Test Xiaomi Redmi Note 7: our full review – Smartphones


Introduction
    Xiaomi wants to hit hard at the start of the year, with the Xiaomi Mi 9 on the one hand, and the Redmi Note 7 on the other hand. The latter has a brand new design, and a smashing introductory price. Enough to make a smartphone to recommend? Let's see that with the full test.

Technical sheet
        Model
                                    Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
                    
            OS version
                                            
                            Android 9.0
                Interface
                                            
                            MIUI
                Screen size
                                            
                            6.3 inches
                Definition
                                            
                            2340 x 1080 pixels
                Pixel density
                                            
                            409 dpi
                SoC
                                            
                            Snapdragon 660 to 2.2GHz
                Processor (CPU)
                                            
                            ARMv8
                Graphics Chip (GPU)
                                            
                            Adreno 512
                RAM memory
                                            
                            3 GB
                Internal memory (flash)
                                            
                            32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB
                MicroSD
                                            
                            Yes
                Camera (backpack)
                                            
                            1:48 megapixel sensor, 2 megapixel sensor
                Camera (front)
                                            
                            13 megapixels
                Video recording
                                            
                            1080p
                Wireless
                                            
                            Yes
                Bluetooth
                                            
                            5.0 + A2DP + LE
                networks
                                            
                            LTE, HSPA, GSM
                Supported bands
                                            
                            2100 MHz (B1), 800 MHz (B20), 1800 MHz (B3), 2600 MHz (B7)
                SIM
                                            
                            2x nano SIM
                NFC
                                            
                            No
                Ports (Inputs / Outputs)
                                            
                            USB Type-C
                Geolocation
                                            
                            Yes
                Drums
                                            
                            4000 mAh
                Dimensions
                                            
                            159.2 x 75.2 x 8.1 mm
                Weight
                                            
                            186 grams
                Colors
                                            
                            Red, Blue, Black
                Price
                                            
                            230 €
                
                                    
                        Product sheet
                                            
                                This test was made from a smartphone provided by the brand.
Design
With the Redmi Note 6 Pro, we can say that Xiaomi had left us on a disappointing note in 2018, especially after the success of the Redmi Note 5 earlier in the year. Indeed, the latest smartphone in the range Redmi Note left too much room for its notch, which was also quite poorly managed, and which was in fact the only novelty introduced the product.

The same can not be said of the Redmi Note 7 which marks a huge leap forward for the low-cost brand of Xiaomi. Starting with the chassis using a glass back protected by Gorilla Glass, and plastic slices. The construction gives a sense of quality that was thought unattainable at the price where the smartphone is sold. The chin under the screen reminds us all the same that we are dealing with an entry-level model, even if it has the merit of integrating a LED notification.
                  
In terms of handling, the smartphone seems quite heavy and thick at first, and yet I used a pixel 3 XL rather bulky in recent months before this test. The fault with curved slices and flat back that does not marry the shape of the hand. The fingerprint reader on the back falls directly below the index finger. Once a little more used, the Redmi Note 7 is rather pleasant in hand, especially for a device on this range of tariff.
                  
At the front, finished the pre-dominant notch, hello the little drop that is reminiscent of the Essential Phone 2017. Especially, under the phone, finished the micro USB port, and welcome to USB Type-C that we now find the majority of new mobile devices and that allows to charge his computer and smartphone with a single charger. The 3.5 mm jack is him, always there, as the micro SD player.

A word on the color tested, which does not go unnoticed. Xiaomi picks up here what we've already seen at Honor with a back two colors very successful, the gradient is very discreet and we can not tell where the blue begins and where the purple ends. Small flat on the other hand on the gradient that is not applied to the plastic slices of the smartphone, which remains blue from head to foot.
Screen
The Redmi Note 7 incorporates a 6.3-inch IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels. The screen is not really an element on which mid-range smartphones stand out today. We have here something very classic and very controlled, a brilliant screen with colors rather just, but pulling a little too blue.

