XiaomiRedmi5Plus
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Review: Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus – A “Budget” Smartphone?!

A smartphone that feels high end does not have to be expensive. Xiaomi proofs that with the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus. A 5.99″ screen with the Snapdragon 625 that gives you 2.0GHz of speed! How good is this budget smartphone and is it really a budget smartphone?

Introduction & Specifications

I knew Xiaomi is good at making afforable smartphones which are able to give some solid performance. And there it is, the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus does everything I expected for a very reasonable price.

General 
Body:Metal unibody, 2.5D glass front
Screen:5.99" IPS LCD, 1080p (403ppi); Gorilla Glass (undisclosed version)
Chipset:Snapdragon 625, 8x Cortex-A53@2.0GHz, Adreno 506
Memory:3/4GB RAM + 32/64GB storage, Hybrid microSD slot
Camera:12MP, f/2.2, PDAF, 2160p video @ 30fps
Selfie Camera:5 MP, 1080p video @ 30fps
OS:Android 7.1.2 Nougat, MIUI 9 on top
Battery:4,000mAh (non-removable)
Connectivity:Hybrid Dual Nano-SIM (hybrid microSD slot); LTE Cat4 150/50 Mbps support; Wi-Fi g/b/n; Bluetooth 4.1; GPS with GLONASS; FM radio; 3.5mm audio jack; microUSB port
Misc:Fingerprint reader

Unboxing

The Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus has a different box then what we see more often from Xiaomi. Instead of the typical white box, this one is red! It does not have a logo on front but just the name of the product. On the sides we have the name again and at the back we have minimal information.

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I like the minimalistic look of the boxes of Xiaomi.

Hardware & Design

When I first saw the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus I did not believe that it was this cheap. It feels really well and looks like a phone that is more expensive. I received a black version which means that you will not notice the bezels when the screen is turned off. It looks like a complete screen, which is a big plus. On top you have the selfie camera, the speaker and some sensors which are visible under the right angle or if you have a white display.

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On the right side we have the volume buttons and the power button, like we saw at the Xiaomi Mi Note 3. They feel good and I have no issue clicking the buttons. Everytime I want it to click, it goes without an issue.

There are also some downsides to the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus. For example there is no USB-C port, but a Micro-USB port. I rather see a USB-C connecter, but it will make the smartphone more expensive. Also the Xiaomi REdmi 5 Plus is super slippery! Luckily there is a case in the box, otherwise a cuse is a must.

Want to buy a different case? Click here or here or here for some example cases.

Want to buy the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus? Click here!

Battery Life

The battery life of the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus is amazing. Not only the test results are really good, also the real battery life is amazing. I did the PC Mark Battery, which will drain the battery and give you the time it took to drain it. In the Redmi 5 Plus test, it gave a 12 hour and 35 minute battery life! This is screen on, processor working for 12 and a half hours!

When using the Xiaomi smartphone with daily tasks, we were able to get a good 1 and a half day of battery life out of the 4000 mAh battery. This is more then we expected, specially seen the price of this cheap smartphone.

Charging

When you want to charge your Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus, you have to deal with the Micro-USB port instead of USB-C. Of course we can not expect all the newest and best technology on a smartphone that costs less then €160. Hopefully on the Redmi 6 Plus there will be USB-C.

Charging from 0% to 100% takes around 2 to 2,5 hours. Charging it from 0% to 75% takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. The last 25% takes almost 1 hour. Due to the big battery life, you can charge it for 1 hour and 30 minutes and make it for a complete day. In this case, due to the fast charging till 75%, I’m happy with the battery.

Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus 013

Fingerprint Scanner

The fingerprint scanner is located at the back, which we see more often now. I must say I hated the idea at first, but now that I used the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus for some time, it is getting better. The location is good and you are reaching to it almost naturally to unlock it.

When you place your finger on the scanner, it almost instantly unlocks. This is the same with the Xiaomi Mi Note 3 or the Xiaomi Mi A1, which unlock super fast!

Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus 009

Audio

I ask myself sometimes why we need the best speakers on a smartphone. There are a few occasions that I will use the speaker. For example I use it when I need to make a phone call and I need both my hands free, I play a game and I need the sound or I want to show a video to some friends. The Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus is perfectly capable of providing the sound that is needed in those occasions. The sound is clear, but is not super loud. There is almost no bass but for making a phone call on speaker it is totally fine.

Performance

The software of the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus feels very smooth and it reacts instantly on what I want to do. Luckily for us Xiaomi choose a snapdragon processor instead of the cheaper MediaTek which would gave them more profit. It looks like they want to give a good product for a really cheap price, and they achieved their goal.

The Redmi 5 Plus does not feel and act like a phone which costs less then €200. I never had a software bug or that it froze on me. The fingerprint works, always! I’m impressed.

AnTuTu Becnhmark

The AnTuTu Benhcmark is something that gives a good idea on how the hardware performs, but a bad score does not basically means that the smartphone is bad. The score of the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus is not that high and it defeated only 15% of the users that used AnTuTu.

Here we see the score:

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As you can see the CPU score very high on the multi-core and that pumps up the final score (luckily). The Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus deserves a good score.

GeekBench

GeekBench is testing it in a different way and shows you a different score. Here is the test run with GeekBench:

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PC Mark

PC Mark is the third and final test we run on the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus. Here are the results:

Click on the image to view it larger

Now the score might not say anything to you, which I understand. Let me explain to you how to phone feels and reacts in daily tasks.

