Xiaomi India recently unveiled the Redmi 5 in India, claiming that it will be the worthy successor to the throne of Redmi 4. Talking about Redmi 4, it was the best selling compact smartphone of the year 2017 that ruled the mid-range market. So Xiaomi has made some significant improvements especially in design, performance and camera of the newcomer. Here we are going to review the Redmi 5 to see whether it’s a compact powerhouse as Xiaomi labelled it.
The Redmi 5 is a beautiful 5.7-inch phone with a premium metal body design. In appearance, it looks like a downsized version of the Redmi Note 5 device that was launched two months back. It is 11 percent slimmer and 4 percent longer compared to Redmi 4, but wider enough to comfortably hold in a hand. In numbers, it measures 151.8 x 72.8 x 7.7 (mm) and weighs just 157g.
For improving build quality, this device underwent several drop tests, dust test, and temperature tests. Moreover, Redmi 5 has reinforced corners to disperse the drop impacts. The Redmi 5 also come in four color choices viz Black, Gold, Lake Blue and elegant Rose Gold. As usual, we went with our favourite black color which is undoubtedly the stylish shade out of the four.
Now let us take a look at this compact phone from all sides. On the front is the new 5.7-inch full-screen display, selfie camera with flash, earpiece and other sensors. The rear camera and fingerprint sensor are mounted on the metallic back plate. You can locate the IR blaster, 3.5mm jack and noise cancellation mic on the top side. The hybrid sim tray is on the left and the volume rockers and power button are on the right side as usual. On the bottom, there are two bigger speaker grills, mic and the micro USB port.
- Slimmer and comfortable, but longer and heavier than Redmi 4.
- Unimetal body with reinforced corners and four color choices.
Redmi 5 features a 5.7 full-screen HD+ display with 720 x 1440 pixels having 18:9 aspect ratio. The 282 ppi screen with 1000:1 contrast ratio displays sharp images with manual screen modes and automatic brightness adjustments. Even under bright sunlight, we found the screen to be legible enough.
For achieving the immersive full screen, the side bezels are made narrower and it has got the on-screen soft buttons instead of the usual capacitive ones. It also has a 2.5D curvature to blend with the metal body, but there is no Corning Gorilla Glass protection.
- 5.7-inch 18:9 display (720 x 1440) HD+ with on-screen buttons.
- 2.5D curved corners, but no Corning Gorilla glass protection.
Coming to the camera, the Redmi 5 has got many improvements over its predecessor. The selfie camera is a 5MP sensor with software perks like beautify, selfie countdown and face recognition. Moreover, it is coupled with a LED light for low light selfie captures. The output of the front cameras was average to medium depending on the lighting conditions even with the flash. This front camera can also record 1080p and 720p videos at 30 frames per second.
On the rear, it features a 12 MP camera with 1.25 micron large pixel that is usually found in flagship devices. This large pixel allows you to capture brighter, crispier and vibrant photos even in dim light conditions. We have taken a colorful rear cam shot for you to judge the quality. The rear camera is a 5-element lens setup having f/2.2 aperture, PDAF and single LED flash. It also has the HDR mode, panorama, face detection and other software enhancements. Even though the Snapdragon 450 supports real-time Bokeh effects, the absence of dual cam setup prevents us from taking portrait mode snaps.
- Primary – 12MP, PureCel OmniVision sensors, 1.25 micron, f/2.2 and single LED flash.
- Secondary – 5MP sensor with LED Selfie-light, Beautify 3.0, 1080p/720p video at 30fps.
The Redmi 5 is one of the few phones that ships with Snapdragon 450 SoC with 8-core ARM Cortex A53 CPU, Adreno 506 GPU and X9 cellular modem. Xiaomi is offering three different variants of Redmi 5 viz 2GB RAM/16GB storage, 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB. You can add more storage up to 128GB with the help of micro SD card in the hybrid SIM slot. But we were disappointed by the fact that Xiaomi hasn’t utilized some of the features of SD 450. The phone did not heat up much during our gaming(asphalt) session and benchmarking tests.
- Antutu: Total 69142, CPU 34386, GPU 11913, UX 18426, MEM 4417.
- Geekbench: CPU single-core 759, multi-core 3459.
For mobile connectivity, this device is using the X9 LTE modem which is the same one present in Snapdragon 625 SoC. The X9 offers good uplink and downlink speeds for 4G VoLTE/ViLTE and also supports all the 3G and 2G bands in India. The device is equipped with a hybrid SIM tray in which you can use either two nano-SIMs or one micro SD card plus micro SIM. For local connectivity, it has 2.4GHz WiFI 802.11 b/g/n supporting WiFi Direct and WiFi Display.
The Redmi 5 also comes with Bluetooth 4.0 technology so that you can pair your HID, A2DP devices. Then there is the legacy IR blaster which can be programmed to control your home appliances via the built-in Mi Remote app. Finally, it also has the 3.5mm audio port for wired headsets and the micro USB 2.0 charging/data transfer port.
- Bands – GSM: 2/3/5/8 WCDMA 1/2/5/8 – FDD-LTE 1/3/5 TDD-LTE 40/41(120MHz)
- Hybrid SIM Tray – nano SIM + nano SIM or nano SIM + micro SD card, FM, 3.5 mm audio jack.
The Redmi 5 is powered by a huge 3300 mAh non-removable li-po battery which can give you a standby time of up to 17 days. Combined with the power efficient SD 450 and optimized MIUI 9, this battery gave 8 hours SOT for a day of regular usage. However, charging the device was kind of tiring and for a full charge from zero percent took about 2 hours and 25 minutes.
Xiaomi has also made India specific customizations like Dual Pyrolytic Graphite Sheet for reducing overall device temperature by 2-degree Celsius. The power adaptor that comes with the device can also withstand voltages up to 380V.
- 3300mAh huge Li-po battery, no quick charging.
- 5V/2A charging, Micro USB/USB 2.0.
We purchased the product from Amazon India lightning deal flash sale and the buying experience was smooth. However, the packing by Amazon India was not up to the mark. The manufacturer’s box contained – a handset, power adaptor, USB cable, warranty and user guide, SIM ejection tool, and a matching black ultra-slim case as a freebie. The free case from Xiaomi was a perfect fit, but it offered less protection to the camera and screen. So we recommend you to buy a separate hard case or TPU bumper case for added safety.
After using the device, we think that Xiaomi has done a good job in making the Redmi 5. This device is way better when compared to its predecessor, the Redmi 4. Even with the sizeable upgrades, Xiaomi has managed to give it a competitive pricing and place it among the mid-range rivals.
However, the manufacturer should consider switching to USB 3.0 and also enable quick charging. Without a second thought, we can say that Redmi 5 is the best compact android smartphone available in the market. Hope this review was helpful, Peace!