Xiaomi launched the sub-brand Redmi way back in 2013. Since then, the Chinese company has been rolling out smartphones that offer plenty of bang for your hard-earned buck. It comes across as no surprise then that the Redmi range experienced strong growth. The big question is this: how well does this smartphone range age? We took a look at whether the Redmi Note 7 is still worth picking up in 2020.
Xiaomi has cleverly positioned Redmi to go up against the slew of entry-level and mid-range smartphones that its rival brands, Oppo and Realme, release every single year by throwing in nearly everything but the kitchen sink into their smartphones while sporting an attractive price point. In this article, we will take a look at the Redmi Note 7 that was first launched at the beginning of 2019, and see whether it is still worth buying in 2020.
Jump straight to it:
- Redmi Note 7: What this China-made smartphone offers
- Android: Will the Redmi Note 7 still receive updates?
- How much does the Redmi 7 cost today?
- Alternatives to the Redmi Note 7: Newer smartphones perform better
- Conclusion: Is it still worth buying a Redmi 7?
Xiaomi's Redmi Note 7 joins the ranks of affordable smartphones with great features. This particular device comes with a large capacity battery, a sufficiently decent amount of storage space, and a generous display.
In our review, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 picked up four and a half out of a possible five stars. There were many good reasons for this. As an example, the already mentioned generous 4,000 mAh battery allowed us to bring this handset around without having to worry about charging it at the end of every single day with moderate use.
In terms of photography, the smartphone comes with a dual-camera at the back and a selfie camera in front which happens to be housed in a notch located right smack in the top middle segment of the display, which is protected by Gorilla Glass 5. Speaking of the display: Redmi's smartphone also scored well in our test. It has a 6.3-inch LCD panel with a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels, and offers enough brightness for those sunny days. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 also cuts a fine figure in the review, especially when it comes to color reproduction.
Finally, the Redmi Note 7 offers good features at a decent price. Besides boasting of Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 5 connectivity, the smartphone still retains the 3.5mm headphone jack for those who want nothing to do with wireless or Bluetooth headsets. In direct comparison to Samsung's Galaxy A50, the Redmi Note 7 offers similar specifications for less money. Don't just take our word for it, see it for yourself:
Redmi Note 7 vs. Samsung Galaxy A50 technical specifications
|Redmi Note 7||Samsung Galaxy A50|
When Xiaomi released the Redmi Note 7, Android 9.0 Pie was already installed right out of the box. At that point in time, the device still ran on MIUI 10 as its interface, which has since been upgraded to MIUI 12, while the Android operating system undergirding it should already be updated to Android 10.
Recently, Android 11 beta has rolled out for the first batch of smartphones qualified to receive it. Whether the Redmi Note 7 will benefit from the new mobile operating system version remains to be seen. Hence, you should check before making a purchase decision as to whether the device will be kept up-to-date.
As mentioned, Xiaomi's Redmi Note 7 is technically similar to the Samsung Galaxy A50. At its market launch, the mid-range smartphone from Samsung came with a recommended retail price of £309. In contrast, the Redmi Note 7 was launched last year at a price well under £300. Do bear in mind that the price doesn't always have the final say when it comes to the smartphone's performance - but we already know that.
If you want to buy a Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 in 2020, you will find offers that start from around £220.
Refurbished Xiaomi Redmi Note 7: what you should know about refurbished smartphones
Whether the price is too expensive, or it is currently unavailable or you happen to have a heart for the environment, there are several reasons to decide against picking up a new smartphone. In either case, you will usually be faced with the choice of buying your item of choice as a new device from online vendors such as eBay or Amazon; or you can look directly for refurbished smartphones.
The advantage of so-called refurbished smartphones is that they are cheaper to buy than new ones. The reason: They are used goods. While that might not sound too nice at first, there are many reasons for returning such devices that vary from person to person. For instance, the software is faulty or the handset is defective. Or perhaps the buyer was simply not satisfied with his model choice. Even though the devices are already in use, they still differ significantly from everyday second-hand devices.
- Related reading: Refurbished Smartphones: a complete buying guide
While you have to live with defects in standard second-hand devices, this is not the case with refurbished smartphones. This is because such handsets are first subjected to a number of tests and all defects will be fixed, such as a broken display for example. Hence, you will receive a new device at a lower price. In order to avoid any nasty surprises, you should make sure that the smartphone is offered by a certified dealer.
In some cases, refurbished devices are also offered by the manufacturers themselves. These include Apple or Dell, for example. You can find another contact point at Amazon itself. The online manufacturer offers refurbished articles under the "Amazon Renewed Guarantee" program. To sweeten the deal, Amazon offers a one-year warranty on its refurbished products. Hence, it's also worth taking a look at this before you pick up your handset.
Sure, the Redmi Note 7 convinced us in its review last year. But that does not mean that it excelled in all areas. Having a large battery capacity is always nice. While the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 supports Quick Charge 4, it does not come with an accompanying charger. If you don't want to wait for the 10W charger to fully juice up the battery, you will need to pick up a brand new charger cable.
You will surely find alternatives at this price segment at other manufacturers. However, if you want to pick up a Redmi smartphone, we would like to suggest the newer Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 or the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T.
- Read more: The best smartphones for less than $200
These are what the Note 8 and Note 8T offer:
- Quad-camera at the pack
- Snapdragon 665 chipset and Adreno 610 GPU
- Note 8T: 18W fast charger
The Redmi Note 7 comes with these:
- 6.3-inch display with Gorilla Glass 5
- Fast charging is supported
- 4,000 mAh battery
Alternative #1 to Xiaomi Redmi Note 7: Redmi Note 8
Xiaomi released the Redmi Note 8 in August 2019. The differences compared to its predecessor are not that stark, but they are still noticeable. The 4,000 mAh battery remains the same, as with the 6.3-inch display. On the outside, these two devices hardly differ - there is very little to separate them.
If you like to have a lot of cameras on your smartphone, you will surely be satisfied with the Redmi Note 8. All four of them are located at the glass back of the device. At the front of the Note 8, however, only a solitary selfie camera has been installed. Another difference between the two models would be the chipsets. You will end up with the newer Snapdragon 665 chipset for the Note 8 and an Adreno-610-GPU for the graphics.
Alternative #2 to Xiaomi Redmi Note 7: Redmi Note 8T
Also within the same year, the Redmi Note 8T by Xiaomi was launched for less than €200 ($225). The device is in no way inferior to the Note 7 or the Note 8. Like the Redmi Note 8, the Redmi Note 8T offers you a quad-camera setup and a single selfie lens. It also features a 6.3-inch display under Gorilla Glass 5 and as you can probably guess, the Note 8 and Note 8T are similar in terms of the chipset. You'll find a Snapdragon 665 and the Adreno 610 GPU underneath the hood.
In contrast to the Note 7, Xiaomi has included an 18W charger with his Redmi Note 8T. So you can charge the device faster than the Note 7 right from the start.
It really depends on what you want exactly for your next smartphone. In terms of battery performance, the display, and its features, the Redmi Note 7 still offers good value-for-money. However, if you are one of those who do not always charge your device at night, but as and when required, you should invest in a fast charger. This would result in additional costs if you don't already own a fast charger at home.
If you place a high value on a flexible camera system, you should have a look at the Redmi Note 8 and the Redmi Note 8T. Basically they are very similar to the Redmi Note 7, but offers the user a quad-camera setup. In addition, both of these smartphones arrived to the market later than the Note 7. Therefore, one can assume that they will be on the receiving end of updates for an even longer period of time.
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