Snapdragon 625 is aging but its a good choice at 189 USD. Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 gives you good battery consumption with balanced performance. You can watch the videos comfortably on this phablet with a new wider screen. The smartphone comes with good cameras. The TechSeer will give it an 8.3 out of a solid 10.
- Hardware & Performance
- Battery Life
- Value for Money
Xiaomi is one of the top Chinese brands that has successfully established its name and symbol in the Indian market. Xiaomi’s competitive edge here is the pricing and they keep putting on new phones in the market to get more market share like Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite (Review). At about 179 EUR, 239 AUD or 189 USD, you can purchase their latest Redmi Note series “Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (Redmi 5 Plus)”.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (Redmi 5 Plus) Review
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, also known as Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus may not be one of the best smartphones out there but it sure is one of the topmost budgeted smartphones that came out in 2018. It can easily beat the new Nokia 5.1 (Review) and Moto G6 (Review). The company is launching multiple smartphones every year which confuses most of its consumers but this Redmi Note series is the one which has the most sells.
- Above average performance
- Excellent battery life
- Good cameras overall
- Old chipset
- No stock Android
- Limited availability
Specs on Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus
- Body: Metal unibody, 2.5D glass front
- Screen: 5.99″ IPS LCD, 1080p (403ppi); Gorilla Glass (undisclosed version)
- Chipset: Snapdragon 625, 8x Cortex-A53@2.0GHz, Adreno 506
- Memory: 3/4GB RAM + 32/64GB storage, Hybrid microSD slot
- Camera: 12MP, f/2.2, PDAF, 2160p video @ 30fps
- Selfie cam: 5 MP, 1080p video @ 30fps
- OS: Android 7.1.2 Nougat, MIUI 9 on top
- Battery: 4,000mAh (non-removable)
- Connectivity: Hybrid Dual Nano-SIM (hybrid microSD slot); LTE Cat4 150/50 Mbps support; Wi-Fi g/b/n; Bluetooth 4.1; GPS with GLONASS; FM radio; 3.5mm audio jack; microUSB port
- Misc: Fingerprint reader
It seems Xiaomi didn’t make itself quite a favor last year with the Helio-powered Redmi Note 4. An all-metal unibody and diamond-cut antenna ducts looked cool. Maybe even too cool for the global Snapdragon-powered version, which felt almost like a downgrade when it was released. Both of them pretty much reused the Redmi Note 3 design and that wasn’t such a bad thing back then. However, recycling it yet again for the Redmi 5 Plus is too much perhaps.
Xiaomi has redesigned its display and body compared to last year model Redmi Note 4. The screen is bigger and capacitive keys are gone but there is still 2.5D effect on the front glass not very prominent though.
Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus is part metal and part plastic and there is a hybrid slot on the left to use for microSD or a second sim. 3.5mm headphone jack is still available on the top and you will find a single speaker and mic on the bottom.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 features a 6-inch display of (1,080 x 2,160p) resolution. The smartphone comes with a tall screen and has adopted the 18:9 wide aspect ratio with 403ppi. Graphics look sharp enough with 1000:1 contrast ratio. The brightness can go up to 550 nits compared to 1000 nits on LG G7 ThinQ (Review).
You can achieve this 550 nits at the cost of contrast which is excellent at 1431:1 with good black and deep black levels. Sunlight readability is pretty okay. The gray and whites have bluish tint which is very common but other than that good color accuracy.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 is packed with 4000mAh battery which will give you around one day on normal use. You can charge the battery from 0 to 30% in 30 minutes. Around 12 hours on full browsing use, 22 hours on 3G calls and 14 hours on video playback. Currently, it does not offer any fast charging option like Xiaomi Mi A2 (Review).
You will get Android Nougat underneath MiUi. The software is good for the Asian market but not very popular in the western world. It has been criticized a lot in the past. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 will get the Android One upgrade soon.
The software comes with a lot of pre-installed apps which you need to delete if you want a clean OS. You will have various customized options like better RAM management and doze mode
MiUi 9 supports multi-window, smart app launcher, smart search, smart assistance and Split screen mode. There are a lot of widgets and shortcuts on the go but the bottom line is, it is not stock Android so you might have to face various bugs from time to time.
The security app in the OS is pretty useful. You can avoid malware, manage block list and limit data usage. You can check the battery behavior from the app and know which app is taking more battery.
Hardware and performance
Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus boasts a Snapdragon 625 SoC which is a famous chipset for 2017 mid-ranger phones. It has an octa-core Cortex-A53 processor with Andreno 506 graphics. You can choose from 3GB or 4GB of RAM and internal storage of 32GB or 64GB.
We have this chipset and processor on multiple devices and the results were the same as expected. The processor is capable enough to handle multi-tasking and we found minimal lags during our PUBG Mobile (Review) gameplay. Andreno 506 can play 1080p games but it could have been better with Andreno 508 (30% faster).
The battery does not drain that fast compared to Huawei Nova 3 (Review) which uses Hisilicon Kirin 970 and Mali-G72 MP12. The performance is not faster but you the point is your battery will last longer and you will face minimal heat.
The speaker on the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus has excellent speakers, the same which we found on Xiaomi Mi Max 2. Rich and crisp sound overall with excellent bass almost comparable to Razer Phone (Review).
The Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus features a 12MP camera with 26mm f/2.2 lens and 1.25µm big pixels. There is a dual tone flash setup and Phase-detection autofocus. 17 filters with different shooting modes such as Panorama and Timer. There are no AI featured cameras on the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus which is being featured in the new coming models such as Xiaomi Mi 8 SE (Review).
The sharp and detailed image even with f/2.2 lens is pretty amazing. We liked the contrast but it could have been better. Colors are more warm than fresh.
The lack of stabilization or no OIS is a major con but the picture details are great.
The 5MP front-facing camera is okay enough for selfies but don’t expect much from it. You will find a good dynamic range with high contrast and above average color accuracy on the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus cameras.
You can record video of up to 2160p@30fps and 1080p@30fps. 720p@120fps is available for slow motions. Again the dynamic range on the videos is good with nice contrast but get ready to lose some stability during 4K videos making. Background sound clarity is a bit annoying during videos.
A wider screen, above average performance, and excellent battery life is a win-win for Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 at a cost only 179 EUR which comes out to be around 189 US dollars.
Snapdragon 625 is aging but its a good choice at this price. It gives you good battery consumption with balanced performance. You can watch the videos comfortably on its new wider screen. Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus is more of a phablet than mobile with good cameras.
There is no Android One on Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 but we are hoping for it soon. You may not like the custom MiUi underneath Android Nougat. The TechSeer will give it an 8.3 out of a solid 10.