Xiaomi India recently announced Redmi Note 5 – the first Redmi device with an infinity display. Xiaomi is catching up to the new display trend and the Redmi Note 5 succeeds the Redmi Note 4, which was a massive blockbuster.

Although the aggressive pricing and impressive specs sheet make the phone one of its kind, the Note 5 still gets a major competition from Huawie’s Honor 9 Lite. The Honor 9 Lite is another option that offers all the contemporary trends of the smartphone at an affordable price.

We decided to pit Honor 9 Lite against the Redmi Note 5 to find out which one is the best affordable 18:9 display phone for the Indian market. This is what we found out:

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Redmi Note 5 vs Honor 9 Lite

Model Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Honor 9 Lite
Display 5.9-inch (18:9), 1080×2160 pixel Full HD+ display 5.66-inch (18:9), 1080×2160 pixel Full HD+ display
Processor 2.0GHz Snapdragon 625 octa-core 2.3GHz Octa-Core Kirin 659
RAM 3GB/4GB 3GB/4GB
Internal Storage 32GB/64GB, expandable up to 128GB 32GB/64GB, expandable up to 128GB
Software Android Nougat-based MIUI 9 Android Oreo-based EMUI 8.0
Primary Camera 12MP sensor with f/2.2 aperture lens, phase detection autofocus, dual-tone LED flash 13MP + 2MP sensor with dual-tone LED, CMOS sensor, PDAF, and digital zoom
Secondary Camera 5MP 13MP+2MP soft LED flash
Battery 4000mAh Battery 3000mAh battery
Dimension 158.5 x 75.4 x 8.05 mm; Weight: 181 g 151 × 71.9 × 7.6mm; Weight: 149g
Others 4G, VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Fingerprint sensor, 3.5mm audio jack, and GPS 4G, VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3.5mm audio jack, Fingerprint sensor, and GPS
Price Rs. 9,999/ Rs. 11,999  Rs. 10,999/Rs. 14,999

Design and Build

Both phones flaunt sleek, unibody designs, but the Honor 9 Lite definitely is the better looking of the two.. While the Redmi Note 5 flaunts a metal unibody design, the Honor 9 Lite has a more enticing glass sheet on both front and back.

If you look at the Redmi Note 5, it looks very close to its predecessor Redmi Note 4 from the back. But that is not the case when you flip the device over. The front of Note 5 is dominated by its display with sleek border and onscreen navigational buttons.

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In the similar context, the Honor 9 Lite comes clad in 2.5D glass on both front and back, and sharp plastic edges on the sides. The rear panel has got an interesting mirror finish that adds to its overall appeal.

All said and done, the Honor 9 lite wins in this segment hands down.

Display

On paper, there isn’t much to choose between the two in terms of display. Both phones have 18:9 FHD+ IPS LCD panels at the front. Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 features a 5.99-inch display whereas its rival Honor 9 Lite sports a 5.66-inch screen. Both displays have a 1080 X 2160 pixel resolution (Full HD+) and have reasonable contrast and colors.

The Honor 9 lite display, in our opinion, has a small edge over the Redmi Note 5. Slightly smaller display size also makes it more manageable.

Performance and Software

Under the hood, the Redmi Note 5 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor. It is the same chipset that Xiaomi used in Redmi Note 4 and Mi A1. The chipset is good enough for multi-tasking and high-profile gaming. It can deliver high-performance without sucking much of your phone’s battery.

Compared to this, the Honor 9 Lite employs an average octa-core Kirin 659 mobile Chipset.

Both handsets come in two variants: the base variant with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage, and the top-variant with 4GB RAM and 64GB onboard storage.

The comparable variant also has lesser RAM and storage. The Honor 9 Lite is fit for basic users but it can’t, by far, hold a candle to the Snapdragon 625 powered Redmi Note 5.

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At the software front, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 has MIUI 9 garnished on top of Android Nougat and Honor 9 Lite runs EMUI 8.0 on top of Android Oreo. Both interfaces are feature-rich, but we’d take MIUI over EMUI 8.0 any day because of the former being more stable and reliable.

Camera and Battery

The Redmi Note 5 has a 12MP rear camera coupled with dual-tone LED flash and f/2.2 aperture lens. On the other hand, the Honor 9 Lite comes with 13MP+2MP sensors both on front and back. The added sensor on the phone is for the depth effect (or Portrait selfie mode).

Based on our initial testing, the Redmi Note 5 and Honor 9 Lite is quite close in terms of camera performance. In practice, the Honor 9 Lite doesn’t quite use its quad-sensors well and the portrait shots still look artificial.

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The Honor 9 Lite has a 3000mAh battery and in our experience, it didn’t last very long. The Redmi Note 5 certainly seems to have a clear-cut advantage with its bigger 4000mAh battery and more power efficient SD625 chipset.

Verdict

Both Redmi Note 5 and Honor 9 Lite qualify for the best available affordable full-view display options, but the Redmi Note 5 sounds like a better choice of the two.

Who should buy Xiaomi Redmi Note 5? The Redmi Note 5 is for those who are willing to look past design for more stable and consistent performance and better battery life.

Who should buy Honor 9 Lite? If the looks of the phone top your priority list then, no doubt, the Honor 9 Lite is for you. It’s also more compact and manageable of the two.

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