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Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Review : 48MP Photography At A Steal!

Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Review : 48MP Photography At A Steal!

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 promises to offer the 48 MP photographic capabilities of flagship smartphones at a fraction of the cost.

Let’s find out if they deliver on that promise, and learn how they did it!

 

The Official Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Launch Briefing

Let’s start with the official launch briefing by the affable Allen An, Country Manager of Xiaomi Malaysia and Singapore!

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Specifications

SpecificationsXiaomi Redmi Note 7
Display6.3-inch IPS display
- 1080 x 2340 pixels (409 ppi)
- 84% NTSC colour gamut
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 5
Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 Pie
PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 660 AIE
Processor4 x Kryo 260 Gold (2.2 GHz)
4 x Kryo 260 Silver (1.8 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 512 (850 MHz)
Memory3 GB / 4 GB LPDDR4x memory
Storage32 GB / 64 GB / 128 GB
microSD card slot (share with SIM2)
Front Camera13 MP sensor
Rear CamerasDual Lens Camera
- 48 MP camera with f/1.8 aperture
- 5 MP depth sensor
- single LED flash
ConnectivityWiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
USB : USB 2.0 Type C
SIM Support2 x nano SIM cards
Dual SIM, Dual Standby capable
Hybrid SIM tray
IR EmitterYes
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear Mounted
Other SensorsGyroscope, Accelerometer, Distance, E-Compass, Ambient Light
Battery4,000 mAh lithium-ion battery
- supports 10 W fast charging
Dimensions75.21 mm wide
159.21 mm tall
8.1 mm thick
Weight186 grams
Colour OptionsSpace Black / Neptune Blue / Nebula Red

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Models + Prices

Xiaomi is offering three Redmi Note 7 models :

  • 3 GB RAM + 32 GB storage : RM 679 / ~US$ 167 / ~£126
  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 799 / ~US$ 196 / ~£148
  • 4 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : RM 949 / ~US$ 233 / ~£176

Here are some direct purchase links :

Sales kicked off on 27 March 2019, with three colour options – Space Black, Neptune Blue and Nebula Red.

For the first time ever, Xiaomi will cover the Note 7 with an exclusive 18-month warranty!

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Unboxing The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 (Price Check) comes in a simple white cardboard box. Let’s unbox it, and see what we find inside!

When you fully unbox it, you will find the following items :

  • One Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 smartphone
  • One Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 clear TPU bumper case
  • One set of Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 documents
  • One Xiaomi MDY-09-EW USB charger (10 watt)
  • One USB Type C data and power cable
  • One SIM tray extractor pin

While we always like it when brands include a bumper case, this bumper case falls short of our expectations. We will explain it in our close-up look at the Redmi Note 7 and the bumper case.

Next Page > Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 – Up Close, Key Features

 

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The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Up Close!

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 (Price Check) has a new design build around a large 6.3-inch Dot Drop display.

This display has a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2380 pixels, and covers 84% of the NTSC colour gamut!

The Redmi Note 7 is protected in the front and back by Corning Gorilla Glass 5, which allows it to survive a 1.6 meter drop up 80% of the time!

Disappointingly, the bundled TPU bumper case was neither well-designed. It lacks an oleophobic coating and so is easily-smudged by fingerprints.

Critically, it does not protect the display or the camera bump at all, as the final part of this video will show. It can only protect against falls on the sides of the phone…

On the left side, you will only find the SIM tray.

The Power and Volume control buttons are both located on the right side.

The 3.5 mm audio port is located at the top – the most ideal location. Xiaomi also retained the IR emitter, so you can use it as a remote control!

We are very glad that Xiaomi chose to use the newer, bidirectional Type C USB port, instead of the old micro-USB port.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 (Price Check) is not water-resistant, but has watertight seals for its buttons and ports to reduce the impact of accidental water splashes.

 

Dot Drop Display

Covering most of the front is a large 6.3-inch IPS display with what Xiaomi calls a “dot drop” notch.

The display has a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels, with a pixel density of 409 ppi.

It boasts a high contrast ratio of 1500:1, with a wide colour gamut of 84% of NTSC.

The dot drop notch allows for a larger display area, specifically space for more notifications. Barring the complete removal of the notch, this is about as good as it gets!

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Qualcomm Snapdragon 660

Launched in May 2017, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 is a powerful mid-range mobile SoC. It combines eight Qualcomm Kryo 260 processor cores, with an Adreno 512 GPU, a Snapdragon X12 modem, a Spectra 160 camera ISP and a Hexagon 680 DSP.

 

There are two processor clusters – a high-performance cluster of four Kryo 260 Gold cores running at 2.2 GHz, and a low-power cluster of four Kryo 260 Silver cores running at 1.84 GHz. The Kryo 260 Gold is a semi-custom version of the Cortex-A73, while the Kryo 260 Silver is a semi-custom version of the Cortex A53.

Performance-wise, the Snapdragon 660 is up to 20% faster in processor performance than the previous year’s Snapdragon 653, and up to 30% faster in graphics performance.

 

13 MP + 48 MP Cameras

Hidden in the dot drop notch is a 13 MP front camera. It can capture high-resolution photos but is limited to 720p videos.

At the back, it boasts a new 48 MP main camera built around the Samsung ISOCELL Bright GM1 BSI (backside illuminated) CMOS sensor. It has a bright and wide f/1.8 aperture, and is supported by a 5 MP depth sensor and a single LED flash.

The ISOCELL GM1 sensor supports the Samsung Tetracell technology, allowing it to merge four pixels into one large 1.6 μm pixel. This allows it to greatly increase light sensitivity in low-light conditions, delivering 12 MP pictures that are much brighter and clearer.

The depth sensor does not actually take any pictures. Instead, it lets the camera to more accurately differentiate the subject from its background, allowing for more realistic software bokeh effects.

There is no optical image stabilisation, but the camera supports electronic image stabilisation (EIS).

Next Page > More Features, Setup, Battery Life + Recharging Speed

 

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Fast Fingerprint Sensor

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 (Price Check) has a fast fingerprint sensor located at the back, just adjacent to the rear camera bump.

In our tests, it was very fast and accurate, taking only 10 finger presses to record a fingerprint. It also supports 360-degree recognition, which makes it easy to activate.

The Redmi Note 7 does not support facial recognition, so the only alternatives to using the fingerprint sensor is to draw a pattern, or key in a PIN or password.

 

Hybrid SIM Tray

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 (Price Check) supports Dual SIM, Dual Standby capability. However, it only comes with a hybrid SIM tray.

The hybrid SIM tray allows the second nano SIM slot to double as a microSD slot. You can either use two nano SIM cards, or one nano SIM card with a microSD card.

 

Ergonomics

Thanks to its Dot Drop notch, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 (Price Check) is not a large device. In fact, it is about the same size as the Realme 3, and approximately the size of a traditional 5.7-inch device. This is why it fits even smaller hands and pockets.

The Redmi Note 7 has a nice 6.3-inch IPS display with a Full HD+ resolution of  1080 x 2340 pixels. That gives it an ultra-wide / ultra-tall 19:9 aspect ratio, which will result in some pillarboxing – a black bar will be present on the left and right sides of the video clip.

 

Setting Up The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 (Price Check) runs on Android 9.0 Pie, so it is really easy to setup. It should take you no more than 7 minutes to set it up as a new device.

 

Available Memory & Storage

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 (Price Check) comes with memory options of 3 GB and 4 GB of LPDDR4x memory. Our review sample came with the full 4 GB. MIUI 10.2 does not allow us to check the amount of free memory, but we used AIDA64 to confirm that it has 2.23 GB (55%) of free memory.

This is eerily similar to the Realme 3. If you opt for the 3 GB model, you will probably have 1.23 GB of available memory to use. That’s still more RAM than entry-level smartphones come with!

Xiaomi offers three storage options globally – 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB. Our review sample came with 64 GB, of which just under 52 GB (81%) is available for use.

