The recently launched Redmi Note 5 Pro is the perfect choice when it comes to budget devices but there is another device in the same price segment that might also interest some of you. Yes, I am talking about the Honor 9i. The Redmi Note 5 Pro comes for a price of 14,000 for the 4 GB RAM 64 GB storage variant and you get the Honor 9i with the same storage capacity for Rs. 18,000.
So there is a price difference of around Rs. 4000. is it worth shelling an extra 4000 for the 9i? Let’s find out.
First of all, let us quickly see the on-paper specs comparison.
The Redmi Note 5 Pro has a 5.99 inch IPS LCD screen with a Full HD+ resolution and an aspect ratio of 18:9. The device sports a 2.5D curved display with Gorilla glass protection. The device runs on Snapdragon 636 with an octa-core CPU clocked at 1.8 GHz, the device is available in Black and gold colours and a new blue variant has also been launched.
The device gets a dual camera set up at the rear with a 12 and a 5-megapixel camera with PDAF and a dual led flash and a 20-megapixel front camera with a soft led flash. You get a 4000 mAh battery, a fingerprint sensor and even an IR Blaster.
The Honor 9i has a 5.9 inch IPS LCD screen with a Full HD+ resolution and an aspect ratio of 18:9 again. The device does not have Gorilla glass or any other protection. The device runs on Huawei’s Kirin 659 chipset with an octa-core CPU where you can get clock speeds up to 2.36 GHz, and the device is available in Gold, Blue, and black colours.
The device gets a rear camera setup with a 16 and a 2-megapixel camera with PDAF and CDAF and an led flash. The front camera is a dual camera setup again with a 13 and a 2-megapixel shooter with a soft led flash. You get a 3340 mAh battery, a fingerprint sensor but no IR blaster.
Design and Build Quality:
So first things first, let us discuss the body design and build quality for both devices. The Redmi Note 5 has an all-metal unibody with no textures on the back, the back is completely smooth. The Honor 9i also features a metal unibody and again this one has no textures and the back is completely smooth
You get a very comfortable grip on both device and even people with smaller hands shouldn’t have a problem with handling the device. Now both these devices give you a very premium feel in your hand but if I just had to, had to choose one, I would say that the Honor 9i has a better build quality and feels a lot more premium than the Note 5 pro. So this one goes to the Honor 9i.
Now let’s talk a little about the design. Both devices have a fingerprint sensor placed at the rear which is great and the dual camera setup on the Honor 9i is right above the fingerprint sensor and it gives it a decent and unified look. The Redmi Note 5, however, has a very bad camera design, the dual camera setup has been placed to the extreme left in hopes of trying to mimic the iPhone and it just doesn’t look good.
Nextly another important thing is the navigation buttons. Now both the devices have onscreen navigation buttons so there are no physical touch capacitive buttons on the device. Now the bottom border on the Honor 9i is quite thinner a compared to the Note 5 pro. The Note 5 pro has a pretty thick bottom border which, again is a big bummer. So I guess we are giving this one to the Honor 9i again.
Next, let us see the display quality. Now both devices have an IPS LCD screen with FHD+ resolution that is 2160 by 1080 pixels.
Though both devices offer a fairly good display performance and it was extremely tough to select the better one, I would go with the Note 5 pro.
I found the display with the note 5 pro was more crisp and alive than the Honor 9i.
Also, the Note 5 pro has gorilla glass protection on the display which protects it against scratches and drops but we do not get any such protection on the Honor 9i so undoubtedly we have to give this one to the Note 5 pro.
Now talking about the performance of both the devices, The note 5 pro has a Snapdragon 636 chipset, you get 8 cores clocked at 1.8 GHz each. Also, you get the Adreno 506 GPU.
Talking about the Honor 9i, the device runs on a kirin 659 chipset with an Octa-core CPU clocked at 1.7 GHz but that does go up to 2.36 GHz. Now both devices perform fairly good. You can do multitasking with many apps at once and there is absolutely no lag when playing any game at the highest of the setting on either of the devices.
