Xiaomi’s Redmi series and their Note series have coexisted well over the past few years. There has been a clear demarcation in terms of size, specifications, feature set and pricing for products belonging to each of those series. The former has traditionally been more compact and offered a modest feature set while the latter would up the ante in almost all departments for a few thousand Rupees more. That somewhat changed with the launch of the Redmi 5 and Redmi Note 5 series this year.
While the underlying logic still remains, the Note 5 offers way more for just a thousand Rupees extra thus cannibalising the Redmi 5 and almost rendering it obsolete. The balance has been disturbed and that raises the question whether it makes any sense in buying the Redmi 5, especially the 3GB and 4GB variants. Let’s figure out.
As I mentioned above, Redmi series was targeted at those who preferred a compact phone. To put things in numbers, the Redmi Note 4 was more than a centimetre taller than the Redmi 4. So, while the Redmi 4 could be used with a single hand due to it’s 5-inch screen, the Note 4 with a 5.5-inch display was not meant to be. In the current generation, the difference in Redmi 5 and Redmi Note 5 sizes is barely half a centimetre, courtesy of the minimal difference in their respective screen sizes. Neither phones are meant for single-handed operation. Hence, there’s no clear differentiator between their physique. And they look identical too.
Also Read: Xiaomi Redmi 5 Review
Redmi 5 sports a 5.7” screen with a resolution of 1440 x 720 pixels with a resulting pixel density of 282 PPI. Redmi Note 5 has a slightly larger 5.99” screen with a significantly higher resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels, that translates to a pixel density of 403 PPI. Long story short, Redmi Note 5 has a much sharper display as compared to the Redmi 5.
Redmi 5 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 SoC clocked at 1.8GHz, while the Note 5 has a slightly faster Snapdragon 625 SoC ticking at 2GHz. It’s not just about the clock speed but you also get a higher series SoC with the Note 5. Another win against its name when compared to the Redmi 5.
This for me was the biggest disappointment in the Redmi 5. Both, Redmi 4 and Redmi 3s Prime before it had 4000mAh+ batteries that ensured more than a day of usage on a single charge. There was no reason for Xiaomi to drop the battery capacity to 3300mAh on the Redmi 5. As for the Note 5, it continues the tradition of powering the device with a 4000mAh battery.
Coming to the final and the most important reason, the price, or the price difference to be more specific. Redmi 5 is priced at Rs 8999 for the 3GB RAM and 32GB storage variant. Similar variant of the Redmi Note 5 sells for Rs 9999. So by just paying Rs 1000 extra, you get all the above benefits, and I don’t see half a reason to decline all that for that little a price difference.
Hence, considering all these facts, I don’t have any compelling reason to recommend a Redmi 5 when there’s a Redmi Note 5 available for just a little more.