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Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Review: Makes Redmi Note 10 Pro Max Look Redundant
Xiaomi's Redmi Note has consistently proven to be an all-rounder budget smartphone series. The Redmi Note series devices offer better features and perform marginally better than rivals, making them excellent value-for-money smartphones in the sub-20K price segment. This year is no different and in fact more exciting one for the Redmi Note-series buyers. With the new Redmi Note 10-series, users can now experience flagship-grade high refresh rate displays with the goodness of AMOLED colors and features.
- Premium & Durable Design (IP52-Rated)
- Best-in-Class Display (120Hz Super AMOLED)
- Impressive Camera Performance For The Price
- Dedicated microSD Card & 3.5mm Headphone Jack
- Smooth Performance
- MIUI 12.5 Is Refreshingly Faster & Better
- Long-Lasting Battery Life
- Average Wide-Angle & Low-Light Camera Results
- Camera Needs Some Software Tuning
- Average Sounding Stereo Speakers
Since the vanilla Redmi Note 10 is priced quite aggressively, it lacks the higher refresh rate panel but still manages to offer a bright and vivid AMOLED panel. You can read more about the handset in our review. Today we are taking a closer look at the Redmi Note 10 Pro. Why do we consider it to be the most sensible buy in the Redmi Note 10 line-up? Let's find out in our 'Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro review'.
Design- Premium Looks And Practical Form-Factor
Xiaomi's new design philosophy- EVOL makes the new Redmi Note-series devices aesthetically premium and fairly practical in real-life usage. The phone looks good, feels durable, and offers everything you seek in a mobile device. The Redmi Note 10 Pro offers the most likable features such as a 3.5mm audio jack, dedicated microSD card, stereo speakers, water-dust resistivity (IP52 rating coupled with rubberized ports), and Gorilla Glass protection on both front and back.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro sports a big 6.67-inch display with a centrally aligned punch hole camera. The power button on the right side doubles up as a fingerprint scanner and is very snappy. The triple-slot SIM card tray is positioned on the left side.
Not A Perfect One-Hand Fit But Good Ergonomics Improve Handling
The phone weighs 192 g and measures 63.30 x 75.90 x 8.90 mm. Thanks to its curved back and rounded edges, the phone rests comfortably in the palm. Since it packs a huge battery unit and a big display, it isn't the most ergonomic but the good button placement and seamless gestures make things easier.
We are testing the Glacial Blue variant and its frosted glass back panel with a two-step quad-camera module looks very elegant. It is worth mentioning that the Redmi Note 10 Pro skips the Chrome insert on the main sensor, which has been given on the premium sibling- Redmi Note 10 Pro Max. I think it gives the handset a slightly upmarket feel but the chrome-less camera also looks very subtle and clean. You can buy the handset in three color variants-, Vintage Bronze, Glacial Blue, and Dark Night.
Best-In-Class Display- 120Hz Super AMOLED (1080 x 2160p)
I am glad Xiaomi hasn't cut any corners on the display front. Similar to the Max variant, the Note 10 Pro also flaunts the big Full HD+ Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The flagship-grade refresh rate with AMOLED panel's punchy colors at a pocket-friendly price is no less than a feat.
The display is very fluid and offers excellent contrast and color reproduction. You can also stream high-definition videos on the OTT apps, which looks pretty immersive since the phone has Widevine L1 DRM certification and HDR10 support.
Adequately Bright And Vivid
You can also tweak the screen's color output from the display settings by changing the color modes- Auto, Standard, and Saturated. The standard model offers the most realistic colors (sRGB) and the saturated mode adds some extra punch to the color reproduction. Consuming media content under harsh lighting isn't much of a problem. The screen feels adequate bright (450 nits typical, 1200 nits peak) for a decent outdoor viewing experience. Lastly, thanks to the AMOLED panel, the Redmi Note 10 Pro also offers some notable features such as an Always-on display and Edge lighting that comes in handy in the day-to-day routine.
Overall, if a good display is your priority, then the Redmi Note 10 Pro is our top pick in the sub-18K price-point.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Camera Specifications
The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max impressed us with its camera performance and the same can be said for the Redmi Note 10 Pro. Both handsets have a quad-lens camera setup with the only difference in the primary sensor size and type. Unlike the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max's 108MP Samsung HM2 sensor, the Note 10 Pro features a 64MP Samsung ISOCELL GW3 sensor capable of recording 4K 30fps videos. Honestly, you aren't missing out on much in the camera department.
The remaining camera configuration remains as it and comprises an 8MP Sony IMX355 f/2.2 wide-angle lens (up to 118 degrees FOV), 5MP f/2.4 macro sensor, and a 2MP depth sensor. For selfies, the Redmi Note 10 Pro also has the same 16MP fixed-focus Sony IMX471 1/3" sensor working on a narrow f/2.4 aperture.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Camera Performance
- The 64MP primary camera captures crisp pictures in daylight. The colors look vivid and the dynamic range is pretty impressive.
- Both pixel-binned and 64MP high-resolution images have adequate details for a smartphone display and qualify as good social media posts.
