Over a year ago, I gave up using the iPhone as my primary smartphone. When it came to understanding that the “apple” was frankly bored, the choice fell on Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X – one of the brand’s bestsellers.

More than a year of stable work and one blunder that cost me a yellowed screen. Using a smartphone as a navigator under the scorching sun turned out to be a bad idea.

And although the repair of the device would cost a maximum of 1.5-2 thousand rubles, I decided to try something new.

The “Chinese” with a dual camera and a hint of a frameless design have long been interested, and since the Redmi Note series from Xiaomi really pleased, I decided not to reinvent the wheel and just upgraded to Xiaomi Redmi Note 5.

A hint of a frameless design, two cameras licked from the iPhone X, gesture support and deadly autonomy – all these are the main features of the new Chinese in the price range up to 13 thousand rubles.

I would not want to turn this material into a classic review with a dull description of the characteristics. You, as a reader, will probably be more interested in learning about the pros and cons of “fake iPhone” (Xiaomi is trying to borrow a lot from Apple).

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 – what kind of beast is this

I first encountered the Redmi Note family three years ago when I bought the Chinese version of Redmi Note 3 at a flea market. The main feature of this line is excellent autonomy. 4000 mAh, believe me, it’s very decent.

Specifications of Xiaomi Redmi Note 5:

  • Screen: 5.99” 2160 x 1080
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (8 cores, 1.8 GHz)
  • Memory: 3 GB RAM and 32 GB flash, microSD support
  • Battery: 4000 mAh
  • Camera: main – 12 + 5 MP, front – 13 MP
  • OS: Android 8.1
  • Connectors: microUSB, audio 3.5mm
  • Networks: support 2 SIM, LTE

Otherwise, this is an outwardly outstanding smartphone with a classic placement of a fingerprint scanner on the back of an aluminum case and the usual placement of hardware buttons.

The average cost of the device is about 12 – 13 thousand rubles. Considering the price, this is indeed a smartphone that has almost no flaws.

I would like to talk about the pros and cons of the model below.

What we liked about Redmi Note 5

Looking ahead, I will say that Xiaomi turned out to be an excellent successor to the Redmi Note 4X. It can be seen that the company has worked on the bugs and tried to release a smartphone that meets the design requirements of mid-2018.


Perhaps this is what I looked at first of all when choosing a device in the price category indicated above. Up to Redmi Note 5, the entire series was equipped with a frankly lousy sensor.

In the “five”, the Chinese corrected themselves and immediately installed a dual camera, brazenly tearing off its design and vertical orientation from you-know-who.

The second 5-megapixel sensor helps the smartphone take photos with good bokeh. This seems to be the only use of the second module to date. It calculates the depth of the photo, giving it the effect of the main advantage of fixed DSLR lenses.

The output is pretty good. When shooting at close range in the newly appeared Portrait mode, it is sometimes difficult to get the entire subject in focus. Minimum settings in the standard camera.

Comparing with the two predecessors, it is immediately noticeable that the aperture ratio of the new sensor has grown dramatically. Even in the dark, with mediocre lighting, the pictures are very tolerable. Of course, with an error in digital noise, which is allegedly corrected by the built-in “smart” algorithm, but purely in theory.

Redmi Note 5 camera is currently recognized as one of the best on the market in this price class. I cannot disagree with this. Shoots great.

And there was a full-fledged slow motion mode. True, he shoots only in 720p. In general, the Snapdragon 636 chip supports video recording up to 4K in hardware, but Xiaomi has decided to restrict access to ultra mode for now. It turns on only by installing custom firmware and third-party cameras.

Additionally, the presence of digital stabilization is pleasing. Compared to previous models, it works very well.


After giving up the iPhone, I basically forgot what worrying about an uncharged smartphone is. When the gadget feeds the 4,000 mAh battery, you can safely go shopping at the nearest supermarket even with 5-10% charge. He will calmly live until the moment you return home.

Alas, iPhones only dream of this. Two days without recharging with the active use of three messengers, surfing and calls – no problem.

Gesture support

Yes, this is another “killer feature” of this model. Xiaomi decided not to waste time on trifles and included support for gestures. Static buttons for calling multitasking, home and back can be disabled in the settings, and instead enable swipe control:

  • Go back – swipe from the left side to the right
  • Home – swipe from bottom to top
  • Multitasking and running applications menu – swipe up from the bottom with hold

Well, what can you do, artists often steal. Xiaomi is no exception.

