In early 2017, we saw the first smartphones with 18:9 aspect ratio, but their number began to grow rapidly after the release of iPhone X. Each smartphone manufacturer has already released its device with a long display. At the end of last month, Xiaomi joined the club with its budget smartphones Redmi 5 and Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus.
We have already made the first review of them, but now we got Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus in our hands. Now we are ready to present you a full review of this smartphone including the most interesting details such as design, performance, camera, battery and so on.
Let’s start with specifications.
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, Octa Core 64bit, 2.0GHz
- GPU: Adreno 506
- Display: 18:9, 5.99″, FHD + 2160 × 1080, IPS, 403PPI
- RAM: 3 / 4GB
- ROM: 32 / 64GB, expandable up to 128GB with microSD
- OS: MIUI 9, Chinese stable version
- Camera: 12MP back, 5MP front
- Sim Card: Dual Nano SIM Card dual standby
- Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS + GLONASS
- Battery: 4000mAh
- Other: Fingerprint reader, FM radio, infrared gate
- Network : 2G: GSM B2 / B3 / B5 / B8, CDMA2000 / 1X BC0, 3G: WCDMA B1 / B2 / B5 / B8, TD-SCDMA B34 / B39, 4G: FDD-LTE B1 / B3 / B5 / B7 / B8 , TD-LTE B34 / B38 / B39 / B40 / B41
Like all smartphones from Xiaomi, the new device Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus comes in a beautiful red box. I have a Chinese version of smartphone, so all inscriptions in Chinese. However, you can see the big number 5 and Plus next to it.
Inside the box in addition to the phone we found 5V/2A charger, microUSB Cable, black silicone case and SIM needle. The package is compact and all accessories are located neatly and reliably. I am always glad when the manufacturer puts the silicone case in the package with smartphone. It is a trifle, but nice. In addition, the case for Redmi 5 Plus is black and slightly transparent. It looks amazing.
Even budget smartphones from Xiaomi are made of quality materials, not to mention Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus. It has a full metal body with thin plastic antenna inserts.
We want to note that black version is a magnet for fingerprints, but we cannot deny the fact that the phone is comfortable and nice to hold in hand. It makes no sense to compare a Chinese phone from a little-known company and Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus, because Xiaomi knows how to do it qualitatively.
Despite 5.99-inch screen, the phone has a fairly compact size – 158.5×75.45×8.05 mm, and weight 180 grams. This became possible thanks to 18:9 screen, but we’ll talk about it a little later.
The smartphone does not have physical or backlit keys on the front panel. You can use only on-screen keys. There is a front camera, a proximity and light sensor, as well as LED notification. The top side has microphone hole, infrared port and 3.5 mm audio jack. We must pay attention that audio jack is not exactly centered. Of course, this is not a big problem, but the details make the smartphone more attractive and premium.
On the left side of the smartphone you can find a slot for SIM and microSD cards. On right are located power key and volume rocker. Here is nothing unusual.
At the bottom there is microUSB port, as well as speaker and microphone. It is a pity, that Xiaomi does not use USB Type-C for their new budget smartphones Redmi 5 and Redmi 5 Plus. This is really important today, because new standard provides fast charging, fast data transfer, and support for headphones from USB Type-C connection.
The rear panel is almost the same as previous Xiaomi smartphones. It is made of metal. By center you can see camera, dual LED flash and fingerprint reader. On top and bottom, there are two plastic inserts with antennas.
As we already said, Redmi 5 Plus has 5.99 inch display with 18:9 aspect ratio (or 2:1) and Full HD+ resolution (2160 x 1080 pixels). I really like the latest trend on smartphone market, namely screens with 18:9 aspect ratio. Why? Displays became larger, but it became even more comfortable to hold the smartphone in hand. It sounds strange, but it’s true. It’s also worth noting that manufacturers remove bezels around the display.
As for Redmi 5 Plus screen, we must note it has stunning viewing angles. However, the colors are not the brightest that we had to see. It is possible that problem at protective film on display.
The display has curved edges thanks to 2.5D technology. This makes the smartphone more convenient and pleasant to hold in your hand.
The brightness of display is high enough to use the smartphone in direct sunlight. But we must remind you to turn off the automatic brightness control, because it always makes the screen darker than it actually is.
