Last time when these three handsets were pitted against one another was in an extensive camera comparison. Not so surprisingly, the Xiaomi Mi A1 came out on top, although, it received tough competition from the Redmi 5 Plus while the Honor 7X was mostly unimpressive. This time, the same trio is back in another mass comparison – Performance and Gaming. So, will these devices finish in the same order as the last time or will there be any surprising changes?
The Redmi 5 Plus is a recent addition to the lower mid-range category and while it is yet to be launched in India, it has generated a decent amount of interest in the market already. On the other hand, the Xiaomi Mi A1 and the Honor 7X have been quite popular among the people looking for value-for-money devices. All three phones come with premium looks, good screens and at least acceptable levels of performances when it comes to the daily usage.
Redmi 5 Plus SPECIFICATIONS
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 Octa-core 2.0 GHz
GPU: Adreno 506
RAM: 4 GB (for 64 GB internal storage)
Display: 5.99 inches, 1080p x 2160p resolution, 403 ppi
OS: Android Nougat 7.1.2 with MIUI 9.2
Xiaomi Mi A1 SPECIFICATIONS
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 Octa-core 2.02 GHz
GPU: Adreno 506
RAM: 4 GB
Display: 5.5-inch, 1080p x 1920p resolution, 398ppi
OS: Android Nougat 7.1.2, MIUI 9.0
Honor 7X SPECIFICATIONS
Processor: HiSilicon Kirin 659 Octa-core (4 high-speed @ 2.36 GHz and 4 low-speed @ 1.71 GHz)
RAM: 4 GB
Display: 5.93-inch, 1080p x 2160p resolution, 407ppi
OS: Android Nougat 7.0, EMUI 5.1
On paper, both Xiaomi siblings – the Redmi 5 Plus and the Xiaomi Mi A1 – are evenly matched having the same processor, RAM, GPU and the specific Nougat version. Even the screen resolution is mostly the same, it’s just that the Redmi 5 Plus being slightly bigger at 5.99 inches pushes more number of pixels at 403 ppi (compared to Mi A1’s slightly lesser 398 ppi). The Honor 7X, on the other hand, comes with a HiSilicon processor and a resolution that properly matches with that of the Redmi 5 Plus.
So what do various Benchmarks say?
In order to determine the capability of the GPU in numbers, the 3D Mark is possibility the best benchmark to rely on. It runs the GPU through various tests on the primary parameters of physics and graphics.
The numbers show that the Redmi 5 Plus and the Xiaomi Mi A1 are almost on par in terms of the GPU capability, which makes sense since both the handsets come with the same GPU (as well as processor and the same amount of RAM too).
Geekbench 4 is the standard to understand the performance threshold of the complete chipset of a handset. Let’s take a look at the three devices here.
Once again, the two Xiaomi handsets are closer in numbers because of the same chipset and the GPU while the Honor 7X leads this group as far as the Single Core category is concerned. But it trails its competitors when it comes to the Multi-Core performance. This is likely due to the fact that the Honor 7X has only 4 cores clocked at the high speed of 2.36 GHz (other 4 cores are low speed at 1.7 GHz), the Redmi 5 Plus and the Xiaomi Mi A1 have all their respective 8 cores clocked at 2.0 GHz. So this design probably gives the two Xiaomi handsets an advantage over the 7X when it comes to multitasking.
REAL WORLD PERFORMANCE and GAMING
And it shows when it comes to the real world performance and gaming capabilities of the three handsets. While there’s nothing much to complain about any of these devices when switching apps and performing the usual daily tasks (even though the Honor 7X can stutter randomly more than the two Xiaomi siblings), it is under some heavy gaming that the actual prowess of these handsets starts to display.
The Redmi 5 Plus and the Xiaomi Mi A1 perform quite similarly when indulging in some graphics-heavy games like the car racing Asphalt 8. Even though the overall experience is far from being entirely super smooth, there is nothing particular to complain about the two handsets while playing an intensive, graphic-rich game. The handsets tend to give occasional hiccups during fast-changing screens – for example, there are frequent instances of momentary lag when advancing through the screens/menus after a race is over. However, the gameplay is mostly free from any such hiccup, hence, it is a decent experience in its entirety.
The Honor 7X, on the other hand, impresses least. While there’s no pattern to it, but the 7X completely froze on a couple of occasions while playing the Asphalt 8. The handset had to be force-restarted to make it function normally. Also, it stutters more while switching apps especially when there some heavy apps open in the background like a game and the video recorder.
One important thing to consider under heavy usage is the temperature. All three handsets became noticeably warm during some intensive gameplay. However, the overall rise in the temperature never turned into an issue and things remained well under control. On this count, we do not have anything to complain about any of the three devices. But we would like to point out that the Honor 7X warmed up a little bit more than the Redmi 5 Plus and the Xiaomi Mi A1.
It is not hard to understand the performance difference between the three handsets even when the difference isn’t really huge. The Honor 7X consistently lags in this group. It may not be as bad as it seems on its own, but naturally, any negative aspects are more easily noticeable in the case of a comparison. Considering the real world usage, the Redmi 5 Plus and the Xiaomi Mi A1 are evenly matched and it is hard to choose which one is really better than the other.
However, it is our educated guess that the Redmi 5 Plus will be priced a bit lower than the Xiaomi Mi A1 (and the Honor 7X) whenever it will launch in India, and on that basis, the Redmi 5 Plus seems to have an advantage of the higher preference. Also, the handset looks good even when the Xiaomi Mi A1 closely mimics the design language of the iPhone 7 Plus. The Redmi 5 Plus’s almost full-screen display appears more modern and up-to-day with today’s latest trend. The colours are good and the handset feels good to hold as well.
At the same time, the Xiaomi Mi A1 is an ‘Android One’ device. This means that it will receive timely software updates from Google and in fact, it has already received the Android Oreo while the Redmi 5 Plus ships with the Nougat. This can be an important factor for many people who value and consider timely updates an important aspect of owning any smartphone.
In the end, it really becomes more of a personal preference of what one prefers – bigger screen (full-screen display and a probable slightly lower pricing expectation OR timely software updates guaranteeing latest features and the best possible performance). I, for one, would prefer to go with the Xiaomi Mi A1 in this case.
Please let us know what you feel about it and share your opinions as well in the comment section below.