This is enough space to store about 14,000 photos or 6.5 hours of 1080p videos. If that’s not enough, you can top it up with a microSD card (up to 256 GB).

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Battery Life

We tested the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7’s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

Work 2.0 Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 OPPO R17 Pro Realme 3 Honor Play
Battery Capacity 4,000 mAh 3,700 mAh 4,230 mAh 3,750 mAh
Battery Life 12 hours 19 mins 11 hours 54 mins 10 hours 35 mins 9 hours 56 mins
Battery Utilisation 5.41 mAh / min. 5.18 mAh / min. 6.66 mAh / min. 6.29 mAh / min.
Review Links   OPPO R17 Pro
Review
Realme 3
Review
Honor Play
Review
Price Check MY MY | US MY MY | US | UK

Thanks to its large 4,000 mAh battery, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 (Price Check) has a battery that exceeds 12 hours! This is not just screen-on time. It’s running the Work 2.0 benchmark over, and over again, for over 12.25 hours!

This is really surprising, because the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 is 2 years old, and is known for its higher power consumption. The same processor was used in the Realme 2 Pro, which lasted only 7 hours with a 3,500 mAh battery!

 

Battery Recharging Performance

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 (Price Check) supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 4, which allows for faster charging.

It comes with the MDY-09-EW fast charger with a 10 watt power output. Let’s see how fast it recharges the 4,000 mAh battery!

Recharging Speed OPPO R17 Pro Honor Play Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Realme 3
Battery Capacity 3,700 mAh 3,750 mAh 4,000 mAh 4,230 mAh
Charger Output 50 Watts 18 Watts 10 Watts 10 Watts
Recharging Time 33 Minutes 92 mins 133 minutes 190 minutes
Recharging Speed 90 mAh / minute 32.6 mAh/ / minute 24.0 mAh / minute 17.8 mAh / minute
Review Links OPPO R17 Pro
Review
Honor Play
Review
  Realme 3
Review
Price Check MY | US MY | US | UK MY MY

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 (Price Check) took 2 hours and 13 minutes (133 minutes) to recharge its battery from 20% to 100%.

This is good performance for its 10 watt charger, recharging its battery 35% faster than the Realme 3‘s 10 watt charger.

Its battery life : recharging ratio of 5.6 : 1 is pretty good. A rule of thumb – for one hour of battery life, you will need to charge it for 11 minutes.

Next Page > Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Photo + Video Samples

 

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Camera Performance – Photo Samples

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 (Price Check) has a 48 MP main camera with a bright f/1.8 aperture, and a 5 MP depth sensor.

The ultra-high resolution sensor has pretty small pixels – just 0.4 µm in size, so by default, Xiaomi combines them to form a very large 1.6 µm pixel for a reduced 12 MP photo resolution.

At the default 12 MP resolution, the photos are 4000 x 3000 pixels in size, with file sizes between 3.5 MB and 6 MB.

Here are 10 high-resolution unedited photo samples for you to check out. Click on them to load the full-sized photos. You can also download them to examine up close.

The image quality was excellent, and it was more so at night – the details captured were crisp and clean of noise. However, note again that they were taken at the default 12 MP resolution.

There are some caveats though. The wide f/1.8 aperture naturally creates a narrow depth of field, with a nice bokeh effect. But in many cases, you will end up with an out-of-focus subject because of two issues :

  • trouble autofocusing on the subject in some cases, and
  • the inability to focus at short distances

In other words, it cannot take macro or close-up shots. You need to put some distance between the camera and your subject.

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Camera Performance – Video Samples

Despite its ultra-high resolution 48 MP sensor, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 (Price Check) only supports 1080p video recording. Here are two video samples.

Video Sample #1 : Piano Performance

Despite being limited to 1080p, we liked how it is at least electronically-stabilised, which makes for a shake-free video.

The Redmi Note 7 keeps a good focus on the pianist, Mr. Yang I-Deun, who is well-exposed. However, you can see that bright background is over-exposed and washed-out.

Its audio recording was pretty good. It was a little bright, but had a much wider range than we would expect from a smartphone at this price range. It also had pretty decent noise cancellation capability.

Video Sample #2 : Street Market

Thanks to its electronic image stabilisation (EIS) capability, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 delivers a pretty smooth, jerk-free video as we walked through the street market.

Although noise cancellation was pretty good, we noted some wind noise. Still, it was better than what we would expect at this price point.

Next Page > Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Performance, Verdict, Price + Availability

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

We tested the Redmi Note 7’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browsing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 2.0 Realme 3 Honor Play OPPO R17 Pro Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
Performance Score 7309 7361 6475 6415
Web Browsing 7779 7695 6572 5684
Video Editing 5292 5499 5387 5099
Writing 7479 6649 5617 6433
Photo Editing 13871 13326 10740 11091
Data Manipulation 4921 5764 5331 5255
Review Links Realme 3
Review
Honor Play
Review
OPPO R17 Pro
Review
 
Price Check MY MY | US | UK MY | US MY

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7’s Snapdragon 660 held up pretty well, considering it is a two-year old platform. In fact, it was just a little slower than the newer Snapdragon 710 that powers the OPPO R17 Pro.

 

Gaming Performance – 3DMark

We then tested the Redmi Note 7’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

Ice Storm Unlimited Honor Play Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Realme 3 OPPO R17 Pro
Gaming Score 31622 26746 20205 15354
Graphics 37351 29525 19444 15788
Physics 20576 20118 23414 14005
Graphics Test 1 208.9 fps 164.1 fps 119.9 fps 136.5 fps
Graphics Test 2 132.8 fps 105.4 fps 65.3 fps 45.8 fps
Physics Test 65.3 fps 63.9 fps 74.3 fps 44.5 fps
Review Links Honor Play
Review
  Realme 3
Review
OPPO R17 Pro
Review
Price Check MY | US | UK MY MY MY | US

Despite its age, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 is still good for gaming. It actually beat the MediaTek Helio P60 that powers the Realme 3 by 32%, and was just 15% slower than the Honor Play‘s Kirin 970.

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Our Verdict

Xiaomi has always had the reputation for creating smartphones with exceptional value, and excellent design. Yet they seemed to have stumbled with the design of the Redmi Note 7, and its bumper case.

The large camera bump is so 2015, and the subdued colour gradient looks flat. The cheaper Realme 3 actually looked more premium! Even worse, the bundled bumper case fails to protect the camera bump or even the display.

But Xiaomi did not disappoint when it came to delivering value, and the Redmi Note 7 delivers it aplenty!

Not only does it come with a large 6.3-inch IPS display with Full HD+ resolution, both the front and back are protected by Gorilla Glass 5.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 (Price Check) also boasts an ultra-high resolution 48 MP main camera, paired with a 5 MP depth sensor. Can you name another smartphone in the same price range with such a high-resolution camera?

Sure, it does not support 4K video recording, but at least it supports electronic image stabilisation which allows you to record smooth, jerk-free videos.

It also comes with a large 4,000 mAh battery that lasts over 12 hours in our tests. This is despite using a 14 nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 mobile SoC, which is known to be a little power-hungry.

If you are looking for a mid-range smartphone with a 48 MP main camera at less than RM 1,000 / $240 / £190 / €215, there is really only one choice – the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7!

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Price + Availability

Xiaomi is offering three Redmi Note 7 models :

  • 3 GB RAM + 32 GB storage : RM 679 / ~US$ 167 / ~£126
  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 799 / ~US$ 196 / ~£148
  • 4 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : RM 949 / ~US$ 233 / ~£176Xiaomi

Here are some direct purchase links :

Sales kicked off on 27 March 2019, with three colour options – Space Black, Neptune Blue and Nebula Red.

For the first time ever, Xiaomi will cover the Note 7 with an exclusive 18-month warranty!

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > First PageMobile Devices | Home

 

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The Realme 2 Pro In-Depth Review – Max Power, Max Style!

The Realme 2 Pro is a new mid-range smartphone that promises Max Power, Max Style. It’s a shot across the bow of other smartphone brands, with its combination of performance, features, looks and incredible price point.

