Xiaomi’s is still the largest smartphone vendor in India, but in the last quarter it has not been able to grow much. With its Redmi Note 7 Pro and Redmi Note 7 going on sale from March, followed by the Redmi 7 and Redmi Y3, the company seems to be hoping to get more sales momentum. With the Redmi 7, Xiaomi’s aim is very clear: take on the Samsung Galaxy M10, which is priced in a similar price bracket. Redmi 7 starts at Rs 7,999 while the Samsung phone starts at Rs 7,990.
But the Redmi 7 is not just about the price insists Xiaomi. It also marks a drastic revamp for the series with a completely revised, more premium design, a better Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 processor and a display with the new dot-notch on top. But is that enough to make Redmi 7 the best budget phone to pick? Here’s our review.
Redmi 7 specifications: 6.26-inch HD+display | Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 processor | 2GB or 3GB RAM+32GB storage| 12MP+2MP rear camera and 8MP front camera | 4000 mAh battery | P2i rating for splash and dust resistance | MIUI 10 with Android Pie |
Redmi 7 price in India: Rs 7,999 for 2GB variant and Rs 8,999 for the 3GB variant.
Redmi 7: What’s good?
The Redmi 7’s design is a definite improvement compared to past versions in the series, which were simpler and more in tune with what one expected from budget phones. The black variant with its faux glass-like glossy finish looks very premium, and certainly not like a phone that cost less than Rs 10,000. What’s interesting is also that Redmi has introduced the new phone in Red and Blue coloured variants, which have what it calls an Aura Smoke design with a darker hue at the top.
But the glossy finish makes it more slippery and prone to smudges, so using a good case is a must. Another interesting aspect that Xiaomi has added in the design of the Redmi 7 is the P2i coating, which makes it splash and dust-resistant. Once again, this is something rarely seen on a Rs 8,000 phone.
Redmi 7 has a 6.26-inch HD+ display, which works well for the price. Yes, this is an HD+ resolution, but I did not have problems while gaming or watching YouTube videos on this. Colour reproduction is okay in most scenarios. The 6-inch plus size is in line with what users expect these days.
Redmi 7 performs admirably for a phone at this price range. Running multiple apps or opening several tabs on Chrome does not cause any noticeable lag, though yes, this is not as zippy as the current Redmi Note 7 series. But one must remember those are running better processors.
You can run games like Asphalt 9 on this, but not at high graphics settings. However, playing the games on medium settings is a decent experience. Other games like Lara Croft Run, Alphabear worked fine, though there was a noticeable lag in some instances.
I have the 3GB RAM and 32GB storage variant for review. Redmi has gone for a dedicated microSD slot with the phone with 512GB support, which will be appreciated in this price category.
Redmi 7 has a 12MP+2MP rear camera and 8MP front camera. The rear camera performs well in daylight or with proper diffused lighting and the objects are in focus. If you have ample lighting, the photos are pleasing and can be easily shared on social media.
The highlight of the Redmi 7 would be the battery which is 4000 mAh. The phone will easily last more than a day with heavy duty usage, and around two days with moderate usage. For a budget phone, this offers impressive battery.
Redmi 7: What’s not good?
The camera is what impressed me the least on this device, though I would say it performs better than what one normally gets in this price band. The camera does tend to saturate brighter colours, and is not entirely accurate with pinks and reds.
The portrait mode works okay, though edge detection around hair is far from accurate. The edge detection problem is also noticeable in selfie portraits. Also photos taken indoors tend to lack details, which is hard to ignore.
Redmi 7 is running MIUI 10 with Android Pie, and there are some confusing aspects here. For instance, Redmi has also activated animated screen locks which can reflect news around various topics. It is highly annoying and it took me sometime to figure out how to turn it off.
Xiaomi has also limited the storage to 32GB, and one wonders why there’s no 64GB variant. Last year, Redmi series even had a Pro variant, though this time brand appears to have limited Redmi to just one phone.
Redmi 7 Verdict
For its price, Redmi 7 is certainly an excellent package. What stood out was the battery and the overall device performance, which is above average in this price segment. Yes, the phone’s camera performance could be better, both on the front and back.
For those on a tight budget, the Redmi 7 at Rs 7,999 is a good option. But I would caution against expecting too much from the device, especially for those who want to run heavy-duty games like PUBG Mobile. More importantly, if you have a more flexible budget and can afford to spend up to Rs 10,000, get the Redmi Note 7 given it has a higher resolution display, a better processor to offer for Rs 9,999.