Our colorimetric probe confirms this assertion. The slab reaches a maximum brightness of 514 cd / m² which is very good for LCD IPS, especially at this price, and a contrast of 1458: 1, again something very correct. In terms of colors there is actually a little too much blue, also confirmed by the average temperature at 9000K, which is significantly too high (6500K expected for a temperature equivalent to daylight).
Fortunately MIUI allows you to adjust the colors of the display quite finely.
Software
Xiaomi ships its latest software on the Redmi Note 7: Android 9.0 Pie with the interface MIUI 10.2.1.0. The security patch of January 2019 is installed on the smartphone, which has two months of delays to date on the pace of Google, but unfortunately it is classic on devices at this price. Before going further, note one of the great surprises of this smartphone, Widevine L1 certification that allows the playback of HD content on services like Molotov, MyCanal or Netflix. The latter is also preinstalled, a symbol!

We are not going to represent MIUI 10, the interface of the brand that we have already seen in the test of the Xiaomi Mi 9. Just remember that this interface away from the philosophy of Google and offers as much experience very complete, rich in features, and rather well thought out. The MIUI 10 version brings a beautiful aesthetic update with a new notification panel and a new multitasking view quite successful.
Too bad the parameters have not undergone the same treatment, they remain poorly organized. For example, the battery & performance menu offers two options: "Energy" and "Power Consumption", the first refers to "Using the battery", as long as the second refers to … "Using the battery". The two screens in question have the same name but are very different. You do not understand ? We neither.

The MIUI 10 battery options a bit complicated to understand.
Another weak point encountered with this interface on the Redmi Note 7: the management of the notch which continues to be disappointing in 2019 as it was in 2018. Unable to find the notification icons reliably in the bar of state, while there is sufficient space and the corresponding option has been enabled in the phone settings. The notifications and their management are nevertheless anchored in the DNA of Android.
Finally, the application installation is a bit laborious because of a "virus check" activated by default by Xiaomi. In addition, she has the audacity to display an advertisement, which reminds us as the manufacturer reaches so low prices with its products. Fortunately, the analysis is easily deactivatable.
Upsetting price / performance ratio
Our test case features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chip backed by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Another configuration is offered in France with 32 GB of storage and 3 GB of RAM. Given the difference in price between the two versions, we do not recommend the latter, 32 GB of storage seems too limited for a smartphone in 2019.
We know well this SoC launched by Qualcomm in 2017 and engraved in 14 nm LPP. The chip has already been used in bestsellers like the Nokia 7 Plus. The user experience offered is extremely fluid, thanks to a perfectly optimized MIUI 10. It's only in games that Snapdragon will find its limits.
Redmi Note 7Redmi Note 6 ProNokia 7 PlusHonor 8X
SoCSnapdragon 660Snapdragon 636Snapdragon 660Kirin 710
AnTuTu 7.x144 013 points116 426 points140 565 points139 437 points
PCMark 2.06 310 points6 132 points
3DMark Sling Shot Extreme1 355 points1,330 points
3DMark SSE (Graphics) 1,187 points1,159 points
3DMark SSE (Physics) 2,688 points2,754 points
GFX Bench Car Chase (onscreen / offscreen) 8.2 / 9.1 FPS8.6 / 9.0 FPS
GFX Manhattan Bench (onscreen / offscreen) 21/23 FPS21 / 23 FPS
Sequential read / write94 / 16 MB / s277 / 212 MB / s
Random Read / Write 24K / 4K IOPS14,4K / 4,6K IOPS
As such, let's talk about games. On Arena Of Valor, with the graphic settings set to the maximum, the game oscillates between 50 and 60 frames per second, keeping at each moment a certain fluidity and without "hiccups" that would be very unpleasant in game. Fornite being incompatible at the moment from the test, we turn to PUBG Mobile. Here and by default, the game is set with the average settings. With settings set to maximum ("high" frame rate, "HD" details, "Anti Aliasing" on), the game is also very fluid. PUBG Mobile does not display the precise number of frames per second, but we are well over 30 frames per second, without falling at any time.
The smartphone also handles the dissipation quite well since it has become tepid to the touch, after a long gaming session and while the charger was plugged in, the worst situation for a smartphone.
Camera
On paper, the Redmi Note 7 incorporates a 48 megapixel sensor with an f / 1.8 lens and 1.6 μm photosites. It is supported by a second 5 megapixel sensor to gain information, especially on the depth of the scene. However, it is important to mention that Xiaomi chose the Samsung GM1 sensor and not the Sony IMX586, also 48 megapixels and used by Honor View 20 and Xiaomi Mi 9.