In our in-depth review, we will take a close look at the Realme 2 Pro, and show you why this mid-range smartphone is taking the industry by storm!

 

The Realme 2 Pro Tech Briefing!

Here is the official Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) tech briefing in Jakarta. Unfortunately, it’s in Indonesian, but the slides are still informative.

 

Realme 2 Pro, Realme 2 and Realme C1 Comparison

Realme launched three smartphones in Jakarta – the Realme 2 Pro, the Realme 2, and the Realme C1. Here is a comparison of the three models, which look quite similar :

 

Realme 2 Pro Price + Deals

The Realme 2 Pro is now available in both Indonesia and Malaysia.

Indonesia

Sales began at 11 AM on 23 October 2018, at the following prices :

  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : Rp 2,899,000 (~US$ 191 / ~£144 / ~RM 792)
  • 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : Rp 3,299,000 (~US$ 217 / ~£164 / ~RM 902)
  • 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : Rp 3,699,000 (~US$ 244 / ~£184 / ~RM 1,011)

Malaysia

Sales began on 7 November 2018, at the following prices :

  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 849 (~US$ 204 / ~£155)
  • 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 949 (~US$ 228 / ~£174)
  • 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : RM 1,099 (~US$ 264 / ~£201)

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However, Shopee will offer the Realme 2 Pro at these special prices on 28 November 2018 :

  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 799 (~US$ 192 / ~£146)
  • 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 899 (~US$ 216 / ~£164)
  • 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : RM 999 (~US$ 240 / ~£183)

If you are interested to purchase the Realme 2 Pro at the awesome 12/12 deal, stake out this page!

 

Unboxing The Realme 2 Pro

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) is not available for sale yet, but we were one of the few to receive the first retail units. Let’s unbox it and see what we find inside!

Once you fully unbox the Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia), you will find the following items :

  • One Realme 2 Pro smartphone
  • One Realme 2 Pro clear TPU bumper case
  • One Realme 2 Pro warranty card
  • One 10 watt Realme USB charger
  • One microUSB 2.0 cable
  • One SIM card tray extractor pin

Next Page > The Realme 2 Pro Up Close + Specifications

 

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The Realme 2 Pro Up Close!

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) has a very large 6.3-inch Full HD+ display, that is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. It has a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels, and a dewdrop notch, giving it a 90.8% screen-to-body ratio.

It also boasts a great-looking 15-laminate glass back that sounds and looks exactly like honor’s Aurora Glass. The only downside with all glass backs – it’s highly susceptible to smudges.

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, which has eight Qualcomm Kryo 260 cores that run at up to 2.2 GHz. Graphics processing is handled by the Qualcomm Adreno 512 GPU, and it comes equipped with the Qualcomm All-Ways Aware sensor hub and the Qualcomm AI Engine.

Realme did not skimp on memory, equipping the Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) with the 4 GB, 6 GB or 8 GB of the latest LPDDR4x memory.  They were also generous with its storage – offering either 64 GB of eMMC 5.1 flash storage, or 128 GB of UFS 2.1 flash storage.

All that is powered by a 3,500 mAh battery, packed in a chassis that is only 8.5 mm thick, and weighs just under 175 grams. It is recharged by a 10 watt fast charger. Here are Realme’s lab test results on its battery :

Standby 16.5 hours
Music Playing (WiFi) 12 hours
Video Playback (WiFi) 10 hours
Surfing the Internet (WiFi) 12.5 hours

Although the smartphone industry is moving towards USB Type C ports, the Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) uses the good old micro USB 2.0 port. While not bidirectional, it is compatible with existing USB cables and accessories – a key consideration for the market it’s targeted at.

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Realme 2 Pro Specifications

SpecificationsRealme 2 Pro
Display6.3-inch display
- 1080 x 2340 pixels
- 19:9 aspect ratio, 409 ppi
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 with ColorOS 5.1
PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 660
Processor4 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 Gold cores (2.2 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 Silver cores (1.84 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 512
Memory4 GB / 6 GB / 8 GB LPDDR4x SDRAM
Storage64 GB eMMC 5.1 flash storage, OR
128 GB UFS 2.1 flash storage
microSD card (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera16 MP image sensor with f/2.0 lens
Rear Camera16 MP Sony IMX398 image sensor with f/1.7 lens
2 MP depth sensor with f/2.4 lens
Single LED flash
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear-mounted
Other SensorsLight & distance sensor, acceleration sensor, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor
NFCNot available
Battery3,500 mAh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions74.0 mm wide
156.7 mm tall
8.5 mm thick
Weight174 g
Available ColoursBlack Sea, Blue Ocean, Ice Lake

Next Page > The Realme 2 Pro Key Features

 

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Dewdrop Notch

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) has a bezel-less display, with a dewdrop notch (also known as a teardrop notch). It requires a good deal of engineering prowess to squeeze in a front camera, a light sensor, a proximity sensor, and a speaker into the tiny notch.

The dewdrop notch allows for a larger display area, specifically space for more notifications. Barring the complete removal of the notch, this is about as good as it gets!

 

Qualcomm Snapdragon 660

Launched in May 2017, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 is a powerful mid-range mobile SoC. It combines eight Qualcomm Kryo 260 processor cores, with an Adreno 512 GPU, a Snapdragon X12 modem, a Spectra 160 camera ISP and a Hexagon 680 DSP.

 

There are two processor clusters – a high-performance cluster of four Kryo 260 Gold cores running at 2.2 GHz, and a low-power cluster of four Kryo 260 Silver cores running at 1.84 GHz. The Kryo 260 Gold is a semi-custom version of the Cortex-A73, while the Kryo 260 Silver is a semi-custom version of the Cortex A53.

Performance-wise, the Snapdragon 660 is up to 20% faster in processor performance than the previous year’s Snapdragon 653, and up to 30% faster in graphics performance.

 

The Realme 2 Pro Cameras

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) has a very high-resolution 16 MP front camera, with a bright and wide f/2.0 aperture. It takes photos with a resolution of 4608 x 3456 pixels. Realme did not reveal the sensor model, but it’s quite likely the Sony IMX398.

Note : You can see the row of tiny speaker ports  right above the front camera.

In the back, the Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) has a dual-lens camera, supported by a single LED flash. It is made up of an image camera with a 16 MP Sony IMX398 sensor and a very wide f/1.7 aperture, paired with a 2 MP depth sensor and a f/2.4 aperture.

This dual-lens camera does not have optical image stabilisation, but supports electronic image stabilisation (EIS). The depth sensor does not actually take any pictures. Instead, it lets the camera to more accurately differentiate the subject from its background, allowing for more realistic software bokeh effects.

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Fast Fingerprint Sensor

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) comes with a fast FPC 102x fingerprint sensor located at the back. In our tests, it is very fast and accurate, supporting 360-degree recognition.

In addition to the fingerprint sensor, the Realme 2 Pro also supports face recognition, and of course, the good old 6-digit passcode.

Next Page > More Realme 2 Pro Key Features

 

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Triple Card Tray

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) has Dual SIM, Dual Standby capabilities, with support for 4G on both SIMs. It also supports the addition of a microSD card, for additional storage of up to 512 GB.

It comes with a triple card tray, so you can insert a microSD card while still using two nano SIM cards. In other words, you get to have your cake and eat it too!

 

The Ergonomics

Despite its notch, the Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) feels like the Samsung Galaxy S9+. In fact, they both have the same width and thickness. Even with its slightly larger 6.3-inch display, the Realme 2 Pro is actually a wee bit shorter than the Galaxy S9+.

Thanks to its bezel-less display and elongated design, it feels smaller than the 5.5″ Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, and even 5.2″ smartphones like HTC 10. This is why it fits even smaller hands well, and fits better in smaller pockets.

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) has a nice 6.3-inch IPS display with a Full HD+ resolution of  1080 x 2340 pixels. That gives it an ultra-wide / ultra-tall 19:9 aspect ratio, which will result in some pillar boxing – a black bar will be present on the left and right sides of the video clip.

