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Xiaomi Redmi 5 First Impressions: A value for money smartphone with 18:9 display

Redmi 5 is Xiaomi's latest budget smartphone with an 18:9 full-screen display. Here is what we feel about the smartphone.

xiaomi redmi 5 front

Highlights

  • The Redmi 5 comes with a 5.7-inch 18:9 HD+ display

  • Prices of the Redmi 5 start at Rs 7,999

  • The smartphone is powered by a Snapdragon 450 octa-core SoC

Xiaomi has had a great run in India over the past couple of years. With its range of best-selling smartphones such as the Redmi Note 3, Redmi Note 4 and Redmi 4 among others, the company has managed to topple Samsung to become India’s top smartphone maker. After recently launching the Redmi Note 5, Redmi Note 5 Pro and an entry-level smartphone, the Redmi 5A, Xiaomi is now betting on the Redmi 5 which comes with an 18:9 edge-to-edge display on a budget. With the Redmi 5 going on sale for the first time today, here are our first impressions of the latest Xiaomi smartphone.

With prices starting at Rs 7,999 (2GB RAM + 16GB storage), the Redmi 5 sits between the Redmi 5A and the Redmi Note 5. It is offered in three storage variants, with the 3GB RAM + 32GB storage variant priced at Rs 8,999, and the one with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage priced at Rs 10,999. After spending some time with the smartphone, here are my first impressions.

Redmi 5 offers edge-to-edge 18:9 display

While the Redmi 5A follows an older design language with a compact 5-inch HD display, the Redmi 5 comes with a larger 5.7-inch HD+ display running at a resolution of 1440x720pixels, and an aspect ratio of 18:9. Yes, the screen is taller, but because of the compact form factor the smartphone is easy to hold and operate in one hand.

 

Solid, premium-ish build quality

A couple of years ago, the mid-range smartphones started featuring metal unibody designs, but the affordable smartphones were still stuck on plastic backs. The Redmi 5 now comes with a metal plate at the back, whereas the top and bottom edges and the sides are made from thick plastic.

On the left, you have a dual SIM card slot allowing you to use either two nano SIM cards or one nano SIM and one microSD card. On the right, you have the volume rocker and the power sleep button. The top houses a 3.5mm audio socket whereas the bottom has a microUSB post. On the top, you also have an IR blaster, which allows you to control your television set, AC and other appliances right from your smartphone.

On the back, you have a circular camera module with an LED flash. The camera has a slight bump, but it isn’t much of a concern. Just below the camera module, you also have a circular fingerprint scanner for biometric authentication.

Specifications and software

Powering the smartphone is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 octa-core SoC paired with 2GB/3GB or 4GB of RAM, with 16GB/32GB or 64GB storage, depending on the variant you choose. The smartphone runs on Android 7.1.2 Nougat with MIUI 9, which is slightly disappointing, and there is no word on when the Android 8.0 Oreo update will be rolled out.

Xiaomi had sent us the 3GB RAM with 32GB storage variant and the interface felt smooth. There are some preloaded apps such as Google Maps, Chrome, Gmail, YouTube, Drive and others. Amazon, Facebook, Prime Video and Myntra apps also come pre-installed by default, and you can uninstall them too. I did not face any issue while navigating through the menu or switching between apps. However, I will reserve final judgment until we completely review the smartphone.

Cameras and battery

At the back, you get a 12-megapixel camera with LED flash and 1080p video recording capabilities. The photos I clicked on the phone looked decent, but don’t expect too much from a budget phone. Up front, there is a 5-megapixel camera for selfies and video calling, and there is also a front-facing camera for better selfies in low-light conditions.

Lastly, the smartphone also comes with a 3,300mAh battery which Xiaomi claims to offer full day’s worth usage. Sadly, there is no fast charging feature. We will the thoroughly testing the smartphone in the coming days to figure out if the smartphone’s battery can live up to its promise.

Initial impressions

The Redmi 5 is a compact smartphone with a modern design and decent specifications for its price point. However, we couldn’t help but notice that Xiaomi’s product portfolio looks a little crammed up now, and competing with its own smartphones. The price difference between the Redmi 5 (3GB) and the Redmi Note 5 is just Rs 1,000.

For those extra bucks, you get a better chipset, slightly larger display, a larger battery and slightly better cameras. We will soon bring out full-fledged review of the Redmi 5 in the next few days, so stay tuned for that.

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Xiaomi Redmi 5

7999

Android 7.1 Nougat with MIUI 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 Octa-Core 1.8GHz Processor
12 MP with f 2.2 Aperture
  • Published Date: March 17, 2018 5:42 PM IST
  • Updated Date: March 20, 2018 12:02 PM IST