Daily Tasks

All the scores from above are just numbers and only say something to you if you are into the benchmark tests. I used this smartphone for a couple of weeks to test it and I must say I’m happily suprised. I thought this was going to be one of the cheaper phone with a cheap feeling and a laggy Android, but Xiaomi suprised me once again.

When browsing the internet, opening or answering mails, chatting on WhatsApp or browsing Instagram, everything feels smooth and fast. Due to the big display, you get the felling you are holding a phone that costs several hunderd euro’s, while instead you can buy it HERE for just over €150! If we compare the quality with the price, this is one of the better phones that I’ve reviewed.

Want to buy the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus? Click here!

Camera

I’ve had cheap phones before, like the Bluboo S8, the Bluboo S1 or the Maze Alpha. They all had the same point of improvement, the camera. Xiaomi is known to use really good camera’s and they used a decent on with the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus. Now I did not expect to have Samsung or iPhone quality for this price, but I expected the camera to be worse. You are able to make some good pictures with the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus.

Rear Camera

Xiaomi placed a 12MP rear camera on the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus. With this camera you can shoot video’s at 2160p at 30 fps. Which is pretty impressive seen the price of this device. Photo’s come out clean and nice but they can be a bit grainy sometimes. Here are some example photo’s taken with the rear camera:

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Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus 009

Front Camera (Selfie)

Now the selfie camera is used for other things then pictures. If you have a Skype video call or Google Duo call, you will use the selfie camera to share yourself with the call. It is a 5MP camera that can shoot video’s at 1080p, which I like for a selfie camera (specially seen the price of the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus). Here are some selfies taken in different settings:

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Video Quality

A normal video taken with the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus:

Slomotion video:

Software/MIUI

The Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus runs Android 7.1 with MIUI verison 9. This is created by Xiaomi and it looks really good and clean. There is pretty much no bloatware on it and it feel fast and smooth. I think Xiaomi made a good move by creating the MIUI and they keep updating it pretty often. Even older models get updates to the newest MIUI version. There are a lot of apps included in there which are super handy, if you know Xiaomi users. Let’s have a look at some Xiaomi made apps:

MI Messages

This is like a WhatsApp alternative for Xiaomi users. It looks a lot like the iMessage from Apple and I loved that feature on my iPhone 6 when I worked for the company. I used it more and more and WhatsApp was just for people with an Android device. Now Xiaomi has something that looks and works just like it.

You can activate Mi Messages and your messaging app will automatically change it when you want to send a text message to someone with Mi Messages enabled as well. So you how do you enable Mi Messages?

  • Go to Settings
  • Click System Apps
  • Click Messaging
  • Enable Mi Messages
  • Now you activated Mi Message and you are ready to send those Mi Messages to all your Xiaomi friend who have it enabled as well! (If they don’t, send them to here and let them activate it)

    You can see the difference in two ways. The first one is the writing field at the bottom of your screen. If you are going to send it to someone without Mi Messages, it will say “Text Message” in the white bar below. If you are going to send it to someone with Mi Messages enabled, it will say “Mi Message”.
    The other way is the colors of the bubble. If it is green, it is a normal text message, if it is blue, it is a Mi Message.

    MI Drop

    This app is amazing. It works super easy as well and you can send any file you want to a Xiaomi device nearby. Apple has AirDrop, Xiaomi has Mi Drop. You open the app, select if you want to send or receive. If you want to send, select the file, click send and now the app is looking for any nearby Xiaomi device who is ready to receive.

    MI Mover

    Are you moving from a other Android device and want to copy everything over to your new Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus? Understandable. Xiaomi made an app to transfer all your files to your new device, Mi Mover! Select what items you want to move, scan an QR code and just wait. The app will move all the date from your old device to you Xiaomi Mi Note 3 and you are good to go! Like nothing happened.

    Want to buy the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus? Click here!

    Features

    The Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus is not only a cheap smartphone, but it has some great features as well. Like a fast fingerprint scanner, facial unlock and infrared. Now we talked already about the fingerprint scanner and the facial unlock, let’s have a look at the infrared.

    Infrared

    This is a little extra feature which is fun to have. There is a infrared sensor at the top of the Xiaomi Mi Note 3. With the infrared sensor you can control your TV or the neighbors TV! But you can also control the AC, your fan, the projector or the DVD player for example. There are numerous brands already set up in the Mi Remote app for you to select. Just select your TV brand and point it and the TV and see if it works. Super easy and fun to use.

    Conclusion

    I’m suprised on how good this phone is designed and how solid the performance are. A long lasting smartphone, for less then €160, with fingerprint scanner, facial unlock and a snapdragon processor? This is something I will recommend to a lot of people. If you want to play games, this might not be the phone for you, but if you just want to use WhatsApp, Instagram, internet and mail? The Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus does everything you want and maybe a little bit more.

    There are also some downsides, like the Micro-USB port instead of a USB-C, which will be the standard in the coming years. Hopefully the Redmi 6 Plus will have a USB-C port. The Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus is also super slippery. Now there is a case with it and I recommend placing it over the phone right away. You don’t want this beautiful phone to have a cracked screen.

    Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus

    €165
    Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus
    8.4

    Price/Quality

    9.0 /10

    Performance

    8.5 /10

    Camera

    8.5 /10

    Design

    8.0 /10

    Battery Life

    8.0 /10

    Pros

    • Battery Life
    • Performance
    • Design
    • Price/Quality

    Cons

    • Micro-USB Charging Port
    • Super Slippery

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