• Operating System: Android 7.1.2 Nougat
  • System on Chip: Qualcomm Snapdragon 450
  • Memory: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB, expandable with microSD
  • Display: 5.75-inch 720 x 1440 IPS
  • Camera: 12MP (rear), 5MP (front)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2 + A2DP + LE, 802.11n, Wi-Fi Direct
  • Dimensions: 151.8 x 72.8 x 7.7 mm
  • Weight: 157g
  • Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Display
  • Cons:
  • Camera

Superb Value

It’s been a long time since we’ve gotten anything from Xiaomi, but the lack of Xiaomi’s presence doesn’t really mean that it’s gone. While competition is rife these days and the Chinese brand is no longer a mainstream smartphone powerhouse, its new Redmi 5 we have for review has plenty of merits.

The one thing you can count on Xiaomi is often simplicity in design and the Redmi 5 fits that bill. It doesn’t try to look gaudy or fancy, but instead has a unibody design and rounded edges. Despite measuring 5.75 inches diagonally, it’s thin and slim due to the 18:9 aspect ratio design. Decked out in all-black, the Redmi 5’s body is made of pretty solid aluminium that feels good in the hand.
Aside from that, the device has only one camera for both the front and back, making it seem more like the exception than the regular dual-rear cameras that are common these days.

Inside the device is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 450 chipset, which consists of an Octa-core CPU and the Adreno 506 GPU. Its performance is fairly close to devices based on the Snapdragon 625, making this device more of a lower midrange model in terms of processing prowess. It’s more than up to the task when it comes to HD multimedia, some light gaming, and even productivity. Although having only 3GB of RAM means it won’t excel at multitasking many heavy apps at once, it should more than hold up for regular use.

One good thing to note about this phone is its display. For a device at this price range, it’s quite impressive to see a display this sharp and vibrant. The audio, while lacking in bass as expected and not very rich in frequency range, can deliver crisp voice quality even at higher volume levels. In combination, this means that the device does quite well when it comes to video playback or streaming.

This device is also great for the 3,300 mAh battery, which is not bad for a device this slim. Since the chipset is quite power efficient, the Redmi 5 is able to last most of a day even with periodic sessions of heavy use.

When it comes to the photo quality of the Redmi 5, we found that it’s average at best. Although its 12-megapixel rear camera uses a f/2.2 aperture sensor, it can’t deliver very detailed shots (a lot of noise) and this problem is further compounded in low-light conditions.

CHIP CONCLUDE: It may not be as powerful or feature-laden like premium devices, but the Xiaomi Redmi 5 offers incredible value for what it has – decent performance and a good 18:9 aspect ratio display.Xiomi-red-mi-5-600x500

(previously published in issue April