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ZODIAC

Found 41 results

  1. A few weeks ago when I reviewed Xiaomi's Redmi Note 8, I said it was the best phone to buy under Rs 10,000 in India and nothing comes close. Well, the Redmi Note 8 is still a kickass phone, but it's no longer the only phone we recommend in this price range. Yes, Realme has updated the Realme 5 with new optics and called it Realme 5s. But it's not exactly a bad thing because the Realme 5 itself was a really good phone and it only needed the optics to go head-to-head with Xiaomi's new budget king. So, is the Realme 5s a good phone to buy? Well, let's find out. 1. Design & Build Quality © Karthik Iyer/ MensXP Realme has been making some really good looking phones and the new Realme 5s is no exception. I absolutely loved the design of the Realme 5 when it came out, so I am glad that they decided to stick to the same design. The Realme 5s looks exactly the same. I mean, if it wasn't for the new 48MP moniker on the camera sensor or the new Crystal Red colour, you won't be able to tell the difference between the two. Since we're looking at the same design, we must point out that it's a little unwieldy. I mean, it's a tall phone with a massive display on the front and a huge battery inside. So it's not a easy phone to hold and use, at least not with one hand. But if that's not an issue, then you'll love it. Realme has done a great job when it comes to the build quality. © Karthik Iyer/ MensXP The Realme 5s has the classic Realme diamond pattern at the back. There's also a fingerprint scanner at the back, which is just as fast and reliable as any other physical scanner. It can be a little hard to reach if you have small hands. And since Realme hasn't changed anything else apart from the camera, we're looking at the same micro USB port at the bottom. It's a bummer, considering the fact that other competing phones are now offering a USB Type C port. 2. Display The Realme 5s sports a 6.5-inch LCD display with a waterdrop notch. It's a tall display, but it's only an HD+ panel, which means, it's not going to be as sharp as the displays on some other phones in the same price range. Also, the LCD isn't as bright and colourful as you'd expect, so I'd say the display is one of the weak points of the phone. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad display by any means. But we wish it was at least an FHD+ panel. © Karthik Iyer/ MensXP Apart from that though, I don't have any other complaints with the display. The bezels are slim, viewing angles are good and even the sunlight visibility is pretty good. It's a perfectly serviceable display for a phone that costs under Rs. 10,000. 3. Performance The Realme 5s has the same specifications as the Realme 5, which means it shares the same specs as the Redmi Note 8 too. It packs a Snapdragon 665 SoC chipset and 4GB RAM, which is a good combo for keeping things quite smooth on a budget phone. During my testing, the phone managed to push through all the day-to-day tasks such as web browsing, social media apps and more. © Karthik Iyer/ MensXP However, gaming is not exactly a strong suit of Snapdragon 665 SoC, so you may notice lags and jitters occasionally while playing games like PUBG Mobile and Asphalt 9. But that's the case with most budget phones, so you might want to consider spending a little more if you want a phone to play games. I must point out that Realme's ColorOS based on Android Pie is pretty good. It has gotten a lot better over time and is now one of my favorite Android skins. Yes, it still comes with a ton of bloatware, but you can remove most of them. I just like how smooth the UI is. Software makes a whole lot of difference and I am happy to report that you won't have any issues with the Realme 5s when it comes smooth day-to-day performance. 4. Camera © Karthik Iyer/ MensXP Yes, the cameras! Like I said, the only reason why this phone exists is the camera. The Realme 5s sports a quad-camera setup which includes a 48MP primary sensor, an 8MP ultrawide camera, a 2MP macro camera and a 2MP depth sensor. The rest of the sensors are the same as what we saw on the Realme 5, so essentially the 48MP is the highlight here. So, how's the camera performance? Well, the 48MP sensor offers a lot of details in daylight photos with ample light. There's a ton of details on the images captured in the 48MP mode and the brightness is also on point. There's also a dedicated night mode on the Realme 5s and it can take some really good shots. Even the images captured using the other modes are really good, so I'd say this is a really versatile camera. Here are some samples - 5. Battery Life The Realme 5s packs a massive 5,000 mAh battery, which is what makes this phone a little bulky. If you're looking for a phone with good battery life, then look no further. The Realme 5s can last you a very long time on a single charge, even if you're a heavy hitter. I usually go hard on phones while testing them and hence they give up very easily. © Karthik Iyer/ MensXP But with Realme 5s, I was ending my days with up to 40-percent charge, even on the day when I am using it extensively for watching media, taking pictures, etc. It's that good. But it only comes with a 10W charger, which means it'll take a lot of time to get fully charged. You'll be looking at around 2 hours to get this phone from 0 to 100-percent. 6. The Final Say So, is the Realme 5s worth the asking price of Rs. 9,999? Well, yes. At that price, you're getting a really good phone with a great internals, a massive 5,000 mAh battery and a really versatile camera setup. These are the only thing that matters to budget phone buyers and I think Realme has done a good job. Yes, I would've loved to see an FHD+ panel and USB Type C port, but it looks like, we can't have it all. So, I'll wrap up my review by saying that Redmi Note 8 is not the only phone that's worth checking out under Rs. 10,000. The Realme 5s is also here now and it has a lot going for it. Be sure to check out our detailed comparison between the Redmi Note 8 and the Realme 5s to learn more about them. View the full article
  2. Smartphones that are priced under Rs. 30,000 are extremely popular in India. People prefer these phones over the flagship devices mainly because of all the value it offers for the money. You'll probably end up spending way less money and get some really powerful specs, great cameras, etc. Well, if you are planning to buy a new smartphone under Rs. 30,000, then these are the ones which we think are worth buying. 1. OnePlus 7 © Karthik Iyer/ MensXP Yes, OnePlus has already launched the OnePlus 7T but doesn't make the OnePlus 7 a bad phone by any means. In fact, it received a price cut after the launch of OnePlus 7T, making it an even better offering. You can now pick up the OnePlus 7 for less than Rs 30,000, which is awesome. You'll get a 6.4-inch FHD+ panel, Snapdragon 855 SoC, a 48MP camera sensor and more. If you're interested, then you can read our full review of the OnePlus 7 right here. 2. Redmi K20 Pro © YouTube/ Marques Brownlee Redmi K20 Pro is another great phone that's worth checking out in this price range. The phone looks stunning, sports an AMOLED panel, is powered by the Snapdragon 855 SoC and has a triple camera setup with a 48MP sensor. It also has a great battery life. You can check out our review of the Redmi K20 Pro right here. 3. ASUS 6Z © YouTube/ GSMArena The ASUS 6Z has now received a significant price cut in India and is now available for just Rs. 25,999. At that price, it's a great device and is absolutely worth checking out. It's powered by the Snapdragon 855 SoC and comes with a 6.4-inch AMOLED panel and a massive 5,000 mAh battery. The highlight of the phone, however, is the rotating camera module, which includes a 48MP sensor. 4. Google Pixel 3a © YouTube/ Android Police Lastly, we have the Google Pixel 3a. Yes, Google has already launched Pixel 4, but it's not coming to India. So your best bet to get Google's camera under Rs. 30,000 is by buying the Pixel 3a. We use the Google Pixel 3a to shoot most of the pictures for our reviews and features, so we can confirm that it's a great phone and totally worth buying. View the full article
  3. Xiaomi has been on a roll this year with smartphone launches and the Redmi Note series got a new update two weeks ago. The Remi Note 8 Pro was one of the smartphones launched by the company that features an all-new chipset, quad-camera setup and a premium design - all for Rs 14,999. While no smartphone is perfect and every device comes with its own issues, the Redmi Note 8 Pro is a strong contender for being the most reliable smartphones in this category. It offers more features than some of the premium smartphones and is now updated with features that make it a complete smartphone, let alone a budget device. Here's our review of the Redmi Note 8 Pro and why it's the most reliable device you can get right now. Design and Display © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla The Redmi Note 8 Pro now comes with a more streamlined and premium design than ever before. It has a glass back with Corning's Gorilla Glass 5 and has a more subtle design as compared to its predecessor. It is elegant and not too jarring as compared to other smartphones that come with flashy colours or gradient designs. The Redmi Note 8 Pro is also larger than its predecessor which may be a deal-breaker for some or an upgrade for many. At the back, you have a camera module that houses three sensors and the fingerprint sensor. The fingerprint sensor is right below the last camera sensor in the module and can be a bit confusing to use as you can smudge the sensor. It takes time to get used to it as there isn't much to differentiate between the camera sensor and the fingerprint sensor. Ideally, we would have loved to see some distance separating them, but it seems like Xiaomi prefers a more uniform look. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla At the bottom, you will now find a USB-C port which has been a long-requested feature for the Redmi Note series. Xiaomi was using the micro-USB port for the Redmi Note series until now and this is a welcome change. For Indian audiences, Xiaomi has also included a separate microSD slot for expandable storage. This feature is not available in the Chinese variant of the smartphone, making it an exclusive feature for Indian customers. The Redmi Note 8 Pro comes in three colours i.e. Halo White, Gamma Green, and Shadow Black where the 'Halo White' colour is by far our favourite. The Gamma Green also looks awesome but is an acquired taste. