The Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus, the most recent and powerful candidate of Xiaomi to best-selling the year with permission of the Mi A1 and its dual camera and Android One, and that I have been testing for a month to tell you my experience.
The input range can afford few frames and good screen
If something should be noted for the design of the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus is to bring high-end ideas to the input level. We refer to a screen design (almost) without frames and the adoption of 18:9 format, in a diagonal of 5.99 inches. The rounded corners are another nod that says a lot about the effort at design and appearance level of this Redmi 5 Plus.
That good overall finish of the terminal and its screen size will take its toll on dimensions, especially in weight. In spite of being balanced and reducing the side frames a lot, it does not do the same with the upper and lower ones, so in the hand there is a terminal something big (quite tall) and heavy. To his credit I must say that this feeling of being heavier is basically due to the use of a material such as aluminum, which on the other hand gives us a greater sense of robustness compared to glass models.
Where there is no variation on the part of Xiaomi is in the design of the back, perfectly recognizable and where the fingerprint reader has been very comfortable to use, as well as the volume and ignition controls, which are where I like them.
As in other terminals of Xiaomi, both with metallic and glass finish, I found a pretty slippery model, so do not be disgusted with the more than simple transparent silicone case that comes with the terminal because we will thank and avoid the odd scare
A large screen that suffers outdoors
In this phone closer to 150 euros than 200, surprises a large screen of 5.99 inches not because of its size, which is comfortable, but because it does not force us to give up a certain quality in both the panel and in the resolution, which is 2160×1080 pixels.
Logically we are not facing exactly the same panel and in certain aspects it is noticeable. In our month of use I have noticed it especially in the brightness, lower than the high range and that makes it suffer some visibility outdoors, as well as in reflections or polarization of the panel, which makes it vertical, with some glasses Sun, do not see anything on the screen, which is quite uncomfortable if you usually go with this type of glasses continuously.
The contrast also has room for improvement as well as the luminosity sensor, which tends to maintain the brightness of the screen at very low levels so, we imagine, to gain some autonomy and to stand out at that point, which makes us aware of certain situations to raise the level manually to have a more comfortable screen display in ambient light.
No performance problems and very good for MIUI
If in the part of design and screen almost everything have been praises for the Redmi 5 Plus, always thinking about its price and the competition, the same thing does not happen mainly with the processor. Here Xiaomi has decided to optimize the cost to the maximum and has placed an amortization processor as the Snapdragon 625. It is quite strange in a manufacturer that always leaves us the image of an excellent assembler of the most current components.
That said, to qualify the numbers on paper, I have to say that in this range we will not find many terminals with this performance. My advice is that, of the two possible configurations, for the barely 20 euros of difference, we opted for the Redmi 5 Plus of 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal memory because in relation quality / price is almost unbeatable. Those 4 GB of RAM make the terminal go fluid and there are no jerks or stop being able to perform actions due to lack of power.
In this Redmi 5 Plus we find the MIUI 9 layer but it is not yet on Android 8.0. It is the main stick of a personalization that you must tame before feeling comfortable with it because, although it is very well optimized and the design is attractive and closer to a pure Android than other Asian layers, there are still many services and applications what or not we will use or do not want to get in our daily flow under Android.
Unless you are a loyal brand or on specific aids such as memory management and security, my option would always be to pull applications and services from third parties so that, in case of changing terminal / brand, I do not feel lost. The good thing is that, if you opt for what Xiaomi offers, the quality is noticeable, they are services and solid applications and in which almost the only thing with a lot of room for improvement are the notifications.
Excellent autonomy, not so much the load
The weight and thickness of this Redmi 5 Plus can be seen in the hand but also in the battery, from a positive point of view. Within this terminal we find 4000 mAh of battery that, associated with the majority user profile of this terminal, allows us to grant two days of autonomy without problem. If the use you make of the terminal is more intensive, as has been my case in this month of use with the Redmi 5 Plus, those two days are somewhat reduced, but I had no problems getting to the middle of the second day with enough battery.
It may seem strange but overcome the day of use with solvency but without guaranteeing the second day, for my case it is a problem. And it has been even more with this Redmi 5 Plus since the charger with which it comes does not have fast charge, a “must” that I already ask any terminal that boasts, nor with a USB-C charging port. At home and at work, the microUSB cables have been replaced by USB-C models for a year now, so in this month, the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus will still use the microUSB charge, even if it sounds like a joke, It has been a problem. I had already forgotten what it is to have to look at the orientation of the charging cable.
In the end the solution has been to load each day at home, at the end of the day, this Xiaomi despite the battery was above 40%, so, at least in my particular case and experience of use, I would have preferred other efforts on the battery side, such as the aforementioned fast charge, which only gross capacity.
In the camera is saving money
Although we come from the very good experience with the camera of the Xiaomi Mi A1, this Redmi 5 Plus has brought us back to the reality of the entry-level or medium-range terminal cameras. Here we do not ask you to have a double sensor or anything like that, just do not fail miserably.
It is not exactly the case of the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus, but whoever buys it thinking about a high camera level for having seen our review of Xiaomi Mi A1, will be wrong. Obviously we can get decent photos, especially with regard to the level of detail, but in this month of use the camera of this Redmi 5 Plus has given many samples of a deficient dynamic range.
In scenes with strong points of light or clear skies it is usual that the scene ends up unbalanced. The funny thing is that the possible solutions that Xiaomi has does not facilitate them, something that we do not understand and that transmits us an idea of neglect in the section of the camera once it has already sold us the terminal by numbers (both in the technical file and in price). A clear example is the real absence of manual controls that come so well when the dynamic range or the night scenes leave us highly improvable photos.
But is not the only example. In this month of use and in search of greater reliability with the camera, I ended up using the HDR mode for almost everything. This has been the case because many scenes with a lot of dynamic range are able to correct them, but nevertheless, it is a functionality that has to be activated manually and over slow. Going back to terminals that do not support two consecutive shots almost instantaneously is not plan.
Having said all this, there is no doubt that this is a potential bestseller more than recommended for its price, but it should be valued in its fair average in sections such as the camera and comparing almost most times with models within its own brand. We talk about the Mi A1 if you prioritize the camera, or the future Note 5 Pro if you look for the most for your money.