The fifth generation of Xiaomi’s budget-friendly smartphones series started with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A launched back in August 2017. Later the Redmi 5A hit the market becoming the cheapest Xiaomi phone. But we have been eagerly waiting for the third bunch of Redmi phones that were promised to come with a full-screen design. It’s been assumed, the Xiaomi Redmi 5, 5 Plus, and Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 will bring the full-screen experience to larger masses due to lower price tags. When the Xiaomi Redmi 5 and its larger variant in face of the Redmi 5 Plus were launched, we understood they are going to grab the title of the cheapest full-screen phone from the 360 N6 and Huawei Honor V10. At this moment, only the Redmi Note 5 hasn’t been announced yet. So to complete the review list of the fifth-gen Redmi lines we are going to dive into the details of the Xiaomi Redmi 5.
Also Read: Xiaomi Redmi 5 Unboxing
Xiaomi Redmi 5 Design
Generally, the Xiaomi Redmi 5 is available in two versions. The 2+16GB version is available at 799 yuan, while the 3+32GB model is priced at 899 yuan ($135). We decided to review the higher model.
Like other Redmi phones, this one comes with a red packaging along with gold lines and printings.
The opposite side carries some important information referring to the model as well as the manufacturer.
As the box content is minimal, let’s get acquainted with the overall appearance of the device. The Xiaomi Redmi 5 is packed with a 5.7-inch LCD screen that provides an HD+ resolution (1440×720 pixels). It adopts the symmetrical design seen on many other full-screen smartphones. Thus the forehead and chin are at the same size. But the company has narrowed down both parts. So in comparison to the regular 16:9 screens, this one that comes with an 18:9 aspect ratio brings more in-depth immersion. But if the forehead carries the proximity and light sensors, speaker, and a 5MP camera, the chin is blank.
This phone uses a three-stage antenna design. And though its body is made of plastic, we should keep in mind we are dealing with a wallet-friendly handset. Thus this material is quite acceptable.
The top carries a headphone jack along with a microphone hole and infrared port.
Another microphone hole, a USB port, and a speaker are located on the bottom.
As usual, the SIM card slot supporting dual-SIM dual-standby is on the left. You can scarify one of the slots to expand the memory.
The volume rocker and the unlock key are on the right.
Xiaomi Redmi 5 Performance
When the Xiaomi Redmi 5 leaked on various documents, we learned it’s going to be one of the first devices sporting Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 450 chip developed for entry-level models. The truth is the SND450 is the lightened variant of the well-known Snapdragon 625 that is an absolute leader in the mid-range market. It can be found on myriads of phones including the Xiaomi Mi A1/5X, Mi Max 2, OPPO R9S, Meizu M6 Note and more.
The Snapdragon 450 is based on a 14nm process technology and uses an A53 octa-core architecture at 1.8GHz. However, thanks to a number of enhancements it performs 25% better than its predecessor, the Snapdragon 435. The tests showcase its performance is close to the Snapdragon 625.
The Xiaomi Redmi 5 scores about 50K. So when compared to other entry-level smartphones packing MediaTek chips it stands out, undoubtedly.
The continuous reading speed is about 266MB/s. Just to know, most of high-end and mid-range smartphones showcase 300MB/s.
Xiaomi Redmi 5 Camera
Usually, we do not review the camera of low-end smartphones, as they are not thought to provide good shooting performance. But the Xiaomi Redmi 5 is an exception. The manufacturer has made a number of improvements in the camera software and both camera modules on the phone act like an SLR camera.
The daytime samples showcase the Xiaomi Redmi 5 is capable of taking quite good shots when there is a sufficient lighting. However, it is not so good in terms of night shooting. You can notice some noise in the nighttime photos.
On the other hand, the Redmi 5 camera provides a background blur effect without the second sensor. You can even open the HDR for better photos.
At last, the front camera supports beauty feature that provides real-time beautification results.
Xiaomi Redmi 5 Battery
The Redmi 5 is equipped with a built-in 3300mAh capacity battery. The PCMark Battery Life Test shows the Xiaomi Redmi 5 can provide up to 12 hours and 36 minutes of battery life when using normally. This endurance is too close to the Mi MAX that comes with a 4850mAh battery and 6.44-inch Full HD screen.
A few other tests were held to discover the actual use time. When we started watching video online the remaining power was 89. The test was held at a 53% brightness and 20% volume. After an hour the remaining power reduced to 80%. This simply means the Xiaomi Redmi 5 should provide up to 11 hours of video playback. The second test was held for playing games. It started when the power was 69%. After 30 minutes of playing Honor of Kings, it showed 62% of power. So the phone is capable of providing playing games up to 7 hours.
We’ve already managed to learn the Xiaomi Redmi 5 endurance is more than satisfactory. But what about the charging? The phone comes with a 5V2A charging head. A test was held to find out the charging time. Unfortunately, it’s not as impressive as the slow discharging speed. It took about 120 minutes to fully charge the phone. On the other hand, it fills 27% in 20 minutes only, and 39% in half an hour.
Seems the selling point of the Xiaomi Redmi 5 should be the full-screen design. But we found out it is one of the best phones in terms of battery life optimization. It’s believed the only ‘guilty’ is MIUI9, which works perfectly over the Snapdragon 450 chip. In this sense, the Redmi 5 can be considered one of the best cost-effective smartphones around the globe.