Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro review

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro review;

The Redmi Note 7 and Note 7 Pro mark Redmi’s rebirth after a four-year-long dominance in the affordable smartphone segment. After the Redmi Note 3, we saw some iterative upgrades in terms of design and display, but its unchallenged value for money proposition made Xiaomi the segment leader over the years.

On February 28, 2019, Redmi launched its first phones like Xiaomi’s sub-brand in India — the Redmi Note 7 and Note 7 Pro. The Redmi Note 7 Pro, especially, is a completely revamped handset compared to what we have seen on previous Redmi Note phones. The biggest and most evident change is the design, and the biggest upgrade is the rear camera. The performance also gets a boost with Qualcomm’s latest 600-series chipset.

With all that in the mix, the Redmi Note 7 Pro is a combination of good design, latest hardware, and handy features. It is the latest in a recent wave of mid-range smartphones that look like flagships, but is it going to be on top of them all? We find out.

Redmi Note 7 Pro price and release date

  • Starts at Rs 13,999
  • Comes in Red, Blue, and Black
  • Available across multiple platforms

The Redmi Note 7 Pro starts at Rs 13,999 for 4GB+64GB and the 6GB+128GB variant is priced at Rs 16,999. It will go on sale starting March 13 at 12 noon at Mi Home stores, mi.com, Flipkart and Mi Partner stores.

While we are not sure about the offline availability, Xiaomi will continue to hold flash sales for the phones on the e-commerce platforms.

Design

  • Gorilla Glass 5 on both sides
  • Body-colored frame
  • Protective case in the box

The Redmi Note 7 Pro is a mid-ranger that looks like a flagship.

After long, there’s finally something new to talk about Redmi Note’s design in detail. As mentioned, it’s a refresh over the standard aluminum build. The Redmi Note 7 Pro’s design isn’t something we haven’t seen before. We have witnessed a similar design language, material and finish on Honor and Huawei phones earlier.

However, Xiaomi claims their implementation of this build and design is of superior quality and ensures longevity. It has Gorilla Glass 5 protection on both sides, with a body colored metal rim running around the edges. The company claims that the device is so solid, you can even break a walnut with it. We weren’t brave enough to test that, but we did find it well built. As per the company, the phone is splashproof as they’ve added a rubber layer around all the openings that could lead to water damage. But, that doesn’t mean you can submerge it under water or keep it constantly under the shower.

The Redmi Note 7 Pro is of the same size as the Redmi Note 5 Pro and 6 Pro, but the screen size is slightly bigger this time. That’s because the notch is now shrunken. It may not be the best size for everyone’s hand, but it certainly is the standard size that the majority prefers.

While glass is more fragile than plastic, it’s still less prone to scratches if you’re worried. If the weight of the phone is one of your concerns then be warned that the Note 7 Pro weighs 186 grams, which is the highest in its range. To put things into perspective, Samsung’s Galaxy M30 with a 5000mAh battery weighs lesser at 175 grams. However, we don’t find the Note 7 Pro to be unusually bulky, instead, it feels solid and even the weight distribution is done well.

It has 2.5D curved glass on both sides and the rim is also rounded. For someone who has big hands like me, the Note 7 Pro is a perfect fit as my thumb lands right between the lock button and volume button while holding the phone in a natural way. Also, there are no fine edges to dig into your hand. What I personally liked is that Xiaomi has finally ditched the iPhone-like vertical camera design. The cameras are still vertically stacked, but the resemblance to iPhone X is now gone.

The rear fingerprint scanner is in the middle of the phone and easy to hit, with the ridged edges easily identified when extending a digit.

Further, there are small but noticeable design elements like the new ‘Redmi by Xiaomi’ branding at the back, body colored frame, under the glass LED flash and gradient shades. It comes in two gradient colors– Neptune blue and Nebula red, which is new for Xiaomi, but the trend is seen across all mainstream OEMs lately.

