The most interesting phones are the flagships, on which the attention of the majority is usually focused, and mine too, to be honest. That is why it turns out to intersect with the budget segment of devices either when it is required to choose a phone for certain needs, the main of which is saving money, or when such a device falls into the hands by accident, as happened this time.
What is written below cannot be considered a full-fledged review, but rather impressions and notes in the margins. I hope you find this information useful.
- Supported generations and technologies: GSM / HSPA / LTE
- Introduced May 2019
- Sales start: June 2019
- Dimensions: 146.3 x 70.4 x 9.6mm
- Weight: 165g
- Number of SIM cards: 2 SIM cards of Nano size (dual stand-by)
- Type: IPS LCD, capacitive, 16M colors
- Dimensions: 5.45 inches (~ 74.4% front panel area)
- Resolution: 720 × 1440, 18: 9 ratio (295 ppi density)
- Operating system: Android 9.0 (Pie); MIUI 10
- Processor: Qualcomm SDM439 Snapdragon 439 (12 nm) eight cores (2 × 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 & 6 × 1.45 GHz Cortex A53)
- GPU: Adreno 505
- Built-in / operational: 32 GB, 2/3 RAM or 16 GB, 2 GB RAM, dedicated microSD slot, up to 256 GB
- Main camera:
- One module 13 MP, f / 2.2, 1.12µm, P DAF – global and China version
- One module 12 MP, f / 2.2, 1 / 2.9 ″, 1.25µm, P DAF – Indian version
- Camera capabilities:
- LED flash, HDR
- 1080p @ 30fps video shooting
- External camera:
- One module: 5 MP, f / 2.2, 1.12µm
- Camera capabilities:
- 1080p @ 30fps video shooting
- Audio jack: yes, 3.5 mm jack
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
- Bluetooth 4.2, A2DP, LE
- GPS: A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
- Radio: FM radio (works without connecting a headset)
- USB: microUSB 2.0
- Accelerometer, proximity sensor, compass
- Non-removable: Li-Po 4000 mAh
- Fast Charging 10W (China version only)
- Splash proof
- Colors: Matte Black, Morning Blue, Matte Blue, Matte Gold
- Price: 100 euros in Europe, 7 500 rubles. in Russia, 5 500 rubles. in China.
Just a few words about this point.
Traditional for the company's products (although now it is a separate sub-brand Redmi), a small white box with the name of the smartphone on the front and side sides and a sticker with barcodes on the other.
The box opens slowly and stiffly. This is not Apple with a clear opening time of the box under its own weight.
Considering the overall budget orientation of the brand Redmi, everything is austere inside – a phone in a matte package, an envelope with accompanying papers, a 2-amp power supply and a MicroUSB cable. No headset, no gift case.
Appearance, materials, build quality
We take the phone out of the package and take a closer look.
At first glance, nothing remarkable – a typical bar by today's standards with a display on one side and a plastic cover with a single camera peephole on the other.
Most of all, outwardly, the device reminded me of the previous generation model – Redmi 6A. Twin brothers, except for the location of the main camera unit. In Redmi 7A it is vertical, and in the previous generation it is horizontal.
On the outside, it is still the same narrow display with not the smallest side and large bezels at the top and bottom.
Even the proximity sensor (almost invisible on black) and the camera peephole remained in place – on both sides of the earpiece.
But behind it is a different device. Now there are no stripes on the top and bottom dividing the back cover into three segments – one solid surface.
The holes for the music speaker on the back of the device have also disappeared; now it is located at the bottom end.
But at the bottom, near the left edge, there was a place for a neat inscription Redmi. I like this version of the back cover more – nothing more.
As already mentioned, the camera module is one, combined with the flash diode, and it traditionally protrudes slightly above the back cover.
To me, such a sophistication, created by designers together with marketers and designed to push you to buy a case, does not seem to be the most successful, especially since the thickness of the device allows you to do without protruding parts.
On the right side, at the top of it, there is a power button and volume buttons.
Pressing is clear, soft, with a distinct tactile click, and at the same time without annoying clinking.
On the left side at the top of it there is a tray for two Nano-SIM-cards and a microSD memory card. I was very pleased that the manufacturer did not twist the hands of a potential buyer, putting him in front of a difficult choice, and equipped the device with simultaneous support for two SIM-cards and a memory card.
And what surprised and delighted me was the red rim at the base of the tray. This is nothing more than a silicone seal. These are usually found on devices that are protected from water.
Could this budget fighter be a Marine? Alas, only splash protection is officially declared, and you cannot immerse the device in water. But this is a lot for such a device, especially since the slot of the SIM-card tray, where water usually flows in the first place, is reliably protected.
The back cover material is matte plastic, and it is matte in all colors.
The bottom end looks the same as in most modern devices – symmetrical blocks of holes for the music speaker and microphone, between which there is a charging connector, in this case MicroUSB.
On the top there is an audio jack 3.5. We can only hope that it is insulated from the rest of the device inside, otherwise, with such an arrangement of the connector, the rest of the protection against water loses its meaning, since when talking on the phone in the rain this is the first place where water gets into.
In addition to the audio jack, on the upper edge you can see the hole of the second microphone of the noise canceling system during a call.
There are no more holes and interfaces on the case.
The body is made in the form of a sandwich, consisting of a back cover, put on a frame, on top of which there is a plastic display bezel, into which, in turn, the display is recessed.
The design is familiar from many budget devices.
In flagship solutions, they try to make the joint between the display and the case without additional bezels.
There were concerns that the 5.45-inch diagonal at 1280×720 would result in a grainy picture with loose fonts. However, things are not as bad as they seemed. On the contrary, besides not the highest brightness, because of which the display fades in the sun, there are no other quibbles, especially if you do not forget about the positioning of the model and its cost.
