Test of Xiaomi Redmi note 7 come for the price, stay for quality
By Steve Lowry 2019-04-17 370 0
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 Redmi note 5 earlier in the year. Indeed, the latest Smartphone of the Redmi note range left too much room for its notch, which was also quite poorly managed, and that was in fact the only novelty introduced of the product.
Can't say the same thing about Redmi note 7 that marks a huge leap forward for the cheap Xiaomi brand. Starting with the frame using a glass back protected by Gorilla glass, and plastic slices. The construction gives a feeling of quality that was thought to be unattainable at the price where the Smartphone is sold. The Chin underneath 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 notification LED.
In terms of getting started, the Smartphone seems quite heavy and thick at first, and I have used a pixel 3 XL rather bulky in the last months before this test. The fault of the curved slices and the flat back that does not marry the shape of the hand. The fingerprint reader at the back falls directly below the index finger. Once a little more accustomed, the Redmi note 7 proves rather pleasant in hand, especially for a device on this price range.
At the front, finished the predominant notch, Hello the small drop that is reminiscent of the essential phone of 2017. Especially, under the phone, finished the micro USB port, and welcome to the USB type-C port that is now found on the majority of the new mobile devices and that allows to charge his computer and his Smartphone with a single charger. The 3.5 mm jack port is it, still there, like the micro SD reader.
A word finally on the color tested, which does not go unnoticed. Xiaomi repeats here what we have already seen at honor with a back with two very successful colors, the gradient is very discreet and it is impossible to say where the blue begins and where the violet ends. Small downside against the gradient that is not applied to the plastic slices of the Smartphone, which remains blue from the head to the foot.
The Redmi note 7 incorporates a 6.3-inch IPS LCD display with a definition of 2340 x 1080 pixels. The screen is no longer really an item on which mid-range smartphones stand out today. There is something very classic and very mastered, a glossy screen with colors rather just, but pulling a little too much towards the blue.
Our colorimetric probe also confirms this assertion. The slab achieves a maximum brightness of 514 CD/m² which is very good for IPS LCD, especially at this price, and a contrast of 1458:1, there also something very correct. At the color level we actually have a little too much blue, also confirmed by the average temperature at 9000K, which is noticeably too high (6500K expected for a temperature equivalent to daylight).
Fortunately, MIUI allows you to adjust the display colors quite finely.
Xiaomi is boarding its latest software on Redmi note 7: Android 9.0 pie with the MIUI 10.2.1.0 interface. The security patch of January 2019 is installed on the Smartphone, which therefore has two months of delays to date on the rhythm of Google, but this is unfortunately classic on devices at this price. Before going further, one of the very good surprises of this Smartphone, the Widevine L1 certification that allows the playback of HD content on services like Molotov, MyCanal or Netflix. The latter is also preinstalled, a whole symbol!
We are not going to represent MIUI 10, the interface of the brand from which we have already made the rounds in the test of the Xiaomi MI 9. We'll just recall that this interface is moving away from Google's philosophy and offers a very complete experience, rich in functionality, and rather well thought out. The MIUI 10 version brings a beautiful aesthetic update with a new notification Panel and a fairly successful new multitasking view.
Too bad that the settings have not undergone the same treatment, they remain poorly organized. For example, the battery & performance menu, which offers two options: "energy" and "energy consumption", the first refers to "using the battery", as long as the second returns to... "Using the battery". The two screens in question bear the same name but are quite different. You don't understand? Neither do we.
Another weak point encountered with this interface on the Redmi note 7: the management of the notch that continues to be disappointing in 2019 as it was in 2018. You cannot find the notification icons reliably in the status bar, but there is enough space and the corresponding option has been enabled in the phone settings. The notifications and their management are still rooted in the DNA of Android.
Finally, the application installation is a bit laborious because of an "antivirus check" enabled by default by Xiaomi. It has the audacity to display an advertisement, which reminds us as the manufacturer reaches such low prices with its products. Fortunately, the analysis is easily deactivable.
UPSETTING PERFORMANCE/PRICE RATIO
We know 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 proposed user experience is extremely fluid, thanks to a perfectly optimized MIUI 10. It is only in the games that the Snapdragon will find its limits.
