Xiaomi Mi 10 5G Performance Review: Threat To OnePlus 8 Pro?

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Xiaomi Mi 10 5G has created quite a buzz even before its official launch in India. Twitter has been brimming with self-made critics bashing the brand for being too ambitious to challenge OnePlus and to price the new flagship product as high as Rs. 50,000 for the entry-level variant. The specification-based comparisons are totally valid, something we also follow on regular bases; however, the true performance evaluation only comes into play when you test the two handsets side-by-side in a similar environment.

 

While I haven't got my hands on the OnePlus 8 Pro; I had the chance to play around with Xiaomi's flagship and have shared my user-experience. Here's a quick glimpse of the Xiaomi Mi 10 5G's display, audio gaming and battery performance along with some benchmark scores.

Xiaomi Mi 10 5G Price And Availability

Xiaomi Mi 10 5G Price And Availability

Before we start with the performance overview, you should know that the Xiaomi Mi 10 5G is the company's most expensive mainstream handset till date and is available in two configurations- 8GB RAM + 128GB ROM at Rs. 49,999 and the 8GB RAM + 256GB ROM at Rs. 54,999. We are testing the 8GB + 128GB variant.

6.67-inch Super AMOLED 1080p Display Performance: Color Vibrancy And Brightness Level
 

6.67-inch Super AMOLED 1080p Display Performance: Color Vibrancy And Brightness Level

The Mi 10 5G flaunts one of the best display on a smartphone. It's a 6.67-inch Samsung-made Super AMOLED 3D curved panel with 1080 x 2340p resolution and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Unfortunately, the resolution is not Quad HD, which is disappointing because Xiaomi as a smartphone brand has a history of offering the most number of high-end features at any respective price-bracket. Nevertheless, I hardly felt the 1080p AMOLED screen lacking in terms of crispness. With 386ppi, the text looks crisp and graphics look immersive.

This is an HDR10+ enabled panel which means you can stream HDR content in full resolution (based on screen's resolution) on supported apps. The E3 Super AMOLED panel on the Mi 10 5G also delivers excellent viewing angles and super-rich visuals while playing games like Asphalt 9, Injustice (Gods Among Us), and PUBG. The peak brightness level ensures excellent visibility even under direct sunlight.

Myriad Of Color Output Settings

Myriad Of Color Output Settings

The SUPER AMOLED panel on the Mi 10 5G supports P3 wide color gamut and has a color accuracy of Moving on, the display color output can be customized as per your preference. The ‘Color Scheme' option in display settings offers three color modes and several other settings to tweak the color balance. The ‘Original color' and ‘SRGB' mode offers the most realistic but slightly muted color output. Enable ‘Saturated' mode if you prefer Samsung-OLED like vibrant colors.

I found it slightly over the top and settled with the P3 color gamut as it seems to offer the best overall color output. Importantly, you can also change the saturation level, contrast, gamma level and even the intensity of the aforementioned modes with sliders under the HSV color scheme.

You Won’t Miss 120Hz Refresh Rate

You Won’t Miss 120Hz Refresh Rate

In addition, the Super AMOLED panel on the Mi 10 5G also lacks behind the competition in terms of refresh rate and touch sampling rate. The Mi 10 5G's Super AMOLED panel refreshes at 90Hz and has 180Hz touch sampling rate, whereas some devices offer 120Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch sampling rate. In real-life, anything above 60Hz is good.

The 90Hz refresh rate panel on the Mi 10 5G is super fluid. The UI interactions and screen navigation is buttery smooth. I have been using the Galaxy S20+ side-by-side and honestly cannot tell any difference in smoothness between 120Hz and 90Hz.

Hardware Performance

Hardware Performance

With the best-in-class chipset and plenty of RAM, the Mi 10 5G leaves nothing to complain about. The smartphone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC with support of 8GB LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB UFS 3.0 storage. The combination ensures glitch-free mobile user experience throughout the day. That said, the Mi 10 5G feels blazing fast in all performance aspects.

You can just forget about the number of applications running in the background as the phone hardly stutters even while running the most demanding apps and games. I didn't notice any lags or performance issues on the handset.

The optimized MIUI 11 for 90Hz refresh rate panel translates to smooth animations and UI interactions. And while the UI is not advertisement heavy, the phone still ships with bloatware that generate some occasional ads. For instance, the Zili app sends notifications and the lock screen still has Glance service. Thankfully, you have the option to uninstall these apps and the Glance lockscreen can be disabled with just one tap. I cannot wait to test the MIUI 12 on the Mi 10 5G.

Best-In-Class Haptic Feedback

Best-In-Class Haptic Feedback

Additionally, the phone's brilliant haptic feedback also plays a big role in elevating the overall user experience. The Mi 10 5G comes integrated with an X-axis linear vibration motor that delivers very subtle and effective vibrations. For instance, you will feel a very mild vibration once you hit the top or bottom of the settings menu while scrolling. Overall, it is the best haptic feedback I have ever experienced from a Xiaomi smartphone to date. Last but not the least, the Mi 10 5G supports 5G connectivity, thanks to the Snapdragon X55 5G modem.

