Xiaomi has finally launched its Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro smartphones in India. At an event held in New Delhi today, the company launched the rebranded version of Redmi 5 Plus as Redmi Note 5 at a starting price of Rs 9,999 while the Redmi Note 5 is a brand new device priced starting at Rs 13,999.
The Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro differ primarily in terms of performance, camera and software features. The Redmi Note 5 features dual rear camera setup and is powered by Snapdragon 636 SoC as opposed to single rear camera and Snapdragon 625 found on Redmi Note 5. Both the smartphones run MIUI 9.2 based on Android Nougat but Redmi Note 5 Pro has a different trick up its sleeve.
First Xiaomi device with face unlock
At the launch, Xiaomi confirmed that Redmi Note 5 Pro will be the Chinese smartphone maker’s first device to support face unlock feature. The Redmi Note 5 does not use dedicated array of sensors like the iPhone X or iris scanner like Galaxy S8 and Note 8 but relies on the front camera. The company says its face detection algorithm scans facial features in roughly 500ms using a “high-accuracy matching mechanism”.
The feature is not available on smartphones right now and the company confirms that it will be released via OTA update by the end of March 2018. With the launch of Face ID on iPhone X, it was clear that face unlock is set to become mainstream.
To recall, Face Unlock was first showcased by Google as a mechanism to unlock devices with the release of Android 4.0 in 2011, but it failed to gain transaction due to poor camera sensor technology available at that time. With great progress in image sensors, the face unlock feature has become easier to use as demonstrated by OnePlus 5T launched late last year.
Those buying Redmi Note 5 Pro must note that the face unlock feature powered by software algorithm and front-facing camera has been found to be easier to trick than dedicated sensor-based facial recognition. For those valuing security, the Redmi Note 5 Pro also features a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor.
In terms of specifications, the Redmi Note 5 Pro features a 5.99-inch display with a Full HD+ resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels and 18:9 aspect ratio. The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chipset and comes in two storage variants: 4 or 6GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. The Redmi Note 5 Pro features dual rear cameras with a primary 12-megapixel Sony sensor and a 5-megapixel secondary Samsung sensor.
There is also a 20-megapixel front camera for selfies with dedicated LED flash. The smartphone packs a 4,000mAh battery and will go on first sale on February 22 at a starting price of Rs 13,999 exclusively from Flipkart.