Even though it has been over a month since the launch of Redmi Note 5 Pro by Xiaomi, many are still struggling to purchase it. We successfully grabbed a unit from the previous flash sale and the delivery was prompt. So here is what we have to tell about the mobile dubbed as India’s camera beast and our buying experience.
The Redmi Note 5 Pro has a slimmer profile and is also slightly longer and heavier than its predecessor. To be exact, it measures 158.6 x 75.4 x 8.1 mm and weighs 181g, which makes it comfortable to hold. The beast has a uni-metal body design carved out of aluminium and comes in black, gold, rose gold and lake blue colors. However, we went with the black color which can easily hide scuffs and scratches.
Now let us take a look at the beast from all sides. On the front is the new 5.99-inch full-screen display, selfie camera with flash, earpiece and other sensors. The metallic rear side is occupied by the new dual secondary camera and fingerprint sensor. On the top side, you will find the IR blaster and noise cancellation mic. The volume rockers and power button are on the right side, whereas the sim tray is on the left as usual. At the base is the speaker grill, mic and connectivity ports like micro USB and 3.5mm audio jack.
- Slimmer but longer and heavier than Redmi Note 4.
- Unimetal aluminium body with four color choices.
The new Redmi Note 5 pro has a gorgeous display with 1080 x 2160 pixels having 18:9 aspect ratio. Everything looks crisp with the 403 ppi and you can also choose the screen mode or color temperature. The screen measures 15.2cm diagonally and have 12.5% more estate compared to Redmi Note 4. Xiaomi made this possible by getting rid of the capacitive physical buttons with on-screen soft buttons. The display has 2.5D curved corners and is also protected with a layer of Corning Gorilla glass.
- 5.99-inch 18:9 display (2160 x 1080) FHD+ with on-screen buttons.
- 2.5D curved corners with Corning Gorilla glass.
Now let us check out the photography department which gave the tag camera beast to this device. Both the front and rear cameras have got huge upgrades. Starting with the improved selfie camera which now has got a 20MP sensor with 1.0-micron pixel and f/2.2 aperture. It is also accompanied by a selfie flash to improve low light captures. The built-in camera app has features like face detection, beautify 4.0 and selfie timer. We were moderately satisfied with the low light performance of the selfie camera. This front cam can also record 1080p and 720p videos at 30 frames per second.
The rear camera is now of dual type with which we can capture images with depth effect. It is a combo of a 12-megapixel primary sensor with 1.25-micron pixel, f/2.2 aperture and 5-megapixel secondary sensor with 1.12micron pixel, f/2.0 aperture. The dual camera is accompanied by a single tone flash. The large pixels and PDAF allow you to capture images in dim light conditions with DSLR quality. The camera also has an HDR mode, portrait mode, face detection and other software AI perks. The rear camera performance really impressed us, especially the portrait mode.
- Primary – 12+5MP rear dual camera -12MP 1.25pm, f/2.2.
- Secondary – 20MP front So, IMX376 camera – LED Selfie-light Beautify 4 0, 1080p video at 30fps
Redmi Note 5 Pro is the first phone to have Snapdragon 636 SoC with X12 LTE, Kyro 260 CPU and Adreno 509 GPU. Xiaomi also offers two RAM variants of the device viz 4GB and 6GB with 64GB storage. You can also expand the storage upto 128GB with micro SD cards in the hybrid SIM slot up. This new SoC based on 14nm FinFET is also responsible for the improved camera performance and image processing ability. For testing the gaming performance, PUBG was installed and the SD 636 along with the full-screen display offered a smooth and immersive experience. We also benchmarked the device using Antutu and Geekbench, and here are the scores.
- Antutu: Total 110661, CPU 53603, GPU 21106, UX 29445, MEM 6507.
- Geekbench: CPU single-core 1335, multi-core 4878.
The device has good and high speed local and mobile connectivity. For mobile networks, the SoC support, 4G VoLTE/ViLTE, 3G and 2G bands in India. The hybrid SIM slot allows you to use 2 nano-SIM cards or 1 nano-SIM plus micro SD card. While the first SIM is using 4G call-data network the second SIM can only work with 2G/3G calls. It also has dual-band 2.4/5GHz 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi that supports WiFi Hotspot, Wireless display and WiFi direct. Redmi Note 5 Pro integrates Bluetooth 5.0 for pairing with accessories. The added IR blaster lets you control home appliances with your phone. Then there is the 3.5mm audio port and micro USB port for data transfer or charging.
- Bands – GSM: 2/3/5/8 WCDMA 1/2/5/8 – FDD-LTE 1/3/5 TDD-LTE 40/41(120MHz)
- Hybrid dual nano (hybrid SD card), FM, 3.5 mm audio jack.
This beast is juiced by a massive 4000mAh non-removable li-po battery. Even with the bigger display, there is no compromise since the SD 636 is a power-efficient performance monster. Moreover, the operating system MIUI 9 is optimized to provide long-lasting experience. The combined efficiency easily provided around 8 hours of screen on time for a typical full day usage. However, charging was the most difficult part with no support for quick charging. Moreover, a full charge from 0% could take up to 2.5 hours.
- 4000mAh high-capacity battery, no quick charging.
- 5V/2A charging, Micro USB/USB 2.0.
We ordered the product from Flipkart since we got tired of the running bunny on Mi.com. The delivery by Flipkart was on time and we would say that packing is also impressive. The box contents include – handset, power adapter, USB 2.0 cable, warranty card and user guide, SIM tray ejection tool and an ultra-slim case as a freebie. The free soft case had perfect cuts and offered good grip, but we recommend to buy a hard case that offers more protection.
In our opinion, the Redmi Note 5 Pro is a worthy successor for the Redmi Note 4. But it seems Xiaomi isn’t done with the SD 625 SoC using it for the budget edition ie the Redmi Note 5. Moreover, the manufacturer should also consider moving from USB 2.0 and implementing the quick charge. Overall, the Redmi Note 5 Pro is the best camera phone under the 15K bracket and is worthy of the price paid.
Before wrapping things up, we would like to share our buying experience with Redmi phones. You have to sweat a lot during the flash sales to purchase a unit. Resellers and unauthorized outlets are taking advantage of this opportunity no matter what Xiaomi tries. The situation is like if anyone fails more than once, he or she will resort to buying from resellers for extra bucks. We got lucky only on our third attempt and say what it was a relief. Hope this review was useful, Peace!