Redmi Note 7 Review – Don’t Fall For The 48MP Camera Hype

Redmi Note 7 Review – Don’t Fall For The 48MP Camera Hype

Xiaomi’s moved the Redmi budget line of mobiles to their own sub-brand, Redmi. And the first phone under this sub-brand is the Redmi Note 7 the successor to the Redmi Note 6 Pro. This phone ticks many boxes, a low price point of only $150 USD (in China) for a Snapdragon 660 mobile with 4000mAh battery, type-c, water drop notch, 3GB RAM & 32GB storage, and premium glass build. And the megapixel race is sadly back, it has a Samsung GM1 48MP sensor with a f1.8 lens and PDAF.

This phone now has a global version and is selling for just $189 here.

Redmi Note 7 video review time index:

Video index: 00:54 – Unboxing 02:14 – Weight & thickness 02:32 – Build & design 04:07 – Included case 04:41 – Software 05:33 – IPS display 07:01 – White status LED 07:13 – Performance/benchmarks 09:32 – Audio with sample 10:22 – Face/finger unlocking 10:52 – Gaming 11:46 – Camera app 12:21 – Camera samples 15:48 – Final words 17:27 – Pros & Cons

Not a true 48MP sensor. Wait for the 48MP Sony IMX586 in the Redmi Note 7 Pro?

Yes 48MP, like the 48MP in the Honor V20 I reviewed a few weeks back. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is a much better camera. It’s not a true 48MP sensor readout in the 48 megapixel mode., No it’s a 48MP interpolated image and doesn’t look any better than the standard 12MP mode. In my testing the camera isn’t better than Redmi Note 5 Ai’s, it doesn’t have the dual pixel PDAF focus tech. It needs in truth a lot of optimisation, the trouble is Xiaomi ‘s cut so thin I think in the software and camera optimization depart it could be some wait before this sensor and the audio is corrected and fixed. See for yourself when I compared a low light 12MP to 48MP shot and the cameras Vs the┬áRedmi Note 5 in the below Redmi Note 7 vs Redmi Note 5 camera comparison.

Aside from the hyped up new 48MP camera the phone is very good for the price. Quick and snappy running Android 9.0 with MIUI 10.02 skin. With only some minor animation stutter seen in full-screen gesture mode. The Snapdragon 660 is faster than the SD 636 in the Redmi Note 5 Ai, the wireless and 4G performance is fine, just like GPS and even voice calls. No issues. The build quality is great if a little slippery with the all glass finish.

Screen: An IPS display that’s far from perfect:

The Redmi Note 7’s IPS panel suffers from some dark edges at the top around that water drop notch, it’s an average IPS with good max brightness of 560 lux, it’s sharp and overall the screen is at least better than the Honor V20’s IPS punch-hole screen.

Redmi Note 7 Benchmarks

Battery life is solid in the Redmi Note 7

With my typical battery life drain test with the screen set to 200lux, I used Chrome, streamed Amazon Prime video and Youtube. I gamed for almost two hours and it took nearly 8 hours to kill the Redmi Note 7’s 4000mAh battery. This is a few hours less than the Redmi Note 5 which lasted about 10 hours. But the phone held up well and for most users, it will last 2 days at least if not more. heavy users will get a days use.

Redmi Note 7 battery life test

Charge times. 5V & QC 3.0:

Charging the phone with the supplied 10 watts 5 volts, 2 amp charger and Type-C cable the Redmi Note 7 went from 2% battery to 100% in 2 hours and 9 minutes. Not a bad result. Using my Quick Charge 3 spec charger you’re looking at about 1 hour and 50 minutes.

No Widevine Level 1 cert – No Netflix in HD or better:

Like many Chinese brands they haven’t applied for a DRM widevine level 1 cert, so this means that streaming Netflix you’ll be stuck in standard definition and not HD or FHD.

Camera API 2 – Level 3 support out of the box!

The phone supports Camera API 2 access level 3, so Google Camera ports are working and tested. Including the front camera and swapping over doesn’t end in crashes.

Download the Google Pixel 3 Camera app port that works: MGC_6.1.021_MI8_V2b_plus4.apk

Many thanks to Alex for supplying the APKs for me to test!

Overall:

Give Xiaomi time to fix and optimise this phone’s software and it will be great considering the price. But if you own the Redmi Note 5 or Redmi Note 6 Pro don’t bother upgrading you’re not really gaining much at all. If you’re in the market for a new phone with a great build, decent screen it’s great.

Video tech reviewer and tech blogger. I have a huge interest in the latest tech, tablets, laptops, mobiles, drones, and even e-scooters. Active in the tech community since 2008 days of the Omnia i900 Windows phone. Samsungi8910omnia.com, Samsunggalaxysforums.com founder from way back.

15 Comments

  1. https://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/image-sensor/mobile-image-sensor/S5KGM1/

    There are the specs of the sensor in the redmi note 7, it says 48 MP there.

    Greetings

  2. genuine review, very nice review sir

  3. Have always enjoyed your videos. Keep up the good work, Chris!

  4. Hey Chris, thanks for the review.
    Could you please also test charging performance with a USB-PD charger? QC 4 theoretically maxes out at 27W ([email protected]) when used with a USB-PD charger, it would be interesting to see what Xiaomi/Redmi actually implemented and whether it can really charge that fast.

    • I’ll see if I can find time for it.

      • I read from the Qualcomm website that QC4 is around 15% faster than QC3. So if QC3 gets around 1hr 50mins on a 4000mAh battery, perhaps QC4 can achieve 1hr 30mins theoretically.

        • Yes somewhere around that mark so as far as the Supercharge Huawei’s I’ve tested. Since I don’t have a QC 4.0 charger (yet) I’m unable to test it. But with QC 3 it was fast enough.

    • I tested my iVolver Type-C USB PD charger and it seems no faster than the stock charger. The phone doesn’t want to go over 5V with it. Could be my charger or the phone just doesn’t support and need a proper QC 4.0 charger.

      • Thanks Chris, much appreciated!
        It seems they botched the implementation and it’s not a real QC4. as the iVoler seems to support [email protected] profile.

  5. let’s wait for the PRO version, hoping it will bring NFC and better pics
    and maybe and AndroidONE from RedMI (given the Mi Ax success in western countries)

    • I’m sure it will be better with a true 48MP sensor and faster SoC. AndroidOne would be the icing on the cake…

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