The battle in the affordable Android smartphone space just saw the benchmark getting reset. Xiaomi's latest Redmi 7 budget smartphone brings a decent set of specifications to the table and is one of the first phones that features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600-series processor in the sub-Rs 10,000 price segment. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 SoC, along with an option for either 2GB memory with 32GB storage which is priced at Rs 7,999 and the one that has 3GB memory with 32GB storage priced at Rs 8,999. The 2GB of RAM may seem low in today’s day and age for apps and games, and we believe that the 3GB+32GB variant makes for better value, in terms of the performance advantage it will offer. But just how good is the new Redmi smartphone?
The design of the Redmi 7 feels pretty good to hold, with good quality materials interacting with your hand as you hold it. There is nothing outstanding about the design, but just everything seems to work well. At the front, we have a 6.3-inch HD+ (1520x720) 19.5:9 IPS LCD display with a U-shaped notch that Xiaomi refers to as the “Dot Notch.” The notch features 8-megapixel front camera and the proximity and ambient light sensors. The display is quite nice and vibrant with good colour reproduction, which seems great when compared to other smartphones in this segment.
The Redmi 7 Pro has a plastic frame. It comes with Gorilla Glass 5 protection at the front to protect against scratches. There's a dual-camera setup and a fingerprint reader on the back. At the bottom, we have a micro-USB port, a headphone jack and the speaker grill. On the left, there is the power button while on the right there are the volume rocker buttons. Everything seems to be placed at a properly for single hand operation as well.
As far as the cameras are concerned, the Redmi 7 on the rear packs a 12-megapixel primary camera with an f/2.2 aperture with a pixel size of 1.29-micron and a second 2-megapixel camera to capture depth. It sports an 8-megapixel camera on the front for selfies.
Xiaomi is known to offer a decent camera experience in the affordable segment, and the same holds true for the company’s latest smartphone. I was mostly impressed with the kind of photos the Redmi 7 captured, especially the ones clicked outdoors. Among rivals around the Rs 10,000 price point, this particular camera managed to get a good amount of details when shooting in daylight or and even in low-light conditions. The phone also fared much better with portrait shots and selfies, and it's safe to say that this is the camera to beat in the budget category. The selfies that I clicked with the Redmi 7 lacked the kind of details that the Note 7 Pro's camera captured, though the colors look a bit washed out. It also features a Portrait Mode, which is decent when it comes to edge detection despite lacking a depth sensor. There is a beauty mode which will be bearer of blemish free selfies or more specifically, Instagram-worthy selfies.
The Redmi 7 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 SoC, marking a shift from the MediaTek Helio P22 that featured on its predecessor. This octa-core SoC is paired with up 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, which is expandable using a microSD card. As mentioned before, there is also 2GB RAM version. Xiaomi has equipped the device with two SIM slots and a dedicated microSD card slot, which means that users don't have to sacrifice dual-SIM functionality for more storage space. During my testing, I used the smartphone as my primary device for around a week to access social media, emails, calls, messages, chats, navigation, YouTube and so on and so forth. The phone managed to handle all of the apps quite well.
Gaming performance on the smartphone was above average and I could comfortably run PUBG Mobile on medium graphics settings. The phone is fast and reliable for doing moderate to heavy tasks. I could switch seamlessly between heavy apps without any lag. The phone also didn't seem to get hot during extended periods of usage and applications opened swiftly.
The Redmi 7 packs a 4,000mAh battery. With the bundled 5V/2A charger, the phone can be fully charged in around 2 hours and 15 minutes. I used the Note 7 as my primary device for around a week and used it for tasks like browsing Facebook, chatting on WhatsApp, scrolling through Instagram, taking phone calls and and most importantly playing PUBG Mobile and must say battery life is similarly outstanding, and I never saw the battery going below 15% after a single day's worth of use.
Well, Redmi 7 has all boxes ticked when it comes to a budget buy. At a starting price of Rs 7,999 the Redmi 7 will take on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy M10 and the Realme 3. We were quite happy with the overall package it delivers, and that too at a very aggressive price. Among all the options you can choose from, the Redmi 7 just seems to be a slicker package overall, all things considered.