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla In the display department, the Redmi Note 8 Pro comes with a bigger 6.53-inch FHD+ display and has a notch at the top that houses the selfie camera. It has a resolution of 2340x1080 pixels and a screen to body ratio of 91.4%. The display itself is good enough for casual video streaming and watching videos in general. The display also supports HDR content which is rare to find on smartphones in this price range. The overall brightness of the display is sufficient enough to use directly under the sun and it can go as high as 635 nits. The panel itself peaks at 460 nits in auto mode which is more than enough for outdoor use. In terms of colour accuracy, the display does deliver reliable contrast levels. However, the colours are not as accurate as we would like them to be. The overall tone of the display is blue where even the white colour has a bluish hue. The cyan levels are also quite over-saturated which can be an issue for fussy people. Apart from these minor issues, the display is reliable enough for gaming and videos as the colour accuracy issues are not too extreme. Cameras © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla The Redmi Note 8 Pro comes with a quad-camera setup at the back and a 20MP selfie camera in the front notch. The primary sensor is a 64MP shooter co-developed by Xiaomi and Samsung, while other camera sensors include an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens, a 2MP depth sensor and a 2MP macro lens. Overall, the camera performs better than expected and takes images with some great detail especially in the 64MP mode. We were also quite surprised by how the smartphone performed in low-light conditions while using the night mode. For a smartphone that costs less than Rs 20,000, the Redmi Note 8 Pro does an incredible job at taking pictures. The portrait mode also has drastic improvements while the macro mode needs slight improvement to capture more detail. The camera app also comes with cool editing tools such as replacing the background on portrait images, the sky replacement feature for landscape images and other cool filters you can play around with. For portrait images, you can even adjust the bokeh level post taking the image or add effects such as light trails to make it more interesting. Check out our camera samples below to see for yourself: Performance © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla The Redmi Note 8 Pro is the first smartphone in the series that comes with a MediaTek chipset rather than the usual Qualcomm SoC. The MediaTek G90T is the first chipset by the company that promises good gaming performance and is clocked at 2.05GHz. It's a 12nm chipset which may not be as efficient when it comes to power efficiency as the 10nm chipsets by Qualcomm. The smartphone comes with 6GB or 8GB of RAM depending on the model you pick. We were using the 8GB variant during the course of our review and it performed well in all our tests. We would have liked it to be on par with Qualcomm chipsets but unfortunately, that is not the case. The Redmi Note 8 Pro scored 495 (single-core) and 1533 (multi-core) in Geekbench 5 tests. It may not be an impressive score when compared to flagships, but is still reliable enough to use the smartphone as a daily driver. While gaming, we recommend using the medium graphics on PUBG mobile as the smartphone will last longer and not drop any frames during gameplay. In extreme settings, the game is still playable but you may experience some overheating issues. The battery size on the Redmi Note 8 Pro has also been upgraded as it now comes with a 4500mAh battery. That enables the smartphone to last at least one full day on a single charge and up to 1.5 days with moderate use. The battery can also be fast-charged at 18W with the bundled wall charger and takes about 1.3 hours for the same. You can also use any power delivery charger with the Redmi Note 8 Pro and it will charge at the same pace. The Final Say The Redmi Note 8 Pro is a good, reliable smartphone that gets the job done for power users. There are minor issues with the smartphone that we can live with as the smartphone delivers more than its worth. It comes with a great camera that can take incredible images and performs well when it comes to gaming and battery life. While the design of the smartphone is premium, we would have loved to see the fingerprint sensor placement to be distinguished from the camera sensor. Overall, if you aren't looking to spend a lot of money on a smartphone and yet want a reliable device, the Redmi Note 8 Pro is the one you're looking for. View the full article
  4. 2019 has been a spectacular year for smartphones, especially the budget ones. Between just Xiaomi and Realme, we got more than 15 smartphones in the budget segment, which is absolutely incredible. But as a fan of the Redmi Note series since the Redmi Note 3, I was super excited about the release of the Redmi Note 8 series in India. It's safe to say that every new handset in the Redmi Note series has brought exciting updates while maintaining an affordable price tag. I mean, it's not called the "King Of Budget Phones" for no reason. But I was particularly interested to know what the Redmi Note 8 brought to the table since it hasn't been that long since the Redmi Note 7's launch. Anyway, I've been using the Redmi Note 8 as my primary phone since it was launched in India, and I think it's currently the best phone to buy if you're looking for one under Rs 10,000. Here's why I think so - Design & Build Quality © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer I've said this before and I'll say it again - design and build quality is no longer a tradeoff when it comes to budget phones. Xiaomi itself has a lot of budget phones that look just as good as some of the premium flagships out there, if not better. Well, the Redmi Note 8 is no exception. The Redmi Note 8's design isn't a radical improvement like the Redmi Note 8 Pro, but it still looks very elegant. I really love what Xiaomi is doing with the "Aura Design". I personally think that the "Moonlight White" is the best color, but I'd say the Neptune Blue which I got for review isn't too shabby either. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer The quad-camera module makes it stand out, but I am not a huge fan of the camera bump itself. But I like the fact that Xiaomi hasn't skimped on things like the 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB Type-C port, IR blaster, etc. There's also a fingerprint scanner at the back, which is fast and reliable. Overall, I really dig the Redmi Note 8's design and build quality. It's a well-built phone that looks good and has pretty much everything that you'd want in a phone. Display © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer The Redmi Note 8 has a 6.3-inch FUllHD+ panel on the front with a waterdrop notch on top. By now, I am used to having a notch on the top, so should you unless you're willing to put up with mechanical parts of the pop-up selfie camera module. But I don't like the "Redmi" branding on the chin. The display itself is an IPS panel, which gets decently bright in direct sunlight. Of course, it's not as good as an OLED panel, but it's solid for the price. You also get the usual set of options to customize the display, and there are things like the blue light filter, etc. on MIUI. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer During my review, I watched a lot of shows on Netflix and YouTube and also did some gaming to see if I had any issues. But I am happy to report that it's a perfectly serviceable display, and you should have no issues with it whatsoever. Performance & Software The Redmi Note 8 is powered by the Snapdragon 665 SoC and it comes with up to 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage. The storage, by the way, is expandable via a microSD card slot up to 512GB. Unlike the Redmi Note 8 Pro's Helio G90T, the Snapdragon 665 SoC is a tried and tested piece of hardware. It's also the one powering devices like the Realme 5 and Xiaomi's Mi A3, and I think the SoC with its 11nm architecture is solid for this price range. You'll have no issues using the Redmi Note 8 for basic tasks like web browsing, using social media, media consumption, etc. They all work flawlessly on this SoC, so no worries there. Gaming experience, however, is probably not the best we've seen so far. © MensXP Of course, you can run titles like PUBG Mobile, Call Of Duty Mobile, etc., but you may notice occasional lags and frame drops every now and then. If you're someone who likes to play a lot of games on phones, then you might want to pick up the Redmi Note 8 Pro. I mean, the "G" in Helio G90T stands for gaming, so you can't go wrong with that. On the software side of things, the Redmi Note 8 is currently running on MIUI 10 based on Android 9 Pie. It's kind of a bummer that these phones aren't running the new MIUI 11 out of the box, but that update is coming later this year, so there's nothing to worry about. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer As for the software, well, it's MIUI so there's a lot of room for improvement. There's nothing particularly wrong with the software, but I hate that I have to clear a bunch of pre-installed apps on a new phone. Also, the ads that keep showing up every now and then. If you're coming from a Xiaomi phone, then you know what to expect. Camera With the Redmi Note 8, Xiaomi now has a phone with quad-cameras for under Rs 10,000. The Redmi Note 8's setup includes a 48MP primary sensor with an f/1,79 aperture, an 8MP Ultra wide-angle camera, a 2MP macro lens, and a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, the Redmi Note 8 sports a 13MP selfie shooter. Xiaomi's camera app has also improved a lot and it now offers a lot of features. There's a dedicated night mode for taking pictures in low-light, and the phone also lets you record macro videos, which is quite impressive. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer The images taken during the day time with good lighting have lots of detail and I like how the ISP tries to maintain the original colours in the scene. The exposure seems to be on point with great textures. I also took a ton of low-light pictures at night with the Redmi Note 8 and found its 'Night Mode' to be really impressive. A few macro shots that I managed to capture also turned out much better than I expected. Again, there's still some room for improvement, but I like the cameras on the Redmi Note 8. Here are some camera samples - Battery Life The Redmi Note 8 packs a 4,000mAh battery with support for 18W fast charging. In fact, Xiaomi is being super generous by adding the 18W fast-charger inside the box. I think that's really cool, and there's something to learn for every manufacturer. It's the little things like this that make the phone worth recommending. On a single charge, I was getting about 5 to 6 hours of screen on time, which is not bad at all. I consider myself a heavy user, and I go hard when I am reviewing a phone with max brightness and all that stuff. With that, I'd say we have a winner here. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer The Final Say The Redmi Note 8 starts at Rs 9,999 in India, which if you ask me is incredibly good. In fact, I think the Redmi Note 8 is currently the best phone under Rs 10,000 and that says a lot about it considering the fact that we got some really good budget phones this year. The real competition is coming from none other than Realme in the form of the Realme 5. But all things considered, the Redmi Note 8 seems like a more well-rounded phone and things like 18W fast-charger inside the box makes it an even better deal. You should totally check out the Redmi Note 8 Pro if you can stretch the budget, but the Redmi Note 8 is the real budget king!
