The Redmi series from Xiaomi has always been one of the best smartphone choices in India. They are popular as budget phones because of the host of features they offer within a decent budget. Devices like the Redmi 6 and 6A have proven to be kings under the ₹10,000 mark and now Xiaomi’s latest offering, Xiaomi mi 7, aims to surpass that. Let us see what the Redmi 7 has to offer and if it is really the best value choice in India.
Redmi 7 Review: Everything You Need to Know
The Redmi 7 aims to be a successor to the extremely popular Redmi 6 and 6A devices. However, rather than making a better Redmi device with a more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 series processor or a Mediatek processor like Xiaomi has done in the past.
This time they have gone with a modern Snapdragon 600 series processor which brings the Redmi 7 more in line with the more premium Redmi Note series than the budget Redmi series which have been limited to the 400 series or the old 625 in the past.
Display and Design
Xiaomi has been refining their design philosophy for the past many years and now they have come up with one of the best-looking budget devices on the market.
The front of the device shows off a 15.9cm(6.26inch) IPS 720×1520 HD LCD Display with a 19:9 ratio and a small notch that’s protected by Corning® Gorilla® Glass 5. The device weighs 180g with 8.5mm thickness.
While the thin bezels with an 80%+ screen-to-body ratio and the small “Dot Notch” as Xiaomi calls it is highly appreciated, we would have loved to see a Full HD 1080p Display on the device.
However, as an added bonus the lower resolution display is more power efficient giving an even better battery life.
Battery Life and Camera
The Redmi 7 is powered by a huge 4000mAh battery to last through the day even with heavy use.
If the previous Redmi devices are something to go by we are sure the Redmi 7 will also be a battery champ for most use scenarios.
Xiaomi’s MIUI has also been one of the best custom Android UI when it comes to battery efficiency due to the aggressive RAM and background process management.
On the camera side, the device comes with a 12+2MP AI Dual Camera setup on the back and the front sports a 8MP AI Selfie camera.
The main camera supports HDR, Panorama and can shoot 1080p video at 30fps or 60fps. There is no 4K support here but for a budget device, 1080p at 60fps is still good.
The selfie camera supports HDR and can shoot 1080p device at 30fps.
Lighting is taken care of with a LED Flash for the rear camera, there is no dual LED system but the single LED Flash gets the job done in low light situations.
Features like AI-powered Portrait mode, Beauty Mode and AI Scene Detection ensure good quality even under challenging lighting conditions.
While the Redmi 7 is not a camera-centric phone by any means, It still packs a very good combination for the price and also supports AI Face Unlock.
At the heart of the Redmi 7 lies the Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 chipset. The 600 series Snapdragon processors have been one of the best choices in the mid to high range smartphones.
Having this same processor used in a device under ₹10,000 ensures that you get a smooth lag free experience even on a low budget.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 is an octa-core processor with 4×1.8Ghz Kyro 250 Gold & 4×1.8Ghz Kyro 250 Silver cores. The chipset is made on the 14 nm process making it more efficient than the previous generation.
While the Redmi 7 is not as powerful as the Snapdragon 660 on devices like the MI A2 or the Redmi Note 7 it still manages to get a impressive score on GeekBench both in single threaded and multi threaded tests and performs better than many other devices in a similar price point.
B) RAM & Storage
The Redmi 7 is available in 2 GB RAM and 3 GB RAM variants both of which provide 32 GB storage. You can also expand the storage with a microSD card slot. The 2 GB RAM variant is a good choice if you are on a tight budget but the 3 GB RAM variant would be the better choice if you can add in ₹1000 more as that would ensure smooth multitasking and gaming.
Graphics on the Redmi 7 are powered by the Adreno 506 GPU. Tied with the 720p screen means the Adreno 506 will provide even better performance as it has to push fewer pixels. Qualcomm’s Adreno GPUs are also generally better optimized for games than GPUs from other companies such as MALI, PowerVR etc. What this ensures is that you get a good gaming experience in games like PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds.
D) Communications & Sensors
The device supports Dual Nano-SIMs with 4G. The phone comes with most of the add-ons like 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi with support for Wi-Fi Direct and Hotspots. Bluetooth 4.2 with A2DP, LE and aptX HD, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO and BDS.
Xiaomi has also added in an infrared port for use with devices like a TV and also supports FM Radio.
Security concerns are taken care of with a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor.
Accelerometer, Proximity sensor and Compass are also present.
The device has a micro USB 2.0 port that supports USB OTG so you can connect devices like a pen drive with a supported OTG cable. We would have liked to see a Type C port here but since this is a budget-oriented device this is not a big issue since micro USB 2.0 is still quite popular.
For audio and music playback the 3.5mm headphone jack is here as well, something that’s increasingly missing in new smartphones. This ensures that you don’t need to carry a separate adapter to use your wired 3.5mm earphones or headphones. Thanks, Xiaomi!
Even with great hardware specs if the software is not up to the mark then it can break the user experience of the device.
Here we have Xiaomi’s MIUI 9 running on Android 9.0 Pie. On one hand, it is one of the most feature-packed UI’s on Android but sometimes the added bloatware (unnecessary apps & features) can cause slowdowns and issues as the device ages.
There were also ads popping up in places like the phone’s setting menu which can be a big drawback for many users however Xiaomi has been recently removing some of these ads and making the MIUI experience better.
MIUI is also known for great battery life and Xiaomi has had a good reputation of updating even their old devices with new MIUI features, something other manufacturers have been lacking in. However new MIUI feature updates don’t necessarily bring new Android versions or the latest security updates.
Overall, MIUI is still one of the best custom android experiences if you can manage with some of the drawbacks like advertises in system apps and the bloatware.
The Xiaomi Redmi 7 is one of the best devices on the market right now if you are looking to get the most value for your money.
It offers all the modern features that one needs in a smartphone in 2020.
Modern features like AI Portrait mode, Fingerprint sensor, Face Unlock, a tall 19:9 display with a small notch, they are all to be found here on the Redmi 7.
Even in looks Xiaomi has done a great job in making the device feel as good as many other much more expensive smartphones.
The inclusion of the 3.5mm headphone jack and the IR port ensure that while this device has many of the modern smartphone features it doesn’t have some of the drawbacks like a large notch or not having the headphone jack just to make the device slightly thinner.
The only drawbacks are the lower resolution 720p screen instead of a 1080p screen which would have been perfect for the 6 inch + size but for a budget device this will not be a problem for day to day use. It will also help with battery life and overall performance to keep the device smooth.
Only 2 GB RAM in the base variant is also the bare minimum for a smartphone in 2020 but if going with the slightly more expensive 3 GB variant is not an option then 2 GB is still enough for most daily use apps right now as long as you don’t try to open many apps at once.
Xiaomi Redmi 7 Review: Should you buy?
If you require a great smartphone in the ₹7999 range then this is one of the best devices to buy. It provides all the features that one would need with great battery life and a powerful processor to keep the device running smooth.
The device also doesn’t disappoint in the looks department with a gradient back cover that Xiaomi calls the Aura Smoke design making the device look at lot more premium than the price tag suggests.
Added benefits like having Corning® Gorilla® Glass 5 ensures protection against scratches on the screen and inclusions like the headphone jack, microSD card slot and a 4000mAh battery also make sure you won’t miss out on any of the necessary features.