Xiaomi has created a cult of followers in India and recently snatched Samsung’s crown as the biggest smartphone seller in the country. This reputation is something that Xiaomi has earned by incessantly producing – and also deserves the credit for starting the trend – smartphones with great specs at prices that do much more than intrigue, and its latest budget smartphone – the Redmi Note 5 Pro – is perfectly in line.
However, the demand for the device is so high that units get wiped out of stock at every flash sale within a few seconds. Now, while Xiaomi has promised to add more stock, it has hiked the price of the device by an extra Rs. 1,000, which might come off as a blow to prospective consumers. And that’s not all. While there is certainly a lot to love about the device, the lack of USB-C, its iPhone X-inspired looks, and MIUI based on Android Nougat; all might be a deal breaker for most of you out there.
Well, if you’re looking to step aside from Xiaomi’s latest budget smartphone, here are our suggestions for smartphones that could be good alternatives for the Redmi Note 5 Pro
Top 7 Redmi Note 5 Pro Alternatives
1. Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1
One of the best alternatives to the Redmi Note 5 Pro is the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1. Launched recently, the Asus ZenFone Max Pro’s design is quite similar to Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 5 and Note 5 Pro, especially from the front, thanks to the 18:9 display and similarly sized bezels. The Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 features a 5.99-inch Full HD+ (2160 x 1080) display, with decent brightness and color reproduction. Under the hood, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 comes with the Octa-core Snapdragon 636 processor with up to 4 GB RAM and up to 64 GB storage.
The Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 is the first Asus smartphone to feature stock Android, and this one comes with Android Oreo 8.1 out-of-the-box. The Max Pro M1 comes with a massive 5,000 mAh battery and well, it lasts long. As for the camera, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 comes with a 13 MP f/2.2 primary camera along with a secondary 5 MP camera sensor for depth shots. For its price, the Max Pro M1 does seem to pack in a decent dual camera setup. There also an upgraded 16MP shooter on the 6GB RAM variant of the device, so users can look into that as well.
Buy: (starts at ₹10,999)
2. Honor 7X
Upgraded from the last year’s Honor 6X, the Honor 7X is a device worthy of your attention, especially if you’re on a tight budget but looking for a device with a versatile camera. Honor’s parent company Huawei was among the first brands to experiment with dual cameras and the Honor 7X gets an advantage here. Honor’s custom UI, EMUI 5.1, is a good blend of best features from stock Android and highly customized ROMs like Xiaomi’s MIUI and offers them without demanding too many resources.
The device comes in striking colors and is powered by Huawei’s own Kirin 659 which on paper is more powerful than the Snapdragon 636 in the Redmi Note 5 Pro. One drawback with Honor devices is the issue of slow updates which reach devices months after the company releases them – which in itself is a slow process. Moreover, some apps just throw tantrums while working on Honor and Huawei phones and it appears to be the case of lack of support. Overall, I believe Honor has an edge over Xiaomi in terms of camera, while Xiaomi has better support from the third-party developer community and its support for fast-charging.
3. Nokia 6 (2018)
While the Nokia 6 (2017) was rather underwhelming, due to the underpowered 400-series Snapdragon processor, come 2018, and HMD Global has brought about a refresh to the Nokia 6. Dubbed the Nokia 6 (2018), the smartphone is a major overhaul in the department of hardware, while maintaining the same build quality as last year’s smartphone. The Nokia 6 packs in Snapdragon 630 octa-core processor, along with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage.
Apart from that, the Nokia 6 packs in some decent camera specs as well. It comes with a 16MP f/2.0 primary shooter along with an 8MP f/2.0 selfie camera, all with ZEISS branding. Also, while the Redmi Note 5 Pro comes with MIUI based on the older Android Nougat 7.0, the Nokia 6 comes with Android Oreo 8.1 out of the box. Furthermore, the device is part of the Android One initiative and supports Project Treble, so future Android updates shouldn’t be an issue.
4. Honor 9 Lite
From the first glance itself, Honor 9 Lite leaves the impression of a much more premium device that it actually is and its glazed glass back makes it look superior to any other phone in its range. It features a 5.65-inch display with an 18:9 aspect ratio and the same Full HD+ resolution as the Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro which have 5.9-inch screens. It means that the Honor 9 Lite’s screen is slightly more detailed and the smaller size makes it easier to grab and operate with a single hand.
The biggest highlight of the Honor 9 Lite is that it features dual-camera setups on both front and rear so that your selfies are as centered around you as those bokeh shots using the rear camera. It uses the same chipset as the Honor 7X but officially supports Huawei’s proprietary Super Charge technology which is just a fancy name for fast charging. Moreover, the device has already received Android Oreo which is yet to come to the Redmi Note 5 Pro, but as mentioned earlier, there is no guarantee over future updates.
5. Xiaomi Mi A1
The Redmi Note 5 Pro has to face some of the fiercest competing forces from its cousin wearing the stock Android robe. The Mi A1 has already been proved as one of the best-selling smartphones in India and is powerful enough to compel you to give a second thought before cementing your decision of buying a Redmi Note 5 Pro. While both phones are pretty identical in their outer design, the Mi A1 scores its first point because of the USB Type-C port it bears. In my opinion, the camera module on the Redmi Note 5 Pro appears oddly thrown while the design from the back is more attractive on the Mi A1.
The equation changes when you turn the device over as the 18:9 screen on the Note 5 Pro clearly beats the last year’s fad of a 16:9 screen on Mi A1. An area where the Mi A1 regains its lead over the Note 5 Pro – at least for now – is the camera which we found to be decent on the latter but not as great as the one on Mi A1. Moreover, while Mi A1 packs an older processor, the stock Android should be able to take some stress off its nerves and you might not feel a significant difference, even while playing heavy games. You can read our detailed comparison between the Redmi Note 5 Pro and Mi A1.
6. Redmi Note 5
Another alternative to the Redmi Note 5 Pro you could consider is its sibling, slightly lower in power but equally proficient. The Redmi Note 5 is the true successor to the Redmi Note 4 which was the best-selling smartphone in India last year and you can find many similarities in form of the shape. While both – Note 5 and Note 5 Pro – share the same dimensions and screen size, the Redmi Note 5 is lighter on your pocket.
The Note 5 carries a single rear camera but they have the same primary sensor, so you can expect nearly the same photography acumen from both devices – if you can overlook the absence of the bokeh mode. Surprisingly, the camera app on Redmi Note 5 supports 4K video recording which is missing on the Note 5 Pro, which is probably to prevent the onboard chipset – Snapdragon 636 – from heating up. Moreover, having a slightly less powerful processor means that the Note 5 will offer a better battery than the Note 5 Pro. So, you can take your call based on your preferences.
7. Xiaomi Mi Max 2
If you savor a bigger battery and wider screen than the Redmi Note 5, the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 should be able to more than meet your eyes. The phablet features a 6.44-inch display and honestly with a screen that vast, aspect ratio of 16:9 would hardly compromise viewing. The full metal body will also bear with sudden and accidental drops. At the same time, the 5,300mAh battery can ensure long-lasting performance while the stereo speakers add special flavors to entertainment.
In terms of cameras, however, the Note 5 Pro is likely to outperform the Mi Max 2 which features a single 12MP sensor on the rear and a 5MP selfie snapper. On the software side, both devices have the same firmware and version of Android.
Xioami is reportedly working on an iteration to the phablet and we might soon witness the Mi Max 3, and earlier rumors peg hopes for a launch during MWC 2018. The updated device is likely to feature an 18:9 display along with dual cameras as well as a USB-C port. It is also expected to house a 5,500mAh battery and we will keep you updated about its details.
8. Moto G6 Plus (Upcoming)
Motorola’s popular lineup might have lost some sheen despite a transition from plastic to metal in the G5 series, but the company is looking to regain its prominence in the segment and is expected to unveil the Moto G6, Moto G6 Plus, and the Moto G6 Play models very soon. Much before the launch, leakster Andri Yatim has already shared most of the details about the device.
Resembling the Moto X4 in terms of the design, the Moto G6 Plus is likely to feature Snapdragon 630 along with the options of 3,4, and 6GB of RAM. It is also likely to come with an 18:9 screen and the same resolution as the Redmi Note 5 Pro. Based on the leaks, however, Moto doesn’t seem to be giving too much weightage to curved screen corners.
The device will feature Android Oreo out of the box and if you’re a sucker for stock, clutter-free Android, it should really appeal you. It could carry a 12MP+5MP camera configuration on the rear along with a 16-megapixel shooter for selfies. The price as per, the leakster would be ₹17,000 which is close to the Note 5 Pro. The metal body will be clad in at least five different metallic colors and the device can be chosen over Note 5 Pro if you prefer a more robust build and vanilla Android.
Which Redmi Note 5 Pro Alternative Do You Like?
The Redmi Note 5 Pro is clearly a strong performer for the price and we are hopeful that some of the glitches like the bland camera app or lack of support for Qualcomm’s Fast Charge are set right by a software update. But, if you’re not too pleased with the idea of still being stuck with Android Nougat or irked by flash sales which are blown out of proportion, you should consider one of the options listed above.
Meanwhile, you can check out Beebom’s take on the Redmi Note 5 Pro in the video below:
Tell us about your expectations with your smartphone, which device you are planning to buy, and also suggest possible additions to this list based on your opinions.