received the Redmi Note 5 (4GB RAM+64GB storage) review unit and I have been using it for an over a week now. Here's my take on the Redmi Note 4 successor.
Design and Display:
The most obvious difference between the Redmi Note 5 and the predecessor is its front-panel. It features new industry standard 18:9 aspect ratio, also a first in the Redmi series. Though it continues to have thick bezels at the top and the bottom side, the Redmi Note 5 design looks visually appealing and is one of the best-looking phones in the market.
Even the screen is vibrant and bright. I played high-resolution videos and games and had a delightful viewing experience. Another noteworthy aspect of the device is its night mode, which offers blue light filter option. It hardly strained my eyes while reading texts in my bed.
Even in the bright sunny conditions, the screen clarity is praiseworthy. The words in text messages, videos, and other contents were visible.
However, on the back side, the Redmi Note 5 is hardly different from the Redmi Note 4. It has the almost same candy-bar design with curved corners and plastic-based caps on top and the bottom to house antennas. The metal shell in the middle and the polycarbonate caps on the top and the bottom blend seamlessly on the back and exude premium feel, which is hard to beat for rivals in the mid-range phone segment.
The new Redmi Note 5 runs on Android Nougat-based MIUI 9 series OS backed 2.0GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core backed by 3GB/4GB RAM and 32GB/64GB storage, same as that of the Redmi Note 4 series.
Having said that, the Redmi Note 5 does its job pretty good compared to other rivals in the mid-range, be it faster app loading, the swift response in terms of switching between multiple apps and while playing games, there is hardly any lag.
There are no complaints in terms of Redmi Note 5's performance other than the fact that it has no processor upgrade over its predecessor.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 houses 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.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 takes stunning pictures in bright light conditions on par with popular rival brands in the mid-range segment. But, what took me by surprise is the low-light photos. It took really good snaps with a near-true color of the subject with less noise and the autofocus is commendable. It is one of the most feature-rich cameras for a mid-range phone released this year.
As far as the front camera is concerned, we have no complaints. It takes decent pictures for a phone in the sub Rs-13,000 price range. [Check out the sample pictures below]
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 features 4,000mAh cell. The battery life testing is very subjective, as it depends on the usage pattern of the user.
During the testing, I did all the routine activities people usually do on smartphone such as the internet browsing, checking updates on social media sites, playing games (for around 15 minutes), watching two TV series episodes of 30 minutes each on Amazon Prime Video app (with streaming quality set to 'Good', which consumes 0.2GB data per hour) and checking live cricket scores on sports app and other stuff, before retiring to my bed around 10 pm. Despite that, the Redmi Note 5 had a little over 20% juice left. That's a great feat for a phone in the mid-range segment.
Rest assured, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 will last a full day under mixed usage (like activities mentioned above). If the phone is used little conservatively, it will last a day and a half.
We are not sure if the generic Redmi Note 5 will be able to outsell its predecessor with very little change in design (back-side) and no upgrade in processor series. Xiaomi will have a hard time convincing tech-savvy consumers, particularly the Redmi Note 4 owners to spend money on the moderately upgraded new model. But I would suggest them to go for the Redmi Note 5 Pro, the true successor of Redmi Note 4.
Nevertheless, Redmi Note 5 is a good phone for anybody looking to buy their first smartphone. It offers a good balance of features and pocket-friendly price-tag.
- Really good build quality
- Cost-effective price
- Decent camera
- Long lasting battery
- No CPU upgrade over the Redmi Note 4
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|