iQOO Neo 7 or the Redmi Note 12 Pro+? The one for you

The two solid mid-rangers fight it out.

They are among the best smartphones you can get for under Rs 30,000. And while united by their starting prices (Rs 29,999 each), they are both very different kettles of phone-y fish. One is all about being a super all rounder and comes from a relatively new brand. The other is the latest in one of the bestselling phone series in the Indian market and is looking to move up the price ladder by offering premium features. We are talking of the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G and the iQOO Neo7 5G (henceforth referred to without the 5G suffix, for the sake of simplicity). If you are looking at a phone for around Rs 30,000, both come into contention. Which one is the best for you? Let us work that out.

Design and appearance: Typical iQOO vs Typical Redmi

In terms of design, neither phone is going to rewrite the Book of Smartphone Design. Both phones follow broadly similar designs with flat, tall displays and curved backs. The difference really comes in terms of the camera units and the sides. The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ has those straight sides that are the rage in some smartphone circles these days, while the iQOO Neo7 (below) sticks to slightly curved ones. When it comes to camera units, the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ has a rectangular “tall” camera unit with two large lenses and a much smaller one opposite to them, while the iQOO Neo7 has a more square-ish one with a subtly glittering circle encircling two lenses and this lens being a slight level below them. The iQOO Neo7 has a plastic back while the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ has a glass one, but you would not be able to tell the difference easily.

In terms of size, both are large phones. The iQOO Neo7 is taller at 164.8mm as against the 162.9mm of the Redmi Note 12 Pro+, but is slightly slimmer (8.6mm against 8.9mm) and lighter (193 grammes against 208 grammes). The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ comes with splash resistance while the iQOO Neo7 does not have any. Which of the two you prefer is really going to be a matter of personal preference – it is a close call.

Winner: Tie

Display: Lead by AMOLED

Both phones come with full HD+ AMOLED displays with 120Hz refresh rate. The iQOO Neo7, however, has a slight edge with an ever so slightly larger display (6.78 inches as compared to 6.67 inches on the Redmi Note 12 Pro+) and also seems a tad brighter. The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ on the other hand comes with an adaptive refresh rate of sorts, switching between 30/60/90/120Hz depending on the content being shown on the display. Both displays are among the best in their price segments as far as the viewing experience goes, but we think its larger size and slightly greater brightness win this one for the iQOO Neo7.

Winner: iQOO Neo7

Processor: Two dimensions of Dimensity

One of the most prominent areas of difference between the two phones is the processor driving them. And the iQOO Neo7 is comfortably ahead of the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ in this regard, as it is the first phone in the country to come with the powerful Dimensity 8200 chip. This is near flagship in terms of performance and is one of the most powerful processors in the sub-Rs 30,000 segment. The Redmi Note 12 Pro+, on the other hand, runs on the Dimensity 1080 chip, which is very good too, but is strictly a mid-segment processor. The iQOO Neo7 keeps winning.

Winner: iQOO Neo7

RAM and Storage: When memory and storage (giga)byte!

In terms of RAM and storage, both the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ and the iQOO Neo7 go up to a maximum RAM size of 12GB and storage of 256GB. However, there is a difference in terms of variants. While the iQOO Neo7 has RAM and storage variants of 8GB / 128GB and 12GB / 256GB, the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ has 8GB / 256GB and 12GB / 256GB RAM and storage variants. The higher storage gives the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ this round and gets it on the scoreboard.

Winner: Redmi Note 12 Pro+

Cameras: Sheer megapixel muscle wins the day

If the processor is the key strength of the iQOO Neo7, the cameras are the forte of the Redmi Note 12 Pro+. The Redmi phone sports a massive 200-megapixel main sensor with OIS, with a more modest 8-megapixel ultrawide and a very ordinary 2-megapixel macro sensor. The iQOO Neo7 on the other hand comes with a good 64-megapixel main sensor with OIS but with two rather superficial 2-megapixel sensors for macro and depth. The iQOO Neo7 does take some good shots from the main sensor but it is nowhere near the 200-megapixel main sensor of the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ in terms of detail and colour. The ultrawide of the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ is also much more usable than the secondary cameras of the iQOO Neo7, making this a total no-contest. The difference in quality is evident in the videos as well, with the Redmi device being well ahead of the iQOO one. Both phones have 16-megapixel front cameras and we think the iQOO Neo7 has a slight edge in terms of colour handling here, but the gulf in quality of the rear cameras wins this round easily for the Redmi Note 12 Pro+.

