Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro ★★★★☆


Xiaomi aka The Apple of China has enjoyed massive success on its Note range of devices over the years. The Note 4 last year had record sales last year & Xiaomi is one of the few popular “Note series” manufacturers besides Samsung. Let’s find out if the Note 5 Pro (launched along with the cheaper lesser powerful Note 5) with its Dual camera setup is worth upgrading.

Looking at the Note 5 Pro on the rear side, if it had a glass back and an Apple logo on you would’ve fallen for it being the iPhone X thanks to the rear camera positioning & design. On its front, minimum bezels on the edges but a bit thicker at the top (front camera with a selfie flash) and bottom make it look eye catching thanks to an 18:9 screen. It’s a 5.99” full HD+ display with curved corners.The device is slightly heavy at 181g perhaps due to the metal back. Colours available are Champagne Gold, Rose Gold, Lake Blue, & Black.

The IR transmitter still exists like in all Note devices which is great, the surprising bit is preferring the Micro USB port over type C on their latest device. The Note 5 Pro supports VoLTE & is a hybrid dual SIM device. Finally, the phone is a bit taller than you’d expect so won’t be comfortable for all to hold and might have issues fitting in your pocket.


The Note 5 Pro is the first device to use the Snapdragon 636 which is the most powerful mid range processor. The device is available in 4GB or 6GB RAM with 64GB memory in both variants (expandable up to 128GB). USB OTG, FM Radio, a regular feature in most Xiaomi devices are also available here. Disappointingly the phone runs on Android 7.1 instead of 8.0, with MIUI 9 skin on top. It’s one of the most customisable & smooth UIs, with more useful features than the Samsung Experience. For example, the leftmost screen is similar to Google Now cards, Apps include Mi Drop to transfer files over Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi calling (depending on your carrier), Quick Ball like Apple’s Assistive Touch, Dual Apps to create 2 instances of same apps to be used with different SIMs/emails. An OTA released end of Feb has also enabled Face Unlock Feature which is a great addition at this price point! 

The dual cameras are the main attraction of the device, boasting of a 12MP primary + 5MP secondary for depth sensing aide in Portrait shots. It does the work in broad daylight but night shots still see some noise with face detection working better than object detection for some reason. The front camera is a 20MP shooter which takes great beauty shots and a has a flash for lowlights, enough to keep those likes coming on Instagram. They could have given more control over Manual mode except for just ISO & White balance. No 4K recording capability although the chipset does have the ability, meaning you have to stick with 1080p only. Maybe a software update will enable it in the future? 

In terms of Multimedia & Gaming, Asphalt Xtreme works without lags but the phone does warm up a bit which is normal. The speaker at the bottom is loud enough for any multimedia playback. The Note 5 Pro has a massive 4000mAh battery and it does not disappoint, lasting just over a day in moderate usage. 4K video playback is supported and with a decent pair of earphones, the music quality is surprisingly good. A bummer is the charger supplied which does not support fast charging, so you’ll have to buy one separately. 

The Note 5 Pro is competing with the Honor 9 Lite, Honor 9i, Xiaomi’s own Mi A1 & maybe even the Moto X4. It’s the most competitive price band to be in but with the best hardware, camera setup, and battery life the Note 5 Pro scores higher even after losing out on outdated OS & design.

★★★★☆
Pritesh Khilnani

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro at CeX




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