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Redmi 5 first impressions: Hands-on with Xiaomi’s new full-screen smartphone

Xiaomi Redmi 5 was announced in India earlier this week. Here our first impressions of Xiaomi’s latest budget smartphone.

tech Updated: Mar 21, 2018 11:52 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times
Xiaomi Redmi 5,Xiaomi Mi A1,Mi A1
First impressions: Xiaomi Redmi 5 (HT Photo)

Redmi 5 is part of Xiaomi’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its position in the budget Android smartphone segment. The company has seen a meteoric growth in the country in last one year which has been mainly driven by its Redmi-series of phones. Its Redmi Note 4 was one of India’s top-selling phones in 2017. Unsurprisingly, the company has focused on its expanding its Redmi series in the last few months. Shortly after launching the Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro smartphones, Xiaomi introduced Redmi 5 in India earlier this week.

Xiaomi’s Redmi 5 is positioned between the Redmi 5A and Redmi Note 5 smartphones. Xiaomi Redmi 5 is available in three variants – 2GB RAM with 16GB built-in storage, 3GB RAM with 32GB built-in storage and 4GB RAM with 64GB built-in storage. The three variants are priced at Rs 7,999, Rs 8,999 and Rs 10,999 respectively.

We spent a brief time with Xiaomi’s Redmi 5, and here our first impressions:

Even though Xiaomi Redmi 5 is very close to Redmi 5A in terms of pricing, it’s completely new from the design perspective. For instance, Redmi 5A follows the older design language of Xiaomi smartphones, which is certainly not negative. But it looks now little dated in front of Redmi 5, which has a more modern look and feel to it.

Redmi 5 boats of a 5.7-inch display with 18:9 aspect ratio and 720p HD+ resolution (1440 x 720 pixels). It feels taller in your palm, but is quite lightweight and comfortable to grip. It weighs 157 grams and is 7.7mm thick.

As far as the edge-to-edge display goes, don’t expect it to be as remarkable as Mi MIX or Mi MIX 2 that have crazy screen-to-body ratios. Redmi 5 isn’t completely bezel-less, not that we expected any such thing. Although it has a fair degree of black bar floating around the borders of the screen, it doesn’t distract much on a black model.

Since the phone has on-screen navigation touch buttons, the bottom bezel is dead space. On the top, you have a mic, selfie camera and LED flash, a new addition to Redmi phones. Volume and power buttons are located on the right edge whereas the left edge houses the SIM-card slot.

Note that it’s a hybrid SIM slot, allowing you to use either two SIM cards or one SIM card and microSD card. While the 3.5mm audio jack is located on top, the base has a USB port for charging and data sharing. The port is sandwiched between speaker grilles. On the back, the camera module followed by the LED flash and fingerprint scanner are located at the top centre of the smartphone, bringing a more symmetrical look and feel. Xiaomi Redmi 5A has the rear camera and LED flash on the top-left corner.

Xiaomi Redmi 5 runs on the MIUI Global 9.2 Stable ROM, which is based on Android 7.1.2 Nougat. The UI is quite familiar and easy to get started with. It comes preloaded with Microsoft apps such as Word, Outlook and Excel among others. The good thing is, you can uninstall these preloaded applications. The rest of the UI is pretty much similar to what we have seen on Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro.

Redmi 5 is powered by the Snapdragon 450 processor. Xiaomi has made tall claims about the performance of this smartphone. Xiaomi India managing director Manu Kumar Jain pointed out in his presentation that Redmi 5 scores higher on the Antutu benchmark than comparable budget Samsung and Motorola smartphones.

Overall, Redmi 5 looks like a promising smartphone with a contemporary design, and is remarkably different from older variants. We will be giving our final verdict in a detailed review of the phone later. Until then, stay tuned.

First Published: Mar 16, 2018 19:16 IST