Unarguably, low-cost or budget smartphones have been trending in India this year. They offer great value to its users both in terms of hardware and software. Chinese-smartphone developer, Xiaomi, has been at the forefront in this category with a number of successful devices.
Joining this lineup is the Xiaomi Redmi 5A and the Redmi 5. The Redmi 5A retails for Rs 4,999 while the Redmi 5 is expected to be priced at around Rs 7,000-8,000.
Both the phones are powered by chipsets from Qualcomm's 400-series and also sport similar battery specs. Needless to say, there is more to a phone other than the hardware specs.
Hence, we felt the need to compare the specs of both the Redmi 5A and Redmi to get a clearer picture for you.
Before we delve further, let’s go over the spec sheet of these two phones.
Xiaomi Redmi 5
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
Fingerprint Sensor, MIUI 9
Dedicated microSD slot, MIUI 9
3300-mAh with micro USB
3000-mAh with micro USB
Snapdragon 450 vs Snapdragon 425
The Xiaomi Redmi 5A is powered by the 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 chipset with 4 Cortex A53. When it comes to the Redmi 5, it features the Snapdragon 450 chipset, which carries the same specification, but has 8 ARM Cortex A53 cores instead.
However, the difference lies in the fabrication technology. The Snapdragon 450 is the first chipset in Qualcomm's 400-tier to come with the 14-nm process technology, which makes it a highly efficient and balanced as a processor.
As mentioned above, the Redmi 5A has scaled-down features when you compare it to the Redmi 5, owing to its budget tagline. A clear-cut missing feature is the fingerprint sensor. On the brighter side, you get a dedicated secondary SIM card slot so that you can use both your SIM cards and the memory card parallely.
A clear-cut missing feature is the fingerprint sensor.
Software-wise, both the Redmi 5 and Redmi 5A feature MIUI 9, layered on Android 7.1.2 Nougat.
The presence of MIUI 9 means that many of the key Android Nougat features make their way to these phones such as Spilt-Screen, Notification Control or Google Assistant.
It goes beyond saying that battery life is one of the major features of any smartphone. It can make or break a smartphone. Thankfully, both the Redmi 5 and 5A offer decent battery specs.
The Redmi 5 is powered by a 3,300-mAh battery. Though a bigger display generally means that the battery will drain faster, however, it's compensated by the power-efficient 14-nm design of the Snapdragon 450 chipset.
On the other hand, the Redmi 5A is powered by a 3,000-mah battery. Xiaomi claims that the Redmi 5A can give up to 7 hours of video playback and 6 hours of gaming. However, when it comes to regular usage, it can easily last a day.
Storage and Pricing
Both the Xiaomi phones sport the same storage specs. While the base variant offers 2GB RAM and 16GB storage, the higher variant comes with a more meaty 3GB RAM and 32GB internal memory.
However, it's the pricing scenario that is a tad different. As mentioned earlier, the Xiaomi Redmi 5A retails at Rs 4,999 (introductory price) and the Redmi 5 is expected to be priced around Rs 7,000-8,000.
Which One to Buy?
With the feature-rich MIUI 9 and a dedicated slot for the memory card, the Xiaomi Redmi 5A is a good choice if you're pressed for money. However, the lack of a fingerprint sensor, especially for the 3GB/32GB variant, makes one look at other options.
The Redmi 5 is certainly a bigger and better cousin of the Redmi 5A and, of course, it comes at a higher price. So, the choice is ultimately yours — whether you want a truly low-cost Android device or something a bit better than that but within Rs 10,000.