Redefining Affordable Smartphones: Lenovo A5 vs. Redmi 6

Ronald Chinnici

As a loyal fan of affordable smartphones, I own both the Lenovo A5 and the Redmi 6. Having used both, I would like to share the contrast between them.

Appearance

I was first attracted to the appearance. 

The designs of all cheap smartphones on the market today are the same. Coupled with the popularity of the 18:9 screens of recent years, the proportion of the screens is getting higher and higher, leaving less design space for manufacturers. 

The Lenovo A5 is not significantly different from the Redmi 6 in appearance. 

Both are equipped with a 5.45-inch, 18:9 display screen with 1440 x 720 resolution. 

Overall, the phone will be slightly slender due to its 18:9 aspect ratio. 


As for their backs, both are made of plastic. 


Their cameras and flashlights are both on the upper left, the fingerprint recognition modules are in the middle, the brand logos are at the bottom, and the two both have the same flank parts. 


Additionally, both include SIM card slots on the left with power and volume bottoms on the right. Both tops feature a 3.5mm headphone jack. 

I am not sure when it began, but the SIM card slot of mobile phones only allows for dual cards or single cards with expansions. You cannot use dual cards and micro SD cards at the same time. 

It is worth noting that the Lenovo A5 broke this convention by including dual SIM and micro SD card slot, which is admirable.


Camera Performance

The advantages and disadvantages of each phone's camera function are critical aspects which affect your choice. 

Both the Lenovo A5 and Redmi 6 have 13-megapixel cameras


My photos feature three scenes: outdoor during the day, indoor, and at night.

First, we compare the photos taken during the day: I took the picture during a cloudy day with limited to test each camera's imaging quality. 

I conclude that the Lenovo A5 imaging appears cold. When comparing imaging latitude, the Lenovo A5 is lacking. Despite this, the Lenovo A5 is slightly better with higher saturation. 

In cloudy situations, the Redmi 6 image is warmer and shows a phenomenon of "ancestral green." 

 In contrast, the Lenovo A5 image is more pleasing. 

When comparing photos of the plants taken indoors, the Redmi 6 image still shows a bit of green with insufficient transparency and lacking contrast. The Redmi 6 continues to show the latitude advantage, with the dark parts of the plant and soil contour in the pots appearing more prominent. 


After the HDR opens, the Lenovo A5’s latitude improves. 


When comparing the photos taken at night, the Redmi 6's imaging is brighter with the advantage of latitude.


After opening the HDR, Lenovo A5 is brighter overall, which is close to the imaging level of the Redmi 6 without the HDR. however, the Redmi 6 loses the dark part details. 


And while the Lenovo A5 is brighter overall, its control capability of glare is still limited with an increase in noise. Both display the same brightness, but the Redmi 6’s details in the dark are more abundant.

The above information establishes that the imaging styles of both the Lenovo A5 and Redmi 6 are different, with each having its strengths.


Hardware Performance

The product details outline the performance and configuration of both. 

The Lenovo A5 is equipped with MediaTek MT6739 Soc while the Redmi 6 is equipped with MediaTek Helio P22 SoC. Both feature a 3GB memory and 32GB storage. As for the experience, I compare them below.

Game-playing Experience

When playing a mobile game, I find the effects are highly-heightened, and the high-definition display, multi-thread mode, and high frame rate mode are all turned on. Both maintain levels of more than 30 frames, in line with other affordable smartphones.

Endurance Capability

A large battery with a long life is the main selling point for the Lenovo A5. A 4000mAh battery is included in its 5.45-inch body, which is rare in affordable smartphones. The Redmi 6 features a standard 3000mAh battery. 


What about their battery lives?

My assessment encompassed a 5-hour endurance test with five sessions: one hour each of an online video test, playing games test, using social networking apps test and listening to music; plus a half-hour photography test. 

The music listening was completed with headphones on and the screen off, but the other tests were done with the screen open. I turned off the automatic brightness adjusting function, maintaining an 80% brightness level, and used the speaker to release the sound, as well as maintain 60% of the volume. 

The result? The Lenovo A5 saw 45% of its battery life remain, while the Redmi 6 saw only 34% remain. That is a difference of 11%. 

The screen and SoC are the primary users of electricity consumption from both phones. 

In addition to listening to music, their electricity consumption is nearly identical. Other bright screen test projects show a 2%-4% electricity consumption gap. 

In the game playing process, in particular, the Lenovo A5 consumes 16% of electricity, while the Redmi 6 consumes 20%, which is a difference of 4%. 


I also measured their electricity consumption after 8 hours of standby at night. The initial electricity levels of the Lenovo A5 and Redmi 6 started at 91% and 88%, respectively. After one night, the Lenovo A5 consumed 4% of electricity with 87% remaining while the Redmi 6 consumed 16% with 72% remaining. 

This shows the Redmi 6 consuming more electricity in the standby state and suggests there may be consumption instability. Therefore, it may be necessary to restart or follow the OTA upgrade patch to fix this problem.

Charging Speed

Because both are budget phones, they don't support fast charging. It requires more than 3 hours to charge them, which is still relatively slow fully. 

The advantageous nature of the 10.4W charging power, resulted in the Lenovo A5 charging to 28% electricity and the Redmi 6 to 19% in half an hour. The Lenovo A5 charged to 54% and the Redmi 6 to 37% in one hour. After an hour and a half, the Lenovo A5 charged to 75% and the Redmi 6 to 56%. 

When close to fully-charged, the Lenovo A5's security mechanism slows down its charging speed, so after two and a half hours, the Redmi 6 overtakes the charged electricity.


Summary

The advantages and disadvantages of both the Lenovo A5 and the Redmi 6 are distinct. 

In terms of daily use, ZUl and MIUI have no apparent advantages or disadvantages, and their fluency use is acceptable. 

In terms of performance, both maintain high fluency in game playing. 

In terms of photographing, the image quality of the Redmi 6 is less pleasing during the day or indoors while the Lenovo A5 is at a nighttime disadvantage. 

How about battery life? The Lenovo A5 has the absolute advantage with 4000mAh and a 10.4W charging head.

In short, these two affordable phones are cost-effective and redefine consumers' perceptions of affordable phones. 

Which one do you prefer? Come and try them both. You deserve it.

Lenovo A5 4G Smartphone Global Version

$113.46

$89.99


Xiaomi Redmi 6 5.45 inch 4G Smartphone Global Version

$183.13

$183.13


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