Vatsal Impex, the sole authorized distributor of Xiaomi mobiles in Nepal, has brought in yet another affordable mid-range smartphone in the Nepali smartphone market – Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A. I used the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A as my daily driver for the past few days and now, I would like to walk you through the highs and lows of my experience with the device.
First, let us take a look at its key specifications:
- Display: 5.5-inch HD IPS display @ 267ppi with Gorilla Glass 3 protection
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 425
- CPU: Quad-core (4 x 1.4 GHz Cortex A53)
- GPU: Adreno 308
- RAM: 2GB
- Internal storage: 16GB, expandable up to 128GB via microSD (Dedicated slot)
- OS: Android 7.0 Nougat with MIUI 8.5
- Rear camera: 13MP with f/2.2 aperture, PDAF and LED Flash, 1080p video recording
- Front-facing camera: 5MP with f/2.0 aperture
- Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyro, proximity, compass
- Connectivity: Dual SIM, 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS + GLONASS
- Battery: 3080mAh Non-removable battery
- Price: Rs. 17,499
Build and Design:
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A is completely made up of plastic and comes with a fine finishing with metallic spray paint on top. The design of the phone on the front face is very typical and there isn’t anything particularly special about it. The back of the phone is very smooth and the phone itself is very sleek and has a compact build.
There are top and bottom chrome accents at the back which actually make the design look better somehow. Even though I personally liked the build and the design, it sure does not show any upgrades compared to the past releases from Xiaomi.
The Redmi Note 5A has a 5.5-inch HD (720 x 1280 pixels) display with the protection offered by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The phone offers a lot of settings in terms of changing the display color temperature and contrast. The auto-brightness feature also works very smoothly. Even if this resolution on a 5.5-inch screen might raise a few eyebrows, the display isn’t that bad. The colors appear vibrant and sharp.
There is also a “reading mode” in the display settings that can be scheduled to fit according to the users’ requirement. This is the feature that I personally liked very much as I could comfortably use the phone after sundown without having to download another app for adjustable viewings.
The phone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 quad-core processor (64 bit Cortex A53 @1.4Ghz) and comes with 2 GB RAM. With an expandable internal storage of 16 GB, the phone delivers a good performance, if not commendable. On running multiple apps and games simultaneously, the phone did not stop me with message pop-ups. Lighter games ran smoothly, offering a great user experience. Apps also ran smoothly without any trouble. Hence, the overall performance was really snappy and smooth.
During my time with the phone, I tried running multiple apps at the same time and tested if the phone could really withstand the load. I must tell you that the phone didn’t disappoint me. Playing heavy games on the phone was never a hassle as they didn’t lag and the phone also didn’t heat up much on use. Smooth performance and lack of heating issue, made my experience with the phone really noteworthy.
- Antutu Score: 36290
- Geekbench Score: Single Core: 678 | Multi Core: 1855
- Basemark OS: 773
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A runs on Android 7.0 Nougat and comes with MIUI 8.5 on top. The whole UI experience was really smooth and I enjoyed toggling between the apps and testing the many inbuilt software on the phone. The phone was also very responsive to touches and was pretty snappy at all times. So I personally do not have any complaints regarding its software and performance.
Moreover, Xiaomi should also roll out the MIUI 9 in coming days which will improve the software experience.
The power and volume buttons have been placed at the right side of the phone and are also easily accessible.
The Note 5A comes with a Micro-USB charging port at the bottom alongside the speaker which produced decent sound even at the largest volume settings.
There is a 3.5 mm headphone jack placed at the top of the phone and an IR blaster which lets your smartphone act as a remote for your electronic devices. So with this Xiaomi device, your smartphone becomes more than just what it is.
The capacitive buttons are placed at the chin of the phone. But they are not back-lit so I had to struggle a bit during the night time usage. There is microSD card slot along with a dedicated dual nano-SIM tray on the left side of the phone.
As the phone is 4G enabled, the network capacity that it offered was undoubtedly top-notch. The phone also comes with all the necessary sensors like accelerometer, proximity sensor, gyro sensor and compass.
However, there is no fingerprint scanner here, which might make it a bit tricky for the smartphone to create a mark for itself for the budget.
The phone houses a 13MP camera on the back which captured details finely and also had a good shutter speed. The pictures appeared a bit washed out but looked proper on decent lighting. Another thing that I noticed here was that the sensor was pretty quick to focus as well.
The HDR option available here helped to enhance the color vibrancy and structure of the images sharply. There are also in-built filters available here and switching between these picture modes was a fun experience. Low light photography as expected at this price range is below par.
Speaking of the battery back up, the phone comes with a 3080 mAh nonremovable battery that lasted me for well over a day on normal usage and did not let me down. The in-built battery saver mode allowed me to prolong the battery life for more than a few hours before I finally connected the charger to the device.
Even though the device is said to support Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 technology, the phone comes with a regular charger. Hence, it took me a little over 2 hours to completely charge the phone.
As the final verdict for my experience with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A, I must say that the phone is decent in terms of the design, build, software experience and performance. You also get a bigger 5.5-inch display compared to previous iterations from Xiaomi like Redmi 4X and Redmi 4A which had a 5-inch display.
Pros: What I liked about the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A
- The sleek build.
- The UI experience.
- The sharp display and the detailed display settings.
Cons: What could have been better in the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A
- The camera performance
- A fingerprint scanner
What is your say on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A? Let us know in the comments below!