The Redmi Note 5 Pro gives us a first look at Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 platform.

Xiaomi unveiled the Redmi Note 5 Pro earlier this week in India, and among its many highlights is the fact that the phone is the first to be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 platform. Like the Snapdragon 660, the Snapdragon 636 is built on the 14nm node and brings Kryo cores to the mid-range category, with the chipset featuring eight Kryo 260 cores in a 4 + 4 cluster.

The Kryo 260 leverages four semi-custom Cortex A73 cores clocked at 1.8GHz, along with four semi-custom Cortex A53 energy-efficient cores at 1.6GHz, Adreno 509 GPU, and Qualcomm’s X12 LTE modem with up to 600Mbps downlink. The Cortex A73 cores are some of the fastest available today, and as such the Redmi Note 5 Pro offers a noticeable uptick in performance over the likes of the Redmi Note 5 and other Xiaomi phones in the budget segment.

In fact, there isn’t a phone in the budget segment that comes close to the Redmi Note 5 Pro in terms of sheer performance, as we’ll see from the benchmarks. I compared the Redmi Note 5 Pro to the Redmi Note 5, which shares the same Snapdragon 625 platform as its predecessor. I also included scores from older devices, including the Snapdragon 650-based Redmi Note 3, which has two Cortex A72 cores.

The higher-performance Cortex A72 cores give the Snapdragon 650 a lead in CPU-intensive tasks, but the 28nm design doesn’t really offer the same levels of battery efficiency as the 14nm chipsets. And to provide an overview of just how competitive the Snapdragon 636 platform really is, I included benchmarks from the Snapdragon 835-based Mi 6, the Snapdragon 821-based Mi 5s, and the Snapdragon 820-based Mi 5. The Snapdragon 660-toting Mi Note 3 rounds off the list of devices included in the test, and it serves as a baseline for the results.

All seven devices are running MIUI, but the platform version is different — the Mi 5, Mi 5s, and Redmi Note 3 are on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, and the rest of the devices are on Android 7.1.1 Nougat.

Before we begin: The Redmi Note 5 Pro is currently running a beta build of MIUI 9 (9.2.2.0), and is slated to receive the stable update (9.2.4.0) shortly after it goes on sale. The particular beta build blocks a few benchmarks like Geekbench and GFXBench, so I’ll add those scores once the stable update hits my device.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro benchmarks

We’ve seen phones in this segment field increasingly powerful hardware over the last two years, and the Snapdragon 636 is a generational leap forward. Essentially, the Snapdragon 636 is an underclocked version of the Snapdragon 660 — the chipset offers massive gains over the outgoing Snapdragon 625, and should make budget phones that much more exciting.

With the Redmi Note 5 Pro priced at ₹13,999 ($ 215), Xiaomi is once again offering incredible value in this category. The phone will go up for sale in India starting February 22 on Flipkart, and is available in two variants — a model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage for ₹13,999 ($ 215), and a version with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory for ₹16,999 ($ 260).

See at Flipkart

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