Hands-On

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Hands-on: The new budget smartphone king?

The successor to the popular Redmi Note 4 doesn’t disappoint

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Xiaomi’s latest bang-for-buck phone is finally in my hands! Since its first appearance in India (as the Redmi Note 5 Pro), I immediately knew it would be a worthy successor to the Redmi Note 4 people loved. Without further ado, this is my hands-on with the Redmi Note 5.

As always, let’s get to know the phone’s physique first.

It has a 5.99-inch Full HD+ display in an 18:9 ratio

It’s crisp and vibrant plus it’s protected by Gorilla Glass

The selfie camera and earpiece are where they should be

The buttons for volume and power are on the right side

Just two buttons serving their functions

While the hybrid card slot is hiding on the left

Do you want a second SIM card or a microSD card? Choose!

The IR blaster and secondary microphone sit on top

Switching TV channels is something a Redmi phone can also do

The bottom is pretty busy with the audio port, microphone, micro-USB port, and loudspeaker

Xiaomi is not yet switching to USB-C for its budget devices

It’s got a basic Redmi look at the back with the fingerprint reader in the middle

The whole body is made of metal and plastic

The rear camera looks familiar, doesn’t it?

Copied from the iPhone X

What’s inside the Redmi Note 5?

As a budget phone from Xiaomi, the Redmi Note 5 doesn’t have crazy new features, but it does have everything you can ask out of a decent everyday smartphone. First of all, its display has an 18:9 ratio which is pretty much the staple nowadays and a crisp 403ppi pixel density. In terms of display quality, it’s not far behind from its more expensive counterparts. It’s still an LCD panel though, and not Super AMOLED like with Samsung phones.

The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 636 processor which is the same chipset found on the ZenFone 5 that retails for around US$ 400. My Redmi Note 5 review unit comes with 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage which is being sold in China for CNY 1,399 or PhP 11,990 in the Philippines (roughly US$ 225 only). That’s almost half the price of the ZenFone 5!

Moving forward, the Redmi Note 5’s processing power makes it passable as a gaming phone. Choosing ultra-high graphics will render the game with low frame rates and appear laggy, but if you know how to hit the sweet spot (somewhere in between medium and high settings, depending on the game) you can enjoy your favorite titles with no issues. So far, I’ve been playing Asphalt Xtreme and PUBG: Mobile, and I haven’t encountered any major lag or overheating.

As for its cameras, there’s a dual rear camera setup composed of a 12-megapixel main shooter with an f/1.9 aperture and a secondary 5-megapixel sensor to assist in depth sensing. Since the phone has two rear cameras, it can shoot portraits with creamy bokeh. For selfies, it has a 13-megapixel front camera with built-in beautification mode and depth effect, as well.

The phone runs Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box that’s skinned with MIUI 9.5. The latest version of Android and MIUI help with the phone’s lag-free operation. Despite being heavily skinned with Xiaomi’s custom UI, the Redmi Note 5 doesn’t stutter or freeze. I’ll see in the coming days how far the phone can go without slowing down.

Another feature of the Redmi Note 4 that the Redmi Note 5 inherits is the large battery capacity. It still has a sizeable 4000mAh battery sealed inside its body. Sadly, it charges through a micro-USB port and there’s no mention of Quick Charge support. I’ll be testing the phone’s battery life and charging times to let you guys know how it fares.

Pricing alone makes the Redmi Note 5 a viable option if you’re looking for a powerful phone that doesn’t cost much. But, of course, not all phones are created equal. I’ll be taking the Redmi Note 5 for a full spin in the coming days and I’ll share my full review.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Redmi 5A excels in sales, become top Android phone worldwide

Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Hands-on

Samsung isn’t giving up just yet

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It’s been a year since the first foldable of Samsung was released. Fast forward today, we have another foldable on the track.

Say hello to the Galaxy Z Flip! Unlike the Galaxy Fold that turns into a tablet, this one is so compact, it can even fit inside your coin purse.

Head on to the video above to know more or click the link here.

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Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy S20 Hands-On

Unpacked features just for you

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2020 is a year where Samsung is taking a leap of faith by getting out of its comfort zone. The Galaxy S20 may look like last year’s Galaxy S10, but it offers double the power and features than its predecessor.

But does that mean the prices also doubled? Find out more by watching the video above or through this link if you can’t access it.

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Accessories

PH3 wireless headphones is a wearable Filipino pride

A limited-edition offering that gives back

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Electronics manufacturer H-Audio has been providing quality products to its market when it comes to audio solutions. While they have a select lineup of offerings, it caters to different types of users.

What we have here is the PH3 that screams Filipino pride as soon as you put it on. Read on and find out if it performs as good as it looks.

It has a straightforward design

Red and blue stripes signify colors from the Philippine flag

Three stars and a sun on each earcup

Can’t get any more Filipino than this

Solid build quality

Headband has a good flex to it

Clasps comfortably on the head

Doesn’t come off easily

Comfortable ear cups

Earmuffs are made of memory foam

What I personally like about the PH3 when it comes to design is how it has a minimalistic kind of approach with just the three stars, sun, and stripes of red and blue. Apart from these Philippine flag-inspired colors, everything else is white. Sure, it might require extra effort to keep it clean, but it’s just something that works aesthetically.

Build quality feels durable and not flimsy which is what I look for next to sound quality. This is made possible by using stainless steel for the headband support and hard plastic for the rest — making it light, but tough.

It has a nice fit around the ears and wearing it for extended periods of time was still comfortable thanks to its memory foam earmuffs. I’ve used it a couple of times while running on the treadmill and the earcups remained snug and in place.

All-around performer

When it comes to sound quality, let’s get to the point — the PH3 delivers. It’s got warm and distinct mids, decent highs, and impressive lows. The overall sound is what you’d expect of closed-back headphones and leans on the muffled side of the sound spectrum.

Active Noise Cancellation option

One thing I noticed, though, is that sound leaks a little to the outside world so you might want to keep that in mind when you’re in an elevator with other people or something.

Connection via Bluetooth was easy and automatically pairs to the phone each time the headphones is turned on. That alone is a big check for me.

Micro-USB port for charging

The company says it has up to 20 hours of battery life. While I was not able to continuously use it, the headphones lasted me about five days with ANC off and mainly using it for music at the gym, walking around the neighborhood, or even just at home.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

H-Audio’s PH3 is a reliable pair of cans with minimal drawbacks. It might require extra care to keep it clean and sound leak at full volume might be an issue for a select few. Looking past those, however, you have a good set of headphones that not only performs well but also looks attractive with its touch of a local theme.

Additionally, its features like wireless connectivity and Active Noise Cancellation make operations easier and add to the overall music-listening experience.

Priced at PhP 7,480, proceeds will go to platforms to raise funds and help the underprivileged Filipino youth. The PH3 is available in select The Loop by Power Mac Center branches, Urban Gadgets, and The Listening Room. For more list of stores carrying their products, visit their Facebook page.

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