Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 review: Hitting almost all the right notes

Can Xiaomi's latest take the mid-range crown?
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5


The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 is finally here! It was the device I had been waiting to get my hands on ever since it was announced in India about two to three months ago.

However, ever the sceptic, I was afraid Xiaomi may have set the bar a little too high for themselves as what was on offer with the Redmi Note 5 seemed a little too good to be true.

So, the question is, does it live up to the hype or does it fall flat on its face? Continue reading my review of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 to see how it fares.

Design & Build

First impressions wise, the Redmi Note 5 looks a lot like the Redmi 5, which shouldn’t come to a surprise as this is essentially a scaled up version of the aforementioned device. It’s however just a smidgen taller and noticeably heavier.

Like I mentioned in my review of the Redmi 5, I was definitely a happy camper as the review unit I received came in the always classy all-black colour scheme. Other colours include Gold and Lake Blue.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5

The front of the device is unmistakably Xiaomi and while it is a little plain, I have to say I am a fan. Similar to the Redmi 5 and most of the newer smartphones making their way into the market, this smartphone sports a tall 5.99″ display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. Another similar trait the Redmi Note 5 shares with its little brother is the fact that it no longer has capacitive buttons, instead, Xiaomi has decided to keep it all digital.

I’m also really glad that Xiaomi hasn’t jumped on the notch bandwagon because I personally like the balanced “forehead” and “chin”. It definitely would be even nicer if Xiaomi had gone and fitted those two spots with front-facing stereo speakers. Other than that, the front of the device just houses the speaker, 13MP selfie camera, selfie flash and sensors.

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 5

As for the rear, you’re probably going to be bored of hearing this by now but the Redmi Note 5 takes cues from the iPhone X, especially when it comes to the dual camera placement. Putting that little fact aside, the slightly curved back and edges of the aluminium body make the Redmi Note 5 a joy to hold albeit being a little slippery, which is why the bundled ultra-slim case is a much welcomed addition. Located right smack in the middle of the rear is the fingerprint sensor and that’s about it.

The standard features are located around the familiar spots – extremely clicky and tactile volume rocker and power button on the right; hybrid SIM tray on the left; IR blaster and noise cancelling mic on the top and finally a micro USB port flanked by the 3.5mm headphone jack and single down-firing speaker.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5

Overall, there’s really not much to complain about the design of the Redmi Note 5 except for a few things. It’s comfortable to hold and feels extremely sturdy but is just a tad slippery.  It only has a single speaker but it’s loud and produces very clear sound with minimal distortion. My main gripe, why is this still using a micro USB port and not a USB Type-C port, Xiaomi?


Without a doubt, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 is possibly one of the best devices the company has launched this year and I'd recommend it in a heartbeat especially for users who are looking for a fairly inexpensive device that performs close to flagship levels.


The wait for the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 to arrive was definitely worth it. If you're looking for a real bang for your buck device, look no further.


  • Design & Build

  • Hardware

  • Software

  • Performance

  • Pricing & Value for Money


  • Loves tech but loves gaming and writing more. Is on a constant journey to learn new things and being a tech writer is his current new thing.

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