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Xiaomi smartphones are well-known for their capable performance and high-end specifications at pocket friendly price-point. The brand has managed to create a good presence and a huge following in the Indian market in a very short time period.
Xiaomi predominantly operates in mid-segment and budget price segment where company's Mi series and Redmi handsets give a tough competition to other Chinese brands and Indian smartphone makers.
Xiaomi recently announced that it is now the top selling smartphone brand from China in India and this is certainly one of shining moments for the brand. The company has released the Redmi Y1 and Y1 Lite just last month in the sub-12K price range and has today announced a new budget handset for price conscious Indian consumers.
Aimed at first time smartphone users, Redmi 5A brings some notable features at a pocket friendly price-point. The budget smartphone is backed by Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset and sports a 5-inch HD screen. It will be available in 2GB+16GB (RAM-ROM) and 3GB+32GB (RAM-ROM) variants at Rs. 5,999 and Rs. 6,999 respectively. Xiaomi will sell the 2GB RAM variant for Rs. 4,999 for the first five million units.
So let's go ahead with the first impression and try to figure how well has the device been optimized.
Specifications: Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 at an entry-level chipset
MediaTek chipsets have been a popular choice for manufacturers at budget price-point however; Xiaomi has always tried to offer better overall specs when compared to its competitors. The same can be said for the new budget Redmi 5A. The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 quad-core processor clocked at 1.4Ghz. The handset will be available in 2GB and 3GB RAM variants with 16GB and 32GB internal memory options respectively.
And for the first time, Xiaomi has provided a dedicated microSD card slot that can expand the internal memory by up to 128 GB. Redmi Y1 runs Android Nougat 7.0 out-of-the-box with company's MIUI customized user interface. The smartphones has a 13MP rear with a single LED flash. The front camera is a MP snapper and unlike several basic smartphones it lacks the front flash. The device has a 3,000mAh battery.
Design: Compact design that is also functional
Redmi 5A has a metal uni-body design and is quite compact. The design is very similar in looks to the Xiaomi Redmi Y1 boasting similar rounded edges on the sides. The design has very few differences which include the position of the speaker grill, addition of an extra tray and the missing fingerprint sensor.
The front panel of the device comprises of three touch capacitive buttons which are respectively for switching to home screen, to previous screen and for multitasking. The front camera along with the earpiece and ambient light sensors rests on top.
The volume rockers and lock/unlock toggle are on the right side edge while the SIM tray along with memory card slot is on the left side. The rear panel of the handset has the primary camera at the top left corner with LED flash right next to it. The speaker grill lies at the base of the rear panel while the micro USB 2.0 port is at the base edge. The top edge houses the 3.5 mm audio jack.
Redmi A5 offers a very comfortable grip and comes in a very compact form factor. This makes it easy to hold in hands and use with one hand as well.
5.0-inch HD IPS LCD display
Xiaomi Redmi 5A boasts a 5-inch HD screen. The 720p panel is bright and is very touch responsive. If you are making a switch from a basic phone to a smartphone, you will like the overall display performance on the new Redmi 5A. The screen is bright and colours look punchy. If you are an avid reader, you can activate Read Mode, which prevents eye fatigue by reducing the amount of blue light emitted by the screen.
Camera: Responds well in low light conditions
For imaging, Xiaomi Redmi 5A sports a 13 megapixel rear camera that comes equipped with PDAF. The phase detection auto focus in this price-point is a good addition and offers fast-focusing speeds, which can be noticed while capturing images.
The handset has a 5MP front camera that comes with Beautify mode for selfies. The front facing camera responds quite well given the price point Xiaomi is selling the new handset. The pictures are a bit over saturated however, exposure is maintained quite well. The camera app also has several filters for the front camera and it also gets the beauty mode.
The rear camera is not too well-performing and a frame drop is easily detected even in well lit conditions. Most of the images lack optimum amount of detailing. The low light performance of both front and rear camera is not something to be relied upon but at this low price-point, the performance is still one of the best-in-class.
Performance: Quick multitasking!
The 1.4 Ghz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 gives the Redmi 5A an edge over its competitors. The device offers a fluent multitasking experience.
The performance is glitch free when it comes to multitasking and switching between apps, however, expecting the smartphone to offer a performance similar to Redmi Y1 and Y1 Lite would be an injustice to it. The smartphone runs on Android 7.1.2 with Xiaomi's MIUI 9.1 stable version that dis not show any performance issues in my brief stint with the handset.
Conclusion: Reliable device for a humble price point!
The Redmi 5A is a reliable and budget smartphone. It offer smooth multitasking and is very handy to use and hold. It comes in a compact size and offers seamless performance.
The device is targeted at users who wish to buy a cheap yet well performing smartphone. This has always been Xiaomi's strong game and there is slim to no chance that the device will fail to grab attention.