Yesterday, Xiaomi released the Redmi router AX5 as the cheapest Xiaomi WiFi 6 router (quad-core). The router snatched the title of the ‘cheapest WiFi 6 router in terms of price/performance’ from the Huawei router AX3/AX3 Pro. This is why we are doing this Redmi Router AX5 vs Huawei Router AX3 Pro comparison to find out which one is the best budget-friendly WiFi 6 router.
Note: Though this is the comparison between two routers (Redmi Router AX5 vs Huawei Router AX3 Pro) with almost the same hardware, we are adding another router (AX3) for a better comparison. Plus, we will be adding some real scenario-based speed tests, once we receive the review unit.
Before starting the actual Redmi Router AX5 vs Huawei Router AX3 Pro comparison, we have to know the WiFi 6+ technology, how is it different than WiFi 6?
Unlike other products that use Broadcom and Qualcomm’s off-the-shelf platforms, Huawei continues to the self-developed route. A set of Wi-Fi 6+ solutions with the Chinese Lingxiao and Kirin chips as the core are used in Huawei and Honor routers and devices. Huawei has implemented an updated technology private agreement based on WiFi 6, named WiFi 6+. Since it’s a private agreement it must have its own limitations. To get the “+” performance of Huawei WiFi 6+, it must meet the requirements of routers and devices (phones/tablets) which are obviously the Huawei routers and Huawei/Honor devices with WiFi 6+ module.
Compared with the WiFi 6 of the WIFI Alliance, Huawei WiFi 6+ mainly adds two technologies. The first is the long-distance scenario: the maximum range can be increased by 6dB. Wall. Through chip-level collaboration and dynamic narrow bandwidth technology, the power spectral density (PSD) of Huawei WiFi 6 + phones and other devices can be greatly improved.
Generally, WiFi 6 routers and phones can only communicate with a minimum bandwidth of 20MHz, while Huawei WiFi 6+ can communicate with a minimum bandwidth of 2MHz. This can improve the signal quality of phones at long distances, up to 6dB, and eliminate the problem of false signals. In the long-distance case, it can achieve the effect of passing through a wall. While the second is the close-range case where the speed is doubled. End-to-end supports 160MHz ultra-wide bandwidth. In close-range scenarios, the speed is twice that of 80MHz.
Note: In order to utilize WiFi6+ technology one must have a WiFi6+ supported device which are the latest Huawei and Kirin devices.
Starting the Redmi Router AX5 vs Huawei Router AX3 Pro comparison with the pricing. The price difference isn’t that much, Xiaomi router AX5 priced around 249 yuan (35 USD) / 229 yuan in the pre-sale, Huawei router AX3 at 229 Yuan ($32), and AX3 Pro priced at 329 yuan (46.5 USD). Even though Huawei router AX3 might be the cheapest one, but the hardware configuration is almost 2x slower than the AX3 pro and AX5.
Starting with the similarities, both of them have the same rectangular shape design with a minimalistic approach. Unlike the Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 and the Xiaomi Router AX1800, the design has kept simple to reduce the cost of designing for the both routers. However, the Huawei router AX3 Pro looks more beautiful thanks to the sleek design which also matches the sleek antennas. Meanwhile, Redmi router AX5 has a much cheaper look with the thick traditional box-type design.
Redmi router AX5 images:
Huawei router AX3 Pro images:
However, if we look in terms of heat efficiency, the heat dissipation in the Redmi router AX5 is much better thanks to the more ventilation area on the top and bottom. While for Huawei router AX3 Pro, it’s on the sides. Both devices don’t get too hot, Redmi router has a uniform heat distribution on both the top and bottom, while Huawei is fairly hot from the sides and bottom. However, since it’s WiFi 6, regular restarts every day are recommended.
In terms of dimensions, the Redmi router AX5 occupies a space of 247 x 141 x 180mm, meanwhile, the Huawei router AX3 Pro occupies 225 mm x 159.2 mm x 39.7 mm of the space. Looking at the dimensions, one can see that the Huawei AX3 Pro is much compact and thinner than the Redmi router AX5.
As for the LED indicators, redmi router AX5 has two LEDs for system and network status, while Huawei only has one LED for both the network and system status.
In terms of appearance, Huawei router AX3 Pro is the winner because of having an elegant sleek design with a premium touch feeling. In terms of heat dissipation, Redmi router AX5 is the winner due to better ventilation.
3 x LAN port 1/10/100/1000M
Both routers have similar antenna configurations and even similar antenna placement. Both have 4 x high gain 5dBi antennas. Getting in detail, both of them have 2 x 2.4GHz antennas and 2 x 5GHz antennas.
The antennas on the Redmi router AX5 are rotatable as well as foldable. While for the Huawei router AX3 Pro, the antennas are only foldable to 90 degrees. This might affect the signal transmission. Both of them have a 4-way signal amplifier.
So there’s no that much of difference here. We might select the winner of this section to be Redmi AX5 just because of the rotation aspect of the antenna’s, otherwise, it’s a tie.
Both routers have the same RAM, and ROM (256MB RAM and 128MB ROM). However, the difference is in the SoCs. For the Redmi router AX5, we have the American Qualcomm IPQ6000 5 core SoC (14nm, 4x A53 @ 1GHz CPU+ 1.5 GHz NPU).
