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Meet Xiaomi Redmi 5, the affordable 18:9 phone to beat?

Nova 2i
The Redmi 5 is one of the new and "interesting" affordable Android smartphone from Xiaomi. 
The affordable 18:9 phone to beat?

Currently, it is their most affordable offering equipped with the trendy 18:9 screen ratio to give "more screen real estate" and "minimize" the bezels.

On top of that, it goes with one of the highest specs and nifty features for its expected low asking price.

Let's check it out!

Meet Xiaomi Redmi 5

The Redmi 5 is one of the new and "interesting" affordable Android smartphone from Xiaomi.
Metal unibody design

The Xiaomi Redmi 5 features a metal unibody construction with nice curves all over. It has no mention of Gorilla Glass protection though.
Headphone jack slot, mic, and IR Blaster on top
Headphone jack slot, mic, and IR Blaster on top
Single speaker, micro USB port below
Single speaker, micro USB port below
Hybrid slot at left
Hybrid slot at left
Power button and volume rocker at right
Power button and volume rocker at right

The phone is quite ergonomical too. It isn't that big at 151.8 x 72.8 mm and far from thick at 7.7 mm. It isn't heavy at 157 g as well. It is comfortable to hold overall. All ports and buttons are on familiar placements too. The device is a bit slippery if you have no case installed though. Make sure that your grip is tight enough always.
Sensor box
Sensor box

The Redmi 5 is equipped with a 5.7-inch display with tall screen aspect ratio of 18:9. However, Xiaomi just failed to make its bezels slimmer. The top and bottom bezels are considered as thick for a phone with 18:9 ratio.

Modern tall screen ratio, but bezels are thicker than expected!

The 5.7-inch HD+ screen that Xiaomi used is average in quality. It has 10 points of touch, colors are balance, and viewing angles are okay. The display is quite reflective though. It has 450 nits of brightness which is only bright enough for indoor use.
Almost 70K AnTuTu score!
Almost 70K AnTuTu score!

Inside, this phone is a beast for the price. It goes with the same 64-bit Snapdragon 450 octa-core processor clocked at 1.8GHz. It is coupled with Adreno 506 GPU. That underrated chipset is commonly found on phones found in the over PHP 13K price range.

Speedy phone for the expected price!

Xiaomi also added 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, and 3,300mAh battery. The battery can around 5 to 7 hours SOT. Charging time is quite fast at around 1.5 hours.
Single 12MP PDAF main camera
Single 12MP PDAF main camera

The cameras are intiially disappointing though. The 12MP f/2.2 primary camera with PDAF focus and LED flash has fast focus and shooting speed. However, it doesn't take that well exposed photos even in daylight. Weirdly, lowlight performance is decent for the price, but expect it to have noticeable grains.
Underexposed daylight shot with grains
Acceptable lowlight performance

In front, the 5MP f/2.0 sensor is even more disappointing. It is underexposed, lacking in details, blurry, and grainy even in conditions with decent lighting. Fortunately, it has a flash in front for lowlight selfies.
Selfie camera needs improvement
Selfie camera needs improvement

Hopefully, Xiaomi can improve its cameras through a software upgrade.

The rest of the features

The Redmi 5 also has a speedy and accurate fingerprint scanner, OTG support, LTE connectivity, Bluetooth 4.2, A-GPS, gyroscope sensor, and IR Blaster (universal remote control). It has an LED light for notifications as well.

The phone loads with Android 7.1.2 Nougat w/ MIUI 9.

Xiaomi Redmi 5 Specs

Display: 5.7-inch HD+ IPS 1440 x 720 resolution w/ 2.5D curved glass at 282 ppi 
CPU: 1.8GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 450 octa-core processor 
GPU: Adreno 506
ROM: 32GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 128GB
Rear Camera: 12MP f/2.2 w/ PDAF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 5MP f/2.0 w/ LED flash
Battery: 3,300mAh
OS: Android 7.1.2 Nougat w/ MIUI 9
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, OTG, GPS, A-GPS, dual SIM (hybrid)
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: Fingerprint sensor, IR Blaster
Dimensions: 151.8 x 72.8 x 7.7 mm
Weight: 157 g
Price: PHP 7,790

So far, we think that this phone is designed for users who needs a pretty capable CPU, GPU and strong battery performance on a tight budget.

Initially, its back and front cameras are not that impressive though. If you can spend a bit more, we suggest to check out the likes of Mi A1 and OPPO A83 with better cameras.

If you are willing to take the risk, grey market vendors sell it at around PHP 8.5K (3GB RAM / 32GB ROM).

However, since Xiaomi now has an official local presence, we strongly suggest to wait for the official local SRP of this handset before buying it.

Special thanks to Bryan Bonifacio for the help!

Stay tuned for more info soon!
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