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Xiaomi has proven that it will be hard for any other brand to dethrone it as the “most affordable & quality” Smartphone provider in the country. The 2019 lineup of Xiaomi’s Redmi devices show us how fast the brand is evolving in every aspect of its Smartphone development.
The latest introduction from the brand is Xiaomi Redmi 7. From the design to the hardware, this device tells us how serious the Chinese manufacturer is about the threats it faces from brands like Realme, Oppo, Samsung and Asus. The all-new Redmi 7 packs impressive hardware and since its release users are touting it as one of the best budget Smartphones.
Does the Redmi 7 really deliver on the demands of the budget phone customers? Let’s find out in this detailed review.
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Redmi 7 Design
The Redmi 7 is designed on the same standards as set by the Redmi Note 7 Pro. You will be able to make sense of the obvious similarities between the designs of both devices. Furthermore, this device has an inch longer screen than Note 7 Pro which makes it even more similar to the device. As one would expect the larger screen has the water drop notch that houses the front-facing camera.
On paying close attention to the body design, it is evident that Xiaomi has tried to cut cost here to make Redmi 7 more affordable. You will be able to see the panel gaps between the all-plastic body and back panel. The buttons on the frame and the sharp ridge on the right side raise quality concerns regarding the fit and finish of this device. When we compare this phone with its competitor the Samsung Galaxy M10, this Redmi device feels substantially heavier at 180g while the M10 is lighter at 163g. Also, the Galaxy M10 feels more premium while Redmi 7 feels like glossy plastic.
However, we feel that these design problems can be a more of a pre-production issue and the retail devices will have a much more streamlined design. Other than that, you will find no other problem with Redmi 7’s build as it feels solid in hand. The power and volume buttons are placed at the tactile position and you will have no problem reaching them with one hand. At the bottom, there is a micro-USB port even when the trend is to include Type C USB port, but we don’t have complaints as the device is available at an economical price tag.
Xiaomi provided this Smartphone with a single speaker but it is loud enough to be acceptable. The best thing about the speaker is that the music quality did not crackle even at maximum volume, a quality that most single speaker Smartphones can admit to be having.
The availability of quality colour gradients will attract a lot of buyers as the new colours look fantastic but the extra glossy look comes at a cost. The back panel feels sticky which makes it a lot susceptible to fingerprints. Even Xiaomi has admitted that the Redmi 7 body is not meant to be scratch resistant.
Altogether it feels this time the Chinese manufacturer has chosen to compromise on the design quality which is evident from the plastic quality used in this phone. Solely, because of the design quality, we would recommend if you can extend your budget then go for much better Redmi Note 7.
Redmi 7 Display
Sporting a 6.26inch IPS LCD display, Redmi 7 is offering you a bigger display per se but the slightly wider bezels make the screen size almost identical to that of Redmi Note 7. The screen to body ratio in this device is 86.83% which is lower than Samsung Galaxy M10’s 90% screen to body ratio. We were expecting that Xiaomi will provide this phone with a Full HD+ display but you have to settle for 720 x 1520 px resolution which is not bad for the price tag Redmi 7 is being made available. It is one of the best displays on a budget phone available in India.
Even as an entry level phone, Redmi 7 display has crisp colour tuning with a slight saturation boost as in most Redmi devices. The brightness is also significant, even using it in bright sunlight in the middle of the day will be not an issue. For viewing angles, we can say they are awesome, not even once there was any colour shift when using the phone. You will have an amazing time watching videos and images on Redmi 7.
As we mentioned in our Realme 3 Pro review, one will expect Smartphones introduced these days to have Widevine L1 DRM support that enables them to play true HD videos on apps like Netflix, but Redmi 7 does not support it. It should not be a concern anyway as the Smartphone does not have a Full HD panel.
Redmi 7 Hardware & Software
Now here’s the real deal. Redmi 7 features that latest Snapdragon 6-series processor, to be specific the Snapdragon 632. This gives this entry-level Smartphone a speed bump that will help it to compete with other low budget phones in India. You have two RAM options to choose from-2GB and 3GB. Irrespective of which RAM variant you choose, the internal storage will be restricted to 32GB. Although you can expand the memory via microSD if needed.
The call quality and network connectivity are also reasonably good for the entry-level Smartphone.
Redmi 7 is not one of these budget phones that are relegated with older version software. This new Smartphone from Xiaomi runs on the latest Android Pie with MIUI 10 over it. Even you get the March 2019 security patch update with Redmi 7. Just as other Redmi devices with MIUI interface there are a lot of customizations for you to play with. You can turn off the notch and switch between gestures and buttons. As compared to Samsung’s new UI available in the Galaxy M10, Redmi 7’s UI feels more polished and optimized.
