When Xiaomi announced the Redmi Note 7 for India, it was clearly playing second fiddle to the far more exciting Redmi Note 7 Pro. Also, the Indian version of Note 7 was different from the Chinese variant. Essentially, the 48MP camera from the Chinese variant was switched for a 12MP one in the Indian Redmi Note 7.
However, it looks like Xiaomi India doesn’t want its smartphone juggernaut to stop in India. And therefore, we now have the rebranded Chinese variant of the Redmi Note 7 in India as the new Redmi Note 7s. Let’s get down to my first impressions.
Redmi Note 7s: what’s new and different
Okay, so I know the whole Redmi Note 7 lineup is getting confusing. So, allow us to give you a handy spec comparison which will tell you what’s different and what’s same in the three phones in this series.
To put it simply, the Redmi Note 7s is a Redmi Note 7 with a 48MP camera. I believe this is the Samsung ISOCELL GM1 48MP sensor and not the Sony IMX586 on the Redmi Note 7 Pro. Also, you don’t get the gradient colours like the Redmi Note 7 Pro. Our variant is the one in Blue but looking at the box packaging I believe there will be a Red and another Black variant as well.
Redmi Note 7s: what’s the same?
Externally, there is nothing to tell apart the three phones. The Note 7s has the same glass sandwich design with a plastic frame. You get Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection on the front and the rear. And, on the front, you get a 6.3-inch FHD+ IPS LCD panel with a Dot Notch. There’s a single USB Type-C port at the bottom along with a mono speaker. The headphone jack and the infrared port are on the top. There’s a hybrid tray for inserting two Nano SIM cards or one SIM card and a microSD card. You also get a p2i nano-coating for water resistance.
My viewpoints about the design and the display are the same as what I said in my Redmi Note 7 Pro review. In short, the Redmi Note 7s carries forward the same excellent premium design that was showcased in the Note 7/Note 7s.
Now internally, apart from the cameras, the Redmi Note 7s is identical to the Redmi Note 7. It comes with the reliable and fairly powerful Snapdragon 660 SoC, and there are two RAM/ROM configurations of the phone. The base variant has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, and the top variant has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. We ran the AnTuTu and the Geekbench benchmarks for you to see but you can expect smooth performance from the phone.
You also get a 4000mAh battery with support for QuickCharge 4.0 charging at 18W speeds. But, inside the box it is restricted to a 10W charger. And, it goes without saying that the Note 7s runs MIUI 10 based on Android 9 Pie. And, it goes without saying that it has the same ads that we’ve been complaining about for so long.
Redmi Note 7s: more about the 48MP camera
Coming back to the cameras on the Redmi Note 7s, along with the 48MP camera you also get a 5MP depth sensor. The 48MP camera is attached to an f/1.8 lens. There is also a 13MP front camera on the front with an f/2.0 lens. I noticed that you can shoot 48MP pictures directly from the Auto mode just like the Redmi Note 7 Pro. But, for all intents and purposes, I will suggest that you shoot in 12MP pixel interpolated shots for crisper details.
I have a few samples for you guys and a couple of comparison shots with the Redmi Note 7 Pro. As you can see, Note 7 Pro offers a better dynamic range. Moreover, the Note 7 Pro has a better colour accuracy as well. But in selfies, the Note 7s’ face tones are way better compared to the Note 7 Pro. I think the Note7s is yet another phone that showcases Xiaomi’s excellent camera processing algorithm. It really does elevate smartphone photography experience at such affordable prices.
Closing thoughts on the Redmi Note 7s
The Redmi Note 7s sits nicely in the very tiny price gap between the Note 7 and the Note 7 Pro. So, the base variant of the Note 7 costs Rs 9,999 and the Note 7 Pro is available for Rs 13,999. Therefore, the Note 7s is priced at around Rs 10,999 for the 3GB+32GB. And, the 4GB+64GB version is available for Rs 12,999.
So, who is the Redmi Note 7s for? It is for someone who wants a 48MP camera but doesn’t want to pay the higher price for the Note 7 Pro.
And, I think that niche could be a really, really small one. In any case, it works in the business interests of Xiaomi. And furthermore, the consumer is spoilt for choice here.
As for the phone itself, the Redmi Note 7s is Xiaomi India’s way of showing that it can create cater to everyone’s needs with slight variations.