Out of the box, the color rendition goes into cold shades, but in the menu of the device it can be adjusted for yourself.
The viewing angles cannot be called maximum, but they are large and do not cause discomfort in everyday use.
The touchscreen is responsive and smart.
I was also pleased with the black color, which looks exactly like black, not dark gray. In general, the matrix has a high color contrast.
On the whole, the display made an overall favorable impression, without major flaws.
At the time of this writing, the smartphone is running an operating system Android 9 with a shell MIUI 10.2.1.
We will not dwell on the capabilities of the shell in more detail, since we have an overview on the site. I recommend reading it.
Shell Overview MIUI 10
Of the nuances, I note the presence of full support for gesture control, as well as a dark mode.
The 13 MP module, being a budget solution, produces exactly the kind of images you expect from it – average quality.
And if during the day everything is more or less good, not counting the loss of sharpness at the edges of the frame, then in conditions of insufficient lighting, the smartphone camera gives up and gives out a noisy picture with faded colors.
Even the stated Ai does not help.
By the way, there are complaints about the work of this Ai in terms of color reproduction – it often misinterprets colors, especially if these are shades of basic colors.
Here's an example shot of a backpack that's actually aqua.
The Ai-algorithm decided that it would be better to paint the backpack in a rich bright blue, which has a very conditional relation to reality.
The same thing happens with the red color, which, under the action of the Ai-algorithm, turns from just red into torn-eyed scarlet and vice versa (as the card falls). In reality, the flowers in the photo are much brighter.
The HDR mode works well and gives a noticeable result without overexposing the picture.
An average camera that comes in handy for daytime shooting of simple social media footage.
Although it was strange to expect more from a budget camera of a budget device.
The selfie camera just shoots, just like it did in Redmi 6A.
Considering that the smartphone is built on SoC Snapdragon, there is a theoretical possibility of installing a Google camera port here, which should have a positive effect on the quality of images, but I could not find a camera port for this processor, and I did not dare to experiment.
But this is the very point from which I was completely delighted.
Thanks to an economical processor, the 4000mAh battery performed well.
In my use case (a very active user, with all syncs, Wi-Fi always on and Bluetooth), one charge was enough for me for two and a half days, stable.
It was easy to squeeze 6.5-7 hours of screen out of the phone with mixed use.
Unthinkable figures for most flagships, unless, of course, we are talking about dubious laboratory research in artificially created conditions.
There was even a moment when I doubted that the smartphone software was working correctly – I looked at the charge and the activity time (almost three hours of the screen and 87% of the battery charge) and even rebooted the device to eliminate the error.
But no, everything turned out as it is. Impressive.
Full charging time is short – about 2.5 hours.
As a result, the device has a solid six out of five for its autonomy.
I had concerns about the possible low performance of the budget Snapdragon 439 processor in tandem with only two gigabytes of RAM (in my machine). These fears were partially justified.
Apps, including games, run smoothly and smoothly. The processor's power is more than enough for everyday use. However, two gigabytes of RAM is still not enough – the device periodically thinks about when switching between applications.
At the same time, small lags and friezes are not annoying, you put up with them as given, remembering the cost and positioning of the device.
I think the version with 3 GB of RAM will not deliver any problems at all.
By the way, during the period of use the device never got so hot that it could clearly be felt with hands. Only once, during a long talk (about 45 minutes), the display in the upper part became noticeably warm.
There are just a few words here.
There were no complaints about the reception quality. The device works confidently in networks of all three current communication generations. The quality of speech transmission is good. The sound of the speaker is a little dull and sometimes gives off metallic notes, but this is if you purposefully listen in order to find flaws, as I did.
But what surprised me is that both slots can work in 4G networks at the same time.
Even my Samsung S9 doesn't have that. Nice nuance.
In terms of support for 4G frequency bands, it makes sense to buy:
- Global version – B1 (2100), B3 (1800), B4 (1700/2100 AWS 1), B5 (850), B7 (2600), B8 (900), B20 (800)
- Chinese version – B1 (2100), B3 (1800), B5 (850), B8 (900), B34 (TDD 2100), B38 (TDD 2600), B39 (TDD 1900), B40 (TDD 2300), B41 (TDD 2500), where the set of bands is maximal.
And you shouldn't buy Indian, in which some of the bands are cut off – B1 (2100), B3 (1800), B5 (850), B8 (900), B40 (TDD 2300), B41 (TDD 2500).
Nuances, features and conclusions
As mentioned above, from the point of view of the geometry of the case, the 7A is an ideological continuation of the previous, sixth generation of the A-series of devices Redmi.
This is the 18: 9 aspect ratio of the display, which gives a more comfortable grip than the devices with the classic 16: 9 aspect ratio, and the matte plastic back cover, on which fingerprints are practically invisible.
Despite the budget of the A-series, the good oleophobic coating of the display has not gone anywhere, thanks to which the finger easily slides over the display, and the display is easily cleaned of sebum and prints.
And I would also like to note the radio that works without connecting a wired headset. This nuance should really appeal to fans of traditional radio stations, among whom you can often meet grandparents, for whom this device can be recommended in the first place.
Another target audience is seen by the younger generation, today attending the senior groups of kindergartens and primary school.
In addition, the device is suitable for those who need a long-playing workhorse without unnecessary frills, but with a modern design and features for little money.
Can I recommend the device for purchase? Definitely yes, but with a number of reservations, including the global version or the version for the Chinese market, as well as the option with 3 GB of RAM. In this case, the device will be 100% pleasing.
The author thanks the Ulyanovsk branch of the X | STORE store for the smartphone Redmi 7A provided for the review.