Benchmark Tests Results

Benchmark Tests Results

We ran benchmark tests to compare the scores with the iQOO 3 5G, another Qualcomm SD865-powered handset, which is now selling at an amazing discounted price of just Rs. 31,990 for the base variant; however, you must note that the offer is only available for ICICI credit card users. Even the the mid-variant and the 5G top-variant of the handset are selling at discounted prices of Rs. 34,990 and Rs. 41,990 from their original prices of Rs. 37,990 and Rs 44,990 respectively.

Moving on, the Mi 10 5G scored 572166 in Antutu. The iQOO 3 5G fell short with 506,600 points in the same test. The Mi 10 5G logged 10449 in PC Mark Work 2.0 performance test, while the iQOO 3 5G scored slightly lower- 10113 in the same test. The Mi 10 5G scored 899 in Geekbench's single-core test and 3250 in the multi-core test. The iQOO 3 5G recorded higher in first test by scoring 918 but fell short by a good margin with a score of 2025 in the respective test.

The Mi 10 5G notched 6369 points in slingshot extreme- OpenGL ES 3.1 as compared to 5673 scored by the iQOO 3 5G. In 3D Mark Vulkan test, the Mi 10 5G scored 5682, again beating the iQOO 3 5G by a fair margin. The iQOO 3 5G scored 5156 in the same test. Overall, the Mi 10 5G scored better numbers when compared to the iQOO 3 5G. We will compare these results with the OnePlus 8 Pro once we get the device for testing.

 

Gaming Performance

Gaming Performance

The Mi 10 5G proved to be an excellent gaming device in our testing, thanks to the powerful internals (Adreno 650) and super vibrant and smooth AMOLED panel. As soon as you fire up games, the Game Turbo mode optimizes background settings to eke out the maximum performance from the underlying hardware for smooth gameplay. The visually intensive games like PUBG played with ‘Performance mode' enabled in Game Turbo delivered solid frame rates and immersive gameplay experience. The gameplay experience in terms of display and touch response is as good as dedicated gaming smartphones.

The screen's touch response can be further improved within ‘Additional settings' in Game Turbo mode. You can also control sensitivity and tweak contrast and graphics details with ‘Enhanced visuals.' The in-game audio sounds excellent, thanks to the stereo sound output. The audio-video experience while playing the Asphalt 9 on the Mi 10 5G is simply a treat for eyes.

Excellent Thermals For Better Heat Dissipation

Excellent Thermals For Better Heat Dissipation

The Mi 10 5G's excellent thermals play a vital role in delivering a smooth gaming performance. The handset remains surprisingly cool even with continuous gaming sessions of the most graphics intense games. The sustained gaming performance is achieved by a three-layer cooling mechanism which uses a 6-stack graphite layer, graphene and a large vapor chamber surface area to manage heat dissipation.

The setup is touted to reduce the CPU temperature to up to 10.5°C, something you can experience while pushing the Mi 10 5G to its limits. The Mi 10 did show some signs of heat, majorly while recording 8K videos and using the camera on a stretch.

Audio Performance And Battery Life

Audio Performance And Battery Life

The Mi 10 5G does not feature the loudest but certainly one of the best sounding stereo speakers on a smartphone. The smartphone features linear speakers (12mmx16mm) on both sides which can automatically detect orientation. The sound produced is loud and crisp ensuring you can stream media and play games even when you are not carrying earphones. Moreover, the Mi 10 5G features LHDC codec for Bluetooth streaming, which allows you to stream wireless audio at bitrates up to 900kbps. That's almost three times the bit rate of regular SBC Bluetooth codec which streams at 328kbps. I paired three to four wireless headphones with the Mi 10 5G and all sounded crisp and loud.

The Xiaomi Mi 10 5G managed to last for good 13 hours with heavy usage, which involved video playback on loop and on and off gameplay for about two and a half hours. The refresh rate was set to 90Hz and the phone was on a stable Wi-Fi connection. The 4,780 mAh battery cell can easily survive a day with heavy usage if you run the display at standard 60Hz refresh rate. The bundled 30W wired fast-charger can refuel the battery cell from zero to 100% in about 65 minutes.

Xiaomi also shipped the 30W wireless charger for testing. The premium looking wireless charger recharged the phone's battery from 35% to 100% in about 90 minutes, which is slower than the claimed charging speed. The Mi 10 5G also supports 10W Reverse wireless charging.

Should You Buy The Mi 10 5G?

Should You Buy The Mi 10 5G?

The Mi 10 5G is the best smartphone I have tested in 2020 from a pure performance point of view. It even beats some dedicated gaming handsets in terms of gameplay experience, thanks to the best-in-class chipset, plenty of RAM and efficient thermals. On top of it, the 90Hz display, smooth MIUI 11, and impressive haptics ensure flagship user-experience throughout the day.

As far as the comparison with the OnePlus 8 Pro is concerned, we can only wait for the OnePlus handset to arrive to give you a detailed performance comparison of the two devices.As compared to the iQOO 3 5G and Realme X50 Pro 5G, the Mi 10 5G seems to offer a better overall combination of design, display, camera and performance.

We are also testing the 108MP quad-lens rear camera on the Mi 10 5G and will soon bring a detailed camera review of the smartphone.

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