Xiaomi was always known to produce some of the greatest phones on the market at an affordable price. When you look at some of their phones, you just think how it’s possible to pack such great specs and still maintain the good price? Well, that’s Xiaomi’s secret that we’ll probably never know. Today, our main concern will be the review of Xiaomi Redmi 5, a budget phone that looks decent at a first glance. But, is it really worth its price of 200 bucks? We’ll give an answer to that question in a review below.
Design and Build Quality
Xiaomi Redmi 5 is a metal phone that’s built mainly of aluminum and plastic. These days, we often see aluminum as the number one choice of smartphone manufacturers and this phenomenon isn’t strange. However, Xiaomi put some plastic on the rounded edges, making the phone feel great to the touch, although the aluminum would still be a better solution. On the front, we have a huge 18:9 screen and a decent amount of bezels. Yeah… we still haven’t got rid of them.
On the front side, we also have a front-facing sensor and at the back, there is a single 12MP sensor, LED flash, and a fingerprint sensor. When it comes to the ports, we have a welcome 3.5mm port on the top side, as well as a micro USB port. I’m quite surprised we haven’t got a USB Type-C port since the phone is launched in December of 2017. When it comes to the build quality, Xiaomi Redmi 5 fares well. When squeezed, you can’t hear or see any cracks, and we have Corning Gorilla Glass on top of the display. All in all, both design and the build quality are up to par with the price.
So, what kind of display can we expect from a phone that costs a little over 200 bucks? Hmph… maybe AMOLED? Unfortunately not. Xiaomi Redmi 5 comes with an IPS LCD display that packs 5.7 inches in size. You can tell that the phone isn’t very big due to its 18:9 ratio, but it’s very tall. Despite its height and overall size, Xiaomi put this weird resolution of 720×1440 pixels on this display. I’m quite exasperated by this move since many manufacturers go well over 1080 pixels for this kind of display.
When it comes to the colors, you can pretty much say they are vivid. As we are talking about IPS panel, you can’t expect the same color temperature and accuracy as with AMOLED displays. So, no oversaturated colors and definitely no punchiness we get from LED panels. The brightness of the display isn’t that great, too. You can use it outside but… well, it’s not on Samsung’s level, that’s for sure! At the end of the day, it all boils down to the personal preference. I’m not a huge fan of IPS panels for smartphones and I would like Redmi 5 with an AMOLED display better.
The camera on this phone is painfully mediocre. It’s so mediocre that we can’t separate anything special here. But, let us elaborate a little bit. First, the camera comes with a single 12MP sensor with a standard set of features like autofocus, LED flash, touch focus, etc. However, its limitations start to show very soon. For example, the video quality isn’t great and it can reach only up to 1080p at 30 fps. The optical stabilization is literally non-existent, which makes the video quality even worse.
Redmi 5’s camera is also bad at low-light conditions. You can get some decent details when using the Night Mode or a flash, but still, we have some noise here and there. When going out during the day, this camera can capture solid photos, considering the price of the phone. The big disappointment is the 5MP front-facing camera which is one of the weakest in this price range.
It’s in this compartment that Xiaomi Redmi 5 shows its amazing price-to-performance ratio. You can’t say it’s bad to have Android 7.1.2 for this silly price, can you? Furthermore, this phone packs a mid-range Snapdragon 450 chipset with an Octa-Core Cortex-A53 CPU that delivers good performance for the price. You can’t expect to do heavy multitasking but it’ll do the job for the most part. We can’t forget to mention that the phone comes equipped with 3/4GB of RAM, which is more than enough for an average user.
For those who like to play games, Xiaomi Redmi 5 includes Adreno 506 GPU, which is more than enough for casual gaming. The interesting thing about this GPU is that it can run some demanding games at reasonable fps. Although the software can be buggy at times, we still think it’s snappy and reliable enough for everyday use. Well done, Xiaomi!
Battery and Speaker
When taking into an account Xaiomi’s low-resolution screen, mid-range hardware, and weaker camera, we can pretty much guess that the battery life is decent. Well… it is, to some extent. Xiaomi Redmi 5 comes with a non-removable 3300 mAh battery that gives enough juice for the whole day. However, I feel like the battery is good just for the sake of weaker specs as it’s still not that impressive. What’s impressive, though, is the fast charging that’s possible here. And yes… it pretty much works well.
The speaker of Xiaomi Redmi 5 is also decent. Because of its location on the lower edge of the phone, it’s unlikely that you’ll cover it with your hands while using the phone. This gives the speaker a very distinctive and quality sound during multimedia and gaming. Overall, I’m very satisfied with this one.
As we saw, Xiaomi Redmi 5 comes with a set of features that aren’t anything extraordinary. But, Xiaomi made this phone for the budget-oriented users that want a good-looking and good-performing phone at a reasonable price. When you think better, 200 bucks isn’t that much, considering the big display, solid performance, and nice design. To put it simply, Xiaomi Redmi 5 isn’t the phone I would brag about if I had it. If I was tight on cash, this would surely be taken into consideration.