On January 10, Xiaomi held the first press conference in 2019 in the Shangdi Yuan Center. Lei Jun announced at the scene that the Redmi brand will operate independently in the future. It will more focus on cost, e-commerce, and internationalization. As the first product of the ‘Redmi’ brand, the Redmi Note 7 also was announced. It comes with a 48MP lens, an excellent quality, and a high-cost performance. Thus, it’s a quite interesting product in the thousand yuan niche. Let’s dig deeper.
Redmi Note 7 Camera
The most interesting thing about the Redmi Note 7 is its ability to take photos. This handset that has been made for the thousand yuan market is surprisingly adopting a 48-megapixel rear-mounted main camera. As the saying goes, the entry-level smartphone market is changed completely. This model uses the Samsung GM1 camera sensor with ½-inch pixel size. The super-sensing area is second only to the IMX600 used in the Huawei P/Mate series flagships. It is parallel with the Sony IMX586 and is the second largest camera sensor on the market.
The ultra-high pixels of the Samsung GM1 provide better shooting performance. Moreover, the Samsung GM1 also adopts a Quad Bayer pixel arrangement, which can combine four 0.8-micron pixels into one by four-in-one technology.
Of course, the photo samples are still the first factor to consider the quality of smartphone imaging. Let’s take a look at the real samples of the Redmi Note 7.
Due to the limitations of Samsung GM1 hardware, the 48MP samples of the Redmi Note 7 need to use professional mode to output. We used the 48-megapixel professional mode and 12MP AI mode (without HDR) to take two sets of photos for comparison:
Due to the AI algorithm, the smartphone will optimize the 12Mp shots. Even so, the details of the 48MP mode can be improved – the fonts under the 48MP are clearer, while the 12MP font is slightly faint.
The difference after zooming is more obvious: under the 48MP, the font on the giant Starbucks coffee cup is still clear, while the 12MP sample is slightly faint. It is enough to see that the details of the photos are still greatly improved.
In addition to the increased details brought by the 48MP mode, the high sensitivity of the 1.6-micron large pixel also makes the advantage of the Red Rice Note 7 night scene shooting vivid. Due to the handheld super night view function, we can see how perfect the night samples are.
From the samples above, we can judge the details of the photo remain intact, and the noise control is also quite in place. Among the current thousand yuan smartphones, the night shooting ability of the Redmi Note 7 is excellent.
In addition, the AI mode in the camera is also quite user-friendly. When it is detected that the scene is backlit, the shooting options of ‘Backlight’ and ‘Sketch’ will pop up automatically.
On the whole, the Redmi Note 7 imaging quality reached the level of the flagship smartphone. After redefining the thousand yuan machine with the price/performance ratio, ‘Redmi’ will also redefine the photographing of the thousand yuan smartphone through the Redmi Note 7.
For the front camera, the Redmi Note 7 is equipped with a 13MP lens that supports AI smart beauty, single-camera, and scene recognition. Of course, face unlocking is also a must.
Redmi Note 7 Design
In terms of design, the Redmi Note 7 has changed a lot. It already canceled a few design elements that have been popular in the past. Among them, we can mention the three-stage design, micro USB, and notch screen. Instead, it adopts trendier features, including the ‘gradient color’ and ‘drop screen’.
On the front of the fuselage, the Redmi Note 7 uses a 6.3-inch FHD+ drop screen design. At the press conference, Lei Jun also mentioned that the border of this handset is only 1.95mm. The rest of the display parameters include a dispensing technology, a screen ratio of 19.5:9, a resolution of 2340×1080, a 450 nits brightness, an 84% NTSC color gamut, a step-less color temperature adjustment, a sunscreen (Highlight mode), a luminous screen, eye protection mode, etc. This is also the first drop screen phone in the Redmi series. From the visual point of view, this front bezel control of is indeed quite in place. The front panel is covered with the Corning Gorilla Glass 5, while the back of the fuselage carries Redmi brand new logo.