 

Setting Up The Realme 2 Pro

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) comes with Android 8.1.0 Oreo installed. The setup process is pretty easy, as we demonstrate in this video. You can also see how easy it is to train the fingerprint sensor.

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Available Memory & Storage

Realme offers the Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) with memory options of 4 GB, 6 GB and 8 GB of LPDDR4x memory. Our review sample came with the full 8 GB. Its ColorOS 5.2 does not allow us to check the amount of free memory, but we used AIDA64 to confirm that it has 5 GB of free memory.

With ColorOS and background apps taking up 3 GB of RAM, that is a lot of bloat… eerily similar to the Samsung Galaxy S9+. But with 5 GB of free memory, you really have nothing to worry about. Even the Galaxy S9+, a premium flagship smartphone, only has 3 GB of free memory!

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) also comes with either 64 GB of eMMC 5.1 flash storage, or 128 GB of the faster UFS 2.1 flash storage. Our model came with 128 GB, of which 103 GB is free to use.

This is enough space to store about 24,000 photos, or 11 hours of 1080p videos, or 5.5 hours of 4K videos. If that’s not enough, you can top it up with a microSD card (up to 256 GB).

Next Page > Realme 2 Pro Camera Performance – Photo + Video

 

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Realme 2 Pro Camera Performance – Photos

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) has a very capable dual-lens camera with the excellent 16 MP Sony IMX398 sensor and a very wide and fast f/1.7 aperture. You can think of it as a lower-resolution cousin of the new Samsung Galaxy A7 2018‘s triple-lens camera, sans the wide-angle camera.

The maximum 16 MP resolution is attained with the 4:3 aspect ratio, with 4608 x 3456 pixels, and a file size of between 4 MB and 6 MB.

Here are eight high-resolution unedited samples for you to check out. Click on them to load the full-sized photos, which you can also download to examine.

The resolution and detail of the photos are incredible. You can really see the detail of flower carpel and petals, the individual buds of the broccoli florets, and the texture of the grains. The colour reproduction was also excellent – not just vivid, but also accurate.

The f/1.7 aperture naturally creates a very narrow depth of field, with a nicer bokeh effect. But you have to be more careful in framing the shot, because the subject may end up out-of-focus. Notice how quickly the rest of the picture is out-of-focus in the broccoli and star anise pictures.

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Realme 2 Pro Camera Performance – Video Recording

Surprisingly, the Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) supports 4K, as well as 1080p, video recording. Even more expensive models like the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 do not offer 4K video recording.

Video Recording Test #1 : Piano Performance (1080p)

In this video, you can see the amount of detail the sensor captures, even at just 1080p. Its cameras do not support OIS (optical image stabilisation), but it fortunately supports electronic image stabilisation capability.

Noise cancellation was decent, but the audio was too bright and lack bass and range. That said, this is very good performance for a mid-range smartphone.

Video Recording Test #2 : Piano Performance (4K)

First thing you will notice is that electronic image stabilisation (EIS) seems to be disabled or less effective in 4K. You will also notice the greater amount of detail recorded in each frame. Note too how its  was able to control the bright highlights.

Video Recording Test #3 : Street Market (1080p)

As you can see, the Realme 2 Pro has good electronic image stabilisation, thanks to its high resolution sensor and fast processor.

Video Recording Test #3 : Street Market (4K)

But when we switched to 4K, it no longer had electronic image stabilisation, so the video was noticeably jerky.

Next Page > Realme 2 Pro Work + Gaming Performance, Battery Life + Recharging Performance

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

We tested the Realme 2 Pro’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browsing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 2.0 Realme 2 Pro Honor Play Honor 10 Samsung Galaxy A7 2018
Performance Score
(Average)
7842 7361 7106 5379
Web Browsing 7863 7695 7295 5278
Video Editing 6756 5499 5159 4413
Writing 6498 6649 6752 5056
Photo Editing 16030 13326 12910 7427
Data Manipulation 5359 5764 5524 5147
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The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) was superb in this test, with its Snapdragon 660 beating even the Honor Play and Honor 10‘s Kirin 970 flagship SoC. It was, amazingly, 45% faster than the the new Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 in this test.

 

Gaming Performance – 3DMark

We tested the Realme 2 Pro’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

Ice Storm Unlimited Honor Play Honor 10 Realme 2 Pro Samsung Galaxy A7 2018
Gaming Score 31622 30560 24812 15354
Graphics 37351 34801 26455 15788
Physics 20576 21423 20383 14005
Graphics Test 1 208.9 fps 206.2 fps 147.4 fps 136.5 fps
Graphics Test 2 132.8 fps 119.5 fps 94.3 fps 45.8 fps
Physics Test 65.3 fps 68.0 fps 64.7 fps 44.5 fps
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The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) had pretty good gaming performance. It was only about 20% slower than the Honor Play and Honor 10, which boast a 12-core GPU; and a whopping 62% faster than the Galaxy A7 2018‘s dual-core GPU.

 

Battery Life – PCMark

We then tested the Realme 2 Pro’s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

Work 2.0 Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Honor Play Honor 10 Realme 2 Pro
Battery Life 10 hours 25 mins 9 hours 56 mins 8 hours 56 mins 6 hours 58 mins
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Despite its rather larger 3,500 mAh battery, the Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) had a battery life just shy of 7 hours. Note that this is not just screen-on time. It’s running the Work 2.0 benchmark over, and over again, for 7 hours!

The new Samsung Galaxy A7 2018, in comparison, has a 50% longer battery life even though it only has a smaller 3,300 mAh battery.

A major reason is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660. It is a powerful mid-range chip, but built on the older 14 nm process technology. That means it consumes more power than newer chips built on 10 nm or even 7 nm process technologies.

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Battery Recharging Performance

The Realme 2 Pro comes with a 10 watt fast charger. Let’s take a look at how fast it recharges the 3,500 mAh battery.

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) took just over 2 hours (122 minutes) to recharge its battery from 20% to 100%. This is an average performance, considering it’s using a 10 watt charger.

Its battery life : recharging ratio of 3.9 : 1 is also average. A rule of thumb – for one hour of battery life, charge it for 15.5 minutes.

The fastest recharging happened up to the 85% level. This took just 68 minutes. Then the recharging speed slowed down, and it took an astounding 54 minutes to top up the remaining 15%.

Next Page > Realme 2 Pro – Our Verdict + Award, Price + Deals

 

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Our Verdict + Award

When the Realme 2 Pro debuted in Jakarta, it received a thunderous response. And why not? It offered a ton of great features in a very classy bezel-less metal + glass design, at incredibly low price points.

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) comes with a very large 6.3-inch bezel-less display with a very small dewdrop notch. This is what you would expect in a smartphone that costs at least twice as much.

It also comes with generous amounts of fast RAM and storage. You can opt for 4 GB or 6 GB or even 8 GB of the latest LPDDR4x memory. It comes with a minimum of 64 GB of storage, with a 128 GB option. All without breaking the bank!

Realme did not skimp in the photographic department either. The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) comes with a high-resolution 16 MP front camera with a fast and bright f/2.0 lens.

In the back, it has a dual-lens camera that boasts an impressive 16 MP Sony IMX398 image sensor with a very bright f/1.7 lens. It is supported by a 2 MP depth sensor, allowing it to deliver more realistic software bokeh effects. The result – incredibly good photos worthy of smartphones that cost 2-3X as much!

If that’s not impressive enough, we should point out that it even supports 4K video recording! Albeit, without electronic image stabilisation. Still, this is a feature you wouldn’t expect in this price range!

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) also has good work and gaming performance, handily beating even the new Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 in both aspects.

Of course, it has some limitations. For one thing – it has rather poor battery life – lasting just under 7 hours in our stress test. It also has rather slow recharging performance. To be more accurate, recharging up to 85% is fast, but topping up to 100% takes a long time.