Winner: Redmi Note 12 Pro+

Gaming and multimedia: The new chip chips in!

The iQOO Neo7’s superior processor and slightly larger display give it a clear edge over the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ in the gaming and multimedia department. The iQOO Neo7 was able to run high-end games like Genshin Impact and Call of Duty at higher settings and way more smoothly than the Redmi Note 12 Pro+, which needed some setting-tweaking for a good experience. The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ delivered better sound from its speakers, and also comes with a 3.5mm audio jack, something the iQOO Neo7 lacks. You might not be able to tell the difference while viewing content or shows, but the faster processor easily wins this round for the iQOO Neo7. In fact, we would say that it is one of the best gaming devices in its price segment.

Winner: iQOO Neo7

Software: New versus old Android

When it comes to software, the iQOO Neo7 has a clear edge over the Redmi Note 12 Pro+. This is because the iQOO Neo7 runs on Android 13 with FunTouch OS13 over it, while the Redmi Note runs on Android 12 with MIUI 13 on top. We do prefer MIUI 13 than the slightly more cluttered FunTouch OS, but in this case, the newer version of Android on the iQOO Neo7 wins the day.

Winner: iQOO Neo7

General performance: Getting through the daily routine

The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ and the iQOO Neo7 are both very well-equipped to handle everyday tasks like browsing the Web, social networking, messaging, e-mail and the like. Both phones sailed through our daily routines without breaking a sweat. The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ handled calls better, its 3.5mm audio jack allowed us to use wired earphones with it and its fingerprint scanner on the side worked much faster than the in-display one on the iQOO Neo7. On the other hand, the larger and brighter display of the iQOO Neo7 makes it better for viewing content and also for typing on, and there were times when the iQOO Neo7 just felt more snappy. There is not much here to choose between the two devices in this department – both support 5G and both even have IR ports. We are calling this one a tie.

Winner: Tie

Battery and charging: Big batteries, fast charging and equally fast chargers

Both the iQOO Neo7 and the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ come with 5,000mAh batteries, which can comfortably see off a day and then some of normal to heavy use. They also support 120W fast charging and come with 120W chargers in the box. The two devices also get charged in under half an hour. This round is a tie.

Winner: Tie

Price: How much for all that?

The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ retails at Rs 29,999 for 8GB / 256GB and Rs 32,999 for 12GB / 256GB. The iQOO Neo7 also has the same starting price of Rs 29,999, but that is for an 8GB / 128GB variant, while the 12GB / 256GB variant of the phone is priced at Rs 33,999. That makes the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ the better option for those wanting to save money – you get more storage at the same price in the base variant and the top variant is Rs 1,000 cheaper.

Winner: Redmi Note 12 Pro+

Verdict: Which is the one for you?

Both phones start at Rs 29,999, so which one should you opt for if you have a budget that is in the vicinity of that figure? Well, on paper, you would think that the iQOO Neo7 has this battle stitched up in its favour. It beats the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ in four of the ten parameters we compared the phones on and draws in three, losing three. The catch, however, is that the three rounds it loses are often decisive ones in the minds of many consumers – cameras, onboard storage and price. In short, the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ does seem to be the better device for those on a tighter budget and also for those who highly value camera performance. The iQOO Neo7 is, however, easily the better choice for those who want a lot of processing power and are looking at high-class gaming without getting into the flagship phone zone. It is a camera vs chip battle, and which you consider more important will determine the device you opt for. On the one hand, you have perhaps the best camera in its segment, and on the other, the best processor. And on both hands, you get good battery life, super fast charging (with a charger in the box), good displays, good sound and generally smooth performance. It is a tough choice, but you are going to end up with a segment champ in a department no matter which of the two phones you opt for!