Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus in for review

The Xiaomi Redmi 5 phones, announced at the beginning of December, are among the first in the company portfolio to have 18:9 ratio screens (along with the flagship Mi Mix 2). Xiaomi fans commented after the launch that they will hold back purchases until the Redmi Note 5 arrives, but surprisingly it is already in for review with a different name – Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus.

Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus in for review

When preparing for the successor of the Redmi Note 4, Xiaomi went with the saying “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” motto. The Redmi 5 Plus has similar looking specs – a power-efficient Snapdragon 625 chipset inside, the same as the Redmi Note 4. The overall design is also very similar with one main difference – a tall screen with 18:9 ratio with more room for browsing and videos.

HDR Off 18:9
HDR On 18:9

HDR Off 18:9 • HDR On 18:9

HDR Off 4:3
HDR On 4:3

HDR Off 4:3 • HDR On 4:3

When shooting pictures in 18:9 mode, one-third of the height is cropped. Any camera-loving smartphone user would stick to the standard 4:3 ratio over the trendy one since the quality stays the same, but you get a bigger picture with more pixels.

Another feature that might be annoying for some is the micro-USB port and the measly 10W charger included in the box. It’s high time all phone makers move to a single port standard and if USB-C is universally better, while hold off the transition for yet another year.

PIP Mode is easily moved
PIP Mode is easily moved
Lack of trio soft keys gives more room to web pages
Lack of trio soft keys gives more room to web pages

PIP Mode is easily moved • Lack of trio soft keys gives more room to web pages

While pinch-to-fullscreen feature in the YouTube app might not be available on the Redmi 5 Plus, we have to point out the picture-in-picture mode works perfectly fine, provided you are playing the clip with the native browser.

Videos are running on a different player, not the default one. That way you get swipe controls for brightness and volume and a convenient button for the picture to pop out for the PIP mode.

The MIUI 9 Settings can hide the trio of soft buttons. This is when the full power of 18:9 screen is unleashed, and you have more screen for reading. The keys are easily reachable with a single swipe up from the lowest part of the display.

Xiaomi Redmi 5 • Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus

The Redmi 5 Plus costs between $150 and $195 in China and will sport a similar price tag around the world. Being so affordable and sticking to the basic specs, the phone is poised to become a hit. But will it live up to the expectations we have for a successor to the globally available Redmi Note 4? Stay around to find out in our full review.

Special thanks to HonorBuy for providing the review unit.

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