Xiaomi Redmi Note 7– The Ultimate Budget Smartphone?

09/19/2019     Author: Billy Gray

If you’re looking for a budget smartphone ahead of the flagship releases this year, then the Redmi Note 7 from Xiaomi might just be what you’re looking for.

 

When it comes to buying a smartphone, the last thing that you want to do is totally skimp on the specs. That often puts people off the idea of going budget. The thing is, with Chinese smartphone manufacturers in full swing, buying a budget smartphone has never been such a promising option.

3-sides-of-Xiaomi-Redmi-Note-7

While there are tons of budget Samsung devices, and you can even get an iPhone 6S for around the same price as many of the budget handsets nowadays, there are more recent releases that you should consider. Chief among them is the Redmi Note 7 Plus from Xiaomi.

Budget price – mid-range specs

This budget monster comes kitted out with a dual-lens rear camera setup that houses a 48MP main lens, alongside a 5MP depth sensor. It also comes with a respectable 4GB of RAM, 128GB storage, and a 6.3-inch screen with a full display – save for a punch-hole selfie camera.

In short, this is a budget phone with mid-range specs. So how does Xiaomi do it for such a reasonable price? Just US$260… Basically, what’s the catch?!

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the Redmi Note 7 and whether you should consider buying it. We’ll also look at Xiaomi themselves and consider how they’re able to produce smartphones for such a cheap cost.

How is it so cheap?

Xiaomi aren’t your average smartphone manufacturer. They’re used to serving markets in emerging economies and thus must be budget-friendly while still bringing half decent specs to the table. They do this by being located at the center of China’s smartphone manufacturing ground-zero: Shenzhen. This means that they can cheaply source components, staff, and facilities, but it also gives them access to some of the best logistics in the world.

Shenzen-smartphone-manufacturing

What’s more, Xiaomi’s business practices and philosophy ensure that they can cut of a big amount of the costs. In short, this phone could be sold for a lot more than $260, but Xiaomi set an extremely low profit cap on their hardware and instead make most of their money from other services like cloud storage.

This means that some Xiaomi products have a profit cap of just 5%, while Apple sets on closer to 60% for their products. So, you’re not getting ripped off at all. In fact, you’re basically ripping off Xiaomi by buying their products.

Redmi Note 7 design

The first thing that will strike you about the Redmi Note 7 is its design. The smartphone looks very much like a premium handset. The 6.3-inch LED display provides a good – although, not flawless – picture and the lack of notch makes it look more expensive than it actually is.

Redmi-Note-7-design-concept

What’s more, the glass back is a rare appearance on a budget phone – although the dual-lens camera setup is now a standard across the smartphone world.

The phone is relatively thin and the weight feels about right in the hand. Users with small hands might struggle to use it thanks to its size, but in general it’s a comfortable handset to fiddle with.

Camera

Probably the most surprising thing about this $260 handset is the fact that it has a 48MP main lens on the back. This is something usually reserved for much more expensive handsets. For example, the upcoming Huawei Mate 30 Pro only has a 40MP camera, and the iPhone 11 is just 12MP.

a-photo-taken-by-Redmi-Note-7

It’s worth noting here that this 48MP camera does, for the most part, only capture 12MP photos. That is, unless you put it into pro mode, then the photos seem to appear as a high pixel count.

The 5MP depth sensor goes a long way to helping the Redmi Note 7 take decent looking pictures. While it might not totally live up to the 48MP expectation, it still takes a bloody good photo for the price tag.

Internal specs

The smartphone comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chipset – the same as found in the Nokia 7 Plus (a much more expensive phone). It comes with 4GB of RAM – enough to handle everyday tasks with ease. It also comes with 128GB of internal storage, which considering most of your stuff is now probably in the cloud anyway, this should be more than enough to please you.

Snapdragon-660-chipset

The screen isn’t going to blow you away – plus it’s a bit dim. But in general, it’ll get the job done and in the right light you won’t have any problems with it. Of course, you can’t expect a $260 phone to come with an AMOLED screen now, can you?

In terms of battery life, it’s like a journey back to the Nokia 34-10. For those of you too young to remember when phones weren’t considered smart, that means the battery is insane and it’ll last for at least two days if you don’t use the phone much. You can have more than 50% left after a full day of constant use – it’s pretty epic.

The one major downside is that it comes with a lot of bloatware. This can actually be solved by simply arranging the apps into folders like ‘crap’ and ‘things’ but it’ll still take up some of your internal storage.

Xiaomi phones are famous for allowing you to completely overhaul the UI, which means you can simply pick a new theme and it’ll look like it’s running off iOS. It’s pretty cool and you should certainly check it out.

The verdict

Overall (and this totally isn’t because I have this phone myself), the Redmi Note 7 from Xiaomi is the ultimate budget smartphone. Honestly, if you’re looking for something under $300 that performs like it costs $600 and looks like it cost $900, then this is the phone for you. The first comment I got on this phone was ‘oh, that must have been expensive, I thought you were trying to save money.’ Trust me, it’s worth every penny. Enjoy!

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