“Hailed as the Desh ka smartphone, the Redmi 5A is the most affordable offering from Xiaomi’s stable”
With brands proclaiming their offerings as “India ka intelligent smartphone” (JioPhone) and “Desh ka 4g phone” (Micromax Bharat 1), it seems that Xiaomi also wants to ride the wave of nationalism. Perhaps that’s why its latest device is being hailed as the “Desh ka smartphone”. Launched today, the Xiaomi Redmi 5A is the successor to the brand’s most affordable smartphone, the 4A (review), and it comes in at a cheaper price point… at an effective starting price of Rs 4,999. So what exactly does it bring to the table? Let’s find out in our unboxing and hands on of the Redmi 5A.
The retail box of the Xiaomi Redmi 5A is similar to the packaging of other devices from the brand, though the red colour does attract attention. Opening the minimalistic looking box reveals the smartphone itself. Below it, you’ll find the user manual and a warranty guide. Unsurprisingly, the handset doesn’t come bundled with earphones – like other Xiaomi phones. You do get a SIM-ejection tool, a micro-USB cable and a 1A wall charger.
Coming back to the Redmi 5A, the compact phone fits snugly in the hand as it continues with a 5-inch screen. The resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels also remains the same, resulting in decent levels of sharpness. The IPS panel also offers an accurate colour reproduction. As of now, there’s no confirmation whether there’s any protective layer on top of the display.
While the device isn’t made out of metal, the polycarbonate body seems to be quite sturdy and the metallic finish adds to the appeal. While our unit came in a flashy gold hue, you can also buy the handset in rose gold or grey colours. The phone is comfortable to use for long stretches as it’s quite light at 137g. The placement of ports and buttons on the Xiaomi Redmi 5A is a standard affair, though it’s good to see Xiaomi offering a dedicated microSD card slot along with a pair of nano-SIM card slots (4G VoLTE is supported in the primary slot only) on the left spine. The Redmi 5A also offers an IR blaster up top.
Under the hood, the smartphone doesn’t seem to be too different as compared to the Xiaomi Redmi 4A – it draws power from a 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon 425 SoC, which is paired with 2GB of RAM. Similar to its predecessor, the 5A should be able to handle regular tasks and casual games comfortably, though it’s not meant for heavy gaming. The storage capacity is also the same – 16GB, and can be expanded up to 128GB. Just like its previous avatar, the 5A will also be available in another variant that offers 3GB RAM and 32GB storage.
Related read: Xiaomi Redmi 5A vs 4A
For imaging, the Xiaomi Redmi 5A sports a 13-megapixel f/2.2 snapper, which is similar to the previous model in terms of specs. The front camera features a wider aperture of f/2.0 (vs f/2.2) with a 5MP sensor though. The battery size of the Xiaomi Redmi 5A is slightly reduced at 3,000mAh (vs 3,120mAh on the 4A), though the phonemaker claims that it has up to eight days of standby time. On the software side of things, the phone ships with its custom MIUI 9 skin atop Android 7.0 Nougat.
To sum it up, the Xiaomi Redmi 5A isn’t necessarily an evolutionary upgrade to its predecessor, but what makes it interesting is the fact that it has gone even lower in terms of the pricing. While the retail price of the 5A is same as its previous iteration, i.e. 2GB RAM model for Rs 5,999 and Rs 6,999 for 3GB variant. However, for the first five million customers, the base version will be available with a Rs 1,000 discount via Flipkart. The device will go on sale starting December 7th, and will also be available via Xiaomi’s offline partner stores. In a nutshell, at Rs 4,999, the 5A isn’t just the most affordable offering from Xiaomi’s stable, it also manages to boast a decent spec sheet for its price. And in case you are wondering if it’s a worthy buy, our review will be answering that for you soon.
Photos by Raj Rout