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Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Unboxing and First Impressions

Xiaomi's current star product from the affordable Redmi line is the Redmi Note 5 Pro with A.I. tech. In the Philippines, it is known as the Redmi Note 5.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (PH Version) Unboxing and First Impressions
Meet Xiaomi Redmi Note 5

On paper, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 is a highly promising device. It is packed with the best overall specs you'll find in its class.

It'll come with the trendy 5.99-inch FHD+ 18:9 screen, Snapdragon 636 octa-core chip, big 4,000mAh battery, 12MP + 5MP dual camera setup with Dual Pixel PDAF focus, 13MP A.I. selfie camera with flash, fingerprint scanner, IR Blaster, and Android 8.1 Oreo OS out of the box.

Some of those specs like the Dual Pixel PDAF focus are only found in the upper mid-range and flagship category before. But, Xiaomi was able to to bring it on a mid-range phone.

It is that promising. 

Let's start with our unboxing and and first impressions. Let's see if this phone is worth all the hype!

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Specs

Display: 5.99-inch FHD+ IPS 2160 x 1080 resolution w/ 2.5D curved glass at 403 ppi 
CPU: 1.8GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 636 octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 509
ROM: 64GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 128GB
Rear Camera: 12MP f/1.9 + 5MP f/2.0 w/ Dual Pixel PDAF and dual tone LED flash
Selfie Camera: 13MP f/2.0 w/ A.I. and softlight LED flash
Battery: 4,000mAh
OS: Android 8.1 Oreo w/ MIUI 9.5
Connectivity: WiFi, 4G LTE w/ VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.2, OTG, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM (hybrid)
Others: Fingerprint sensor, IR Blaster, Colors: black, gold, rose gold, blue
Dimensions: 158.6 x 75.45 x 8.05 mm
Weight: 181 g
Price: PHP 11,990

Disclaimer: This unit was borrowed from Xiaomi Philippines for our honest and constructive take.

Unboxing / Accessories

The box
The box

Like most Redmi phones, the Redmi Note 5 arrived with the bright red orange box with simple Redmi Note 5 text.
Everything inside
Everything inside

Inside the box, you'll see the 2A USB wall charger, USB to micro USB data charging cable, SIM ejector tool, dark translucent TPU case, and the paper documents.

Unfortunately, like all the other Xiaomi phones, it has no basic earphones included in the package.

Build Quality / Design

Metal build
Metal build

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5's frame is made out of a stylish aluminum metal unibody construction.

It also has nice curves and chamfered edges. On the top, it has a 2.5D curved screen. However, there's no word if it has a layer of Gorilla Glass protection to prevent unwanted light damages and scratches.

Above average build, neat style!

But in its class, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 is above average. It reminds us of the Cloudfone Next Infinity Quattro in terms of overall build quality. This phone is solid enough.

Just put the case that Xiaomi included in the package for extra protection.
IR Blaster and mic
IR Blaster and mic
Headphone jack slot, mic, micro USB port, speaker
Headphone jack slot, mic, micro USB port, speaker
Hybrid slots
Hybrid slots
Power button and volume rocker
Power button and volume rocker

Design-wise, the Redmi Note 5 looks neat and minimalist overall. It is also good enough to be dubbed as a "stylish" handset. I personally like that it is far from thick at just 8.05 mm considering its big 4,000mAh battery.

The side bezels are small and the top and bottom bezels are smaller than older 16:9 phones. You can't find anything on the bottom bezel, but it is still far from thick to be that noticeable.

There's a camera hump at the back though. But, for me that's fine. Again, just put the case and it won't be that annoying.

All the usual ports and buttons are on familiar placements too. Bonus, this device has an IR Blaster that can act as a universal remote control for your appliances.

Another thing, this phone still has the ever important 3.5 mm female headphone jack slot.

The Redmi Note 5 is also quite easy to hold despite the big 5.99-inch screen size. Thanks to its smaller than usual bezels.

Without the case, the phone is just a bit slippery to hold. Just be careful.

Initial findings

1. Like what we stated above, the construction of this phone is above average. Design-wise, it could have been better, but we are not complaining. It is still one of the better looking phones in its class. The screen also quite bright. It even has 10 points of touch.
The sensors
The sensors

2. It has the best specs for its expected low price tag. If this device will be under PHP 13K, then we have a winner. The Snapdragon 636 chip it has is commonly found on phones on higher-end phones. For example, the Snapdragon 636 chip is the same processor found on the PHP 19,995 ZenFone 5.

Xiaomi also paired it with 4GB RAM, 64GB expandable storage, and large 4,000mAh battery.

3. It loads with Android 8.1 Oreo OS w/ MIUI 9.5 skin out the box. It is still the heavily skinned yet neat looking UI of Xiaomi.

4. The cameras are promising. It is probably the cheapest dual cam phone with Dual Pixel PDAF focus right now. Our initial shots are quite impressive for a mid-ranger even in lowlight. It even has EIS for videos. The 13MP A.I. selfie cam is also a clear step-up over the disappointing selfie cam of the Redmi 5.

5. As expected, it is complete with LED notifications, OTG support, gyroscope sensor, light sensor, and a speedy fingerprint scanner.

It has no face unlock yet though. But, we heard that Xiaomi will seed an update for that soon.

Related: Xiaomi Redmi Note 5: First Camera Samples

As of the moment

The PH version of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 has the potential to be the phone to beat in its class. 

The build is great, the processor is mid-range grade, the battery capacity is big, the back and front cameras are capable, and it quite a good phone out of the box.

For our review: Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Review - Worth the HYPE!
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