Xiaomi has been defined by many as the Chinese Apple. This name derives from the attention to detail that Xiaomi puts into every product it sells. This aspect can be found both in the top-end smartphone but also in entry-level devices. this is the case of the new Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A, a smartphone marketed a few weeks ago by the Chinese company. We have tried it and here we propose the review of Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A.
Review of Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A
What distinguishes the latest smartphone from Xiaomi's Redmi Note range is the highly contained price, aided by a particularly refined design and hardware in line with its market segment. In recent weeks I have had the opportunity to test it in depth and in this article I would like to share my considerations with you.
Design and sales package
Let's start the review of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A starting from the design. As this is a smartphone that has not been officially marketed in Europe and America, the sales package of Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A is mainly written in Chinese. Inside we find the bare essentials, as is the tradition for oriental telephones. in fact, in addition to the smartphone, there is only the 5V / 2A wall charger (with Chinese socket) and a charging cable. A pair of earphones are missing, which must be purchased separately.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A comes with a 5.5 ″ display. Not a borderless model, therefore the two bands above and below the display contain the front camera (from ben 16MP), various sensors (proximity, brightness) and touch keys to control the operating system (home, back and multitasking). Beside the camera was also placed a comfortable one RGB led which lights up to indicate the presence of new notifications.
The side frame and the back cover (not removable) not entirely made of polycarbonate. Although the work done almost gives the feeling of holding an aluminum device. On the right side the volume rocker and the power button have been positioned. On the opposite side there is the SIM trolley, which can contain two nano SIM plus a microSD card. At the top there is the 3.5mm jack input while at the bottom the system speaker, the microphone and the charging input, in microUSB format.
Beautiful the rounded effect that gives a feeling of continuity between the side frame and the back cover. The two antennae bands create symmetry on the back, where we find a fingerprint sensor and one 13MP room with flash LED. In general, the smartphone holds itself well in the hand and, despite the curvature of the edges, it is never slippery. More work could have been done on the side frames to make it more compact, but currently no company has presented borderless devices for the entry-level market.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A comes with an octa-core processor, to be precise, one Snapdragon 435 with 1.4GHz clock frequency. The graphic part is instead managed by Adreno 505 GPU. To this we must add well 3GB of RAM, which make the experience of using the smartphone very pleasant. ROM memory from 32GB with the possibility of extending it to 128GB with a microSD.
In all the most common activities I have not encountered any kind of problem. Internet browsing, the use of social networks and messaging apps do not create slowdowns or even sporadic lags. Websites that are very heavy like the courier, open in desktop mode, have had no difficulty opening up and even during the loading of the scroll of the fluid result page. Furthermore the 3GB of RAM are well exploited and allow to keep in memory the last applications used.
Loading times increase if you need to start an application or a game that requires more performance. Nothing that makes the experience of use frustrating. Also because at the end of the upload, the applications can be used with pleasure. For example, a game like Real Racing 3 it took about 45 seconds to start up (time needed to get to the main game screen). But once it was completed, I didn't experience any slowing down during the game (neither block nor micro lag, which instead were present in other entry-level smartphones that I was able to test). Certainly the stability of the system given by the excellent work carried out by Xiaomi engineers, who were able to optimize the operating system to the characteristics of the device.
As for the reception, I consider it the best on a smartphone of this category. present the band 20, so you don't have any problems with LTE networks. Where with other smartphones I had 2/3 notches of LTE signal, with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A the signal is always full. Furthermore the network speed can go up to 300Mb in download and 150Mb in upload. The presence of the Times, ie the possibility of making calls using the LTE network (this turns into a better call quality). The fingerprint sensor is fast and accurate. The unlocking of the phone takes place in a fraction of a second and in the test performed it worked 10 times out of 10, never creating problems with the release.
The display, as mentioned above, one 5.5 "IPS unit with HD resolution. In some graphic details, such as the small colored icons that indicate the presence of status bar notifications, there is a lack of Full HD on such a large display. But in daily use this limit does not create any kind of problem. The colors are bright and vivid and have been calibrated to faithfully reproduce the images. The whites do not turn n towards blue n towards yellow, a symptom of a good calibration of the display. The blacks, on the other hand, being not absolute like on an Amoled, if they are cut they are well managed and never fade too much, resulting in a grayish color.