While for Huawei router AX3 Pro we have the Chinese Lingxiao 4-core 1.4 GHz SoC (4x A53 @ 1.4GHz, no NPU mentioned), Gigahome for (AX3, Dual-core).
In terms of frequency, Lingxiao is superior in performance, however, we do miss the NPU here which is essential for efficient device management, and considering the Pros of WiFi 6 technology and AIoT configuration, having a dedicated NPU is a must. So, Qualcomm IP6000 SoC is better in power management.
Both routers can support up to 128 devices which are the standard of WiFi 6 technology.
Heading to the connectivity aspect of this Redmi Router AX5 vs Huawei Router AX3 Pro comparison, both routers support 5G and 2.4G dual-band networking. Both of them have the option of intelligent connection (connects to the suitable band automatically) and switch to only one preferred band as well from the web page (sadly in Chinese).
As for the 2.4G, both support a maximum speed of up to 574Mbps.
As for the 5G, we have a huge change and probably the downside of the Redmi AX5. The Redmi AX5 supports MIMO 2×2 (only 2 streams) which restricts its maximum speed to 1201Mbps. However, that’s not the case with Huawei AX3 Pro, which has MIMO 4×4 (4 stream channels) and has a speed up to 2402 Mbps.
Moreover, as for the 160MHz bandwidth support, Huawei AX3 Pro’s both hardware and software support it (out of the box). However, Redmi router AX5’s hardware does support 160MHz but the default firmware doesn’t. They have said that they might provide it in the next firmware update for the AX3600 router, AX1800 router, and this AX5 router. But for now, Huawei has the upper hand.
Both devices support Mesh networking as well.
2×2 for 5G (2 streams)
4×4 for 5G (4 streams)
Since both support WiFi 6 technology, the routers enjoy the benefit of OFDMA (up to 1024 QAM) and MU-MIMO.
Huawei has an upper hand here because it has three ways of connecting to the device. First is the traditional, password insertion connection. The second is via Hi-button (which also acts as a WPS button). The third and the most important is via the NFC module (phone must have the NFC feature).
Meanwhile, Redmi router AX5 only has the traditional way of connecting for a device.
As for the features, here is the list:
Huawei AX3 Pro indeed has more features including the VPN pass-through, DMZ / virtual server, and the device speed limiting which are missing in Xiaomi AX5. Plus, we can’t ignore the Hi-Link and NFC feature as well.
Moving to the app and web page Ui of the Redmi Router AX5 vs Huawei Router AX3 Pro, the greatest downside of both these routers is that they have the Chinese firmware installed which restricts the web page area to the Chinese language and default location to China. Since they are based on OpenWRT, global firmware might be provided soon.
Update (8/5/2020): Huawei AX3 Pro global version is now available and it has a multi-language webpage and changeable location.
Here is the screenshot of the web page of each router.
As for selecting the app, we have the Mi Wifi (2.9 ratings) vs Huawei Hi-Link (4.1 ratings). Both apps support multiple languages, Android and iOS, and the user interface is easy to use. However, if I want to select one app, it would be the Huawei Hi-Link because of detailed device management page, device network limiting feature, the iconic speed testing which tests the speed of both, from the router to the networking cable, and from the router to the smartphone (helpful in finding which is causing bottleneck). Other features such as parental control are the same. Oh, the game acceleration feature is free on Huawei by the way.
Here are the screenshots of Mi WiFi app:
Here are the screenshots of Hi-link App:
Redmi AX5 (3 Points) | Huawei AX3 Pro ( 5 Points)
Ending this Redmi Router AX5 vs Huawei Router AX3 Pro comparison, the choice of selecting a router really depends on the choice of the user and the budget. If you are looking forward to buying a router for the best price, better heat dissipation, superior hardware, don’t care about the looks, Redmi router AX5 is the choice. The downsides are the 2×2 MIMO limited speed which is (1201 Mbps) for 5G and fewer features, and the less detailed, low rated Mi WiFi.
If you are looking for a premium-looking router, better performance and signal reach (WiFi 6+), better speed (4×4 MIMO, 2402Mbps 5G speed), better features, and functions (NFC, Hi-Link connect, etc.) and most importantly a detailed app, Huawei router AX3 Pro is the choice. The downsides are the slightly expensive price and slightly lower hardware (not that much).
However, there can only be one winner of this Redmi Router AX5 vs Huawei Router AX3 Pro comparison and we have selected Huawei router AX3 Pro.
You can also read our Huawei AX3 Pro review and Redmi AX5 review as well.
For global purchase, Huawei router AX3 Pro is available for a price range of $65 to $95 (excluding the shipping price). Here are the best stores on the internet:
As for the Redmi Router AX5, it’s not available for global purchase at the moment. The expected price of the global Chinese stores is $45 to $55. We will update the article with the store’s link once it’s available for purchase.
Update: Xiaomi router ax5 is now available on Aliexpress and Gearbest for a price range of 49 USD to 69 USD. Here are the trusted stores selling it for the best price which is 49.52 USD and 46 USD (excluding shipping cost):
Update (8/5/2020): Huawei AX3 Pro global version is now available and it has a multi-language webpage and changeable location. You can grab the global version for $79.99 on Aliexpress.
We hope that you loved our Redmi Router AX5 vs Huawei Router AX3 Pro router comparison. Want to know anything about these routers? Join us in the comment box, and don’t forget to leave the reaction and rate the article down below.
Information is taken from (1), (2)