Redmi Note 3 vs. Xiaomi Mi 5s: Is Xiaomi’s Budget Star Still a Better Choice Against Flagships?

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is a device offering a large screen, excellent specs and an all metal body for an extremely affordable price. On the other hand, we have the new Mi 5s, the company’s refresh of its flagship model. Is the Redmi Note 3 a good enough choice for a regular user or the Mi 5s is the way to go? Find out here.

xiaomi mi5s
Mi5s

Dimensions, Design

Expectedly, the Redmi Note 3 (150 x 76 x 8.7 mm) is more than a bit larger than the Mi 5s (145.6 x 70.3 x 8.3 mm), but since the phone sports 0.35-inches larger screen than the one featured on the Mi 5s, the size difference is understandable.

Design-wise, the Mi 5s looks better than the other model. The camera is neatly placed on the right upper backside; the large home button (serving the role of a fingerprint scanner) dominates the front, as well as large and bright 5.15-inches screen. Add a full metal body, and almost invisible bezels and you got yourself one very striking smartphone. The Redmi Note 3 features a classic Xiaomi design, with the camera placed on the middle part of the backside, a fingerprint scanner under the main camera, and three capacitive buttons placed under the display.

xiaomi redmi note 3
Redmi Note 3

Hardware, Display

Xiaomi Mi 5s is equipped with the latest Snapdragon 821 chipset (2×2.15 GHz Kryo & 2×1.6 GHz Kryo along with Adreno 530 GPU), along with 3GB/4GB of RAM and 64GB/128GB of internal storage, which can’t be expanded (the same case as with the Mi 5). The sheer processing power is enough for any type of task, and lots of storage guarantees enough place for movies, music and lots of games to be stored on the phone.

The Redmi Note 3 is powered by Qualcomm’s upper mid-range SoC, the Snapdragon 650 (4×1.4 GHz Cortex-A53 & 2×1.8 GHz Cortex-A72 along with Adreno 510), just one step behind the flagship chipsets (Snapdragon 820/821), giving the phone lots of power under its hood. Users can choose between 2GB/3GB of RAM and 16GB/32GB of internal storage, which can be expanded (via SIM 2 slot). The Snapdragon 650 can score up to 80,000 points, a higher score than what Snapdragon 808 (featured in LG G4, for instance) can accomplish.

The Mi 5s comes equipped with 5.15-inches 1080p IPS LCD display, featuring natural colors and high viewing angles, with more than a solid sharpness (428 ppi pixel density).

The REdmi Note 3 comes with a large, 5.5-inch 1080p IPS LCD, having all the advantages of the MI 5s’screen, but since it’s larger, watching movies on it will be a joy.

Camera

The Mi 5s features a 12 MP (f/2.0) main camera sensor made by Sony (1/2.3-inch IMX378 CMOS sensor; its predecessor, the IMX 377 was used on the Nexus 6P and HTC 10), featuring phase detection autofocus and a dual-LED flash (no OIS here). Xiaomi is very proud on the Mi 5s’camera, the company even made an online presentation featuring MI 5s-made photos. The camera is capable of taking 2160p@30fps and 1080p@120fps videos. The selfie snapper counts 4 MP (f/2.0) and is capable of recording 1080p videos.

The Redmi Note 3 comes equipped with 16 MP (f/2.0) main snapper supporting phase detection autofocus and a dual-LED flash. The camera is capable of recording 1080p@30fps videos. The front-facing camera has 5 MP (f/2.0) and can record 1080p videos.

Battery, Software

The Mi 5s holds inside a relatively large 3200 mAh and comes with Android Marshmallow. The Redmi Note 3 features a large 4050 mAh battery and comes equipped with Android Lollipop.

Both Phones have a fingerprint sensor (the Mi 5s has a new generation ultrasonic fingerprint sensor from Qualcomm), and both feature Xiaomi’s MIUI user interface.

Conclusion

Talking about price, the Redmi Note 3 (32 GB) can be found for Rs 11,999 (around $180) while the Mi 5s has a starting price (64 GB version) of Rs 20,000 ($300). If looking just at the price, the Redmi Note 3 is more than a solid choice. A large, 1080p screen, 32 GB of storage (which can be expanded with an SD card), powerful processor, and a solid camera are worth $180; and, the Mi 5s won’t be shipped to users before the end of October, so the Redmi Note 3 looks even better with that in mind.