Today marks another fruitful day for Xiaomi, as it celebrated the launch of its newest smartphone to be offered in the Philippine market, the Redmi Note 5. Apart from using a Snapdragon 636 chip, an 18: 9 display, and dual rear cameras, this device is quite interesting as it now infuses AI into the phone’s optics. It’s in fact, termed as the “Camera Beast”. The question is, is it? can it walk the talk? here are our first thoughts.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI Specs
ProcessorSnapdragon 636 (Octa-Core)
Display5.99-inch FHD+, 18:9
Rear Camera12MP + 5MP
Front Camera13MP
OSAndroid 8.1 with MIUI 9

Design and Build Quality

redmi note 5At first glance, the design of the Redmi Note 5 reminds me of another phone from a green brand, also with the number 5. Unlike most current phones in the mid-range segment, Xiaomi isn’t joining the notch race just yet. Unfortunately, that also means that you get  the usual bezels at the top and bottom.

redmi note 5Despite having the feel of a phablet, the phone is surprisingly easy to use with one hand. The back is made of plastic, and bears the usual Mi branding, and the dual camera system, which protrudes, as usual.

redmi note 5All the buttons are located on the right side, while the hybrid SIM tray is on the left.

redmi note 5Xiaomi has opted to stick to a standard microUSB port here, probably to save costs. I still think that Type-C ports should be a standard even in mid-range phones though.

redmi note 5The 5.99-inch display has FHD+ resolution, which means you get less jagged lines, sharp text, and detailed icons. The default color temperature looks quite pale though, so you may want to adjust it in the settings to give the screen more zing.


The phone performed well throughout the time I was using it. No slowdowns, lags, or anything of the sort. That’s me doing my usual day to day activities – social media updates, taking photos on the side, listening to music, and more. Of course, we’ll have to see how it fares in games too, before we can give a proper rating.


redmi note 5redmi note 5The above are some samples from the Redmi Note 5 AI’s Rear Camera which also features scene detection. As you’ll notice, the level of detail is surprisingly good and colors are quite accurate. Some work needs to be done on edges though.

redmi note 5

redmi note 5As for the depth effect, it’s a hit and miss. The blurred area looks clean in some shots, and grainy in others. At least, it’s accurate as to what to and not to blur.

redmi note 5redmi note 5

The front camera can take some decent selfies as well, and the added depth effect looks so much better.

redmi note 5redmi note 5

Low light shots can be grainy, but there’s a feature in the menu that when enabled, automatically enhances low light photos, and the difference is actually quite noticeable.

The device also features dual pixel PDAF, which allows it to focus much faster than usual.


The Redmi Note 5 AI comes with MIUI 9.5 on top of Android 8.1 Oreo. It snappy, and runs fluid and smooth. It also seems to be more simplified, minimal in design, and pretty straightforward as to what each feature does.

While the device doesn’t have face unlock (yet), fingerprint scanning is quite fast and works most of the time. Other features include Dual Apps, which basically lets you login to two different accounts with one social media app.

Then there’s Second Space, which sets up another instance of the phone, wherein you can install a different set of apps. Very useful when you’re letting someone else use your phone.

Initial Verdict

redmi note 5For its price, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI is certainly one of the top contenders, especially for all the features and hardware that it has. The cameras, in particular, are more than decent. The software looks quite polished as well.

The device does have its shortcomings – the use of a standard microUSB port and hybrid SIM tray are quite disappointing in particular. But if you can get past that, The Redmi Note 5 AI is shaping up to be a great device that brings good value for money.

Stay tuned for our full review, where we’ll be including more sample photos, videos, a deeper dive into the software, gaming tests and of course, a battery test.

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Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.


  1. Pingback: Xiaomi Launches Redmi Note 5 AI in PH, Priced at PhP11,990 – Gadget Pilipinas

  2. The back is actually made of metal, but the top and bottom is indeed made of plastic.

  3. You can enable Face Unlock feature if you change region to Inda.

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Tokyo Game Show Special Coverage

Tokyo Game Show 2018

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Witness this year’s biggest gaming convention in Asia, the Tokyo Game Show 2018. This September 19, our team will fly to Tokyo, Japan, to be part to TGS 2018. Special thanks to our brand partners Huawei Mobile, PLDT Home, Smart Communications and Cherry Mobile for making this coverage possible.

The Gadget Pilipinas Team was given access to a press briefing with Hidetaka Miyazaki, Director from From Software and a bit of hands-on gameplay. Here’s our take on the hands-on gameplay and the insights from the press interview. We also  figured a listicle is in order to rundown why this game will match the hype surrounding it.

Here’s our Top 5 reasons why “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” is to die for.

1) The game is Tenchu-inspired

sk8lqukaqalhq2mrzkqd 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forIf you’ve played any of the Tenchu games in previous game consoles, you know that the use of the grappling hook to set-up a one-slash-stealth kills from above is a hallmark of the series. Zipping to rooftops and treetops will be the go-to move in this game to get rid of sentries. And yes, those ever-so glorious decapitations and dismemberments with the stealth kill are present.

2) Casual or hardcore can play

sn1rmqcvrwomyuttaoyq 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forFrom Software is notorious for challenging games and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is no exception. However, Hidetaka Miyazaki, Director of From Software, revealed that he himself is a casual gamer and has made it clear that the game should be accessible to beginners and experienced players alike.

3) Upgradeable prosthetic arm

jjn6e6ivua5u142iukql 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forThat prosthetic arm that Sekiro has isn’t just for looks. It can launch a grappling hook and is upgradeable too. No details were revealed but its good to know that a skill-tree based system is in place. Think Horizon Zero Dawn or Spiderman on the way skill and gadgets are upgraded. Tech upgrades set in feudal Japan? What’s not to like?

4) Play the style that suits you

jo1pi5md3myj0pxynz9p 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forStealth like Tenchu or head-on like Dark Souls? It’s up to you. What’s clear is that you can’t use stealth for the whole campaign since the game wasn’t designed that way. Stealth can be used to thin enemy numbers and to preserve your health before confronting the big boss. The mix of stealth and hack and slash is always a good mix to change-up the pace and should suit any gameplay style.

5) Single-player only campaign can last 20 to 30 hours 

ocxemodvr6oa72argpyo 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forThat’s the length of the campaign as per Miyazaki. The game is focused-solely on the single-player experience. No more wayward players who can just jump-in and help or derail your campaign. From Software also focused on the story-telling. Given that no resources were spent in developing the multiplayer aspect, expect the campaign to take it up a notch.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will be released on March 22, 2019 on PC, Xbox One and the Playstation 4.

Our Tokyo Game Show 2018 Coverage is brought to you by our brand partners: Huawei Mobile Philippines, PLDT Home Fibr, Smart and Cherry Mobile. Access our coverage here.

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Heads-up, Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) players. The PES game you’re playing on your phone is going to get a major upgrade.

For starters, the visuals will get a major overhaul and will be using Unreal Engine 4 – the same graphics engine used in triple A games for consoles and PCs. With the use of Unreal Engine 4, PES will be inching closer to how it looks versus its console port. It

Next, over 3,000 new animations, improved player AI with every playstyle accounted for, and realistic ball movements has been optimized for fans to enjoy the ultimate soccer game.

And lastly, 10 new league licenses from Europe, South America and Asia have been added, including Japan’s J. League.

The best part? Despite these updates,  Winning Eleven 2019 is still free-to-play (with in-game purchases).

PES 2019 promises to give a life-like behavior of the beautiful game and should take competitive mobile sports gaming to new heights.

Screen Shot 2018 09 21 at 1.16.38 AM 640x327 - TGS 2018: PES mobile game to be updated to "Winning Eleven 2019" this December!

More about the game and new features, here.

Our Tokyo Game Show 2018 Coverage is brought to you by our brand partners: Huawei Mobile Philippines, PLDT Home Fibr, Smart and Cherry Mobile. Access our coverage here.

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