In the years it has been present in the market, Xiaomi has amassed a huge following of hardcore fans, and for good reason. Now with its return to the country, the Chinese brand hopes to expand their reach further and solidify its position as a market leader in affordable yet quality phones. They plan do just that with the Redmi 5a.
The Redmi 5a is every bit of your basic entry-level phone: it has a modest size perfect for one hand use, an aptly-sized 5-inch display, capacitive keys at the bottom bezel, and button and ports dispersed around its edges. It does look good for a phone in this category, though. For the most part, it has a plastic body coated with a metallic matte finish making it quite a looker. The phone is nice to hold and doesn’t feel flimsy at all.
If there’s one department we can all agree Xiaomi excels at, it’ll be the hardware department. A look at the specifications of the Redmi 5a will impress anyone. Running this phone is a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 chipset that is paired with 2 GB of RAM. This processing power is boosted by four cores to help efficiently run tasks and allow some gaming on the side. For storage of files, photos, videos, and other content, the Redmi 5a has a rather generous 16 GB of onboard storage—minus a few GB for operational data—and is expandable via a micro-SD slot
User Experience: 4.5/5
The Redmi 5a runs Android 7.1.2 Nougat and is overlaid with the brand’s very own MIUI 9.2. Though I’d prefer a vanilla Android experience, navigation on the Redmi 5a is snappy while processes are swift. I also thoroughly enjoyed playing around with its dedicated camera app which offers various fun filters and features that are useful for those who love to tinker with photos. For the front-facing camera, it has a Smart and Pro modes to intelligently beautify your portraits.
This is a small feature and quite unnoticeable, but I appreciate this phone’s LED indicator just beneath the home capacitive key. This lights up when your phone is topping up and dims when the battery level is at a hundred.
Quality specs and design, and honest pricing have always been part of the Xiaomi philosophy and all these ring true in the Redmi 5a. Affordable at PHP 4,590, this smartphone with its solid hardware and useful features make it fit for the entry-level smartphone king title.
Amazing smartphone under the 5k mark, it can’t get any better than this.
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE April 2018 Issue.
Reviewed by Mia Carisse Barrientos