Xiaomi hasn’t been in India for very long, but what it’s achieved in that small period is phenomenal. It’s quickly built itself into the highest-selling smartphone brand in India, overtaking traditional market leader Samsung as per findings by research and analysis firm Canalys. What particular stood out about Xiaomi’s stellar year is that the Redmi Note 4 outsold every other individual smartphone model in the country.
The early days of Xiaomi in India
Although Xiaomi’s first product in India was the Mi 3, the early years for the company were all about stock shortages and a flash sale model that got on everyone’s nerves. The phones were excellent, well priced and widely praised, but it was too complicated a task to actually buy one. Things started changing much later, and the company’s first truly successful product was the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3. Priced from Rs 9,999, the Redmi Note 3 offered much more than what any other smartphone brand would give you at that price, including a powerful Snapdragon 600-series chipset, up to 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, and a full-HD screen.
Xiaomi, as we know it today
Let’s now fast-forward to 2018; we have two different smartphones sitting in the popular sub-Rs 15,000 space for Xiaomi. While the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 is just an incremental upgrade over its predecessor, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro represents a bigger step-up. It pushes the boundaries of what’s previously been possible at this price, and includes not only the fashionable dual-camera setup and tall 18:9 screen, but also an impressive front camera and the Snapdragon 636 SoC, which is one of the most impressive mid-range chipsets available today.
What the 5 brings
Is the Redmi Note 5 a worthy successor?
I’m going to try to address two questions today – the first is whether the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro have what it takes to build on the success of the Redmi Note 4. We’ve tested both of these phones, and the answer is an emphatic ‘YES’. The reasoning for this lies in Xiaomi’s launch of two devices instead of one. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 alone might have been too ‘boring’, and its lack of significant differences means it simply isn’t exciting enough.
However, as boring as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 is, it’s also incredibly practical. It sports a chipset that is tried and tested, hardware that is more than adequate, has long-lasting battery life, and is priced sensibly at Rs 9,999 onwards. By offering a large 18:9 aspect ratio screen, Xiaomi has upped the ante enough to make this a serious value-driven offering. And if you’re looking for something more, that’s where the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 steps in.
At Rs 13,999 onwards, it’s more expensive but also offers that much more for the power user. There’s excellent mid-range performance, good camera capabilities and the same reliability and value-for-money that Xiaomi is known for. Between these two devices, Xiaomi has all approaches covered.
You could be looking for a massive bargain. You could want a phone with stellar battery life. You might just want a big screen. You may also want as much power as possible under the hood. You might enjoy taking selfies. You probably use the rear camera a lot and want a good setup there. No matter what you need, Xiaomi has you covered with these two devices. And mind you, all of this is possible at a completely reasonable price. It’s therefore very likely that we’re looking at this year’s top-sellers already.
Is the Redmi Note 5 and Note 5 Pro worth the upgrade?
The second question we’ll try to answer is whether the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 and Note 5 Pro are worth the upgrade. If you’re using a mid-range phone that’s about a couple of years old now, then it’s certainly worth your while to upgrade to either of these phones depending on your budget. If you’re using a Redmi Note 4 that’s still in good condition, the Redmi Note 5 may not have enough on offer to justify the switch, but the Redmi Note 5 Pro might be worth it.
In the end, it’s fair to say that Xiaomi has two winners on its hands with the Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro. Are you planning to buy one of these new phones? Let us know via the comments.