It looks like Xiaomi has released another excellent phone for the budget conscious user. The latest Redmi Note 5 comes in two flavours, the normal one and the Pro model. The Pro model appears to be the one worth your money.
The Redmi Note 5 Pro is the first device to be powered by the Snapdragon 636 which is the successor to the Snapdragon 625 used in the Redmi Note 5 and many other mid-range devices such as the Blackberry KEYone. Apparently, Xiaomi worked closely with Qualcomm in the development of this chip, and it offers significant performance boosts. Initial benchmarks put the phone at 113,000 on AnTuTu vs 78,000 you will find with the 625, that is quite a jump!
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro costs around £160 in India where it has been launched but comes to a premium design including a slim bezel design similar to the design of last years Redmi Note 4. It is not as attractive as the full bezel-less design, but I think if it means you get better internals at this price point then it is worth it.
The phone features a dual rear camera setup, as well as a 20MP front camera with an LED flash module. The rear camera uses a 12 MP (f/2.2, 1.25 μm) + 5 MP (f/2.0, 1.12 μm) set-up. Xiaomi claims the front 20MP camera is the best selfie camera in the budget segment, going so far as to say that it is as good as the front camera on the Pixel 2 XL. It would be great if these claims are trying, good quality on a budget phone would be a huge selling point.
Another cost-saving feature is the inclusion of a Micro-USB port, with us being several generations into the Redmi line I would have liked to see an upgrade here. This port means you won't get fast charging.
Where it does excel is the display, which is regarded as one of the best displays in this price bracket. It is an 18:9 format with 1080 x 2160 pixels
There are 2 models available, one with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage and another with 6GB and 64GB of storage. You get an impressive battery of 4000mAh which should easily last over a day as I found out with the Alcatel A7.
There's also an IR blaster at the top, a 3.5mm jack, dual-band Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.1.
The basic model with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage which has launched already costs about £160 with the 6GB//64GB model costing around £190. As usual, these are not being sold directly in the UK so you would have to go through an import company such as Gearbest or Banggood and currently neither of these has the phone listed.
We will be doing a full review of this phone soon.