  5. Earlier this year, I compared Xiaomi's Redmi Note 7 Pro with the iPhone XR to see how their cameras fared against each other. To my surprise, the Redmi Note 7 Pro gave me better pictures in most cases. So now, when I got my hands on the new Redmi Note 8, I wanted to do something different and test its quad-cameras. Lately, I've been trying out street photography and was curious if I'd be able to get some good pictures using the Redmi Note 8. Well, that's exactly what I did and I am happy to report that I got some really good pictures. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer Just for the record, the Redmi Note 8 sports a quad-camera setup at the back which includes a 48MP primary sensor, an 8MP Ultra-wide sensor, a 2MP macro lens, and a 2MP depth sensor. The primary sensor has an f/1.7 aperture, which means it can take more light from the subject. This turned out to be helpful while shooting at night and I got some well-lit photos even without using the night mode. I did use the night mode for most of the pictures that you're about to see. I found it to be more reliable and I didn't have to take multiple shots to get a good photo. Of course, a comprehensive review of the camera with more samples of day-time, macro, etc. will be included in my full review of the phone, but for now, here are some pictures that I took at night when I was out for a stroll. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer BTW, I am a complete rookie when it comes to street photography, so please save me the embarrassment. I wasn't planning on taking pictures so I didn't carry any type of equipment. All the images embedded below are straight from the camera and I've not retouched them in any way. What you see is what you get from the camera and I'd say it's damn good. Take a look - As you can see, the images turned out pretty good for a smartphone that costs less than Rs 10,000. It's worth pointing out that most of these pictures were taken in really dark conditions, where there wasn't a lot of light in the scene. I am pretty sure I could've done a much better job if I was fully prepared to go out on a full-blown photoshoot with this phone. But it's good to know that you don't have to be a pro to take good-looking pictures. It can very well be done using a phone that costs as little as the Redmi Note 8. It's a great time to buy smartphones indeed.
  6. It's been a phenomenal year for smartphone buyers in the budget segment. Among options from makers like Realme, Samsung, Vivo, and Xiaomi, we now have a ton of great budget phones on the market. And Xiaomi has already been heating things up by launching two different budget phones in just the past couple of weeks. Today, we'll be talking about the Redmi 8. The Redmi series, as you probably already know, sits between Xiaomi's Redmi A series and the Redmi Note series. The Redmi 8 is no exception, and it sits right between the Redmi 8A and the new Redmi Note 8. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer There's a lot to like about the Redmi 8, but it's hard to forget that there are a ton of other options out there, some from Xiaomi itself, that are equally good or even better. So is the Redmi 8 worth buying? Let's find out! Design & Build Quality Xiaomi has been making some really good-looking phones lately and the Redmi 8 can also be added to that particular list. It sports a seamless finish with a single piece of a plastic panel covering the back and the frame. It's slightly thicker and heavier, but I don't mind using such a device if I am going to get an impressive battery life. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer Both color variants of the phone have a glossy, mirror-like finish, so it's kind of hard to keep them clean, but I must say that I really love the way this phone looks. It's also not too big and rests nicely in the palm, and the curved design makes it easy to get a good grip as well. Overall, I really like the design and the build quality of the Redmi 8. In fact, there's hardly anything to hate here because the phone also has a USB Type-C at the bottom and a 3.5mm headphone jack too. Xiaomi has now got a good grip on the design and almost all of their phones, irrespective of the budget, look very elegant. Good job, Xiaomi! Display © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer The Redmi 8 sports a 6.22-inch HD+ IPS display with a waterdrop-style notch at the top. Not only does it look similar to the Redmi 8A, but I'd also say it looks like any other budget phone that's out there. This one also has a chin on the bottom with 'Redmi' branding, and that's something which I'm not a big fan of. The display itself is good and I am happy to say that it's protected by Gorilla Glass 5. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer I'd say it gets decently bright so you can comfortably use it outdoors, but the colors are a bit off out of the box. You might want to tune the colors of the display from the settings to make it look good. I must point out that this isn't a high-resolution display, so you'll definitely notice the pixels if you go looking for them. Performance & Software The Redmi 8 is an entry-level phone that's powered by the Snapdragon 439 SoC and comes with up to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. I was kind of surprised to learn that the Redmi 8 is powered by the Snapdragon 439 SoC since it's essentially a step down from the Snapdragon 632 used by the Redmi 7. But this one does have more RAM and storage than the predecessor. So, how's the performance? Well, obviously numbers will show you different results, but I think it's just as good as the Redmi 7 if not better. These are entry-level smartphones that aren't meant to keep up with heavy lifting. The Redmi 8 will do just fine in day-to-day usage, juggling between apps, etc. Unless you're trying to stress-test by opening a bunch of apps together, you'll be happy with the Redmi 8. © MensXP Similarly, gaming isn't going to be very enjoyable on an entry-level phone. That said, you can play games on this phone if you really want to. Basic games will do just fine, but I won't recommend running Asphalt 9 and PUBG Mobile and expect a solid performance. Just keep that in mind. As for the software, the Redmi 8 is running MIUI 10 based on Android 9 Pie. I am not a huge fan of MIUI, but there's definitely a lot to like. Bloatware aside, it does come with a ton of features and I am sure you'll like a couple of them like gestures, theme support, etc. Camera The Redmi 8, just like the Redmi 8A, sports a dual-camera setup which includes a 12MP Sony IMX363 sensor and a 2MP depth sensor. I'd like to take a moment to point out that this is the same 12MP sensor that's used in the Pixel 3a as well. Yes, the Google Pixel 3a, the phone which has been my first choice for photography. That said, images taken on the Redmi 8 look nothing like the ones taken from a Pixel 3a. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer Honestly, I'd say the images are just okay-ish at best. The dynamic range in limited and it tends to blow up the highlights. It's also worth pointing out that the phone struggles to lock focus, resulting in blurry images for the most part. Even low-light shots suffer for the most part. Don't get me wrong, the Redmi 8 can take good images provided that there's good lighting and you have steady hands. But I'd say it's still a challenge to take very good-looking images out of this phone which I'd like to share online. That is definitely a deal-breaker for me, and I am sure you'll find better camera phones out there if you're willing to spend slightly more. Anyway, here are some camera samples that I managed to take during my testing - Battery Life The Redmi 8 sports a 5,000mAh battery, and let me tell you that it's very hard to kill this phone. The huge size, coupled with not-so-powerful internals and just HD+ display makes the Redmi 8 a long-lasting phone. Even with moderate usage which includes watching videos online and browsing social media apps, I struggled to exhaust the phone's battery for almost two days. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer It's also worth pointing out that the Redmi 8 supports 18W fast charging and even the included 10W charger inside charges the phone fairly quickly. The Final Say So, is the Redmi 8 worth the asking price of Rs 7,999? Well, in all fairness, the Redmi 8 is an entry-level phone that has a lot going for it. The look and feel of the phone is pretty solid, and I really like how Xiaomi has improved the things that matter the most like battery life. Although you can't really push the Redmi 8 to get a solid performance or use it to get mind-blowing pictures, I'd still say it has plenty to offer if you're looking for a new phone in this price segment. That said, if you don't mind spending a little more, I'd suggest you check out the Redmi Note 8 which is way more impressive for the price.
