The Redmi 7A is the latest entry-level phone from Xiaomi and it’s targeted at first-time smartphone buyers. This phone brings a tonne of upgrades, both minor and major, over its predecessor — the Redmi 6A — without the price hike that often comes with a new-generation device. Starting at Rs. 5,999, the Redmi 7A aims to further solidify Xiaomi’s dominance in the entry-level segment, but competition has intensified now.
A new design, faster processor, larger battery, and better camera are among the many upgrades introduced by Xiaomi in the Redmi 7A. This phone is definitely a big step up from the Redmi 6A (Review), but how does it stack up against rivals like the Realme C2 (Review)? And more importantly, is the Redmi 7A now the best choice in this segment? Read on to find the answers in our review.
Xiaomi Redmi 7A design
The Redmi 7A ditches the easily recognisable ‘low-cost Redmi’ look and opts for a clean unibody design. The phone is a tad narrower and shorter than its predecessor, but at 9.55mm, the Redmi 7A is thicker than the Redmi 6A and a lot of other phones out there.
On the bright side, the Redmi 7A is quite comfortable to hold. The rounded corners and the matte finish on the back feel good in the hand. The rear panel is made of thick polycarbonate and feels sturdy, and we did not feel any flex across it.
We quite like the matte finish because it is non-slippery and also doesn’t smudge easily. The Xiaomi Redmi 7A comes in three colour options – Matte Blue, Matte Black, and Matte Gold – and as their names clearly suggest, all three sport the same surface finish. We had the Matte Blue variant for review and it looks quite chic.
The phone boasts of a layer of nano-coating material for protection against accidental liquid splashes, but it is not IP-rated, so don’t take it swimming with you. As for the Redmi 7A’s build quality, Xiaomi is betting big on it and is offering a two-year warranty on this phone, which is a first for a Redmi model in India.
The Redmi 7A does look a little chunky thanks to its 9.5mm thickness, but we can’t really complain about the looks of a phone that costs Rs. 5,999 and offers this kind of hardware. Looking over to its rivals, the Realme C2 might look more appealing with its geometric diamond-cut pattern on the back.
One useful design change on the Redmi 7A is its speaker placement. The Redmi 6A’s speaker was located on the lower portion of the rear panel, which meant that audio was muffled when the phone was lying on a flat surface. On the Redmi 7A, the speaker has been moved to the bottom, and it now sits alongside the Micro-USB port.
The power button and volume rocker are positioned comfortably on the right and provide decent feedback on being pressed. On the left side, one can find the 2+1 card slot that can house two Nano-SIMs as well as a microSD card of up to 256GB capacity simultaneously. Storage expansion will likely come in handy as the 16GB of storage on the phone’s base variant might run out quickly.
Overall, Xiaomi has injected some aesthetic freshness into its entry-level Redmi phone lineup with the Redmi 7A, all the while making sure that the phone is sturdy as well.
Xiaomi Redmi 7A specifications and software
As mentioned above, the Redmi 7A comes with a host of upgrades. The phone packs a 5.45-inch HD+ (720×1440 pixels) display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. The display is certified by TUV Rheinland for reducing eye fatigue caused by blue light emission, for a more comfortable reading experience.
The Redmi 7A is the first phone in the entry-level Redmi ‘A’ sub-series to pack an octa-core processor, drawing power from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 SoC which has eight ARM Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 2GHz. It marks a significant upgrade over the quad-core MediaTek Helio A22 ticking inside the Redmi 6A.
The phone comes in two variants with 16GB and 32GB of internal storage, but the amount of RAM remains the same at 2GB. We have the base 16GB variant for review, on which you get around 10GB of usable storage space.
We quickly ran short of storage after downloading most of our day-to-day productivity, social media, and benchmarking apps, plus a few games. You’ll need a microSD card if you plan to use this phone for more than just the basics, or if you want to store a lot of media files.
The Redmi 7A also features upgraded imaging hardware. This phone sports a 12-megapixel Sony IMX486 sensor with larger 1.25micron pixels, which is actually superior to the 13-megapixel snapper on the Redmi 6A. It is also the same sensor that has been used for the camera-centric Xiaomi Mi A2 (Review), which means buyers should be able to expect some good results. The front camera is a 5-megapixel snapper which also handles face recognition duties.
Another area where the Redmi 7A improves over its predecessor is battery capacity….