Xiaomi’s budget king has returned with a new design and packing lion-sized power for the price of a chihuahua.
The Note 7 Pro is seriously punching out in every direction this time and clawing into the budget market with its predatory pricing. An all-new processor, a skimpier notch, more megapixels than your average joe and a glass-back body.
Xiaomi’s formula for a budget smartphone is interesting and intriguing, but is all that tech squeezed into the budget segment worth your dosh?
The most noticeable change on the Redmi Note 7 Pro is the glass back. The Aura design is a stylish gradient back that comes in three colours: Nebula Red, Neptune Blue and Space Black. It’s the same thing that Honor did in their budget segment last year but the Note 7 Pro is reinforced with Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back.
Tilt it back and forth and you’ll be greeted with different shades of the primary colour, for instance, Nebula Red shifts from a pinkish hue to a magenta. The Space Black is more sombre with no gradient for boring people.
Like all slippery glass back smartphones, this one escapes our palms faster than a bar of soap. Although it feels really comfortable to hold. Especially because the rounded edges merge effortlessly with the glass back. Even the fingerprint sensor sits where it belongs and within reach.
Every teardrop and every waterfall
The Dot Notch display is a perfect example of notch trends shifting their diets. In contrast, the iPhone’s notch looks like a scalpel scar next to an injection poke of this single camera notch.
It’s not a punch hole like the Honor View 20 but the intrusion of the notch is similar to it. You won’t feel its presence with extended use and we’ve seen the same happen with OnePlus 6T’s teardrop notch as well.
That said, the dot notch lets the Redmi Note 7 Pro stretch its FHD+ display across a 6.3in screen. At 2340 x 1080, the pixel count is common for the size but this is not your regular LCD screen. According to Xiaomi, the Redmi Note 7 Pro uses an LTPS panel which basically has better refresh rate and stays cooler than most displays. It doesn’t disappoint one bit for gaming. The colours and saturation is what you’d expect from a phone at this price point. Although we’re still not happy as to why Xiaomi has still not addressed the Widevine certification issue with most of their products, this being no exception. You still cannot view Netflix content in FullHD.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 is making its way to the sub-₹15K segment, and the Note 7 Pro is rocking one to give this kitty the claws it needs. After all, what’s a Ferrari without an engine, right?
If your hopes are soaring higher than a bald eagle that’s because the analogy used was to make you feel so. Stay a little grounded because it’s still a budget smartphone and like all precious wallet decisions, Xiaomi’s innards are practically the best bang for the buck.
There’s a lot happening inside the Note 7 Pro. For starters, the new gen processor offers better battery efficiency over the Redmi Note 6 Pro even if you’re still unconvinced by the mammoth 4000mAh battery. To top it off, Redmi Note 7 Pro also supports Quick Charge 4, though you’ll have to wait for sometime for the chargers to roll out in the market and Xiaomi doesn’t bundle the QuickCharge 3 in the box either.
When gaming the Adreno 612 GPU along with 4GB of RAM runs PUBG smoothly although your quest for chicken dinner could drain your battery considerably.
Android 9 Pie has Xiaomi’s MIUI 10 skin on top of it. We’re not the biggest fans of custom skins but if you’ve got other Xiaomi products lying around, this is a good option to have them all work with a slight ease. Especially the fitness bands and wireless headphones.
We have the Xiaomi 4K telly and Soundbar to check how Xiaomi’s ecosystem is shaping up, unfortunately it’s a conflicting circle to deal with. You see, the absolutely great 4K telly doesn’t have an IR receiver, neither does the Soundbar. The Soundbar doesn’t even have a remote, so I was expecting the smartphone (which has an IR blaster) to save my routine walks to the telly to adjust the audio via an app or something! Long story short, it didn’t make my life easier and nothing worked in tandem.
Oh snap! 48 the camera
Forty eight. That’s how many megapixels Xiaomi’s crammed into its rear camera sensor. It uses the same sensor as the Honor View 20 and packs a 5MP telephoto lens too. Photos come out really good. The highlights are slightly overblown but that’s just us looking for problems in what is the best camera for a sub-₹20K smartphone. However, keep in mind that with 48MP, the photos come out heavy in size. So Xiaomi has said that the phone’s camera is set to 12MP by default because a shot from a 48MP camera could eat up your storage faster than Hungry Hippos.
The rear camera has most of the bells and whistles that you’d expect from a dual camera. Portrait mode? Yes, sir. With AI wizardry on it? You bet! Fancy bokeh effects? Obviously. Colour and saturation are controlled too.
The Night Mode churns out better low light shots. Most notably in the exposure department where it handles overblown lights perfectly and evenly capture the details in the dark areas of the photo. The front 13MP camera housed inside the Dot Notch is decent too. For video nuts, Electronic Image Stabilization has made its way here too along with 4K @30fps video recording.
Many of Redmi Note 7 Pro’s features are slightly old in the software department. However, with the inclusion of new hardware and a shinier glass body, the Note 7 Pro is quite frankly a helluva great phone for a bloody cheap price.
The new Snapdragon processor not only feels speedy but also opens up new possibilities like Quick Charge 4 and 4K video recording. The 48MP camera is very exciting for shutterbugs who like to tinker in manual mode and the glass body feels comfortable.
All in all, if your wallet is floating on the ₹15,000 bracket, the Redmi Note 7 Pro is an easy pick.