Xiaomi unveiled the Redmi Note 5 earlier this month, bringing the 18:9 form factor to the budget segment. The phone is powered by the Snapdragon 625 — like last year's Redmi Note 4 — but Xiaomi is positioning the improvements to the display and camera as the main differentiator for this year's offering.
Then there's the pricing. The Redmi series' meteoric rise was mainly due to aggressive pricing by Xiaomi, and the brand outdid itself this year. The base variant of the Redmi Note 4 with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage is available for just ₹9,999, which is less than what the Redmi Note 4 launched at last year.
So while the internal hardware may not be all that different, there's a lot to get excited about with the Redmi Note 4. Here's what you need to know about Xiaomi's latest budget phone.
It has an 18:9 display
The most visible change in the Redmi Note 5 from its predecessor is the 18:9 panel at the front. Xiaomi kickstarted the bezel-less movement with the first-gen Mi Mix back in 2016, and with the Redmi Note 5 the 18:9 form factor is making its way to the budget segment.
That said, the Redmi Note 5 has considerably larger bezels than the Mi Mix 2, but overall the effect is not unlike the Pixel 2 XL. The 5.99-inch display offers a resolution of 2160x1080, and the LCD panel is one of the best in this segment.
Xiaomi has carved out a niche for itself in the budget category by offering vibrant displays for some time now, and thankfully that hasn't changed with the Redmi Note 5.
The 12MP camera is from the Mi A1
Xiaomi started reusing components across its devices last year, and the result is that the 12MP camera on the Redmi Note 5 is the same as the primary sensor on last year's Mi A1. That's actually a good thing as the Mi A1 has one of the best cameras in the budget segment.
The camera on the Redmi Note 5 has 1.25um pixels and an ƒ/2.2 lens, and does a great job of taking photos in daylight conditions. Images tend to suffer in low-light conditions though, but it is considerably better than the Redmi Note 4. The front 5MP camera is the same as last year's phone, and comes with Beautify 3.0.
Still powered by the Snapdragon 625
The internal hardware is one area where the Redmi Note 5 is unchanged from its predecessor. The phone features a 4000mAh battery — slightly less than the 4100mAh battery in last year's model — but you still get two days' worth of usage from a full charge.
Under the hood, there's a Snapdragon 625. Xiaomi clearly stated last year that it was a fan of Qualcomm's mid-range chipset, and to that effect we've seen the Snapdragon 625 powering a variety of Xiaomi phones over the last 12 months. A year on, Xiaomi is confident enough in the capabilities of the Snapdragon 625 to retain it in the Redmi Note 5.
The phone is sold in two variants in India, down from the three models that launched with the Redmi Note 4. The base version now offers 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, and the second variant comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
It's now on sale in India
Both variants of the Redmi Note 5 are now up for sale in India. As mentioned earlier, the 3GB variant is up for grabs for just ₹9,999, and the 4GB version is available for ₹11,999. You can purchase the device on Flipkart as well as Xiaomi's own portal, and the phone will be sold at Mi Home stores across the country.
It's usually hard to get a hold of Xiaomi's phones at launch due to the sheer demand, and the brand isn't making things any easier for customers by continuing to rely on the flash sale model. That said, you should be able to get your hands on the Redmi Note 5 at more retail locations thanks to Xiaomi's recent push into the offline market.
Read our extensive review
Need more on the Redmi Note 5? I reviewed the phone after using it for over a month, so be sure to take a look at my review. In broad strokes, you're getting a phone with a decent 18:9 screen, much-improved camera, and two-day battery life.
Check out the Pro variant
Sure, the Redmi Note 5 introduces key upgrades in the display and camera segments, but a lot of the attention will undoubtedly go to the Redmi Note 5 Pro, and for good reason. The phone is absolutely incredible, featuring an all-new dual camera setup at the back, front 20MP camera, and the Snapdragon 636 mobile platform under the hood.
The Redmi Note 5 Pro starts off at ₹13,999, ₹4,000 more than the base variant of the Redmi Note 5. If you're on a tight budget and are looking to purchase a phone for under ₹10,000, then the Redmi Note 5 is going to serve you well. If you can stretch your budget, then you'll love what's on offer with the Redmi Note 5 Pro.
Looking to pick up the Redmi Note 5 but aren't fully ready to commit just yet? Hit me up with your questions down below, and be sure to take a look at our forums.
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