Xiaomi has captured the budget smartphone segment in India with its Redmi series phones, the Redmi 5A, being the cheapest Xiaomi phone, has the best in class specifications and comes with a ₹4,999 price tag. Thankfully, the pricing can be reduced further to ₹3,999 effectively via Reliance Jio network. Nevertheless, let us move on to the Xiaomi Redmi 5A review.
What’s in the Box
- Xiaomi Redmi 5A with built-in battery
- Micro USB Cable
- Charger (5V, 2A)
- SIM Tray Ejector
- User Manual and Warranty Information
Xiaomi Redmi 5A Specifications
- Display: 5-inch IPS display, HD resolution (1280 x 720 pixels, 294 ppi)
- Software: MIUI 9, based on Android 7.1.2 Nougat
- Fingerprint Scanner: N/A
- CPU: 1.4 GHz quad-core Cortex-A53 processor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 (MSM8917), 28nm LP
- GPU: Adreno 308
- RAM: 2 GB or 3 GB, LPDDR3
- Storage: 16 GB (with 2 GB RAM), 32 GB (with 3 GB RAM), expandable up to 128 GB via microSD card (dedicated slot)
- Rear Camera: 13 MP camera with 5P lens, f/2.2 aperture, PDAF and LED flash
- Front Camera: 5 MP camera with f/2.0 aperture
- Connectivity: Micro USB, 3.5 mm stereo jack, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, FM Radio
- Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Compass
- Cellular: 4G LTE, 2x nano SIM, VoLTE-enabled
- Other: IR Blaster
- Colors: Dark Grey, Gold, Rose Gold
- Battery: 3,000 mAh
- Price: ₹5,999 (₹4,999 for first 5 Million customers, 2 GB RAM & 16 GB storage), ₹6,999 (3 GB RAM & 32 GB storage)
- Availability: 7th December 2017, 12 PM, Flipkart, Mi.com and Mi Home stores. Offline retailers and Mi Preferred Partners later on.
Design, Built, & Ergonomics
There’s not much about in the design, it boasts a polycarbonate body and no 2.5D curve on the display. The similar design was used in its predecessor and you can’t differentiate from the front side, the back now adds the sides curve adding to its ergonomic design. There’s no further addition to the design, it still owns the 5-inch size, no fingerprint scanner, non-removable battery, and so on.
Xiaomi Redmi 5A is the successor to the Redmi 4A, it weighs 137 grams and fits in the hands perfectly due to its 5-inch size. The bottom has external touch keys that don’t light up. On the camera front, there’s a 5 MP selfie camera and the rear side equips a 13 MP camera with LED flash.
The power button and the Volume button are on the right side while the left side holds two SIM trays with one having a dedicated microSD slot. The microSD expansion supports up to 128 GB cards. On the top, it offers an IR Blaster, a microphone, and a 3.5 mm audio port. For the bottom, it comes with a micro USB port and another microphone.
As mentioned, the Redmi 5A comes with a 5-inch display with HD resolution (1280 x 720 pixels) and no 2.5D curve on the edges of the display. The display here is the same used in the Redmi 4A which may not be surprising, it’s good for the price though. You get the same display enhancements provided in the MIUI 9.
Starting from the first month of the year 2018, the budget segment phones have started showing off the FullView 18:9 display and in the coming months, you might be witnessing more phones with such displays making the Redmi 5A look obsolete in the segment.
Software & User Interface
MIUI 9.1, Xiaomi’s customized Android, is the latest version of the operating system and the Redmi 5A runs on it. The MIUI 9.1 is, however, based on Android 7.1.2 Nougat and not the Oreo, but feature-wise, you still get the most out of it. Xiaomi says it’s the fastest MIUI ever just like stock Android. It has the security patch dated 1st October 2017.
The new MIUI 9 is optimized, reduced app load times, and improved system stability. The added features are dual apps, new themes, stickers, in-line replies in the notification panel, and more. More details about MIUI 9 can be found in this post.
Hardware, Performance, & Gaming
About its internals, it packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 SoC paired with 2 GB RAM with another 3 GB RAM variant available too. The quad-core Cortex-A53 processor is clocked 1.4 GHz which sounds decent enough to run basic applications. We didn’t find any major lags in the interface, however, if you are using it frequently with more apps running in the background, the device might get slow. The processing power isn’t meant for high multi-tasking.
