This is the Note that almost sneaked into the market. While the 48 megapixel camera carrying Redmi Note 7 Pro got all the attention, not too many noticed that Xiaomi had also released the Redmi Note 7 in the Indian market.
And well, while it is low profile, it is by no means featherweight. Of course, we will be looking at it in some detail in the coming days. But as of now, here is a quick run down of the “quiet” note:
No gradient finish, but still a looker
The Redmi Note 7, like its Pro cousin, comes with a new glass exterior, with glass on the front and back. No, it does not have a gradient finish like the 7 Pro, so you do not get those light patterns playing off it, but it still looks very good indeed.
And at 8.1 mm is impressively slim. Incidentally, the phone has Gorilla Glass 5 on both front and back, and comes with P2i nano-coating, which means it can take the odd splash of water and light rain.
A very good display
The Redmi Note 7 comes with the same 6.3 inch full HD+ display that the 7 Pro has. And yes, it has a drop notch as well. The display also has a brightness of 450 nits, which means it should be reasonably readable even in bright sunlight.
The chip is good but different from the Pro
One of the biggest points of difference between the Redmi Note 7 Pro and the Redmi Note 7 is the processor. The Note 7 Pro came with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 675 chip, whereas the Note 7 comes with the older Snapdragon 660. But older does not mean worse — the Snapdragon 660 is known for its excellent performance in gaming and is still seen in much more expensive devices.
Xiaomi also claims that the processor has not been slowed down or “underclocked” — something that has been done by some of its competitors. What’s more, the 660 might not be as powerful as the 675 but is definitely superior to the Snapdragon 625 and 636, which were used in the Redmi Note 5 and Note 5 Pro as well as the Note 6 Pro.
The device comes with 3 GB and 4 GB RAM variations, and 32 GB and 64 GB storage options, which can be expanded unto 256 GB using a microSD card slot (you will have to forego one of the SIM card slots for it, though, as the phone has no dedicated SIM card slot).
A slight camera let down
If there is one area where we felt a little let down by the Redmi Note 7, it was in cameras. Yes, it has dual cameras — 12 and 2 megapixels — on the back. But the main sensor has a rather small aperture at f/2.2. No, this is does not look modest compared only to the massive 48 m megapixel sensor on the Redmi Note 7 Pro, but also in comparison to what the likes of the Realme 3 are offering.
The front facing camera is a 13 megapixel snapper, which is par for the course, though, and actually has a larger f/2.0 aperture. Xiaomi’s Redmi Note series has generally had steady rather than spectacular cameras, and we think these will be more of the same. Unlike the Redmi Note 7 Pro, which attempts to redefine camera expectations at this price point.
Big battery in place… and so is connectivity
But if the cameras are a bit of a let down, the battery of the Redmi Note 7 is very much as per expectations. Like its Pro brother, it comes with a large 4000 mAh battery, and with support for fast charging too. Although like the 7 Pro, it too does not have a fast charger in the box. The phone checks all other connectivity options — 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and of course, infra red. There is a fingerprint scanner on the back.
Android Pie with MIUI
Like the Note 7 Pro, the Note 7 comes with the latest version of Android, Android 9 (or Pie) along with Xiaomi’s MIUI interface right on top of it. Xiaomi also has an excellent record of updating software on its devices so you can be assured of regular feature additions.
A killer price… still
What makes the Redmi Note 7 formidable is its price. At Rs 9,999 for the 3GB/ 32 GB variant (Rs 11,999 for 4 GB/ 64 GB) it is perhaps the most affordable device with a Snapdragon 660 processor. Of course, its added attractions are likely to be its new design (red looks lovely) and the big battery. At sub-Rs 10,000, this is quite a proposition. Of course, we will look at it in some detail in the coming days.