Xiaomi launched two flagship smartphones in its Redmi budget series - the Redmi Note 7 and Redmi Note 7 Pro - a few weeks back in India. Both phones are great value-for-money options in the sub-Rs 15,000 price segment. However, the biggest highlight of these two phones are their respective rear cameras.
The Chinese phone maker sent out a unit each of the Redmi Note 7 Pro and Redmi Note 7 to the KillerFeatures office and we decided to put their cameras to the test.
First off, the Redmi Note 7 Pro sports the flagship Sony IMX586 camera module at the back, with a 48-megapixel sensor. It is the same camera used on the Honor View 20 and the Vivo V15 Pro, phones priced atleast twice the price tag of the Redmi offering. And, the phone's camera lives up to the hype. Its rear camera clicks great shots in daylight and amazing ones during night time.
For this camera review, we used the Auto mode on both phones. Only default settings were utilised.
We took both of these Xiaomi phones out to a nearby fruit juice vendor to test out how well their rear cameras perform when exposed to a lot of different colours. The Redmi Note 7's results were surprisingly more vibrant and bright. However, the 48MP camera on the Redmi Note 7 Pro managed to capture a lot of natural colours due to its more advanced sensor.
On zooming in, the Redmi Note 7 actually got some of the details much clearer, including jute mesh and mug designs. However, the Redmi Note 7 Pro brought about a solid punch in terms of dynamic range. The sky, visible in the background, is seen as blue (actual colour) on the Redmi Note 7 Pro while the Redmi Note 7 managed a washed-out white hue.
Next, moving to a landscape shot, both phones managed similar shots. They had accurate colours in daylight conditions, and the Redmi Note 7's dynamic range even matched the one on the Redmi Note 7 Pro. The image came out slightly brighter on the Redmi Note 7 Pro, due to the larger aperture, but nothing noticeable on first glance.
Our next subject was a figurine of Thor Odinson, next to a small flower vase. This time around, the Redmi Note 7 got the better shot of the two. The colours were warmer, didn't catch too much of the lens glare, and got hues in the background spot on. One area where the Redmi Note 7 Pro was better, was in disallowing a light source to brighten up too much of the image. You can see that in the attached camera samples.
Yet another indoor shot, but with a wider angle, was taken to check image quality. This time around, the Redmi Note 7 Pro managed to get the perfect natural colours, while the Redmi Note 7 focused more on enhancing the shot, leaving behind natural lighting. On zooming in, we could clearly see that the Redmi Note 7 was darkening parts of the image, where apparently definition wasn't enough.
And, finally, a night shot. While Redmi Note 7 received an OTA update that improved low light imagery on the budget smartphone, the Night mode on the Redmi Note 7 Pro is a league apart. For this test alone, we took the liberty of using this mode on the phone, only to discover brilliant results. A burning diya, in an extremely low light area, was our subject. While the Redmi Note 7 managed a blurred image, the Redmi Note 7 Pro got the shot in the camera roll with great clarity. The Night mode takes about a couple of seconds to register the shot, so you will be required to stand still for good results.
All in all, the Redmi Note 7 and Redmi Note 7 Pro have rear cameras not much different in daylight conditions. That is, if you are looking at them only on smartphone displays. If you want to blow them up for a full-size portrait, get the Redmi Note 7 Pro - the 48MP camera helps. Get the more expensive model also if you click a lot of low light shots.
Other than that, spending Rs 4,000 more just for a camera upgrade can't be justified. If you have a budget constraint, you are better off getting the Redmi Note 7, which has a more-than-decent camera for the Rs 9,999 starting price tag.