First things first. There is not much that significantly differentiates Redmi 5A from its popular predecessor, Redmi 4A. Most specs remain the same. For the detail-devils, to be fair, there is a not-so-noticeable change in size. Redmi 5A is sleeker and thinner than the 4A. And the overall performance has improved by some notches.

That said, Redmi 5A is the best in its class and can easily and arguably be the best in a long time to come given its price and specs. Yes, there is a mad race in the budget smartphone space with almost all players, including Lenovo, Asus, Oppo, among others, investing heavily in producing super-low-cost phones to tap the super-bottom of the pyramid. And Xiaomi continues its dominance in the crowd with Redmi 5A.

The phone sports impressive specs for the price. It has a five-inch HD display. The 13 MP rear camera is equipped with the so-called PDAF (phase detection auto focus) technology, which makes focussing easier and faster. It has the five-element lens with ƒ/2.2 aperture, single LED flash, low-light enhancement features, HDR mode, face recognition and even real-time filters. The front camera is 5 MP. Both cameras work just fine. The rear lens captures images faster, but in our experience the video has beaten the still hands down. Redmi 5A shoots full HD images with élan and the output is vivid and detailed. The camera runs smooth even while capturing moving images and focuses without much effort. Frankly, for a low-cost smartphone, this becomes a super impressive faculty. The audio output is not loud enough, but it is crisp and clear. That being said, the selfie camera could do with improvements. Close-ups come out blurred and weak. I’m sure budget phone users deserve a better deal than this one. Granted, those who want Redmi 5A as their pet second phone for emergency needs and so on may not worry about the inefficient selfie lens, still a selfie is a selfie and everyone has the right to a good one!

The screen supports 1280 x 720 resolution, and the display looks warmer than usual. We loved that, but some may not be happy with it and may want a brighter ambience. Redmi 5A has an efficient though non-removable 3,000 mAh battery and a quad-core Snapdragon 425 (Adreno 308 500MHz), aided by 2 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage. It has a dual sim facility with a dedicated microSD slot. It even supports VoLTE technology.

The phone comes in three colours — gold, rose gold and dark grey — and weighs just about 137 grams. The body is all plastic, though. The back cover’s metal looks may betray your eyes, but don’t fret about it much; the body looks and feels solid, with the edges giving enough grip and comfort. Redmi 5A comes preloaded with all those popular Mi apps including Mi Drop.

The phone works well with moderately heavy games as well. If you have those racing and slashing games in mind, this won’t disappoint you. Of course, you are wise enough to wish beyond those levels. In sum, Redmi 5A is all set to repeat and better the success of the Redmi 4A.

Price: ₹4,999 (₹5,999 without offer)

Pros: Performance, video recording

Cons: Poor quality front camera, plastic body prone to damage