Good performance, long battery life, and no compromises: this is what Xiaomi Redmi series stands for. Xiaomi Redmi smartphones even outperform Lenovo’s MOTO G series with ease. Redmi 3S and Redmi 4X were unbeatable, and still are. The small 5-inch display with a “thick” frame now is succeeded by Redmi 5, just in time. The front shines with a wide 5.7-inch 18:9 display and the battery becomes smaller with now only 3300mAh. If this is a good thing or not, you will find out in the following review about Xiaomi Redmi 5!
Overview of the differences between Xiaomi Redmi 5 and 5 Plus
|Xiaomi Redmi 5||Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus|
|Weight and dimensions||
Design and build quality
Even the low budget series now follows Xiaomi’s trend that started with Mi Mix: the so-called edgeless design offers an enormously slim frame around the display. Still, the bezel stays the same: Xiaomi Redmi 5 has the same 3mm bezel as most other phones at the moment. The now important part are the slim 9mm and 11mm above and below the display. This makes Xiaomi Redmi 5 a good bargain with a nice display-to-case-ratio. Xiaomi Redmi 5 is 73mm wide, 152mm long and only 8mm thick. Still, the camera juts out 1mm on the rear. Apart from that, the design very much resembles a Redmi Note 4 with only a dual LED flash missing in the standard version. Compared to its predecessor, the phone is only 2mm wider despite the way bigger display. Even the 13mm of length seem crazy keeping in mind that the display is now 0.7 inches bigger.
The phone’s shell offers an unfortunate surprise: despite Redmi 4X offering a metal frame with only the top and bottom made of plastic, Xiaomi Redmi 5 has an overall plastic frame, including the power and volume keys. Only the rear consists of aluminium. With 157g, the weight is average. Having a slimmer dimension due to the 16:9 display, you can reach the 5,.5-inch phone’s fingerprint scanner easier. Holding the phone in the hand you don’t feel the 5.5-inch size immediately. Only when having to reach the upper part of the display you will need to change your grip or use your second hand to handle the phone. Redmi 5 really feels awesome in your hand and even the plastic frame does not change this feeling. The scope of delivery includes for the first time in the Redmi series a silicone protection film which is a standard for Xiaomi’s flagship phones. Even though Redmi 5 costs only a little more than 100€, the fingerprint scanner does not really differ much from those of 400€ smartphones in terms of speed and precision. The finger is recognized within 0.5 seconds and the phone is unlocked in 10/10 attempts!
There is a white notification LED on the upper right of the phone. It pulses pleasingly and sufficiently bright. Surprisingly, Xiaomi kept the classical Micro-USB port and, of course, there is a headphone jack. Also, there are an infrared sensor and a noise-cancelling microphone. Sadly, the 18:9 display comes with a big disadvantage, since videos usually are in 16:9. This ends up in a letterbox format when watching YouTube videos. They even eliminated the Android sensor keys in order to install on-screen buttons that claim a big part of the additional screen surface. The 11mm space below the phone would have offered enough space to install sensor buttons. I also missed the 3-in-1 slot of Redmi Note 5a, now we only have a hybrid slot that makes you choose between the Dual-SIM function or expandable storage. Let’s wait for the global version, maybe it will be better then.
Xiaomi Redmi 5 has an excellent build quality and nobody could ever classify this phone as a 100€ device. The big innovation is the front that is almost fully covered by the display, and the rear that is a copy of Redmi Note 4X. Both are great and I even got to like the 18:9 display, which makes the phone slimmer. The 2.5D glass and the display’s rounded-off edges make Redmi 5 look even more high-quality than it actually is. The display’s size might act as a deterrent to some users at first sight, but in reality, the phone is even more compact than Redmi Note 4. As usual, Xiaomi sets standards in design, feel and build quality for low-budget phones in 2018.
The new Redmi 5 now is 0,7-inches bigger and offers a 5,7-inch display. In the 18:9 format, the screen produces a solid 282 pixels per inch with a 1440 x 720 pixels resolution. Brightness is impressive with 450 cd/m² and readability outdoors is outstanding. Redmi 5’s display is pleasingly sharp, it has nice viewing angles (typical of IPS) and the colour representation is warm as it is common for Xiaomi phones. Still, in direct comparison, there is a difference to the FHD display of Redmi Note 4X’s or the 6-inch Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus in terms of sharpness.
As usual, you can choose between “warm, standard and cold” in the settings and automatic contrast betters readability outdoors a lot. You can double tap the display to wake up the phone and the terminable reading mode is as convincing as usual. The display is sufficiently resistant to scratches, even though Xiaomi did not mention the brand Corning Gorilla glass. The touchscreen registers up to 10 points of contact simultaneously with an excellent speed and precision. The finger smoothly runs over the glass surface and we suspect an anti-fingermark coating.
Performance and system
Xiaomi Redmi 5 houses a brand new Snapdragon 450 processor which now offers instead of 8 x 1,4 GHz (Redmi 4X) a whole 1,8GHz with Redmi 5. Energy management is supported by the recent 14nm process. An Adreno 506 GPU – that in theory is 25% faster – is included in the system. Redmi 5’s processor scored in the 3GB RAM version a solid 55000 points in the synthetical Antutu Benchmark. This makes Redmi 5 almost coequal to Redmi Note 4X and you can even notice this in daily use.