  7. Xiaomi's annual update to the Redmi Note series is here, and this time it's the Redmi Note 8 and the Redmi Note 8 Pro. These phones were launched in China last month and they've now arrived in India at incredibly affordable prices. Here's everything that you need to know about them - Redmi Note 8 Pro © MensXP/ Akshay Bhalla First off, we have the Redmi Note 8 Pro, the successor to the Redmi Note 7 Pro with a lot of meaningful upgrades. It sports a 6.53-inch FHD+ panel with a waterdrop-style notch. Internally, it's powered by the new MediaTek Helio G90T processor, making it the first phone to be powered by this particular processor in India. The Redmi Note 8 Pro packs up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It also has a 4,500mAh battery with support for 18W charging. And yes, it still has the 3.5mm headphone jack and has a USB Type-C port. © Twitter/ Manu Kumar Jain The Redmi Note 8 Pro is also touted to have really good cameras and Xiaomi has been raving about it on social media too. It sports a quad-camera setup which includes a 64MP Samsung GW1 sensor, which is the same one that's found on the Realme XT as well. Other sensors include an 8MP wide-angle camera, a 2MP macro camera, and another 2MP depth sensor. The phone comes with a bunch of camera features, making it a very versatile shooter. On the front, it packs a 20MP sefie shooter. Redmi Note 8 Next up, we have the Redmi Note 8, the successor to last year's Redmi Note 7. The Redmi Note 8 may not sound as exciting as the Redmi Note 8 Pro, but it's also looking like an incredibly good phone for the price. It sports a 6.3-inch display with Corning's Gorilla Glass protection and a waterdrop-style notch. © Xiaomi It is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 665 SoC and comes with up to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. This one also packs a generous 4,000mAh battery, which means battery life shouldn't be an issue whatsoever. In terms of the optics, the Redmi Note 8 also sports a quad-camera setup, but it lacks the Samsung GW1 64MP sensor. Instead, it has a 48MP primary sensor. The rest of the sensors are the same as the ones on the Redmi Note 8 Pro. On the front, the Redmi Note 8 sports a 13MP selfie shooter. Pricing And Availability Xiaomi has launched the Redmi Note 8 Pro in India at a starting price of Rs 14,999 for the 6GB + 64GB variant. The 6GB + 128GB variant is priced at Rs 15,999. There's also a 8GB + 128GB variant that's priced at Rs 17,999. It'll be available in three beautiful colors i.e Halo White, Shadow Black and Gamma Green starting October 21 exclusively throughout Amazon and mi.com. The Redmi Note 8, on the other hand, has been launched in India at a starting price of Rs 9,999 for the 4GB + 64GB variant. The 6GB + 128GB variant is priced at Rs 12,999. This phone will also be available exclusively via Amazon and mi.com starting October 21.
  8. When it comes to budget smartphones, users want good performance, an attractive price and a premium design. At least that was the case a year ago, but now even budget smartphones are pushing the envelope by offering good cameras, fast charging and more storage. Xiaomi has now announced the launch of the Redmi Note 8 Pro and Redmi Note 8 in India that offers everything we just mentioned and then some. The two smartphones in the Redmi Note series come with a quad-camera setup, awesome design and the most important thing; an attractive price tag. We got to check out the smartphones for a brief period of time and here are our super early impressions of the two: Design © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla When it comes to an upgrade from the Redmi Note 7 and 7 Pro, Xiaomi has upgraded every specification and aspect of the smartphone - the major update being the quad-camera setup. Both smartphones get the premium treatment when it comes to the design. The Redmi Note 8 comes in four colours i.e. Neptune Blue, Space Black, Cosmic Purple and Moonlight White, where the white variant is probably our favourite. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla The white variant has a gradient finish with a slight blue undertone that makes it stand out from the rest. Similarly, the Redmi Note 8 Pro comes in Halo White, Gamma Green, and Shadow Black colour options, however, the 'Gamma Green' variant is the one you want to look out for. Both smartphones come with a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 coating, both at the front and back, giving it the premium feel similar to flagship smartphones. When it comes to biometrics security, both smartphones have a traditional fingerprint sensor at the back and face-unlocking capabilities. Display© MensXP_Akshay Bhalla Both the Redmi Note 8 Pro and Redmi Note 8 come with IPS LCD displays while the only difference is the screen size. The Redmi Note 8 Pro comes with a larger 6.53-inch screen while the Redmi Note 8 comes with a 6.39-inch display. Both smartphones have a drop-style notch and a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels (19.5:9 aspect ratio). Another major difference is the 3D curved display on the Note 8 Pro. Cameras © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla While both smartphones have a quad-camera setup, there are stark differences between the two that set them apart from each other. The Redmi Note 8 Pro variant comes with a 64MP primary sensor while the Redmi Note 8 comes with a 48MP primary sensor. The main difference will be in the resolution of the images. The primary sensor is the only differentiating factor between the two smartphones as the other three sensors remain the same on both models. The additional sensors include an 8MP ultra-wide lens with a field of view of 120-degrees. The third sensors is a 2MP, f/2.4 macro lens while the last sensor is a 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor. When it comes to video, the smartphones can capture video at 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps While the camera specifications look very impressive on paper, we did not get enough time with the smartphone to draw conclusions. We will be testing out the cameras soon to know how they perform in each mode. Processor and Battery Specifications Again, it is hard to know about long-term performance since we have not spent enough time with the two devices. The Redmi Note 8 Pro comes with MediaTek's new chipset Helio G90T that also has a huge focus on gaming performance. The Redmi Note 8 Pro also comes with liquid cooling in order to prevent any kind of throttling while gaming. Being a new processor, it is hard to draw conclusions about its performance. From what we know, the processor is good enough to come close to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset, but we can't be sure until we use it for a longer period. The Redmi Note 8 Pro comes with 6GB of RAM to 8GB of RAM depending on the storage option you pick. On the other hand, the Redmi Note 8 is powered by Qualcomm's mid-range processor i.e. the Snapdragon 665 SoC. We've seen this processor in action before on the Mi A3 and we can expect a similar sort of performance. The Redmi Note 8 Pro comes from 4GB of RAM to 6GB of RAM depending on the model. In terms of battery capacity, the Redmi Note 8 Pro comes with a 4,500mAh unit, while the Redmi Note 8 comes with a slightly smaller 4,000mAh battery. Both smartphones now come with a USB-C port and support 18W fast charging which has been a much-asked-for feature for the Note series. Conclusion The Redmi Note smartphones are the marquee devices of Xiaomi in India and from our initial impressions, the Redmi Note 8 Pro is a worthy successor. In our initial impressions, the Redmi Note 8 Pro performs well, has all the right upgrades and is also very affordable. Stay tuned for our full review to know more about the phone and how it performs in real-life situations.
