Xiaomi Redmi 7 review

The modern budget smartphone

Our Verdict

With a revamped design, a big display, efficient performance and longer battery life, the Redmi 7 is the phone to go for if you're under a budget or are looking for your first smartphone.

For

  • Attractive new design
  • Great display for videos
  • Good performance under budget
  • Long battery life

Against

  • Ads in MIUI
  • Cameras could have been better

Redmi 7 is Xiaomi’s latest phone under the Redmi moniker, after Redmi Note 7 and Redmi Y3, since going independent, earlier this year. Redmi phones by Xiaomi have always been about providing a great smartphone experience at an affordable price. In a way, that has also set a trend which forced other OEMs to come up with value-for-money products for customers at the lower end of the spectrum. Now with players like Samsung and Realme in the running, the Redmi 7 is Xiaomi’s revamped attempt to win the affordable segment.

If you look back at the Redmi 6, the Redmi 7 is a welcome upgrade, more so because it offers an all-new design language that compliments the Redmi Note 7 lineup. Having said that, does it have enough brawn to be your trusted companion? I have been using the Redmi 7 for more than a week now, and here’s what I found out.

Price and availability

The base variant of the Redmi 7 starts at Rs 7,999 with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. A maxed out model with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage is also available at Rs 8,999.

Now, this pricing puts the Redmi 7 eerily close to its distant cousins, the Redmi Y3 and Redmi Note 7. However, Redmi 7 caters to a different type of user base and in a price sensitive market such as ours, even a price difference of Rs 1,000 makes or breaks the decision.

Redmi 7 is available online on Amazon India and Mi Store across India.

Design and Display

Redmi phones have a reputation for being strongly built, especially because of their longed usage of aluminum chassis. This saw a departure with the launch of Redmi Note 7 which features an all-glass construction. Now, on the Redmi 6, that transpires to a reflective coating on the rear panel with a gradient finish. We have the Comet Blue colour model with us, but the phone is also available in Eclipse Black and Lunar Red gradient finishes. By the way, Xiaomi calls this the Aura Smoke design as it uses a nano-spray to apply that gradient finish.

The back has a bit of a curve around the edges which provides some grip to hold onto. However, the curve on the panel isn’t a gentle one and meets the chassis at a raised angle which makes for an additional grip. The phone is very handy to carry around. It weighs in at 180g and is 8.5mm at its thickest point.

Due to the reflective nature of the back panel, smudges and fingerprints get easily attracted to it. In fact, within a week into the review duration, the plastic back showed signs of minor scratches and scuff marks. We’d recommend using the case which is bundled in-the-box to avoid any such situations.

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The camera module sits on the top left corner with a flash cutout below. The fingerprint sensor is easy to reach which makes unlocking a breeze.

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On the top edge, there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack alongside an Infrared blaster. The left edge houses the SIM tray with microSD card slot, while the volume rockers and power button are located on the right edge. On the bottom, there’s a micro-USB port with speaker grilles. Redmi 7 is P2i certified against usual splashes of water.  

The front of the phone is mostly dominated by the 6.2-inch display with a u-shaped notch cut out. The bezels certainly look a bit thicker than usual and the screen has an HD+ (1520 x 720 pixels) resolution.

Considering its price, I wasn’t hoping for a Full HD display anyway. The screen is topped with a layer of Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5 which is a nice touch. It should keep the signs of wear and tear at bay.

Even though it has an HD display, the IPS panel offers better contrasts and accurate colors which makes it one of the best displays in the segment. In addition, the phone has great sunlight legibility and viewing angles. All of this makes for a pretty good screen to binge-watch your favorite shows on.

Overall, the Redmi 7 is has a solid built and the new design on the back doesn’t make it look like a cheap rip-off. The plastic build isn’t too bad but will easily get scarred on the rear panel in the long run if not used with a case on. The display is one of the best you can get for the price and it gets pretty bright. The Redmi 7’s display will appease to the kind of users who consume a lot of audio-visual content on their phones.