Redmi Note 5 Pro was launched in India in February 2018. The smartphone was available in a base 4GB RAM and 64GB storage version, starting at a price of ₹14,999, with a top end 6GB RAM and 64GB storage version priced at ₹16,999. Both versions were Flipkart exclusives.
To entice buyers, in July 2018, Flipkart reduced the price of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro to a mere ₹649 for the base version and ₹2,649 for the top end version, as part of its Big Shopping Days promotional sales event. However, Flipkart made the path to this ginormous discount quite complicated. They put two condition. One that the buyer should have an SBI credit card, on which they would get an instant 10% discount. Second, they should have another smartphone for exchange, the value of which could go up to ₹12,850. However, there was a catch here too. You could only get this discount by exchanging the OnePlus 5T. Here’s the full story.
All this prompted me to discover the Redmi Note 5 Pro for myself. Here’s what I found.
Related: Redmi Note 4 Review
The Redmi Note 5 Pro is a dual SIM smartphone that accepts Nano-SIM in both slots. The phone features with a 5.99-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080 X 2160 pixels. The handset weighs 181 gm and measures 158.60 x 75.40 x 8.05 mm.
The device is powered by a 1.8GHz octa-core processor, paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 128GB via a microSD card. It is fuelled by a 4000mAh non-removable battery.
The Redmi Note 5 Pro comes with a 20 MP front camera and a 12MP + 5MP dual camera setup at the rear. The connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, USB OTG, Micro-USB, FM, 3G and 4G; while the sensors include fingerprint sensor, face unlock, proximity sensor, accelerometer, compass/magnetometer, ambient light sensor and gyroscope.
Display Size: 5.99-inch touchscreen
Screen Resolution: 1080X2160 pixels
Processor: 1.8GHz octa-core processor
Front Camera: 20MP
Back Camera: 12MP + 5MP
Display and Looks
Redmi Note 5 Pro was launched by Xiaomi along with the Redmi Note 5. Initially, I couldn’t figure out any difference in the design and looks of the two handsets, both of which have a 5.99-inch display with18:9 aspect ratio. Both devices flaunt metallic bodies and a fingerprint sensor on the rear. Thanks to the 18:9 aspect ratio, the screen is taller and narrower, which I liked.
Weighing 181 gm, Redmi Note 5 Pro is slightly heavy than other Xiaomi phones. While this makes the smartphone sturdy and stable to hold, it is uncomfortable to carry in the pocket. I am sure this hefty device can survive certain falls from a reasonable height, which I didn’t dare attempt, given how much I liked the device.
On the back of the phone, there is a fingerprint sensor that can be reached easily, which is not uncommon in smartphones with 18:9 displays. Along with the fingerprint sensor, there is a vertical dual camera setup, which gives this handset an illusion of being an iPhone.
Performance and Battery
Redmi Note 5 sports a Snapdragon 625 chipset. To make the Redmi Note 5 Pro live up to its name, the Chinese smartphone maker took the extra step and used Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 636 chipset to power the “Pro” version. The processor runs Qualcomm’s custom eight kryo cores.
The result of using the latest processor is easily seen on this smartphone’s performance, which was noticeably faster than the Redmi Note 5. The apps opened at lightning speed.
The Redmi Note 5 Pro runs on Android Nougat with MIUI 9.2 on top, same as Redmi Note 5. This was a major disappointment, since one of the best and latest smartphones in the market lacks Android Oreo. The company, however, started rolling out MIUI 9.5 for this device, based on Android Oreo.
Redmi Note 5 Pro has a 4000mAh non-removable battery under the hood. The battery life is impressive, just like any other Xiaomi smartphones. On regular use, the battery can last for more than 15 hours.
Camera and Apps
In the photography department, Redmi Note 5 Pro flaunts a 12MP + 5MP dual camera setup at the rear and a 20MP front camera. The vertically placed camera on the rear is inspired by Apple’s camera design. So, does this smartphone deliver the same image quality as the iPhone? Here’s what I found.
In comparison with the other smartphones from Xiaomi, the camera quality of the Redmi Note 5 Pro is definitely superior. The camera can be a major reason why anyone would want to ditch the Redmi Note 5 for the Pro.
The colours produced are warm, bright and punchy at the same time. The thing that made me extremely happy was the amazing camera performance in low light. There was no graininess or noise. The Note 5 Pro uses a 5MP camera for depth-sensing. In comparison to the MiA1, this doesn’t lead to lesser background details.
The pictures taken by the 20 MP front camera are much better than those taken by Note 5. Fortunately, the pictures also look less artificial, which was a major issue with the beautification feature.
Redmi Note 5 Price
The Redmi Note 5 Pro is available in two variants:
- Base Version: 4GB RAM + 64GB storage @ ₹14,999
- Top-end Version: 6GB RAM + 64GB storage version @ ₹16,999
Reasons Why I Like This Phone
- Excellent build quality
- Bright and vivid display
- Amazing camera performance
Reasons Why I Hate This Phone
- Lack of USB Type-C
- No fast charging support
- Pre-installed bloatware
For me, the Redmi Note 5 Pro is a clear winner against the Redmi Note 5. NDTV Gadgets 360 Degrees compared the Redmi Note 5 Pro with the 3GB variant of the ZenFone Max Pro M1 and found that Redmi Note 5 Pro was the better choice in terms of rear cameras and battery.
However, if you are looking for better display and performance, I would recommend the 6GB variant of the ZenFone Max Pro M1.