- If the light is abundant, the handset can capture some wonderful pictures and record crisp videos. Sadly, the camera setup on the Redmi Note 10 Pro is marred by the same over sharpening issues that we faced on the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max. The pixel-binned shots show excessive sharpness and end up looking slightly over-processed. Some camera tuning is required on both the Redmi Note 10-series devices to improve the overall photography experience.
- Moving on, colors look vibrant but a bit too punchy, especially if you have enabled the AI and Pro color mode. If you prefer neutral and realistic colors, you must disable the Pro color feature and also tweak display color settings for more natural-looking pictures on your phone's screen.
Pleasing Portraits & Impressive Macros
- The portrait mode delivers pleasing results with both human and non-human subjects. The edge detection is not always consistent but the overall results are good for the price.
- I am also very impressed with the macro capabilities of the handset. There's no other phone at this price point that can match the results delivered by the 5MP f/2.4 macro sensor. The autofocus-enabled sensor captures images with impressive details and good color science. It even offers 2x zoom that helps to prevent unwanted shadows caused by the device itself while capturing close-up shots; however, details take a hit. Since the viewfinder does not offer any sort of focusing and distance indicator, you have to struggle a bit to capture the perfect shot.
Average Wide-Angle And Low-Light Shots
- As far as wide-angle shots are concerned, the 8MP camera is a decent landscape shooter. Images have a very wide (118-degree) field-of-view that makes the Redmi Note 10 Pro a good street photography camera device. Some shortcomings are- slight distortion around the corners and lack of details.
- The low-light capabilities of the Redmi Note 10 Pro aren't groundbreaking but get the job done. The camera can deliver decent low-light shots provided that there's some artificial light in the frame. It's advisable to take pictures with the dedicated night mode as it improves the overall image quality by clearing up some noise. Details also look slightly better with night mode enabled.
- Last but not the least; the phone is capable of recording crisp 4k 30fps and 1080p 60fps videos. The video footages have good contrast, plenty of details, and a wide dynamic range. The steady video mode works with 1080p 30fps to offer smooth and steady output. Interestingly, the 5MP macro sensor also lets you record videos and the results are pretty impressive.
Hardware Performance- SD732G SoC + LPDDR4 RAM & UFS 2.2 Storage
For its price, the Redmi Note 10 Pro is fairly loaded and delivers a solid performance. Similar to the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, the Note 10 Pro is also powered by the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G SoC. The same chipset can also be found on the Poco X3, which also performed quite well in our testing.
Needless to say, the 4G-only 8nm chipset is pretty capable of smoothly running moderate to heavy tasks. We tested the 8GB + 128GB variant running the MIUI 12.5.2 version and experienced lag-free processing and smooth multitasking performance. The RAM and storage type is LPDDR4 RAM and UFS 2.2 respectively that justifies the price-point.
MIUI 12.5 Is Faster And Better Optimized
It is worth mentioning that the Redmi Note 10 Pro felt slightly faster than the Max variant and the reason could be the new MIUI 12.5 update. The new MIUI version seems to offer better UI optimization, smoother animations, and cleaner UI interactions. The UI navigation, apps opening, and closing, notification panel, etc. now feels much faster and responsive than the MIUI's previous iterations. Xiaomi has also added some interesting filters for images and new video shooting modes in the camera app to further enhance its MIUI camera app user experience.
Gaming & Audio Performance
Moving on, you can put that vivid AMOLED panel to good use by playing graphics-intensive games such as Call of Duty Mobile, Dead Trigger 2, Asphalt 9, etc. without any performance drops. And while the phone comes equipped with stereo speakers, I would recommend using a good 3.5mm earphones or wireless headphones if you truly want to enjoy music. The stereo speaker setup produce loud sound but the audio lacks depth. The phone heats up to some extent with long gaming sessions, continuous outdoor camera usage, especially video recording (4K and 1080p 60fps) but nothing is alarming that could affect the device's performance output.
Redmi Note 10 Pro Battery Life
Once again you aren't compromising on the battery life and connectivity even if you are not buying the Max variant. The Redmi Note 10 Pro also draws power from the same beefier 5,020 mAh battery cell which impressed us with its endurance capabilities on the premium sibling. The battery cell easily lasts more than a day if you use it judiciously. If you are a power user with heavy on-screen time, the phone would still last you a day. You can refuel the big battery cell in about 82 minutes with the powerful 33W fast-charger that comes bundled in the box.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro makes for an excellent sub-20K smartphone. I fact I would recommend it over the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max to users who want the best of everything on a limited budget. The phone offers a wonderful 120Hz AMOLED display, premium, durable design, and a great everyday camera. The battery life is excellent and you get all practical features like a 3.5mm audio jack, Gorilla Glass protection, dedicated microSD card, and even a stereo speaker setup, though not producing great audio.
Most importantly, Xiaomi has made some welcome changes to the MIUI making the software experience significantly better than before. If you are tight on the budget, simply go for the base variant of the Redmi Note 10 Pro and put a microSD card in case you need more storage. You won't be disappointed. The base variant of the Redmi Note 10 Pro is priced at just Rs. 15,999 and offers 6GB of RAM. The smartphone is available on Mi.com, Amazon.in, Mi Home and Mi Studio stores.