So without delay let’s dive in to his Xiaomi Redmi 5 Hands-on review with Photo samples.The Xiaomi Redmi 5 is definitely Xiaomi’s answer to the Meizu M6S which I reviewed some weeks ago. Since I was very busy I’m glad my dear brother-in-law had the opportunity to review the Redmi 5 for us. Thank you very much Tobias!
When holding the Xiaomi Redmi 5 the first thing I noticed was that it’s quite light for its size. With its metal back and large screen you would expect a hefty phone; this is not the case. It feels good to hold, and its rounded corners are pleasant to look at. The camera protrudes from the back about two mm, the fingerprint scanner is embedded in the back underneath the camera.The screen is bright, the device has a micro USB port on the bottom and an audio jack(!) on the top.
Usage and media
When starting the phone for the first time you’re greeted by MIUI 9, running on android 7 Nougat. The device I have here sports 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage, though there seem to be versions available with 2 or 4 GB of ram, and 16 GB of internal storage. After setting up your Google and MIUI account it might take a while to get used to MIUI. It works, it’s (mostly) slick, and effective but It’s different. I can’t say it’s my cup of tea, but for users more welcoming to change it can be a breath of fresh air compared to standard android.
To be a bit more specific, one thing I particularly like about the OS is the customizability. MIUI9 is absolutely loaded with themes, which carry over into apps. To make an example, say you select a theme based on Google’s Material Design, with a blue main colour, your Whatsapp will turn blue (instead of green) with icons similar to those in your system UI.
Other notable features include split screen multitasking, a specific homescreen for notes and calendar data, a lack of an appdrawer, and a floating “Quick ball”, used for various shortcuts.
Sporting a Snapdragon 450 octa-core processor this thing will handle anything you throw at it (processing-wise, please don’t throw stuff at your phone). The OS feels fluid without hiccups, HD-ready video loads almost instantly. Games load quick and play smooth, although I noticed it may take a second to save pictures with HDR in the camera app. I was amazed to be able to emulate a Playstation Portable at full 100% efficiency.
One of the similarly perplexing features is the audio. The speaker is clean and crisp (although a bit ‘canny’ on the highest setting) and it really “fills the room”. I’ve never had a phone that could output decent-sounding bass solo’s without sounding like a dying bumblebee. Neat.
A big ol’ 5.7” display with a remarkable brightness. Gaming and streaming videos both look wonderful on it’s (surprising) 720p screen. Colours look bright and crisp inside the house. Walking outside in the bright sun tends to make the screen hard to look at. That being said, sunglare is not much of a problem outside of the brightest of weather. One thing I specifically like about the display is that this is the first phone I´ve had where the lowest brightness is REALLY low. I can’t overstate how pleasant this is in low-light situations.
This one’s fairly straightforward, the Xiaomi Redmi 5 has a 3200mAh battery which manages to support my (very) heavy use with a screen on 75% brightness for a day and a half. Generally, but especially with ‘only’ 3200mAh, I’m surprised and very pleased.
The Xiaomi has a round fingerprint scanner on the back underneath the camera, depressed into the surface for about 1mm. Without a doubt the best FP scanner I’ve ever had on a device, in three weeks of use I have not had a single mishap. It simply works every single time. Period.
Now here’s the part where I’m really excited about: the 12mp rear-camera. I took this baby out for a spin in both an urban environment and a beautiful park. The 12mp lens captures shots which are perhaps the greatest I’ve ever seen on a chinaphone.
On standard settings, the Xiaomi Redmi 5 will take shots on a 4:3 ratio, with a remarkable sharpness, though the colours may look a bit washed out. Peek around in the settings menu and you’ll see this is an easy fix by turning Saturation and Contrast up a notch. After this there’s nothing stopping you from snapping some great shots with surprising ease, to amaze friends and family alike.
I don’t want to give of the impression that the standard settings look “bad”, I’m just a guy who likes nature shots with big, saturated colours. It has a great (manual) focus, macro photography looks nice and proper, honestly making me double check the lack of a dual-camera (again) as I’m writing this.
The front camera is a 5mp lens which is good enough for social media and selfies. Just don’t expect too much from it.
The Xiaomi Redmi 5 is worthy of being called “high end”. It’s processing power, screen, and audio make it a great choice for media junkies. It’s weight and versatile camera makes it a fun plaything for amateur photographers. And It’s price makes it attractive for people who want a complete smartphone experience on a budget.
Some things can be said about the protruding camera and the fact it has micro USB instead of USB-C, but that’s about it. MIUI works as it should, but it might take a small while to get used to for some people.
All in all, I’m sad to see it go after I’m done reviewing, It’s a wonderful all-round device.
(Review by Tobias Fransen, CEO @ Exotel Shop)
Some Picture Samples from the Xiaomi Redmi 5