“The Redmi 5 changes the game as it’s not just an iterative update to the Redmi 4”

When it comes to smartphones – like everything else – we tend to prefer options that offer the best value for money. Xiaomi recognised this consumer behaviour and carved a niche for itself in the VFM space. Ever since the launch of Redmi 1S, the series has gone on to become the first choice for many when it comes to budget phones. Now, the brand has gone ahead and launched the fifth generation of the series, the Redmi 5 in India. While the Redmi 5 comes as a direct successor to the Redmi 4 (review), it’s nothing like the older model. In the past, Xiaomi usually updated the Redmi series with iterative changes to the spec sheet, but that is not the case with the latest launch. We pit the Redmi 5 against its predecessor to see what’s new. Stay with us to find out.

Xiaomi Redmi 5 vs Redmi 4: what’s different

Redmi 5 Plus Blue

If you pick up the Redmi 5, back first, you will be hard-pressed to tell the difference except that the camera and flash position has been moved above the fingerprint scanner in the centre. Apart from that, both devices flaunt the same unibody metal designs with similar antenna band positioning. However, Xiaomi claims that the Redmi 5 has more rounded corners to even out the weight distribution and reduce the impact of any accidental damage. Moving on, the real difference lies on the front as Redmi 5 flaunts an 18:9 display in a bezel-less form factor. The new phone also packs a much larger 5.7-inch display as compared to the 5-inch display on Redmi 4. On the resolution front, both the devices are at par as they come with HD displays, although the Redmi 5 features a taller aspect ratio.

Xiaomi Redmi 4_12

Moving on to the core specs, last year’s Redmi 4 was considered to be one of the best performers in the VFM segment owing to the presence of the 64-bit 1.4GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 SoC, coupled with an Adreno 505 GPU. With the Redmi 5, the handset maker has gone a step ahead and equipped it with a better 64-bit 1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 mated to Adreno 506. Certainly, there is a bump in the performance and the newest device brings a smoother experience to the table.

In the camera department, the Redmi 4 came packing a 13-megapixel rear camera module with PDAF and f/2.0 aperture. On the other hand, while the Redmi 5 gets a 12-megapixel primary sensor, the pixel size is now larger (1.25μm), which means it can take in more light and produce sharper details. Moreover, the new launch gets a front soft LED selfie flash, a feature missing from the Redmi 4.

Another notable aspect that has changed from last year is that the Redmi 5 comes packing a 3,300mAh battery. In comparison, the Redmi 4 was packing a much bigger 4,100mAh battery. While the 3,300mAh battery on the  Redmi 5 is not small by any means, the inclusion of a larger display might lead to faster battery drain. Also, the Redmi 4 took a combination of nano + micro-SIM cards, but the Redmi 5 only accepts nano-SIMs in both its slots.

Xiaomi Redmi 5 vs Redmi 4: the similarities

Xiaomi Redmi 4_19

By now, it is perfectly clear that the Redmi 5 is breaking free from the set mould of what Redmi phones have been so far. However, it does retain a few features from its predecessor. To start with, the front selfie camera on both phones is rated at 5-megapixels. Moreover, at a time when USB Type-C is fast becoming a standard, the Redmi 5 retains the micro-USB port, which is another common feature between the two. Apart from this, the Redmi 5 also comes in the same configurations – 2GB RAM + 16GB storage, 3GB RAM + 32GB storage and 4GB RAM + 64GB storage. 

Closing thoughts

While the pricing of the Redmi 4 started at Rs 6,999 for the 2GB / 16GB model and went all the way up to Rs 10,999 for the higher-end configuration, it seems that buyers will need to shell out a slight premium for the successor. The base variant of the Redmi 5 retails at Rs 7,999, while the price for the other two variants remains the same as the predecessor – Rs 8,999 and Rs 10,999 for the 3GB and 4GB RAM models respectively. All said and done, even though its starting price is slightly higher, the Xiaomi Redmi 5 is clearly a big upgrade over its predecessor.