Xiaomi Redmi 5
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About the Phone
- It has a solid build quality and design, suitable for comfortable one-hand usage.
- It features a tall 5.7 inch HD + display.
- The battery backup is impressive.
- MIUI 9.1 is feature-rich and highly customizable.
- The Fingerprint Sensor is fast and accurate.
- The overall performance is commendable.
- It offers great value-for-money.
- The screen resolution is insufficient for the 5.7-inch display.
- It does not have fast charging support.
- It does not have NFC.
- It runs on a dated Android version (Nougat).
Despite the few shortcomings, the Redmi 5 appears to be a reliable daily driver with an affordable price tag. For those who are constrained by a limited budget, the Redmi 5 is an excellent option. However, if you can manage to shell out a little extra, it’s better to go for the Redmi Note series.
Launched in 2018, closely after Xiaomi released the Redmi Note 5, Redmi 5 features a sleek and stylish design. It has a 5.7-inch IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 720 x 1440 pixels and an aspect ratio of 18:9. The device is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor clocked at 1.8GHz. It runs on Android v7.1.2 (Nougat) with MIUI 9.1 skin on top.
It has three storage variants – 2GB RAM/16GB internal storage, 3GB RAM/32GB internal storage, and 4GB RAM/64GB internal storage. The phone has a 3300mAh battery. As for cameras, the Redmi 5 features a 12MP rear camera and a 5MP selfie camera on the front. It has sensors such as Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Accelerometer, and Gyroscope.
Redmi 5 is available in four colour options – Black, Lake Blue, Gold, and Rose Gold. In India, the price of the Redmi 5 starts from Rs. 7,999. The cost of the 3GB RAM/32GB internal storage variant is Rs. 8,999, and that of the 4GB RAM/64GB internal storage variant is Rs. 9,999.
At first glance, the Redmi 5 looks just like the Redmi Note 5. The design of Redmi 5 is sleek and classy. The front display gets an edge-to-edge 2.5D curved glass screen that meets the metal unibody panel seamlessly. The rounded corners and the matte finish back panel impart a neat and classy look to the phone. Also, the size is perfect for comfortable one-handed usage.
Thanks to the matte finish, the back panel does not catch fingerprints easily. On the rear, in the top middle portion rests the camera module, slightly protruding by 1mm. The LED flash lies just below it and further below, is the Fingerprint Sensor. Since the phone isn’t exceptionally tall, the placement of the Fingerprint Sensor feels perfectly convenient. The right side of the body houses the power and volume buttons, whereas, on the left lies the dual-SIM tray. Sadly, there’s no dedicated microSD card slot here.
At the top portion of the frame, you will find a 3.5mm headphone jack, a secondary mic, and an infrared emitter that allows you to control household appliances. Instead of a micro USB port, the Redmi 5 gets a USB Type-C port at the bottom, placed in between two speaker grilles on each side.
Overall, the build quality, the finish, and size are pretty impressive for an entry-level smartphone.
With the Redmi 5, Xiaomi has opted for a taller screen with an 18:9 aspect ratio. The 5.7-inch HD+ display is big, but not without bezels. While the bezels are very thin on the sides, they become considerably thick at the top and bottom parts. While the pixel resolution is not enough for a screen as big, it does come with hardware level technology that is built to control and adjust the contrast quotient of each pixel in real time. As a result, you get a glare-free outdoor visibility experience. The display is crisp and vibrant, with various setting options to tweak the screen contrast and colour according to your preference.
There’s also a Reading mode that minimizes blue light emission from the screen, thereby reducing eye strain.
The Redmi 5 incorporates a 14 nm Snapdragon 450 SoC paired with an Adreno 506 GPU for enhanced graphical performance. Thanks to the processor, the phone can handle routine tasks very well. You will not face any hiccups whatsoever while navigating between apps and even while multitasking. Furthermore, the Adreno 506 GPU not only optimizes the battery and graphical performance but also ensures that the UI runs seamlessly at all times. As far as gaming is concerned, the overall experience is pleasant. Even graphics-intensive games like Asphalt 8 Xtreme, PUBG, Real Racing 3, etc., run smoothly without showing any noticeable frame rate drops. However, you might have to adjust the settings from high to medium.
Coming to MIUI 9.1, although it is not the best or the latest Android versions available right now, it is not disappointing either. For an entry-level segment phone, it is heavily loaded with many useful features that make the user experience easy and enjoyable. Also, it is relatively much more polished and fine-tuned compared to other UI custom skins, so there’s not much to complain about here.
The phone features a 12MP rear camera ( f/2.2 aperture) with PDAF support and an LED flash. On the front, there is a 5MP shooter paired with an LED illuminator.
While the cameras are decent, they are not the best. The camera is a little slow to lock focus and capture detailed images. So, if you don’t have a steady hand, the chances are that the photos will come out as shaky and out of focus. With a steady hand, you can take some good shots, however, the performance tends to get inconsistent. Even in daylight, sometimes the captured images look grainy, with rough corners. It is unable to capture details accurately. As for the night time or low-light settings, the captured images look blurry and lack detail. Since the Autofocus feature is also slow, closeup shots get mostly blurry. The rear camera can record videos in Full HD.
The 5MP selfie camera at front performs decently at best. Daylight shots look good with a fair share of detail. However, despite the LED illuminator, images taken in low light conditions fail to capture enough detail. There’s a significant amount of noise as well. There is a “Smart Beautification” feature by default for selfies that make the photos look artificial and over-processed.
The phone runs on a 3,300mAh non-removable battery. The battery can pull-through a full day on a single charge provided you use it for light everyday tasks like calling, texting, browsing, etc. On the contrary, if you are into extensive gaming, the battery will drop faster than usual. Thanks to the optimized combination of hardware, the battery delivers decent performance and backup.
It includes all the essential connectivity options like Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v4.2, Wi-Fi Direct, Mobile Hotspot, GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS, dual-SIM, USB Type C port, FM Radio, and 2G/3G/4G support.
To sum up, Redmi 5 packs in amazing features that make it a bang for the buck. With a big display, a robust processor, a reliable battery backup, the phone makes for a good buy. The only problem is its pricing. At 8k, you get the 2GB variant which is very limited. You have to go higher up the price scale to get the extra storage space. And if you are in fact, willing to spend more money, you can go for the Redmi Note 5.