Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Quick Review
After extensive leaks and rumours, Xiaomi’s new smartphone, the Redmi Note 5 has finally arrived in India. The handset which is a rebranded version of the Redmi 5 Plus tags a compelling price starting at Rs 9,999 and it will be available on Flipkart and mi.com as well.
The new Redmi Note 5 series has received an upgrade over its predecessor in terms of display size and screen resolution. The Redmi Note 5 now features a tall 5.99-inch Full HD+ display instead of the 5.5-inch Full HD IPS panel found on the popular Redmi Note 4.
The front camera sports a LED-selfie light for better photography in low light. We spent a few hours with the new Redmi Note 5 smartphone and here’s what we have to say in our initial impressions.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 features a 5.99-inch FHD+ (2160 x 1080 pixels) 18:9 display like its big brother, the Redmi Note 5 Pro. The phone sports a 5MP front facing the camera with LED-selfie light. While these are some of the notable upgrades on the new Redmi smartphone, few innards remain the same as the Note 4.
The Redmi Note 5 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset and runs Android Nougat OS. It comes in two RAM and storage variants – 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB. There’s a microSD card support for additional storage.
Xiaomi has shrunk the battery capacity from 4100mAh to 4000mAh and the new Redmi handset still has a micro-USB charging port and not a type-C. In the short span of time spent with the Redmi Note 5, we found the device to be a decent performer.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Display
By now you know that the Redmi Note 5 flaunts a 5.99-inch FHD+ 18:9 display like the Pro variant. The panel has a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels and pixel density of 403ppi. The display has 450-nit brightness and colour contrast of 1000:1.
The display quality of the Redmi Note 5 compared to its previous iteration is noticeably better. The icon colours are vivid and it is brighter. The sunlight readability is decent, but the panel is a bit reflective and that made it a bit difficult to browse through some content.
The viewing angles are good, and we had a pleasant experience streaming video on the tall display.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Design & Build
Xiaomi has trimmed the bezels on the Redmi Note 5 and added neat curves to give an elegant look to the device. The size bezels are thinner, but the company has kept big chunks on the top and bottom part. The top section houses the front camera sensor and LED light.
The phone features an aluminium body with a glass front. However, the phone has plastic ends. From the back side, it looks identical to its predecessor with camera and fingerprint sensor located at the centre.
The Redmi Note 5 provides good grip but we didn’t find the build to be that sturdy. The power button comfortably reaches the thumb but like in the Pro version, we had difficulty reaching the volume rockers.
A near 6-inch display is not meant for single-handed operation anyway. Further, the new Redmi phone accompanies micro-USB port (perhaps the company is trying to keep the cost down) for charging.
Irrespective of this, Xiaomi has really polished the design with smooth curved edges and fairly compact form factor.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Camera
The imaging sensors on the Redmi Note 5 are claimed to have improved over its predecessor. We tried testing it out in the few hours we had with the device. The Redmi Note 5 features a 12MP rear camera unit, down from the Redmi Note 4 that has a 13MP rear camera.
The camera has f/2.2 aperture and LED flash module. Up front, it has a 5MP camera and LED-selfie light for better clicks in low light.
Talking about the camera performance we were quite amazed to see the colour accuracy of the images. The colours pop-out bright in broad daylight with finer details. However, it did take time to lock focus on the subject.
And while the result was quite impressive in good light, the images pixelated in low light (not surprising). The colours appeared to be a tad washed-out and there was noise creeping on the photos.
The front camera has the same story like the rear one with good snaps in bright light and output slowly degrading as the light drops. The camera software offers real-time filter and Beautify 3.0 to add effects to the shots.
We didn’t face any problem while clicking photos from the front and rear sensors. But we would like to keep our final verdict on hold till we put it through thorough tests.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Camera Samples
Redmi Note 5 Software & UI
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 still runs Android Nougat OS however it features the latest custom ROM skin, MIUI 9, which brings a neat look to the user interface. The unnecessary apps are gone, and it includes the Google & Microsoft suite and Xiaomi’s proprietary apps.
The Redmi Note 5 still has Quick Ball and Dual apps. But you now get the gestures to take quick screenshots and other nitty-gritties that adds a bit of fun during usage. With the MIUI 9, the phone loads a slew of new themes to add fresh look and the App Vault shortcuts make it easier to access the most-used apps.
In our limited time with the device we found the UI to be smooth and quick.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 has got significant upgrade over its predecessor in terms of design language, UI and screen quality. While Xiaomi has trimmed a few aspects from the new Redmi Note smartphone, we expect the device to deliver reliable performance.
The camera and the display are its key highlights that would set a good competition against its mid-range rivals. The new design would really compel Xiaomi fans to bag-in the smartphone.
The slight downgrade on the battery capacity might be a let down for some but we expect the new Redmi Note 5 to deliver better battery performance than its predecessors due to certain optimisations.
We will leave that and a few more aspects for our in-depth review when we get our hands on the device for a longer duration soon.