During the years, Xiaomi has accustomed us to a real parade of mid-range and entry level smartphones and in the last period the thing has become quite pressing, especially in the face of an essentially unchanged design. The small Redmi Note 7 is no exception but try to give a little 'breathing thanks to a display with drop notch, seen so far only with Xiaomi play, and with a photographic module that aims high.
The baby girl Redmi will be able to pull out of the cylinder a "new" product, with that something more than many other medium-low end models? Find out in our review!
Review Redmi Note 7
The sales box is in perfect Xiaomi style (or maybe we should say Redmi): a super-minimal white hardback with the name of the device printed on the top, with characters in a slightly shaded color. Inside the box we have the usual equipment:
- Redmi Notes 7;
- protective cover in soft silicone;
- wall charger from 5V 2A with Chinese plug;
- USB / microUSB cable;
- pin for the SIM slot;
On the contents of the package nothing strange to declare ... but wait! A USB / microUSB cable? But the device has a USB Type-C port! This is definitely a mystery to solve ...
Design and construction
Il Redmi Note 7 immediately striking for its size (159.21 x 75.21 x 8.1 mm for a weight of 186 grams), justified by the presence of a large display and the ratio in 19.5: 9, the latter perfect to hold the device in one hand. However it will not be easy to reach the other side of the screen even if on the other hand we have one good grip despite the glass cover.
About the latter, it results a lot plasticky to the touch and seems to be dealing with a particularly cheap product. The construction is good, without imperfections and creaks but the body is incredibly sensitive to the footprints: a little 'oleophobic treatment in addition would certainly not hurt.
Frontally we find a selfie camera set in a small droplet notch, with the earpiece almost flush with the upper frame. "Almost" because all around the display we find the usual step, which contributes to increase (even if only slightly) the thickness of the smartphone and further accentuates that sense of cheap that we mentioned a little while ago. The Notification LED it is present and is located at the bottom, on the lower frame. An unhappy but certainly necessary style choice (and practice).
As for the rest of the external components, we have a IR sensor, an entrance mini-jack and the microphone for noise reduction along the upper edge; the opposite microphone, door USB Type-C (for the first time aboard a Redmi model!) and speaker. The right edge houses the volume rocker and power button, the left the SIM slot.
To conclude - we left the best last - the back cover houses a fingerprint reader (lightning-fast and reliable) and the controversial dual vertical camera. Indeed we can not give wrong to the controversy of Chinese users: the module it really protrudes too much and it's a punch in the eye (we let you imagine it to the touch).
The panel used for the Redmi Note 7 It is an LCD unit from 6.3 inches diagonal with resolution Full HD + (2340 x 1080 pixels), report in 19.5: 9 and 409 PPI. Undoubtedly among the merits of the device we can not but count the use of a large display and equipped with a droplet not very intrusive; even if the frames are not the best in terms of optimization, on the whole we are faced with a pleasant solution from an aesthetic point of view and for the use of multimedia contents.
A few problems of display under the sun's rays is not lacking, however, the brightness sensor does its job and the maximum brightness is not bad. The colors returned by the panel appear to be very charged and in the case of solid colors it is possible to notice how saturated they are. Of course, it is possible to adjust the color settings, but only for a warm / cold preference. There are no advanced settings but basically enough.
The display has not impressed us particularly even if overall it is a "right" panel, especially in relation to the sights and the price of the device.
Hardware and Performance
The beating heart of little Redmi is the chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, an octa-core solution (up to 2.2 GHz) on which real treaties have now been written. To accompany the SoC findimo 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB internal memory (expandable), an impeccable configuration from the point of view of specifications.
Despite this, we sometimes stumbled into some small (sporadic) lag and this, together with other signals, let us understand more than anything else that the software is still being optimized. Wanting to sum up, the performance is there and it is undeniable (given the excellent chipset on board) but to fully enjoy it perhaps it is better to wait for the Global firmware.
Gaming side, thanks to Adreno GPU 512 we have not encountered any kind of problems with various types of games, provided we accept some compromise (discounted) with the heaviest titles.
Waiting for the international version, the Redmi Note 7 in test he mounts one MIUI 10 China Stable (10.2.8.0 version) based on Android 9 Pie and with security patches updated to January 2019. Being an Asian release, the considerations are the usual: Italian is missing and you will need to independently get the installer for Google services and the Play Store.
Nothing challenging but novice users may not appreciate (especially the lack of our language). In terms of features we are facing the usual MIUI 10, in all its (controversial) splendor.
We have the usual goodies that we are used to like dual App, The mode Second Space, full screen gesture (by now they are obligatory), i Temiplus a slew of Chinese apps that we will never use, including the assistant Xiao AI. Sorry but the latter speaks only Chinese, so nothing in fact.
