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Don't get your hopes up on the Redmi Note 5

The Mi Note 3 may have paved the way for future Snapdragon 660-powered Xiaomi devicres. (Source: Playfuldroid)
The Mi Note 3 may have paved the way for future Snapdragon 660-powered Xiaomi devicres. (Source: Playfuldroid)
Recent leaks have detailed the specification sheet of the upcoming Redmi Note 5, and while Xiaomi fans may have their hopes up, we're quite skeptical as to the veracity and plausibility of the reported information. Here's why you'd do well to take it all with a pinch of salt.

Xiaomi has released the Note 5A, Mi 5X, and the Android One Mi A1 in quick succession, but those are unlikely to be the devices the OEM's core fanbase is looking forward to. The Redmi series has cemented itself as the most "bang-for-buck" lineup in the lower mid-range segment of the market, with the Redmi Note 4 making a case for being the most popular device of the past year. It's about time for the release of the Redmi Note 5, though, and rumors of the device are looking rather enticing at the moment.

The source of the information, a supposed ITK on Weibo, has listed features that look quite similar to what we saw on the Mi Note 3 just about a week ago. Of all the listed features, the most noteworthy is the presence of a Snapdragon 660, the chipset's that had users talking in recent months. The Snapdragon 660, a mid-range SoC, defies expectations by offering performance levels that wouldn't look out of place on a flagship, with benchmark scores placing it in the same ballpark as the last-gen Snapdragon 820 that powered flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S7.

Here's a quick rundown of what we're said to be getting on the Redmi Note 5.

  • 5.5-inch FHD display
  • Snapdragon 660
  • Dual rear cameras (16 MP + 5 MP)
  • Up to 4 GB of RAM
  • Up to 64 GB of storage
  • 4000 mAh battery

The 3 GB model is said to cost about US$150, and the 4 GB one about $200. Those specifications are quite ridiculous for that price, which makes this a tad hard to believe. Moreso when you consider that:

  • All devices featuring the Snapdragon 660—Mi Note 3, OPPO R11, Sharp Aquos S2—at this point cost upwards of US$400.
  • This hypothetical device bears an uncanny resemblance to the high-end Mi Note 3 that was just released. Why would Xiaomi create a cheaper, direct competitor?
  • Both the newly released Mi 5X and Mi A1 would be worse options at a slightly higher price point.
  • Xiaomi has gained a reputation for, well, bamboozling, with recent leaks of the Mi Max 2 and the supposed "Lanmi" device proving to be false. Both devices were also said to be powered by the Snapdragon 660, only to be launched with the Snapdragon 625 onboard.

With all of this in mind, it's almost safe to say that this information is false—or parts of it, at least. There's a much higher chance of the Redmi Note 5 shipping with the Snapdragon 630 instead, which is the more logical progression.

We'd love nothing more than to be proven wrong, though.


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Ricci Rox, 2017-09-23 (Update: 2017-09-23)