But if you can live with its limited battery life, and don’t mind taking a longer time to recharge, the Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) is an incredibly great deal. So many flagship-class features in such a slim and beautiful metal and glass body, and offered at such incredible price points. What is there not to like?

That’s why we have no qualms awarding it our Editor’s Choice Award! Congratulations, Realme!

 

Realme 2 Pro Price + Deals

The Realme 2 Pro is now available in both Indonesia and Malaysia.

Indonesia

Sales began at 11 AM on 23 October 2018, at the following prices :

  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : Rp 2,899,000 (~US$ 191 / ~£144 / ~RM 792)
  • 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : Rp 3,299,000 (~US$ 217 / ~£164 / ~RM 902)
  • 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : Rp 3,699,000 (~US$ 244 / ~£184 / ~RM 1,011)

Malaysia

Sales began on 7 November 2018, at the following prices :

  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 849 (~US$ 204 / ~£155)
  • 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 949 (~US$ 228 / ~£174)
  • 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : RM 1,099 (~US$ 264 / ~£201)

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However, Shopee will offer the Realme 2 Pro at these special prices on 28 November 2018 :

  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 799 (~US$ 192 / ~£146)
  • 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 899 (~US$ 216 / ~£164)
  • 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : RM 999 (~US$ 240 / ~£183)

If you are interested to purchase the Realme 2 Pro at the awesome 12/12 deal, stake out this page!

 

Recommended Reading

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The 3X Camera Xiaomi Mi A2 Smartphone In-Depth Review!

A year after Xiaomi released their first Android One smartphone – the Mi A1, they released the Xiaomi Mi A2 together with a lower-end Mi A2 Lite model How does it fare, in light of new rivals like the Realme 2 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018Let’s find out in our Xiaomi Mi A2 in-depth review!

 

The Xiaomi Mi A2 Tech Briefing

The new Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) is an Android One device with a traditional rectangular 18:9 display. Powered by the more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, it comes with at least 4 GB of memory but lacks a microSD card slot. Here is an early Xiaomi Mi A2 tech briefing by Allen An.

The lower-end Mi A2 Lite, on the other hand, has a wider 19:9 display with a notch, and is powered by the rather dated Qualcomm Snapdragon 625. It comes with at least 3 GB of memory, and a microSD card slot.

 

Xiaomi Mi A2 Colour Options

The Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) will come in three colours, at least initially – Blue, Black and Gold. Here is a look at all three colours!

Xiaomi Mi A2 Price + Availability

Here is the Xiaomi Mi A2 launch price comparison for a few countries. Please note that the Indian pricing is not yet confirmed, because they have not yet been launched in India.

Model RAM + Storage US Europe China India Malaysia
Mi A2 4 GB + 32 GB $290 €249 Rs 20,000
4 GB + 64 GB $325 €279 RMB 1,599 Rs 22,500 RM 999
6 GB + 128 GB $410 €349 RMB 1,999 Rs 28,100 RM 1,199

Here are some direct purchase links in Malaysia :

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  • Mi A2 (6 GB + 128 GB) : RM1,099
  • Mi A2 (4 GB + 64 GB) : RM899

Here are some direct purchase links in the US :

Here are some direct purchase links in the US :

 

Unboxing The Xiaomi Mi A2

Let’s unbox the Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY), and see what we find inside its white box!

Once you fully unbox the Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY), you will find the following items :

  • One Xiaomi Mi A2 smartphone
  • One Xiaomi Mi A2 TPU bumper case
  • One Xiaomi Mi A2 User Guide
  • One 10 watt Xiaomi USB power adaptor
  • One USB Type C charging and data cable
  • One USB-C to 3.5 mm audio adaptor
  • One SIM tray extractor pin

Next Page > Xiaomi Mi A2 Up Close + Specifications

 

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The Xiaomi Mi A2 Up Close!

The Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) has a 5.99-inch IPS display, with a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels and a 18:9 aspect ratio. The display is protected by Gorilla Glass 5, while the metal body has a matte finish that is resistant to fingerprint smears.

It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 – a mid-range SoC with four Qualcomm Kryo 260 Gold high-speed cores running at 2.2 GHz, and four Qualcomm Kryo 260 Silver low-power cores running at 1.8 GHz. It also comes with the fast Qualcomm Adreno 512 GPU.

The Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) comes with either 4 GB or 6 GB of memory and 32 GB, 64 GB or 128 GB of internal storage. Our review sample is the mid-range model with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. It has a longish model name of M180402SG.

All that is powered by a 3,000 mAh lithium-ion battery, in a thin metal chassis that is only 7.3 mm thick, and weighs just 166 grams. We are glad to report that it has the new USB Type C port, and comes with a 10 watt USB charger.

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Xiaomi Mi A2 Specifications

Here are the specifications of the Xiaomi Mi A2 and the Mi A2 Lite compared!

SpecificationsXiaomi Mi A2Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite
Display5.99-inch IPS display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels (403 ppi)
5.84-inch IPS display
- 1080 x 2280 pixels (432 ppi)
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 5Unknown
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 8.1 Oreo
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 660Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
Processor4 x Kryo 260 Gold (2.2 GHz)
4 x Kryo 260 Silver (1.8 GHz)
8 x ARM Cortex-A53 (up to 2.0 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 512Qualcomm Adreno 506
Memory4 GB LPDDR4X SDRAM3 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM
Storage64 GB internal storage
No microSD card slot
32 GB internal storage
microSD card slot
Front Camera20 MP IMX376 sensor with f/1.75 lens
- single LED flash
- 1080p @ 30 fps video
5 MP sensor with f/2.2 lens
- 1080p @ 30 fps video
Rear CameraDual Lens Camera
Main Camera : 12 MP Sony IMX486 sensor with f/1.75 lens
Low-Light Camera : 20 MP IMX376 sensor with f/1.75 lens
- PDAF capability
- Dual-tone LED flash
- 2160p @ 30 fps video
12 MP Sony IMX486 sensor with f/1.8 lens and PDAF capability
5 MP depth sensor with f/2.2 lens
- Dual-tone LED flash
- 2160p @ 30 fps video
ConnectivityWiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
USB : USB 2.0 Type C
WiFi : 802.11/b/g/n (dual band)
Bluetooth : BT 4.2
USB : microUSB 2.0
RadioNoNo
GPSWith A-GPS, GLONASS, BeidouWith A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
Infra-red EmitterYesYes
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear MountedYes, Rear Mounted
Other SensorsAccelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, CompassAccelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Compass
Battery3,000 mAh lithium-ion4,000 mAh lithium-ion
Dimensions75.4 mm wide
158.7 mm tall
7.3 mm thick
71.6 mm wide
149.3 mm tall
8.7 mm thick
Weight166 g178 g
Available ColoursBlack, Gold, Blue, Red, Rose GoldBlack, Gold, Lake Blue

Next Page > Xiaomi Mi A2 Key Features

 

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Qualcomm Snapdragon 660

Launched in May 2017, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 is a powerful mid-range mobile SoC. It combines eight Qualcomm Kryo 260 processor cores, with an Adreno 512 GPU, a Snapdragon X12 modem, a Spectra 160 camera ISP and a Hexagon 680 DSP.

 

There are two processor clusters – a high-performance cluster of four Kryo 260 Gold cores running at 2.2 GHz, and a low-power cluster of four Kryo 260 Silver cores running at 1.84 GHz. The Kryo 260 Gold is a semi-custom version of the Cortex-A73, while the Kryo 260 Silver is a semi-custom version of the Cortex A53.

Performance-wise, the Snapdragon 660 is up to 20% faster in processor performance than the previous year’s Snapdragon 653, and up to 30% faster in graphics performance.

 

The Xiaomi Mi A2 Cameras

The Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) boasts a very high-resolution front camera, with a 20 MP Sony IMX376 image sensor. Its very bright f/1.75 lens lets you take great selfies even in less-than-ideal conditions. And when it gets very dark, it even has a dedicated LED flash to make sure you can capture a selfie!

