As is the trend, when a company launches two smartphones as siblings, they come with few but important differences that alter their respective user experiences. Last month, Xiaomi brought two smartphones in India under its Redmi brand – Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro – at a starting price of Rs 9,999 and Rs 13,999 respectively.
Both phones look identical with the only telling difference of the respective camera setups at the back – conventional single-lens camera for the Redmi Note 5 and the trendier dual camera arrangement for the Redmi Note 5 Pro. Furthermore, the Note 5 Pro comes with Qualcomm’s latest-gen Snapdragon 636 mid-range processor while its sibling comes with the Snapdragon 625 processor. Both are octa-core chipsets with the highest clock speed of 1.8 GHz for the Snapdragon 636 and 2.0 GHz for the Snapdragon 625.
Benchmark Scores and Real World Performance Experience
The Redmi Note 5 Pro completely outperforms the Note 5 when it comes to the benchmark scores. The Pro’s 3D Mark scores (which tests a phone’s GPU for its overall graphic producing capability) is 1,466 points against the Note 5’s comparatively uninspiring 851 points. The Geekbench 4 scores are also in favor of the Note 5 Pro with the single-core score of 1,330 points and the multi-core score of 4,903 points. In comparison, the Note 5 earned 877 points for the single-core and 4,325 points for the multi-core.
As far as the benchmarks are concerned, the Redmi Note 5 Pro destroyed the Redmi Note 5 quite convincingly.
Coming to the real thing – the real world performance – things weren’t as convincingly in favor of the Redmi Note 5 Pro. It seems that, so far, the only visible advantage of the 636 over 625 is in the power efficiency. In our experience, the Note 5 Pro went on to use only 6% of its battery during 30 minutes of gaming while the Note 5 used up to 10% for the same task in the same time frame.
Other than that, it would be hard to tell the difference between the two phones in terms of which one is faster than the other. The loading time of several apps and switching between them delivers virtually the same experience on the two smartphones. In fact, it is mostly impossible to tell them apart when it comes to smoothness or the lack of it while navigating the Home screen or moving around inside an app. For example, scrolling the Facebook page on both the phones is equally jittery. Another interesting observation was that the Redmi Note 5 Pro tends to use more cache memory for the same amount of apps and usage – Closing the bulk of similar apps would show the Note 5 Pro clearing more amount of memory.
We are still to use the Pro variant as a long-term phone, so the experience that we have got till now might very well change. It would be interesting to see how the Snapdragon 636 chipset performs in terms of consistency over a period of time as well as in terms of overall battery life.
Running a graphic-heavy game like the Asphalt 8 (car racing) surprisingly brought similar experiences on the two devices. We were actually expecting the Note 5 Pro to outperform the Note 5 in this department due to the better Adreno 509 GPU (compared to Note 5’s Adreno 506). But the two Xiaomi siblings were quite leveled and delivered mostly acceptable experiences. We would actually say that given the better GPU on the Note 5 Pro, it should have done better, and hence, it was a disappointment to see it perform only as good as the Note 5. While the overall gameplay experience was smooth enough, we did experience 1-2 seconds of random lags while navigating between game menus on both the handsets.
Watch our detailed Gaming & Performance comparison video of Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro:
Given that the Redmi Note 5 is Rs 2,000 cheaper (at Rs 11,999) than the Redmi Note 5 Pro (at Rs 13,999) for the 4 GB RAM variant, we would suggest that the Redmi Note 5 is a better choice since it delivers virtually the same performance as its supposedly smarter sibling. Unless, someone wants a dual camera setup there is no hardcore reason to spend 2,000 Rs extra. However, there is a 6 GB RAM variant as well of the Redmi Note 5 Pro available at Rs 16,999, if one is willing to spend, and this one shall definitely be convincingly faster and smoother.