Redmi Note 7 Review: Is it no more the budget king?

Here's how the new Redmi Note 7 by Xiaomi performed during our review process.

Redmi Note 7
The Redmi Note 7 sports a pretty common design.

Redmi Note 7 Review: Redmi Note 7 was the company’s first smartphone after detaching its name from the Xiaomi brand. From this phone onwards all phones that the company launches will be branded as Redmi by Xiaomi instead of Xiaomi Redmi.

The phone features a lot of nice hardware and a nice design. The Snapdragon 660 though not super powerful is a decent performer. The company seems to have had plans to make the Redmi Note 7 the new budget smartphone king. However, the world doesn't revolve on Xiaomi's will. Let's see whether Xiaomi nailed it with this one or not?

Redmi Note 7

The Redmi Note 7 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor. This is coupled with 3GB/4GB of RAM and 32GB/64GB of internal storage depending on the variant you choose to purchase.

Redmi Note 7
The smaller notch on the Redmi Note 7 looks better.

The device sports a 6.3-inch (2340 x 1080 pixels) 19.5 aspect ratio IPS LCD display. For optics, it features a dual camera set up at the back, consisting of a 12-megapixel, f/2.2 aperture main sensor with PDAF along with a 2-megapixel, f/2.4 depth sensor. For selfies, it packs a 13-megapixel sensor with an f/2.0 aperture sensor. All of this is backed by a 4,000mAh non-removable battery.

The device sports a glass like looking polycarbonate back panel that comes in a number of paint jobs like most other smartphones these days. It runs Google’s Android 9.0 Pie operating system with the company’s own MIUI skin on top. The phone sports a hybrid dual SIM card slot, 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB-Type C port for charging and data syncing and a fingerprint sensor at the back.

Redmi Note 7 Review: Design

The design of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 is really good. The back panel is made out of a thin layer of polycarbonate. Our review unit was the Lemonade Blue Variant, which is super flashy. If you want something less eye-catching, the Caviar Black colour variant is a good bet for you.

Redmi Note 7
The bezels on the Note 7 are small enough not to be noticed.

The speaker grille is above the display whereas the 13-megapixel front camera is housed.

Redmi Note 7
The back looks like glass but it is not.

Coming to the back, Redmi Note 7 sports a dual camera setup paired with an LED flash aligned vertically on the top left corner. The dual camera unit has a small bump which gets aligned flat with the included cover. The fingerprint sensor is towards the top of the device aligning perfectly in your hand if you have regular sized hands.

Redmi Note 7
Top, Bottom, Left, Right.

The right edge consists of the volume rockers and the power button. The top edge holds the microSD card slot with IR blaster and secondary microphone. The left edge sports only the SIM card tray while the bottom edge has the USB-Type C port along with the speakers. The primary microphone grille has been made to look the speaker grille giving the phone symmetrical look which improves the look if you ask me.

Overall, the design of Note 7 feels pretty good. It’s subtle but not dull enough to go unnoticed. The smartphone feels comfortable in hand if not premium at the most.

Redmi Note 7 Review: Software

The Redmi Note 7 runs Google’s Android 9.0 Pie with the company’s own MIUI 10.2 skin on top. Xiaomi's MIUI is one of the most popular custom Android skins on the market. Love it or hate it, its features are useful and its colourful look with heavily modified Android experience is a bane for many users.

The MIUI is the software you might like depending on your preferences.

It offers a heavily customized Android experience with its own icon packs and many additional apps by the company. Most of these apps cannot be uninstalled. Between the colourful UI and no app drawer, whether you like it or not depends on your personal wish.

Overall, with its MIUI 10, Xiaomi has made an effort to satisfy all the users but has also made the UI even more complex and different from the stock Android build, which is a negative for me.

Redmi Note 7 Review: Performance

Performance is a major area of concern on any device, the same goes for the Redmi Note 7. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor coupled with an Adreno 512 GPU and 3/4GB of RAM. Our review unit came with 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage.

Redmi Note 7 AnTuTu GeekBench
AnTuTu (Left) GeekBench (Right).

We ran our usual benchmark tests to evaluate how the device performs. On AnTuTu the device was able to score 141411, which is great considering its price point.

Also Read: Redmi Note 7 Pro finally gets support for Fortnite

On GeekBench it managed to get a single core score of 1632 and a multi-core score of 5154. The performance numbers of the device on paper are around the same for the competition.

While playing light games such as Temple Run and Crossy Chicken, the phone runs flawlessly. Heavy games like Asphalt 9: Legends, PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty also run without any hiccup with some minor heating.

Redmi Note 7 Review: Display

The display of the Note 7 is good enough.

Redmi Note 7 sports a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2340×1080 pixels and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. The brightness levels are able to get super low and immensely high depending on the situation. The colours are more vibrant than most other smartphones in this price range, which is not something everyone will like.

Redmi Note 7 Review: Camera

Redmi Note 7 features a dual camera setup at the back. There is a 12-megapixel, f/2.0 aperture main sensor with PDAF along with a 2-megapixel, f/2.4 aperture depth sensor. For selfies, it packs a 12-megapixel sensor with an f/2.2 aperture sensor. I personally would have preferred a wide angle or a zoom lens but the depth sensor will also do.

Images that were taken with the rear camera come out decently good. The images have good details and come out very sharp. Due to a dedicated depth sensor, the focus and details of the images are exceptionally good. However, the colours are a little brighter and sharper making the images look a little touch-up.

Redmi Note 7 Camera Samples
Default Beuty Mode average setting (Left), No beauty mdoe (Center), Max beauty mode (Right).

Coming to the front camera, that is a completely different story. The camera app has a smart beauty mode turned on by default, which tries to make you look better. However, all it goes is makes the skin tone a little brighter. It is annoying to turn it off every time you open the camera. Apart from that the camera is good enough with the details being a little lower than expected.

Also Read: Redmi K20 is finally coming to India on July 15: Here’s what to expect

Overall, the camera quality of the Redmi Note 7 is not that impressive. However, it being the lower version with the Redmi Note 7 Pro being the one with the actual impressive setup, the camera of the Note 7 will not impress you but at the same time it will not disappoint you also.

Redmi Note 7 Review: Battery

Redmi Note 7 is backed by a 4,000mAh battery Li-Po, which easily lasts more than a day on a single charge. Charging time with the included charger is around 120-150 minutes, which is great. If you are not a heavy user, you can easily make it work till the end of the workday.

Redmi Note 7 Battery
Charging Animation (Left), PC Mark Work 2.0 (Center), Battery Optimization (Right).

We ran PCMark’s Work 2.0 Battery Life test, which subjects the phone to heavy usage and finds out how the battery performs in those conditions. The device yielded a result of 14 hours and 25 minutes, which is quite good in comparison to similar battery capacity smartphones.

Redmi Note 7 Review: Verdict

The Redmi Note 7 has a tough competition but is a good option to consider.

Redmi Note 7 starts at Rs. 9,999, for the 3GB RAM and 32GB storage variant. The bigger 4GB RAM and 64GB storage variant are priced at Rs 11,999. The competition is tough at that price range which makes the decision very hard.

However, considering this is one of the best devices I have tried out at this price point. I can say that you will not regret purchasing the device as of now.


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