In general I was particularly pleased with the display, which is appreciated above all by the excellent interface of the MIUI (the operating system of Xiaomi), which in all screens has bright and intense colors. Too bad for the lack of Full HD resolution, which would certainly have given an extra touch to this sector. Good automatic brightness management using the appropriate environmental sensor. On the other hand, it is worth mentioning the possibility of manually adjusting color and contrast temperature, being able to choose in the first case warm, natural or cold colors while in the second case an automatic contrast, emphasized or normal. My advice is to leave these settings unchanged, as the default values are more than excellent.
Finally, reading mode makes it possible to make the colors of the display warmer during the evening. This allows you to rest your eyes and not fatigue them when using the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A in the presence of low light. This setting can be activated manually, at set times or from sunset to sunrise.
The operating system of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A the well-known MIUI, based on Android 7.1.1, present in this smartphone in its latest version: MIUI 9. On this aspect we need to make a small introduction. Since it is not marketed outside of China, the operating system can be set up either in Chinese or in English. Furthermore, there are many applications or services that can only be used in the eastern territory. But if you know the Xiaomi world well, you will know that in Europe there are active communities, officially recognized by Xiaomi, that deal with translating the operating system and integrating all Google services such as the Play Store. In Italy we have the privilege of having one of the first Xiaomi communities, MIUI Italia.
This necessary premise and served to explain that when you receive the smartphone, the first operation to be performed is to install the MIUI rom in Italian and with all the integrated Google services. Before doing this to unlock the bootloader. To do this, read this guide.
When I received the device to review Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A, I immediately installed MIUI 9 in Italian. Having also used the Chinese language, I can assure you that the whole philosophy of Xiaomi is maintained, with the additional removal of unusable services in Italy.
If you have never used MIUI, it might start off a bit at first. I men and the graphical interface was completely customized with respect to Android stock. There is no app menu, which is all located on the home screen as it is on the iPhone. The objective of this review is not to make an examination of MIUI. I would like to highlight the fluidity on this device. Among the most interesting features I found the possibility of duplicate applications, so that you can use them with two different accounts. For example, by duplicating the WhatsApp app, we could have the well-known active chat service with two different numbers on the same smartphone.
After trying the device to perform this review of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A, I would like to tell you about a problem you might encounter using MIUI. To ensure longer battery life, many applications do not work in the background. This involves not receiving some notifications. The operating system should automatically recognize which apps are so aggressive and which ones are not. For example, I didn't encounter any problems with WhatsApp. On Telegram instead I never received notifications. Therefore, I had to go into Settings -> Notifications -> Manage notifications and enable pop-up and lock screen notifications for all essential apps. Also I had to enable their background update by going to Settings -> Battery -> Manage app battery usage -> Choose apps and selecting for each app "No limitation".
The multimedia sector is another aspect that impressed me positively. Listening to the music is pleasant and the volume output by the only speaker positioned at the bottom is very high. Lacks bass but normal for audio with a single speaker. Even the digital-to-analog converter that manages the jack output works well and the quality with remarkable high-end headphones.
Perfect audio on call. I have always heard the interlocutor well, who in turn confirmed to me the kindness of the microphone. Xiaomi has been able to do a good job in this sector, making the device complete and perfectly usable even in the basic functions of the phone. Good video playback. Too bad for the lack of a screen with higher resolution, which would have made the multimedia sector excellent.
This review of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A allows you to highlight the two good front and rear cameras. The 16MP of the front one I think are only for marketing purposes. The quality in fact, although good, is not very high. Certainly above the average of the category, but does not reach the quality of the rear cameras of equal resolution.
Fast focus of the rear camera, which handles colors well in bright conditions. Instead, with little light the shots start to lose a bit of detail. If you make a little zoom, in these lighting conditions the photos are grainy in some places. In general the shots are good to be shared on social networks or with a messaging app, A little less if you want to take a souvenir photo, unless the lighting conditions are perfect.
The battery mounted on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A from 3080mAh. It will be the resolution of the display or the optimization of the operating system, but the duration that can be achieved is truly remarkable. With a stress use you can arrive safely at the end of the day with still remaining charge.
Using the phone softly (using social media and chat), you can safely cover two days instead. The operating system allows to manage the behavior of apps and services in a granular way, to reduce waste and have greater autonomy. For the less experienced I do not recommend going into these aspects to avoid notifications problems. The most savvy, on the other hand, can maximize the performance of the smartphone even from the energy point of view.
The review of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A ended, and in summary we can say that this is a device that has impressed me and convinced me from different points of view. Excellent system performance and fluidity. The multimedia sector above the category average. Too bad for the display, which though valid could have offered more, but in this price range more than satisfactory.
If after this review of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A the device has convinced you and you're interested in buying, Amazon can get it for the price of 95.