At the back, the Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) has a dual camera system. Its main camera has a 12 MP Sony IMX486 PDAF sensor, with a f/1.75 lens. It also has a low-light camera that pairs a 20 MP Sony IMX376 sensor with f/1.75 lens. They are supported by a dual-tone LED flash.

The pairing of a high-resolution 12 MP main camera, with a higher-resolution 20 MP low light camera, is a curious choice. Let’s take a look at this comparison of three figurines in very low-light conditions :

Despite having the same f/1.75 apertures, and smaller pixels, the 20 MP low light camera does indeed have superior low light performance./

Unfortunately, the low-light camera must be activated manually using the Manual option. It doesn’t automatically get selected when you use the other camera options. And there does not seem to be an option to use it to record low-light videos.

 

Fingerprint Sensor

The Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) uses the FPC 102x fingerprint sensor located at the back. In our tests, it is very fast and accurate, supporting 360-degree recognition.

Surprisingly, the Mi A2 does not support face recognition login, only Swipe, Pattern, PIN code and password. So the fingerprint sensor is going to be really handy for fast logins.

Next Page > What’s Missing? How To Setup, Free Memory + Storage

 

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No 3.5 mm Audio Port

Although it is physically possible to squeeze in a 3.5 mm audio port into the Mi A2’s thin 7.3 mm chassis, Xiaomi chose to limited the 3.5 mm port.

Instead, they included a USB-C to 3.5 mm audio port adaptor. This allows you to continue plugging in your earphones and hands-free kit. You just cannot use them while charging your Mi A2 at the same time.

 

No MicroSD Card Slot

The Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) has Dual SIM, Dual Standby support, with a SIM tray that accepts two nano SIM cards. However, they chose to eliminate the microSD card slot. They did not even make SIM2 a hybrid SIM slot, that could double as a microSD card slot.

That means you must rely solely on the internal flash storage – there is no way to expand storage in the Mi A2. This is something iPhone users will be familiar with, but not Android users.

So unless you don’t intend to take many photos or videos, or install many apps or games, you should opt for the higher storage capacities of 64 GB or 128 GB.

 

Setting Up The Xiaomi Mi A2

The Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) comes with Android 8.1 Oreo installed. The setup process is pretty easy, as we demonstrate in this video. You can also see how easy it is to train the fingerprint sensor.

 

Available Memory & Storage

Xiaomi offers the Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) with either 4 GB or 6 GB of RAM. Our review sample came with 4 GB of RAM. MIUI does not allow us to check the amount of free memory, except through the hidden Developer Options.

From what we can see, about half of the memory is used at all times by MIUI and background apps, leaving you about 2 GB of free memory to use. That is good enough for a few memory guzzling apps to use.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) has storage options of 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB. We highly recommend you opt for 64 GB or 128 GB, because it does not come with a microSD card slot, so you can’t add more storage. Our review sample came with 64 GB of storage, of which just over 48 GB is available to use.

This is enough space to store about 12,000 photos, or 5 hours of 1080p videos, or 2.5 hours of 4K videos. If that’s not enough, then you should opt for the 128 GB storage option. Remember – there is no microSD card expansion option.

Next Page > Xiaomi Mi A2 Camera Performance – Photo Samples

 

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Xiaomi Mi A2 Camera Performance – Photo Samples

The Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) has a very capable 12 MP main camera, with the new Sony IMX486 PDAF image sensor and a very bright f/1.75 lens.

The maximum 12 MP resolution is attained with the 4:3 aspect ratio, with 4000 x 3000 pixels, and a file size of between 4 MB and 7 MB.

Here are six high-resolution unedited samples for you to check out. Click on them to load the full-sized photos, which you can also download to examine.

The resolution of the Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) is really amazing. It managed to capture the intricate details of the broccoli florets, the grape stems, and even the texture of the tiny white pepper seeds. The colours are also very nice – vivid but not excessive to the point they become unrealistic.

The wide f/1.75 aperture naturally creates a very narrow depth of field, with a nicer bokeh effect. But you have to be more careful in framing the shot, because the subject may end up out-of-focus.

Here are additional Mi A2 photo samples taken by Xiaomi’s Allen An using its 12 MP main camera.

And here are two more Mi A2 photo samples taken using its 20 MP low-light camera with Super Pixel capability.

Next Page > Xiaomi Mi A2 Camera Performance – Video Samples

 

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Xiaomi Mi A2 Camera Performance – Video Samples

We are glad to report that Xiaomi did not cripple the Mi A2’s awesome main camera in any way, allowing it to record up to 4K videos at 30 fps. However, they do not allow you to use the low-light camera in the back to record any video, and they limit the high-resolution 20 MP front camera to recording only 1080p videos.

Video Recording Test #1 : Piano Performance (1080p)

Look at the detail captured by the Sony IMX486 sensor in this video. Even at 1080p, it’s amazing how much detail you can see in the video. The camera does not support optical image stabilisation (OIS), but its electronic image stabilisation (EIS) capability works great.

We, however, want to point out some focus and exposure issues which detracts from an excellent camera performance. In addition, Xiaomi went overboard with their noise cancellation – the audio range is unnaturally thin and overly bright.

Video Recording Test #2 : Piano Performance (4K)

The resolution is really incredible at 4K, but notice how theXiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) loses its electronic image stabilisation capability. This is a shame, because the Snapdragon 660 should be fast enough to handle electronic image stabilisation…

Video Recording Test #3 : Street Market (1080p)

As this video shows, the Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) has very good electronic image stabilisation, when you are recording 1080p videos. Noise cancellation is very good, although the resulting audio range is too bright and lacks bass.

Video Recording Test #4 : Street Market (4K)

Once you switch to 4K video recording, the Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) loses its electronic image stabilisation capabilities. The video is noticeably jerkier…

Next Page > Xiaomi Mi A2 Performance – Work, Gaming, Battery + Recharging Speed

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

We tested the Xiaomi Mi A2’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browsing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 2.0 Xiaomi Mi A2 Realme 2 Pro Honor Play Samsung Galaxy
A7 2018
Performance Score
(Average)
8233 7842 7361 5379
Web Browsing 8543 7863 7695 5278
Video Editing 6356 6756 5499 4413
Writing 7471 6498 6649 5056
Photo Editing 15999 16030 13326 7427
Data Manipulation 5828 5359 5764 5147
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Despite using the same SoC as the Realme 2 Pro, the Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) is 5% faster in the Work 2.0 benchmark. It is also 12% faster than the flagship-class Kirin 970 used in the Honor Play, and a whopping 53% faster than the Samsung Exynos 7885 used in the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018.

 

Gaming Performance – 3DMark

We tested the Xiaomi Mi A2’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

Ice Storm Unlimited Honor Play Xiaomi Mi A2 Realme 2 Pro Samsung
Galaxy
A7 2018
Gaming Score 31622 26731 24812 15354
Graphics 37351 29302 26455 15788
Physics 20576 20452 20383 14005
Graphics Test 1 208.9 fps 162.9 fps 147.4 fps 136.5 fps
Graphics Test 2 132.8 fps 104.6 fps 94.3 fps 45.8 fps
Physics Test 65.3 fps 64.9 fps 64.7 fps 44.5 fps
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The Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) has 8% faster gaming performance than the Realme 2 Pro, despite being powered by the same SoC. This makes it just 15.5% slower than the flagship-class Kirin 970 used in the Honor Play, and 74% faster than the Exynos 7885 used in the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018.

 

Battery Life – PCMark

We then tested the Xiaomi Mi A2’s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

Work 2.0 Samsung Galaxy
A7 2018
Honor Play Realme 2 Pro Xiaomi Mi A2
Battery Life 10 hours 25 mins 9 hours 56 mins 6 hours 58 mins 5 hours 39 mins
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Battery life is a sore point for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660. It is powerful, but it is a 14 nm chip that guzzles power compared to newer chips built on the 10 nm or 12 nm process technology.

