Xiaomi’s popular, budget Redmi device lineup has been refreshed with two new models: The Redmi 5 Plus and its smaller, cheaper sidekick, the Redmi 5. We’re fans of the Redmi range, which provides a strong design and specification, along with excellent value for money. This winning formula continues with the Redmi 5 Plus and Redmi 5.
Here’s everything you need to know about the two new phones.
Release, names, and prices
The two new Redmi phones were revealed at an event on December 7, and always prove popular. The Redmi 5 was joined by the Redmi 5 Plus, in a change to Xiaomi’s previous nomenclature. Previous versions of this model used the “Note” name, which Xiaomi has dropped for the Redmi 5.
Xiaomi has only announced the Redmi 5 phones for China, although they may be released in other regions later, including Spain, where Xiaomi made its recent push into Europe, making it easier for European fans to purchase a locally compatible device.
In China the 2GB/16GB Redmi 5 costs 800 yuan/$120, and the 3GB/32GB model is 900 yuan/$136. The Redmi 5 Plus costs a little more. The 3GB/32GB Redmi 5 Plus is 1,000 yuan/$150, while the 4GB/64GB version is 1,300 yuan/$196.
Redmi 5 Plus
There are two Redmi phone models, with the Redmi 5 Plus being the larger, more powerful of the two. We think it looks great, especially in the great range of colors available. The Redmi 5 Plus has a 5.99-inch screen with a 2,160 x 1,080 pixel resolution, and the curved edges around it are reminiscent of the LG G6 and LG Q6.
A metal body surrounds the screen, with plastic end caps on the back to allow the antenna to operate, while a 2.5D curved piece of glass is over the display itself. The previous Redmi 4X was very comfortable to hold, and we expect the same from the Redmi 5 and 5 Plus. There are four color options — blue, gold, rose, and black — with all but the black model having a white bezel around the screen. A fingerprint sensor is set underneath the single rear camera lens and flash unit.
It has 12 megapixels and a f/2.2 aperture, while the front camera has 5 megapixels with a special soft-selfie mode, demonstrated on Xiaomi’s website by members of Chinese idol pop group SNH48, plus Xiaomi’s Smart Beauty 3.0 feature with face recognition. The pop group have been promoting the phone since before its launch, and also appear in the promotional video.
A Snapdragon 625 processor powers the phone, and you have the choice between a model with 3GB or 4GB of RAM. The 4GB Redmi 5 Plus comes with 64GB of storage space, and the 3GB version has 32GB. A big 4,000mAh battery should keep the phone running all day and a while longer, but it makes the phone quite heavy at 180 grams, but it’s still relatively slim at 8mm. Android 7.0 Nougat is installed and customized with MIUI 9, Xiaomi’s own user interface. Other features include a MicroSD card slot and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The Redmi 5 is a great looking phone, at a very cheap price — exactly what we want from Xiaomi and the Redmi range. The front has a 5.7-inch, 18:9 aspect ratio screen with the same curved edge design as the 5 Plus, and the same color selection is available for the body. The screen resolution is lower than the 5 Plus at 1,440 x 720.
Power is delivered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 and either 2GB or 3GB of RAM. If you chose the basic 2GB model it comes with 16GB of storage space, while the 3GB model has 32GB. The Redmi 5 has the same camera setup as the 5 Plus with a 12-megapixel camera on the back, and a 5-megapixel selfie camera on the front. A 3,300mAh battery, a 3.5mm headphone jack, Google Android 7.0 Nougat, and Xiaomi’s MIUI 9 user interface complete the specification list.
Being a little smaller, and with a smaller battery, means the Redmi 5 is slightly thinner than the 5 Plus at 7.7mm and lighter at 157 grams. Otherwise, the two phones are the same design.
Update: Added official details of the Redmi 5 and Redmi 5 Plus.