The Redmi Note 5 lands in Indonesia this month. Malaysian launch happening soon?

The Redmi Note series has always been the defacto choice for anyone looking for a value for money smartphone under RM1,000. The next iteration, the Redmi Note 5 (also known as the Redmi Note 5 Pro in India) is finally making its way to more countries.

The device will be launching in Indonesia in the next two weeks and it is an indication that it could be hitting Malaysia very soon.

Xiaomi’s Global Director of Product Management and Marketing, Donovan Sung, has tweeted that the Redmi Note 5 will land in Indonesia on the 18 April. There are no details of the specs so it isn’t clear if we are getting the China or India version.

So is it Redmi Note 5 or Redmi Note 5 Pro? It can be confusion since Xiaomi uses different model names for different market. To recap, Xiaomi in China had launched the Redmi 5 and Redmi 5 Plus in December last year. Two months later, Mi India had announced the Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro. If you look at the specs, the Redmi Note 5 in India is essentially the same phone that’s sold as the Redmi 5 Plus in China.

After that, Xiaomi China has introduced their own Redmi Note 5, which is actually similar to the Redmi Note 5 Pro that’s sold in India but with some notable differences.

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The Chinese Redmi Note 5 has a 12MP f/1.9 + 5MP dual camera setup and it gets a 13MP f/2.2 front camera. Meanwhile, the Indian Redmi Note 5 Pro also gets a 12MP + 5MP dual-camera combo but the main camera has a smaller f/2.2 aperture. However, it gets a higher resolution 20MP f/2.2 selfie shooter. Another difference is the OS whereby the Chinese Redmi Note 5 runs on Android 8.0 Oreo, while the Indian Redmi Note 5 Pro is still on Android 7.1.2 Nougat.

The rest of the specs are the same for both versions. You get a 5.99″ Full HD display in an 18:9 aspect ratio and it runs on a more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor that’s mated up to 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. There’s also a 4GB RAM + 64GB storage variant and in China, there’s an even lower 3GB RAM + 32GB storage option. Both versions are powered by a 4,000mAh battery which charges via microUSB.

If you can’t wait to get your hands on one, DirectD has started selling imported Chinese units of the Redmi Note 5. The 3GB RAM + 32GB storage variant is going for RM899 while the 4GB RAM + 64GB storage model is offered at RM999. The highest spec 6GB RAM + 64GB storage is going for RM1,199. DirectD has highlighted that these devices are running on China ROM with PlayStore preinstalled.

Which variant would you prefer? The Indian version with a 20MP selfie camera or the Chinese version that has a brighter f/1.9 lens for its main 12MP camera? Let us know in the comments below.

Alexander Wong