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Xiaomi Redmi 7 Review – Appealing Design, Good Backup, Average Low-Light Camera Performance
Xiaomi Redmi 7 debuted as the successor to the Redmi 6 smartphone in India last month. The device was announced besides the Redmi Y3 which is a selfie-centric smartphone. The Redmi 6 brings some major upgrades over the Redmi 6 smartphone.
With a price tag of Rs. 8,999 for the 3GB RAM variant and Rs. 7,999 for the 2GB RAM model, the device is up against the Samsung Galaxy M10, Realme 3 and its cousin Redmi Note 7. You can choose from Lunar Red, Comet Blue, and Eclipse Black color options.
So, we got a chance to test the device for a while and this is what we think of the new Redmi budget smartphone.
Appealing Design But Slightly Heavy
Xiaomi has opted for a unique design approach for the Redmi 7. The device comes with a glossy rear panel and a dual-tone paint job with matte black frame.
The rear panel is a fingerprint magnet and picks up fingerprints almost instantly after taking out of the package. Thankfully, the device ships with a TPU case which protects it from scratches and smudges.
The company has used a polycarbonate material to craft the Redmi 7. The build quality of the device is good and it does feel sturdy to hold. The device weighs around 180 gms and has a slightly thick body measuring 8.47mm in size. This is not the slimmest budget smartphone around, but still pretty handy to use.
The primary camera setup is stacked vertically on the top-left corner of the rear panel which is accompanied by an LED flash.
A fingerprint scanner is also mounted at the center of the rear panel and the optimum positioning allows the finger to rest naturally on it. Setting it up was simple and we didn't experience any lags or delay while unlocking the unit using the scanner.
As for the placements of ports and keys, the left edge of the smartphone packs a SIM card tray. The right panel has the volume rockers and the power key. The 3.5mm audio jack is on the top. The bottom panel has a USB Type-C port with speaker grills on either side.
Overall, the Redmi Note 7s has an appealing design which might lure the modern users. It looks attractive, thanks to the dual-shade glossy paint job and the matte-finish frame. The only drawback in our opinion is its slightly thick and heavy body.
Bright Display With Good Viewing Angles
The Redmi 7s flaunts a 6.26-inch IPS LCD display with an HD+ resolution and a dot notch on the top. This is an upgrade over the standard iPhone X like notch on the Redmi 6 series.
The 2.5D curved glass delivers an aspect ratio of 19:9 and is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 layer on top. This protects it from accidental drops and scratches.
The display delivers a balanced color output and the content doesn't look animated. The texts are crisp and the media played on the screen also has good levels of clarity.
The sunlight visibility of the display is also legit and the content is visible under direct sunlight without the display going too dark.
The videos streamed online on platforms like YouTube and others are also crisp. However, do note that the videos can only be played at 720 pixels. The viewing angles are also good and the big display size allows for a good viewing experience.
Redmi 7 Performance
Under the hood, a Snapdragon 632 processor backs up the device. This is the same chipset which powers some popular budget smartphones such as Asus ZenFone Max M2, Honor 8C, and Moto G7 among others. The processor clocks at 1.8GHz and is based on a 14nm architecture combined with Adreno 506 GPU.
The smartphone has been launched with two RAM and single storage configurations. There is a 2GB+ 32GB variant and a 3GB+ 32GB model. It has a dedicated microSD card slot using which the memory can be expanded up to 512GB. So you get ample storage to store files on the device.
The mid-range hardware packed inside the smartphone allows for decent user experience. The smartphone performs fairly well with easy to extensive tasks.
We received the 3GB RAM variant of the Redmi 7 for review and we didn't face any lag or stutter while using multiple apps together.
We also played some high-resolution games such as Asphalt 9 and PUBG on this device. The games load up easily without any delays.
There is no noticeable lag during the gameplay sessions. However, there were some drops in the frame rate with high-resolution gaming.
The device is best suited for general tasks such as surfing the web, making/receiving calls, and others. It warms up a bit, but, nothing uncomfortably so. The audio fired by the speakers have sufficient loudness and it complements the big display.
Besides, you can always connect an external audio source via the 3.5mm headphone jack or Bluetooth to enjoy your media.
