Xiaomi launched the Redmi 5A smartphone in the Indian market in October 2017, priced at ₹6,990. For its launch, the Chinese brand tried to create a buzz by promoting the device as the “Desh ka Smartphone” to position itself favourably against other smartphones like the Karbonn A40 Indian and Micromax’s Bharat line, which were patriotically named to grab the attention of the masses.
Related: Best smartphones in India
However, the low price was only a limited-time offer, with a ₹1,000 discount on the lower-end model during the launch, which brought down the price of the Redmi 5A even further to ₹4,999. The Redmi 5A is available in two variants: 2GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage and 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, both having expandable storage up to 128GB via micro SD card.
Redmi 5A has achieved massive success in India, mainly because of Xiaomi’s competitive price tag. Lately, the Redmi has been compared with the Infinix Smart 2, launched in the Indian market in 2018 at a price tag of ₹5,999.
Can you be assured of quality and features if a smartphone is offered at such a low price? Let’s take a look.
Also read: Redmi Y1 Review
Redmi 5A Specifications
The Redmi 5A is a dual SIM (GSM and GSM) smartphone that accepts Nano-SIMs in both slots. The phone features a 5-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 720 X 1280 pixels at a 294 PPI (pixels per inch). The handset weighs 137 gm and measures 140.40 x 70.10 x 8.40 mm.
The smartphone is powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, paired with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage that can be expanded up to 256GB via a microSD card. The device runs on Android 7.1.2 and is fueled by a 3000mAh non-removable battery.
The Redmi 5A comes with a 5MP front camera for selfies and a 13MP primary camera on the rear. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, Infrared, USB OTG, FM, 3G and 4G, while sensors on the phone include a proximity sensor, accelerometer and ambient light sensor.
Also read: Redmi Note 4 Review
Redmi 5A Technical Features
Display Size: 5-inch touchscreen
Screen Resolution: 720 X 1280 pixels
Processor: 1.4GHz quad-core processor
RAM: 2GB RAM
Front Camera: 5MP
Rear Camera: 13MP
Redmi 5A Display and Looks
Xiaomi’s Redmi 5A has an all-plastic body that makes it look very cheap. The device comes with a 5-inch screen and the rest of the space is filled by plastic. To make the device look premium, the Chinese smartphone maker did give it a slight metallic finish on the rear, but that doesn’t work. However, I like how I could use this phone with a single hand for long hours, without any kind of discomfort, due to its manageable 137 gm weight, despite the 8.35mm thickness.
If you compare the Redmi 5A with the 4A, you’ll only find a difference of 1 mm here and there in the dimensions. The screen has a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. At this resolution, the images and text do look sharp. I didn’t face any difficulty in reading fine texts too. Due to sufficient brightness, the phone worked well outdoors too. However, you’ll be disappointed if you expect the colours to pop. Needless to say, that makes the screen looks dull.
Below the screen, the phone features capacitive navigation buttons. However, they aren’t backlit, which can be expected at this price range.
Performance and Battery
In terms of specifications too, Redmi 5A is very similar to the Redmi 4A. Just like the 4A, Redmi 5A has a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor clocked at 1.4GHz, which is pretty much expected at this price level. Redmi 4A has a hybrid dual-SIM arrangement, whereas 5A has a dedicated microSD card slot, which can be used to increase internal storage.
Redmi 5A runs on Android 7.1.2 with version 9 of Xiaomi’s custom MIUI skin on top, which is refreshing. However, Xiaomi has cut corners with the battery by reducing it from 3120mAh to 3000mAh.
In terms of cost and performance, I was highly impressed with the Redmi 5A. I used the phone for my day-to-day tasks like messaging, social media and web browsing, which was all very smooth. However, I was not very happy with the performance during heavy gaming. Also, I found slight stuttering when I switched apps.
Camera and Apps
In the photography department, the Redmi 5A features a 5MP selfie camera and a 13MP primary camera on the rear. If you are buying a smartphone with expectations of a good quality camera, don’t choose Redmi 5A. However, given its price tag, Xiaomi didn’t really have much choice apart from a mediocre camera. The colours were dull and the photos weren’t detailed. You’ll have to get the camera closer to capture some decent photos. And, at night or in low light, you might feel that you have definitely bought the wrong device since photo quality drops significantly. The beautification mode is set by default in the front camera, but it made my face look artificial.
Redmi 5A Price
The Redmi 5A is priced at ₹5,990 for the Indian market. This price can easily fit into the budgets of anyone interested in changing their current mobile device or investing in their first one.
Reasons Why I Like This Phone
- Good battery capacity
- Affordable price
- Decent performance
Reasons Why I Hate This Phone
- Mediocre camera
- Cheap-looking plastic body
- Navigation buttons aren’t backlit
No matter how Xiaomi pitches Redmi 5A, it can only be a good choice for someone who is buying a device on a tight budget. Anyone with an eye for quality won’t even look at this device, even if they have to pay a little extra for others.