Two mid-range beasts attempt to battle it off!
Xiaomi made a statement with its Redmi line by unveiling the Redmi Note 5 locally. With a price of Php 11,990 for the 4GB/64GB variant, it is no doubt one of the most affordable mid-range phones out there to sport Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 processor.
Not to be outdone, ASUS decided to bring along the ZenFone Max Pro (M1)—which was initially thought to be exclusive to India—to the Philippines. Locally, we get the 3GB/32GB variant, which is priced ay 9995.
With their near-identical specs and prices, it is really hard to choose between the two. That being said, let’s do a quick comparo between the two:
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (Global) specs
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 octa-core processor
- 4GB RAM
- 5.99-inch Full HD+ IPS display
- 64GB expandable storage, via microSD (up to 128GB)
- 12-megapixel f/1.9 Sony IMX486, 1.4um pixels, and 5-megapixel f/2.0 Samsung rear cameras with LED Flash
- 13-megapixel front camera with LED Flash, AI
- 4G LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth
- GPS/A-GPS/GLONASS, Fingerprint scanner
- Android Oreo with MIUI 9 and support for Project Treble
- 4000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0
ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M1) Specifications
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor
- Adreno 509 GPU
- 3GB RAM
- 32GB internal storage (expandable via MicroSD)
- 6-inch Full HD+IPS display; 18:9 aspect ratio
- 13-megapixel main rear camera and 5-megapixel secondary rear camera with PDAF, LED flash
- 8-megapixel front camera with LED flash
- 4G, LTE
- Dual SIM
- WiFi, Bluetooth
- GPS, A-GPS
- Fingerprint scanner, NXP Smart Amplifier
- 5000mAh battery with 10W fast charging
- Android 8.1 Oreo
Internals: Same processor, different configuration choices
When it comes to choice of internals, both the Redmi Note 5 and ZenFone Max Pro (M1) offer the same Snapdragon 636 processor. However, they differ in RAM and storage configurations offered locally: The Redmi Note 5 comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage, while the ZenFone Max Pro (M1) comes with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage.
Display: Even ground
The same goes for the display, as both phones sport a 6-inch Full HD+ display that does not have any notch. In terms of display accuracy, we will need to try out both phones before giving our final say. We reviewed the Redmi Note 5 last month, and the display definitely delivers. We will be reviewing the ZenFone Max Pro (M1) in the coming days, and by then we will have more or less our verdict on which has the better display.
Cameras: This is where things get different
While they are practically the same when it comes to the internals and the display, the ZenFone Max Pro (M1) and Redmi Note 5 start to be different with their cameras. For the ZenFone Max Pro (M1), you get a 13-megapixel primary and 5-megapixel wide-angle rear cameras. On the Redmi Note 5, you get a 12-megapixel Sony IMX486 primary rear camera and a 5-megapixel Samsung secondary camera used for depth-of-field effects.
The same goes with the front cameras: On the ZenFone Max Pro (M1), you get an 8-megapixel front camera, while the Redmi Note 5 boasts of an AI-powered 13-megapixel front camera. Just like what we mentioned in the display section, we will be putting the ZenFone Max Pro (M1) to the wringer to see if its cameras are at par or better than those used on the Redmi Note 5.
Battery: ASUS attempts to one-up Xiaomi
While both offer quick charging, ASUS has the upper hand on this department as it manages to squeeze in a bigger 5000mAh battery inside the ZenFone Max Pro (M1), making it fitting as the new battery king. In spite of the ZenFone Max Pro (M1) gargantuan battery, don’t count out the Redmi Note 5, as its 4000mAh battery is bigger than what most of the competition offers.
Extras: Both have unique features on their own
To distinguish both phones better, we take a look at other features they offer. For the Redmi Note 5, their advantage includes support for Project Treble. For the ZenFone Max Pro (M1), you have a smart amplifier and stock Android out of the box.
Verdict: It is going to be a tough fight
Now that both the ZenFone Max Pro (M1) and Redmi Note 5 are available locally, their near-identical specs and pricing would mean that both brands will try to outdo one another when it comes to sales. The ZenFone Max Pro (M1) may have arrived a month late, but its sub-10k price is expected to challenge the Redmi Note 5.