Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Review – Is it the Best Budget Smartphone Overall?

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Detailed Review

2017 was really a profitable year for Xiaomi. The Chinese smartphone maker truly rose to fame in the world with its Redmi Note 4, which became the bestselling smartphone. Xiaomi sold over 9.6 million devices and it was great. The Note 4 has become the perfect go-to device for anyone looking for a smartphone in budget rate and its fame spiked within less time.

Redmi Note 5 Review

A lot of OEMs took the step last year to offering smartphones with an 18:9 aspect ratio and dual cameras and brands like Honor stepped ahead to offer quad cameras. Since Redmi Note 5 is here, Xiaomi is finally here as the king of budget devices. But in this price-sensitive market, is Redmi Note 5 is an old wine that comes in a new bottle?

Price and Availability

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 is available in two variants – 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB. You can buy it from Amazon or at various offline stores. The price of Note 5 starts at $333.31.


When we took the phone on our hands after unboxing, it felt quite similar to Redmi Note 4. It is pretty much like its older sibling. But when it comes to forming factor, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 is lighter and slimmer than Note 4. You might feel that they did not upgrade the design because they couldn’t find anything wrong in it. Even it is still considered as an ‘upgrade’.

Redmi note 5 Desing

The device has got aluminum back and the top and bottom have a plastic frame with antenna bands. It weighs 180g and 8.5mm thin. It feels sturdy but it has got some weight. On the rear panel, the fingerprint sensor works quickly. The biggest change you will see at the front of Note 5. Forget those thick bezels and the old-school navigation buttons. The minimal bezel has become the future of the smartphone.


Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 features 18:9 aspect ratios in 5.99” display with fHD+ 2160x1080p resolution and 403ppi pixel density. The display is among the revolutionary changes in this device. Xiaomi started the trend of 18:9 aspect ratio screens on mid-range devices. The display was found to be crisp and bright enough with sharp viewing angles when we used it. The viewing angle is a little bit on the warmer side but it is not much noticeable for the users.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Display

Sunlight readability was quite good, though not the best. However, it is justified for its price. Colors and reproduction of images are accurate with a bit of warmer tone in the display. All in all, streaming your favorite content shouldn’t be an issue on Note 5.


Initially, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 was launched with Android 7.1.2 with custom MIUI 9 which is just a decent UI for Android devices with some perks. The Android skin of MIUI is very customizable with some nice features. If you are switching from an older Xiaomi device, you will not find any noticeable change in the interface because MIUI 9 is very familiar in Xiaomi smartphones.

Redmi note 5 Software

We did not find any bug or lag on our usage and it has got a smooth interface. MIUI offers lots of amazing features like smart notifications, multi-window support, and great memory management to offer smooth functioning. However, having a stock Android has its own perks for a slick and clean interface. MIUI has some small improvements like copying OTP from text without opening the inbox. There is no big issue as Redmi Note 5 can easily be your best partner for normal usage.

Performance and Specs

Things get quite interesting here. There is no change in processing power from Redmi Note 4. The company chose to stick to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 625, while Snapdragon 636 has been released on Note 5 Pro.

Performance and Specs

The Snapdragon 625 chipset has been tried and tested for every mid-ranger. It has worked seamlessly with anything we threw at it, even some of the high-graphic games like Asphalt 9: Legends, Shadow Fighter, Injustice 2, and Tekken with no glitches. The octa-core processor is powered by 4GB RAM and it has 64GB of internal storage.

It worked smoothly without switching apps and multitasking was a breeze. The Snapdragon 625 is a very reliable SoC in most smartphones.


Redmi Note 5 features 12MP rear camera with f/2.2 aperture, dual-tone LED flash and phase detection autofocus (PDAF). One thing, which is more exciting, is the fact that it has got the same camera as Mi A1, the Android One device. But the camera on Note 5 created the images which were ahead of what the competitors offer. It had created very detailed and good quality pictures. The color reproduction is not that accurate. The pictures always have a warmer tint. However, it is not that noticeable.

Redmi Note 5 Camera

The f/2.2 aperture helps reduce noise and it results in crisp shots. But the low-light shots were not that good. Another letdown is its manual mode, which just makes room for white balance and ISO adjustment. When it comes to selfies, the 5MP front camera does a good job with pictures having natural and sharp colors. Redmi Note 5 does a great job on camera quality for its price.


There is no change in battery life either. Like Note 4, Note 5 also has a 4000mAh battery. For heavy usage, the device lasts for a day on a single charge. It can last for a day and a half on moderate use. However, when it comes to charging, this beast took around 2 hours from 0 to 100 percent.


It comes with typical 5V adapter out of the box. The battery life is quite normal. There is nothing you can say it as a massive or extraordinary powerhouse. But there is nothing that can disappoint you also.


  • Amazing battery life
  • Value for money
  • Great camera quality
  • Beautiful 18:9 display


  • Old and boring design
  • No USB Type-C port


Redmi Note 5 literally has killer features as a budget smartphone, if you do not have any issue with a dated look. It is much like a tweaked variant of the devices, which were buzzing last year.


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Having a keen interest in technology and gadgets, I love writing reviews and insights for electronic items like Smart Phones, Smart Watches, Games, Gaming devices, etc. I am a tech enthusiast with a passion for the smartphone world, been reviewing and experimenting with them for the last 8 years.

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