It has Face ID

Imagine that a smartphone for 12 kilo rubles really has face recognition. Checkmate, iPhone X 🙂

Of course, the recognition technology here is completely different. In a device whose cost is less than $200, no one will install a 3D scanner and an analogue of TrueDepth. And here is the recognition from the photo, please.

I was immediately very skeptical about this method of unlocking. I thought that it would be godlessly buggy and pissed off.

I confess I was wrong. The face recognition function works flawlessly. And every day more and more accurately, regardless of the level of illumination.

By the way, Xiaomi warns that using face unlock can harm privacy. No one promises you 3D scanning, so you can unlock the device with a simple photo.

But here, as they say, if you don’t like it, don’t use it. In reserve, there is an ultra-fast fingerprint scanner placed in the right place, that is, on the back of the case in the middle.

And there is no “hump”

For the design of Redmi Note 5, the Chinese should say a special thank you. A laconic screen with a trendy aspect ratio of 2:1, the absence of “extra” cutouts and fairly thin bezels around the perimeter.

There is a characteristic thickening at the top and bottom, but it is symmetrical and does not turn the gadget into a freak.

In general, there is a curious feeling. Outwardly, Redmi Note 5 is very similar to the iPhone. Highly! Moreover, some kind of symbiosis of the iPhone X and younger models with the Home button comes out.

There is a complete cover

After unpacking the treasured orange box with Redmi Note 5, I was pleasantly surprised by the presence of a cover.

Soft, pleasant to the touch silicone case in glossy black. Sits down perfectly. I was pleased that the case slightly covers the edges of the protruding dual camera. That is, the smartphone can be safely put on the back side without fear of scratching the lenses.

Cold CPU

The Snapdragon 636 chip is installed in Redmi Note 5. In fact, this is a slightly reduced version of the older brother Snapdragon 660.

If past “notebooks” heated up quite significantly when running heavy applications and games, then with Redmi Note 5 this problem is a thing of the past. And no throttling.

The Snapdragon 636 is also very energy efficient. Paired with a capacious battery, it’s a balm for the soul in terms of autonomy.

What upset

Alas, perfect smartphones do not exist. It doesn’t matter if the device costs $1,000 or $200. Such is the human nature that any device needs to find flaws.

No USB Type-C

For the lack of a port, which became the accepted standard in 2018, Xiaomi engineers should be put in a corner.

There are already plenty of smartphones in this price range that are equipped with this particular universal port, but Xiaomi apparently decided to save the port for Note 6.

In the end, you need to somehow support sales and force buyers to upgrade to new models.


The cost of the NFC module (however, like USB Type-C) is only a couple of dollars. Its installation would have practically not affected the final cost of Redmi Note 5. On the contrary, people would buy it with greater pleasure.

It’s a pity, but Google Pay with this smartphone is still a dream. This is one of the arguments that stopped me from buying this device.

And it is the lack of NFC that can be attributed to the main drawback of the model. Well, we are waiting in Note 6.

Weak software

Thank you for Android 8.1 out of the box. Pleasantly pleased with the presence of gestures and a nimble camera. But!

The software implementation of these functions is still suffering a lot. Controlling your smartphone with gestures is convenient, but the wildly slow animation kills all the fun.

A similar story with the camera. Its launch sometimes lasts for several seconds, and in our time it is simply ignorance on the part of the manufacturer.

Over the past three weeks, two cosmetic updates for the device have been released. Gestures became more responsive, the camera began to freeze less often. It can be seen that Xiaomi is working on fixing bugs, but, I confess, slowly.

Minimum settings in the camera

The dual camera is the guarantor of pleasant bokeh. This is where her possibilities end. The standard application has a minimum of settings, and the maximum that can be corrected in Manual mode is exposure and white balance.

Not enough, developers, not enough. Although somewhere deep down you remember the iPhone 7 Plus. There, the possibilities of the camera were also not immediately opened.


to me Like this smartphone.

It lies perfectly in the hand, it has a gorgeous large screen, significantly improved sound, a normal metal case that you are not afraid to break.

For all this, Xiaomi asks for a very affordable amount. The presence of shortcomings in the form of the lack of USB Type-C and NFC can be explained by the intrigues of marketers.

In a year (but, most likely, earlier), the company will introduce a new Redmi Note, where both components will definitely be.

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It is not for nothing that it was called the best smartphone in its price category.

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