  9. Xiaomi has established itself as the company that offers smartphones that are considered to be the best option for people who're looking to buy an Android phone on a budget. The company is currently selling as many as 7 smartphones in India that are priced under Rs.10,000. And you know what? They seem to be getting better with each product over time. Take the newly launched Redmi 7, for instance. Honestly, it's one of the most beautiful-looking budget phones that I've seen till date. Not just that, it appears as though Xiaomi has learned a thing or two from the not-so-impressive Redmi 6 from last year. So, has Xiaomi managed to get everything right and make a desirable Redmi phone after all this time? Well, I've spent a little over a week testing the Redmi 7, and here's what I think - Design & Display © MensXP/Karthik Iyer The Redmi 7, as I said before, is one of the most beautiful budget phones that I've ever seen. The gradient finish, especially this Nebula Red variant which Xiaomi sent us for review, is an absolute head-turner. I haven't had a chance to check out the other color variants, but I am sure they look just as good as this one does. In order to cut down the cost though, Xiaomi has used plastic for the back instead of glass. It's more prone to fingerprints and feels a little cheap while holding it in the hand. It's not exactly a deal breaker, but it's hard not to point out especially when you can get the Redmi Note 7 with an all glass-design for just an additional Rs. 1,000. © MensXP/Karthik Iyer Look past the plastic body, you'll certainly find a lot to like about the Redmi 7 design. The curved back design of the phone nicely blends into the matte black frame of the body and makes it really easy to hold. It's not particularly a slim handset, but I kinda like the chunky build, as it gives me more confidence to hold it in my hands instead of sliding it in my pockets. At the back, the phone has dual cameras, a fingerprint scanner, and the Redmi branding. I'll talk more about the cameras later, but let me say that the fingerprint scanner is at a convenient spot and it works great. The phone also has face unlock, but I prefer using the physical scanner whenever there's an option. The Redmi 7 has a 3.5mm headphone jack and a micro USB port at the bottom along with the speaker grills. I would've loved to see a USB Type-C port, but hey, it's a budget phone, so I am not really complaining. The volume rockers and the power button on the right are nice and clicky, and there's also a notification LED at the bottom on the chin. On the front, the Redmi 7 looks, well, just like any other Redmi phone. It's got a 6.26-inch IPS LCD display with a water drop notch and sizeable bezels, so there's nothing new here, really. It's an HD+ display which gets adequately bright and shows nice colors. The viewing angles are also great, and I really enjoyed watching movies and playing games on this display. © MensXP/Karthik Iyer Overall, I'd say the Redmi 7 is a gorgeous phone with one of the displays money can buy in this price range. Performance & Software To take care of the performance, the Redmi 7 is powered by a Snapdragon 632 SoC coupled with either 2GB or 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Yes, you can't go more than the 32GB internal storage, but there's an option to expand it via a microSD card. Oh, there's also Adreno 506 GPU onboard for graphics. As for the battery, the Redmi 7 packs a 4,000 mAh cell, which is a significant upgrade from the 3,000 mAh battery found inside last year's Redmi 6. © MensXP Well, I tested the 3GB + 32GB variant of the Redmi 7, and I had a great time using the phone. I must say that the Snapdragon 632 is a snappy performer, as it showed no signs of slowing down or had any trouble hopping between apps during my testing. MIUI 10 being a bit heavy skin, I did notice occasional stutters, but nothing that would hinder day-to-day usability. As for the gaming performance, well let's just say that it's not a heavy hitter when it comes to that. Yes, it can run titles like PUBG Mobile, but my experience was a bit unsatisfactory even on the lowest graphics settings. So if you were hoping the Redmi 7 would be a gaming powerhouse, then you'll be in for a disappointment. You can run other casual games without worrying about any performance issues though. © MensXP The Redmi 7 runs Android Pie and it comes with all the bells and whistles of MIUI 10. There are a ton of features to play around and customize the phone with. There's an option to turn on the navigation gestures, hide the notch, and all that good stuff. And since it's MIUI that we're talking about here, so you'll also have to go through the pain of disabling ads. Seriously, just that for your own sake because there are ads literally everywhere. They're on the lock screen, notification shade, app installation page, and who knows where else. © MensXP Camera The Redmi 7 sports a combination of a 12MP primary shooter with a 2MP depth sensor to form a dual camera setup. I, honestly, wasn't expecting the camera performance to be all that impressive, but I must say that I underestimated this phone. © MensXP/Karthik Iyer The images taken during the day time with ample lighting, as you can see, are all nice and detailed. One can choose to turn off the AI enhancements to get natural-looking images, however, I found myself using it to get images that are social media ready. I mean, seriously. Who has the time to capture images and edit them before updating your stories, right? The low-light performance of the camera was also great, and I was truly impressed by the Redmi 7's camera. Yes, it's not going to fetch you DSLR-like image with sharp details and stunning quality, but hey, it's a budget phone that cost under Rs. 10,000, and it's adequately good. Here, check out the camera samples and gauge the performance yourself - Battery Life As I had mentioned earlier in this review, the Redmi 7 has a 4,000 mAh battery, which is higher than that of the Redmi 6. And how's the battery life? Well during my testing, the phone easily lasted over a full day of usage. In fact, if you're not a heavy hitter, I think you can easily get two full days of usage out of this phone. The standby drain of the battery at night is minimal, and that's where it excels. © MensXP/Karthik Iyer Xiaomi is bundling the phone with a 5V 2A or 10W charger inside the box. With the included charger, I managed to charge the Redmi 7 from 0 to 100-percent in around two and a half hours, which is not really that bad. The Final Say In a way, Xiaomi started the wave of affordable smartphones several years back with the Redmi series, and it's safe to say that the Redmi 7 continues that trend. Granted it's not the fastest phone out there on the market and it lacks some features like a USB Type-C port, a headphone jack, etc., but it's a stunning looking phone that's incredibly cheap and performs day-to-day tasks well. And yes, we suggest you buy the variant with 3GB RAM over the other. © MensXP/Karthik Iyer It is, however, worth pointing out that you can choose to shell out an additional Rs. 1,000 and buy the Redmi Note 7. With that phone, you'll get things like an all-glass design, a slightly more powerful Snapdragon 660 processor, a better display, and more. But hey, if you're on a tight budget and you can't spend that extra Rs. 1,000, then the Redmi 7 is the phone to own. It's still great for what it offers and more than enough for a casual user.
  10. Realme is still a fairly new brand in the market that's yet to make a significant dent in the industry with its smartphone lineup. Of course, we've seen some really promising devices from Realme in the past like the Realme U1, the recently launched Realme 3, and more. But they come with their fair share of annoyances, often steering the consumers away to other established alternatives. Now yet again, Realme is trying to take a slice of the pie with its latest smartphone, the Realme 3 Pro. The Realme 3 Pro goes all out as an affordable mid-range smartphone with an edge-to-edge dewdrop design, a powerful Snapdragon 710 processor, up to 6GB RAM, and a lot more, all at a price starting at just Rs. 13,999 The Realme 3 Pro has a lot going for it, but does it pack enough goods to beat the like of Xiaomi at its own game of making a phone that ticks all the right boxes? Let's take a look. Design & Display © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer Honestly, I haven't been a huge fan of Realme phones' design. It might be an unpopular opinion, but they all looked kind of dull and subdued to me at first glance. The Realme 3 Pro, on the other hand, looks really nice. If you look closely, you'll see a subtle pattern across the back, which reflects light in a unique way. Realme says the pattern is inspired by 'racecourse'. Their slogan for this phone is 'Speed Awakens', so it's the 'Pattern of Speed'. Geddit? I am not too sure about how the visual pattern would look on the other two colorways, but the Carbon Grey variant, which I've been using for the past few weeks, has a unique visual appeal to it. Other noteworthy design elements on the back of the Realme 3 Pro includes a vertical dual-camera setup with some yellow accents, and the 'Realme' branding which gives the phone a sporty look in my opinion. There's also a fingerprint scanner, but that's pretty much it for the back. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer The front of the phone is mostly occupied by the 6.3-inch FHD+ display with minimal bezels on the sides. Also, thanks to the 'dewdrop' notch, the Realme 3 Pro boasts a 90.8% screen-to-body ratio, and the display looks gorgeous. The display is certainly one of the biggest plus points of the phone. It's sharp, gets adequately bright even under direct sunlight and is just beautiful to watch videos on or play games. It's a great IPS panel and it's protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5, making it quote durable too. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer As an overall package, the Realme 3 Pro feels well built and snug in hand. All three buttons on the sides are well-placed and I personally had no issues reaching them. It still sports a micro USB port instead of USB Type C, but hey, that's not really a deal-breaker. Plus it makes up for it with a 3.5mm headphone jack. Performance & Software As for the performance, let me get it out of the by saying that performance on the Realme 3 Pro is absolutely a breeze. It's fast, snappy and very reliable when it comes opening and loading pretty much any app you throw at it. It's powered by the Snapdragon 710 AIE octa-cpre processor after all, so I wasn't expecting anything less of it in terms of the real-life usage. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer The variant which I have for review packs 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, but you can also choose to go with 4GB + 64GB or 6GB + 64GB configurations. I am sure, the performance won't take a huge hit. Really, the Realme 3 Pro did well during my testing, and it was a delight to use. Running games like PUBG, Fortnite, and Asphalt 9 is smooth sailing, and you'll be able to play them without any noticeable stuttering. Yes, the phone gets a little warm to touch after extended hours of gaming, but it's nothing to worry about as it won't get uncomfortably hot. The Realme 3 Pro ships with Android 9 Pie with Oppo's ColorOS v6.0 on top. Again, I am not a huge fan of custom skins on Android, let alone Oppo's heavy ColorOS. However, I enjoy using some of the customization features like 'Swipe-Up Gestures', 'Smart Sidebar', 'Assistive Ball', etc. Although one of the things which I absolutely hate about ColorOS is that ships with a ton, and I mean a TON, of bloatware. Yes, you can get rid of most of them, but seriously, I hate looking at those many apps on a phone which I just pulled out of the box. I really hope Realme does something about it in the future. © MensXP Since we're talking performance, let me touch base on the phone's biometric features too. The fingerprint scanner at the back of the phone is at the right spot in my opinion, and it's super snappy and accurate. The Realme 3 Pro also offers Face Unlock, which is just as fast as the Fingerprint scanner, but I ended up using the physical scanner for, you know, some added security. The speakers, however, are something which I am not a huge fan of. Realme 3 Pro has a single bottom firing speaker, which is very easy to cover with your while using the phone in, say the landscape mode. The audio experience was decent with good audio output, but I found myself reaching out for a pair of headphones. I am glad that Realme didn't get rid of the phone 3.5mm headphone jack. Good job, Realme! © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer Camera The Realme 3 Pro comes with two cameras at the back. One is a 16-megapixel IMX519 shooter whereas the one one is a 5-megapixel shooter with an f/2,4 aperture. And on the front, the Realme 3 Pro sports a 25-megapixel selfie camera. Before we jump into the camera samples, I'd like to point out that I really enjoyed shooting pictures with this phone. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer I was recently in Mumbai for a couple of days, and I carried the Realme 3 Pro along with some flagship phones like the iPhone XR and the Galaxy S10e. Well, I must say that I ended up pulling out the Realme 3 Pro more often than I thought I would, which definitely says something about the camera quality. The camera app is also fairly straightforward and easy to use. There are a bunch of modes to shoot like Nightscape, Portrait, Expert, etc. Realme has also introduced a new mode called 'Ultra HD', which essentially uses software to create a 64MP image with bigger size and, of course, more details. Overall, I'd say that Realme has a commendable job with both the camera hardware and the software. I did say that the Redmi Note 7 Pro's cameras impressed me, but I think this one's equally good, if not significantly better. Yes, the Realme 3 Pro struggles to keep up in low-light, but I guess you can't have it all at this price, really. I'll let you take a look at the images and decide for yourself - Battery Life The Realme 3 Pro packs a beefy 4,05 mAh battery inside which in my opinion is a pretty decent size. It's slight smaller than the 4,230 mAh battery found inside the Realme 3, but I have no complaints with the battery life here. The Realme 3 Pro can easily last a day wit heavy usage, which includes the basic day-to-day tasks like web browsing, social media, usage, etc. and some intensive tasks like media streaming and gaming. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer I've noticed good battery life on almost all the smartphones running on the Snapdragon 710 chip, and the Realme 3 Pro is no exception. If you're not a heavy-hitter like me, then you can push the phone and get through even two days without charging since the phone has really good standby time. The Realme 3 Pro also ships with VOOC 3.0 20V charger inside the box, which can charge the phone from 0% - 100% in about 80 minutes, which is not bad at all. So overall, I'd say the Realme 3 Pro scores good marks in the battery life department too. On an average, you can get about 5-6 hours of screen on time, and charge it fairly quickly thanks to VOOC 3.0. The Final Say © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer It appears to me as though Realme is gaining more confidence with each product it's bringing to the market, and the brand's effort is clearly reflecting on the Realme 3 Pro. No wonder, the brand is leaving no stones unturned while going after Xiaomi's Redmi Note 7 Pro. After using it for an extended period of time, I can confidently say that it ticks all the boxes to make up for a worthy competitor to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro. Of course, the Realme 3 Pro is not the perfect mid-range phone, but it has a lot going for it for Rs. 13,999. You get a great FHD+ display, a powerful Snapdragon chipset, amazing battery life, and some capable cameras. The only area where I'd say it falls short is the software. And maybe some minor annoyances like the speaker position and a micro USB port. Well, if you are someone who can look past these qualms, then you'll be very happy with the Realme 3 Pro. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer The Realme 3 Pro, if you'll ask me, is a phone which I'll be happy to recommend to anyone who's looking for a phone under Rs. 15,000. It's a great Redmi Note 7 Pro alternative, and I think I'll start recommending the Realme 3 Pro more mainly because of how hard it is to get hands on a Xiaomi smartphone these days. So, if you are on a budget, and can't get your hands on a Redmi Note 7 Pro, go ahead and buy the Realme 3 Pro.
  11. Xiaomi has finally launched its first Android Go Edition smartphone, the Redmi Go in India today. With the new Redmi Go, Xiaomi is targeting the first-time smartphone users in the country, and it's priced at Rs 4,449, which puts it head-to-head with other entry-level devices in the country like the Nokia 1, JioPhone 2, and more. Redmi Go comes packed with a bunch of India-focused features like support for up to 20 Indian languages, Hindi language support for Google Assistant, and more. © Xiaomi As for the specifications, the Redmi Go sports a 5 inch HD screen and it's powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 quad-core processor. It also has 1GB RAM and 8GB internal storage, which can be further expanded up to 128GB thanks to the microSD card slot. 1GB RAM does sound dated in 2019, but it shouldn't be a matter of concern since the Redmi Go runs Google's Android 8.1 Oreo (Go Edition), an OS which essentially allows low-end phones to run smoothly despite limited memory and storage capacity. The phone also comes with some pre-installed applications like Gmail Go, Assistant Go, Maps Go, and more. © Xiaomi Other noteworthy specs of the phone include an 8-megapixel rear camera with HDR mode and a 5-megapixel selfie camera. Redmi Go does feature dual-SIM support, but sadly there's no dual VoLTE support. Redmi Go will be available to purchase from 22nd March onwards, and you'll be able to pick one up for yourself from Flipkart, mi.com or the Mi Home stores across the country.
  12. There's been a lot of banter about the Redmi Note 7 Pro's camera prowess. My colleague reviewed the phone earlier this week and found it to be really good, but I wanted to test it out myself before passing my judgement, if any. So I decided to borrow our review unit and took it out for a spin. And boy, was I in for a surprise! I use an iPhone XR as my daily driver and I really like that phone, its cameras included. In fact, it has been one of my favorite phones to shoot pictures with lately. Given how much I like the iPhone XR's cameras, I wasn't expecting the Note 7 Pro to take me by surprise. But trust me, I was wrong. At first, I started capturing random pictures with the Redmi Note 7 Pro to get the hang of the camera and Xiaomi's camera app. Even when I wasn't really putting much effort, this phone managed to produce shots like this: © MensXP / Karthik Iyer Yes, it was at this point that I decided to pull out my iPhone XR out of curiosity to see how they compared. It was somewhat a gloomy day here in New Delhi, which I thought was just perfect to push these cameras to their limits. So, I did. Just take a look: Note: All photos captured from the Redmi Note 7 Pro have a watermark. The images used for comparison were shot on an iPhone XR. Also, none of these images have been edited in any way whatsoever. The images, which you see below, were shot from a metro station. Both phones did a really good job here, but I personally like the Redmi Note 7 Pro's photo mainly because of the colors. They're natural, and the overall image look a lot presentable with lots of detail. © MensXP / Karthik Iyer Next up, I decided to go with a shot which, honestly, even a lot of flagship smartphones struggle with. As we all know, it's pretty hard to expose the subject when there's a strong source of light right behind or around the subject. But both the phones did great in this case. The fact that Redmi Note 7 Pro managed to make it just as good as the iPhone XR did, is truly impressive. © MensXP / Karthik Iyer And here's another one. The Redmi Note 7 Pro's image is the clear winner for me here. The focus on the subject is on point, and there's a ton of detail. Not that the iPhone's image is bad, but it's not something I would post on social media without doing a bit of tinkering unlike the Note 7 Pro's image. It's truly a stunning shot, is it? © MensXP / Karthik Iyer Even as I was losing the light and things started getting more gloomy, the Redmi Note 7 Pro didn't fail to impress me. This is one of those images, which truly made me question the point of buying an expensive phone to get good cameras. Great dynamic range and really good exposure. Just take a look - © MensXP / Karthik Iyer And here's another shot taken in low light/ artificial lighting. This restaurant is better known for its food than lighting, but the pictures aren't too shabby, are they? © MensXP / Karthik Iyer I can keep throwing in more images here from my gallery, but I think we've established a point here. No, I am not trying to pick a winner and justify my opinion. However, I must say that Xiaomi has done a phenomenal job with the Redmi Note 7 Pro. I mean, just Rs 13,990 for a smartphone that's capable of competing with big dogs like Apple's iPhone? Sign me up. Of course, I am not ready to ditch my iPhone, at least not yet, but the Redmi Note 7 Pro is a star. If you like taking pictures on your phone among other things and you don't want to burn a huge whole in your pocket, then the Redmi Note 7 Pro is a no-brainer. It's truly the budget king that everyone needs to beat. © MensXP / Akshay Bhalla Well, that wraps up just about everything. Again, most of this is subjective since not all people tend to prefer the same kind of images. But as someone who loves taking pictures for Instagram and craves a bit of a self-validation, I really enjoyed my time shooting with the Redmi Note 7 Pro. If you're looking to check out more camera samples or want to learn more about the Redmi Note 7 Pro's overall performance, then be sure to check out our review of the phone.
