Xiaomi’s new smartphone, the Redmi Note 5 goes on sale on Flipkart, Mi.com and Mi Homes from February 22 at 12 noon. The starting price for Redmi Note 5 is Rs 9,999 for the base variant while the 4GB RAM option will be priced at Rs 11,999. There’s Redmi Note 5 Pro on offer as well for a price of Rs 13,999 for the base 4GB RAM option, and Rs 16,999 for the 6GB RAM/64GB storage variant. Xiaomi is also introducing its Mi LED TV 4 in India for a price of Rs 39,999. Redmi Note 5 and its Pro version are Xiaomi’s first smartphones launching in 2018 for the Indian market, and there a lot of interest around the new phones.
So how much of an upgrade is the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 over the Redmi Note 4 series and is it worth the starting price of Rs 9,999? The other question for users will be whether Xiaomi is offering enough new features to justify an upgrade. Here’s a quick comparison of the two phones. For our detailed comparison of the Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro, read more here.
Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 4: Difference in Design and Display
In terms of design, the most noticeable change on Redmi Note 5 is the display, which is now 5.99-inches with an 18:9 aspect ratio. The Redmi Note 4 sports a slightly smaller 5.5-inch display with prominent bezels on the side, top and bottom. The older Redmi Note 4 came with on-screen buttons. But with the new Redmi Note 5 series, Xiaomi has reduced the bezels on the side, though these are not entirely gone, and it now comes with on-screen buttons.
The newer Redmi Note series also has an 18:9 aspect ratio for the display compared to the standard 16:9 seen on the previous Redmi Note 4. The display is taller and allows for extra viewing space on the Redmi Note 5, which is what we are seeing on most new smartphones these days. In addition, the display resolution is 2160 x 1080 pixels which is FHD+, while the Redmi Note 4 had a 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution. Both smartphones have an LCD IPS display. For those who prefer a taller display and want more viewing space, then Redmi Note 5 makes a good option for upgrade.
In terms of design, both Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 4 have a metal unibody design with prominent antenna bands at the back. The Redmi Note 5 is obviously bigger in dimensions given the new display. Both also come with a single rear camera at the back and the fingerprint scanner is still at the back of the device. This time, the Redmi Note 5 will come in black, gold, rose gold and a blue colour variant as well.
Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 4: Difference in processor, RAM, storage
When it comes to the processor, Redmi Note 5 continues with the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 with the Adreno 506 GPU as the previous Redmi Note 4. Xiaomi has not upgraded the processor for the regular version of the Redmi Note 5; instead, the Pro variant has the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor. With Redmi Note 4, Xiaomi managed to offer consistent performance, and based on our review, the Redmi Note 5 has no issues with performance either. However, not all Redmi Note 4 users might see the point of upgrading.
Redmi Note 4 was launched in three variants: 2GB RAM and 32GB storage, 3GB RAM and 32GB storage and 4GB RAM and 64GB storage option. With Redmi Note 5, the company is sticking with only two options: 3GB RAM and 32GB storage and 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. The Redmi Note 5 like the previous phone comes with 128GB microSD storage supported. Both Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 4 come with dual-hybrid SIM slots. This means the phone can run a nano-SIM and a micro-SD card or nano-SIM and a micro-SIM at the same time. The Redmi Note 5 series does not have a dedicated expandable storage slot like the Redmi Y1 phones.
Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 4: Difference in camera, battery
When it comes to the camera, the Redmi Note 5 series does not support two sensors at the back like the Redmi Note 5 Pro. However, Xiaomi says it has made improvements to the camera of the newer Redmi phone. Last year’s Redmi Note 4 came with a 13MP rear camera with PDAF and f/2.0 aperture, while the front camera was 5MP with f/2.0 aperture and no selfie flash.
The Redmi Note 5’s camera is 12MP with a larger pixel size of 1.25 micrometre, which the company says will allow better low-light performance. However, the rear camera’s aperture is f/2.2.The front camera is still 5MP, though there is a new Beautify 3.0 Software feature as well with customisations for India. The front camera also gets LED flash for better selfies.
For battery, Redmi Note 5 continues with the 4000 mAh one similar to Redmi Note 4 which had a 4100 mAh battery. The new phone also relies on micro-USB Type 2.0 port for charging, and comes with the standard 5V/2A charger like the older variant. Fast charging is not yet an option on the Redmi Note 5 or the Redmi Note 5 Pro.
Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 4: Difference in OS
The Redmi Note 5 comes with MIUI 9 based on Android Nougat 7.1.2. There is no Android Oreo on this newer phone and Xiaomi has not confirmed when it will start rolling out the update for the phone. The older Redmi Note 4 was launched with Android Marshmallow out of the box, but MIUI 9 build based on Android Nougat is now available for users. The update was launched last year. Once again, there’s no word on when this phone will be upgraded to Android Oreo.
Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 4: Difference in price
The price is what is interesting with the Redmi Note 5 series. Xiaomi’s new series continues with the same Rs 9,999 price, but for the 3GB RAM and 32GB storage variant. The 4GB RAM and 64GB storage version will cost Rs 11,999, which is lower compared to Redmi Note 4’s price tag of Rs 12,999 for the same RAM/storage option. Last year Redmi Note 4 launched at Rs 9,999 for 2GB RAM and Rs 10,999 for the 3GB RAM variant. The 4GB RAM option of Redmi Note 4 is now retailing for Rs 10,999 on Flipkart, while the other two appear to be out of stock.
If one goes simply on the basis of specifications, Redmi Note 5 Pro might be the better upgrade option for Redmi Note 4 users simply because of the dual rear camera, improved front camera and the newer display. For those still on their older Redmi Note 3 or older device and with a budget under Rs 12,000, the Redmi Note 5 might seem a more appealing option.