Xiaomi Redmi 7 Review: A good budget all-rounder
Detailed review of Xiaomi Redmi 7
If it rains repeatedly in New Delhi like Xiaomi launches a new smartphone model, the capital city will get much colder, don’t you think? Just last month, Chinese electronics giant Redmi launched two new budget models under the brand name (Redmi Y3 and Redmi 7) to follow another one (Redmi 7A). Shortly before that, it launched Redmi Go, the show running with Xiaomi’s cheapest smartphone today, Android Go. When the Redmi Y3 was picked up for review by my esteemed colleague Shuvrojit, the Redmi 7 found its way to me. Rather than say goodbye to Nokia 4.2, I picked it up to use properly.
Redmi 7 in Lunar Red
Marking it the “ultimate all-rounder”, Xiaomi has blessed the Redmi 7 with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 chipset, up to 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage space standard. The screen measures 6.26 inches diagonally and sports a “dot notch” at the top for selfie cameras. Starting at Rs 7,999 at the time of writing this review, the Redmi 7 comes in three color options: Eclipse Black, Comet Blue, and Lunar Red. The next two come with a rear gradient finish. Read on to see how our Lunar Red Review Unit has worked.
Construction and design
The front of the Redmi 7 features Corning Gorilla Glass 5 to protect the display from minor scratches, while the rear panel appears to be a regular glossy plastic panel (Xiaomi has not released any specific information). A black plastic bidding holds the two panels together and holds all the ports and buttons. According to Xiaomi, the body of the Redmi 7 comes with a P2i nano-coating which makes it splash-resistant but not waterproof, so it goes without saying that it does not get IP rating. For you, this means you can call your Ola driver in light rain, but not the Redmi 7 in the swimming pool.
The back panel is a fingerprint magnet
Although the review unit seemed to be fairly well made, a critical detail occurred to me the moment I held it in my hand: the rear panel did not fit very well with the plastic frame, leaving some sharp edges open to one side. Running on it was not sharp enough to cut a finger but the weak fit made me think that the panel would ever close in the future or greatly weaken the structure of the phone. When built alone, the Redmi 7 could do better.
The rear panel at the left end was very sharp
Many budget smartphones nowadays come with a gradient finish on the back panel and are no different from the Redmi 7. This gives the phone some much needed class. Unfortunately, the Redmi 7’s glossy front and rear panels act as a powerful magnet for fingerprints and stains. The top of the phone has a 3.5mm audio jack, a secondary microphone and an IR blaster. On the left side there is only SIM / MicroSD card tray.
Shree likes to show Redmi 7’s two-tone back panel
3.5mm audio jack and Xiaomi-standard IR blaster
At the bottom is a microUSB port (for charging and data transfer) and loudspeaker grills on either side of the port. Presumably, the sound came from one of those two grills. On the right are the power buttons and a volume rocker, both powerful and sensitive. On the back, we see a dual camera setup with a visible camera bump and a fingerprint scanner, which works well for unlocking the screen, even when the position is very high.
There is no USB-C
It feels good to press a button
Display and audio
The Redmi 7’s IPS LCD screen measures 6.26 inches diagonally. It has a 19: 9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1520 x 720 pixels. According to Xiaomi, it has a contrast ratio of 1500: 1 and a screen-to-body ratio of about 87 percent. The pixel density sits at a decent 269 pixels per inch. According to our test kit, the screen brightness of the review unit has reached 353 LUX, which is the running image for phones in its segment. By comparison, the display brightness of the recently launched Nokia 4.2 has reached a maximum of 333 LUX. The colors on the screen look bright but there seems to be a slight cool hint about them. The highest horizontal viewing angle sat somewhere near the respectable 170 degrees. Surprisingly, there was almost no indication of light bleeding from the backlight of the LCD panel. All in all, the Redmi 7’s display’s salt price is good.
The sound from the single down-firing loudspeaker is both loud and clear. Songs like The Weeknd’s Starboy have been played with surprising amounts of clarity across three frequencies in the review unit. Low frequency sounds were also reproduced in the form of light artificial thumps. Understandably, no low-frequency sound was felt from the tiny driver. In short, the Redmi 7’s loudspeaker works if you’re with your friends and want to show them a new song you’ve just discovered. Earpieces, on the other hand, can do with a little more volume for calls.
Performance and gaming
The Redmi 7 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 chipset. First announced in June last year, the chip features a 14-nanometer octa-core processor with four Kryo 250 Gold processor cores and four Kryo 250 Silver processor cores, all clocking at 1.8GHz. The budget Xiaomi phone is offered in two variants: one with 2GB RAM (Rs. 7,999) and the other with 3GB RAM (Rs. 8,999). Our review unit was next. The internal storage in both variants is a standard 32GB. External storage up to 512GB in the form of a microSD card.
In our benchmark test, the Redmi 7 review unit worked quite well. At AnTuTu 7.0, it scored 104809. In comparison, the expensive Nokia 4.2 (with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 chipset and 3GB RAM) scored 62985 in the same test. In the GeekBench single-core and multi-core tests, the Redmi 7 won 1240 and 4370, respectively. In comparison, Nokia 4.2 conducted 894 and 3338 tests on the same two tests, respectively.
