With the countless of smartphones booming out of China today, the choice can be endless.
However, the tech giant Xiaomi continues to impress in the form of the Redmi Note 5.
The mid-range smartphone has been given more than satisfactory improvements; first to be running on the Snapdragon 636, 4,000mAh non-removable battery and a 12-megapixel f/1.9 primary camera and a 5-megapixels f/2.0 front camera for superb selfies, alongside with an LED Selfie light and artificial intelligence (AI) camera effects.
Being one of the bestselling smartphone brands in Malaysia, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 would definitely be the talk of the town due to its impressive specifications and not forgetting its more-than-affordable price (below RM1,000).
Nonetheless, with every great smartphone, let us examine how great it truly stands.
First impression of the Redmi Note 5, you would not feel any different from its predecessor the Redmi Note 4, at least from the back.
With more time, you will realise that the Note 5 is slimmer and lighter than the Note 4. There is nothing not to change the design even though it is supposed to be an upgrade of the previous model.
Don’t let the back of the Note 5 stop you from flipping it over as the front of the smartphone holds the biggest difference to the Note 4.
Noticing that Xiaomi has removed the thick bezels and the navigations, the Chinese smartphone brand is moving forward with the trends of how a smartphone should be – minimal bezels and without dedicated navigation keys.
At the same time, with its metal chassis and 18:9 display, the Redmi Note 5 packs a modern and sleek design.
Returning to the metal back of the Note 5, Xiaomi has done the right with its fingerprint sensor. It is not only accurate and fast, but it is much well-positioned.
You would not need to worry if you will smear the camera lens with your index finger as it is effortless to reach. With that said, I would say Redmi Note 5 has one of the better fingerprint sensors in the market. (Do take note of this, other brands! No pun intended.)
Sporting a 5.99-inch, 18:9 aspect ratio display with FullHD+ resolutions (2160×108) and 430ppi, the Redmi Note 5’s display has been given the most major changes.
This shows Xiaomi has jumped on the bandwagon to bring 18:9 aspect ratio displays to its mid-range segments where it speaks volume on the shift in the market.
With a glance, the display is bright and crisp, but it is leaning towards the warmer colours though this will not affect the display at all.
In sunlight, it moderately decent for readability, it ain’t the best but being under RM1,000, what more can you ask for?
Additionally, the display surface is smooth as its 2.5D glass provides nice haptics while the screen can register up to ten points of contact at the same time.
For those who would enjoy using the SWYPE function and type fast will be amazed at the Redmi Note 5’s display surface. Also, the inputs are precise and there are no input lags.
What most of you would love to know about the display that it is scratch-resistant, despite Redmi Note 5 is not using brands like Gorilla Glass.
Meanwhile, watching videos is a pleasure as it comes with FullHD+.
In terms of the Redmi Note 5’s performance, for a mid-range smartphone, it does deliver solid performance.
It is fairly fast and responsive without any obvious lags, but its speed cannot be compared to flagship smartphone, but yes, Note 5 is capable for multi-tasking and gaming, yes, gaming.
The Redmi Note 5 is capable to run games such as Injustice 2, Tekken, Mobile Legends and PUBG with ease.
This is due to its Kryo 260 architecture, 1.8GHz maximum clock speed, 4GB of RAM, and the Adreno 509 GPU.
At the same time, running on the Snapdragon 630, it has an estimated 40% increase in performance while maintaining excellent power efficiency to the Snapdragon 630.
Sporting a 12-megapixel rear camera which has an aperture size of f/2.2 while backed by phase detection autofocus and dual tone dual-LED flash, the Redmi Note 5 creates images are detailed and the colour productions is more or less accurate.
Similar to its warmer display, images snapped by the Note 5 has a warmer tint to it, however, it will not deterrent for great images.
The small f/2.2 aperture helps greatly to reduce photo noise which results in more crisp images.
Though, low-light shots aren’t as good as expected as the images were washed out, lacked details with a lot of noise.
Despite its manual mode, it only allows tweaking the ISO and white balance. A major disappointment admittedly.
Nonetheless, the front 5-megapixel camera does perform a decent job if you’re one who loves enjoying taking selfie.
This is probably the one most important features of any smartphone. And just like its predecessor, the Redmi Note 5 sports a battery capacity of 4,000mAh.
Before you let out a big sigh, the Note 5 has a solid battery performance.
This mid-range device was easily able to last more than 17 hours which include about 6 hours of screen time.
Think about playing games and watching Youtube or videos without constantly worrying when you will need to charge next.
However, there lies a big disappointment as the Redmi Note 5 does not come with a quick-charger. It comes a standard 5V3A unit that would need about three hours for a full charge.
With that said, it does support fast-charging, Quick Charge 2.0, so if you do need quick-charging for your Redmi Note 5, get a quick charger!
Here lies another disappointment as the Note 5 still uses a microUSB port for charging while most smartphones have opted for USB-C.
Though, most of its competitors are still using microUSB, so why not right?