Software And Benchmark
The Redmi 7 ships with Android Pie OS topped with MIUI 10 skin. It is good to see that the company has used the Android Pie build rather than using the dated Android Oreo.
One thing which disappoints us is that the device comes with a lot of bloatware. It has some pre-loaded apps such as Amazon Shopping, Opera, and Dailyhunt among others. However, these apps can be uninstalled if not in use.
The UI of the smartphone is neat and is easy to use. The notification bar has some general shortcuts such as connectivity, Reading mode, battery Saver, Hotspot, Navigation Button, and more. There is no specific app drawer and you need to swipe right through the screen to get to the apps.
Apps fire up quickly and the transitions are pretty smooth. There is no dedicated night mode, but, the Reading mode makes the display go easy on eyes in low light situations.
You can also optimize the battery performance using the Adaptive battery feature in the settings menu.
We ran PCMark 2 benchmark test on the Redmi 7 smartphone and the results are quite decent. The device scored a total of 5876 points in the Work 2.0 Performance test.
This is the score of overall processing of the device and is quite good. The device logged 6074 points in Web Browsing, 5451 in Video Editing, and 4816 in Data Manipulation.
We also ran a benchmark test on Geekbench and the results are quite good. The smartphone logged a total of 1246 points in the Single-Core test and 4310 points in the Multi-Core tests.
The Redmi 7 scored a total of 103423 points in AnTuTu benchmark tests. The CPU scores logged by the device is 54066 points, 13774 points for GPU, and 30241 points for the UX.
Dual-Cameras Capture Good Daylight Images
Dual-camera primary setup has become a norm in the budget smartphone segment. Most of the affordable smartphones in the market today offer two main cameras. Redmi 7 is no exception. You get a 12MP primary lens (f/22) with a 2MP depth sensor at the rear panel.
It offers AI scene detection (33 scenes) with HDR, Pro, and Portrait amongst other features. The camera also has Time Lapse and Slow Motion video recording feature.
While you can toggle between various shooting modes from the bottom of the app; the Slow Motion, Time Lapse, and Settings tab are placed on the top.
It supports 1080p@60fps video recording and offers good video stabilization. You can also record a short video of up to 15 seconds. The videos captured by the rear cameras are decent and you will not be disappointed by the quality.
As for the images, the cameras capture better images in the daylight than the challenging light situations. The dual sensors capture detailed images with balanced colors.
The AI enhances the image quality by tweaking the colors and other aspects. The daylight shots are sharp and have less noise. The Portrait mode is also decent and the background blur doesn't appear artificial.
The low-light images, however, come out pretty average here. The images show noise and appear grainy.
The primary reason could be the absence of any stabilization feature which reduces the shutter speed. Overall, the Redmi 7 is decent in terms of camera performance.
Battery And Connectivity
A big 4,000mAh battery keeps the device's lights on. Sadly, Redmi 7 doesn't support any fast charging and takes around 2 hours to get a full charge. The backup is quite impressive as it delivers an entire day of juice with easy to moderate usage.
You can browse the web, watch videos and play games occasionally and still be left with some power at the end of the day. With basic tasks like calling, music playback, and internet surfing, the battery can last more than a day.
The battery can be charged using the standard microUSB port at the bottom. The other connectivity aspects include WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v5, and Dual VoLTE 4G support, etc. Sensors onboard are Accelerometer, Proximity, and Compass.
Xiaomi's Redmi smartphones are quite popular among consumers. It's no secret that the Chinese tech giant is giving a hard time to the major players in the market. The Redmi 7 has been launched as a successor the Redmi 6 which has also been a hit in India.
The Redmi 7 brings some noticeable upgrade over its predecessor. For instance, a large display with waterdrop notch, powerful processor, and a big battery. However, the primary threat to the Redmi 7 is the Redmi Note 7 and the Redmi Note 7s which are available with a just a little higher price tag.
So, if a budget smartphone is what you are looking for with good cameras and processor the you can also consider the Redmi Note 7s. You get a high-resolution 48MP primary camera and a Snapdragon 660 chipset starting at Rs. 10,999.