The Redmi Note 5 Pro is markedly different in appearance from its predecessor, with a completely different body.
On the front is the new taller 18:9 display with curved corners. The bezels around the display aren't the thinnest around but they are definitely thinner than its predecessor.
Unfortunately, three out of the four color versions come with a white front panel, which has very prominent looking bezels that destroy any illusions of a bezel-less design the phone could have had. They aren't particularly noticeable while using the phone in portrait mode but become an eyesore while watching a video and you can tell precisely where the display ends and the bezels begin. If this is the sort of thing that will annoy you then the black model is your best bet.
Around the side, we have the power and volume control buttons on the right. The buttons are well placed and have an incredibly satisfying tactile response that is neither too soft nor too firm. On the opposite side is a hybrid SIM tray that sits flush and blends perfectly with the body.
The back of the phone looks rather familiar. If you cover up the camera for a second, it looks like almost any other recent Xiaomi phone. And if you look at the camera then, well, the inspiration is obvious. The camera module juts out considerably from the back; this makes the phone wobble on a hard surface.
Despite the minor annoyances, the design has evolved and has become more refined over the years. The glass on the front has a gentle curve around the edges and is now made out of Corning Gorilla Glass. The metal sheet on the back has a greater curvature and feels more secure in hand. The metal also blends in with the plastic bits at the top and bottom better, with improved color matching and tighter tolerances. All of these contribute to a design that feels a bit more opulent than any of the previous Redmi devices. It is still, however, a step down from true unibody aluminum designs and we would like to see Xiaomi go in that direction in the future.
Also, it's worth pointing out that this is a big and heavy phone. This phone is noticeably taller than its predecessor, so those with smaller hands are going to have an even harder time reaching the top of the screen. The weight has also gone up significantly and there is a considerable heft to this phone that might deter some buyers.
The Redmi Note 5 Pro has a 5.99-inch, 2160x1080 IPS LCD with an 18:9 aspect ratio. The display has multiple settings to adjust the color, contrast and temperature. By default, it is set to Automatic mode, which automatically adjusts the contrast to ambient lighting. The Increased contrast mode locks it down to a high contrast and saturation setting with a cool color temperature. Or you can set it to the Standard mode, which has more normalized color, contrast and color temperature closer to sRGB values but not precisely so. If you want color accuracy, this is the mode to use, which is what we did on our unit.
We still wish Xiaomi followed the industry trend to provide standardized color presets for sRGB and DCI-P3 color spaces instead of arbitrary values but we were still happy with what we got out of the Standard mode.
In the Standard mode, image quality is excellent. This is down to the panel itself, which has wonderful colors, contrast and gets plenty bright (and plenty dark). The display is also very closely laminated to the glass on the surface, which makes the images that much livelier.