As you can see in the benchmarks, the performance of the Redmi 5A is similar to the phones based on the quad-core chip MediaTek MT6737. The AnTuTu scored 34,185 points, Geekbench 4 scored 674 points (single-core CPU), 1,863 points (multi-core CPU), and 1,414 points (GPU).
- 34,185 points
- 674 points (single-core CPU)
- 1,863 points (multi-core CPU)
- 1,414 points (GPU)
The Redmi 5A isn’t for gamers, if you have a little higher budget for gaming you should opt for better performance GPUs, say Adreno 505 on Redmi 4 (Snapdragon 435 octa-core SoC). The Redmi 5A runs several games without any problems, but games that demand heavy resources may not run smoothly.
Games Tested on Xiaomi Redmi 5A
- Shadow Fight 3
- Space Racing 2
Storage & Memory
In the storage department, the Redmi 5A comes in two variants, one with 16 GB (with 2 GB RAM) and 32 GB (3 GB RAM) and can be expanded further with microSD card up to 128 GB.
Talking about the performance of the storage, the benchmarks indicate it competes with the phones price under ₹10,000, hence, the storage performance is acceptable in this price range.
A1 SD Bench
- 110.13 MB/s (Read)
- 39.85 MB/s (Write)
- 3,813.66 MB/s (RAM Copy)
- 190.45 MB/s (Sequential Read)
- 49.21 MB/s (Sequential Write)
- 30.82 MB/s (Random Read)
- 3.87 MB/s (Random Write)
Xiaomi Redmi 5A Camera Specifications
- Camera: 13 MP f/2.2 aperture, 5P lens, PDAF
- Optical Image Stabilization (OIS): N/A
- Flash: Single LED
- Features: Geo-tagging, Tap to Focus, HDR, Panorama, Timer, Manual, Straighten, Beautify, HTT (Night Mode), Scene, Tilt-shift, Audio, Color Filters, Burst Shot
- Video Recording (Rear): Up to 1080p video @30fps
- Front Camera: 5 MP f/2.0 aperture
- Video Recording (Front): Up to 1080p video @30fps
- Flash: N/A
The camera app offers HDR mode, Panorama, Manual, Beautify, Night Mode, and a few others. It records 1080p videos at 30fps and no slow motion. The camera does offer the basic features and also a manual mode if you like to tweak the camera settings.
The photography can be as good in the daylight, we managed to take the best images from the Redmi 5A camera. Some of the samples appear to be decent, however, they lack details on zooming the images. The HDR mode takes some time to process the image. Do not expect anything great from the camera, it’s an entry-level phone with just an average camera.
The camera on the Redmi 5A is overall good when there’s enough lighting and considering its price, the camera isn’t that bad. Check out the samples that we took from the Redmi 5A camera.
Xiaomi Redmi 5A Camera Settings
Xiaomi Redmi 5A Camera Samples
Battery Runtime & Charging
The battery provided in the Redmi 5A is 3,000 mAh which lasts a day easily. We managed to stretch the battery for 2 days on average use and that’s more than what the phone has to offer. Another test with 14 hours of use and screen-on-time is 3 hours leaves 72% of the battery on minimum usage.
The battery performance of the Redmi 5A is decent, thanks to the power-efficient processor and the MIUI 9 software battery optimizations. There’s more you can do in the battery settings to extend the battery life.
Xiaomi Redmi 5A Battery Test Results
|720p Video||2%||20 minutes||Auto||Off (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)|
|YouTube (720)||3%||20 minutes||Auto||On (Wi-Fi)|
|Shadow Fight 3||5%||20 minutes||Auto||On (Wi-Fi)|
|Space Racing 2||7%||20 minutes||Auto||On (Wi-Fi)|
|Music (Offline)||1%||1 Hour||Screen Off||Off (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)|
|Music (Online) -|
|2%||30 minutes||Screen Off||On (Wi-Fi)|
|3%||20 minutes||Auto||On (Wi-Fi)|
|3%||20 minutes||Auto||On (Wi-Fi)|
At the price point of view, the phone itself stands out among the budget smartphones, the performance is best in class, for a price tag of ₹4,999, you get an excellent phone with good specifications and a decent battery life. It also gets the MIUI 9 out-of-the-box giving as much features from the operating system. There’s a dedicated microSD slot if you want to expand the storage without losing the dual SIM functionality. In addition to the features, the IR Blaster can be handy sometimes. A great device for the people who want to get all Android features at the lowest price, the Redmi 5A is highly recommended.
- Light Weight & Compact
- Dedicated MicroSD Slot
- Decent Battery Life
- IR Blaster
- Value For Money