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Xiaomi’s Redmi family has always been one of the most interesting for all those people that want to buy a quality smartphone without spending a fortune.
The box contains a silicone case, a USB-micro-USB cable, and a 5V/2A power adapter.
Build and Ergonomics
The two Xiaomi smartphones have the same design, with a metal shell, and two elastic bands on the top and bottom rear that act as antennas. They are not huge, thanks to a fairly fluid design that allows them to sit comfortably in hand. The design is pleasant but certainly not innovative and they both look like a generic Chinese smartphone.
These two smartphones sport different but very interesting hardware for their respective price range. The basic version is equipped with a 1.8GHz Snapdragon 450 octa-core processor, as well as 2 or 3GB of RAM, that combines with 16 or 32GB of internal memory respectively. The Redmi 5 Plus has a 2GHz Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor with an Adreno 506 GPU. This time 3 or 4GB of RAM, combined with 32 or 64GB of internal memory respectively. Both have a hybrid microSD slot that allows you to expand the internal memory, or use a second NanoSIM. Connectivity-wise they are similar being equipped with: LTE up to 300Mbps, Bluetooth 4.2 and GPS. The Redmi 5 Plus, however, also supports the 5GHz networks in Wi-Fi. Also present in both versions the FM radio and the infrared port, as well as a fingerprint reader on the back which is really fast and accurate. The mono speaker is positioned at the bottom and produces average sound.
The main camera is a 12-megapixel f/2.2 one, equipped with a single led flash in the smaller device, and a double one in the bigger. Photos taken under good light conditions are very good. In low light conditions, the chromatic fidelity drops rapidly and so does the definition, heavily undermined by a lot of digital noise. The Redmi 5 Plus’ 4K videos are good, but not great, and suffer from a lazy focus and the inability to refocus manually. The Full HD videos on the Redmi 5 are more than OK. The 5-megapixel front camera is enough for the occasional selfie but captures slightly dull colors and not many details due to the low resolution.
The strength of these two smartphones is definitely their display in the 18:9 format. The Redmi 5 Plus has a 6-inch Full HD+ display (2160×1080 pixels), while the smaller one stops at 5.7 inches and HD+ resolution (1440×720 pixels). The difference in resolution is tangible, especially when viewing multimedia content. The displays are both IPS and have good brightness and discreet color fidelity.
The Xiaomi Redmi 5 and 5 Plus run Android 7.1.2 with the MIUI 9.1 skin on top. The software is extremely rich in features, although it still lacks some features of stock Android. The system is always very fast and it never showed us any signs of slowing down.
The two phones have a 3300mAh and a 4000mAh battery respectively. We did not measure any major differences in terms of autonomy, due to the less powerful hardware of the smaller device. Both devices produced excellent results with an average battery life of almost two days.
The Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus is the perfect iteration of the Redmi lineup: economical, functional, with good software and excellent value for money. The smaller version measures up to the bigger brother with its only real flaw being its lower display resolution.