A smartphone that we’re testing today is known in China as Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus. In the rest of the world, it is known as Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, and it is the successor to the extremely famous Redmi Note 4.
The market sets different trends, and Xiaomi keeps up with them! The Redmi 5 Plus has a new display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. It can boast with the newest version of Android and a slightly better camera, but it also has a smaller camera compared to the Redmi Note 4 which is not that good of a thing.
The chipset has remained the same as it was last year. The box in which this phone is shipped has remained red, and inside it we can find: a charging adapter, microUSB cable, user manuals, a SIM tray tool and a gel case for the device next to the device itself. The gel case is a very nice addition since we won’t have to search for it everywhere throughout the town – Xiaomi is still not that popular around the world.
What else is there that the Redmi 5 Plus can boast with? Stay with us to find out.
The biggest news in this device is its display, and as we’ve already mentioned, Xiaomi want you to keep up with the trends this year as well. This is why this device has the “tall” 18:9 aspect ratio display.
Its size is 5.99” and it has the resolution of 1080 x 2160. All this combined results in 403 pixels per inch which is above average and guarantees razor sharp image quality. This display is built in IPS LCD technology.
The display is surprisingly good and it has very good brightness that goes up to 550 nits, while the contrast is 1000:1. Visibility on the sunlight is not excellent, but it will do – with maxed up brightness, the image is visible. IPS LCD matrix doesn’t really offer that many settings, and inside the options menu you can 3 find color presets– Standard, Warm and Cold, as well as 3 contrast presets – Auto, High and Low.
Hardware and OS
We have to say right now that Xiaomi made us very happy with the Snapdragon 625 because we really didn’t expect this taking into account the price of this device. For example, a comparable device, LG Q6, only has the Snapdragon 435 alongside a much higher price point. Anyway, the CPU consists of eight Cortex–A53 cores clocked at 2.0 GHz, and Adreno 506 GPU is in charge of graphics performance. While it’s true that this is a somewhat older chipset, we still believe that it will meet up with the users’ expectations even in 2018, however, we hope that Xiaomi uses a newer chipset for their next Redmi Note device. In our case, paired with the chipset comes 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage memory, while a weaker 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage configuration is also available.
All in all, we like what we see so far, and gaming on this phone only proved it. It doesn’t have any weak spots! All newer games work flawlessly, apart from graphically high demanding games when some signs of slowing down are obvious – these are not present during normal games and day-to-day use. The device does heat up a little after longer gameplay, but it doesn’t hurt the performances at all.
AnTuTu benchmark is the most popular way to test the performances of a device, and Redmi Note 5 scored 77164 points. With this score, it places itself just above the Xiaomi Mi A1 and Huawei Mate 10 Lite. The fingerprint scanner is, of course, here, as in every other modern device. It is located at the top part of the back of the device (below the camera sensor). Mono speaker produces very clear and loud sound. It is located on the bottom of the device, to the right of the microUSB connector.
Due to its display, and for the purpose of shrinking the bezels around it, this device has built-in software buttons.
Software-wise, the hardware is complemented the MIUI v9. The UI is pretty clean, with emphasis on design customizability. The flip side is that you can’t remove some of the buttons from the home screen, and you’ll have to learn how to deal with the lack of the app drawer. This device runs on Android 7.1.2 Nougat OS, but the MIUI v9 is based on Android Oreo which means that you can find certain smart options and the split-screen mode. To the left of the home screen there is a shortcut menu, and the Security application, which serves as a sort of an anti-virus, comes built into the software.
The Redmi 5 Plus has one camera sensor on the back and one on the front. On the rear there is a 12–megapixel camera with the aperture of f/2.2. Compared to the last year’s model, this sensor’s aperture is slightly bigger (in reality) and slightly smaller (in numbers), and the pixel size is increased to 1.25 µm in order to let as much light in as possible in low light environments. The rear facing camera is equipped with phase detection auto-focus and a double two-tone LED flash. Unlike the rear facing camera, the front one has a 5-megapixel sensor.
Photos made by the main camera are very good. The amount of details and low levels of noise add up to the quality of photos. These are very good results that place the photos made by this device above those made by the Xiaomi Mi A1 that had a double camera setup. HDR mode is here to fix overexposed details, while the HHT mode removes the noise in nighttime shots. Both these modes do an amazing job in practice. Manual shooting mode is also available, but only things that you can adjust are ISO values and white balance.
Available shooting modes are:
The front facing camera doesn’t bring anything special, and with its sensor it is capable only of capturing average photos with more than enough details for a sensor like this. Selfies look very good and they can be easily used for social media purposes.
Video capturing mode took a great leap forward compared to the last year’s model. The Redmi 5 Plus can record videos in 4K resolution, at 30 fps though. 4K videos are well detailed, and colors and contrast are both very good. Next to 4K shooting, other available options are 1080p at 30fps and 720p Slow-Motion at 120fps.
Just as any other modern smartphone, the Redmi 5 Plus is a DualSIM device, and it comes with a hybrid slot. You can either use two NanoSIM cards (4FF) or one NanoSIM and one microSD card for storage expansions up to 128GB. Because the device has as IR blaster, it can serve as a remote controller for many appliances such as the AC unit, DVD player, TV etc. It is located on the top of the device. The phone sadly doesn’t have the NFC system built in, but we have the IR blaster which can be very useful itself, so it, sort of, evens up.
The X9 LTE modem built into the chipset is capable of offering maximum download speeds up to 300 Mbps and maximum upload speeds up to 150 Mbps.
List of wireless connections consists of:
- WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n with WiFi Direct and HotSpot mode
- Bluetooth v4.2 with A2DP, LE
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
- Infra-Red port
Supported network frequencies are:
- 2G: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
- 3G WCDMA: 850, 900, 1900, 2100
- 4G LTE: 850, 900, 1800, 2100, 2600
First impression would be that this is bad news – battery came from 4100 mAh on the Redmi Note 4 down to 4000 mAh here, but let’s be realistic. How many devices are there that offer a 4000 mAh battery? At this price? Not many. 4000 mAh battery is great, and it performed so in practice.
With a full charge we managed to last two days of medium to heavy use. After the first day we were left with 40% of battery. We played games, watched videos on YouTube and listened to music. Fast charging support is another thing that is very good in terms of the battery performance. The device charges up from 0% to 100% in one and a half hours.
What is it that makes the Redmi 5 Plus unique? Definitely its display, battery and chipset taking into account the price. This device can be placed in the very middle of the middle class, and its price is more suitable for a lower-class device which it – isn’t. Very good primary camera with 4K support in this segment of the market is, to say the least, unusual, but Xiaomi still managed to somehow fit it into this device. The Redmi 5 Plus will be the marker of 2018, and in our opinion, definitely one of the Best Buy phones of this year. This phone is a great choice for any user! Props to Xiaomi!
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