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Xiaomi Redmi 5A Unboxing and First Impressions

Nova 2i
Xiaomi just launched the Redmi 5A in the Philippines. It's the Chinese company's newest and most affordable smartphone to date.
Xiaomi Redmi 5A Unboxing and First Impressions
Xiaomi Redmi 5A unboxing and first impressions

According to Xiaomi, the Redmi 5A is "the best" smartphone in its class. Xiaomi highlighted that it has a "mid-range grade" 64-bit Snapdragon 425 quad-core chip paired, large enough 3,000mAh battery, and the "only one" with a 13MP f/2.2 PDAF camera for basic mobile photography.

In addition, we would like to note that the Redmi 5A has an IR Blaster! Normally, phones wiht IR Blaster that you could use as a remote control to your appliances are only found on few mid-range and flagship smartphones.

Quite promising right? Here's what we think about Xiaomi's budget offering.

Xiaomi Redmi 5A Specs

Display: 5-inch HD IPS 1280 x 720 resolution at 294 ppi
CPU: 1.4GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 425 quad-core processor
GPU: Adreno 308
ROM: 16GB expandable via microSD card up to 128GB (dedicated)
Back Camera: 13MP f/2.2 w/ PDAF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 5MP f/2.0
Battery: 3,000mAh
OS: Android 7.1.2 Nougat w/ MIUI 9.2
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, Bluetooth 4.1, LTE, OTG, GPS, A-GPS, BDS, dual SIM (dual SIM)
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, sound, magnetic
Others: IR Blaster, Colors: champagne gold, rose gold, grey
Dimensions: 140.4 x 70.1 x 8.35 mm
Weight: 137 g
Price: PHP 4,590

Disclaimer: Xiaomi Philippines and Lazada Philippines provided us with a seeded Redmi 5A for this unbiased review.

Unboxing / Accessories

Inside the box
Inside the box

Xiaomi's packaging is plain and simple. Inside, it has a pretty fast charging 1A USB wall charger, USB to micro USB data or charging cable, SIM ejector tool, and some paper documents.

Unforunately, Xiaomi failed to add one basic accessory inside the box, an earphones with microphone for calls. As expected, it has no case and screen protector included inside.

Build Quality / Design

Unibody-like plastic build!
Unibody-like plastic build!

Redmi 5A's build is plasticky yet decent. It looks metallic at first due to its paint finish though. The white layer above the plastic frame which has the glass screen is made out of plastic as well.

There's nothing special about its construction, but it is decent enough for the price.

The glass-like layer on the screen looks just fine for the price, but it could have been better if it has Gorilla Glass or even the more affordable Panda King Glass alternative.

It will be better if you will put a case and screen protector to prevent your phone from having unwanted damages.
Mic, IR Blaster, and 3.5 mm headphone jack slot on top
Mic, IR Blaster, and 3.5 mm headphone jack slot on top
Another mic and micro USB port below
Another mic and micro USB port below
Nano dual SIM and microSD card slots at left
Nano dual SIM and microSD card slots at left
Power button and volume rocker at right
Power button and volume rocker at right

Design-wise, the phone is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes enough for the price. It doesn't have a 2.5D curved glass on top, but the frame has a lot of good curves that made it easy to hold.

We also like the familiar button and ports placements. It even has a dedicated nano dual SIM card and microSD card slots found on the left side of the phone. It even has an IR Blaster found on top that you can use as a remote.

The single speaker is found at the back though. It has no fingerprint scanner in front or at the back. One-handed operation is possible, but the grip is a bit slippery without a case installed.

Initial Findings

AnTuTu score of Redmi 5A
AnTuTu score of Redmi 5A

1. The Redmi 5A looks quite good for the price. Build quality is okay, but not the toughest around. The HD resolution on a 5-inch display it has is sharp and bright enough.
2. The specs found inside this phone is quite good for the price. It runs with a 64-bit Snapdragon 425 quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, and 16GB (7GB usable) of expandable storage. Normally, the Snapdragon 425 chip is found on phones in the over PHP 6K price tag. It even has 3,000mAh of battery which is considered sa "big" for a phone with small 5-inch display.
3. The MIUI 9.2 skin of Xiaomi based Android 7.1.2 Nougat is still iPhone-like in style with no app drawer. It looks clean enough with minimal bloats. Most of them are even uninstallable. It still has some nice built-in features like the security app for optimizations and Mi Remote. 
4. According to Xiaomi, the Redmi 5A has the "best" cameras for the price. For us, the 13MP f/2.2 PDAF shooter can shoot good daylight photos, it falters in dim indoor and lowlight snaps as expected. It is still one of the better shooters at this price point. The 5MP front camera looks a bit better in quality than the grainy Redmi 5 selfie. 
5. The Redmi 5A has an LED indicator found below the home capacitive key below. The capacitive key is isn't lit though. It has an IR Blaster and 4G LTE connectivity. However, it has no gyroscope sensor and fingerprint scanner. It also OTG support.

As of the moment

The Xiaomi Redmi 5A is promsing for the price! The build is a bit of a drawback, but the specs is one of the best for the price. Both the primary and secondary cameras are decent enough for taking snaps and selfies in well-lit places too. It even has 4G LTE connectivity and an IR Blaster on top that you can use as a remote control.

In case you missed it, the Redmi 5A will be available at Lazada Philippines starting March 15, 2018.

For our review: Xiaomi Redmi 5A Review - The BEST Budget Phone Yet?
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