A few days ago, we had written on how Samsung had seemingly declared war on Xiaomi with a number of devices targeted at the Chinese brand’s bestselling segment. And perhaps the most direct target of them all was the Redmi Note 7 Pro, taking on which was the Galaxy M30, the latest and most powerful of Samsung’s new Galaxy M series. Which of these two is the better one for anyone seeking a great phone for under Rs 15,000? We will be reviewing them in detail soon, but until then, here’s a quick look at how they compare on paper and based on our initial impressions:
Both have drop notches, but the AMOLED Force is with the M30
Switch both devices on and the first thing that you will notice is the quality of the displays. The Redmi Note 7 Pro has a very good 6.3-inch LCD display with full HD+ resolution and a drop notch but it frankly gets outclassed by the 6.4-inch Super AMOLED one on the Galaxy M30, even though both displays have similar full HD+ resolutions. The display of the M30 simply has better colors and seems brighter. Samsung also seems to have handled the notch better – the one on the Redmi Note 7 Pro seems a lot more prominent.
The Redmi Note 7 Pro has got glass (make that class!)
But if the M30 takes the front, the Note 7 Pro takes the back. Yes, we did say that the Galaxy M30’s plastic back looked fantastic with grey silver blue blending into a darker shade of blue, but even that cannot match the gradient finish on the red and blue variants of the Redmi Note 7 Pro. The M30 looks very good, but not too many can hold up a candle to the gradient finish on the Redmi Note 7 Pro – even the black variant which has no gradient finish looks classy. The fact that the Note 7 Pro has Gorilla Glass on back and front only adds more weight to its victory here. Incidentally, both phones have fingerprint scanners on the back!
Who kept the water out…Mi, Mi, Mi!
Neither phone is totally water resistant, but the Redmi Note 7 Pro does have P2i splash resistance. So you can risk it in light rainfall and the odd splash of water.
Redmi has the chips
Both devices come with mid-mid-segment processors but we have to concede that on paper the Snapdragon 675 chip on the Redmi Note 7 Pro seems superior to the Exynos 7904 on the Galaxy M30. The Exynos 7904 is boy brand consensus supposed to be a notch above the 636, but just a step behind the Snapdragon 660, a chip that is topped by the Snapdragon 675. We do not think that the chips will be too far apart when it comes to routine tasks but the Snapdragon 675 (which some say even outperforms the Snapdragon 710) is expected to pull ahead in the heavier tasks like gaming, photo editing and the like.
Samsung scores on storage…
Both phones come with 4 GB / 64 Gb and 6 GB/ 128 GB RAM and storage variants, but a crucial difference is the fact that while the M30 has a dedicated memory card slot that supports unto 512 GB storage, the Redmi Note 7 Pro has a hybrid SIM card slot for the memory card, which incidentally goes up to 256 GB.
…and oh mAhGod, on battery too
Both phones come with USB Type C ports and support for fast charging. Samsung, however, bundles a 15W quick charger in the box itself while you would have to purchase one separately for the Note 7 Pro. There is also the little matter of capacity – the M30 has a 5000 mAh battery as compared to the 4000 mAh one on the Note 7 Pro.
Redmi says cheese with more megapixels
Where it really gets interesting between the two phones is in cameras. On paper, you would think that this would be a cakewalk for the Redmi Note 7 Pro which has a massive 48-megapixel half inch Sony sensor and a 5-megapixel depth sensing sensor on the back. But the M30 does come with its own camera muscle – it has three cameras on the back: a 13-megapixel main sensor, a 5-megapixel ultra wide sensor, and a 5-megapixel depth sensing “live focus” sensor. On the selfie front, the M30 has a 16-megapixel shooter as compared to the 13-megapixel one on the Redmi. The Note 7 Pro does have a clear edge here, not just in terms of megapixels but from the fact that the main sensor of the Note 7 has a larger aperture at f/1.79 as compared to the f/1.9 on the M30. A lot depends on how Samsung handles those three sensors, but the M30 has its task cut out.
M’s got Dolby Atmos for the sound of music
The Redmi Note 7 Pro comes with significantly improved sound over its predecessors, but the Galaxy M30 has support for Dolby Atmos over headphones. We think that the M30 strikes the higher note here. Pun intended.
Redmi serves Pie, no One for M30
The Redmi Note 7 Pro totally steals a march on the M30 when it comes to the software side. The Note 7 Pro comes with Android Pie with Xiaomi’s MIUI interface on top of it, while the M30 runs on Android Oreo and has Samsung’s slightly cluttered Experience UI on top. Samsung has moved up its UI game with One UI but that so far seems to have been reserved for its flagships and the A series. Given how good and popular MIUI is (notwithstanding all the controversy over ads), we really think Samsung needed a bit of Pie here, or at least some One!
Passing the buck to Mi!
In terms of sheer price, the Redmi Note 7 Pro has a slight edge over the M30, coming at Rs 13,999 for the 4 GB/ 64 Gb variant and Rs 16,999 for the 6 GB/ 128 GB variant, as compared to Rs 14,990 for 4 GB/ 64 GB and Rs 17,990 for the Galaxy M30. Considering how closely the two devices are matched, this price differential could be crucial.
Dial M for Me or Mi for Me?
So based on this very casual comparison, should one go for the M30 or the Redmi Note 7 Pro? Well, we would advise waiting for our detailed reviews of both devices, but speaking purely in terms of this comparison, we think that camera fans would prefer the Redmi Note 7 Pro, thanks to that massive sensor, while those seeking a great display and battery (and people do value those too) would prefer the M30. The better design of the Redmi Note 7 Pro gives it a significant edge for those who flaunt their phones as well, and spec lovers will prefer its newer chipset. That said, the M30 does not get too much wrong and we can see people getting attracted to its triple camera set up and of course the equity that the Samsung brandname carries. It is a close finish. Whichever M you dial, you are unlikely to be too disappointed.