  13. When it comes to budget smartphones and the Indian market, Xiaomi has managed to build a brand name that delivers smartphones with aggressive pricing. It's not only the pricing that matters, but smartphones also need to work and need to work well. Redmi, now a sub-brand of Xiaomi has managed to do just that, deliver great smartphones with an attractive price. However, Xiaomi steps up the game with the Redmi Note 7 Pro with upgraded specifications and a camera that can challenge even some of the top-tier smartphones. Xiaomi has also upgraded the design with captivating colours for users who prefer to be trendy and fashionable. It retails in India for Rs 13,990 and comes in different configurations. It has a 48-megapixel primary camera paired with a 5-megapixel sensor for portrait shots at the rear and a 13-megapixel sensor selfie shooter. We've been using the smartphone for a while to find out whether it's still the king of budget smartphones. Here's our review of the Redmi Note 7 Pro: Design And Display Xiaomi has completely overhauled the Redmi Note series with a beautiful gradient design that catches the light. It's something similar to what we've seen on other smartphones. However, the Redmi Note 7 Pro stands out from the crowd thanks to its bold colours. What's cool about the design is that the smartphone has an all-glass design both at the front and the back with Corning Gorilla Glass 5. This makes the smartphone a tad bit heavier than the previous iterations; however, we like the solid feel to the smartphone. We particularly like the Nebula Red colour which we got to see at the launch event. At the front, Xiaomi as a dewdrop notch display that removes the additional bezels you may have seen in previous models. The design of the smartphone feels very premium and very similar to what you would find on the iPhone XR. It feels solid and does not feel like a budget smartphone from any angle. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Xiaomi also retains the headphone jack which is always a plus in our books and has now added Type-C support. We can finally transfer files faster and charge a Redmi smartphone quicker than ever before. In addition, the Redmi Note 7 Pro also has a p2i nano-coating which protects the smartphone from accidental spills. It's not water-resistant, but it will protect your smartphone from water spills in your bathroom. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla When it comes to the display, the Redmi Note 7 Pro comes with a 6.3-inch full-HD+ LTPS LCD display with a resolution 1080x2340 pixels and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. For a smartphone that costs less than Rs 15,000, the display is quite sharp and accurate for an LCD. Sure, it's not the best you find as compared to flagship level smartphones but it does a fair job at colour reproduction and brightness. The colours on the display do not look oversaturated and look close to real-life. The brightness is also solid as it comes in handy when viewing it directly under sunlight. It has a brightness level of 477 nits which is quite impressive for an LCD panel. Camera © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The Redmi Note 7 Pro's star attraction is its 48 MP rear Sony IMX 586 sensor that delivers some of the most amazing pictures we've seen on a budget smartphone. We've seen this sensor on the Honor View 20 before and it manages to deliver some great details and clarity in images. It captures the right colours and delivers some of the most beautiful pictures in HDR mode. In fact, sometimes we couldn't believe we shot these images with a budget smartphone. Most of these pictures were shown in 21MP however you can always take the full 48MP images by toggling the feature in the settings. Budget smartphones tend to struggle in low-light photography however Xiaomi has introduced its new Night Mode in MIUI 10. The new model does manage to take brighter images in low light which the budget smartphone was unable to do previously. The dynamic range also plays a crucial role in delivering these shots. It works very similar to Google's Night Shot as it combines different a series of images taken in different contrast levels to give you a better low-light image. Overall, we were quite pleased with the camera performance and even raises the question for the need of flagship level smartphones. Sure, flagship smartphones have great cameras but the gap is being closed quite rapidly thanks to smartphones like Redmi Note 7 Pro. Gallery View this post on Instagram Pictures shot using the #redminote7pro. Loving the night mode and it's quite decent from a phone that doesn't break the bank. #xiaomi #smartphones #gadgets #techie #technology #tech A post shared by Akshay Bhalla (@editorinchief) on Mar 10, 2019 at 11:44pm PDT Software Performance The Redmi Note 7 Pro ships with MIUI 10 and we would like to address the elephant in the room. MIUI 10 does have advertisements and if you wish to disable them you can do it by following these steps. Having said that, these advertisements are a bit annoying especially when you install a new application. Xiaomi has a security app that scans newly installed applications that have advertisements embedded within it. You can easily turn off the feature however it is a bit jarring when you kept getting bombarded with advertisements. If you want a seamless, experience, we suggested you follow the steps above. If you look beyond the ads, MIUI 10 looks quite clean and visually appealing with satisfying animations and overall stability. You have usual functions like dual apps and a new gesture navigation system that is easy to use. It's quite similar to what we've seen on the new iPhones but with slightly different animation and multi-tasking layout. Performance Equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 675 chipset, the Redmi Note 7 Pro delivers a great overall experience when it comes to performing tasks daily usage. While it works great with less CPU intensive apps, it lacks in processing graphics for fluid gaming. On PUBG mobile, the smartphone would often have massive frame rate drops in high settings and has the rubber-banding effect too. We would recommend you play GPU intensive games with lower settings. Furthermore, the Redmi Note 7 Pro does heat up a bit when playing games which were expected as it does not have a dedicated cooling system like the POCO F1. Regardless, the smartphone is good enough for casual games like Temple Run and can handle games like Asphalt 9 in medium setting. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla In terms of Geekbench scores, the Redmi Note 7 Pro scored 6520 in the multi-core test while it scored 2380 in the single core test. In our opinion, that's quite a respectable score for a smartphone that costs only Rs 13,990. The Redmi Note 4 Pro comes with 4,000 mAh battery which has remained unchanged from previous models. Battery life on the Redmi Note 7 Pro is exceptional with moderate usage as we had almost 6.5 hours of screen-on-time. We tested the smartphone with navigation, gaming and communication. In addition, it also supports QC4 however you need to buy a compatible charger separately. The Redmi Note 7 Pro was able to last almost two days on a single charge which is quite impressive for any smartphone. The Final Say If you are looking for a smartphone that can take awesome pictures, last 2 days on a single charge and can delivery awesome battery life, the Redmi Note 7 Pro is your best bet. The new smartphone has stepped up its game in the photography department and can perform well with moderate usage. Starting at Rs 13,9990 the Redmi Note 7 Pro is the king of budget smartphones right now.
  14. Xiaomi has launched the Redmi Note 7 Pro in India and its first sale is scheduled for March 13. We've been using the phone for a few days now and it sure gives the competition a run for their money. The Note 7 Pro's starting price has been fixed at Rs 13,999 for the 64GB variant and Rs 16,999 for the 128GB variant. What's so special about this phone? We've made a list of things we love about the phone. © MensXP / Shivam Vahia 1. Near Perfect Camera: Xiaomi has been teasing the 48MP camera for months and it is the main highlight of the phone. The rear has a Sony IMX586 sensor paired along with a 5-megapixel secondary camera. Thanks to the high resolution, pictures have an incredible amount of detail. For low-light pictures, four pixels are merged into one and a 12-megapixel picture is created that has lower more detail and sharpness. 2. Camera Software: Using AI, not only can the phone add a bokeh effect but also completely change the background into 6 presets. After a preset is applied, you can also further change the type of lighting overlay. This opens up the option of having much more customization and using the same depth sensor, newer edits can be applied. © MensXP / Shivam Vahia 3. Stunning Design: The Redmi Note 7 Pro has an all-glass design with a gradient finish. The company says it has used a 6-layer process to add the gradient finish and it is available in Neptune Blue, Nebula Red, and Classic Space Black. Not only has Xiaomi built the phone like a beast from the inside, but also equally stunning from the outside. 4. MIUI 10: The phone ships out of the box with MIUI 10 (Android Pie) and brings in gesture support, picture-in-picture mode, new recent menu, and AI performance enhancements. Thanks to the faster processor, the experience is even more smooth and refreshing. © MensXP / Shivam Vahia 5. Better Display: The phone has a 6.3-inch LCD display with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels. It is protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and features a smaller notch on the top. Xiaomi has further cut down on bezels and it also gets a 2.5D curved glass. The screen-to-body ratio has been improved to 81.4 per cent. 6. Faster Processor: © Qualcomm It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor built on TSMC's 11nm manufacturing process. The device comes with an Adreno 612 GPU. The new SoC employs software “gaming enhancements” that promise up to 90 per cent fewer stutters. Qualcomm enables the hardware and software to support both bokeh (portrait modes) and HDR shots in a single shot. 7. Battery: It has a 4000mAh battery and the phone finally ships with USB-C. The phone supports Quick Charge 4 but it comes bundled with a 10W charger. The battery is sufficient to get you through a day's heavy usage.
