OUR VERDICT

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro is outright impressive when it comes to performance. It would have been more tempting if Xiaomi shipped it with a slightly more premium design and Android Oreo out of the box. Nevertheless, the Redmi Note 5 Pro is truely the perfect sucessor Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 could have asked for.

Pros

  • Reliable performance
  • Good battery life
  • Decent Cameras for the budget
  • Good selfie camera
  • IR blaster

Cons

  • No fast charger
  • Still runs Android Nougat
  • Hybrid card slot

Update: Redmi Note 5 Pro has now received Android Oreo update. The update also enables Dual SIM Dual VoLTE support.

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If you have bought a Xiaomi phone in India, you must know how difficult is to get one especially in the first few months of flash sales. The Chinese smartphone maker claims to have become the number one smartphone brand in India. All credit goes to the array of affordable Redmi-series smartphones, especially the Redmi Note phones.

Back in February, Xiaomi went a step further and launched two Redmi Note 4 successors: the Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro. While the former is basically a facelift treatment to Note 4, it’s the Redmi Note 5 Pro where Xiaomi puts its best foot forward.

Now that the phone has been around for a while and competitors had some room to match up, is it still the best affordable phone you can buy? Let’s try and resolve that in our Redmi Note 5 Pro long term review.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro Review: Design and Build Quality

The Note 5 Pro is actually one of the first Redmi Note series phones to feature an 18:9 display. No, it’s not an infinity display and has decent-size bezels surrounding it. It is a tall phone so it might take some getting used to, especially for those switching from a 16:9 display phone.

On the flip side, the most noticeable change is the introduction of vertically aligned dual camera setup which bulges out slightly. Apart from the camera, the rest of the stuff is regular. The fingerprint sensor sits on the rear panel and is easily accessible.

Overall, the Redmi Note 5 Pro design is stodgy and not its strongest suit. Comparatively, Honor 9i lite or Xiaomi’s own Mi A1 look more appealing. Nevertheless, Redmi Note 5 Pro scores well in terms of sturdiness and feels comparatively tougher.

  • The Redmi Note 5 Pro has functional design, but is a little non-descript.
  • Use of same “metal back with thick plastic strips” design for the third consequitive year feels jarring.
  • The curved glass on the front and slightly aslope corners ensure handy grip.
  • Thumbs up to Xiaomi for bundling a protective case within the box.
  • IR blaster is present on top, micro USB port (Type-A) is present at the bottom.
  • The volume rocker, power button, and fingerprint sensor are all placed aptly.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro Review: Display

In the fag end of 2017, 18:9 displays became the industry norm. It was only a matter of time before Xiaomi too embraced the trend and that happened with the Note 5 phones. The Pro features a 5.99-inch full HD+ (2160 x 1080) IPS LCD panel.

The display manages to produce decently warm colors and render sharp images and texts. The display also wears a Gorilla Glass shield but Xiaomi hasn’t really specified its grade.

  • The Redmi Note 5 Pro FHD+ display is one of its highlights.
  • The Color temperature is quite well balanced, you can also adjust it according to your needs from settings.
  • The Apps and content are scale up to make the most of bigger or taller screen.
  • The display is a tad reflective.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro Review: Performance and Software

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro is actually the first smartphone to employ Snapdragon 636 chipset. This budget chipset from Qualcomm is based on 14nm manufacturing process and uses custom Kyro 260 core which results in 30 percent better performance than Snapdragon 630 chipset.

The Redmi Note 5 Pro’s performance is certainly a testimony of how good the Snapdragon 636 chipset is, even when its clocked slower than the Snapdragon 625. We have been using the 6GB RAM and 64GB storage variant of the Note 5 Pro for the last month and the performance is butter smooth.

Be it multitasking or gameplay everything feels fluid. The apps load quickly and quite of few of them are held in the RAM so you don’t have to start from scratch every single time.

Now that the temperatures are soaring, the Redmi Note 5 Pro can get quite hot with heavy usage, but this is true for most phones. The heating consequently results in performance throttling.

The software running on the phone is MIUI 9.0. Even when we are halfway through 2018, the base software is still based on Android 7.1 Nougat. You still won’t get access to Android Oreo features like Picture-in-picture mode or Notification channels. However, there is no dearth of features and the ROM is quite stable. There are a number of consumers who love Xiaomi’s interface and its certainly one of the better custom interfaces around.

