8 reasons to buy the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 before the Mi A2

A few weeks ago, Xiaomi presented its Mi A2 , a mobile born to be the best mid-range in the history of Android . However, despite being a fairly logical and correct evolution, there are many who think that it has not been enough, since some weaknesses of the Mi A1 are still present on this phone, and their own younger brothers make it good competition.

There are several reasons to buy the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 before the Xiaomi Mi A2 , although on the paper it seems a clearly superior mobile. Will the younger brother be a better buy? Let’s check it out. First of all, make it clear that we will compare the base versions , so that they play on equal terms and be clear about everything they can offer for the lowest possible price.

8 reasons to buy the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 before the Xiaomi Mi A2

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (Pro) Xiaomi Mi A2
Dimensions 75.4 x 158.5 x 8.1 mm 75.4 x 158.7 x 7.3 mm
screen 5.99 inches, IPS, FHD + resolution 5.99 inches, IPS, FHD + resolution
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
RAM 3 GB base version 4 GB base version
OS Android 8.1, MIUI 9 Android 8.1, Android One
Storage Base version 32 GB expandable via microSD cards Base version 32 GB not expandable
Cameras 12 + 5 megapixels with Samsung sensors, size 1,400 µm maximum aperture f / 2.0 without AI. 20 megapixel front camera 12 + 20 megapixels with Sony sensors, size 1,250 µm, f / 1.75, artificial intelligence. 13 megapixel front camera
Battery 4000mAh 3010mAh
Starting price 199 euros 249 euros

Headphone jack

Never has something so simple been so important. In the high range, we are beginning to get used to the marked absence of the 3.5mm jack. However, the mid-range is still a great defender of it, and that is nothing worse than a small and uncomfortable dongle to deal with for an average user. The Mi A2 has no headphone jack and the Redmi Note 5 does , and this is important.

Interestingly, one of the points I enjoy most when I try a mid-range is the 3.5mm jack, and Xiaomi has wanted to remove it from the Mi A2 for no apparent reason . We do not have in this model a large battery or a design that prevents including the jack so it is a priori an unexcused absence that scores a point for the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5.


The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 has a thickness of 8.1 mm, while the Mi A2 is located at 7.3 mm. Differences marked in design, and is that the Mi A2 is intended to be a somewhat more premium device than its younger brother. However, we raise the cyclical debate, do you prefer a thinner 1 mm terminal in exchange for losing 1000mAh?

Rounding numbers, the Xiaomi Mi A2 has 3000mAh that we crave just for a full day, and poor for when we want to extend the use a little more. For its part, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 has 4000mAh , a battery that allows you to reach two days of use without too much trouble.

While the public to which the Mi A2 is destined should have enough with 3000mAh, the arrival of games such as PUBG Mobile , the imminent arrival of Fortnite for Android , as well as the growth of multimedia consumption in recent times - YouTube, Podcast, Spotify ... - make it practically obligatory for a mid-range to have good autonomy , as a differential factor.

Because they pay at the same time, with differences in price

Xiaomi opted for the winning horse with its Redmi Note 5, the Snapdragon 636. The Mi A2 surpasses it with the Snapdragon 660 but, are there really so many differences? The main divergence between both processors is the GPU , in the case of Snapdragon 660 it has the Adreno 512, which supports Vulkan libraries to improve the playable experience in those titles that support it. The 636, meanwhile, has the Adreno 509, which is also not much less powerful.

Both are built in 14nm processes , have Big.LITTLE architectures, identical download speeds ... In addition, both carry eMMC memory modules, so neither of them will have noticeable differences in reading and writing. Yes, obviously the 660 is a better processor, but the differences with the 636 are quite slim , and taking into account the price difference, both yield on a par.

We owe much of the performance of mobile phones to hardware, but let’s not forget the differences between MIUI and Android One . Being fierce defenders of Pure Android, it still amazes us how Android One is still not that extremely fluid ROM it should be . To this, we must add the questionable update history of the Xiaomi Mi A1 , and it is that too many times it has had to cancel updates for the occasional problem with them .

For its part, MIUI, without being a saint of our devotion, behaves in a somewhat smoother way , giving up yes, to many of the benefits offered by the ROMs of Android One. Perhaps it will be due to lack of optimizations, for being practically ROMs AOSP with a Google Apps package, but today MIUI gives us a more fluid experience . We reiterate that this is not why we are claiming that MIUI is a better ROM - personally we still prefer clean ROMs - but the performance is what it is, so we have another point in favor of Redmi.

On the screen

Surely, what we are going to tell you is due to mere calibration issues, due to the differences between Android One and MIUI, but in our opinion the screen of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 is better calibrated than that of the Mi A2 . Although they are not too noticeable differences, and only the most demanding with the panels will notice them, it is something obligatory to comment since it attracts us that the cheapest model has a more palatable panel.

For storage expansion

While microSD cards are going to the background due to the progressive growth of memories in the base versions of the terminals, the mid-range usually opts for expandable storage , something that the Xiaomi Mi A2 does not have. The “only” 32 GB version of this terminal costs about 249 euros, while the Redmi Note 5 offers those same 32 GB expandable for 199 euros.

To opt for 64 GB we must pay 20 euros more in the case of the Xiaomi Mi A2, always keeping in mind that we cannot expand this storage. It shouldn’t be a problem considering the collaboration with Google Photos , but if you’re in need of multimedia gigas and gigas, think well which one to buy.

By the gestures

While the Xiaomi Mi A2 will receive Android Pie , Google gesture navigation is still quite inconsistent . We still have a virtual keypad, something that we still don’t understand, while firms such as OnePlus, Huawei, Motorola or Xiaomi, opt for their own systems, either using the central button or taking inspiration from the iPhone X.

Be that as it may, today the Xiaomi Mi A2 has no gestures, while the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 shares gestural navigation with its brothers such as the Mi 8 or the Mi Mix 2S . In the near future, the Mi A2 will have the Android P gestures, date on which the Redmi Note 5 will have MIUI 10, with even better gestures.

Because the average user may not feel comfortable with Pure Android

No, this is not for you. You are a reader, at least, casual of technology portals, surely you have a minimum of knowledge and know that being updated is a blessing for a phone , however, the average user thinks otherwise. Just yesterday, as an anecdote, I will tell you that I received complaints because the Xiaomi Mi A1 was updated every month with the monthly patch . For the user in question it was a real hell to have to be always updating - first world problems - medium users facts .

On the other hand, Android Stock does not have notes application, the Drive document reader does not convince, not having a Clean Master style application can create panic ... anyway. My years of experience have taught me that MIUI triumphs by offering dozens and dozens of functions that are comfortable for users so, hey, we will have to respect it.

For the value for money

The Xiaomi Mi A2 is around 260 euros on Amazon , in its 64 GB version, the only one we recommend. For its part, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 can be purchased for less than 200 euros , in this same storage version.

60 euros is a lot of money when we talk about mid-range, and although the Mi A2 is considered as an alternative with a clean, more modern ROM and with slightly higher hardware, the Redmi Note 5 is a tough rival, within the same company and spectrum.

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