Regarding any problems with notifications, nothing to report. After stealing the apps in the background and selecting the ones to save from the massacre of automatic energy management, WhatsApp and other messaging applications (and others) have not reported any defects.
We conclude our software overview also reporting the presence of the usual Manager that allows you to put hand to various settings (for cleaning the device, etc.), the App Lock and the Game Boost mode. In conclusion… melius abundare quam deficere!
But let's get to the real peculiarity of this smartphone, or the much chat dual main camera. The form on the back cover - as already underlined ... too much protruding! - integrates a Samsung GM1 sensor from 48 mega-pixels (f/1.8), accompanied by a secondary from 5 mega-pixel for depth).
What was supposed to be the core of the smartphone did not turn out to be such, with lights and shadows on the results. The sensor - which normally triggers a 12 mega-pixels - has a "slight" tendency to overexpose images while in some cases we are faced with excessively saturated colors. A good hand (and a good perspective, above all) can help to adjust the shot.
Shooting mode a 48 mega-pixels It is available in the manual shooting screen. Paradoxically, some images result much more satisfying to 12 mega-pixel than to 48. The question needs some clarifications: during normal shooting the sensor combines 4 pixel in 1 and everything is processed by software. When you shoot at 48 mega-pixel, however, you will have to deal with the "pure" work of the sensor; in this case it will be necessary to put a hand to the Pro settings to get the best and here the donkey falls. The experts will certainly not have problems, but for those who do not chew the basics of photography it will take a lot 'of effort to get good shots in manual.
In short, given the hype generated by Xiaomi it seemed that everything was a bit 'less, even in the face of a software to be improved (as evidenced by the introduction of the Night Fashion, following the marketing of the device).
About the night mode, perhaps the latter has impressed us the most. In low light situations, the software is able to correct any Lens Flare and greatly improve the final result. Even in dire situations Night Mode he has pulled out his nails: loss of details and pastiness are slightly corrected and the images certainly gain.
Frontally, set in the drop notch, we find a selfie camera from 13 mega-pixels acceptable in the social sphere. The level of detail decreases with the decline of darkness and in the evening the background noise increases considerably. Good portrait mode: the subject in the foreground is trimmed with precision (also applies to the rear cam) and on the whole it is possible to obtain quite satisfactory shots.
Connectivity and audio quality
As we have seen in the past, the modem LTE X12 he behaved excellently and we did not notice particular drops in performance - in terms of reception - due to the absence of the 20 band. The audio in call is clear and with an adequate volume; the only hitch for the most demanding will be the hybrid slot dual SIM: to use the second card you will have to sacrifice the microSD.
The rest of the connectivity package includes support for 802.11 Wi-Fi a / b / g / n / ac dual Strip and the Bluetooth 5.0. The NFC is missing but on the other hand all the modules work well and without unjustified interruptions. Good surfing with GPS / A-GPS / GLONASS / Beidou.
The audio part is entrusted to one speaker placed along the bottom edge and at the chip 98937 smartpa. Not bad for the price range, but obviously do not expect miracles: the volume is quite high and all the frequencies are well managed.
With intense use, the Redmi Note 7 he took us smoothly at the end of the day (and beyond) with just over five hours screen access; all in the face of a charge (with the supplied charger) of approx 2 hours and minutes 10. By limiting the experience to the basic operations (without however renouncing social networks, games and web browsing) we managed to reach around 7 hours of display on.
Perhaps - in the unbridled use of the device - we would have expected a little more compared to the SoC and the battery from 4000 mAh on board; however we are on the right values and maybe with a little 'break-in (or maybe ... with the Global firmware!) will be able to further raise the bar. To conclude, the device present the charging support Quick Charge 4: the only problem will be finding a charger compatible with the standard.
Review Redmi Note 7 - Price and Conclusions
Summing up, the Redmi Note 7 certainly represents an important step forward for the cheap range of the Asian manufacturer (also highlighted by the change of course concerning the brand). Redmi by Xiaomi has tried to offer something more trying to keep a low price and this is certainly an admirable goal.
Despite the good intentions there is no lack of lights and shadows, as always. The small device is pleasant to use and gives satisfaction even in the field photographic thanks to its brand new mega-pixel 48 sensor. There MIUI 10 China it seems a bit 'too "rigid and it is clear that there are still some corners to be smoothed; the look then - as also highlighted in the appropriate section - is now too inspired and it is seriously necessary to change the road.
The materials used for the back cover give a sense of "economic", further accentuated by the step that surrounds the display. In short, strengths and weaknesses are intertwined without stopping. We look forward to the Global variant, curious to find out how the software dedicated to the international market will behave.
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