This article has been just updated: January 6th, 2020
Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro First Impressions: Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro made its global debut on Thursday in India, and as expected.
The camera prowess coupled with new design and durable build were the biggest highlights of the new Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro phone. Not to forget we went through a lot of rumours, leaks, and renders for two months before the smartphone launched on Thursday.
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Redmi Note 7 Pro First Impressions
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro made its official debut with the Redmi Note 7 alongside Mi Basic Sports Earbuds. Redmi Note 7 Pro was an important launch for the Chinese handset maker.
The smartphone is slated to change the face of the affordable smartphone industry that we know as of today. Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro has got quite some features, and we did get to operate it for a short time during the event.
The smartphone that was launched, at the first look seems like something that belongs in the Rs. 18,000 plus price bracket. For what it seems, any other manufacturer would have priced the phone that Redmi launched above 18-20k considering the spec to price ratio.
A 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back, a super-bright LTPS LCD display, gradient colours on the back, and military-grade construction are some of the few things that can make the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro a best seller.
Here are our first impressions of the Redmi Note 7 Pro
Redmi Note 7 Pro: Design and display
Of course, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro is an affordable device which starts at Rs 13,999 for the 4GB RAM variant but nowhere does it feel cheap. The display gets a waterdrop notch at the top with gradient finish at the back, Xiaomi has sure brought out something very disruptive in the affordable premium market.
Xiaomi had faced a lot of flak when it came out with just incremental upgrades with the Redmi Note 5 Pro last year and did the same thing with the Redmi Note 6 Pro in the latter half of 2018.
However, this time everything seems to have changed with the Redmi Note 7 Pro. Gone are the anodised aluminium or polished polycarbonate finished backs, replaced by full scratch-proof Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back.
We picked up the phone and were mildly surprised at the weight it carried. By no means, this is a cheap light phone which will shatter into a thousand pieces if dropped from a height of 2 feet. One thing we found which we did not like was that perforated case which Xiaomi is offering to buyers at Rs. 349.
We did notice one problem with the cover. The cover has got circled cutouts across the case, so this means you will never find the fingerprint scanner without you rotating and staring at it from close range. But that problem is for later.
The Redmi Note 7 Pro felt robust and expensive – coupled with the LCD display which was capable of Full HD+ resolution and which gave the feeling that this was a costly phone. The back is glass too, with a gradient finish, so we are sure passersby are going to question you after they notice that the phone is not an Apple iPhone thingy.
The display notch is also smaller now which houses a 13-megapixel sensor. Xiaomi calls it the Dot Notch display instead of the waterdrop notch. Under the Sun, the display still manages to look good with all text and pictures and colours still in their elements.
Redmi Note 7 Pro: Camera
The camera is the main USP of this smartphone. The Redmi Note 7 Pro gets a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 camera sensor mounted on the back. Before you think this is the same as the one on original Redmi Note 7 Chinese version, stop.
The Chinese Redmi Note 7 comes with an effective 12-megapixel Samsung GM1 Isocell sensor. The Redmi Note 7 Pro gets a large 1/2-inch sensor which is the largest mobile camera sensor which found on a smartphone after the Honor View20 which has the same 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor.
The Redmi Note 7 Pro also shoots photos in 48-megapixel but only in Pro mode. In normal mode, the Redmi Note 7 Pro only shoots in 12-megapixel. Xiaomi has not mentioned if they use the pixel binning technique for shooting in 12-megapixel or if that is achieved by cropping the sensor. The camera lens has an f/1.79 aperture value which gives brightly coloured images with added contrast and shadows.
Xiaomi, interestingly, compared its camera on the Redmi Note 7 Pro to that of the iPhone XS and the OnePlus 6T and claimed that the 48-megapixel sensor on the Redmi Note 7 Pro was far better. We took a few demo samples, but it was inconclusive to arrive at a final decision if the 48-megapixel sensor is that good. Stay tuned for our full verdict.
The 48-megapixel sensor on the Redmi Note 7 Pro paired with a 5-megapixel depth sensor allows you to take bokeh shots. Xiaomi is also offering AI Portrait 2.0 which provides for bokeh processing and adjust blur. The bokeh was decent enough, but we liked the edge detection the most, with photos carrying decent edge sharpness. There was also a special night mode which uses software to artificially stabilise the shot which is similar to what the OnePlus 6T does with the Nightscape mode or the AI Scene Recognition which came with the Redmi Note 6 Pro.
There is also a 13-megapixel sensor for selfies. The selfies looked decent enough, with good detail. However, we are yet to test low lighting conditions for the cameras. Again, stay tuned for our full review of the Redmi Note 7 Pro.
Redmi Note 7 Pro: Performance
Now since Xiaomi put the 1/2-inch CMOS Sony IMX596 48-megapixel sensor on the back of the Redmi Note 7 Pro, there was also the 11nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 chipset supporting the sensor.
The Snapdragon chipset if you recall, made its debut with the Vivo V15 Pro, and the Snapdragon 675 chipset is faster than the Snapdragon 660 SoC.
The Snapdragon 675 SoC gets same Cortex A76 cores found on the flagship Snapdragon 855 but downclocked to 2.0GHz. The chipset is welded to an Adreno 612 GPU which means gaming performance will be better. Also, Qualcomm has tuned the chipset to allow popular games like PUBG Mobile to run smoother.
The chipset config is paired to 4GB or 6GB of LPDDR4X RAM with internal storage up to 64GB or 128GB variants. The variants are both expandable up to 256GB via microSD.
The Redmi Note 7 Pro ran on the latest Android 9 Pie with MIUI10 on top. The interface looked decent, nothing mind-blowing. Xiaomi did, however, say that they have performed some customisations to make the phone faster. That could be checked only when we perform a full review of the device. All in all, the UI looked pretty much no-nonsense with decently less bloatware.
Redmi Note 7 Pro: Battery
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro gets a 4000mAh battery which then integrated with the power optimisations of the Snapdragon 675 promises up to a whopping 8 hours of gaming continuously. That will be a fun test with 8 hours of gaming, pray the smartphone does not melt.
The Redmi Note 7 Pro will also arrive with a USB Type-C port with support for QuickCharge 4.0, but then Xiaomi only offered a measly 10W charger in the box. To get the full blast of 18W charging, you will need to buy a separate QC4.0-certified charger.
Redmi Note 7: Initial thoughts
With specs from the top and a design that manages to put most sub-Rs. 25,000 smartphones on the run for their money, we think from the first impression, the Redmi Note 7 Pro will surely be a game-changer.
The Xiaomi Note 7 Pro has created significant hype in the last few weeks and has already made a lot of promises – a premium design that can break walnuts, a camera that is claimed to be better than the competition.
We are pretty sure that the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro will bring in disruption across the smartphone industry, but stay tuned for our full review.