Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro first impressions: what is the incentive of buying a flagship?

Here it is, finally. For the first time in the world, the Redmi Note 7 Pro. The phone that was wonderfully kept under wraps by Xiaomi India. Like the Poco F1 (review) launched last year, Xiaomi India pulled another shocker yesterday when it announced the Redmi Note 7 Pro with a SD675 SoC and a 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor. The bigger shock was, of course, the price.

Let’s get down to the first impressions of the Redmi Note 7 Pro – the phone that is on its way to becoming the best phone under Rs 20,000. 

Redmi Note 7 Pro camera: shocking specs

I really want to talk about the cameras first. Because that one was a doozy. The RN7 Pro comes with a Sony IMX586 48MP sensor on the rear and not the Samsung GM1 sensor that you get on the Redmi Note 7 China variant. This sensor was also present on the Honor View 20 (review). Which, by the way, is a much more expensive phone. This high-resolution sensor using pixel binning to take 12MP shots in 1.6-micron pixel size. And, you can take full resolution 48MP shots using the Pro Mode as well. You can also shoot videos at 4K 30fps. This obviously means that you will have to be okay with larger size pictures. Oh also, there is a secondary 5MP sensor for depth sensing. And, on the front, you get a 13MP selfie camera.

Take a look at the camera samples for yourself. Initial impressions are extremely positive. You can see an incredible amount of details with some good colour processing too. But you guys must wait for our full review and camera comparisons before making that purchase decision. 

(Images have been resized for the web)

 

 

Redmi Note 7 Pro design and display: clean and gorgeous

That the Redmi Note 7 Pro is a looker is a given. And the best part is if you find the gradient colorways like the Nebula Red and the Neptune Blue a little too flashy for your taste you can always go for the classy yet understated Black one. The phone is made entirely of glass with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and the rear. Interestingly, this version of glass used on the Note 7 Pro is thicker by 14 percent. Forget all the bend tests, if you use it carefully, the phone can withstand a drop from a 1-meter height for at least 14 times before breaking.

The most important thing about the design is the p2i coating that helps with the splash-proofing. In fact, I saw a Redmi Note 7 Pro at a closed-door briefing which was taken apart. And, there is a rubber coating around all the open ports and the cameras. Even more interesting was the size of the IMX586 sensor. It was much bigger than the regular 13MP sensor. The phone is on the heavier side though at 185g. Furthermore, the SIM card tray is a hybrid one. 

Overall, the Redmi Note 7 Pro’s move from the outdated metal design to this exciting glass panel is definitely a good move by Xiaomi. And thank heavens, we finally have USB Type-C now. And yeah, a headphone jack and infrared port too. 

As for the display, you get a 6.3-inch LTPS IPS LCD. It looks crisp is all I can say for now. And the Dot Notch is definitely not obtrusive. And for everyone asking, yes the Redmi Note 7 Pro supports the Widevine L1 certification for playing streaming videos in HD. The bezels around the display are pretty slim too but you get a fairly large bezel at the bottom. 

 

Redmi Note 7 Pro specs and software: pulling no stops

Another new addition that caught me by surprise was the addition of the SD675 chipset inside the Redmi Note 7 Pro. This is a powerful mid-range chip and we saw the incredible performance on the V15 Pro as well. The reason why Xiaomi couldn’t use the SD710 is that it doesn’t support such a high-resolution camera. Regardless, the newer Kryo 460 cores definitely make the SD675 a formidable chipset. My grouse is actually with Qualcomm’s naming scheme. Here are the AnTuTu and GFXBench numbers from our initial testing. 

 

The Redmi Note 7 Pro also comes in two variants. One with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, and the other with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. And powering all of this is a fairly large 4000mAh battery

And obviously, the Redmi Note 7 Pro is running the latest MIUI 10 based on Android Pie. 

Redmi Note 7 Pro: closing thoughts

Looking at the starting price of Rs. 13,999 for the phone, I’m seriously questioning the need for a flagship phone. At least as far as the on paper specs are concerned, the gap between camera specs of a flagship and a mid-ranger is becoming very narrow too. No wonder Xiaomi compared it to phones like the iPhone XS Max (review) at the launch event. We will definitely test those tall claims in our full review of the phone. 

Until then, consider me impressed. Do ask your queries in the comments section below.

Ershad Kaleebullah
ershad.kaleebullah@u2opiamobile.com

When Ershad isn't writing, he spends time killing virtual zombies on his PS4. Having worked with a slew of renowned publications like PCWorld, Channelworld, CIO, NDTV Gadgets (now Gadgets360), MySmartPrice, The Inquistr, and 91Mobiles, Ershad brings a whole world of experience to Mr. Phone. He is trying hard to convert all the team members into Apple fans but is facing a lot of resistance. Is anyone willing to help?