Display

  • 19.5:9 LCD screen with dot notch
  • 6.3 inches 
  • Full HD Plus resolution, 409ppi

The Redmi Note 7 Pro has a 6.3-inch FHD+ LTPS in-cell display instead of an IPS panel. This is because LTPS in-cell display consumes less power, has faster refresh rates and generates less heat. While we’re not sure exactly how big a difference that makes, we can say that there’s no compromise on the visuals.

Redmi Note 7 Pro’s new dot notch design makes for a 19.5:9 aspect ratio of the screen. It is also the first Redmi Note phone with a u-shaped notch on the front.

The display seemed to be justifying the price tag it comes at. Color reproduction was a little cool for our tastes, but the MIUI software has ample screen tuning abilities built in. We switched to the ‘warm’ preset, which improved things considerably.

Compared to its competitor Samsung Galaxy M30, it lacks the overall image quality you’d get with an OLED display. If you don’t already know, AMOLED panels are punchier and crisp compared to LCDs. Still, off-angle and outdoor visibility are better than we’d expect from a phone of this price.

The fact that the screen isn’t actually bezel-less and has thick visible borders on all sides might disappoint users looking for an edge to edge experience or higher screen to body ratio. The Redmi Note 7 Pro offers 81.4% of screen-to-body ratio while competitors like the M30, Realme 3 and Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 offer more than 88%.

In a nutshell, the display isn’t a bad one for its price, but it’s not one of the strong areas of the Redmi Note 7 Pro.

Camera

  • 48MP primary camera
  • Sony IMX 586 sensor
  • Impressive night mode 

The dual camera setup on the Redmi Note 7 Pro comprises of a primary 48MP sensor with f/1.79 aperture coupled with a 5MP depth-sensor. The primary camera on this phone is by far the most powerful sensor in this budget. It captures ample of data to process a photo with 8000 x 4000 resolution, which is enough to print on a 211cm x 282cm canvas without losing details.

However, that’s not the mode you would like to have for all photos as the picture size is usually more than 15MB. In case you need to click a 48MP picture, you need to head over to Modes to change the photo size to 48MP or you can go to the ‘Pro’ mode.

48MP image 

48MP image

70% cropped 

 

We have seen a similar setting on the recently release Honor View 20. Both phones feature the Sony IMX 586 sensor and we loved the pictures from the View 20. The Redmi Note 7 Pro also makes the most out of this setting by gathering ample details with sharp edges in most frames. Not just the detail but colors and contrast is also very good even in the 48MP shot, so much so that you can shoot them with HDR off and not miss the punch.

We used the camera in auto mode in most cases where the camera produces 12MP imagery by default. It is up to the Mi A2 standards and even better in some cases. As you could see in the picture of the sky and the car below, it reproduces great dynamic range and does some impressive color and contrast adjustment (especially in AI mode).

The night mode is not close to what Pixel’s Night Sight does or even OnePlus’ Nightscape. The Redmi Note 7 Pro is capable of clicking low light shots similar to the OnePlus 6T, but it lacks the aggressive shake reduction as seen of the latter. You need to keep your hand really stable to get enough sharpness in the image.

Normal mode

Night mode

Night mode

The Portrait mode is definitely better than what you would expect on a phone of this range. Note that we’re speaking of well-lit conditions as it does compromise on quality under challenging lighting conditions. Still, of all the phones of its range, I find the blurring on Redmi Note 7 Pro looks more natural. You also get some portrait blur effects to play with, which we are not a great fan of.

Portrait mode
Left (Natural light) Right (Low light)

The rear camera can record 4K at 30fps video where EIS (Electronic Image Stabilisation) provides stability to the videos. If you wish to shoot at 60fps, you will be bound to switch to 1080p, which we had no issue with. The 4K videos, however, have better colors, sharpness and higher dynamic range. We were also quite impressed with the audio output, but we haven’t got a chance to test it on bigger speakers yet.

