The Redmi Note series has been a trendsetter in many ways. Phones like the Redmi Note 3 and Redmi Note 4 were the first to change the public perception not just about Xiaomi but Chinese smartphones in general.
Four years later, the Redmi Note 7 Pro continues in the same vein, but overcoming some of the limitations of the series like the design and camera.
It is available at a starting price of ₹13,999 in red, blue, black colour options.
While the initial all-metal design in the Redmi Note 3 was a sensation, over the years the design of new Redmi phones skirted around similar lines. That changes with the Redmi Note 7 series. It has a flat glass back design with no rough edges, lending it a suave and shiny appearance that feels more like a high-end smartphone.
The thin bezels and teardrop shaped cutout has allowed Xiaomi to keep the phone's size in check. In terms of thickness (75.2mm), it is narrow enough to fit into small hands. However, it doesn't feel very reassuring to hold. In addition to the glossiness on the back, the rounded edges have a glossy finish too and that affects the grip quality a bit. At 186g, the Note 7 Pro feels prettysubstantial and weighs more than the likes of Samsung Galaxy M30 (174g).
The issue of grip quality can be resolved with a transparent silicone case or plastic case. Xiaomi is bundling a soft transparent case with the phone.
The case will also take care of the slightly jutted out camera module on the back.
The fingerprint sensor is placed at the back and gets full marks for unlocking the screen quickly.
The Note 7 Pro belongs to the new generation of big-screen phones with thin bezel designs. It has a 6.3-inch screen, which is pretty much the standard screen size in all big screen Android phones these days. With a resolution of 2,340x1,080p, the LCD screen is technically at par with any other phone in this price point.
The screen manages to reproduce the right amount of colour in videos and games and is neither oversaturated nor washed out. The display setting has an option to enhance the contrast for users who like more vivid colours.
It holds its own well, even in side-by-side video playback or gaming comparison with competition.
To protect the screen against scratches and accidental drops from short height, Xiaomi has used Gorilla Glass 5 on the front, which is still a rarity in this price point.
One of the strong points of Xiaomi smartphones is it's user interface. The latest version, MIUI 10.2, is one of the best designed Android UIs with lots of unique features. The Redmi Note 7 Pro runs MIUI 10.2 on top of Android 9.
MIUI has some nifty features like the optional gesture controls. Users can go back to a previous screen by swiping from the left or right edge of screen. Similarly, swiping up from the lower edge of the screen takes the user back to the home screen, while swiping up and holding opens background apps. It's quite intuitive and easy to get a hang of, and makes the traditionalnavigation keys seem like a wastage of screen space.
Second space, dual apps, call recording, custom themes are some of the cool features many users will Iike, but the annoying bit is the presence too many Xiaomi apps that many users will not use.
Like all Redmi Note smartphones, the Redmi Note 7 Pro is a mid-range powerhouse. Purring inside it is Qualcomm's very capable 11nm based Snapdragon 675 chipset with up to 6GB RAM and the Adreno 612 GPU. According to Antutu benchmark tests, it is slightly inferior to the Honor V10 (launched at ₹29,999) and more powerful than the Vivo V15 Pro ( ₹28,990).
While the phone handled everything from switching between apps, video playback and games like Asphalt 9 with ease, it did freeze on us a couple of times for no reason. But such issues are very common in Android phones and restarting sets it right for another smooth sailing.
The smartphone offers 64GB internal storage in the entry level variant, but one can expand that with micro SD cards. The only catch is that the microSD card is built on the second SIM slot, which means you can't take advantage of dual-SIM if the memory card slot is occupied.
The 4,000mAh battery can eke out enough backup to last a day of modest use.
This is one of the first smartphones to offer a 48-megapixel camera, using the Sony IMX586 sensor, at this price point. There is a 5-megapixel camera right underneath it with a depth sensor to capture bokeh shots. The 48-megapixel resolution is not active by default and the user has to select it manually in the camera app. It first captures multiple images and then merges them to produce a single, high quality photo. Shots captured in well-lit and outdoor conditions look well detailed. Colour reproduction is accurate and even the light shades stand out very well.
Low light shots have improved a lot too, offering a lot more detail than its predecessor.
For selfie buffs, there is a 13-megapixel front camera. Its detail reproduction is average but it gets colours and skin tone well.
For Xiaomi, the Redmi Note 7 Pro’s big achievement is that it is going to change the perception about cameras in Redmi phones. From a user perspective, it is a wholesome smartphone ticking every box, be it performance to camera, or UX to display quality.
Samsung's Galaxy M30 ( ₹14,990) is another new smartphone you can consider at this price point if you don't like MIUI. If you are looking for a phone with stock Android, there is the Moto One Power ( ₹14,999), an Android One phone running on Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chipset, but an average camera.