The Realme 7 series was launched in India yesterday as the latest mid-range offerings from the company. The Realme 7 and Realme 7 Pro enter the highly volatile budget segment between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000 that is headlined by rival Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 9 series. However, unlike Realme, Xiaomi has three phones in its arsenal, the Redmi Note 9, Note 9 Pro and Note 9 Pro Max.
So, if you’re someone who’s looking to purchase a phone in the sub-Rs 15,000 and sub-Rs 20,000 price segment, which one should you go for? Should you choose a phone with a high refresh rate or faster battery charging? Which phone should you buy if you're looking for just a dependable performer under Rs 20,000? We try to find out in this specifications and feature-based comparison between the Realme 7 series and Redmi Note 9 series.
Realme 7 series hits the sweet spot with the Realme 7 priced starting at Rs 14,999 for the base variant with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage and Rs 16,999 for the 8GB+128GB option.
We have Redmi Note 9 and Redmi Note 9 Pro in the competition that was launched in March and July, respectively. The Redmi Note 9 was launched in India at Rs 11,999 for 4GB+64GB, Rs 13,499 for the 4GB+128GB option and Rs 14,999 for the 6GB+128GB option. On the other hand the Redmi Note 9 Pro starts at Rs 13,999 for the 4GB+64GB variant, Rs 15,999 for the 4GB+128GB storage and Rs 16,999 for the 6GB+128GB variant.
Xiaomi offers multiple variants of both the Redmi Note 9 and Note 9 Pro unlike Realme, so users have the option to choose across different price points starting as low as Rs 11,999.
The Realme 7 Pro starts at Rs 19,999 for the 6GB+128GB variant and Rs 21,999 for the 8GB+128GB option. It’s Xiaomi counterpart, the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is priced starting at Rs 16,999 for the 6GB+64GB variant, Rs 18,499 for 6GB+128GB variant and Rs 19,999 for the 8GB+128GB variant. Here again, Xiaomi can offer the phone at an aggressive price than Realme and it comes in multiple variants which helps consumers in choosing the perfect option.
Realme 7, Realme 7 Pro and Redmi Note 9 are built out of plastic and measure 9.4 millimetres, 8.7 millimetres and 8.9 millimetres respectively. The Redmi Note 9 Pro and Redmi Note 9 Pro Max have a Gorilla Glass 5 layered back glass cover while the chassis is plastic, both measuring 8.8 millimetres in thickness.
The Realme 7 weighs 196 grams, Realme 7 Pro weighs 182 grams, Redmi Note 9 weighs 199 grams, Note 9 Pro and Note 9 Pro Max come in the heftiest at 209 grams.
The Realme 7, Redmi Note 9 Pro and Redmi Note 9 Pro Max have their power buttons doubling up as the fingerprint reader while the Redmi Note 9 has a fingerprint sensor on the back beneath the camera module. Realme 7 Pro is the only contender amongst the five phones to come with an in-screen fingerprint reader.
Realme 7 features a 6.5-inch Full HD+ (2400 x 1080 pixels) resolution screen that has 90Hz high refresh rate and is topped with a layer of Gorilla Glass 3. Realme 7 Pro, however, has a slightly smaller 6.4-inch AMOLED screen but doesn’t support high refresh rate.
The Redmi Note 9 has an LCD screen that measures 6.5-inch while the display on the Note 9 Pro and Note 9 Pro Max is only a bit bigger at 6.6-inch with a Full HD+ (2340 x 1080 pixels) resolution but the screens don’t support high refresh rate. The display of the three phones is topped with a layer of Gorilla Glass 5 for added protection against drops.
All the five phones have a punch-hole cutout for the selfie camera up front. The Realme 7 and Redmi Note 9 each have a cutout on the top-left corner while the Redmi Note 9 Pro and Note 9 Pro Max have the cutout in the top-centre.
Realme 7 is powered by the MediaTek Helio G95 processor with an octa-core CPU running at 2.05GHz maximum clock speeds. This is paired with a Mali-G76 GPU and Realme UI to boot. The Redmi Note 9 is powered by the Helio G85 processor that comes with an octa-core CPU running at upto 2.0GHz along with Mali-G52 graphics.
The Redmi Note 9 Pro, Realme 7 Pro and Redmi Note 9 Pro Max, on the other hand, are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor with an octa-core CPU running at 2.3GHz clock speeds with Adreno 618 GPU.
While the Realme 7 has a newer generation processor than the Redmi Note 9 running at slightly higher clock speeds, the Redmi Note 9 Pro, Note 9 Pro Max and Realme 7 Pro are on a league of their own with the Snapdragon SoC.
Notably, Xiaomi also offers multiple RAM and storage variants for each of its smartphones in the Redmi Note 9 series, but Realme only has two variants for each model.
Realme 7 and Realme 7 Pro come with the same set of cameras on the back. This consists of a primary 64MP camera, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera, 2MP macro camera and 2MP depth sensor. The rear cameras can record in 4K at 30FPS and is supported by EIS.
The Redmi Note 9 and Redmi Note 9 Pro have a similar camera setup, in that, both the phones come with 48MP primary camera, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera, a 2MP depth sensor and a 2MP macro camera (5MP macro on Note 9 Pro). The rear cameras on the Note 9 can record in 1080p at 30FPS while on the Note 9 Pro, it can record in 4K at 30FPS and 1080p at upto 120FPS.
Having said that, Xiaomi’s real contender for the Realme 7 series is the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max that comes with a 64MP primary camera, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera, a 5MP macro camera and a 2MP depth sensor. The rear cameras are assisted by EIS and can record in 4K UHD at 30FPS and 1080p at upto 120FPS.
Realme 7 has a 16MP selfie camera housed within the punch-hole cutout while the Redmi Note 9 has a 13MP front-facing camera, followed by Redmi Note 9 Pro with 16MP selfie camera.
The Realme 7 is equipped with a 5,000mAh battery with support for 30W fast charging out-of-the-box. Realme claims that the phone can go from 0-100% in 65 minutes tops.
The Redmi Note 9, Note 9 Pro and Note 9 Pro Max all come with a 5,020mAh battery with support for 22.5W, 18W and 33W fast charging respectively.
However, Realme 7 Pro takes the cake here with its 4,500mAh battery that supports 65W fast charging out-of-the-box. The company claims that the phone can charge fully from 0-100% in 34 minutes tops.