We’re fast running out of cliches to describe what Xiaomi does with the Redmi range. Let’s try this one: the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus proves once again that the word “budget” doesn’t have to be a vulgarity. At a recommended retail price of S$299, you could do worse if you choose to pick up a competing device like the vivo V7+. The Redmi 5 Plus is arguably better built, packs a faster processor, responds more reliably in day-to-day use… and, well, vivo’s Funtouch OS can’t hold a candle to MIUI in terms of polish.
However, a number of past-generation bits and bobs won’t let you forget that you should expect S$300 worth of phone: the antiquated micro-USB port, the single camera and its shaky low-light performance, the lack of Android 8 Oreo (at launch), no dual speakers, and any sort of waterproofing. It could also be argued that some of the competition are now employing newer and faster Snapdragon 630 and 660 processors. But again, we bid you remember the price point. Even if Xiaomi were asking for half the money more, this still wouldn’t be an outlandish request given how solid a performer the Redmi 5 Plus is, so it’s safe - for now.
The journey of Android, now many leagues from its benighted days, is still best expressed in a phone like Xiaomi’s Redmi 5 Plus - yet, we are far from perfection and the field is also continually open to being challenged. Let’s always believe that something wonderful is going to happen, but while we wait for tomorrow, the Redmi 5 Plus is certainly a phone you can believe in today.