What will annoy most users are the ads prevalent in the Redmi 7 interface. Whether the lock screen, the app installation screen or the notification shade, the ads are strewn across at all the places. Xiaomi is playing a risky game by embedding ads as it leads to poor experience for users and with other credible alternatives available, it’s high time for the Chinese brand to reconsider the MIUI design.
Redmi 7 Performance
Redmi 7 is a budget entry-level phone from which one won’t expect much in terms of performance but, this phone will leave you surprised. Using multiple apps and switching between them is a smooth experience. Although opening apps is slow, the phone performs consistently whether it be browsing, multitasking or scrolling. You will be satisfied with the performance of Redmi 7 if you keep your expectations under check.
Redmi 7 as a gaming phone will be a big disappointment which is why we don’t recommend it for game lovers. Games like PUBG do run on this Smartphone but the experience will be a lot less than satisfactory. When playing PUBG at balanced HD setting, the frame drop was consistent which ruins the playing experience. If gaming is on the top of your list from a Smartphone, Redmi 7 is definitely not for you.
Redmi 7 Camera
If Redmi 7 disappoints in design and gaming segment, it makes it up in camera performance. Redmi 7 is the true testament of how manufacturers are making it possible for budget phone users to have high-quality imaging experience.
Remdi 7 sports a 12MP primary camera which is further enhanced by a 2MP depth sensor. The image capturing experience is impressive especially the outdoor shots taken under natural light. The images taken have a good amount of details and the smart AI features help in focusing on objects and captures natural-looking images. You will not have any burned out highlights or oversaturated sections as you get from Samsung budget phones. You can get a saturation boost if you want by toggling the AI feature on the phone.
Xiaomi has done an appreciable job at turning the budget Redmi 7 into a camera phone. Even when you take portrait mode shots all thanks to improved algorithms on this budget phone. Using other modes like bokeh is also enjoyable with much better edge detection.
Unless you observe too closely, the images taken with Redmi 7 are decent and good looking.
Here are some example shots taken with Redmi 7:
Image Credit: Fone Arena
Taking pictures in low light conditions like indoors can be struggling as the phone slows the shutter speed that makes capturing sharp images a challenge. In extremely low light, Redmi 7 is not much of use to take pictures.
For selfies, there is an 8MP front camera in Redmi 7 which also features the portrait mode. However, its performance is nothing near to that of Redmi note 7 Pro’s front camera. The selfies taken have colours bit washed out but for Instagram, you still can use of beauty mode that makes your pictures blemish free.
Video recording on this phone has a maximum resolution of 1080p with 60FPS speed. There is no video stabilization on the offer.
You have to be patient when using the camera on this phone. The shot-to-shot time is not very quick and so is the image viewing. Rendering high-resolution images on screen takes time which is why you will notice a lag when you tap on such HD images.
Altogether if you can looking for better camera then Samsung Galaxy M10 has more to offer, whereas Realme 3 has the best camera of all three.
Redmi 7 Battery
A major upgrade in Redmi 7 is its 4,000mAh battery which is a big step forward from Redmi 6 that had 3,000mAh battery. It even surpasses Samsung Galaxy M10’s 3,400mAh battery giving it an edge in the competition. Realme 3 is just a little better in battery power with a 4,230mAh battery.
The phone can comfortably run for a day on a single charge with enough juice left for a few more hours. If you are considerate with its use, you can make your Redmi 7 last for two days on a single charge. As one can expect there is no fast charging support in this device. Fully charging phone takes over 130 minutes when using its 5V 2A charger.
Price and availability
Redmi 7 will go on sale in India on April 29, 2019, in two variants-2GB/32GB priced at Rs. 7,999 and 3GB/32GB priced at Rs. 8,999. Both the variants will be available in gradient shades of black, red and blue. You will be able to buy the phone from Amazon India, Mi.com and via Mi Stores across the nation.
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Do we recommend Redmi 7?
Redmi 7 marks the return of Xiaomi in the budget phone segment to take on competition from the likes of Samsung, Asus and Realme.
As a sub 10,000 phone, the Redmi 7 offers good performance with stunning design. The user experience is well-optimized and camera specs are also promising. No doubt that this Xiaomi device will appeal to a large segment of users because of its incredible colour scheme and powerful hardware. But the phone is not without its fallbacks, for instance, the presence of annoying ads in the MIUI interface, sub-par plastic quality used in the body and below average gaming performance.
For those looking for a durable, budget friendly and reliable entry-level Smartphone, Redmi 7 is surely a credible choice.