- Nice Matte Black Finish
- Best 720p Display
- Solid Battery Life
- Decent Rear Facing Camera
- Washed out Front Facing Camera
Not too long ago, we reviewed the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime, which is their entry – level smartphone that has decent specification. This year, last February, Xiaomi unveiled another smartphone – the new Redmi 5. This is their very first affordable Redmi Smartphone to have an 18:9 aspect ratio display which is huge for a Non-note version. In fact, there is some interesting thing happening under the hood. The question is – how good is the Redmi 5? Is it worth the money? Is it a bust?
Guess it’s time for you to find out in this Full Review.
Design & Build Quality
The Redmi 5 resembles more like it’s bigger brother – the Redmi Note series. On the back, you see that the camera, flash and the fingerprint sensor is located in the exact layout as the Redmi Note 4. Not to forget the camera bump. It sure is a refreshing look for the Redmi series as a whole and I like how Redmi 5 is now bigger. The unit that we got – comes in this matte black finish which is frigging amazing and I love it. The only bummer is that – the CE Markings and the Mi logo has this very obvious grey finish.
As for the build quality, the device is constructed with aluminum and glass – giving an affordable smartphone, a premium feel it deserves. The weight of the device is evenly displaced and I have to say, I am actually impressed. One thing I am happy with the Redmi 5 is the fact that it still feels a step forward from it’s predecessor and that is definitely a great move. Surprisingly, they also include a black silicon case that let’s you protect your device. Good touch right there.
Specification & Bench Mark
As for the specification, the Redmi 5 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 – an octa-core processor that’s clocked in at 1.8 GHz. On top of that, it comes with 3GB RAM and a 32GB Internal Storage. Don’t worry – you have the option to expand the memory with the help of a MicroSD Card. Below here, you’ll see the benchmark scores of this particular device. Do take note that the Benchmark scores does not add up to day-to-day usage.
The Redmi 5 is their first mid-range smartphone that comes with an 18:9 aspect ratio. Their first phone to have that display ratio is their gorgeous Mi Mix 2. Anyways, the Redmi 5 comes in at 5.7” HD+ Display. I have to be honest here. This is by far the best 720p Display I have seen in my entire life. Take note, the Redmi 5 is the only one that comes with a 720p display.
The display has 282 pixels per inch, which isn’t to shabby at the first place. The colors produced by the display is just pleasing to the eyes. The black color isn’t as washed out as the Redmi Note 5A Prime’s 720p Display. The color production is more towards the colder tone. If you are not a huge fan of the colder tone – you can always meddle around in the settings to set the tone you want. It also has a mode – Reading Mode, where it filters out the blue light and gives a pleasing view to the eye.
Watching contents on YouTube and streaming services like iflix and Netflix for that matter – is pretty good. You don’t have to worry about missing details as the display on this particular device does it’s charm. The brightness on this device goes up to 450 nits. It’s definitely not the greatest but it’s acceptable.
As the display is in an 18:9 aspect ratio, the software counterpart doesn’t offer any custom scaling like the Asus Zenfone Max Plus M1 does, which is kind of a bummer. But don’t worry, you’ll still be able to use all the application as intended – but just not at 18:9 ratio.
The Redmi 5 is powered by Qualcomm’s entry level chipset – the Snapdragon 450 – an octa-core processor with the latest 14nm FinFET Architecture, clocked in at 1.8 GHz. As for the memory, the device comes with 3GB RAM*.
As for normal tasks – for instance – Social Networking, Calls, Messaging works fine. It’s smooth and the application opens up pretty fast – thanks to the new MIUI 9, which prioritizes the application start-up time. As for heavy task that involves a bit of graphics, I tried playing one of my favorite title – Tekken. For some weird reason the game had some issue due to the update by the developer. So, I had to try out other games like Need For Speed: No Rivals, Asphalt and so on. Surprisingly, for a 450 processor, it sure does handle games like a charm. There’s very little stutters and lag. But most of the time it works well.
The phone handles the memory really well. During my time using the device, it didn’t crash as much as I thought. It was really good.
* Do take note that the RAM capacity varies according to the variant you purchase, so be careful when you get your own Redmi 5.
Battery Life and Charging
Under the hood, the Redmi 5 has a 3300 mAh battery. Since the phone has a 14nm FinFET Architecture in it’s processor, expect the performance to be efficient. Under heavy usage for about 8 hours – which involves a lot of social networking and also watching one episode on Netflix – the phone gave me a SoT of 2 Hours 23 Minutes, it’s pretty decent.
Now, under standby, this is where the device ups it’s ante. I unplugged the smartphone at night with 100%, watched 2 episodes on Netflix and then left the data running every single background task and I had about 80% battery. So, I just left it as it is and went to bed. The next day morning, the device had 69% left. This is amazing. Considering the fact that the background process was running and it was connected to the network the whole night. None the less, the device only lost about 10%.
This is one of the reasons why I took the Redmi 5 with me on my trip to Japan and boy, it was a lifesaver.
Front Facing Camera
On the front, the Redmi 5 has a 5 Megapixel Selfie camera. I for one am not the kind of person that has to take a mandatory selfies every single day. Below in this image, it was shot with the lights turned on in my room and also the lights from the outside. It appears to be a bit washed off and lacking details but it takes decent shots. That’s alright. You also get this softlight for low light selfies – it works fine but there is still a bit of grains here and there.
Rear Facing Camera
On the back, Xiaomi has opted in for a new camera sensor – they went for a 12MP Sensor with an aperture of f/2.2. Interestingly enough, the camera has a 1.25um large pixel sensor. You also get a single tone flash with all the other features like PDAF, HDR and so on.
Every single picture captured by the Redmi 5 is more towards the colder tone – so it gives that influencer’s Instagram picture look to it. The shot of this particular picture where I have this Yoodo SIM Card – On the left – the HDR Mode is disabled whereas on the right the HDR Mode is enabled. The difference is very obvious. On the left – the device has this darker tone to the grass and the Yoodo SIM Pack. Whereas on the right, you’ll notice that the grass is a lot brighter – has this realistic color tone. It’s pretty decent.
The colors in a whole is even, sharp and decent. You can take a look at some of the shots that was taken with this devices camera. I can’t say much about the lowlight photos because it’s more of a hit-and-miss happening. If you’re lucky, you’d get a balanced shot. If not, things tend to over blow. But if I were to compare with previous Redmi Devices, the camera has gotten a lot better. So that’s good enough.
UI & OS
As for the UI, the Redmi 5 runs the infamous MIUI 9 on top of Android Nougat, version 7.1.2 to be precise. With the new MIUI 9, there’s a lot of improvement going on. One noticeable difference is how fast the application starts up. It’s snappy and quick. Every single built in application – like the File Manager, Gallery has improved.
With the MIUI 9, you now get to even have split screen – which means you can open up two application at the same time and multitask. Other than that, you get so many other usual features like Dual Apps, App lock, Second Space and many more. It feels like they’ve polished the MIUI 9 and it feels a lot better. If you’re not a fan of the MIUI Launcher, you can always sideload your favorite launcher and customize it to the way you want.
Last but not least, the fingerprint sensor. It’s now faster and unlocks in a blink of an eye. That’s pretty great. Only thing you have to make sure that your fingers are not wet or sweaty, cuz it fails to unlock. This is normal.
We have come to the end. Redmi 5 is definitely a huge step ahead in the mid-tier smartphone. Just like any Mi Smartphone, the Redmi 5 is an all-rounder. It has an amazing 720p display with no visible pixel dots. The display is now bigger and it fits in a smaller form factor. The Camera – both on the front and back has improved a lot. Not to forget, the build quality of this device – which is really good for a mid-tier smartphone.
The Redmi 5 Variant that we reviewed costs RM 599, making it a huge steal for the money that you pay. If you want a cheaper version, Xiaomi has a 2GB Variant that’s sold for RM 499. Let’s say if you want a bigger display, an even better processor – you can even go for the Redmi 5 Plus, which is sold for RM 749 (3GB Variant) and RM 899 (4GB Variant). In conclusion, we feel that if you want to get a decent smartphone for the price tag, the Redmi 5 is an all-rounder that will not disappoint you in anyway.
If you’re planning to buy your own Redmi 5, you can head over to the Mi Store located at KLCC or you can click here to purchase it through Mi Official Store on Lazada.