  15. Xiaomi has been teasing the launch of the Redmi Note 7 and Redmi Note 7 Pro for more than a month, and the brand has finally launched the phone in India today. It was first unveiled in China and since then, anticipation around its India launch had been on the rise. With Samsung launching a host of new budget and midrange phones, the Redmi Note 7 has a lot of expectations to meet. It's predecessor Redmi Note 6 and Note 5 have been the best-selling phones in the country, thanks to a perfect balance of features. The phones have proved to be an apt offering for every kind of user, right from performance enthusiasts to photography nerds. © Xiaomi Keeping the same in mind, the Redmi Note 7 intends to be another deal buster. Unique offerings of the phone include a 48-megapixel rear sensor, a large 4000mAh battery, and fast Snapdragon 660 processor. It's the first phone under the new "Redmi by Xiaomi" branding. On the front, the phone has a 6.3-inch Full HD+ display along with a water-drop style notch. The screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Under the hood, is a Snapdragon 660 processor, paired with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage in the base variant. The other options include 4GB + 64GB and 6GB + 64GB configuration. The Snapdragon 660 chipset was seen in midrange phones like the Nokia 7 Plus last year is a tried and tested platform. © Xiaomi The Redmi Note 7 Pro has a 48-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL Bright GM1 primary sensor along with a 5-megapixel secondary sensor. For selfies, the front has a 13-megapixel sensor. Backing these internals is a 4000mAh battery that supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge 4.0 technology. It'll charge via a USB-C port and a 3.5mm headphone jack has been included as well. For authentication, the fingerprint scanner is located on the back and face unlock option is also supported. © Xiaomi The base variant of the Redmi Note 7 with 3GB + 32GB configuration costs Rs 9,999. The second option with 4GB + 64GB memory costs Rs 11,999. For the Redmi Note 7 Pro, the 6GB + 128 GB variant costs Rs 16,999. The 4GB + 64GB variant costs Rs 13,999. It shall be available via Mi.com, Flipkart, and Amazon.in. The Redmi Note 7 will be available from 6th March and Note 7 Pro will be available from 13th March.
  16. The Redmi Note 7 was launched earlier this month in China, and the phone's biggest feature that has been advertised is its durability. In order to prove their claims, the company released a video where the smartphone was put through a bunch of stress tests. The video shows employees stomping on the Redmi Note 7, throwing it down the staircase and also a man used it as a skateboard. © YouTube The first video below shows Redmi CEO Lu Weibing throwing the Redmi Note 7 down a staircase and it suffered multiple tosses yet did not suffer any bumps or scratches. Another user used the smartphone as a skateboard by sticking wheels with duct tape. Even in this scenario, the Redmi Note 7 did not suffer any scratches or any other form of damage. This was possible thanks to the phantom grade double-sided Corning Gorilla Glass 5 body that protects the smartphone from such ordeals. In terms of other specifications, the Redmi Note 7 has a dual 48-megapixel camera set up at the back, 4,000 mAh battery and a teardrop notch display. Redmi is now a separate sub-brand of Xiaomi and its first phone is the Redmi Note 7 that has already been launched in China. The Redmi Note 7 features a 6.3-inch Full HD+ (2340x1080 pixels) display with 19.5:9 aspect ratio and Corning Gorilla Glass 5. It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 octa-core SoC paired with 3GB, 4GB, and 6GB RAM options along with 32GB and 64GB storage options. © Redmi For more information on the Redmi Note 7 and the Redmi Note 7 Pro, you can check out all the details here.
  17. Xiaomi has been constantly launching new phones in the Indian market and its aggressive stance has already won it the number one spot in terms of sales. The brand has managed to create a name for itself in the budget and midrange segment and now intends to double down on its efforts. 2018 witnessed the launch of new phones from every brand, every couple of months. The Redmi Note X Pro line-up has been extremely successful in the country, followed by Android One powered Mi AX series. Now, we're looking forward to the Redmi Note 7, and Note 7 Pro. The company also has a third device in the making, more on that later. © Xiaomi / Redmi Note 7 Redmi is now a separate sub-brand of Xiaomi and its first phone is the Redmi Note 7 that has already been launched in China. The Redmi Note 7 features a 6.3-inch Full HD+ (2340x1080 pixels) display with 19.5:9 aspect ratio and Corning Gorilla Glass 5. It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 octa-core SoC paired with 3GB, 4GB, and 6GB RAM options along with 32GB and 64GB storage options. On the rear is a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 primary sensor along with a 5-megapixel secondary sensor. The front has a 13-megapixel shooter for selfies. It's powered by a 4000mAh battery along with Quick Charge 4 support. © Xiaomi / Redmi Note 7 The Redmi Note 7 Pro hasn't been officially announced yet, but we do know it'll pack a 48-megapixel lens on the rear and will be powered by Snapdragon 675 SoC. There is a possibility Xiaomi may use an AMOLED panel on this phone. Lastly, a third phone dubbed the "Redmi Go" shall be launching along with the other two. According to leakster Ishan (https://twitter.com/ishanagarwal24/status/1086550767014760448), the three phones shall be launched together in the first quarter of 2019. While the information on Redmi Go's specifications is scarce, it's sure to be an entry-level phone running on Android Go. © Xiaomi / Redmi Note 7 Android Go is a highly optimized OS built for phones with less than 1GB RAM. The Go edition also comes with a flurry of new optimized Google apps that are light on both memory and storage. These include Google Go, Google Assistant Go, and Files Go, among many others. Google Go redesigns Google Search, reducing the search-as-you-type app to its bare essentials; this Lite version weighs in at less than 5MB in size. © YouTube The Redmi Note 7 currently retails for CNY 999 (Rs 10,500) in China for the 3GB+32GB variant and CNY 1,199 (Rs 12,000) for 4GB+64GB option. The Redmi Note 7 Pro is rumoured to cost around Rs 16,000 and the Redmi Go is expected to cost around Rs 5,000. Keep in mind, these are early reports and not the official pricing
  18. Yesterday, Xiaomi launched the Redmi Note 6 Pro in India and releasing the device so soon wasn't really expected. If we consider Xiaomi's launch pattern for the Note series so far, the Note 4 was launched in Q1 2017 followed by the Note 5 in Q1 2018. We were expecting the Note 5 Pro's successor to come early next year. Instead of launching one phone per year, it has decided to go with two phones per year in the same series. This is in line with industry trends like OnePlus releasing two every year. In the midrange segment, this makes even more sense because the competitors are constantly launching new phones with better offerings. © Xiaomi Earlier, the difference between the incumbent and the successor used to be major. We'd see specs bump, software upgrades, as well as design changes. Now with the new launch flow, we see the phones have minor upgrades. So, what's new in the Redmi Note 6 Pro? 1. The design remains the same on the back, but you'll see a notched display on the front. The display is now slightly bigger at 6.26-inches instead of 6-inch. Due to the notch, the aspect ratio has been changed from 18:9 to 19:9. The slightly larger display area means the screen-to-body ratio too has been bumped to 81 percent. 2. The phone ships out of the box with MIUI 10 and brings in gesture support, picture-in-picture mode, new recent menu, Android Pie like volume slider, and AI performance enhancements. The Redmi Note 5 Pro is already receiving the update OTA (over the air). © Xiaomi 3. The Redmi Note 6 Pro has a slightly better dual camera setup on the rear consisting of a 20-megapixel primary shooter with f/1.9 and a 5-megapixel secondary lens with f/2.2. The front too now has a dual camera setup with a 20+2-megapixel combo. 4. The rear camera comes with dual pixel phase detection autofocus, AI scene detection, studio lighting, adjustable bokeh, and improved portrait mode. Using AI, not only can the phone add a bokeh effect but also completely change the background into 6 presets. After a preset is applied, you can also further change the type of lighting overlay. This opens up the option of having much more customization and using the same depth sensor, newer edits can be applied. One neat feature on the #RedmiNote6Pro, you can remove unwanted things from the background. pic.twitter.com/mBhhj3iCMq — Akshay Bhalla (@Bhallanator) November 22, 2018 5. The processor remains the same at Snapdragon 636, which powered the Redmi Note 5 Pro as well. Everyone expected the phone to get a processor bump, but is it really needed? The chipset is powerful enough to fuel a midrange phone and it becomes easier for Xiaomi to roll-out updates. The base hardware configuration of the Redmi Note 5 Pro and the Note 6 Pro remains the same, and both can receive timely updates. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Now, obviously, if a company is launching a "new" product, we naturally expect it to boast new features. And, the Redmi Note 6 Pro does bring quite a few. Xiaomi hasn't removed any of its features from the Note 5 Pro, and has just added new ones on the top. The notch's existence has always been controversial and it depends on one's choice. The deal is even sweeter when we consider the launch price. The base variant with 4GB+64GB configuration starts at Rs 13,999 and the second option with 6GB+64G configuration costs Rs 15,999.
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