Xiaomi India today launched its much awiated Redmi Note 5 Pro, a phone with “Flagship DNA” that’s supposed to be a ‘camera beast’. On paper, the phone does everything right and is loaded with all the bells and whistles you’d have expected from the Redmi Note 4 successor, and then some.
So, we spent some quality time with the new Xiaomi phone and tried to grasp all that has changed. Move on to read our Redmi Note 5 Pro first impressions.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro specifications
- 5.99-inch (20160x 1080 pixels) FHD+ IPS display
- 1.8GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 636 with Adreno 509 GPU
- 4GB/6GB RAM, 32/64GB internal memory, expandable memory up to 256GB with microSD
- Android 7.1 (Nougat) with MIUI 9
- Dual SIM(hybrid sim slot)
- 12MP + 5MP rear camera with LED Flash,1.25μm and 1.12μm, f/2.2 & f/2.0 aperture
- 20MP front-facing camera with Sony IMX 376,
- Dimensions: 158.6 x 75.4 x 8.05mm; Weight: 181g
- 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n (2.4/5GHz), Bluetooth 4.2, GPS
- 4000mAh (typical) / 3900mAh (minimum) battery
Redmi Note 5 Pro Price, release date and launch Offers:
- Redmi Note 5 Pro 4GB + 64GB variant is priced at Rs. 13,999 and 6GB + 64GB costs Rs 16,999
- Redmi Note 5 Pro Availability: February 22 onwards on Flipkart, Mi.com and Mi Homes.
- Redmi Note 5 Pro Launch Offer: Reliance Jio Rs. 2200 cashback and 100 percent additional 4G data with every purchase of the device.
Redmi Note 5 Pro Design and Build
If there is one area where the competition will be able to tackle Xiaomi’s new offering, it shall be the design. Xiaomi is still sticking to the cheaper manufacturing process that yields layered metal unibody design where the back is marred with plastic caps on top and bottom. The rear camera capsule juts out a bit and doesn’t exactly exude that premium feel.
However, even when a few design labels are missing here, the overall design has improved and shouldn’t weigh negatively so as to be a deal breaker. Redmi Note 5 Pro might not be a looker, but it sure is comfortable to handle. The edges are slim and curved and the weight is quite manageable (it didn’t feel anywhere near as heavy as 181 grams on the spec sheet would suggest).
On the front, there are substantial bezels above and below the screen, but overall the phone looks pretty cool. That’s because the screen is closer to the touch panel which makes it pop nicely. The 2.5D glass on the top helps too.
- The Redmi Note 5 Pro isn’t exactly a looker, but it’s quite comfortable to handle. Things work from a practical standpoint.
- The phone feels slim and the weight is well balanced.
- Xiaomi will bundle a basic protective case in the box.
- The fascia is dominated by an 18:9 display. The phone looks attractive from the front even with, arguably, substantial bezels on top and bottom.
Redmi Note 5 Pro Display
The obvious and glaring difference/improvement is the use of 18:9 display panel. The Note 5 now has a tall 5.99-inch screen with Full HD+ resolution. Perhaps, other upcoming Redmi series phones will offer 5.66-inch or other more compact screen options in the future.
As for display quality and color temperature, the new screen felt same as other Xiaomi phones we experienced last year. The whiles lean towards blue but you can make some adjustment from display settings. Colors and contrast felt good.
- The 5.99-inch display size (18:9) makes Redmi Note 5 Pro invariably tall.
- The screen is much closer to the touch panel as compared to Redmi Note 5 and colors pop nicely.
- The display quality and the color temperature felt similar to what we are used to seeing on Xiaomi phones.
Redmi Note 5 Pro Performance and Software
The octa-core Snapdragon 636 mobile platform is the right step forward. This is the first mid-range chipset to include all customized Kyro 260 cores (that were used in Snapdragon 820/821) and also uses improved GPU, ISP, and DSP.
Xiaomi fans couldn’t have hoped for more and that coupled with LPDDR4X RAM should make Redmi Note 5 Pro an absolute performance beast. This is something the competition won’t be able to catch on as easily or quickly.
The MIUI9 software might not be as lucrative as stock Android for a section of buyers, but it remains one of the better custom ROMs around. There are several India-centric customizations, nifty animations, and handy features to relish. Only if it were based on Android Oreo instead of Android 7.1.1 Nougat.
- The Snapdragon 636 chipset is the right way forward and lends Xiaomi a comfortable lead over the competition. It will still take some time before others catch up.
- The use of quality LPDDR4X RAM is an added bonus.
- The MIUI 9 software running on the phone is based on Android Nougat. Looks like Android Oreo update isn’t around the corner either.
Redmi Note 5 Pro Camera expectations
There is a lot riding on the Redmi Note 5 Pro camera. The phone has a 12MP + 5MP rear cameras and Xiaomi claims it has perfected software algorithms for portrait mode.
On the front, the Redmi Note 5 Pro has 20MP Sony IMX376 sensor (which is the same sensor that we saw on phones like Vivo V5 and Vivo V5s last year). Xiaomi also claims to have tuned its beautify 4.0 for Indian consumers.
Well, we are still to verify the veracity of these claims and thus would reserve our final verdict for now. From our initial experience with the device, the selfie camera felt like a definite improvement. The rear camera, however, will have a close bout with Mi A1, which currently has the best portrait mode in its class.
Also Check: Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 vs Honor 9 Lite
- Xiaomi uses a 12MP+ 5MP camera combination on the rear. The company claims to have perfected its portrait mode with the new upgrade.
- The selfie camera uses 20MP Sony IMX376 sensor (the same one as in Vivo V5 and V5s). In our limited testing, the selfie camera felt like an improvement.
Redmi Note 5 Pro quick review: should you buy it?
The Redmi Note 5 Pro will keep the ball rolling for Xiaomi. By checking the 18:9 and dual camera box as well, it has eradicated the only conspicuous weakness in its lineup.
The Chinese manufacturer plays to the key strengths that made Note 4 such a huge success. The Snapdragon 636 gives it an advantage competition will find tough to match for many more weeks or even months.
As of today, the only challenger it has is Xiaomi’s own Mi A1 that offers an equally competent camera and stock Android software. Let’s wait and watch for what Motorola brings with its upcoming Moto G6 series.
Redmi Note 5 Pro Pros and Cons
- Comfortable to handle
- Powerful performance
- 18:9 Display
- 20MP Selfie camera
- No Android Oreo
- Hybrid SIM Slot