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Both, the Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro bring major upgrades over their predecessor in terms of design, features and camera, while retaining the best features of the Redmi Note 4 –battery, build quality and storage options.
The Redmi Note 5 is more of a regular upgrade in accordance with the trend fast catching up in the smartphone industry -- 18:9 aspect ratio screen. The Redmi Note 5 Pro, on the other hand, is a radical one infused with enhanced hardware and software upgrades.
In terms of design, the Redmi Note 5 and Note 5 Pro are strikingly similar to the Note 4. However, with a new 6-inch 18:9 aspect ratio screen on the front, both the smartphones have tall stance that adds to the overall design theme.
In the Redmi Note 5, the back looks almost similar to its predecessor. The Redmi Note 5 Pro, on the other hand, with dual-camera set-up on the back looks like a Chinese-cloned version of iPhone X. Both devices come with more curvaceous aluminium anodised backs that blend well with the Gorilla Glass on the front.
Overall, the Note 5 and Note 5 Pro set the benchmark in design for budget smartphones.
Both smartphones sport 6-inch 18:9 aspect ratio screen of fullHD+ (2160 x 1080) resolution. The screen seems to have better contrast and sunlight legibility than predecessor. The colour reproduction is satisfactory, if not perfect, and the 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass on top makes it easier to operate.
The curved corners of the screen might not please everyone but, based on screen usage patterns and utility, they seem to look better than pointed edges.
In the Redmi Note 5, imaging is taken care of by a 12-megapixel primary camera on the back and a 5 MP selfie camera. Both the cameras are coupled with LED flash, which is a new addition over the predecessor. The cameras show improvement to some degree over the predecessor. However, we did notice that the photos look washed out at times and the manual mode is limited to adjust ISO and white balance.
The Redmi Note 5 has a dual-camera set-up on the back that utilises a 5 MP sensor sourced from Samsung and a 12 MP sensor sourced from Sony. There is a 20 MP selfie camera on the front. The cameras on the back and front are coupled with LED flash. The Note 5 Pro dual-camera sensors show promising result.
The Redmi Note 5 and Note 5 Pro features a 4,000 mAh battery. The on-battery time looks promising but not as great as Redmi Note 4. However, it is too early to judge the on-battery time as it takes at least five charging cycles for the battery to calibrate.
Overall, both the smartphones do have potential to repeat history and set benchmark for budget smartphones, we are keeping our final judgement reserved for now until we do an in-depth review of the units.
The Redmi Note 5 and Note 5 Pro would go on sale exclusively on Flipkart, Mi Store and Mi Homes starting 22 February. As for the price, the Redmi Note 5 base model with 32GB storage and 3GB RAM is priced at Rs 9,999 and the premium variant with 64GB internal storage and 4GB RAM is priced at Rs 11,999.
The Redmi Note 5 Pro base model with 64GB storage and 4GB RAM is priced at Rs 13,999 and the premium variant with 64GB internal storage and 6GB RAM is priced at Rs 16,999.