Xiaomi Redmi 5 Hands on Unboxing Honest Review Pros and Cons
When i was told that device from Xiaomi were fast i thought it was all small talks till i got one for myself and found out it was all true. Xiaomi was one of the best sellers in the mobile world last year 2017 and Xiaomi is planning to replicate the success in 2018 with the latest Xiaomi Redmi 5 series smartphones. Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro were launched in Feburary and can be gotten on online stores worldwide.
Redmi 5 is the successor of Redmi 4 which was launched earlier in december 2017. Redmi 5 is a budget device like Redmi 4 and is priced below 55,000 naira in Nigeria and Rs.10000 in India. So what’s with the Redmi 5? Let’s take a look at the unit i got for myself.
Redmi 5 Specifications & Features
|Display||5.7 inch IPS LCD, 720x1440px,|
|Processor & GPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 | Adreno 506|
|OS & RAM||Android v7.1.2 | 2GB or 3GB RAM|
|Storage||16 or 32GB | Expandable up to 128GB|
|Primary Camera||12MP, f/2.2, PDAF, LED Flash|
|Battery||Li-Po 3,300 mAh non-removable battery|
Design Display and Build Quality
On unwrapping the DHL package from Jumia Global is a Red box with a Chinese inscription of the Redmi 5 with a bold 5 on top well packaged and firm . On seeing the Redmi 5 the major difference with that of the Redmi 4 is the Redmi 5 has a large 5.7-inch display on the front. The display is of 18:9 aspect ratio with HD Plus resolution. Bezel-less displays have been a trend this year and it’s great to see Xiaomi bringing it to the budget segment. The display looks beautiful and gives a premium feel to the device.
The resolution is only HD+ so it is not that sharp like it is on the Plus version but considering the price point, we think it is fine. The display size has gone up from 5 inches to 5.7 inches but the overall size of the device has just increased by 10mm so users should not worry about the size.
Another major visible change is the lack of backlit buttons on the bottom. Xiaomi has moved to on-screen buttons to reduce the bezel size. Xiaomi has followed the metal unibody design approach in Redmi 5 as well and the build of the device is solid. The back of Redmi 5 is curved a bit which makes it easy to hold. There is a 2.5D glass on the display as well but we don’t know whether it gorilla glass or not. Overall, the device looks really nice.
Now let’s talk about cameras on the Redmi 5. There is a single 12MP sensor on the back of the phone with 1.25-micron pixels, f/2.2 aperture, PDAF, and LED flash. Xiaomi has not gone with a dual camera setup so you can’t take portrait mode pictures with it but well i have heard you could with custom roms i trust the Indians on that. The back camera performs well in daylight outdoor conditions.
The pictures are sharp and vibrant and not over exposed or over saturated like most Mtk budget smartphone we see this days that goes after color. The camera performance indoors in low light conditions is pretty average. On the front, there is a 5MP camera with a LED flash. The front camera can take decent selfies and the front flash helps under low light conditions. Overall, the camera performance is decent for the price range i was pretty stunned.
Under the hood the Redmi 5 sports a Snapdragon 450 chipset with 2/3/4GB of RAM and 16/32/64GB of storage my unit is the 3GB/32GB RAM/ROM. The Snapdragon 450 processor is latest and best in the entry-level chip segment and we are happy to see that Xiaomi is not cutting any corners here like most Mtk budget device. The Snapdragon 450 chipset is built on 14nm process technology and is very power efficient this i can attest to. The Antutu Score of Snapdragon 450 is around 55000 which is a 20-25% improvement over Snapdragon 435 which we saw in Redmi 4. Overall, the Redmi 5 performs tasks smoothly and you won’t face any issues with multi-tasking and gaming. I recommend going for the 3GB/32GB variant as more RAM always helps in multitasking.
Redmi 5 is running on latest MIUI 9 which is based on Android 7.1.2. I am sure that Xiaomi will be updating the Redmi 5 to Android Oreo asthey ve dropped hints on that online.
The battery inside the Redmi 5 is 3300mAh. Redmi 4 came with a large 4100mAh battery so 3300mAh is a drop of about 20%. Plus, the screen size has increased as well. What it means for the users is that you won’t be able to get excellent battery backup like Redmi 4 but still, it was pretty decent as you can expect 8-10 hours of battery life on heavy usage with a single charge and 24 hours on minimal usage. There is no fast charging on the device so i was surprise it took 1 hour 30 Minutes to go from 0 to 100% pretty amazing.
For security, there is a fingerprint sensor on the back of Redmi 5. The fingerprint sensor is seriously very fast and accurate and you won’t face any issues with it. The Redmi 5 is not water or dust proof so there is no IP rating.
Redmi 5 Pros
- Solid Build Quality: The build quality of the Redmi 5 is very good. With a combination of plastic on the top/bottom and metal at the back, the handset feels good in the hand. It is a sleek, lightweight device that’s not much bigger in comparison to its predecessor. This is also helped by the 18:9 display, which will allow even users with small palms to use the device without any issues.
- Good Display: Xiaomi Redmi 5 doesn’t really have the best display out there, but it’s definitely an upgrade over the panel of Redmi 4. With a resolution of 720x1440px, the HD+ display looks bright. The 18:9 aspect ratio also allows more content to be displayed in one go.
- Blazing Fast Fingerprint Sensor: One thing I’ve found common in all Xiaomi smartphones is that they have really fast fingerprint sensors, and the Redmi 5 is no exception.
- Decent Camera: For the price, Xiaomi Redmi 5 offers a decent camera, which is probably better than offered by other low-end smartphones available in the market. I actually had a lot of fun using the camera.
- MIUI 9: Personally, I am a fan of Xiaomi’s custom UI layer. MIUI has been simplified a bit, and Xiaomi keeps on adding new features to it. The overall UI on Redmi 5 is quite customizable, thanks to a variety of themes and gestures available.
- Good Battery Life: Majority of the smartphones offer good battery life initially, but that takes a hit over time. However, this isn’t the case with Xiaomi Redmi 5. Even after a month of use, i heard the Redmi 5’s battery easily lasts a day on a single charge, with moderate usage.
Redmi 5 Cons
As good as the Redmi 5 is, it does have some disadvantages as well. Here are some of them:
- No Fast Charging: Although there’s not much point in expecting a budget smartphone to have fast-charging tech, but the Redmi 5’s battery takes a long time to get fully topped up. Over 2 hours to fully charge the battery is too much.
- No 5GHz Wi-Fi or NFC Support: The lack of NFC can be excused, given Redmi 5’s budget price tag. However, no 5GHz Wi-Fi support is a big letdown. Even the Redmi Note 4, which launched last year, supports faster Wi-Fi speeds. What’s more, Snapdragon 450 SoC supports 5GHz Wi-Fi, so it’s surprising the Redmi 5 misses out on this feature.
- Chinese Bloatwares: The Xiaomi Redmi 5 like most Xiaomi smartphones comes with alot of bloatwares mostly Chinese based Apps though not the case on the global version this Apps could easily be removed.
Whats in the Box
- Xiaomi Redmi 5 in Rosy Gold color
- 2-pin charger (5V-2A)
- Micro USB cable
- SIM ejector tool
- Clear protective case
- User guide
After using Xiaomi Redmi 5 for a little over a month, I can say that it’s definitely one of the best low-end smartphones available out there. Its performance is better than devices like Redmi 4A, Redmi 4, Redmi 4 Prime, Nokia 3 Tecno Camon CM, Infinix Hot S3 and Moto C Plus, all of which have similar price tags.