Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 5 Pro is a rage these days and it will take sometime before the competition catches up. The Note 5 Pro is the only phone that’s available with Snapdragon 636 octa-core processor, includes a trendy 18:9 display, an assuring battery backup and covers all the basics just fine. But we are sure you know most of that by now. (हिंदी में)
The Redmi Note 5 Pro is a great phone in its class, but that doesn’t change the fact that all phones have their pros and cons. If you are still on the fence and want it straight, here are the reasons why you should or should not buy the Redmi Note 5 Pro.
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Also Check: Redmi Note 5 Pro Quick Review
Redmi Note 5 Pro Pros and Cons
- Solid performance
- Good quality display
- Good camera performance
- Loudspeaker quality
- IR blaster
- Look and Feel
- No fast charging
- Can’t stream HD content on Netflix
- Hybrid SIM slot
- No Android Oreo
Reason to buy Redmi Note 5 Pro
- 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 octa-core (Kryo-260 cores)
- 4GB/6GB LPDDR4X RAM; 64GB eMMC 5.0 storage
Consistent and dependable performance has been the forte of Xiaomi’s Redmi Note series so far. Xiaomi has ensured the use of powerful SoCs well ahead in advance of its rivals. The Snapdragon 636 used on the Note 5 Pro is the first mid-range chipset to with Qualcomm’s custom Kryo cores (the same cores as in Snapdragon 820) and the performance you’ll get out of it makes the phone feel premium. Gaming is smooth, apps open and close quickly, and the UI feels very responsive.
The MIUI 9 software running on the handset is quite stable. The fingerprint sensor is fast (Face Unlock, not so much), and we didn’t face any connectivity issue on the device.
- 5.99-inch 18:9 Full HD+ 84% NTSC color gamut
- Color temperature adjustment
- Gorilla Glass Protection
Another major strength of the Note 5 Pro is its display. And that’s not considering the shift to 18:9 aspect ratio. The display shows high contrast and saturated colors that pop and appears pleasant to the eyes. You get some leeway to tune color tones in the display settings, standard contrast mode works best for us.
3. Battery backup
- 4000mAh (typ) / 3900mAh (min) lithium-ion polymer battery
The 4000mAh battery on the Redmi Note 5 Pro can easily last for a day. In our initial days when we didn’t have many apps installed on the phone, we were easily getting a mileage of around 1.5 days on a full charge.
A long-lasting battery is an unmatched convenience that Indian consumers value. It’s good to see Redmi Note 5 Pro live up to the expectations.
- Rear: 12MP primary, f/2.2 aperture; 5MP secondary, f/2.0 aperture
- Front: 20MP, f/2.2 aperture, portrait mode
Smartphone cameras under Rs. 20,000 are still largely imperfect and we don’t see that changing anytime soon. While OEMs often compare affordable offerings to high-end devices, that’s more of marketing talk and you’d be better off keeping your expectations balanced.
Having said that, the Redmi Note 5 Pro does offer a good camera for its price. The portrait mode works better than other available options in this budget. The selfie camera is a decent performer as well. The portrait mode for the front camera works better than what we’d expected. There is no 4K recording, but that’s certainly not a deal breaker. Besides, Xiaomi says that it will add 4K recording in a future update.
All said and done, if the camera is your priority and if you are restricted by a budget of 20K, the Redmi Note 5 Pro won’t disappoint.
Audio output via Redmi Note 5 Pro loudspeaker is pretty loud and clear. If you often watch content without your headphones plugged in, this should make a difference. The audio output via headphones is, however, average at best.
Update: Audio via headphones has been fixed to an extent with an OTA update
Reason not to buy Redmi Note 5 Pro
1. Design (or looks)
- 158.6mm x 75.4mm x 8.05mm; 181 grams
- front glass, back metal with plastic strips on top and bottom
- 77.4% screen-to-body ratio
The design is the major peeve point we have with the Redmi Note 5 Pro. Last year, we weren’t happy about Xiaomi using the layered plastic-metal-plastic design on the rear for the Note 4 as against full metal body build on the Note 4 launched in China.
The layered quasi-metal-unibody design where there are plastic trimmings on top and bottom is something that Xiaomi and other OEMs have been using for the last 2 years. In 2018, the hackneyed look simply robs Note 5 Pro of a premium feel. Perhaps other manufacturers have already realized this and that’s why the full metal finish on plastic back covers is more in trend these days.
In comparison, Xiaomi’s own Mi A1 has a full metal back and Huawei’s Honor 9 Lite has premium glass body.
You won’t be out of place dismissing this argument as nitpicking, especially since the back panel ends up being obscured by a protective case anyway. But we would still argue that the naked feel of the handset makes a big difference to how you would perceive your phone and how excited you’d be every time you pick it up.
Moreover, the protruding iPhone X like camera module on the rear feels awkward. On the front, you will find that the display has been stretched to 18:9 aspect ratio but there hasn’t been a comparable reduction in bezels and thus the immersive feel is missing. This makes reaching the status bar a tad inconvenient. And then there is the missing Type-C port at the bottom augmenting the impact of dated design.
2. No fast charging
- Quick charge 2.0
- Approx. 2 hours 30 minutes for a full charge using bundled charger
The Redmi Note 5 Pro supports Quick Charge 2.0, but a QC 2.0 charger isn’t bundled along. It takes around 2.5 hours to top up the battery from 10 percent to 100 percent. Even if you use a separate fast charger, the charging time will be reduced only by 20 minutes approximately.
The Snapdragon 836 used on the phone supports Quick Charge 4.0, but Xiaomi has chosen not to implement it, most probably to cut cost.
3. Hybrid SIM slot
- up to 128GB using second SIM
Both Redmi Note 5 Pro variants come with 64GB of storage, which should be good enough for most users. For most users, storage or the hybrid nature of the SIM tray shouldn’t be an issue.
But if you do need to use a MicroSD card slot, you should know that you will have to choose between second SIM card and microSD card.
4. You can not stream HD content (Widevine L3)
OnePlus was in the news recently because it was missing support for Widevine Level 1 certification. This DRM (Digital resource management certificate) is required to protect video content from being copied.
Several affordable phones go with Widevine Level 3 certifications and as a result, you can’t stream high quality or HD content on these devices using major streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Video, and Google Play, irrespective of your subscription package and display resolution (L1 certificate is required for the same).
The Redmi Note 5 Pro has Widevine L3 security level and won’t be able to stream HD content from these apps either. Most phones in this budget, including Honor 9 Lite and Mi A1, don’t have Widevine L1 certificate either.
5. Still running Android Nougat
- MIUI 9 based on Android Nougat
The Redmi Note 5 Pro is running the latest MIUI 9 software but the Android version underneath is still Android 7.0 Nougat. While that shouldn’t make much of a difference to most users, we do see people perpetually asking for version updates on social media and forums.
If Android Oreo as base software is something important to you, you must know that it will still take some time before the Note 5 Pro gets Oreo update.
Should you buy Redmi Note 5 Pro?
Now that we have enumerated Redmi Note 5 Pro Pros and Cons, the big question still remains unanswered. Should you buy it? The Answer is Yes. The competition has simply failed to match Xiaomi’s Redmi devices in terms of performance consistency. Besides, the Note 5 Pro has all the basics covered. It offers a quality display, a reasonable camera, and a long-lasting battery.
You can’t understandably get everything on a budget and that’s fair. There is still room for improvement, especially when it comes to the overall look and feel of the phone.
Last updated on March 19, 2018