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 Redmi Note 5 in the below Redmi Note 7 vs Redmi Note 5 camera comparison.
The 48MP debate is now raging. To me the 12MP Vs 48MP shots the 48MP is no better. The SD660 ISP is not meant to be able to handle 48MP. Is it 48MP but interpolated? (Sensor is 48MP) Original files: https://t.co/s88Z8wbRYz see for yourself pic.twitter.com/NC7aqQ3YLH
— TechTablets 🇳🇿 (@TechTabletscom) January 23, 2019
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.
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.
Testing Gcam pixel 3 port yes it works. Redmi Note 7 2nd pic stock app. First with way less noise the Google camera pic.twitter.com/Pu5Ab6fmsi
— TechTablets 🇳🇿 (@TechTabletscom) January 24, 2019
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!
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.