Get Android 9.0 Pie on Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro with Pixel Experience ROM


Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro is amongst best-selling devices launched this year, Xiaomi launched it running on Android Nougat despite launching in February and later in June rolled out Android Oreo update. Redmi Note 5 Pro runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 mobile platform and devices like Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1, Nokia 6.1 Plus and Motorola One Power with the same SoC are confirmed to receive Android Pie update in the coming month but Xiaomi has not announced their plans about Redmi Note 5 Pro Android Pie update.

If you go by the Android update history of Redmi devices then it won’t be wrong to assume that device will not get any Android update as last year’s bestseller Redmi Note 4 is still on Android Nougat 7.0 but users can still enjoy the latest Android on their Redmi Note 5 Pro, thanks to the awesome custom ROM developers community. We tried Pixel Experience ROM which is based on Android Pie 9.0 on our unit and here are our impressions,

Performance and Benchmarks:

Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 is capable of delivering a solid day to day performance, we obtained AnTuTu score of 115397 on Pixel Experience ROM. We experienced a smooth and reliable day to day performance and phone didn’t have any problem in handling multitasking. Performance tests are incomplete without PUBG these days, we tried PUBG on Pixel Experience ROM and it runs just fine without any issues.

Software, UI, and Apps:

As the name suggests, the Pixel Experience ROM aims towards providing a Pixel-like experience on the device. This ROM is based on latest Android Pie 9.0 and comes with September security patch. There is no bloatware pre-installed with the ROM and there are only few Google apps preinstalled. Out of 64 GB internal storage, 10 GB is occupied by the system and users get around 53 GB of free storage.

The ROM isn’t feature-rich like MIUI but there are some customization options available, users can set the UI theme and Device theme as per their preferences under display section. There is an issue with the device theme, the dark theme doesn’t get applied system wide even after enabling, we hope that the issue will be fixed in future release.

Users can choose between navigation buttons and pill base Android Pie navigation gestures options as per their preferences.

Pixel Experience ROM also offer Digital Wellbeing that will help you understand your phone usage better, app usage timers so that you can limit the usage, Do Not Disturb mode for preventing interruptions, and a new Wind Down feature for encouraging you to disconnect at night.

Fingerprint Sensor:

The fingerprint works flawlessly on this ROM and users can add up to five different fingerprints to unlock the phone. The fingerprint is a little slow as compared to stock MIUI Global ROM but during our usage, it was accurate and reliable.

Camera:

Developers have extracted the Mi A2 camera app and that’s the inbuilt camera app in Pixel Experience ROM for Redmi Note 5 Pro. If you have used any Xiaomi device in the past, you must be familiar with the app interface and UI.

Camera2API is not enabled on the ROM by default, and users need to enable it manually to get the most out of camera users can use ported GCam which can be downloaded from here. If you enable Camera2API on the device then the default camera app will no longer work. Portrait mode for front camera work flawlessly on GCam but rear portraits aren’t working, for more ported GCam apks users can visit Google Camera Port Updates telegram channel.

Battery Life:

The battery performance on this ROM is similar to stock MIUI ROM, it lasts for a whole day with heavy usage. On moderate usage, the device should last for more than a day easily.

It takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes to charge the device from 0 to 100%, but 0-60% takes only 1 hour 5 minutes. The phone also shows ‘Charging rapidly’ when connected to a fast charger.

Conclusion:

If you’re using Redmi Note 5 Pro (whyred) and want to stay updated with the latest Android, Pixel Experience is worth consideration. The ROM is stable and offers good day to day performance along with good battery life. The only issues we could find during our usage were dark theme related UI bug and messaging app force closing multiple time which will be fixed in upcoming versions as per the Pixel Experience official telegram channel.

Requirements

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro with an unlocked bootloader – To Unlock the bootloader of your device, apply here.
  • Pixel Experience ROM – Download the latest ROM ZIP file from here.
  • Redwolf TWRP for Redmi Note 5 Pro – You can download the recovery file from here.
  • Bypass Anti-rollback –  Download the ZIP file from here.
  • ADB software (For Windows) / Android zip file (For Mac)

If you are on a Mac you need to

  • Extract the Android zip and place the folder on your Desktop.
  • Open Terminal
  • Type cd Desktop/Android
  • Enter ./ADB-Install-Mac.sh

Follow the procedure mentioned below to flash the ROM on the device,

  1. Switch off the phone and boot it into Fastboot mode by long pressing Power and Volume down buttons simultaneously.
  2. Connect your phone to PC by a USB cable, open command prompt on your PC and navigate to the folder where you have downloaded Zip to bypass anti-rollback and Redwolf TWRP Recovery ZIP.
  3. Type ‘fastboot devices’ in command prompt and check if the device is detected by the system.
  4. If the system detects the phone, type ‘fastboot flash antirbpass anti-rollback_filename.zip’ and hit enter, now type ‘fastboot flash recovery redwolf_twrp_filename.zip’ and hit enter, the process will be completed in seconds.
  5. Now long press the Volume up and Power Button to boot the phone in recovery mode.
  6. It will ask to allow modifications, Slide towards the right to allow Modifications.
  7. Select ‘Wipe’, and choose ‘Advanced Wipe’, tick on ‘Dalvik / ART Cache’, ‘System’. ‘Data’, ‘Cache’ and then swipe towards the right to Wipe.
  8. Go back and click on ‘Install’, navigate to the location where you have stored ROM file, it’s better to keep ROM file on SD Card or USB OTG drives. Select the ROM file and swipe towards the right to flash.
  9. Click on ‘Reboot’ and then ‘System’, within 10 minutes device will boot with Pixel Experience ROM.

Warning disclaimer: Bootloader unlocking and flashing ROM may void the warranty of your devices, and FoneArena is not responsible for any damage or loss caused to your device. The credit for developing the ROM and Redwolf Recovery goes to their respective developers.


Author: Arpit Porwal

Coming from the Mathematics research background, Arpit keeps an eye on MIUI and Xiaomi products and uses Xiaomi phones (mostly Redmi) as his daily driver. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram, @therational_pi