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Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 hands on overview: The best budget device?

Xiaomi has today launched the much-awaited Redmi Note 5 smartphone in India. The Redmi Note 5 is the successor to the Redmi Note 4 that was launched early last year. The Redmi Note 5 comes with a new refreshed design with a bigger 18:9 aspect ratio edge-to-edge display.

Xiaomi had already launched the smartphone in China back in December as Redmi 5 Plus. Now, the Redmi 5 Plus has been launched in India as the Redmi Note 5. The Chinese smartphone maker has refreshed the design of the phone and there are a few other improvements over the Redmi Note 4.

The new Redmi Note 5 is all set to go on sale via Flipkart from today itself. If we talk about pricing, the Redmi note 5 is priced starting at Rs 9999. Before the launch, we have been able to spend some time with the bezel-less budget phone from Xiaomi and here are our first impressions about the Redmi Note 5.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Specifications

Key Specifications Xiaomi Redmi Note 5
Display 5.99-inch IPS LCD
Screen Resolution FHD+, 2160 x 1080 pixels
Operating System Android 7.1 Nougat
Processor Octa-core
Chipset Snapdragon 625
GPU Adreno 506
Internal Storage 32GB / 64GB
Expandable Storage Yes
Primary Camera 12 MP, f/2.2, LED flash
Secondary Camera 5MP, LED Selfie-light, Beautify 3.0
Video Recording [email protected]
Battery 4,000mAh
4G VoLTE Yes
Dimensions 158.5×75.45×8.05mm
Weight 180g
Sim Card Type Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
Price 3GB/32GB – Rs. 9999

4GB/64GB – Rs. 11,999

What’s new in the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5

Refreshed Design

Starting with the build quality, Xiaomi has opted for the same metal unibody design with metal back and front glass. The Redmi Note 5 feels premium, thanks to its all unibody metal design, matte back, and solid build quality. Xiaomi has refreshed the design and it is taller and thinner than the Redmi Note 4 despite coming with a bigger 5.99-inch display. The phone is easy to hold due to its bezel-less design.

There are minimum bezels on the top and bottom with 18:9 aspect ratio setup. There are on-screen navigation buttons and slim bezels at the bottom and front camera sensor along with LED flash at the top.

The back of the phone is similar to Redmi Note 4. The camera module is housed on the top along with an LED flash. There are antenna lines near the top and the bottom that are hardly visible. There is a fingerprint sensor placed below the camera module.

The volume rockers and the power button are housed on the right side of the phone.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5

The left side of the device sports the SIM card tray.

The bottom edge of the phone houses the Micro USB port, and speaker grille.

At the top, the device comes with a 3.5mm audio jack, a microphone and an IR blaster.

Larger 18:9 Display

Coming to the display, Xiaomi has used a bezel-less display for its budget phone that it had adopted for the premium Mi Mix series earlier. The Redmi Note 5 features an 18:9 aspect ratio display with minimum bezels on each side. The device sports a 5.99-inch HD+ (2160 x 1080 pixels) LCD display with 2.5D curved glass.

During our initial testing, we found the display of Redmi Note 5 to be sharp, thanks to the FHD+ resolution. The scrolling on the device is smooth and we did not face any issues. The device offers good brightness levels and good visibility under sunlight in all viewing angles.

Upgraded Cameras

Coming to the cameras, the Redmi Note 5 comes with a single rear camera. It sports a 12MP primary camera with f/2.2 aperture, PDAF, and dual LED flash for improved focusing and low-light photography. The rear camera also has features like HDR and panorama. The camera can record videos at [email protected]

On the front, there is a 5MP camera with an LED Selfie-light and Beautify 3.0. The front camera can also record videos at [email protected]

Camera Samples

What remains the same

Hardware, Software, and Performance

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset coupled with either 3GB or 4GB RAM and 32GB or 64GB internal storage. The storage is expandable up to 256GB via microSD card. If we talk about the Snapdragon 625, it is the same octa-core processor that we have seen on Redmi Note 4. It performs well during intensive tasks and in day to day usage the phone performs without any trouble.

Software-wise, the Redmi Note 5 comes with Android 7.1 Nougat with the company’s custom MIUI 9 skin on top, which is the latest version of MIUI. It is not yet known when the company will release the Android 8.0 Oreo update for this phone.

Battery and Connectivity

The phone is powered by a massive 4,000mAh battery which is enough to provide more than one day of usage. However, it doesn’t come with fast charging support and on the connectivity front, the phone has the usual Wi-Fi, 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth, microUSB port and 3.5mm audio jack.


Xiaomi has always been known for its aggressive pricing and they have done it again. The all-new Redmi Note 5 which is priced same as the Redmi Note 4 is definitely a good move by the company. Despite coming with the same processor as its predecessor, the Redmi Note 5 seems to be a good device with its refreshed design and 18:9 display.


Satyendra Pal Singh

Satyendra explores the latest happenings in the tech world and writes stories about those. He likes to play around with the latest gadgets and shares his views through articles. In his free time, you can find him watching movies/TV shows and/or reading books.