Realme 5i has proven itself once again that it’s the best budget phone in early 2020. It brings quad cameras and large battery to the table as well as a new design that separates itself from others. But can it take down Xiaomi’s best budget offering to date, the Redmi 8? The top model costs P6,990 while the base model lets you get it only for P6,490. But for the sake of comparison, we’re choosing the top model as it costs the same as Realme 5i.
Realme 5i and Redmi 8 Differences
Advantages of Realme 5i
- scheduled Android 10 upgrade
- anti-fingerprint backing
- 6.52″ screen (larger)
- up to 480 nits typical brightness
- Snapdragon 665
- quad cameras
- up to 4K video recording with EIS
- Wi-Fi ac
- Bluetooth 5.0
- green color
Advantages of Redmi 8
- front Corning Gorilla Glass 5
- 18W fast charging
- 188g (lighter)
- red color
- 4GB RAM
Realme 5i and Redmi 8 Similarities
- IPS LCD
- 720p+ resolution
- dedicated microSD slot of up to 256GB
- Corning Gorilla Glass
- Android 9 Pie
- 64GB internal storage
- 12MP main camera
- 8MP selfie camera
- 5000mAh battery
- blue color
Which is a better buy between the Realme 5i and Redmi 8?
Design and Display
Redmi 8 has that glowy pattern going all over its backing thanks to a glossy finish. It’s a popular take among affordable phones, but if you wish to keep your phone clean and fresh, Realme 5i has a grainy finish that prevents fingerprint smudges. Interestingly, both are nearly as thick as the other but Redmi 8 weighs significantly lighter at 188g. Both are using a teardrop notch but Xiaomi looks like the bigger one here. Both again sport splash resistant body.
Realme’s entry-level phone is also taller and bigger due to the 6.52″ screen, however, either of two output 720p+ resolution. Although we’re looking at the same IPS LCD, Realme has the higher max brightness at 450 nits vs 400 nits of Xiaomi. That said, Realme 5i wins this one by a good margin.
Snapdragon 665 comes out as the better SoC vs Snapdragon 439. You can even play the latest games under medium settings and experience nearly no stutters or lags. However, Realme 5i is only capped at 3GB RAM. While Redmi 8 provides breathing room at 4GB. Nevertheless, both are using 64GB internal storage with a dedicated microSD slot of up to 256GB. It’s worth noting Android 10 is coming soon to Realme’s device which introduces stock-influenced Realme UI. While we are worried about that lower amount of RAM, we’re still giving the benefit of the doubt to Realme.
Realme 5i | Redmi 8
- 12MP f1.8 vs 12MP f1.8 – main
- 8MP f2.3 vs n/a – ultrawide
- 2MP f2.4 vs n/a – macro
- 2MP f2.4 vs 2MP – depth
- 8MP f/2.0 vs 8MP f/2.0 – selfie camera
Number wise, Realme 5i beats Redmi 8. The latter device is missing ultrawide and macro which are popular nowadays. However, you do get nearly the same 12MP main sensor. Another feature that decided the camera comparison is the lack of 4K video recording and EIS. On the flip end, both are using an 8MP f2.0 selfie camera. This means the selfie quality will be decided by the way the software post-process.
Neither of the two was able to take advantage here as both are using an audio jack and south-firing speaker. But testing Realme 5i, sound quality from the loudspeaker has a bit of depth rather than being tinny all the way.
Battery and Charging
One of the biggest features of the two is the large 5000mAh battery. This is where Redmi 8 really shines. It uses USB-C standard port already and even supports 18W fast charging. To compare, Realme 5i still uses MicroUSB port and 10W standard charging. During our test, it took us 3 hours and 25mins to go from zero to 100.
Redmi 8 has always gotten praise for its switch to standard features, particularly USB-C and fast charging on a budget device. However, it’s not enough to beat the newest offerings of Realme 5i — quad cameras and scheduled Android 10. But we’re comparing 2019 and 2020 here. In a matter of weeks, Redmi 9 will launch in India. Expect a new comparison to be on the horizon. For now, Realme is sitting atop the budget throne.
|Specs||Realme 5i||Redmi 8|
|Display||6.5-inch HD+ IPS LCD, Corning Gorilla Glass 3+||6.2-inch, IPS LCD, Corning Gorilla Glass 5+|
|Dimensions||164.4 x 75 x 9.3 mm, 195g||156.5 x 75.4 x 9.4 mm, 188g|
|Chipset||Qualcomm SDM665 Snapdragon 665 (11 nm)||Qualcomm SDM439 Snapdragon 439 (12 nm)|
|GPU||Adreno 610||Adreno 505|
|Memory||3GB + 64GB with dedicated microSD up to 256GB||3GB + 32GB / 4GB + 64GB expandable storage of up to 256GB|
|Main Camera||12 MP, f/1.8, (wide), PDAF|
8 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/4″, 1.12µm
2 MP, f/2.4, 1/5″, 1.75µm (dedicated macro camera)
2 MP, f/2.4, 1/5″, 1.75µm, depth sensor (dedicated macro camera)
|12 MP, f/1.8, 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, 1080p video | up to 1080p @ 30fps video|
|Front Camera||8 MP, f/2.0||8 MP, f/2.0, 1.12µm|
|Security||face unlock, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner||face unlock, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner|
|Connectivity||4G LTE Wi-Fi ac, BT 5.0 A2DP, LE, GPS, MicroUSB, audio jack||4G LTE, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, LE, USB Type-C, headphone jack, FM Radio|
|Battery||Non-removable Li-Ion 5000mAh battery (10W charging)||5000mAH (18W fast charging)|
|OS||Android 9.0 (Pie), planned upgrade to Android 10.0; ColorOS 6||Android 9.0 (Pie); MIUI 11|
|Prices||P6,990||P6,490 – P6,990|