The Redmi Note 7 pro might have grabbed all the headline with its newer processor and huge 48-megapixel sensor, but there was another Redmi Note launched alongside it. This was the Redmi Note 7, which at Rs 9,999, continued the Redmi Note’s tradition of being priced at sub-Rs 10,000 levels. But if the Redmi Note 7 Pro comes with very little competition thanks to its combination of specs and price, its non-Pro variant has a very worthy rival snapping at its heels, and that is the newly released Realme 3. Indeed, Realme is seen by many as being the brand most likely to challenge Xiaomi in the budget segment and neither brand has shied from taking jibes at the other in recent times. So how do these two latest contenders in the sub-Rs 10,000 category compare? Here is our take on both devices, based on our initial impressions and their spec sheets:
Mi has the looks
When it comes to appearance, the choice really boils down to what you prefer: glass or polycarbonate. We think that the Realme 3 looks very good, especially the blue edition with a gradient like finish, but the Redmi Note 7, with its glass back looks far better. The Redmi phone is marginally slimmer too at 8.1 mm as against 8.3 mm of the Realme 3. Yes, the Realme 3 will pick up fewer smudges but hey, if it is looks that matter, the Note 7 has the edge here, especially if you get the red edition.
Mi has the display too
The Redmi Note 7 scores when it comes to the display as well – it not only has a larger display (6.3 inches as compared to 6.2 inches) but also has a full HD+ resolution as compared to the HD+ one on the Realme 3. That difference is likely to be crucial for many, as is the next point
Chipped by Mi as well
The contest starts looking like one-way traffic when we get to the processors, because here too, it is the mi with the Red that scores. The Redmi Note 7 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, which most experts agree outguns the Helio P70 chip on the Realme 3. The P70 is indeed supposed to be in between the Snapdragon 636 and 660, outperforming the former but being a tad behind the 660. Both phones come with 4 GB and 6 GB RAM options.
Me cameras shoot Mi down
Cameras have been the forte of the Realme series and here too, they get the Realme 3 on the board. The Realme 3 comes with a 13 megapixel and 2 megapixel rear shooter combo, which might not seem to be vastly superior to the 12 and 2 megapixel duo on the Redmi Note 7 at first glance, but pulls away because of having a much larger f/1.8 aperture on its main sensor as compared to the f/2.2 on the Note 7. Both phones have 13-megapixel front-facing cameras, but we think this one is for the Realme.
And Me has a slight storage edge
Both phones come with 64 GB and 128 GB storage options, which are expandable to 256 GB using a microSD card. However, the Realme 3 has a dedicated microSD card slot while the Redmi Note 7 has a hybrid SIM card slot. That gives the Realme a very slight edge, especially for those who want to use two SIM cards AND a memory card slot.
Want battery? Me, Me, Me
Both phones come with very big batteries. The Redmi Note 7 has a 4000 mAh battery, but we think that on paper, that is unlikely to last as long as the 4230 mAh battery on the Realme 3, which also has the advantage of powering a lower resolution and smaller display.
You want ports? (USB) C, Mi has more
When it comes to connectivity options, both devices pretty much cancel each other out when it comes to 4G, Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth. However, we feel the Redmi Note 7 has a slight edge here as it offers a USB Type C port and an infrared port besides.
How do you want Pie? Mi UI or Me Color
In terms of software, both phones come with Android Pie out of the box. But we think that Redmi has a slight edge here as its MIUI 10 is a lot easier to use (perhaps out of sheer consistency) as compared to ColorOS on the Realme 3. It is not as if ColorOS does not have features – it is just that MIUI seems to be ahead of the curve in terms of ease of use at the time of writing.
Fewer bucks for Me
The see-saw battle continues when it comes to price, with the Realme 3 getting the edge with a price tag of Rs 8,999 for 3 GB/ 32 GB and Rs 10,999 for 4 GB/ 64 GB as compared to Rs 9,999 for 3 GB/ 32 GB and Rs 11,999 for 4 GB. Yes, people will say that the Redmi Note 7 gives you a better display and processor for the extra money, but it is not as if the Realme 3 has no aces up its sleeves – the battery and cameras being just two of them.
So based on casual acquaintance – Mi or Me?
These are super early days so we cannot really go all out and recommend one phone over the other. But yes, we would say that as an overall proposition, the design, display, and processor of the Redmi Note 7 (as well as its software) give it an edge over the Realme 3. That said, the Realme 3 seems to hold sway in two critical areas – battery and cameras, and we know there are those who will value that dedicated memory card slot as well as lower price tag. Of course, it does boil down to what you need at the end of the day. You are unlikely to be left in the Red either way. Really.