The Redmi 5 was launched by Xiaomi in December 2017, along with the Redmi 5 Plus. Both smartphones are currently available only in China, but are expected to launch in India soon. We have already brought you the unboxings of the two, as well as compared them with many other competing smartphones in the same segment.
Now, every smartphone works fine when it’s brand new. But what’s important is how it performs after extended usage. So I used Xiaomi Redmi 5 as my daily driver for a whole month to get a better idea about the device’s good and bad points.
For those of you who are planning on buying the Redmi 5 (whenever it launches in India), here are some pros and cons of Xiaomi’s latest budget smartphone. But before we get started, here’s a quick look at the Redmi 5’s hardware specifications:.
Redmi 5 Specifications & Features
|Display||5.7 inch IPS LCD, 720x1440px,|
|Processor & GPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 | Adreno 506|
|OS & RAM||Android v7.1.2 | 2GB or 3GB RAM|
|Storage||16 or 32GB | Expandable up to 128GB|
|Primary Camera||12MP, f/2.2, PDAF, LED Flash|
|Battery||Li-Po 3,300 mAh non-removable battery|
Xiaomi Redmi 5 is available at a price of CNY 799, which roughly translates to INR 8,076. Going by the specs, the smartphone seems to be quite an upgrade over its predecessor, the Redmi 4.
Redmi 5 Pros
- Solid Build Quality: The build quality of the Redmi 5 is very good. With a combination of plastic on the top/bottom and metal at the back, the handset feels good in the hand. It is a sleek, lightweight device that’s not much bigger in comparison to its predecessor. This is also helped by the 18:9 display, which will allow even users with small palms to use the device without any issues.
- Good Display: Xiaomi Redmi 5 doesn’t really have the best display out there, but it’s definitely an upgrade over the panel of Redmi 4. With a resolution of 720x1440px, the HD+ display looks bright. The 18:9 aspect ratio also allows more content to be displayed in one go.
- Blazing Fast Fingerprint Sensor: One thing I’ve found common in all Xiaomi smartphones is that they have really fast fingerprint sensors, and the Redmi 5 is no exception. Its fingerprint sensor is better than a majority of the competitors, including even mid-range smartphones like Lenovo K8 Note, Honor 6X and Moto G5S Plus. With 360-degree fingerprint recognition, you can unlock the smartphone by placing your finger in any direction on the sensor.
- Decent Camera: For the price, Xiaomi Redmi 5 offers a decent camera, which is probably better than offered by other low-end smartphones available in the market. I actually had a lot of fun using the camera. The app comes with several shooting modes, including my favourite – ‘Portrait Mode’. That said, the camera struggles to focus on tiny objects.The camera app also offers advanced manual controls for those who like to tinker with the settings, thus allowing for better photos to be captured. I liked the selfie camera as well, even though it somewhat overexposes lighter areas of the images. Have a look at the camera samples below:
- MIUI 9: Personally, I am a fan of Xiaomi’s custom UI layer. MIUI has been simplified a bit, and Xiaomi keeps on adding new features to it. The overall UI on Redmi 5 is quite customizable, thanks to a variety of themes and gestures available.
- Good Battery Life: Majority of the smartphones offer good battery life initially, but that takes a hit over time. However, this isn’t the case with Xiaomi Redmi 5. Even after a month of use, Redmi 5’s battery easily lasts a day on a single charge, with moderate usage.
Redmi 5 Cons
As good as the Redmi 5 is, it does have some disadvantages as well. Here are some of them:
- Not Good for Gaming or Multitasking: If you multitask and/or play games on your smartphone a lot, the Redmi 5 is a big no for you. Even though regular games run fine on the handset, there’s a lot of lag and stutter when handling heavy titles. Multitasking isn’t really that good either, as the phone restarts apps like WhatsApp and Facebook, even when there are just 3-4 apps running in the background.
- No Fast Charging: Although there’s not much point in expecting a budget smartphone to have fast-charging tech, but the Redmi 5’s battery takes a long time to get fully topped up. Over 2 hours to fully charge the battery is too much.
- No 5GHz Wi-Fi or NFC Support: The lack of NFC can be excused, given Redmi 5’s budget price tag. However, no 5GHz Wi-Fi support is a big letdown. Even the Redmi Note 4, which launched last year, supports faster Wi-Fi speeds. What’s more, Snapdragon 450 SoC supports 5GHz Wi-Fi, so it’s surprising the Redmi 5 misses out on this feature.
After using Xiaomi Redmi 5 for a little over a month, I can say that it’s definitely one of the best low-end smartphones available out there. Its performance is better than devices like Redmi 4A, Redmi 4, Redmi 4 Prime, Nokia 3 and Moto C Plus, all of which have similar price tags. So if you have a budget of less than INR 10,000 and want a smartphone with overall decent performance, good camera and battery life, go for the Redmi 5.