Xiaomi Redmi Pro full review
Xiaomi’s Redmi Pro is a beast, the first phone we’ve seen to feature 10 processor cores, plus 3GB of RAM and a colossal 64GB of storage. Add to that a fancy Dual Camera, a 5.5in OLED display, a large-capacity battery and USB-C, and the Redmi Pro offers staggering value at £256. Also see: Best phones 2016.
Also see: Best Xiaomi Phones 2018
Xiaomi Redmi Pro review: Price and UK availability
Xiaomi doesn’t officially sell its phones in the UK, which means if you want one you will need to buy it through a third-party importer. Several such sites offer this service, but our go-to for Xiaomi phones is GearBest. It lists the 64GB Xiaomi Redmi Pro reviewed here for £256.04 (though note that prices can fluctuate daily). This includes free shipping to the UK, unless you opt for an express service, but you will have to pay import duty if requested by Customs upon its entry to the UK. You can learn more about the pros and cons of buying Chinese tech in our article on grey-market tech.
The Xiaomi Redmi Pro is currently available to pre-order, and GearBest says it will ship after 13 October. Also see: Best cheap phones 2016.
Xiaomi Redmi Pro review: Design and build
The Xiaomi Redmi Pro is a very well-designed phone that mixes a brushed metal rear and high-quality chamfered edges with a white plastic screen surround and a 2.5D Arc screen. It’s a high-gloss, premium design that feels reassuringly solid, with utmost attention to detail.
There’s a bit of space above and below the screen, and the latter is where you’ll find the fingerprint sensor built into a ceramic home button, but to the left and right slim bezels help make this large-screen phone feel less cumbersome when used in one hand. It is a large phone nevertheless, at 151.5x76.2x8.2mm and 174g.
With a large 5.5in screen this is what we refer to as a ‘phablet’ rather than a standard smartphone, and as such it may not be suited to the tiniest of hands. However, one of the things we like about the MIUI interface is the ability to downsize the visible display area (to 4.5-, 4- or 3.5in) and put everything within easy reach. There’s also a Quick Ball setting that allows you to place anywhere you like onscreen options to return to the home screen, open the multi-tasking window, lock the screen or take a screenshot. Also see: Best Android phones 2016.
The screen is by no means an annoyance, though. A display of this size is perfectly suited to multimedia, and its full-HD resolution ensures everything onscreen is crystal clear. Xiaomi has fitted an OLED panel, which doesn’t require a power-draining backlight and therefore tends to be uniformly bright and able to offer excellent contrast. OLED also produces near-infallible viewing angles and vivid colour reproduction that is more than worthy of the colourful new MIUI 8.0 interface.
Xiaomi Redmi Pro review: Core hardware and performance
The Redmi Pro is the first phone we’ve reviewed to harbour a deca-core processor. The 1.55GHz Helio X25 integrates two Cortex-A72 cores and eight Cortex-A53 cores, as well as the Mali T880 GPU. This is paired with 3GB of RAM, which is generous but just half that of some phones such as the OnePlus 3.
In real-world use running MIUI 8.0 the Redmi Pro is fast, with no lag when launching apps or switching between home screens. It also gave a very good showing in our benchmarks.
We use AnTuTu and Geekbench to measure general processing performance and here the Redmi Pro fared well. Its 79,487 points scored in AnTuTu is very good, and a little ahead of the Xiaomi Mi Max’s 74,156.
Geekbench has recently been updated to version 4, which makes it difficult to compare performance with the vast majority of phones we’ve benchmarked using Geekbench 3. Geekbench 4 scores are calculated using a baseline score of 4000, which has been set using an Intel Core i7-6600U. Higher-than-4000-point scores are better, and double the score indicates double the performance.
With that in mind, the Redmi Pro’s multi-core score of 4539 points is very good and sits somewhere in between the Huawei P9 (4735 points) and OnePlus 3 (4015 points). The Galaxy Note 7, S7 and S7 edge are faster still, recording 5228-, 5213- and 5203- points respectively, but the Redmi Pro is faster than last year’s Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+, S6 edge and Note 5 (3972-, 3948- and 3920 points respectively).
We also recorded 1764 points single-core, which sits between the Note 7 (1786 points) and Galaxy S7 edge (1744 points).
Our next test is GFXBench 3.0, which measures onscreen graphics performance. The Xiaomi Redmi Pro turned in a respectable and easily playable 25fps in T-Rex and 15fps in Manhattan. That’s not up there with the flagships, but it wipes the floor with many a mid-range Android.
Usually we would also measure battery life using the Geekbench 3 battery benchmark, but the test has been removed from Geekbench 4 so it’s temporarily back to the drawing board for that one.
However, the Xiaomi Redmi Pro has a large 4,050mAh non-removable battery that in our experience should be good for a couple of days, but your mileage may vary depending on your usage.