Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, pre-launch preview

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5
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Xiaomi has large number of phones in its line-up. Starting from the very cheap and basic Redmi A series to its Premium MIX category, they do have a much diversified line-up of devices in the market. The company is no stranger in our Indian soil and we love their devices for the quality assurance and good service. In fact, I can’t quite recall another budget manufacturer that has enjoyed this much success among us Indians. The Redmi Note series of smartphones is Xiaomi’s way of bringing phablet screen sizes and features into the budget.

The Note series phones are basically enlarged counterparts of their slightly less expensive but highly successful Redmi line up. They are basically the same devices and crater to people looking into buying bigger versions of their Redmi smartphones. Xiaomi is all set to replace the Mi Note 4 with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, and we have some preliminary specifications to examine with us. So, let’s see what you can expect from the device.

Design and Display:

Over the years, the Redmi line-up hasn’t changed much in terms of aesthetics. The last major shift for Xiaomi in design policy for these devices was then the launched the Redmi 3 series back in 2016. It introduced to the world that premium build quality and need not be expensive and that you can get luxuries like fingerprint sensors at a budget. The core design of the Redmi Note 5 wouldn’t likely be much different and the current design and its build quality is probably quantifiable to what we can expect at the budget. The rear houses the fingerprint sensor and the cameras at the top. The front will be mostly occupied by the 5.5 inch display surface with backlit task manager, home and back buttons in the bottom. The top of the phone has earpiece and the front camera along with the sensors for ambient lighting and proximity. The top has the usual IR blaster that is included with almost any Redmi device now.

Display wise the 5.5 Inch screen has a resolution of 1080×1920 which is a full HD panel with decent colours and viewing angles. It has a screen to body ratio of 72.5 which is excellent considering its huge large display. The screen also has very narrow bezels along the length of the device. Unfortunately we have no idea whether we will get Gorilla Glass Protection with the screen. The screen also has a pixel per count of 401 which renders sharp images.

Performance:

On the number crunching side of things the Note 4 was absolutely no slouch. This had a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 SoC, which was a fast processor and mostly expect the Redmi Note 5 to retain this same processor.

Let’s talk about the processor a bit, the Snapdragon 652 is an 8 Core or Octa-Core CPU made by QUALCOMM and is based around ARM’s little-big architecture. This comprises of four faster A72 Cores for performance operating a max base frequency of 1.8GHz while there are four slower A53 cores which operate at 1.4GHz. This combination is used in conjunction to maximise battery efficiency, depending on what kind of workload you are subjecting the phone. The Note 5 will also probably have 4GB of RAM to handle multi-tasking which is plentiful for a device of its budget.

Now, while the Snapdragon 652 maybe a great mobile CPU, we would especially love to see Xiaomi introducing the much more efficient Snapdragon 660 which is even more efficient and faster and runs of Kyro cores instead of ARM.

Software:

On the Software end of things, the Note 5 will likely ship with the Android Nougat 7.0 update, with Xiaomi’s own MiUI skin on top. Again my biases for stock android stand firmly hereand I would love to see a Redmi Note device featuring stock android. But that is very unlikely because Xiaomi already launched the Mi A1 which is already part of the Android one project and if one if looking for stock android then they should probably pick up one of that considering the specifications are broadly the same as the Note series. The MiUi is not a bad UI; it’s pretty straightforward and doesn’t perplex the user with a ton of options unlike some other UI’s.

Camera and Storage:

The Note 5 will have a 16MP rear camera. Xiaomi generally uses either a Sony IMX or OV sensors for their cameras which take decent pictures. The rear camera doesn’t get any fancy features like 4K recording or OIS but pretty much gets the job done. It has a bunch of shooting modes and software based image enhancement features like HDR, Exposure compensation and ISO. It is also accompanied by a dual-tone LED flash for natural lighting. The image quality can’t be stated at the moment but it’ll be comparable, if not better than the already present Redmi 4, owing to its price restrictions. The Front has an 8MP camera that will also probably be similar to the Redmi 4.

Talking of storage, the Redmi 4 was available with storage 32GB for the top end variant with options for expansion up to 128GB via an SD card. The Redmi 5 will probably follow suit in this regard.

Battery and Connectivity:

The Redmi note series is famous for including bigger batteries and this one is no different. The Note 5 will have a 4000mAh battery powering it. This is plentiful considering the Note 4 has a very power efficient CPU so battery life won’t be much of an issue. It will probably not have an option for quick charge though.

Coming to connectivity, the Note 5 will also support 4G LTE, 3G and 2G bands for telecom connectivity. It’ll also have Bluetooth V4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11, ac/b/g/n 5GHz with MIMO, GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS and lastly micro USB interface for hooking up the device.

Verdict:

The Note 5 will be a subtle update over the Note 4. It is likely to launch by the end of this year and will mainly target developing markets. Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 price in India will be around Rs.12990, matching the pricing of its predecessor. It will provide a very compelling option for anyone looking to buy a good, daily driver with a big screen and decent battery.

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