Want a smartphone with lots of megapixels in the camera, but without busting a massive hole in your bank account? Well, then it is a fair chance that your choices would be limited to the Redmi Note 7, or to be more accurate, the two avatars of the Redmi Note 7 – the Redmi Note 7S and the Redmi Note 7 Pro. And well, choosing between them could really be a tough call because they have so much in common.
Here’s our attempt to help you make up your mind between these two budget megapixel wizards.
Looks: Almost the same
This is a rather subjective issue, as beauty does tend to lie in the eye of the beholder. But although they both have Gorilla Glass on their front and back and have exactly the same proportions (159.21 x 75.21 x 8.1 mm) and weight (186 grammes), the 7S and 7 Pro look very different. And that is because the 7 Pro comes with a gradient finish, allowing light to form patterns on its back while the 7S is a rather more plain affair, although it does come with a very striking red avatar. If you are the type that likes to flaunt their handset, then the Redmi Note 7 Pro is definitely the one for you. But if you want something that is relatively smart and not always the apple of all eyes in the room, the Redmi Note 7S is not a bad option. Both are P2i dust and water resistant, so can survive splashes.
Display: Pretty much the same
The similarity of the two devices extends to their displays. Both have 6.3 inch full HD+ displays with drop notches that contain the front-facing cameras. There might be minor differences in the two displays, but in terms of appearance, they seem very much the same.
Processor: The Pro has the Edge
If processor power matters to you, then it is the Pro for you. This is not to say the 7S has a bad processor. It comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 which we have seen in a number of more expensive devices, and will be able to handle most tasks and even some heavy duty gaming. However, the Pro has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 chip which is not only newer but is also much faster and is capable of handling the likes of PUBG and the Asphalt series. The 660 is a solid performer, but the 675 has the definite speed edge.
RAM and Storage: Somewhat level, somewhat not
Well, both phones have a 4 GB RAM/ 64 GB variants, but the Note 7 Pro has a 6 GB/ 128 GB variant as well, while the Note 7S has a base 3 GB/ 32 GB variant, which is budget friendly, but definitely seems out of place with the others. Incidentally, both devices come with microSD card support, although you will have to sacrifice one of the dual SIM slots to use it.
Cameras: Same 48 megapixel count, but different sensors!
Well, both phones come with a main 48-megapixel sensor, but not all 48-megapixel sensors are the same. And the ones on the Redmi Note 7 Pro and 7S are both rather different. The Pro edition has the clearly superior sensor, the Sony IMX586, which is the same that is seen on the OnePlus 7 Pro, while the 7S has the Samsun GM1 sensor. The GM1 sensor is definitely not a bad sensor but in terms of overall performance, it is not quite in the class of the IMX586, which is being used by a number of Android flagships. Both phones have similar secondary cameras on the back (5 megapixel) and similar 12-megapixel selfie cameras, but when it comes to image quality, the Pro has a clear edge.
Video: Same full HD, but Pro has 4K
4K video is a big deal for you? Then this is a no-brainer. At the time of writing, the Redmi Note 7 Pro came with support for shooting 4K video, but the Redmi 7S did not. This might change in the future, but once again, we think that the camera edge definitely lies with the Redmi Note 7 Pro here.
Battery: Such similarity
When it comes to battery, both phones come with large 4000 mAh batteries, with support for Quick Charge 4. However, neither has a charger supporting Quick Charge in the box, which is a pity. Battery life for both devices should be largely similar, and should easily get past a day of hefty usage.
Connectivity: Same to Same
When it comes to connectivity, both phones are exactly the same with support for 4G, dual SIM cards (one of which is a hybrid SIM to accommodate a microSD card), infrared ports, GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and USB Type C ports. There is zero to choose between these two.
Software: MIUI on Pie for Both
Both phones come from Xiaomi, so it is hardly surprising that the software on them is almost totally the same. Both run on Android Pie, with Xiaomi’s MIUI on top. Yes, there are some ads in MIUI but all said and done, it is a very solid interface, and Xiaomi has a good record of updating MIUI, if not of updating Android.
Price: S is more affordable!
The Redmi Note 7 Pro might have the better specs in general, but that literally comes at a price. There is a significant price difference between the two phones. The Note 7S starts at Rs 10,999, while the Note 7 Pro starts at Rs 13,999. Yes, the 7 Pro starts at 4 GB/ 64 GB while the 7S starts at 3 GB / 32 GB. But even the 4 GB/ 64 GB variant of the 7S costs lesser – Rs 12,999. Which is why at the end of all the comparisons, the Note 7S is a great option for all those who want a lot of megapixels without spending too much.
The Pro is better, but is it worth the extra bucks?
There is no doubt that of the two devices, the Redmi Note 7 Pro is the more powerful and can do more. However, that does not mean that the 7S is a bad device. If anything, it matches the 7 Pro in many regards, and even in the departments where it trails (camera, processor), it is not too far behind. At the end of the day, it is going to boil down to just how much you value the extra the Pro brings to the table. Either way, you get 48 megapixels without spending too much.