2017 was a tremendous year for Xiaomi. The Chinese smartphone manufacturer now reportedly enjoys the number 1 position in Indian smartphone market and it owes a lot to the Mi A1 and the Redmi Note 4 for its success. With today’s launch of Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro Xiaomi has raised the stakes once again.
The Redmi Note 5 Pro offers tempting specs at an aggressive price, which makes it an exciting prospect in the budget range. Interestingly, the biggest competition for Redmi Note 5 Pro will come from its pure android subling – the Mi A1.
To help prospective buyers make an informed decision, we decided to compare the Redmi Note 5 Pro with Xiaomi Mi A1. Let’s discuss more.
Specs Bout: Redmi Note 5 Pro Vs. Mi A1 Comparison
|Model||Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro||Xiaomi Mi A1|
|Display||5.9-inch (18:9), 1080×2160 pixel Full HD+ display||5.5-Inch, Full HD LTPS (16:9), 1080×1920 pixels|
|Processor||1.8GHz Snapdragon 636 octa-core||2.0GHz Snapdragon 625 octa-core|
|Internal Storage||32GB/64GB, expandable up to 128GB||32GB/64GB, expandable up to 128GB|
|Software||Android Nougat-based MIUI 9||Android 8.0 Oreo|
|Primary Camera||12MP sensor with f/2.2 aperture lens, phase detection autofocus, dual-tone LED flash||12 MP (telephoto lens) + 12MP (wide-angle lens) rear cameras|
|Battery||4000mAh Battery||3,080mAh Battery, fast charging|
|Dimension||158.5 x 75.4 x 8.05 mm; Weight: 181 g||155.4×75.8×7.3mm and 165 Grams|
|Others||4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Fingerprint sensor, 3.5mm audio jack, and GPS, micro USB Type-A||4G VoLTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, Fingerprint sensor, GPS, 3.5mm, micro USB Type-C|
|Price||Rs. 13,999/ Rs. 17,999||Rs. 13,999|
Design and Build
Personally speaking, I found Mi A1 design and built quality far more tempting as compared to the Redmi Note 5 Pro. The Redmi Note 5 Pro has a swankier 5.99-inch 18:9 display but it also has plastic strips at the top and bottom of the rear side and a camera module that sticks out like a sore thumb, and that fizzles out the premium phone feel.
Having said that, the Redmi Note 5 Pro looks more appealing from the front. The regular 16:9 panel of the MI A1 is something many consumers will find difficult to look past. But if you can, the full-metal Mi A1 should feel more appealing and ergonomic. The Mi A1 is 7.3mm thick and weighs 165grams which is almost a millimeter slim and 15 grams lighter compared to the Redmi 5 Pro.
- Redmi Note 5 Pro: 7.5/10
- Mi A1: 7.5/10
It is one area where the Redmi Note 5 Pro beats Mi A1 hands down. The former comes with Qualcomm’s latest budget power-house – the Snapdragon 636. The 1.8GHz new system-on-chip from Qualcomm includes customized Kryo-260 cores, Adreno 509 GPU, and X12 LTE modem which ensures a stutter-free performance.
Top variant of the Redmi Note 5 Pro comes with 6GB DDR4X RAM which should be good enough for most demanding of users. Xiaomi is also offering a 4GB RAM variant in India which will be good enough for most users and in all probability, Xiaomi will sell truckloads of these.
The Mi A1, on the other hand, is a proven performer. It dashes on the Snapdragon 625 chipset which is now ageing but is still a reliable workhorse. Xiaomi pairs this 2 GHz octa-core chipset with 4GB RAM and Adreno 506 which offers good gaming and multitasking experience. The practical difference in performance of two phones shouldn’t be much, but there is no denying that Snapdragon 636 is the right way forward. and better.
- Redmi Note 5 Pro: 8.5/10
- Mi A1: 7/10
The software is perhaps the reason why you are even considering buying Mi A1 over Redmi Note 5 Pro. The Mi A1 comes running on pure Android Oreo. It looks and feels a lot cleaner and user-friendly. There is no hotchpotch here. It is also more resource efficient. Since it is part of Google’s Android One family, timely security updates is another advantage for Mi A1 users.
The Redmi Note 5 Pro comes out of the box running on the MIUI 9. The latest MIUI version is still based on the older version on Android and features like picture-in-picture, smart select, auto-fill in-apps etc are not available.
Which one of the two is better is more a matter of personal taste. Having said that, in our opinion, Mi A1 wins this bout.
- Redmi Note 5 Pro: 6.5/10
- Mi A1: 8/10
Both the Redmi Note 5 Pro and Mi A1 comes with a dual camera setup. While the former uses the extra sensor for depth sensing, the later one pairs a wide angle lens with telephone lens.
While the shots taken from the Redmi Note 5 Pro are more vivid, the Mi A1 camera manages to capture a better dynamic range and much sharper images. When it comes to bokeh effect, the combination of dual 12MP sensors (wide-angle + telephoto) proved more effective as it managed to deliver more even blurring throughout the image.
There is one area where Redmi Note 5 Pro passes with flying colors – selfies. It’s 20-megapixel selfie camera with beautify 4.0 AI ensures that your selfie portraits turn out well, even in indoor lighting. In comparison, the Mi A1 5-megapixel selfie camera is an average performer in most conditions.
- Redmi Note 5 Pro: 7/10
- Mi A1: 7.5/10
The Redmi Note 5 Pro comes with a massive 4000mAh battery which both on paper as well as in real life offers better screen-on time. It easily manages to last more than a day on a single charge when it is not pushed hard. The Mi A1’s moderate 3080mAh battery could only manage to last about 14- 16 hours after similar usage. It is also worth mentioning here that the Mi A1 supports rapid charging which is sadly not available for the Redmi Note 5 Pro.
- Redmi Note 5 Pro: 7/10
- Mi A1: 6/10
If only Mi A1 had a full-screen or 18:9 display it would have been the winner in our books, hands down. Stock Android and speedy updates things that are still unique to it, and it certainly has a more appealing full metal body. But yes, the Redmi Note 5 Pro is more up to date, offers the best possible performance hardware for its price, has a significantly better selfie camera, and has a full-view display.
Why Should I Buy the Redmi Note 5 Pro:
We are sure that Xiaomi will be selling millions of Redmi Note 5 Pro mainly because it is a complete value for money phone with excellent innards like Snapdragon 636 SoC, LPDDR4X RAM, big battery and 18:9 display. It’s also a better choice for people who click lots of selfies.
Why Should I Buy the Mi A1:
If you don’t care much about a full-view screen and aren’t much into selfies, you should seriously consider the Mi A1. It’s not a new phone as of today, but it will still continue getting software updates for another year. It’s a tried and trusted option that comes packaged in a slim, attractive full-metal body.