Full view 18:9 displays were the thing in 2017 and still is one of the reigning smartphone trends. While a few companies like Samsung have still stuck to the standard 16:9 screens for their budget offerings, Xiaomi has gone ahead and introduced full view 18:9 displays in the Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro.
With a screen-to-body ratio of 77.48%, Xiaomi has fitted a 5.99-inch phone into a much smaller form factor. Moreover, it sports a full HD+ IPS LCD display. For a phone priced at Rs 9,999, the display is sharp and crisp.
2. Snappy Processor + Great Battery
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset is the go-to processor for Xiaomi's budget-phone series and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 is no different. The Snapdragon 625 is known for its battery efficiency and sleek performance, thanks to the 14-nm design process.
In fact, the Snapdragon 625 is the first processor in the 600-series to sport this technology. Plus, the Redmi Note 5 is powered by a 4,000mAh battery unit, which should easily see you through two days on a single charge.
3. Dual Thermal Sheets
Xiaomi has introduced a dual thermal design with the Redmi Note 5. This is essentially two sheets of pyrolytic graphite sheets that reduce the device temperature by 2°C.
If you recollect, last year's Redmi Note 4 also came with a pyrolytic graphite, however, it was only limited to one.
4. Selfie Flash
Good news for the selfie lovers. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 comes with a 4500k temperature selfie flash, meant to lighten your pictures in low light.
The inclusion of USB Type-C port in the Xiaomi Mi A1 last year had made me hopeful. I assumed that Xiaomi is on its way to adopting the universal standard of data and power transfer. However, as it turns out, I was in for some disappointment.
The Redmi Note 5 and the Note 5 Pro are still on the older USB connectors i.e. micro-USB.
USB Type-C has many advantages. For one, data transfers are much quicker and you can also share the charging cords with other devices.
2. Good Ol' Nougat
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 runs the now-dated Android Nougat 7.1.1 on top of the stable version of MIUI 9.
Though the Android O update is on the cards, we all know that Xiaomi will take its own sweet time in rolling out the software updates. So, it will be quite some time, probably the end of Q2, before we see Android Oreo on the Redmi Note 5.
3. No Dedicated MicroSD Card Slot
A majority of smartphones these days are going for a dedicated slot for the microSD card. This ensures that users reap the benefits of both the expandable storage and dual SIM cards.
Sadly, the Redmi Note 5 comes with a hybrid SIM tray, which lets you slap either a nano-SIM and a micro-SIM together or a micro-SIM and a microSD card.
Though the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 supports Quick Charge 3.0, the Redmi Note 5 doesn't feature this charging technique.
It ships with the standard 2W/5V adapter, which will take around two hours to charge the massive 4,000mAh battery unit to 100%.
Yay or Nay
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 has seen many upgrades in the camera and the design sectors. Gone are the thick bezels or the squarish corners. Instead, you'll find a sleek device with 2.5D curved glass. What's more, the Redmi Note 5 has an extra layer of protection in the form of Gorilla glass.
However, it's not without its share of flaws. The lack of the faster charging methods will certainly eat into your time. Plus, it may be quite some time before you see the Android Oreo update.
But at Rs 9,999 and 3GB RAM + 32GB internal memory (the higher variant retails at Rs 11,999), the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 is a great proposition. If you were to ask me, I would rather recommend you to arrange some extra bucks and go for the Redmi Note 5 Pro.