Hence, we are not surprised to see the Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) last just over 5.5 hours in our stress test. Let’s remember that it only has a 3,000 mAh battery, while the Realme 2 Pro, which uses the same Snapdragon 660 SoC, comes with a larger 3,500 mAh battery.

 

Battery Recharging Performance

The Xiaomi Mi A2 comes with a 10 watt fast charger. Let’s take a look at how fast it recharges the 3,000 mAh battery.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) took just under 108.5 minutes (1 hour 48.5 minutes) to recharge its battery from 20% to 100%. That’s an average performance, considering it’s using a 10 watt charger.

That is a battery life : recharging ratio of 3:1. A rule of thumb – for one hour of battery life, charge it for 20 minutes.

The fastest recharging happened up to the 90% level. This took just 71 minutes. Then the recharging speed slowed down, and it took a further 37.5 minutes to top up the remaining 10%.

Next Page > Our Verdict, Where To Buy, Recommended Reading

 

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Our Verdict

The Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) continues the Xiaomi DNA of delivering an excellent set of features at a very compelling price point. It combines a powerful Snapdragon 660 platform, with a large Full HD+ display, and three high-resolution cameras. All for less than RM 1,200 / US$ 420.

Their cameras bear special mention, because Xiaomi seemed to pay special attention to them. The main 12 MP camera uses the latest Sony IMX486 PDAF image sensor, while the secondary rear camera and the front camera both use the higher-resolution 20 MP Sony IMX376 image sensor!

Believe it or not, all three cameras are paired with very bright f/1.75 lens. This means they will work very well in less-than-ideal lighting conditions. This puts these cameras on par with those used in many flagship-class smartphones.

And if that’s not enough, the secondary 20 MP rear camera is actually a special low-light camera which actually delivers on its promise of capturing better low-light photos with less noise than is possible with the main 12 MP camera (even though it has larger pixels).

However, we have to wonder if users will really find the low-light camera all that useful. Particularly when it can only be activated in the Manual mode, and cannot be used to record low-light videos. Unless you are into night photography, it is likely that most users will find a telephoto or wide-angle camera far more useful.

We also have to question Xiaomi’s decision to do away with a microSD card slot. Having the option to add a microSD card is more than just saving some money, or the flexibility of adding more storage. It allows users to record their photos and videos directly into a microSD card, preventing them from being lost should they drop the phone into water or physically damage it.

The lack of the 3.5 mm audio port is not really that big a deal, especially when they threw in a free USB-C adaptor. What concerns us most is the relatively small battery. Yes, it allows the Mi A2 to be thinner and lighter, you will have to live with a relatively short battery life.

Still, the Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) offers a great package for its price point. There are very, VERY few smartphones that offer such high performance, with flagship-class front and rear cameras, at such price points.

 

Where To Buy The Xiaomi Mi A2?

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Here are some direct purchase links in Malaysia :

  • Mi A2 (6 GB + 128 GB) : RM1,099
  • Mi A2 (4 GB + 64 GB) : RM899

Here are some direct purchase links in the US :

Here are some direct purchase links in the US :

 

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The Realme 2 PRO Price, Deals, Specifications + More!

The Realme 2 PRO smartphone has now been unveiled in Jakarta and Malaysia to thunderous applause. Here are the Realme 2 PRO price and offers, as well as its official tech briefing and full specifications!

Don’t forget to read our in-depth review of the Realme 2 Pro smartphone!

 

Who Is Realme?

Created by OPPO as a sub-brand, Realme recently became an independent brand. Realme Southeast Asia Marketing Director, Josef Wang, gave a quick overview of Realme as a new smartphone brand, and how well they did in their first market – India.

 

Realme Interview Session

We also had the opportunity to grill Realme’s Josef Wang and Felix Christian about their ties with OPPO and the three new Realme smartphones that they just revealed!

 

The Official Realme 2 PRO Tech Briefing

The Realme 2 PRO (Malaysia | Indonesia) is a mid-range smartphone offering many of the latest smartphone features at an affordable price point. It comes in three colour options – Black Sea, Blue Ocean and Ice Lake.

 

Realme 2 PRO Specifications

SpecificationsRealme 2 Pro
Display6.3-inch display
- 1080 x 2340 pixels
- 19:9 aspect ratio, 409 ppi
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 with ColorOS 5.1
PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 660
Processor4 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 Gold cores (2.2 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 Silver cores (1.84 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 512
Memory4 GB / 6 GB / 8 GB LPDDR4x SDRAM
Storage64 GB eMMC 5.1 flash storage, OR
128 GB UFS 2.1 flash storage
microSD card (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera16 MP image sensor with f/2.0 lens
Rear Camera16 MP Sony IMX398 image sensor with f/1.7 lens
2 MP depth sensor with f/2.4 lens
Single LED flash
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear-mounted
Other SensorsLight & distance sensor, acceleration sensor, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor
NFCNot available
Battery3,500 mAh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions74.0 mm wide
156.7 mm tall
8.5 mm thick
Weight174 g
Available ColoursBlack Sea, Blue Ocean, Ice Lake

Don’t forget to read our in-depth review of the Realme 2 Pro smartphone!

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Realme 2 Pro Price + Deals

The Realme 2 Pro is now available in both Indonesia and Malaysia.

Indonesia

Here are the Realme 2 Pro price list in Indonesia, with sales beginning on 23 October 2018 :

  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : Rp 2,899,000 (~US$ 191 / ~£144 / ~RM 792)
  • 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : Rp 3,299,000 (~US$ 217 / ~£164 / ~RM 902)
  • 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : Rp 3,699,000 (~US$ 244 / ~£184 / ~RM 1,011)

Malaysia

Here are the Realme 2 Pro price list in Malaysia, with sales beginning on 7 November 2018 :

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  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 849 (~US$ 204 / ~£155)
  • 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 949 (~US$ 228 / ~£174)
  • 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : RM 1,099 (~US$ 264 / ~£201)

However, Shopee will offer the Realme 2 Pro at these special prices on 11 November 2018 :

  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 799 (~US$ 192 / ~£146)
  • 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 899 (~US$ 216 / ~£164)
  • 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : RM 999 (~US$ 240 / ~£183)

If you are interested to purchase the Realme 2 Pro at the awesome 11/11 deal, stake out this page!

Next Page > Realme 2 PRO Key Features, Complete Realme Jakarta Presentation 

 

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Realme 2 PRO Key Features

Here is a summary of its key features :

Dewdrop Full HD+ Display

The Realme 2 PRO (Malaysia | Indonesia) features a 6.3-inch Full HD+ display with a dewdrop notch. This gives it a 90.8% screen-to-body ratio. It is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass.

Crystal-like Dewdrop Back Cover

The back cover uses a 15-layer laminate technology to deliver a glossy effect with a dewdrop curved design.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 AIE

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 has eight Qualcomm Kyro 260 cores that run at up to 1.95 GHz. It includes the fast Qualcomm Adreno 512 GPU, the Qualcomm All-Ways Aware sensor hub and Qualcomm AI Engine.

High-Speed RAM + Storage

The Realme 2 PRO (Malaysia | Indonesia) offers the latest LPDDR4x memory technology, as well as UFS2.1 flash storage of 128 GB. Its storage can be further expanded with a microSD card (up to 400 GB).

Note : The 64 GB storage option uses the slower eMMC5.1 standard.

Long-lasting 3,500 mAh Battery

The Realme 2 PRO (Malaysia | Indonesia) has a large 3,500 mAh battery that is managed by their AI Power Master software to provide all-day endurance, by intelligently suspending inactive apps and processes to minimise power consumption. Here are the results of Realme’s lab tests :

Standby 16.5 hours
Music Playing (WiFi) 12 hours
Video Playback (WiFi) 10 hours
Surfing the Internet (WiFi) 12.5 hours

Studio-Quality Portraits

The Realme 2 PRO (Malaysia | Indonesia) has a main camera built around the 16 MP Sony IMX398 sensor and f/1.7 lens. It supports fast Dual Pixel auto-focus, and electronic image stabilisation (EIS) for video recordings. It also offers 16 AI scenes.