Lastly, Xiaomi has armed the Note 7 Pro’s camera with tons of AI prowess for picture enhancement. Additionally, there are several modes and settings like short video, night mode, panorama, pro, group selfie and more.

The 13MP front camera captures a good amount of details and does subtle software enhancements to make it a social media worthy selfie in a jiffy. But that’s only in good light, as it tends to struggle in dark and indoors.

Selfie camera in day light

Selfie camera in daylight

As touted, the Redmi Note 7 Pro actually boasts of impressive camera setup for its price. It sets the benchmarks high for phones that are expected to release in the same segment.

Find more camera samples below-

Image 1 of 6

 

User Interface

  • Android 9.1 out of the box
  • MIUI 10 

On the software front, the Redmi Note 7 Pro comes with Android 9.0 Pie with MIUI 10 on top.

MIUI 10

MIUI 10

Visually, the MIUI is one of the best custom ROMs after the OnePlus’ Oxygen OS. The animations and transitions look pleasant and it makes operations look more fluid. The only ugly part of the UI is its obstructive ads that have been on the complaint books from a long time now. For tech-savvy users, there’s an option to switch them off, but Xiaomi is a mass-oriented company and masses in India are unaware of such alternative.

Despite some quality refinements that MIUI has got over the years, elements like lock screen content and advertisements within apps are a sheer disappointment for the users.

Although the UI looks neat, we would have liked an option enable/disable app drawer. Leaving the choice for users is always better than not having it completely.

Bloatware includes Xiaomi’s regular set of Mi apps and some removable pre-installed apps like Amazon, Facebook, Daily hunt,

Performance, storage, and connectivity

  • Snapdragon 675 chipset
  • 4GB/6GB RAM variants
  • 64GB storage with SD card support

The Redmi Note 7 Pro comes with the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 octa-core chipset that was seen of the Vivo V15 Pro at double the price. The chipset is based on 11nm, it has two high-performance Kryo 460 cores clocked at 2.0 GHz and Adreno 612 GPU for graphics. The phone is available in two RAM variants – 4GB and 6GB.

On my 4GB variant, multitasking and routine tasks are handled without any issue. I could easily run power-hungry apps and games. On rare occasions like launching the camera app or switching between apps, you might notice tiny lags or hiccups but that’s more because of the UI optimization.

Otherwise, the performance is impressive and the phone easily sails through tasks like clicking pictures, browsing social media, WhatsApp and hours of phone calls.

Basic 3D games are handled easily, and games like PUBG Mobile can be played in high settings too. We would recommend you to use medium settings as you might experience occasional frame rate drops and lags that might spoil your experience. The heating on our unit of the Redmi Note 7 Pro was relatively higher than the previous Redmi Note.

Connectivity is also great, with 4G and Bluetooth 5.0 on board. The Type-C USB port is also a big and much-asked upgrade.

Battery

  • 4000mAh battery
  • Power saving modes
  • Quick Charge 4.0

Xiaomi has retained a 4,000mAh battery with Quick Charge 4.0 support, but you’ll get a 10W charger in the retail box. The stock charger takes around 90 minutes to charge the phone from 0-100.

You can easily expect 6-7 hours of screen on time on the Redmi Note 7 Pro, which is comparable to its predecessors. The battery easily lasts more than a day for an aggressive user like me. Those who aren’t as addicted to their phone as me can easily get a day and half of the backup.

Verdict

The Redmi Note 7 Pro is the best smartphone money can buy in its segment. Its hardware and camera are unarguably the best you can get for Rs 13,999 right now. The design isn’t unique but its build quality and finish justify every penny you shed for it. It becomes more likable when you look at small additions like the Fast Charge 4.0, USB Type-C, IR Blaster and other useful software features.

While the software has some furnishing issues that we can deal with, the ads in UI is the biggest problem here. Many won’t count this as an issue and some may find the way to disable it, but it’s the integrity that’s the question.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *