Display, Design & Build
Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 5 series has created quite a buzz this month. The Redmi Note 5 Pro made its global debut in India for a price starting at Rs 13,999. At this price point, there’s competition waiting in-house from Xiaomi’s own Android One powered Mi A1. The comparison between the two was inevitable. So let’s see how the Note 5 Pro stacks up against its near 5-months old cousin.
The Redmi Note 5 Pro features a 5.99-inch FHD+ display with 2160 x 1080 pixels stretched across the front panel. The Mi A1 meanwhile sports a 5.5-inch full HD screen with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution. If you prefer the latest slim bezel trend, the Redmi Note 5 Pro is the way to go as it has a taller display that offers extra real estate on screen and immersive experience.
Talking about the design and build, the Pro version is built out of aluminium while the Mi A1 flaunts an all-metal body. From the front, the Redmi Note 5 Pro looks more elegant than the Mi A1 with reduced bezels and top & bottom chunks trimmed to an extent. But from the rear-side, it appears to be an imitation of the iPhone X.
The Mi A1 has a better look if you take a closer glance at the rear-end. Further, it has a sturdy build with no flex. If your choice is inclined towards a narrow bezel smartphone, the Redmi Note 5 Pro will tick these boxes. However, if you want a device with a solid build and more distinct looks, grab the Mi A1.
Software & UI, Hardware
As we mentioned, the Xiaomi Mi A1 is the first device from the company that offers stock Android experience. The Mi A1 was launched with stock Android Nougat out-of-the-box and it recently received the latest Android 8.0 Oreo update. The Redmi Note 5 Pro meanwhile ships with Android Nougat based on MIUI 9 (that’s quite an obloquy). The UI on the Redmi Note 5 Pro is neat but the stock Android on the Mi A1 has a cleaner purview and it is more intuitive. Also it runs a more recent Android version. So the choice is pretty obvious here.
One of the key differentiators between the Mi A1 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro is the hardware innards. The Mi A1 runs on the Snapdragon 625 processor, while the Redmi Note 5 Pro is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 SoC that features Kyro 260 CPU and delivers enhanced performance (approx 40% more than the SD625 SoC). The SD625 does a more than decent job on the Mi A1 and can handle most of the demanding tasks.
However, the Redmi Note 5 Pro offers a snappier performance in terms of image processing, running high-intensive games, and while using split mode with multiple apps running in the background. So the Note 5 Pro should be your choice if you are looking at more muscle power and performance headroom for the future.
Both the Mi A1 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro offers dual rear cameras. While in the former it is arranged horizontally the latter has dual camera stacked in vertical alignment. The Mi A1 features dual 12MP units, one with the wide-angle lens and another having a telephoto sensor. The Redmi Note 5 Pro, on the other hand, sports a combination of 12MP(primary)+5MP(depth) sensors with f/2.2 and f/2.0 aperture respectively.
Talking about the performance, the Mi A1 has better depth mapping compared to the Redmi Note 5. The portrait mode in the former is quite impressive and it intelligently adds bokeh effect in the background. However, the mode seems to be in its nascent stage on the Redmi Note 5 Pro (at least in our review unit) because we could see hardly any effect on the images that we clicked with the Portrait mode on. But if you take into consideration colour reproduction and accuracy, the Redmi Note 5 Pro produces more vibrant colour thanks to the Snapdragon 636 SoC that feature 14-bit Qualcomm Spectra 160 ISP which claims to deliver ‘true-to-life colours’ for striking image quality. All in all, the Note 5 pro has a better camera.
Battery Performance, Conclusion
The Redmi Note 5 Pro wins over the Mi A1 in the battery department too. The Pro accommodates a big 4000mAh battery, meanwhile, the Mi A1 packs a 3080mAh battery. If you are one among those users who likes to torment their device with extensive gaming, streaming HD videos, frequent messaging throughout the day, the Redmi Note 5 pro will be the one to serve you better. The Redmi Note 5 Pro can give more than a day’s juice, while the Mi A1 will likely need to be plugged into the charger at the end of the day.
We have compiled the key factors of the two Xiaomi smartphones, but the question remains – which one you should opt for?
If you are looking for a smartphone that has a modern design, bigger display, extra processing power, more juice and better overall image quality, then Redmi Note 5 Pro will be the perfect fit. However, if you are more into shooting portraits, want a clutter-free UI that is simple to use and demand a device that can take a few extra bumps, the Mi A1 will impress you more.