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Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max First Impressions: The Good, The Bad, And The X-Factor
Xiaomi took the internet by storm with its new Redmi Note 10 line-up. The new range offers three smartphones- Redmi Note 10, Redmi Note 10 Pro, and the much-talked Redmi Note 10 Pro Max handset that democratizes 120Hz AMOLED displays for the masses. Priced aggressively at Rs. 18,999 (6GB + 64GB), the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max flaunts a 6.67-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED 120Hz display, with 1200 nits of peak brightness, a 120Hz refresh rate, and HDR10 support. These display specs are normally seen on premium smartphones priced triple the price of the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max's base variant.
The smartphone also features a 108MP quad-camera setup and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G chipset. Besides, various other hardware aspects of the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max make it a threat to other sub-22K handsets from Samsung, Realme, Motorola, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi's own Mi 10i and the Poco X3.
We tested the handset over the weekend to evaluate its initial performance. Let's see what we found out in our first impressions.
Let's address the elephant in the room. The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is the first smartphone in its respective price segment to flaunt a 120Hz Super AMOLED display. Before this, we have only tested 120Hz LCDs that have always been compared to OLEDs and have been considered inferior in terms of overall screen user-experience. Xiaomi seems to have addressed the issue with the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max.
Besides offering the fluid 120Hz refresh rate, the 6.67-inch display brings deep blacks and good color reproduction. It is not the top-class OLED panels that Samsung offers on its Galaxy smartphones, but it is still far better than the LCDs in terms of vibrancy and reflective angles. I would still recommend the Samsung Galaxy handset's OLED panels if you want to experience what a good AMOLED panel can do.
Nevertheless, the display on the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is vivid and offers an immersive viewing experience while watching videos and playing games. It even gets 100% DCI-P3 wide color gamut and HDR10 support, making the handset a good overall media streaming device. Also, the Super AMOLED panel gets very bright o offers a comfortable viewing experience under harsh lighting. The 1200 nits peak brightness is no joke at this price-point and ensures that you don't face any viewing issues while using the handset outdoors.
We will be spending some more time with the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max to better gauge its display's performance; however, it is very clear that Xiaomi has once again set a new benchmark with its Redmi Note 10-series handsets.
Premium Aesthetics With Required Durability
The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max looks stunning and does not feel like a mid-range smartphone at all. The fit and finish, reinforced glass back with curved sides, and the gorgeous quad-camera setup at the back panel, make it hard to believe that this phone has a base price of Rs. 18,999. The dual-tone matte frosted glass back finish is the best we have seen in this price segment. The phone lacks the in-screen fingerprint scanner and ships with a side-mounted power button integrated with a biometric scanner. We are testing the Dark Night color variant, and the smartphone is also available in Vintage Bronze and Glacial Blue color options.
The phone not only looks premium but also scores high on durability and basic features. The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max sports the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 display protection and has an IP52 rated body coupled with rubberized ports to ensure protection against dust and water ingress. Xiaomi mentions that these rubberized ports are also corrosion-resistant to ensure all-weather usability.
Dedicated microSD Card Slot, 3.5mm Headphone Jack, And Stereo Speakers
The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max also takes care of the basics. The phone comes equipped with a triple-slot SIM card tray and offers the good old 3.5mm headphone jack. Importantly, Xiaomi has also fitted a stereo speaker setup for better audio output.
Feature-Rich 108MP Quad-Camera
The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max boasts a 108MP quad-camera featuring the familiar 108MP Samsung ISOCELL HM2 camera sensor. The 108MP high-resolution pictures come out crisp and vivid. The sensor captures a wide dynamic range in daylight and creates a pleasing natural bokeh while framing close-up shots. The big sensor is paired with a 5MP macro sensor which captures amazing macro shots in daylight. The macro shots have ample details and adequate sharpness. Then there is an 8MP wide-angle sensor which offers up to 118 degrees field of view. The 8MP landscape shots are decent but lack details and a wide dynamic range. The 2MP depth sensor impresses us with its bokeh capabilities. The edge detection seems quite good on this handset.
Besides, MIUI's camera app offers all the required filters and modes. The clone photo mode works well on the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max. Xiaomi has also added some new camera modes to help you make the most out of the versatile quad-camera setup. For selfies, the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max boasts a 16MP front-facing camera.
We are still testing the camera performance on the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max and will talk more about the picture/video quality in our comprehensive review. Meanwhile, you can judge the phone's camera capabilities by checking out the camera samples in this gallery.
We haven't come across any lags or performance issues during our initial testing. The smartphone seamlessly sails throughout the day with moderate to heavy tasks. The phone can also run the heaviest apps and most graphics demanding games without breaking up a sweat. It is powered by the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G SoC, which is fabricated on the 8nm process technology. We are testing the 6GB + 128GB variant of the smartphone. You can buy the handset in 6GB + 64GB, 6GB + 128GB and 8GB + 128GB configurations. The phone supports UFS 2.2 storage.
It is worth mentioning that the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is a 4G-only chipset. The company ditched a 5G-SoC to keep the price low.
As far as the software is concerned, the handset comes running the MIUI 12.0.3 stable version based on the Android 11, another win for consumers as most smartphones only offer Android 10 in this price-segment. Most importantly, Xiaomi mentioned that the next software update- MIUI 12.5 will offer a more refined, ads and bloatware-free software experience. We plan to test the new update in our detailed review.
The phone draws power from a 5,020mAh battery cell and ships with a 33W fast-charger in the box.
Camera Requires Software Tuning
While the quad-camera captures crisp pictures and videos, the camera struggles to get the colors right. Most photos captured show highly saturated colors and over-sharpness. And I am talking about clicking photos without the AI mode and Pro Color mode disabled. Enabling Pro color and AI makes pictures very unnatural. Xiaomi should tune the camera to deliver more natural images and video output.
Moving on, the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max lacks a 5G-chipset, but it should only concern you if you plan to keep the device for at least two to three years. If you change your handset in a year or so, the 4G-only setup shouldn't be a huge concern.
Should You Consider Buying The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max?
Absolutely!! The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is a massive upgrade over the predecessor and brings features mostly seen on the high-end value flagship/ flagship killers. The 120Hz Super AMOLED display, 108MP quad-camera, and premium design alongside basic features make it a great mid-range smartphone for the masses. We will push the smartphone to its limits to give you our final verdict on the phone's overall performance. The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max will be available across Mi.com, Amazon.in, Mi Home and Mi Studio stores starting 18th March 2021.