Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 review: A masterclass in budget phone-making

Intro

I think, if you’ve been reading our site, you already know that Xiaomi’s really good at making cheap phones. Yes, they do make some solid flagship devices for incredibly attractive prices, but I’ve always found that they’re at their best in the affordable mid range segment.

Best phone under RM1,000? For me — for as long as I’ve been writing tech — the answer was always Redmi Note. This year, their champion in this increasingly competitive segment of the market is called the Redmi Note 5 and I’m here to help you find out if it’s still the one true king.

It may seem obvious, but I will still say that Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 5 is the best Redmi Note handset the company has made so far. And I say that not only because it is an improvement over its predecessor, but also because it exceeds the conventional expectations for a smartphone refresh.

If we’re talking about a by-the-books update in the Redmi Note line I usually turn to the Redmi Note 4. Yes, it was a serviceable update, but I didn’t think it did much to raise the bar.

This latest Redmi Note device changes that, and I still find it quite hard to believe you can get such a capable smartphone for less than RM1,000.

At least, I would if Xiaomi didn’t have a killer competitor on the horizon.

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