The Redmi series constitutes Xiaomi’s best selling smartphones. That’s because these phones offer some top of the line specification at never heard before prices, and that is one of the prime reasons why Xiaomi’s market share is shooting through the roof.
Xiaomi further pushes the envelope with the launch of three new Redmi phones with 18:9 displays. The first two were Redmi Note 5 and Note 5 Pro, launched in February, and the third was Redmi 5 announced last month. While the former set of phones are meant for power users, it is the latter that will interest first-time users, simply because of its more affordable price.
So, is Redmi 5 a device worth considering? How does it fare against the likes of Honor 9 Lite and Infinix Hot S3? And whether or not it is the rightful heir of Redmi 4? Let’s try to answer these questions in our Redmi 5 detailed review.
Xiaomi Redmi 5 Price in India
The Redmi 5 retails in India at a starting price of Rs. 7,999 for its base variant 2GB RAM and 16GB storage. Whereas the 3GB RAM with 32GB storage and 4GB RAM and 64GB storage cost Rs. 8,999 and Rs. 9,999, respectively. The Redmi 5 is available on Mi.com, Mi Home, Amazon.in and at offline stores.
- 18:9 Display
- Dependable performance
- Decent battery backup
- Hybrid SIM slot
- Dated Android Nougat
- Ho-hum design
- Xiaomi Redmi 5: Design and Build
- Xiaomi Redmi 5: Display
- Xiaomi Redmi 5: Performance and Software
- Xiaomi Redmi 5: Camera and Battery
- Xiaomi Redmi 5: Camera Samples
- Xiaomi Redmi 5: Should You Buy It?
What’s in the Redmi 5 Box?
- Soft TPU Case
- Charging Adapter (5V-2A)
- micro USB (Type-A) cable
- SIM ejector tool
- User Guide
Xiaomi Redmi 5 Design and Build
- Dimension and weight: 151.8 x 72.8 x 7.7 mm; 157 g
- Flat display and curved rounded edges on the rear
The Redmi 5 has the potential to grab eyeballs for its fascia that comes with a full-vision display. This makes it the first Redmi phone (not counting the Note series) to have an 18:9 screen aspect ratio. The bezels around the screen aren’t slim from a full-view display standpoint but they are of course thinner compared to Redmi 4.
The back feels familiar. Its the same layered design as, say, Redmi Note 4 or Redmi Note 5, with a camera lens that juts out criminally. The company bundles a soft-TPU case inside the retail box that can almost even out the camera bump. Almost.
All in all, the Redmi 5 has a functional design (not excellent, though). It looks and feels cheap, but is solidly built and quite comfortable to handle.
- Redmi 5 design is not as pleasing as that of phones like Honor 9 Lite and Infinix Hot S3 retailing at almost the same price.
- The 18:9 pabel is a bonus addition but the fascia isn’t quite bezel-less.
- The curved edges and rounded corners lend it a comfortable grip.
- The notification LED is present above the display.
- Micro USB port and speaker grill are at the bottom. Audio jack and IR blaster are at the top.
Xiaomi Redmi 5 Display
- 5.7-inch HD+ IPS LCD display
- 450 nits brightness
The phone boasts a 5.7-inch HD+ IPS LCD display with 1440X720 pixel resolution and 2.5D curved glass on top. The quality is up to the mark and we didn’t face much trouble using it in the broad daylight. The color temperature is slightly on the colder side. Dynamic range and contrast are average.
- The Redmi 5 display is good enough for the price, though we have certainly seen better.
- It is bright enough for ocassional use under direct usage.
- You can adjust color from display settings. The
Xiaomi Redmi 5 Performance and Software
- 1.8GHz Snapdragon 450 octa-core; Adreno 506
- Hybrid SIM slot
- Android Nougat-based MIUI 9
The Redmi 5 rocks Snapdragon 450 SoC configured with three RAM and storage options. The base variant has 2GB RAM and 16GB storage, followed by 3GB RAM and 32GB storage and 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. For this review, we had the 3GB RAM variant of Redmi 5.
The performance was largely smooth during our review. We didn’t notice any lag with multi-tasking, switching between apps and other day-to-day activities. High-end games like Asphalt 8 mostly ran smooth but we did experience minor stuttering and frame drops at high graphics settings.
As for the software, the Redmi 5 runs on the Android Nougat-based MIUI 9 out of the box. The OS is a bit dated, considering there are phones out there that offer the latest Android Oreo at a similar price.
- Since the SIM tray is hybrid, it’s hard for us to recommend base 2GB RAM/ 16GB storage option to anyone. The middle 3G RAM/32GB option makes the most sense.
- The performance is smooth on 3GB RAM model. SD 450 is similar to SD 625 in terms of performance.
- There was no heating issue and high-end games run fairly well (minor hiccups at high graphics settings, though)
- The fingerprint sensor on the back is fast and responsive.
- Audio output via headphones is reasonable for the price. Audio output via loudspeaker left us wanting for more.
- At this point in time, the base software should have been Android Oreo. You will still have to manage with Nougat based MIUI 9.2.
- We didn’t face any connectivity issue on the phone.
Xiaomi Redmi 5 Camera and Battery
- 12-megapixel rear camera, LED flash, f/2.0 aperture lens
- 5MP front camera with selfie flash
- 3,300mAh battery, no fast charging
The Redmi 5 features a 12-megapixel sensor on the rear and a 5MP sensor on the front, just like its elder sibling Redmi Note 5. The photos clicked by the Redmi 5 turn out to be good when clicked in well-lit ambiance. Colors felt a tad muted and the details and clarity of the photos were good enough on the phone’s screen.
However, the same cannot be said for the camera performance in low-light. Images shot indoors or in low light appear grainy and have a lot of noise. The 5-megapixel selfie camera is still pretty average and the implementation of flash does not really improve things for low-light photography.
Overall, the Redmi 5 camera isn’t anything spectacular. Phones like Honor 9 Lite fair slightly better in this regard.
As for the battery, the Redmi 5 is aided by 3,300mAh non-removable and non-fast charging battery. Xiaomi has reduced the battery size from Redmi 4’s 4,100mAh battery, but it can still easily last up to 10-12 hours with moderate to heavy usage.
- The Redmi 5 camera performance is pretty much the same as the Redmi 4.
- You can still shoot decent images in day light.
- The selfie camera performance is average as well.
- The battery backup is still pretty good.
Xiaomi Redmi 5 Review: Should you buy it?
The Xiaomi Redmi 5 follows the same approach as the phones it succeeds. Xiaomi employs the chipset that makes the most sense in this budget and the handset manages to muster decent battery mileage. Apart from that, the phone includes the now-mandatory 18:9 display and is solidly built.
On the other hand, Xiaomi still isn’t using the latest Android flavor or focusing much on design. Honestly, the Redmi 5 feels a little underwhelming, but then again, what else could we rather recommend in this segment that pools together devices imperfect in more than one way?
The bottom line is that if you are strictly restricted by a budget of Rs. 9,000, go ahead and pick a Redmi 5, but if you have the option to extend your budget you’d be better off with one of the Note-series phone.