Xiaomi's most talked about phone of the year, the Redmi Note 5 Pro impressed us during our tests. The phone sets a benchmark for upcoming budget phones and has the smarts to compete against more expensive devices. To test this, we pitted the Redmi Note 5 Pro against the OnePlus 5T. While the Snapdragon 835 the 5T ships with, is obviously more powerful than the Snapdragon 636 and comes with enhanced support for camera's up to 32MP or 16MP dual-cams, Xiaomi's camera actually surprised us here.
The OnePlus 5T being a considerably more expensive phone, this comparison is a good example of how OEMs are blurring the lines between budget and flagship smartphones.
The Redmi Note 5 Pro has 12MP and 5MP sensors on the front and back. The 12MP sensor is the primary sensor, whereas the 5MP sensor is a monochrome sensor, used to capture depth.
On the other hand, the OnePlus 5T has a 16MP wide-angle primary and a 20MP secondary lens. The OnePlus 5T has f/1.7 aperture, which is evidently better for low light than Redmi's f/2.0 aperture on paper.
The test image used here was taken outdoors in natural light. The colours on the OnePlus 5T were closer to source and the picture has better dynamic range than the Redmi Note 5 Pro. When zoomed in, the OnePlus 5T had better details when it came to the building architecture and the leaves of the tree present in the picture had more details.
In some cases, the Redmi Note 5 Pro does an impressive job in terms of colour reproduction. It was at par with the OnePlus 5T in the picture above.
The Redmi Note 5 Pro surprised us with the level of details it captured. The difference was clearly visible when we zoomed into the picture. Have a look at zoomed in picture of the grams below.
In well-lit indoor conditions, the Redmi Note 5 Pro handles the light better, as you can see in the background in the picture above. It captures vibrant and punchy colours and reads the scene pretty well. The OnePlus 5T showed similar results, but you can see slightly faded colours and the white balance is off too.
When the subject is under a shadow, the OnePlus 5T is more efficient in capturing details and colours.
When zoomed in, the picture shot on Note 5 Pro showed a yellowish tint on the leaves. OnePlus takes the lead here, offering better colours and more sharpness, thanks to the better white balance and more accurate colours reproduction.
We set up a similar wall shot using both the phones in incandescent light and the result is not easy to differentiate. The image by the OnePlus 5T looks slightly sharper and is true to source but Redmi 5 Pro handles the light better here. The wavy yellow pattern under the light bulb is slightly faded out in the picture clicked by the OnePlus 5T.
Neither phone actually proved to be extraordinary for portraits. But, if we had to chose one, the OnePlus 5T was better.
Both the cameras overexpose the background and blow out all the details. Still, OnePlus’ image processing retains better sharpness in the face, while the image by the Redmi Note 5 Pro looks slightly darker. None of the pictures are really true to source, but the one from Redmi seems more natural because it doesn’t tweak the skin tone of the subject that much.
In this low light shot, it is clearly visible that the colours reproduced by Note 5 Pro are not true to source. The phone introduces a greenish hue to the image. The OnePlus 5T dominates it.
OnePlus not only reproduces better colours, but it also keep the fine details intact. The picture from Redmi Note 5 Pro lacks detail and looks grainy. It also misses out on highlights, empowering shadows to blackout the structure of the bike in the picture above.
The OnePlus 5T is undoubtedly the faster one among the two. Not that the Redmi Note 5 Pro is slow, but the shutter speed and processing time of the 5T is visibly fast. Also, the powerful hardware on the OnePlus 5T enables camera to launch faster.
Although the competition was quite close, the OnePlus 5T wins. The low-light performance, camera speed and higher megapixel count of the 5T dominates the Redmi Note 5 Pro. However, the Redmi Note 5 Pro at par with the competition, especially when it comes to colours and definition level.
Since the Redmi Note 5 Pro costs less than the half of the OnePlus 5T, its camera performance is impressive. This also gives us an idea of how the upcoming phones would offer impressive camera performance under a budget.