Xiaomi brings the Redmi 7A to the UK at the official price of £99.99. We are therefore faced with an entry-level smartphone that, without pretension, tries to fit into the pockets of users who don't want to spend big on a smartphone. But what does Redmi 7A give you for that money? The answer, is in our full review.
- ✓Very, very affordable
- ✓Battery life
- ✓Compact design
- ✕Dim display
Simple and compact design
T he first thing that stands out is the compact design of the smartphone , no longer so common, which is concentrated in a 146.3 x 70.41 x 9.55 mm format and it weighs 165g. It's not a thin smartphone (the integrated 4,000mAh battery has to do with that) but it fits well in your hand and immediately gives the impression of being sturdy. It does not feel like you're holding a toy. During my test, it did not pick up any scratches or dents even though I used it without a cover and protective film.
The Redmi 7A looks like a simple brick and not at all flashy, but it is well assembled
The physical buttons are concentrated on the right-hand side, and on the left we find the tray for the SIM and microSD card (non-hybrid Dual SIM is supported). At the top there is a 3.5mm jack for headphones while at the bottom the output for charging is microUSB. Despite the two grids, the Redmi 7A offers a mono speaker. This is what'd you expect for an entry-level phone.
The opaque plastic shell shows the name and slogan of the Redmi brand. At the top left is the camera followed below by the LED flash. Xiaomi presents the Redmi 7A as a simple and not at all flashy but well-assembled device. It's not waterproof but splash-proof.
There's no fingerprint reader, something we've grown accustomed to in almost every price range, but Xiaomi has implemented unlocking via 2D facial recognition which performed well during my test. In low light contexts, it is not always possible to recognize the recorded face, but overall it is fast and effective. However, I find the decision not to have included a fingerprint reader strange. It's a feature almost taken for granted by users nowadays.
A bog-standard screen
You can forget about a bezel-less AMOLED at this price. Xiaomi has mounted a 5.45-inch IPS panel with an 18:9 ratio and 1440x720 pixels HD+ resolution . However, the bezels are not so massive and even if in the lower one Xiaomi takes advantage of the space to display the Redmi logo, at the top you have room for the front camera, notification LED and earphone speaker.
Maximum brightness is not very high
As for the screen, the colors are represented quite well. Under sunlight, it is not easily readable and the maximum brightness is not very high. Two other negative aspects: the environmental sensor tends to obscure the screen too easily and the viewing angles leave something to be desired. From the settings menu, you can set to your contrasts and colors to taste as well as activate the dark mode. That does not improve battery life, however, considering the presence of an IPS and not an OLED display panel.
Good performance but please, no more ad banners
The Redmi 7A integrates an eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 processor built with a 12nm process that runs at 2.0GHz, an Adreno 505 GPU, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable internal storage. On the market, however, you will find a variant with 32GB of storage too, which I recommend you buy also because the storage actually available to use after all of the necessary software has been installed is just under 8GB. For this reason, I recommend you to keep only the apps you really need on Redmi 7A and, if you use Facebook, rely on its Lite version.
It's not a smartphone for gaming and the device's memory is another limit, but I managed to play a few games such as Bubble Bubble and Real Racing 3 without any problems. In daily use, the Redmi 7A can do its job fine but obviously, this is not a sprinter: you'll be waiting about one or two seconds for the opening of the apps. Forget about multitasking.
On the Redmi 7A it is theoretically possible to do everything that you can on the other smartphones from the brand
Xiaomi Redmi 7A: Benchmark tests
|3DMark Sling Shot Extreme||3DMark Sling Shot Vulkan||3DMark Sling Shot||3DMark Ice Storm Extreme||Geekbench 4 (Single/Multi)||PassMark Memory||PassMark Disk|
At the software level, we find MIUI 10, Xiaomi's highly customized interface based on Android Pie, with a full package of features. This means that on Redmi 7A, theoretically at least, it is possible to do everything that you can the other smartphones from the brand but in this case, the hardware capabilities are limited. Security patches are updated to July. For the security of the device, the system scans the apps you want to install: a useful but also tedious process, especially because it involves the display of advertising banners.
An FM radio is present, a function still appreciated by many smartphone users.
A camera befitting of the price tag
The main camera is a single 12-megapixel IMX486 sensor (the same one used on Xiaomi Mi A2) with f/2.2 aperture. Now you can not expect too much here, but with the Redmi 7A you can take some not bad shots for the price range, characterized by realistic colors and the presence of more than a few details (in good light conditions). Having a steady hand or using a stand will undoubtedly help to avoid shaky shots.
Too bad there is no night mode
When the light goes down or in indoor shots you notice the noise and loss of detail. It's a pity about the absence of a night mode, which could have helped here. The camera app offers a Pro mode, which gives you a hand with the overexposed shots, the ability to activate AI, HDR, flash, filters and a beauty mode. Portrait mode is available with the 5-megapixel front-facing camera offering average selfies, but remember to turn off the beauty mode, which is set to three by default.
You can shoot short videos of no more than 15 seconds in full HD 1080p but, as you can probably guess from the price, you can not expect too much from this sector.
4,000 mAh battery
The 4,000mAh battery, flanked by an HD display and the Snapdragon 439 processor, offers good battery life . As always what you do with the device affects battery life, but the Redmi 7A manages to ensure more than one day under intensive use. If you use your smartphone to call, text and surf in a non-intensive way you will easily get two days of autonomy out of this.
To charge the Redmi 7A you must use the microUSB output and the charger supplied in the purchase package.
With the Redmi 7A, Xiaomi aims at the entry-level band and it comes out winning. It is a simple smartphone, which does not stand out for any particular qualities, not even in the look, but that for under 100 quid can meet the needs of a user who uses a smartphone to communicate and stay connected, without focusing on the multimedia experience.
Anyone who buys a Redmi 7A who doesn't need a high-performance camera or something to play games on will be happy. This smartphone does what it's designed to do, and it's easy to use. But I recommend you invest a little more for the 32GB version, it's worth it. If you are not a fan of MIUI but prefer a purer Android experience, take a look at Nokia 2.2 instead.