In the phone settings you can change the contrast and colors, for example, choose automatic contrast, high contrast or standard, as well as warm, cold or standard colors. You also have read mode, which filters blue for more comfortable reading books or websites on your phone.
In general, the display is great for budget smartphone. It is large, bright and has excellent viewing angles.
We recall that Xiaomi released two new phones called Redmi 5 and Redmi 5 Plus. Firstly, they have different hardware and display. Redmi 5 is powered by Snapdragon 450, while our hero Redmi 5 Plus has a more powerful Snapdragon 625. The graphics processor is the same for both smartphones.
Also our model has 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal memory, of which about 22.5 GB are actually available. If this is not enough for you, then you can buy a version with 64 GB of internal memory, and use microSD memory cards.
Snapdragon 625 is a good mid-range chipset with a clock speed of up to 2GHz. It is designed at 14 nm technology FinFet. It says that the smartphone has good performance and energy efficiency. Benchmarks and practice tests confirm this. Let’s start from the first one.
How you can see on screenshots below, Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus scores 60000 points in AnTuTu, 870 points in single core test, and 4300 points in a multi-core test of GeekBench 4. As for the memory speed, it is 260 MB/s for reading and 130 MB/s for writing. It guarantees quick user interface, applications, transferring files and other things.
We also played in the most productive games, and did not find any problems. Asphalt 8, Modern Combat 5, etc. run fast, smooth and without delays.
I have Redmi 5 Plus with MIUI 188.8.131.52 Stable. After the first startup, we got the first update to MIUI 184.108.40.206 Stable. As you understand, OTA updates work, and you will receive new updates “over the air”. The smartphone runs on Android 7.1.2 Nougat.
However, this is the Chinese version of MIUI, so there is no Google Play Store, instead of which you will get a lot of Chinese applications. The good news is that Chinese applications can be removed, and you can easily install Play Store and other Google services.
We also want to say that the smartphone has only English and Chinese. If you need support for any other language, you will need to install MIUI Global version, which is currently unavailable. Xiaomi promises to release it in late February 2018.
In other respects, the Chinese version of MIUI doesn’t differ from Global version. Here you will find many useful features, for example, Dual Apps, App Lock, Themes. The Security application offers functions for clearing, optimizing, boosting speed, managing apps and other.
Among the preinstalled applications is Baidu Map, Mi Home, Microsoft apps, Mi Wallet, Weibo, and others. The good news is that you can delete them all.
We think that the camera is the main component of modern smartphone. Of course, if you are looking for a budget device, then you should not expect a flagship camera. However, some devices, including Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus, offer very decent quality photos.
Our hero has 12MP main camera with f/2.2 aperture, dual LED flash and PDAF autofocus. There is 5MP camera on the front panel.
If we talk about the camera app, there is nothing new here. If you already had Xiaomi phone, then you know the interface. We should note HDR and Beautify modes. We recommend using HDR mode to get more colorful and vivid photos.
Below you can see real photos from Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus camera. If the day photos have good detail and saturated colors, then night shots are very noisy. It is best to take photos at night in well-lit places or with a flash.
The smartphone Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus records video at 4 K resolution. Also you can use Time Lapse or Slow-motion modes.
Xiaomi budget smartphones are famous for their good battery life. Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus is no exception. The new smartphone comes with 4000mAh battery. It can work for about 2 days on a single charge. During our review of smartphone, it worked about 6 hours. The test consisted of watching videos on YouTube, gaming and social networks.
Unfortunately, Redmi 5 Plus has microUSB port, so the smartphone does not support fast charging. It takes about 2 hours to fully charge the battery.
Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus is a budget smartphone. If on start of sales it costed $180, then now you can buy it for only $160. It is a great deal! To be honest, it is difficult to find a really decent budget phone. If you look on devices from world brands, such as Samsung, LG, Sony, then similar phones, or even worse, than Redmi 5 Plus, cost twice as expensive. If you look in the Chinese market, then there is no guarantee that phones will not bug or even break in the near future. Xiaomi is a reliable Chinese brand that produces smartphones at an affordable price.
The main disadvantage of Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus is the Chinese firmware. But even it doesn’t make big problems, because there is English language, while installation of Google Play Store takes a few minutes.
In total, buying Redmi 5 Plus, you get good smartphone with 6 inch Full HD screen, powerful processor Snapdragon 625 paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory, a large battery with a capacity of 4000mAh and decent cameras.