In everyday use situations, the Redmi 7 review unit has performed satisfactorily. Launching, shortening, shutting down and switching between applications was a hassle-free experience. Chrome had no visible signs of lag or delay when jumping through numerous tabs or when multitasking in general. While some background activity, such as app installation and game updates, was going on, I was able to browse and play videos online, even comfortably. If anything, animation sometimes had time to reduce stuttering and jump between apps. But this hiccup did not necessarily slow down the phone; They only reveal the limitations of the GPU.
The Redmi 7 review unit scored 916 on 3DMark’s sling shot GPU benchmark test. In comparison, Nokia 4.2 scored 821. During our gaming session, the Asphalt 9 Redmi 7 ran at an average frame rate of 29 frames per second. PUBG Mobile, on the other hand, runs in a median frame forcibly in low graphics settings. Rate of 26 frames per second. During the actual gameplay, some elements of the Asphalt 9 (like the car spoiler) were slightly pixelated but the animation seemed mostly consistent and stutter-free. Recorded using Asphalt 9 and PUBG mobile matrix gamebench. In short, Redmi 7 is not for serious gamers but if you want to play a popular title like PUBG Mobile on a budget then this is not a terrible choice.
The Redmi 7 comes with a dual camera setup on the back and a single selfie shooter on the front. The rear cameras have a 12-megapixel 1.25μm primary sensor with f / 2.2 aperture and a 2-megapixel depth sensor for portrait shots. They’re accompanied by a single LED flash. Selfie Shooter is an 8-megapixel 1.12μm sensor with an aperture of f / 2.0. According to Xiaomi, the rear shooters have “AI” features for visual detection, portrait mode and a function called Beautify 4.0.
In daylight, images taken with the Redmi 7’s primary rear camera appear to be rich in color, albeit slightly warmer. Photographs taken in portrait mode in daylight are quite well rendered without any obvious errors in obscuring the subject matter of the front. Selfies come out bright in daylight but make a lot of noise when taken indoors. The camera app wants to make the face “beautiful” but the level of beauty can be turned off or even completely off. The low light images taken by the primary camera are bright but distorted around the light source. On the other hand, low light selfies suffer from a good amount of noise.
The default camera app is easy to use and can respond quickly. Unlike the Nokia 4.2, whose default camera app is unbearably slow and unpredictable, the Redmi 7 camera app doesn’t suffer unexpected stalls and hiccups while running. It even has the option to take square pictures (so they are Instagram-ready) and a pro mode (which allows digital tweaking of ISO speed, aperture, shutter speed and white balance). In a nutshell, the Redmi 7 snaps amazingly respectable photos, giving the phone a decent price tag.
Disclaimer: The photos below have been resized for the web Visit us Flickr Gallery For full-resolution camera samples
Early camera, normal mode, during the day
Early camera, normal mode, during the day
Early camera, portrait mode, during the day
Portrait mode is good on Redmi 7
Its really good for price tags
Square mode for easy ‘Instagramming’
Selfie camera, normal mode, moderate beauty, during the day
Selfie camera, portrait mode, moderate beauty, during the day
Primary camera, square mode, low light
Selfie camera, normal mode, low light
Like its siblings, the Redmi 7 comes with MIUI 10.2, the latest version of Xiaomi’s proprietary smartphone firmware that runs on top of Android 9 Pie. The UI is fairly intuitive and similarly easy to use for new and seasoned smartphone users. Unlike previous UI iterations, MIUI 10 does not have a specific app drawer; All apps can be launched directly from the home screen. As an optional feature, MIUI comes with the latest gestures for navigation, similar to the one seen on iPhones and the features of Android Q. It comes with numerous themes and wallpaper options. Despite the fact that MIUI comes with a lot of features (its own set of everyday tools, such as a calendar, calculator, etc.), I personally am not a fan of MIUI for one big reason: it’s full of tons of ads and bloatware.
The Redmi 7 sports a 4,000mAh removable battery. In our standard battery benchmark test, the review unit lasted 545 minutes, which surpassed the Nokia 4.2 score of just 15 minutes in the same test. For your reference, Nokia 4.2 has a much smaller 3,000mAh battery. In everyday use situations, the Redmi 7 review unit runs anywhere around a full two days on a single charge.
During testing, the phone was kept through web browsing, gaming, online video playback, as well as many sessions of app installation and download. Even after a day of moderate to heavy use, the battery is only reduced by 100 to 60 percent. Leaving the phone unattended for most of the day doesn’t seem to have much effect on the battery (less than 5 percent), which means the standby battery cost on the Redmi 7 is fairly low. Despite the fairly heavy use, the Redmi 7 will last you up to a day and a half.
The last row
Redmi 7 offers a good value for the price. The budget Xiaomi phone does amazingly well on the display and camera front. Its performance is up to the mark. Budget PUBG mobile players should be quite happy with the ability to push pixels. All things considered, the Redmi 7 is a really good all-rounder. So what is Achilles heel? Create quality, easily, especially on the back. I hope the edge of the back panel doesn’t threaten to scratch my finger every time I pick up the phone.