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Xiaomi Redmi 5A Unboxing, First Impressions: Best Under 5K Phone Available?

Bang for the buck!

If you haven’t heard, Xiaomi is back in the Philippines, and to celebrate their return the company will be selling the Redmi 5A budget phone later today in Lazada. Xiaomi’s past devices have always been high on the specs-to-price ratio, but the Redmi 5A is possibly the best deal you can get if you’re looking for a budget device. With the Redmi 5A going on sale later, let’s take a look at what you’re getting if you do decide to pull the trigger.

Xiaomi Redmi 5A specs

  • 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 Quad-Core Processor
  • Adreno 308 GPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB storage, expandable up to 128GB via microSD
  • 5.0-inch HD IPS display
  • 13.0-megapixel f/2.2 rear camera and LED flash
  • 5.0-megapixel, f/2.0 front camera
  • Dual-SIM, 4G LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS/A-GPS/GLONASS, IR Blaster
  • Android Nougat with MIUI 9
  • 3000mAh battery

Packaging and contents

The Redmi 5A comes in Xiaomi’s bright red packaging that’s been standard for their Redmi line of budget phones for a while now. Once you open the box, you’ll see that Xiaomi doesn’t really add a lot of freebies with their devices, as the box only has the manual, phone USB cable and USB charger.

There’s no pre-applied screen protector nor is there a freebie silicon case or even headphones in the box.

Initial impressions: price to spec ratio is off the charts

Because of its budget nature, the Redmi 5A isn’t as flashy as other more expensive phones. It’s evident Xiaomi cut a few corners in material use to keep the price down. The most obvious concession is the major use of plastic in the body. The phone’s finish (grey in our case) tries to approximate the look of metal but you’ll easily see that the Redmi 5A uses a plastic body as soon as you pick it up.

The phone has curved sides and rounded corners, and while the design of the phone isn’t bad, it’s a tad uninspired. That’s not a big thing though, as its intended audience probably won’t care too much about the exterior of the phone – it’s what’s inside that’s important to them.

The phone’s 13-megapixel rear camera is tucked in the upper left side of the phone’s rear, flanked on the left side by a single LED flash. Power and volume rocker is on the right, while the SIM slot and microSD slots are on the left. The Redmi 5A uses dedicated slots for both SIM and microSD storage, so you can have two SIMs active at the same time as well as additional storage.

The phone uses a typical 5-inch, HD IPS display on the front, and the phone’s chin holds the physical Android navigation keys.

The phone still sports Android Nougat with Xiaomi’s MIUI 9 layered on top, but the good news is the phones sold in the Philippines will all have the Google Play built-in. Finally, no need for work-arounds for China ROMs.

Inside the Redmi 5A sits Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 425 processor paired with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. Now while the overall RAM and storage options are a bit low, you’re getting what is essentially a mid-range processor in a device that’s sub 5K in price. The Snapdragon 425 processor is used by smartphones that have almost double the price of the Redmi 5A which also sometimes have worse specs in comparison.

In addition, the Snapdragon 425 processor is also a capable chipset when it comes to mobile gaming. You won’t be playing graphics-intensive games on high settings obviously, but you’ll be able to eek out higher than average frames when compared to the offerings of other brands at the same price point.

Xiaomi is pricing the Redmi 5A in the Philippines at Php 4,590 via Lazada, though today’s flash sale (which starts at 12nn) reduces the price of the phone down to Php 4,390. If that wasn’t enough, if you use Lazada’s e-wallet you get a Php 300 cashback, effectively reducing the price of the phone to just Php 4,090. That’s the best deal in town for a phone with the Redmi 5A’s specs, so go on ahead and check this page later to buy your Redmi 5A through the official Mi Store in Lazada.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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5 Comments

  1. The Snapdragon 425 processor is used by smartphones that have almost double the price of the Redmi 5A which also sometimes have worse specs in comparison. — Well said.

  2. That 2gb RAM just won’t cut it. Then again, i don’t think this is aimed towards mobile gamers oromultitaskers. It’s cheap, which might be nice, but it just doesn’t do enough to make a big splash. Especially for a company who wants to reintroduce themselves to the PH market.

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