Graphics demanding games like Asphalt 8, Modern Combat 5 or NOVA 3 can be played without any restrictions. However, you have to lower the graphics settings of Asphalt 8 in order to avoid lags. Of 3GB RAM, you have 1.4GB RAM available for daily use and multitasking is almost perfect on Redmi 5. This is why I was able to watch a Youtube video and to use car navigation at the same time via split-screen mode, without any jerks or lags. The 4.8GB/s RAM storage is just as excellent as the 32GB storage with a reading/writing speed of 211/77 MB/s. You should keep in mind that this is a low-budget device. There is no other smartphone that is able to keep up with this hardware performance and this great system as its performance is unbeatably smooth with the brand new MIUI 9 system.Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result Geekbench Single Result 3D Mark Result
Redmi 5 is the first device that arrived here having MIUI 9 ex-works. The same should hold true for the global version. MIUI is a strongly modified system on an Android 7.1 basis. Maybe the recent Android 8 (Oreo) basis will be included in may, but it might not make too big a difference since the MIUI system is strongly adapted. The MIUI upgrade from 8 to 9 did increase performance noticeably and we could not detect any difference in performance comparing it to Redmi 5 Plus or Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X (both SD625 devices)
Apps open very fast, even when multitasking. System performance of flagships can only be measured in benchmarks, but users won’t notice a too big difference. However, devices in the low-budget segment are more and more catching up with high-end smartphones even without high benchmark results. Again, Redmi 5 is a role model in its price range with the Snapdragon 450 processor. Those who are looking for a fast smartphone with a stable system and a lot of updates will be well-off with Xiaomi and MIUI!
According to the manufacturer, both Redmi 5 versions house a 12mp main camera with a pixel size of 1.25μm and an f/2.2 aperture. The difference to Redmi 4X is clearly visible. This is not due to the more detailed images but to the reduced colour representation settings that previously even seemed sort of aggressive. Additionally, they now use less soft filter what now makes Redmi 5’s images seem more natural and sharper. Redmi 5 Plus says that it uses the same main sensor as Xiaomi Mi A1: an Omnivision ov12a10 sensor. Comparing the images of Redmi 5 and Redmi 5 Plus, you can clearly see that they use the same sensors. This makes Redmi 5 use the same sensor as the more expensive Xiaomi Mi A1, even though it houses only one sensor, of course.
Redmi 5’s shots are razor sharp in good light and image noise is kept to a minimum. The images are very detailed. In bad lighting conditions, images’ quality deteriorates noticeably, but this is something you have to accept in the low-budget price segment. Redmi 5 easily outperforms Redmi Note 4X in terms of sharpness and colour representation. Those who want a very good camera for little money should definitely choose Redmi 5.
Videos are recorded in FHD resolution. In general, the camera does a good job and CAF autofocus mostly works well. In difficult situations, however, the focus doesn’t stop zooming in and out. When taking pictures, the focus works precisely and there is hardly any trigger time.
The manual mode in the camera app, unfortunately, only leaves white balance and ISO value for adjustment. There are no further manual settings. The camera app is as clear and easy to understand as usual. Features like age detection and QR-code scanner are included. We missed a slow-motion mode and 4K videos, which are included in Redmi 5 Plus. Redmi 5 offers a 5mp camera for selfies which is even able to record FHD videos with good sound quality. Of course, the front camera produces good selfies. Images are sharp and detailed, but there is a visible difference to Redmi 5 Plus.
Connectivity and communication
In general, more plastic means better reception, this is why Redmi 5 does excel here. Our device (Chinese version) supports the following frequencies:
2G: GSM 2/3/5/8
3G: UMTS 1/2/5/8
4G: FDD-LTE 1/3/5/7/8
Calling quality is just perfect due to the second (noise cancelling) microphone on the top. Talking hands-free is possible, too. Redmi 5 offers n-standard WiFi in the 2,4GHz network with 300mbit in theory. In practice, the WiFi reception is very good and even though 3 walls and 10m away from the router (Fritz-Box 7490), I had a maximum of throughput. Using the Xiaomi Router you even have WiFi outside of your house :-). The Bluetooth 4.2 module does a perfect job in all matters.
Redmi 5 offers the usual Xiaomi sensors: acceleration, proximity and brightness sensors are standard. Additionally, there is a gyroscope, e-compass and infrared sensor as well as an FM radio. The hall-sensor for smart covers is only included in Redmi 5 Plus.
Since the first Redmi device arrived on the marked, Redmi speakers stand for high volume. This is exactly what we get with Redmi 5. Treble overdrives only slightly and there is no bass, as usual. Through the 3.5mm headphone jack, you get a clear and loud sound.
Redmi 5 offers a strong GPS reception. The precision is constant at 3-4 meters and neither during car nor during pedestrian navigation any trouble occurred. With the global ROM, the GPS might even get better.
The 3300mAh battery shocked the fans at the Redmi release: the 4000mAh battery of Redmi 4X shall only be provided for Redmi 5 Plus. Despite the smaller battery, Xiaomi Redmi 5 strolls easily through the PCMark battery test for almost 13 hours which is a top value that other powerful smartphones barely achieve. The reason is the “only” HD display and the 14nm processor. To make Redmi 5’s battery run down within one day is hardly possible. After 2 days I had a display-on-time of enormous 8-9 hours.Battery lifetime Result Unit: hours
Charging Redmi 5 is pleasantly fast with a 5V/2A adapter, but this is still not the same as the Quick Charge we know from flagship phones. You can charge the device from 0% to 100% within 1 hour 45 minutes. Those who need to quickly charge their phone between 20% and 80% get 1% battery per minute.