Xiaomi Redmi 5 review: Premium-priced all-rounder with a modern 18:9 screen

The Redmi 5 costs a tad higher when compared with the earlier Redmi-series smartphones. But the Redmi 5 notches up the smartphone game with its modern 18:9 aspect ratio screen

Xiaomi Redmi 5

After a successful run in 2017 with its value-for-money smartphones, Xiaomi started 2018 with the launch of its budget-centric devices. Soon after the launch of the Redmi Note 5 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro, the Chinese mobile phone maker has launched the entry-level Redmi 5 in India at a price of Rs 7,999 for the base model.

Unlike what has been seen in previous-generation devices, the succeeding generation of Redmi-series smartphones costs a tad higher than the predecessor — be it the Redmi 5 Pro or the Redmi 5. However, the Redmi 5 notches up the smartphone game with its modern 18:9 aspect ratio screen wrapped in a metallic-plastic chassis which looks premium.

The smartphone is built on the blue print of its elder sibling, the Redmi Note 5, which gives it an edge in terms of design. However, the innards have been kept in line with previous generation, besides some minor improvements, to keep the price in check.

Business Standard reviewed the Redmi 5 to test its overall performance. Here are our observations:
Design and display
The Redmi 5 takes design cues from the Redmi Note 5 and, therefore, looks similar. However, the younger sibling has a few elements of difference. The front of the Redmi 5 is dominated by a 5.7-inch HD+ 18:9 aspect ratio screen, covered by a 2.5D glass. It does look plush; but for an 18:9 screen device, the smartphone has huge bezels on the top and bottom.

The screen is bright and vivid. However, the HD+ resolution in the 5.7-inch screen looks pixelated. For a budget smartphone, the screen works satisfactorily to render multimedia content such as photos and videos. The touch response is smooth and the phone registers the touch without lag.

Coming on to the back side, it is covered with a metallic sheet, but the chassis is made out of plastic that extends towards the back from top and bottom. The colour of the metallic sheet and plastic chassis has different shades; it comes to notice in bright light conditions. As for the build quality, it is top-notch and the edges blend well into the chassis with no gaps, either on the front or back.