Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro Review - <b>Technical Lobby</b>

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro Review

Many Android flagships in 2017 boasted of taller screens with nearly no borders as their headlining feature. Naturally, we started seeing this trend trickle down to the mid-range and entry-level segments, with phones like the InFocus Vision 3 (Review) and Honor 9 Lite (Review) to name a few. Xiaomi has been a favourite in the budget space and now it's joining the party.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro  Review

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Review) has been the ranked as the top selling smartphone in 2017, so expectations for the Chinese manufacturer’s brand new offerings for 2018 are incredibly high. The new Redmi Note 5 (Review) has big shoes to fill and from what we’ve seen, it manages to do so pretty well. Xiaomi has also launched a more powerful model with a better camera, and it's called the Redmi Note 5 Pro. This is the first phone to debut Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 636 mobile platform, which supports full-HD+ displays and features Qualcomm's own custom Kryo CPU cores. While all of this sounds great on paper, the big question is whether it’s worth the premium over the standard Redmi Note 5. Let’s find out.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro design and build
From the front, the Redmi Note 5 Pro looks very similar to the Redmi Note 5, with the same prominent curved corners on the 18:9 display. The phone still has visible borders to the left and right of the display and comparatively thicker ones at the top and bottom. It does feel slightly heavy at 181g, which could be due to the metal back and large battery. The white and gold trim of our review unit looked good, but you can also get this phone in black, blue, or rose gold.

The 5.99-inch display has a full-HD+ resolution, which is wider than what standard full-HD displays offer. Xiaomi boasts of it having a maximum brightness of 450 nits, which means that in the real world, the display is easily legible even under direct sunlight. Gorilla Glass has been used for scratch protection. There aren’t any capacitive buttons here since Xiaomi has gone with on-screen navigation buttons. Above the screen, we have the front facing camera, a diffused selfie flash, the earpiece, and sensors.

The volume and power buttons are on the right of the phone, and are slightly out of reach when you’re holding the phone normally, but feel solid. Up top, there's an IR emitter just like on previous Redmi Note smartphones. At the bottom of the phone, we have a 3.5mm headphone socket, microphone, Micro-USB port, and a speaker grille. Once again, It’s a bit disappointing to not have a Type-C port. Considering that this is the ‘Pro’ model, we would have appreciated the newer connector. On the left, we have a hybrid dual-SIM slot which can accommodate two Nano-SIMs or a microSD card (up to 128GB) in the second slot.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro

The metal back reminds us a lot of the Redmi Note 4, with its matte finish and slightly tapering edges. The fingerprint sensor lines up comfortably against your finger when you hold the phone, and authentication is quick. The camera bump is very noticeable, and let’s face it, its design has been, shall we say, "heavily inspired" by the iPhone X (Review). Even the arrangement is the same, with the two camera sensors flanking the dual-LED flash. The bump also means that this phone rests at an awkward angle when you place it on a flat surface. The back is otherwise plain, save for a printed Mi logo towards the bottom.
We received our test unit without any packaging but Xiaomi told us that buyers can expect a bundle similar to that of the Redmi Note 5, including the standard charger and silicone case.

The phone is pretty tall, which makes it a challenge to fit snugly into the pockets of some pants, but that isn't much of an issue otherwise. On the other hand, the width is manageable, making this phone easy to grip with one hand. We also got used to the slightly heavier weight after a couple days of using it. Overall, the Redmi Note 5 Pro is built well and looks good.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro specifications and features
Xiaomi is hailing the Redmi Note 5 Pro as the spiritual successor to the Redmi Note 3 (Review), which is true from a performance standpoint. The Redmi Note 3 raised the bar for performance at the Rs. 15,000 price level, and the Redmi Note 5 raises it once again. This is the first phone to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 mobile platform, which was announced last October. This is only the second SoC outside the Qualcomm's flagship 800 series to feature the company's own custom Kryo CPU cores. We have a total of eight Kryo 260 cores which can run at a maximum clock speed of 1.8GHz and are split into two clusters of four ‘performance’ cores and four ‘efficiency’ cores. Just like the Snapdragon 630 SoC on the Moto X4 (Review), this one is fabricated using the smaller 14nm process, but with a slightly faster Adreno 509 GPU.

Qualcomm says this new GPU should offer better gaming performance compared to the Adreno 508 in the Snapdragon 630. Our review unit came running a beta build of Xiaomi's MIUI software, on which most benchmarks didn't run, in order to prevent leaks before launch. However, we did manage to run AnTuTu, which gave us a score of 85,838 points, and PCMark Work 2.0, which gave us a score of 5,619. This is a performance jump of around 10 precent on average compared to the Snapdragon 625 SoC used by the Redmi Note 5.

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