Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro first impressions: A game-changer in under Rs 20,000 segment?https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/mobile-tabs/xiaomi-redmi-note-7-pro-first-look-price-india-specifications-features-5606059/

Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro first impressions: A game-changer in under Rs 20,000 segment?

Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro had its global launch in India first. The Redmi Note 7 Pro comes with the much-hyped Sony IMX586 48MP camera sensor and promises a camera performance that is unlike any other for its price. Here's our first impression of the Redmi Note 7 Pro

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro first impressions: The phone comes with a 48MP rear camera using the Sony sensor and has the newer Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor. (Express photo: Shruti Dhapola)

Xiaomi at its launch event for the new Redmi device, promised a number of surprises. The biggest though was the global launch of Redmi Note 7 Pro in India, which it was assumed would launch in China first. The Redmi Note 7 Pro has a completely revamped design compared to previous Redmi Note phones, and also sports some powerful specifications for its starting price of Rs 13,999 going up to Rs 16,999.

The Redmi Note 7 Pro comes with a number of first for the ‘Redmi by Xiaomi’ brand; it is their first phone in this segment to have a Type-C charging port, it comes with the newer waterdrop style notch, it is the first Redmi phone to run the Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor, and it is their first phone to sport a 48MP camera at the back.

What’s more Redmi has used the Sony IMX586 sensor for the 48MP camera, which is the same one as seen on the Honor View20. That phone is priced at Rs 37,999 in India. That really is Xiaomi’s key proposition with the Redmi Note 7 Pro. Top notch specifications and camera for a price that’s almost too good to be true. Here’s our first impression of the Redmi Note 7 Pro based on the limited time we spent in the demo zone with the device.

Read our Highlights from the Redmi Note 7 Pro, Redmi Note 7 India launch

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Redmi Note 7 Pro: Design, display

Xiaomi and Redmi have outdone themselves when it comes to the design of the Redmi Note 7 Pro. The glass back has a gradient design at the back, which Redmi is calling the Aura look and it comes in Neptune Red, Neptune Blue and a Space Black. The Red and Blue might seem to be a bit too much for people who do not like bling, but the Red does catch your eye. It certainly does not look like a phone that costs under Rs 20,000 given the design.

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Redmi Note 7 Pro comes in a Nebula Red and a Neptune Blue colour option. Seen here is the Nebula Red. (Express photo: Shruti Dhapola)

Redmi Note 7 Pro has Corning Gorilla Glass 5 at the front and back, but the glass body does mean the phone will be slippery and prone to smudges. While it is looks premium, the Redmi Note 7 Pro is chunky when you hold it and it is nearly 8.1mm in thickness, though given this has a 4000 mAh battery, the thickness is not surprising.

At the back, the camera bump on the Redmi Note 7 Pro really stands out, in fact more than on the Redmi Note 7, which is launching in India with the 12MP+2MP camera combination and not the 48MP Samsung GM1 sensor with 5MP depth sensor, that we saw in China. The Redmi Note 7 Pro has a pleasing design no doubt, though you would need to rely on a special case to keep it safe.

Coming to the display, Redmi Note 7 Pro has a 6.3-inch full HD+ display, which has a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The bezels on the side and bottom could be thinner in my view. Redmi also says that the phone’s display works well even in bright sunlight, though we will only be able to tell that when we have the review units in hand. The Reading mode on Redmi Note 7 Pro will also filter out blue light when you are reading at night, thus reducing strain on the eyes.

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Redmi Note 7 Pro has a 6.3-inch full HD+ display with the waterdrop notch. (Express photo: Shruti Dhapola)

Another aspect in the design is that Redmi Note 7 Pro has P2i coating and is splash-resistant, which is not the same as water resistant. Still the phone should be able to handle most accidental spills, through drenching this to test the level of resistance might not be a smart idea.

Redmi Note 7 Pro: Processor, RAM, storage and OS

The Redmi Note 7 Pro has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 octa-core processor with an 11nm FinFET design. It comes with the Adreno 612 GPU from Qualcomm. This was also where we saw a really aggressive Xiaomi with the company touting Antutu scores of more than 180,000, and claiming to have a much better performance than competitors like the Oppo R17 Pro, which has the Snapdragon 710, and the Honor 10 Lite, which runs the Kirin 710 chipset.

The Redmi Note 7 Pro is being bundled with LPDDR4X RAM in 4GB and 6GB options coupled with 64GB or 128GB storage. Again, this is the first Redmi phone to offer 128GB on board storage in India. We will know be able to say more about how Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 7 Pro performs after we test out the device, but the stakes are high for the company given the kind of hype it has created.

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Redmi Note 7 Pro has a fingerprint scanner at the back and comes with Face unlock feature. (Express photo: Shruti Dhapola)

Redmi Note 7 Pro also runs MIUI 10 from the Xiaomi and this time the company has included Android Pie, which is good to see.

Redmi Note 7 Pro: Camera

This is where the company is hedging all its bets with the Redmi Note 7 Pro. The device has a 48MP camera with the Sony IMX586 sensor, while the secondary sensor is the 5MP one. Xiaomi has also added a Night mode powered by its AI algorithms to ensure the brightest possible shots on the phone. Xiaomi also touted how the ½-inch image sensor on the Redmi Note 7 Pro is bigger than the one on many flagships, and even included iPhone XS Max and OnePlus 6T in the list.

By default the Redmi Note 7 Pro clicks in 12MP, with the camera relying on pixel binning by combining 4-into-1 pixels to get this resolution. To click with the 48MP resolution, you need to go to the Pro mode, and on the top there is a 48MP option. Tap on that to turn it on and you will be able to click at the higher resolution.

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Redmi Note 7 Pro’s 48MP resolution works in the Pro mode and users have to turn it on manually. By default the camera shoots at 12MP. (Express photo: Shruti Dhapola)

The company is touting a very high-quality performance with the Redmi Note 7 Pro. There were camera comparisons with the iPhone XS Max, the OnePlus 6T, both of which are flagships. All claiming to show how detailed the Redmi Note 7 Pro’s 48MP camera can be, in all kinds of lighting condition.

The camera does not come with OIS though, and has EIS for video stabilization. It can also shoot at 4K at 30fps. The front camera is 13MP with AI Portrait mode, option to see Studio Lighting effect, etc.

Read more: Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 vs Redmi Note 7 Pro: All specifications compared

If the Redmi Note 7 Pro’s camera is really as good as it claims, then the phone could be a game changer for its segment. The few shots I liked in the demo zone were quite bright and detailed, though these are demo units so I would not make any judgement about the camera just yet.

Redmi Note 7 Pro: Battery

Redmi Note 7 Pro has a 4000 mAh battery, coupled with Qualcomm Quick 4.0 support. However, in the box Xiaomi is bundling the 10w charger in the box. It is not clear if Xiaomi will bring the QC 4.0 charger to India and sell it separately.

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Redmi Note 7 Pro: Will this be a game-changer?

There’s a lot riding for Xiaomi with this phone. Redmi Note 7 Pro is making a lot of big promises; premium design, a flagship-like performance, and a camera that apparently beats the top competition all at a price of just Rs 13,999. For Redmi Note 7 Pro living up to even half of the hype it has created will be crucial, and while it might not be beat flagship phones, it will definitely dominate the Rs 12,000 to Rs 17,000 segment for sometime.