Xiaomi is the king of budget smartphones. In fact, the company’s aggressive stance has changed the very definition of what constitutes a budget smartphone when it stuffed its phones with the sort of features restricted to more expensive phones. Thanks to this killer strategy, Xiaomi has raise the bar for everyone in the budget segment, with phones that pack in quality Qualcomm chips, goodies such as fingerprint sensors, large batteries, and excellent displays. Today, we take a look at three of its budget contenders: the Xiaomi Redmi 4, Xiaomi Redmi 4A, Xiaomi Redmi 5A and figure out which one rules the roost.
Redmi 4 vs Redmi 4A vs Redmi 5A: Display
Xiaomi is known for providing the best bang for the buck, especially when it comes to specifications. Therefore, it’s unlikely that the Chinese smartphone maker will skimp on the most crucial aspect of a smartphone – the display. All the contenders sport virtually the same IPS LCD display.
It’s a 5-inch screen sporting a 720×1280 resolution amounting to a pixel density of a decent 296ppi. With similar screen-to-body ratios, all three phones look nigh identical from the front too. Needless to say, this is a tie in the display department, with no clear winner.
Redmi 4 vs Redmi 4A vs Redmi 5A: Camera
The same story is repeated in the camera department, with all three phones sporting almost identical specifications for the front and the rear cameras. However, there is a minor difference. While all three share the same 13-megapixel sensor on the primary camera replete with LED flash, the Redmi 4A lacks the advanced phase detection autofocus found on the Redmi 4 and Redmi 5A. Furthermore, the more expensive Redmi 4 has its cheaper cousins trumped with a larger aperture that should trap a greater degree of light and therefore prove better in low-light conditions; on paper at least.
The secondary camera is the same, with the only difference being that the Redmi 4 unit managing to record videos at 1080p. If you’re an avid Instagram user, the Redmi 4 will definitely come in handy. In effect, the Redmi 4 rules the roost, with the Redmi 5A coming in a close second. Having said that, there’s not much difference between the Redmi 4A and its two cousins in the camera department.
Redmi 4 vs Redmi 4A vs Redmi 5A: Performance
The performance game is where you see a definite winner. The Redmi 4 is the phone to go for if you plan to do some gaming on the go. While all three phones employ Qualcomm’s entry level Snapdragon 4-series of SoCs, the Redmi 4 is outfitted with a more expensive Snapdragon 435 chip. This SoC is noticeably better at gaming than the Snapdragon 425 chip found in the Redmi 5A and Redmi 4A.
That’s because even though, both SoCs sport the same low power ARM Cortex-A53 processors clocked at 1.4GHz, the Snapdragon 435 chipset on the Redmi 4 comes with the Adreno 505 GPU. This GPU is more powerful than the Adreno 308 found on the other two phones, and as such better at gaming. Even though all three phones have near identical chipsets, the more expensive Redmi 4 bests its Redmi brethren with a better GPU. As for the Redmi 4A and Redmi 5A, these phones have reached a performance stalemate.
Redmi 4 vs Redmi 4A vs Redmi 5A: Price in India
While the trio seems to be near identical in most respects, the price is the greatest differentiating factor here. For this purpose, we will consider the base variants of all three phones, which interestingly puts the ₹4999 Redmi 5A at a position of advantage compared to the Redmi 4A, which retails for ₹5999 despite having marginally fewer features and a plastic construction compared to the metal back design of the cheaper Redmi 5A.
Between the Redmi 5A and Redmi 4, there’s a huge gap of ₹2000 between the two thanks to the more premium and powerful Redmi 4 costing ₹6999. However, for that price you also get goodies such as a fingerprint sensor, better Snapdragon 435 SoC, and a massive 4100mAh battery. Nevertheless, from the pure price perspective, the Redmi 5A wins this round, with the Redmi 4 coming in second due to a good mix of performance and features for its higher price. The Redmi 4A, however, loses out due to its higher price and lack of features, combined with a low rent plastic construction.
Redmi 4 vs Redmi 4A vs Redmi 5A: Verdict
As mentioned before, the Redmi 4A just doesn’t make sense in the presence of the other two phones, which offer a sturdier and classier metal construction. What’s more, the Redmi 5A offers much better features at a significantly lower price point. The distinction, however, is not so easy between the Redmi 5A and Redmi 4.
While the Redmi 4 costs more, it still offers a fingerprint sensor, massive 4100mAh battery, and a better GPU for gaming. The Redmi 5A strikes back by shipping Android 7.1.2 out of the box. Its dedicated microSD card slot also allows users to expand storage without sacrificing the second SIM, and that’s something the Redmi 4 cannot do. Considering the lower price and provided you’re willing to compromise on gaming and battery life, the Redmi 5A sounds like a better option and delivers more value for money.
That means the Redmi 5A comes out as a winner, followed by the Redmi 4 in the second place, with the Redmi 4A coming in third. Having said that, those seeking performance, better battery life, and premium features should consider plonking the extra ₹2000 on the Redmi 4. Those who don’t care about gaming, can sacrifice battery life, and are willing to forego the security and convenience of a fingerprint sensor can save money and opt for the Redmi 5A.