  • The Redmi Note 5 Pro comes in 4GB or 6GB RAM configuration.
  • It managed to sail through every performance test without hiccups. The performance has stood the test of time.
  • Running an older version of Android is not a wise choice but Xiaomi has its own way of doing things. Besides, Andorid 8.1 Oreo update is under works.
  • Features like Face Unlock and new gestures further add to the overall experience of the phone.
  • The good old fingerprint sensor on the rear is fast and accurate.
  • The phone support 4G VoLTE and ViLTE both. Call quality is also great.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro Review: Camera

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro camera might appear similar to Apple’s iPhone X but it is not the same. Having said that, Xiaomi has certainly put in some work and has improved its cameras compared to the Redmi Note 4.

The Note 5 Pro comes with a 12 MP + 5 MP sensor with f/2.2, and f/2.0 aperture, respectively. The camera app is simple and easy to use. It manages to lock focus almost instantaneously and there was no visible shutter lag. Portrait mode works well too and it available for both front and the back camera.

The images it churns out have punchy colors favoring towards warm tones. Details are not bad either. All in all the Redmi Note 5 Pro camera is at par with Xiaomi Mi A1 as we concluded in our camera comparison of both phones.

Xiaomi was late to join the selfie party but in past few months, it has made rapid strides in this segment. This year, the company has bumped the front camera resolution from 5MP to 20MP in the Pro. The Redmi Note 5 Pro selfies turn out well. Beautification is subtle and details are well preserved.

  • The camera performance is consistent and at par with Mi A1.
  • The dynamic range is also good considering its price.
  • The portrait mode works well and manages to detect edges even in trick lighting.
  • The camera app is simple yet feature rich. It comes with beautification and HDR mode.
  • The selfie camera shots are worthy enough to feature on your facebook wall or Instagram gallery.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro Review: Battery & Audio

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro packs a 4000mAh battery and the backup is nothing short of impressive. I have managed to get 12-13 hours battery life regularly while constantly using my phone. Any given day, I spend almost 30 mins streaming video content and playing games, checking all my social media accounts, making around 15-20 calls, and playing music in my leisure time.

My only problem with the Redmi Note 5 Pro battery is it takes forever to charge. Even though phone supports Quick Charge 2.0, Xiaomi ships it with a 2A charger. Quick Charge 2.0 is supported but that won’t make much of a difference to charging time.

The Note 5 Pro packs a decently loud mono speaker which is placed at the bottom edge. It is loud enough to fill a small room but at high volumes, there is noticeable distortion in audio. It comes with a 3.5mm audio jack but the box content doesn’t include a headphone inside. Sound quality over the headphone is decent enough.

  • The Redmi Note 5 pro Battery backup is excellent. We would have appreciated faster charging speed.
  • Audio output is loud, clarity of sound deteriorates at high volume.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro Review: Should You Buy It?

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 is proving to be yet another success story for the company. The phone covers almost all basic facets while keeping its price affordable. Precisely that’s the reason why the phone has been continuously going out of the stock sale after sale and it is at the top of our recommendation list for phones under 15,000 INR. Having said that, the Redmi Note 5 Pro was unchallenged till know due to lack of a real alternative. But with Asus coming out with Zenfone Max Pro M1 (review), Redmi Note 5 Pro has a real challenger for the first time. More should follow soon.

Also Read: Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 Vs Redmi Note 5 Pro Comparison 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro Price and Availability

  • The phone comes in 4GB and 6GB RAM variant. The Redmi Note 5 Pro price in India starts at Rs 12,999 while its costly variant will be launched at Rs 16,999.
  • The phone is already available in India on Mi.com and Flipkart. Although, you’ll need luck on your side to buy one.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. This phone is the best of the Note series. Absolute Bliss ! But I had one issue, back was very slippery. I think most of the Xiaomi mobiles have this issue. Is there any solution for it?

  2. I too 100% percent agree with you. Most of the Xiaomi phones have slippery back. I almost dropped my Redmi Note 5 Pro 😅 . I tried cases, but the phone turned was too bulky and it spoils the look of the phone. You can try customized skins. I recently installed the Camoflaunt skin from GadgetShieldz, it elevated the look without adding any bulk 😁.

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