Xiaomi has recently begun flash sales of its hot selling range of Redmi Note – The Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro in India. So far the flash sales are over in almost a couple of seconds. The newly launched mobile phones seem to be the first choice of Indians. I must say the specifications in Rs. 14,000 range are simply amazing.
The 5.99″ 18:9 display looks fantastic and the Snapdragon 636 processor in the Pro model is simply the best in budget phone category. You can’t beat this phone in specifications. The dual camera setup in the Pro model clicks pretty decent photos and the portrait mode is icing on the cake.
With the launch of LTE networks specifically Reliance Jio VoLTE network in India, the consumers have questions regarding the network capabilities and LTE bands. Xiaomi is known to have very less LTE bands and they really messed up with the Note 4 bands by not including 2100 MHz (1). 2100 MHz is used by second and third largest network operators, Vodafone and Idea respectively, in many parts of India for LTE implementation. This left many Vodafone and Idea users frustrated with not having any LTE signal in their Redmi Note 4 phones. However, they have fixed the problem with Note 5 series by including the 2100 MHz (1) band. The Redmi Note 5 now have 850 Mhz (5), 1800 Mhz (3), 2100 Mhz (1), 2300 Mhz (40) and 2500 Mhz (41).
So, the LTE bands problem is almost solved. But have they also included Carrier Aggregation in the newly launched Redmi Note 5 series? Xiaomi devices, till now, did not have Carrier Aggregation enabled.
Carrier Aggregation (CA) or LTE Advanced or 4G+ is the enhancement of the LTE technology. It is used to increase the bandwidth of the network or in simple terms you get a much higher speeds on CA enabled phones. It is still not clear whether the Redmi Note 5 series support CA or not. The specifications page on Xiaomi India’s website mentions 4G+ but it is still very confusing as it does not specifically mention that it supports 2 CA or 3 CA. We tried to ask a top Xiaomi India’s official regarding CA but unfortunately couldn’t elicit any response.
Why is CA important?
Let me give you an example. Reliance Jio recently enabled CA in my city and I checked Reliance Jio speeds at my home using a 2 CA enabled phone, Redmi 4 and Redmi Note 4. The 2 CA enabled phone clocked up to 10 Mbps while the Redmi 4 and Redmi Note 4 couldn’t exceed 1 Mbps. I got the similar results every time I checked the speeds in the last one month. I couldn’t check what speeds a 3 CA device could get in my area. Multiple users on social media and on many forums are reporting speeds up to 100 Mbps on Reliance Jio using a 3 CA capable device.
I couldn’t get my hands on a Redmi Note 5 series device to perform the tests so I could not verify if CA is enabled or not. I hope they have enabled it and also roll out patches for earlier phones. I’ll update the article once the specifications are clear.
Do you own a Redmi Note 5 or a Redmi Note 5 Pro? Comment and let us know about the Carrier Aggregation status!