As such, let's talk about games. On arena of Valor, with the maximum set graphics settings, the game oscillates between 50 and 60 frames per second, keeping every moment a certain fluidity and without "hiccups" that would be very unpleasant in the game. Fornite being incompatible at the time of the test, we turn to PUBG mobile. Here and by default, the game is set with the average settings. With the settings set to maximum ("high" frame rate, "HD", "anti aliasing" enabled), the game is also very fluid. PUBG Mobile does not display the exact number of frames per second, but it is not much more than 30 frames per second, with no drop at any time.
The Smartphone also manages rather well the dissipation since it became only lukewarm to the touch, after a long session of play and while the charger was plugged, the worst situation for a Smartphone.
On paper, Redmi note 7 incorporates a 48 megapixel sensor with an f/1.8 lens and 1.6 μm photosites. it is backed 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, which is also 48 megapixels and used by honor view 20 and Xiaomi MI 9.
This difference is important because, in fact, the Samsung GM1 sensor only produces images of 12 megapixels (4000 x 3000 pixels). The Smartphone actually interpolates by 4-pixel group, which explains the difference between the sensor sold as 48 megapixels, and the 12 megapixel photos produced.
Recall once again that Xiaomi has the wrong idea to apply a default watermark on the photos. A turn in the settings allows you to disable this behavior.
In 2019, it is expected to be excellent in ideal lighting conditions, such as a sunny day. This is the case in General, with a good management of dynamics, colors quite vivid, but consistent with reality. Small downside however on one of the photos of the Boulevard where the white balance pulls a little too towards the white, while the weather was beautiful fixed, with a beautiful blue sky. The other photo of the Boulevard was also taken in the same moments.
The situation is obviously complicated once the night falls. However, the Redmi note 7 is able to produce photos that retain quite a few details, for example the reflections of the rain in the street, but we lose in color, with a more bland result. Digital noise is also very light on these photos. The management of light sources, such as streetlights, remains problematic as often with mid-range smartphones.
Xiaomi offers a "night mode" on its smartphones, which uses a long exposure to capture a maximum of 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 clarified that the software part of the night mode was not finalized at the time of the test.
At the front, Xiaomi has 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 an f/2.2 lens.
The result is necessarily less good, especially at night when the Smartphone produces many blurry photos. It will be said that it is not with this smartphone that you will make your best self-portraits, especially in difficult conditions. Without being excellent, the photos taken with enough light are much more Explosible.
Despite appearances, the sound proposed by the Redmi note 7 is a simple Mono, the loudspeaker above the screen is not used during media broadcast.
Regarding the main loudspeaker, underneath the device, there also Xiaomi plays with appearances with its double grid in symmetry around the USB type-C. It's pretty, but only one of the two grids hides one loudspeaker, the other is only aesthetic.
It is clearly not to Redmi note 7 that you will have to turn if you like to turn your smartphone into a boombox. The sound obtained lacks clarity and quickly saturated high volume. Listening to music on speaker is not very nice, however it will suit to watch TV or a YouTube video.
The Smartphone supports Bluetooth 5.0 and LDAC and aptX HD codec. Connected to my Sony H900 headphones, I have noted a maximum volume a little above average, without reaching the best of the market for that matter. Regarding Bluetooth, Redmi note 7 does much better than competition at this price.
Autonomy is one of the brands of the Redmi range, and with a battery 4 000 mAh is expected an excellent result on the part of Redmi note 7, despite the use of Snapdragon 660 a little more energyvorous than the chips usually used on this Range.
In fact, with my use of many surfing the Web and watching several YouTube videos in the morning and in the evening in 4G, and the reception of daytime notification on Wi-Fi, I was able to easily hold 2 days and 19 hours (67 hours in all) before d e drop to 5% battery and resign me to charge the device. It is simply excellent, even with an intensive use of the game, one can easily hold beyond the day.
We have also run our aim test protocol which simulates a varied use of the phone (standby, Web, video, games, etc.). The result obtained from 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) provided has a power of 10W, sufficient to make "fast charge", but which is no longer really in 2019 to be honest, especially with a large battery. The phone recovers 25% battery in 30 minutes, and 53% in one hour. It takes two hours to charge it completely.
Note that with the 45W charger of my Dell XPS 13, Redmi note 7 has not been reloaded much faster: 30% in 30 minutes, and 2 hours for full charge.
NETWORK AND COMMUNICATIONS
The Smartphone is also compatible with Wi-Fi 5 (802.11 AC) and Bluetooth 5.0, it is very good and even better than what is expected of a device at this price. It is unfortunate that the NFC is absent, 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 little capricious, without it being shocking, you will have to shake a little the Smartphone so that Google maps is able to orient you correctly.
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