But to be very honest, the Note 5 Pro will be a better choice for gamers since it has the Snapdragon 636 which is quite better than the Huawei’s Kirin 659. As I already said the kirin 659 won’t disappoint you with games, but in cases where you are already running a lot of apps in the background and trying the play heavy games at the same time, the Note 5 will perform better. So I have to give this one to the Note 5
Let’s discuss the camera performance for both the devices. Both the devices have a dual camera setup at the rear with the Redmi Note 5 sporting a 12 and another 5-megapixel camera and the Honor 9i has a 16 + 2 Megapixel camera setup. The Note 5 pro gets a dual led flash which works way better than the single led flash on the 9i.
For the front camera, Both devices have a soft led flash. The Note 5 pro has a 20 Megapixel camera with a soft led flash which is great but on the Huawei Honor 9i, you get a dual camera setup at the front also with a 13 and another 2 Megapixel camera. Now, this is the kind of technology we want at this budget.
But talking about practical camera performance, Both the devices offer a solid camera performance and the colour reproduction was pretty different on both devices.
I found that the colours captured by the Redmi Note 5 pro were very real whereas the 9i had images that were noticeably brighter than the real scene. Both the devices capture images that are really sharp. The portrait modes on both devices work flawlessly an do a great job at identifying the subject but the amount of sharpness you can get with the Redmi Note 5 is way better.
So I guess this one goes to the Redmi Note 5 Pro. Now talking about video recording, since the Honor 9i does not have optical or electronic image stabilization, you don’t get the best video recording experience.
Well, it actually kind of sucks. The video recording on the Note 5 is a pretty good experience since it has electronic image stabilization you do not get blurry videos like the Honor 9i. So I am again giving this one to the Note 5 pro.
Lastly, if we talk about low light shots, the Honor 9i does a far better job than the Redmi Note 5 pro which kind of totally fails in low light conditions. So if you wanna click low light images, the 9i should be good for you.
Now I would also like to suggest you check the original camera samples and we will drop a link to them in the description. So do check them out.
Talking about software and user experience, Both devices run on their own customized Android skins. The Huawei Honor 9i runs on Huawei’s EMUI or emotion UI, we have done a detailed review of the EMUI and if you wish to see that we will drop it in the description below.
The Redmi Note 5 pro runs on MIUI which is again a custom Android skin made by Xiaomi for its devices. Both the UI are pretty similar and I have used a lot of MIUI so I just felt that EMUI doesn’t really give you everything that MUI does.
There are too many customization options in MIUI and the collection of themes in MIUI seems like an ocean whereas the EMUI is just a drop of water. Also, I want to point out that Xiaomi is pretty good at providing updates to all its devices and the Redmi Note 5 pro has already received its first update but the Honor 9i is still waiting for an update to EMUI version 9 that was released months back but it hasn’t received it yet.
Considering all of these factors I would say that The Note 5 Pro is a clear winner here.
The Note 5 Pro has a battery capacity of a huge 4000 mAh whereas the Honor 9i packs in just 334 mAh. You should able to squeeze a day of juice from the Honor 9 at its best with mixed usage but the Note 5 pro can give you a full day of heavy usage and even leave you with a standby capacity enough to make it to the next morning.
None of the devices have fast charging support which is a little disappointing but The Note 5 pro gets this one again.
So I guess it is pretty clear from the comparison that the Note 5 pro is the clear winner here. The Honor 9i is also a good device but it doesn’t hold good against the Note 5 pro. The only major department where I feel the note 5 loses is the low light shots which is quite acceptable considering it costs a full 4000 less than the Honor 9i. Apart from that, I feel the Note 5 pro performs better than the Honor 9i in almost every aspect.
But anyways before you make a choice, I suggest that you check the full review of Honor 9i and Redmi Note 5 Pro.