Xiaomi sort of disrupted the budget smartphone segment in India with its latest Redmi Note 7 series. The company launched the Redmi Note 7 and the Redmi Note 7 Pro in India in February. Over here at the India Today Tech we earlier reviewed the top-end Redmi Note 7 Pro and found it to be one of the most complete smartphones available under Rs 15,000 in India right now. Now we have the Redmi Note 7 in the house. If you read the India Today Tech Redmi Note 7 Pro review (click here if you haven’t read it) you’ll notice that I emphasized a lot on how Xiaomi changed the design of the phone to make it look a bit more upmarket, apart from focussing on better camera and core performance hardware.
Talking about the Redmi Note 7 Pro’s design this is what I said in the review:
“Its glass back is stylish gives the phone a premium appeal that earlier Redmi Note phones were missing. On the front the Dot drop notch adds to the good looks of the phone. And the metal frame feels great in hands. Best of all, the plastic inserts that Xiaomi used in the Redmi phones for so long are finally from the Note series. That alone makes the Redmi Note 7 Pro the best looking Redmi ever.”
My first impression of the Redmi Note 7 is the same. This too is a budget phone, an affordable phone, with premium looks. And that is because it sports exactly the same design that we saw with the Redmi Note 7 Pro.
Toned down Redmi Note 7 Pro
Even though both the phones sport the same design it is something that is even more, well, noteworthy on the Redmi Note 7 because of its price. In India, the Redmi Note 7 comes in two variants – the base model features 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, selling for Rs 9,999 and the second model includes 4GB RAM and 64GB storage for Rs 11,999. The Redmi Note 7 comes in three colours – Sapphire Blue, Onxy Black, and Ruby Red. I’m using the black Note 7 and love how gorgeous it looks.
It is rare to see an under Rs 10,000 phone come with glass body, but with Redmi Note 7 Xiaomi has pulled it off. Just like the Redmi Note 7 Pro, the Redmi Note 7 also includes Gorilla Glass 5 on both back and front, which is great and I am assuming should make the phone as durable as any all-glass phone can be. Overall, I love how beautiful and bold the phone looks.
Similar to the Redmi Note 7 Pro the Redmi Note 7 comes with Dot Drop notch and minimal bezels on the three sides with a good amount of chin. That also adds to the good looks of the phone. The tiny notch houses the 13MP AI based selfie camera setup. I clicked some selfies with the phone and found them to be decent. Not that one would anyway expect a Pixel-like camera performance from a phone that costs less than Rs 10,000.
On the rear panel, the Redmi Note 7 includes two camera sensors. The phone includes 12MP+2MP AI Dual camera configuration on the back panel paired with LED flash. Camera is one of the few areas where the Redmi Note 7 differs from the Pro version. Although the Redmi Note 7 doesn’t include a 48MP camera mode, I believe the primary camera overall does a decent job. In outdoors the Redmi Note 7 manages to click pretty good pictures with lots of details and spot-on colours. In Indoor scenarios too, the Redmi Note 7 surprisingly turns out to be good enough – not better than the Redmi Note 7 Pro of course – but for a Rs 10,000 it does admirably well.
And that night mode
Similar to what I found with the Redmi Note 7 Pro, I’m extremely impressed with the Night Mode of the Redmi Note 7 camera. The smartphone manages to click pretty impressive pictures with good amount of details and colours in low light using these modes. The regular mode of the Redmi Note 7 camera also does a fairly good job but often misses out on details but the Night Mode saves the day here. I will talk about the camera and the Night mode performance of the Redmi Note 7 in the full review of the phone. As for the selfie camera, my first impression is that Xiaomi could have worked on it a little more.
Performance seems fine
Coming to the performance of the phone, the Redmi Note 7 manages the day-to-day task fairly well. The smartphone is powered by Snapdragon 660 AIE chipset paired with up to 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage, which is expandable via microSD card. I’m using the 4GB RAM model of the phone. I have been using the Redmi Note 7 for some days now and believe it isn’t as fast as the Redmi Note 7 Pro but considering its price the phone does a good job.
Overall, I believe if you use the Redmi Note 7 for basic things like – making calls, using social media, or playing low graphics games – the phone stands out pretty well. I’m yet to test PUBG on the Redmi Note 7 and will be able to tell more about the overall performance of the phone in the full review. After using the phone for some time now I can say that the Redmi Note 7 offers pretty decent battery performance. For me, the Redmi Note 7 for now easily lasts more than a day on a single charge. There will be more about the camera and performance of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 in its full review in the coming days. Stay tuned.