After shaking up the highly competitive Indian smartphone market, especially in the last two quarters of 2017, Chinese handset maker Xiaomi has kick-started the new year with two devices — Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro.
While Redmi Note 5 is essentially a successor to last year’s immensely-popular Redmi Note 4, the “Pro” version is a more powerful device which is the world’s first to debut Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 chipset.
Redmi Note 5 Pro is also the first Xiaomi smartphone to come with the “Face Unlock” feature.
Both the smartphones have big shoes to fill as last year’s Redmi Note 4 became quite a game changer for Xiaomi, which sold over 9.6 million Note 4 devices last year.
Let us see what Note 5 Pro (4GB RAM and 64GB onboard storage variant which costs Rs 13,999) has to offer.
Weighing 181 grams, the device definitely is not light-weight, and it is sturdy enough to handle a few drops.
The front of the device is similar to its smaller sibling Redmi Note 5, with prominent curved corners on display with 18:9 aspect ratio for immersive video and gaming experience.
The slim bezels also makes the device sport a 5.99-inch full-HD+ display and occupy a smaller footprint when in the palm.
The display of Note 5 Pro was bright and punchy with good sunlight legibility.
A 20MP selfie camera with an aperture of f/2.2, selfie light flash, face-recognition feature and other sensors and earpiece are placed above the display, while on-screen navigation buttons sit below.
The front camera did a good job of clicking selfies with enough detail in daylight conditions. The selfie light it uses is essentially diffused white light, which also helped capture selfies in very low-light conditions.
The metal rear with matte finish makes it look like the Redmi Note 4. The slightly curved back metal body is done in typical Xiaomi style.
The fingerprint sensor was comfortable to use while holding the phone and authentication was fast.
The design language of the rear camera, with 12MP+5MP sensors, has been borrowed from the Apple iPhone X.
The primary camera is pretty capable and we shot some stunning images with the device in daylight conditions. The dual camera is one of the biggest USPs of this smartphone.
A hefty 4,000mAh battery fuels Redmi Note 5 Pro that easily lasted us almost two days, with moderate to slightly heavy usage, including browsing videos and running multiple social media apps.
The 4GB RAM variant did not show signs of warming albeit for a few gaming instances.
What does not work?
The primary camera’s performance was good although we found the portrait shots were less neat than what we saw with the Xiaomi Mi A1 (Rs 14,999).
It is disappointing to see Xiaomi ship Redmi Note 5 Pro with Android 7 Nougat Operating System (OS) while the latest Android “Oreo” OS is in high demand.
The phone’s ultra-wide display makes it a bit difficult to handle with one hand.
The rear camera module’s visible protrusion makes the device wobbly when placed on a flat surface.
The device also lacks a USB Type-C charging port.
Conclusion: The good battery performance and improved cameras give Redmi 5 Pro an edge over its rivals such as Honor 9i in the market. The smartphone is for the people who are looking for a high-performance device with ample battery life.