Don’t forget to read our in-depth review of the Realme 2 Pro smartphone!

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The Complete Realme Jakarta Presentation

Here is the complete Realme Jakarta presentation for the Realme 2 Pro, Realme 2 and Realme C1 smartphones :

 

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The OPPO R15 Pro with Dual 20MP AI Cameras Revealed!

The new OPPO R15 Pro is targeted at the youth market, especially those who are into fashion and style. Read all about the OPPO R15 Pro, and find out if this is t he smartphone for you!

 

The OPPO R15 Pro

OPPO collaborated with famed designer Karim Rashid to create two trendy colors for OPPO R15 Pro –  Cosmic Purple and Ruby Red.

The Cosmic Purple and Ruby Red models were created using an aluminum frame with more transparent glass in new gradient design, allowing light and shadow to play off with the colour to deliver an ethereal feel.

The OPPO R15 Pro boasts a 6.28-inch bezel-less display with a resolution of 2280 x 1080 pixels and an aspect ratio of 19:9. The OPPO Super Full Screen is not only a notch display but has enhanced customized standby Multitasking functions and deep system optimizations.

The narrow left and right frames can provide convenient notifications shortcuts to multiple functions and third-party apps. it also supports gestures and full-screen multitasking.

The OPPO R15 features a dual lens camera with 16MP+20MP sensors, and an upgraded AI scenario recognition capability. It is also the first smartphone to adopt the Sony IMX519 sensor, and can now accurately collect 296 feature points of a human face.

The OPPO R15 Pro is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, and comes with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage. It also has a 3,430 mAh battery with VOOC Flash Charging capability. In addition, it is now equipped with an NFC chip which allows you to make mobile payments using Android Pay, bank card, or transport card.

 

OPPO R15 Pro Specifications

SpecificationsOPPO R15 Pro
Display6.28-inch AMOLED display
- 1080 x 2280 pixels
- 401 ppi, 19:9 aspect ratio
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 5
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 Oreo with ColorOS 5.0
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 660
Processor4 x Qualcomm Kyro 260 (2.2 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kyro 260 (1.8 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 512
Memory6 GB LPDDR4 (1866 MHz)
Storage128 GB internal flash storage
microSD card slot (up to 256 GB, shared with SIM 2)
Front Camera20 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens
- 1080p video recording
Rear CameraDual Lens Camera
- 16 MP sensor with f/1.7 lens
- 20 MP sensor with f/1.7 lens
- 4K @ 30 fps video recording
- 1080p @ up to 120 fps video recording
- 720p @ up to 240 fps video recording
Connectivity4G : LTE Cat12 (600 Mbps DL, 150 Mbps UL)
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual-band)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB : microUSB 2.0
GPS SupportGPS , A-GPS, GLONASS
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear Mounted
Other SensorsAccelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity Sensor, Compass
Battery3,400 mAh Li-Po battery (non-removable)
Dimensions75 mm wide
155.3 mm tall
7.5 mm thick
Weight175 g
Available ColoursCosmic Purple, Ruby Red

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OPPO R15 Pro Price + Availability

The OPPO R15 Pro will be available in the Cosmic Purple or Ruby Red colour options, at the recommended retail price of RM 2,399 / ~US$ 602. Here are some purchase links :

It will be available to pre-order from 25 May to 31 May 2018, with retail purchase starting on 1 June 2018.

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The Nokia 7 plus Dual-Sight Smartphone Preview

After the Nokia 7 plus and Nokia 1 launch, we had some time to try out the Nokia 7 plus – their latest flagship smartphone. Here is our preview of the Nokia 7 plus. Hope you’ll find it useful!

 

The Nokia 7 plus Dual-Sight Smartphone

The Nokia 7 plus (Price Check) is a flagship smartphone with a powerful octa-core processor, enhanced Dual-Sight capability, and a dual-lens camera with ZEISS optics. Selected by Google for their Android One family, the Nokia 7 plus offers a pure, secure and up to date Android experience.

Precision-machined from a single block of 6000 series aluminium coated with a 6-layer ceramic coating, the Nokia 7 plus offers toughness with a more comfortable grip. It also sports an elegant diamond-cut edge, anodised with copper.

The large 6-inch Full HD+ display has a 18:9 aspect ratio which gives you more screen space in the form factor of a traditional 5.5″ device. Your enjoyment is further enhanced by its large 3,800 mAh battery, which Nokia claims will offer up to two days of usage.

True to life imaging

The Nokia 7 plus (Price Check) boasts dual rear cameras with ZEISS optics that consists of a 12 MP wide-angle primary camera, and a secondary 13 MP camera that delivers 2X optical zoom.

For greater creativity, it comes with a Pro Camera mode which lets you take pictures like a pro by giving you quick and easy manual control over advanced camera settings like white balance, focus, ISO, shutter speed and exposure. You can see the impact of your adjustments in real time before you snap to achieve your perfect photo with just one take and no need for filters.

It has enhanced Dual-Sight capability that harnesses the front and back cameras simultaneously to capture the ultimate #Bothie. When you record videos, its three microphones add immersive 360° Nokia spatial audio to your video recording.

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The Android One Commitment

The Nokia 7 plus (Price Check) is part of the Android One family, offering a pure Android experience with regular security updates. Because it runs on pure Android, there are no unnecessary UI changes or hidden processes that would eat up your battery life or slow it down.

It ships with Android Oreo out of the box, so you’ll be able to enjoy the latest Android features, including Picture-in-Picture for multitasking, Android Instant Apps, 60 fantastic new emojis and battery-maximising features like limiting background app use.

 

The Nokia 7 plus Fabrication Process

A notable feature of the Nokia 7 plus (Price Check) is its aluminium unibody chassis. Nokia shared with us samples of the fabrication process, which allowed us to create a video on its fabrication process. Check it out :

Next Page > Nokia 7 plus Specificatations, Price + Availability

 

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Nokia 7 plus Specifications

SpecificationsNokia 7 plus
Display6" IPS display
- Full HD+ resolution (1080 x 2160 pixels)
- 18:9 aspect ratio, 403 ppi pixel density
- 500 nits brightness, 1500:1 contrast ratio
- Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection
Operating SystemAndroid Oreo 8.0
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 660
Processor8 x Qualcomm Kyro 260 (2.2 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 512
Memory4 GB LPDDR4 SDRAM
Storage64 GB flash memory
microSD card slot (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera16 MP camera with ZEISS lens
Rear CameraMain camera
- 12 MP sensor with 1.4 µm pixels
- f/1.75 ZEISS lens
- dual-tone LED flash

Telephoto lens
- 13 MP sensor with 1.0 µm pixels
- f/2.6 ZEISS lens
Network CapabilityLTE Cat6
- up to 300 Mbps DL
- up to 50 Mbps UL
ConnectivityWiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 5.0
USB : USB 2.0 Type C
Audio : 3.5 mm port
SensorsProximity, Accelerometer, E-Compass, Hall Sensor, Ambient Light, Gyroscope
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear-Mounted
AudioSingle speaker with smart amplifier
Nokia spatiala audio capture with 3 microphones
Battery3,800 mAh lithium-ion battery (non-removable)
- supports fast charging
Dimensions75.64 mm wide
158.38 mm tall
7.99 mm thick (9.55 with camera bump)
Weight185 g
Available ColoursBlack Copper / White Copper

 

Nokia 7 plus Price + Availability

The Nokia 7 plus (Price Check) is available in the Black/Copper and White/Copper colours beginning 20 April 2018, at a recommended retail price of RM 1,699 / ~US$ 435. In the US, it currently retails for $469.

Each purchase of the Nokia 7 plus (Price Check) comes with a gift box that includes a Bluetooth tripod, tempered glass, as well as a fish eye, wide and macro lens. The gift box is worth RM 300 / ~US$ 77 and is available while stocks last.

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