This difference is important because in fact the Samsung GM1 sensor produces only 12-megapixel (4000 x 3000-pixel) images. The smartphone does in fact interpolation in groups of 4 pixels, which explains the difference between the sensor sold as 48 megapixels, and 12 megapixel photos produced.
Recall again that Xiaomi has the bad idea to apply a default watermark on photos. A tour in the settings will disable this behavior.
By day
In 2019, we expect the excellent in ideal conditions of brightness, like a sunny day. This is the case on the whole, with a good management of dynamics, colors rather bright, but consistent with reality, and a nice dive. Small downside, however, on one of the pictures of the boulevard where the white balance pulls a little too much towards white, while the weather was good, with a beautiful blue sky. The other photo of the boulevard was also taken in the same moments.
             
By night
The situation is obviously complicated once night falls. However, the Redmi Note 7 is able to produce photos that retain a lot of details, for example the reflections of rain in the street, but we lose in color, with a more bland result. Digital noise is also very light on these photos. We therefore blame the management of light sources, such as street lights, which remain problematic as often with mid-range smartphones.
Xiaomi offers a "Night Mode" on its smartphones, which uses a long exposure to capture maximum light. It is used on the last photo, with the wooden building, and the result is rather mediocre. This time, there is a lot of noise and the photo is not really exploitable. The firm said that the software part of Night mode was not finalized at the time of the test.
             
selfie
In the front, Xiaomi abandoned the idea of ​​placing two cameras as on the Redmi Note 6 Pro, probably to reduce the size of the notch. So we have a single 13 megapixel camera with a f / 2.2 lens.
The result is necessarily worse, especially the night when the smartphone produces a number of blurry photos. We note that it is not with this smartphone that you will do your best self-portraits, especially in difficult conditions. Without being excellent, photos taken with enough light are much more usable.
                  
His
Despite appearances, the sound proposed by the Redmi Note 7 is a simple mono, the speaker above the screen is not used during the broadcast media.
Regarding the main speaker, under the device, there too Xiaomi plays with appearances with its double grid in symmetry around the USB Type-C. It's nice, but only one of the two grids hides a speaker, the other is only aesthetic.
                  

It is clearly not the Redmi Note 7 that will turn if you like to turn your smartphone into a boombox. The resulting sound lacks clarity and saturates quickly at high volume. Listening to loudspeaker music is not very pleasant, but it will be good for watching TV or a YouTube video.
The smartphone supports Bluetooth 5.0 and LDAC and aptX HD codecs. Connected to my Sony H900 headphones, I noticed a maximum volume a little above average, without reaching the best of the market so far. Regarding Bluetooth, the Redmi Note 7 is much better than the competition at this price.
Autonomy
Autonomy is one of the trademarks of the Redmi range, and with a 4000 mAh battery is expected an excellent result from the Redmi Note 7, despite the use of Snapdragon 660 a little more energy-intensive than chips usually used on this range.
In fact, with my use of surfing the web a lot and watching multiple YouTube videos in the morning and evening in 4G, and receiving daytime notification over Wi-Fi, I could easily hold 2 days and 19 hours (67 hours in all) before falling to 5% battery and resign myself to charging the device. It's simply excellent, even with intensive use of the game, you can easily hold beyond the day.
                  
We also ran our Viser test protocol which simulates a varied use of the phone (standby, web, video, games, etc.). The result of 12 hours 37 minutes places the Redmi Note 7 among the best smartphones on the market, and is significantly exceeded only by the Wiko View 2 Plus, much less successful overall, and the Mi Max 3, much more imposing.

