Review: Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus
YOU GOT TECH - Abe Olandres (The Philippine Star) - February 12, 2018 - 12:00am

Xiaomi is pushing more budget-friendly smartphones that follow the 18x9 screen aspect ratio and the latest one that’s available in the market is the Redmi 5 Plus. 

The Redmi 5 Plus is a direct successor to the Redmi 4 series – huge display, extra-large battery, and a pretty capable Snapdragon processor.

Just like previous devices in the Xiaomi Redmi line, the Red 5 Plus looks simple and feels solid in the hands. It has an aluminum chassis with a smooth matte finish at the back. There’s nothing really special here in terms of design, just the typical Xiaomi look.

In the absence of antenna bands, there’s a small strip of polycarbonate covering on the top and bottom ends of the back panel to provide better signal reception. 

The front panel is completely covered in glass with an unspecified Gorilla Glass protection. The large 5.99-inch display uses an IPS LCD panel and comes with a pre-installed screen protector for an extra layer of insurance against scratches. 

The 18x9 aspect ratio of the screen takes up most of the front panel although the 77.4 percent screen-to-body ratio isn’t that huge of a coverage considering that the top and bottom bezels are narrower. 

At the top corner, there is plenty of room for the five-megapixel front-facing camera, soft-light LED flash, LED notifications lights, more sensors, and a call speaker.

The phone also features an IR blaster which is pretty useful as a universal remote control for your appliances at home. A fingerprint scanner is also present at the back.

Display quality is good although brightness is significantly reduced by the screen protector. Colors are still vibrant and viewing angles are sufficient. You should not have any problems viewing the screen under direct sunlight although you might need to dial up the brightness settings to at least 80 percent.

The unit comes with a hybrid card slot that supports two nano-SIM cards for 4G LTE connectivity or a microSD card. 

The 12-megapixel camera at the back has phase-detection auto-focus and is paired with a dual-tone, dual LED flash. The lens has an f/2.2 aperture, which can take nice photos in well-lit environments but not so much in low-light settings. Video recording can go up to 2160p at 30fps. 

We can’t say as much for the five-megapixel front-facing camera with its fixed focus and 1080p video recording. Xiaomi’s Redmi series isn’t really well-known for having good cameras so we’re not expecting a lot from the Redmi 5 Plus.

Powering the Redmi 5 Plus is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 with Adreno 506 GPU, which is quite an old chip but still very capable. You also get either the 3GB RAM or the 4GB variant with 32GB or 64GB internal storage. The microSD card slot supports up to 128GB additional space.

Performance is above average and you should be able to run graphics-intensive games in moderate settings without any problems.

The Redmi 5 Plus runs on Android 7.1.2 Nougat with the latest MIUI 9.2. It’s a heavily customized yet familiar user-interface on top of Android and comes with tons of added features.

Supporting all these is a sizable 4,000mAh lithium-polymer battery which is another rarity. That should offer really good battery life for more than a whole day’s use.

If there’s one thing we’re actually disappointed in, that would be the use of the outdated micro-USB port over the newer Type-C port.

Just like all other Redmi phones before it, the Redmi 5 Plus carries some pretty respectable hardware – something we don’t really see a lot in its price category. 

For the most part, this round of update is mostly leaning towards the large-screen with an 18:9 aspect ratio that has already become the trend these days.

The Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus is currently available in some online stores and retails for P9,800 for the 3GB RAM and 32GB storage variant. It’s a price point that’s hard to beat and that’s where Xiaomi is heavily banking on.

Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus specs:

5.99-inch 18:9 FHD+ display @ 1080 x 2160 pixels

Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 2.0GHz Octa-core CPU

Adreno 506 GPU

3GB or 4GB RAM

32GB or 64GB Internal Storage

12MP Rear camera with 1.25-micron pixel sensor and dual-LED Flash

5MP front camera with soft-light LED

4G LTE

Dual SIM (Nano, Hybrid)

WiFi 802.11 b/g/n

Bluetooth 4.2

GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS

IR Blaster

Fingerprint scanner (rear-mounted)

micro-USB

MIUI 9 (Android 7.1.2 Nougat)

4,000mAh Battery

158.5 x 75.5 x 8.1 mm (dimensions)

180 grams (weight)

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