It is never really an easy task to better a product that is already top notch. We are talking about the excellent Redmi Note 6 Pro. When that arrived in the second half of last year, it reset the benchmark in the affordable Android smartphone space. Yet here we are, a few months later, with the Redmi Note 7 Pro, which is doing the impossible. Everything is a step up in terms of the user experience, with the biggest boost reserved for the photography performance.
The Redmi Note 7 Pro will be available in two variants. There is the 4GB+64GB option that is priced at Rs 13,999 while you can also pick the potentially more versatile 6GB + 128GB option for Rs 16,999. Both these options are available in a widely acceptable Space Black colour, a snazzy Nebula Red and a super classy Neptune Blue.
Hold the Redmi Note 7 Pro, and there is absolutely no way that you will believe this is a phone priced at Rs 13,999 and Rs 16,999. The glass at the front and the back, which is the Gorilla Glass 5, adds a dash of luster too, apart from making the phone less prone to scratches. Then there are the rounded spines that additionally help as you cradle the phone in your hand. The display sits on a slightly different height compare to where the side spone joins the front, which allows your finger to glide around the edges of the screen without scraping against the sides. This weighs 186 grams and this isn’t the lightest phone around, but then again, we haven’t ever heard anyone crib about the phone’s weight ever—it is just something you get used to in a few days. The gradient reflective glass back finish is the highlight of the red and blue colorways, and you’ll find the way light reflects off it quite captivating. For what is essentially a large slab of glass, the Redmi Note 7 Pro does not at all have the tendency of slipping out of your hands, which is great for usability. We really cannot find anything wrong with the ergonomics or the design of the Redmi Note 7 Pro and any other criticisms would purely be filed under ‘nitpicking’.
The Redmi Note 7 Pro isn’t waterproof, but Xiaomi have ensured that this is a bit more resistant to water than most other phones may be, thanks to rubber sealing for the charging port, the speakers and even the camera module. The phone also has the P2i coating, that lets water droplets glide off.
This is not just about being a beauty. What is under the hood is also a serious upgrade, to stay ahead of the curve. Xiaomi has put the Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor, which is a serious upgrade over the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor that powered the Redmi Note 5 Pro and also the Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor. The net result of all this, irrespective of whether you pair this with 4GB RAM or 6GB RAM is that the performance you experience is slick to say the least. Whether it is the MIUI 10 interface or opening and closing apps, there really isn’t any visible stutter at all. Incidentally, this is the same processor which powers the Vivo V15 Pro, which is priced at Rs 28,990. At almost half the price, the Redmi Note 7 Pro runs the same processor—there really is no better testament to the fact that the Redmi Note 7 Pro is significantly ahead of the curve, leaving its rivals behind.
The other big advantage of the Snapdragon 675 processor, apart from the slick performance, is the even frugal battery consumption. The Redmi Note 7 Pro, with its 4,000mAh battery will easily last you two days with medium usage, and easily a day and a half when used as a primary phone on a workday. This phone also supports the Qualcomm QuickCharge 4 technology—this is the epitome of future proofing, and you may have to wait a while for the compatible chargers to flood the market to be able to fully utilize these fast charging capabilities.
The 6.3-inch LTPS display has a 2340 x 1080 resolution. Yes, there is the dewdrop notch as well—all is fine with the world. As it is, this isn’t your standard LCD display, because the LTPS panel offers better refresh rates, which is great news for visuals and fast-moving content. Colours look good, the brightness levels are adequate even under bright sunlight and the experience overall is quite immersive. However, at times you may feel that the display isn’t sharp enough, mostly while viewing images, but that is never a problem while watching a video or reading text.
There is no doubt that the party piece of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro is the 48-megapixel camera. This is not one of those cameras which join pixels together and claim to make a 48-megapixel image, but instead the Sony IMX586 sensor. This delivers 8000 x 4000 resolution images, when in the full 48-megapixel mode. By default though, Xiaomi sets this to the 12-megapixel mode, for the sake of keeping the photography storage requirements in check for most users—and you can simply switch to the 48-megapixel mode from the camera app interface. The photos that you get from the Redmi Note 7 Pro is perhaps the single biggest upgrade over the previous generations, and a much awaited one too. Each photo in the 48-megapixel mode picks out a brilliant amount of detailing with great contrast. Even the edges of a frame are quite sharp, and the finer details are reproduced very well. Even before running any of these photos through a photo editing app, you will appreciate how good the colours are. You can, for most shots, leave the HDR setting turned off, and not miss it at all. By default, the Redmi Note 7 Pro will snap photos at 12-megapixel—and these photos are also very well detailed and retain a lot of the excellence that you may require to edit these photos with a third-party app. One thing we did notice though that irrespective of resolution, the photo shooting speeds in low light goes down quite a bit, and you need to be a bit more patient to get the best focus. The net result does impress though, with a very soft yet balanced image that emerges for scenarios when the lighting may not be the best.
While the Redmi Note 6 Pro and the Redmi Note 5 Pro made for very compelling purchases in the sub Rs 15,000 price band and always offered better value than their rivals, things are a bit different this time around. The Redmi Note 7 Pro is not only better than the Realme 2 Pro, Nokia 7.1, Nokia 6.1 Plus, Honor 8X and dare we say the Samsung Galaxy M20 too, but is in fact better by a significant margin. The performance, the camera and the battery stamina are the secret ingredients, it seems. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro is now in a different league altogether. Buying this, really, is not even up for debate.