Although the phone is compatible with Quick Charge 4.0, the USB Type-A charger (the classic format) comes with a power of 10W, enough to make the "fast charge", but that is not really anymore. 2019 to be honest, especially with such a voluminous battery. The phone recovers 25% of battery in 30 minutes, and 53% in one hour. It takes two hours to fully charge it.
Note that with the 45W charger of my Dell XPS 13, the Redmi Note 7 has not been recharged much faster: 30% in 30 minutes, and 2 hours for a full charge.
Network and Communications
In France the Redmi Note 7 is compatible with 4G LTE frequencies: 800 MHz (B20), 1800 MHz (B3), 2100 MHz (B1) and 2600 MHz (B7). It lacks the call, without bad pun, the frequency band 700 Mhz (B28), mostly used by Free Mobile. Note that the phone hangs particularly well on the 4G network, even in the Paris metro, in places where neither iPhone X nor Pixel 3 XL capture enough to load a web page.
The smartphone is also compatible with Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and Bluetooth 5.0, it's very good and even better than expected from a device at this price. Too bad, however, that the NFC is missing, making it impossible to pay in contactless yet convenient.
No problem to report with the GPS that quickly finds the position of the smartphone. The compass is a bit capricious, without being shocking, it will shake a little smartphone for Google Maps is able to properly guide you.
Price and release date
The Redmi Note 7 is available in France from March 18, with a price starting at 199 euros for the 32 GB version (3 GB of RAM) and 229 euros for the 64 GB version (4 GB of RAM). Given the low price difference between the two models, we recommend instead the 64GB version tested here and more generous in storage.
Where to buy Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 at the best price?
    
As the main alternative to the Redmi Note 7, Honor has been offering Honor 8X since the end of last year. For a little more expensive, the latter offers better photos, but incorporates a slightly less powerful processor and a micro USB port instead of USB Type-C.

Our photos of Redmi Note 7

    
    
        
            
                        Test Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 The verdict
                    
                                                    
                                
                                Xiaomi has reviewed the few pitfalls of previous generations. The Redmi Note 7 offers excellent finishes with its glass backs most beautiful effect. We especially like the arrival of the USB Type-C at the side of the jack. At this price, the Redmi Note 7 is much better than the competition.
                            
                                                    
                                
                                The 6.3-inch borderless screen of the Redmi Note 7 uses a bright and well-contrasted IPS LCD panel. By default the colors are too blue, but the MIUI settings correct this defect.
                            
                                                    
                                
                                The phone offers the latest version of Android (9.0 Pie) with the interface MIUI 10.2. The latter is fluid, well optimized and rich in additional functions. Too bad the settings, and some functions are always a little too messy. We also regret the default advertising display with "analysis" when installing an application.
                            
                                                    
                                
                                A Snapdragon 660 to less than 200 euros in France? This is what offers this Redmi Note 7 which, in fact, becomes one of the best performance / price ratio of the market. With this chip, the phone is both very fluid, compatible with the latest standards of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and good in games, without being excellent.
                            
                                                    
                                
                                Good day, average night, for this price, the camera of the Redmi Note 7 is doing rather well compared to the competition, but does not equal the Honor 8X. The frontal device is much less good however, especially at night.
                            
                                                    
                                
                                With its 4000 mAh battery, the Redmi Note 7 honors the reputation of Redmi smartphones. Aided by the optimizations of MIUI, the smartphone can easily last two days and even a little more. The smartphone is also compatible with Quick Charge 4.0 Quick Charge by USB Type-C. Beware, the charger supplied 10W just a load average: only 25% battery recovered in 30 minutes.
                            
                                            
                            
                    
                    
                            
                            
                
                    The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 is a real favorite. The brand has managed to gather all that is expected of a mid-range smartphone in a device sold around 200 euros at its release. For this price, the Chinese manufacturer simply buries the competition at the beginning of the year 2019.So yes the screen pulls a little towards blue by default, yes the photos are not excellent at night, yes MIUI integrates advertising but these defects, including the order of detail, in the overall experience of the telephone, especially that for two of them they are easily correctable in the options of the telephone. Apart from environmental or political issues, it would be hard to find a reason not to warmly recommend this smartphone. As such we recommend the purchase of the 64 GB version with 4 GB of RAM, slightly more expensive than the 32 GB version with a much more generous storage space.
            
                            
                        Good points
                        Very elegant design
                                                            MIUI: fluid and rich in function
                                                            Price / performance ratio
                                                            Champion of autonomy
                                                            USB Type-C, 10W charger and 3.5mm jack
                                                    
                    
                        Negative points
                        No NFC, 4G 700MHz, nor waterproof
                                                            Advertisements in MIUI
                                                            The picture a bit halftone
                                                    
                
                    
            
    
        
    
                
    

        
                
    
    

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