At the press conference, Lei Jun said that the Redmi Note7 has no big black edges and no big chin, and the next generation of Redmi products will be close to the iPhone X. It is not worthwhile to use the same chin as the iPhone X
On the back, the Redmi Note 7 offers a gradient of Dream Blue and Twilight Gold, as well as a classic bright black color.
Moreover, on this handset, Redmi also adopted/retained many useful functions. For example, the interface was changed to Type-C, and at the same time, the 3.5mm headphone jack was retained. It also supports the infrared remote control function. In terms of functional design, the Redmi Note 7 can be described as ‘comprehensive’.
In addition, despite the use of notch screen design, the Redmi Note 7 still retains the LED light, but because of the internal space, the LED light is slightly smaller, and the position is not centered at the bottom of the fuselage. It may look somewhat uncomfortable, but this is better than nothing.
When Lei Jun talked about the fingerprint recognition module, he said that the thousand yuan machines usually use the rear fingerprint identification. But if you don’t like it to be placed on the back, you can try out the new hole protection shell. In fact, the Redmi Note 7 ‘exclusive’ hole protection shell, with a thickness of 0.8mm, a unique mesh design, a preferably PC material, and an anti-sweat slip, is priced at 29 yuan ($4).
Redmi Note 7 Performance
The Redmi Note 7 uses the full-blooded version of the Snapdragon 660. Actually, the latter is familiar to many users. It has managed to appear on tons of great phones, including last year’s Xiaomi offline flagship the Xiaomi Mi Note 3 and OPPO R15.
The Snapdragon 660 uses the Samsung 14nm FinFET process node, an octa-core Kryo 260 CPU design, and the Adreno 512 GPU. However, there is a certain reason why Xiaomi emphasizes that the Redmi Note 7 uses the full-fledged version of the Snapdragon 660. The latter has a large core frequency of 2.2GHz, which is more powerful than the 1.95GHz Snapdragon 660 used by its rivals.
At the press conference, Xiaomi showed the Redmi Note 7 scores 144,599 points at AnTuTu. Our measurements showed almost an identical result. The overall performance is quite good, and not in vain Xiaomi pointed out it outruns the Huawei Kirin 710.
In the game test, all the settings of Honor of Kings were set at the highest points. The frame rate of the game was stable at around 60fps, and the gaming was smooth.
As for the endurance, the Redmi Note 7 sports a 4000mAh battery, which supports QC4+ fast charge. However, the box comes with a standard 5V/2A charger of up to 10W input power, but you can add an 18W fast charging head at the time of purchase by adding 10 yuan.
In addition, Xiaomi also made a sound quality special improvement plan for the Redmi Note 7. It has selected the PA components of the same supplier as Apple, used DSM dynamic gain control, custom AAC micro-speaker, and increased the volume of the external speaker by 2.5 times. The handset also uses an independent box 0.64cc large sound cavity design, resulting in stable sealing performance.
Lei Jun also introduced the quality of Redmi Note 7, saying it includes a number of quality awards. The fuselage adopts a four-corner protection design to enhance local strength; the button/interface waterproof design is splash-proof; the ‘micro-crack’ edge polishing process increased toughness and compressive strength, and the phone provides an 18-month warranty.
See the future through Redmi Note 7
As the first product after the independence of the ‘Redmi’ brand, we can see the future direction of ‘Redmi’ through the Redmi Note 7.
In a reply to the comments, Lei Jun once said that ‘the Xiaomi and Redmi are separated, and they are developed in different directions. Now, the Xiaomi brand can perform better. Redmi focuses on the cost-effective smartphones market, that is, the e-commerce market, while Xiaomi focuses on the high-end and ‘new retail’ market. In this sense, the ‘extremely cost-effective’ concept may become one of the most important labels of this brand, Xiaomi’s ‘Let everyone enjoy the fun of technology’ vision will be more vivid through Redmi.
Obviously, the Redmi Note 7 is a good start for the ‘Redmi’ brand.
P.S. The 3GB+32GB version is priced at 999 yuan ($147), the 4GB+64GB version is priced at 1199 yuan ($177), and the 6GB+64GB version is priced at 1399 yuan ($206).