Redmi Note 7 Pro is the latest phone from Xiaomi’s Redmi brand, and it comes with a fair amount of hype given the price, and the kind of camera specifications it sports. Redmi Note 7 Pro has a 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor at the back, coupled with a 5MP secondary sensor for depth-sensing. Previously this sensor was seen on the Honor View20, which costs a lot more than Xiaomi’s Redmi phone.
In the launch presentation, Xiaomi was busy comparing the performance of the Redmi Note 7 Pro’s camera with all smartphones; from the uber-expensive iPhone XS to the OnePlus 6T, and that probably had many eyes rolling.
Watch our first look video of Redmi Note 7 Pro
With such claims, there’s bound to be some skepticism about the Redmi Note 7 Pro’s camera. After all, can a phone with Rs 13,999 as the starting price really take on the likes of an iPhone or even OnePlus 6T, especially in the camera department? I’ve had a chance to use the Redmi Note 7 Pro’s camera over the weekend, and here’s what I thought so far.
First, this is probably the best camera I’ve used on a Redmi or even a Mi phone so far, and I have used quite a number of phones from the brand. My favourite was the original Mi A1, followed by Mi A2 in terms of camera performance. But Redmi Note 7 Pro so far looks like a big, refreshing change.
Redmi Note 7 Pro does handle colours and details quite well, responds quickly, focus has not been an issue, and the overall results you get are impressive. For a phone priced at Rs 13,999 ( I have the 4GB RAM variant for review), I think the camera is worth it. Photos have enough details, the colours are a bit saturated, but pleasing nonetheless, and the overall image quality stands out.
So what about that 48MP camera mode, and do you really need to shoot in that? For those who don’t know, the Redmi Note 7 Pro shoots in 12MP in default mode, and for 48MP resolution you have to switch to the Pro mode, and manually press the 48MP resolution, in order to take pictures at this scale.
The 48MP camera mode will ensure that the image size is heavy, around 13-16MB on average, and you might find yourself running out of space, especially if you are constantly taking photos in this mode. When you shoot in 48MP, the camera does take some time to process the final image, which is expected.
When you view a photo shot in 48MP, you can double tap to preview it, which the phone says is in HD mode. Now, the hype of shooting in 48MP might seem lost to some users, and it is understandable. In my case, when I zoomed in on the flowers, I could see the details inside the flower that was in focus, which is something you will not experience on most budget phones. Maybe if I had a tripod, the results will be even sharper.
However, the rest of the image is not as sharp when I really zoom in. To the average user, the difference of shooting in the default mode, which is very good, and the 48MP mode might not be so clear all the time, because not all of us are zooming into our smartphone photos. The only place where you will see some clear differences is on a desktop screen when zooming in.
Of course, there’s the issue of social media, where if you are uploading any of these pictures (which most people inevitably will do), the 48MP or 12MP resolution is moot, because everything gets compressed.
I’m not saying that smartphone manufacturers should not put high-resolution cameras at the back of phones, it is just to say that for many users, the 48MP resolution might not make much sense when they are busy Instagramming their pictures. In fact, uploading those pictures, I had to resize, them for our website as well. You can however, click on them to see the full-size 48MP image.
What has impressed me the most about Redmi Note 7 Pro’s camera is the low-light performance, which is the best I have seen on a Redmi phone so far. No, the Google Pixel 3 or OnePlus 6T need not worry.
But for a budget phone, the night mode works well. I noticed when you are taking photos of any bright shining objects, especially light bulbs, the phone captures them accurately without the glare. Can this Night mode beat high-end flagships? Not yet.
Still I intend to do some more tinkering with the 48MP camera mode, before I take a final call. For now, the camera is impressive, but one has to keep in mind whether this is a big leap from Redmi Note 6 Pro or 5 Pro, both of which had excellent cameras for the price, though low-light performance was not the best.
But one cannot ignore the fact that the Redmi Note 7 Pro packs a lot of features in the camera, which you are unlikely to get at this price point. For now, that might be the biggest selling point of this phone, coupled with what looks like a smooth performance.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines