Xiaomi has now become one of the most popular brands in India and they have a device in almost all segments. The company announced their latest affordable smartphones called as “Desh Ka Smartphone”, the smartphone of the nation, the Redmi 5A. The Xiaomi Redmi 5A is quite similar to the Redmi 4A announced a few months back. The Redmi 5A is currently the cheapest smartphone by the company and is priced Rs 4,999. So how good is the desh ka smartphone? Let’s find it out in the detailed Redmi 5A review.
Design and Build:
Design wise, the Redmi 5A is a combination of the design language of Redmi 4A and Redmi Y1. It comes with a plastic unibody construction with a metal finish. The device has curved edges on the side which give a good feel while holding. The material quality looks pretty good and well built for a 5k smartphone. The device is pretty compact to use, thanks to the 5-inch display size. The power and volume keys are on the right side, while the two SIM card slots and dedicated SD card slot sits on the left side. The top panel houses the IR blaster, a feature in all Xiaomi phones along with 3.5mm audio jack. The bottom section has the micro USB charging slot.
The rear panel houses the 13MP rear camera, Mi logo and the speaker unit located at the bottom. The front panel comes with the 5MP selfie camera, 5 inch HD display and three capacitive touch buttons which are not backlit. Overall, in the design department, Redmi 5A is a fairly good looking device.
Xiaomi Redmi 5A comes with a 5 inch HD display with 1280 X 720p resolution and an IPS LCD panel. The display is quite vibrant and sharp and feels good for a budget device. Unfortunately, similar to other budget devices from Xiaomi, the 5A also does not offer any protection on the display. The touch response is quite good and so are the viewing angles. You can also adjust the color temperature of the display from the settings. One of the useful features of MIUI is the reading mode and this is available on Redmi 5A as well and this aids in reading during the night and decreases the strain on eyes.
Xiaomi Redmi 4A comes with MIUI9 on top of Android 7.1.1 Nougat. If you have used a Xiaomi device previously you might be knowing that MIUI is a heavily skinned UI provide tons of customization and it does not have any resemblance to stock UI. It comes with multiple home screens and a custom notification center along with settings panel.
The phone comes with a plethora of options to customize, be it in the form of themes, icon packs, lock screen, boot animations, sounds and more. All of these can be downloaded from the Themes app. The phone also features the security app which comes with cleaner, virus scan, block list, data usage and more.
There are a some useful features dual apps and Second space. The Second space allows you to create a different space on your phone which does not share anything with the first space. You can use the second space as a completely different phone with apps, security and all features included. This means if you want two profiles on your phone like home and work, second space helps in that. Dual apps, as the name indicates, allows users to concurrently run two instances of the app. You can run two WhatsApp, Facebook, Messenger etc on the device. MIUI provides an option to lock apps using the fingerprint scanner and this provides additional security to your personal apps.
Xiaomi has also added lots of useful apps like FM radio, recorder, Compass, torch and much more. Xiaomi’s attention to smaller details is simply amazing and the UI looks very much polished with no lags or crashes. The phone also comes with IR blaster which means you can use the phone as a remote for your TV, A/C, set-top box and other devices. There is a Mi Remote app which you can configure with Indian brands and this comes handy.
Xiaomi Redmi 5A comes with Snapdragon 425 Quad Core processor clocked at 1.4Ghz and coupled 2GB of RAM along with 16GB of storage and this is the same configuration we saw on Redmi 4A. The Snapdragon 425 is a budget chipset offering decent performance in this segment although it is not as powerful as the SD435 on the Redmi 4. The phone performs very well in day to day activities and there are no slow down or lags in the device in normal usage. But when you push the device for heavy multitasking and gaming, this is where you can see a sluggish performance from the device. We played high graphics-rich games and it was lagging with frame drops. While heavy gaming is not expected from a phone in the sub 6k price segment, you can play some casual games on the device.
The phone also packs an IR blaster similar to any other Xiaomi device and you can configure it to use with brands in India which come really handy. The phone does not feature any fingerprint scanner. The call quality and the speaker performance of the device is also quite good. The phone has dual SIM and micro SD dedicated slot which is a good feature to have. The phone comes with 16GB of storage and out of which close to 9GB is available to the user in the first boot which is a bit on the lower side but since it has a dedicated slot, users can expand it anytime using a SD card.
Xiaomi Redmi 5A sports a 13MP rear camera with LED flash and a front-facing 5MP camera for selfies. The camera interface of Redmi 5A is typical MIUI and packs a lot of additional features including manual mode and filters. The phone also offers 1080p recording.
The 13MP rear camera of the Redmi 5A can snap decent captures in daylight condition with good color quality, but the sharpness levels could have been better. But considering the price segment, the daylight performance of the camera is good. The macro or close up images are also quite good and it is not as saturated as the Redmi 4. But when it low light, the performance is not great. You can clearly see noise creeping in the photos and extreme low light images are noisy. The front-facing selfie camera can snap some decent selfies. The 1080p video recording is also quite decent. For the price the device is being offered at, the 5A does a good job. Here are some of the samples taken with the device.
Redmi 4A comes with a smaller capacity battery when compared to 3S. The device has 3000mAh battery and the performance is quite good. We tested the device with social networking apps, browsing, calls, gaming, camera and more and we could easily get slightly more than a day of battery life. If you are a heavy user, you still get 1 day on the device.
If you are looking for an affordable entry-level smartphone, Xiaomi Redmi 5A is definitely the best you can get in terms of hardware and also experience. While the 5A isn’t drastically different from 4A, it has good design and built, decent display, a customizable software and decent performance for the price segment and a good camera. Price at Rs 4999, Xiaomi Redmi 5A is definitely worth the money.