In March, over here at India Today Tech we carried out the review of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro. This was a phone that I called the best under Rs 15,000, albeit there were a few areas that could have been better. The software, when I reviewed the Redmi Note 7 Pro, was in beta and hence there were some performance issues. But since then updates have come, bugs have been fixed and the performance is seemingly tip-top. The reason why I liked the Redmi Note 7 Pro was that it was a complete package under the price of Rs 15,000. But this review is not about the Redmi Note 7 Pro. It’s about the Redmi Note 7.
So, why I am talking about the more expensive phone? Because just like the Redmi Note 7 Pro that was best under Rs 15,000, the Redmi Note 7 is best under Rs 10,000.
In the review of the Redmi Note 7 Pro here is what I found: It is beautiful. It sports premium design. It brings all-glass body to the mid-range segment. It offers great hand feel. All of that can be said about the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 as well.
Redmi Note 7: Design, build quality
If you have read my Redmi Note 7 Pro review (read here) you’ll know how much I loved the stunning design of the phone. I feel the same about the Redmi Note 7. I’m absolutely in love with the design of the Redmi Note 7, thanks to its all-glass and gradient finish, minimal bezels, and dot drop notch. The design of the Note 7 is clean.
The Note 7 offers the same stunning glass design that we saw in the Redmi Note 7 Pro, and the fact that it comes in at a cheaper price is just the icing on the cake. It is very rare to find an under Rs 10,000 phone to come with the all-glass body so good job Xiaomi.
Besides the design, the hand feel of the Redmi Note 7 is also great. I must mention that the Redmi Note 7 is not one of the sleekest or the lightest phones you’ll find under Rs 10,000 price segment but it is definitely one of the best-looking smartphones. Despite slightly bulky body the build quality of the Note 7 is top notch and I didn’t find anything in the phone that seemed flimsy or cheap.
The Redmi Note 7 is fairly sturdy, courtesy Gorilla Glass 5 on both back and front. It is great to see an under Rs 10,000 phone comes with glass on both back and front. On the front, the dot drop notch also adds to the good looks of the phone.
Redmi Note 7: Display
This is one area where the Redmi Note 7 could have been better, and this is similar sort of gripe that I also had with the Redmi Note 7 Pro. For the price — the Redmi Note 7 sells for Rs 9,999 — it is unfair to expect AMOLED or super contrast display in the Note 7. But it could have been better.
The Note 7 comes packed with a 6.3-inch full-HD+ LTPS LCD display with 1080×2340 pixels resolution and aspect ratio of 19.5:9. I believe the display of the Note 7 gets adequately bright in indoor situations, however under the blazing sun it seems dim and dull. It gets better if you turn up the display brightness to maximum but that then drains battery. A brighter display would have made the Note 7 an even sweeter deal than it is right now.
Redmi Note 7: Performance and software
The core hardware is one of the few areas the Redmi Note 7 and the Note 7 Pro differ. The Redmi Note 7 Pro is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor. In comparison, the Redmi Note 7 comes with Snapdragon 660 AIE chipset paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage – which is expandable via microSD card. The chip aka the processor in the Note 7 is surely great but I believe performance could have been better. I’ve used several Snapdragon 660 chipset phones and they were quite amazing as for the overall performance is concerned. So I believe Xiaomi needs to optimise the software in the Note 7 further.
I used the Redmi Note 7 as my primary device for several days and for most of things that people with their phone — social media, emails, calls, messages, chats, running maps and YouTube and so on and so forth — the phone works very well. But there are areas where it also huffs and puffs, shows some lags. Play a game for long duration and the Note 7 may feel a bit sluggish. Or open some 4 or 5 tabs in Chrome, switch between a game you were playing or and Facebook app, and the Note 7 does show jitters. While using the phone I encountered times when there was some lag while switching between open, particularly if one of these apps happened to be the camera app.
Coming to the software, I believe it’s also time for Xiaomi to tone down on advertising in MIUI 10. Ads are on top of the Google ads that are already there in most of the apps. While using the Note 7 as a primary phone, I was somewhat frustrated at getting ads on almost every app.
Like its big brother, the Redmi Note 7 comes with face unlock and fingerprint sensor on the rear panel, I must mention that both the ways of unlocking the phone is pretty quick. Both the face unlock and fingerprint sensor unlocks the phone in a blink of an eye, which is pretty impressive.
Redmi Note 7: Camera
The Redmi Note 7 doesn’t come with 48-megapixel camera, powered by the IMX586 sensor, like the one in the Redmi Note 7 Pro. But that’s alright. You get what you pay for. And with the Note 7 camera, you get plenty for your Rs 9,999.
I mostly liked the kind of photos that came out of the Note 7, especially the ones clicked outdoors. Most pictures clicked with the 12-megapixel main camera sensor in good lightning turns out to be good with spot-on details and colours. Though there were times, especially under the blazing sun, when the colours turned out to be oversaturated. In most photos I was impressed with the amount of details that this Rs 10,000 phone captured.
For the portrait mode both the main camera and the secondary camera do a decent job. The edges, I believe, could have been slightly sharper, but the details and the colours the Note 7 captures are great and better than what most of the smartphones in this price range can capture.