The Xiaomi Redmi 7 has now arrived in the western hemisphere and is available in a similar price range as in its country of origin (China). The 32-GB version is available for around $125, which is very cheap for a smartphone with a mid-range processor. But if you know the Redmi series, you will know all about its great price-to-performance ratio. It seems to offer nearly everything that buyers might want, and the focus is on overall value rather than anyone major feature.
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Build and Design
The back of this phone is made out moulded plastic, which Xiaomi says has been “finished with a nano-spray”. The design is quite deceiving in the sense that it could convince many that it’s made of glass and metal. But this new Redmi is completely made of plastic. Sadly, it did get very grimy with fingerprints and smudges within moments of us this phone. We also noticed that dust and tiny fibres tended to stick to the back. It’s impossible to keep the Redmi 7 looking fresh which is a pity. We saw major scratches and scuffs after less than a week of careful handling.
The edges where the glossy rear panel meets the matte plastic frame aren’t perfectly smooth and this phone is somewhat awkward to use. Thankfully the fingerprint sensor on the rear and the power and volume buttons on the right are within easy reach.
On the top of this phone, you’ll find a 3.5mm headset socket and an infrared emitter for controlling appliances with. A single tray on the upper left can hold two Nano-SIMs as well as a microSD card, which is always good to see. We would have liked a USB Type-C port, but we can’t complain about the use of the Micro-USB standard at this price.
Hardware and performance:
The HD+ (1,520 x 720 pixels) LCD display showcases a slightly bluish tinge. But that would be nit picking on this otherwise brilliant display, given the smartphone’s price tag. The colours are a bit saturated, but most will find this display pretty much at home.
The new Redmi 7 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 SoC which is a considerable improvement over not only the Redmi 6’s MediaTek Helio P22, but also the Snapdragon 625 in the Redmi 6 Pro. It has eight of Qualcomm’s own Kryo 250 CPU cores running at up to 1.8GHz, and integrated Adreno 506 graphics.
The Redmi 7 has a 12-megapixel f/2.2 primary rear camera with a 2-megapixel depth sensor. It doesn’t have an extra zoom or wide-angle lens, but the app does boast of AI to detect scenes and adjust camera settings automatically.
In daylight, photos looked vibrant and saturated, with HDR rescuing images from blown out highlights. The dynamic range was great too. While the images looked sharp on the smartphone, moving them to a bigger display saw a noticeable lack of details in the photographs across all types of lighting conditions.
Videos can be recorded at 1080p 60fps and you can choose between the more widely compatible H.264 and more efficient H.265 codecs. Beautification is applied automatically when using the 8-megapixel f/2.0 front camera, and it’s way too aggressive.
All-in-one, the Redmi 7 features a pretty capable camera, that can also shoot good Portrait photos and deliver decent video, given its pricing.
Software and Battery:
There’s a 4000mAh battery which is a big bump up from 3000mAh on the Redmi 6, and while Qualcomm’s Quick Charge isn’t explicitly supported, the bundled charger is rated at 10W.
It was running MIUI 10.2 on top of Android 9 Pie. During the initial setup process, there’s an option to disable “Wallpaper Carousel” stories on the lock screen, which can include some ads and sponsored content. You’ll see a different item every time you unlock your phone. It’s powered by a third-party app called Glance.
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The Redmi 7 is a fitting successor to the Redmi 6 and even the Redmi 6 Pro. It packs in a great display, a capable chipset and for once actually looks good compared to any smartphone in its price range. It’s the best low budget phone, you should buy this device right now.