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Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Review: Excellent Value For Money Deal
Redmi Note 10 is the most affordable device in Xiaomi's upgraded Redmi Note series-line-up. Available in two storage variants-- 4GB + 64GB (Rs. 11,999) and 6GB+ 128GB (Rs. 13,999), the vanilla Redmi Note 10 might not come across as spec-heavy phone as the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max; however, a lot goes in favor of this budget handset that can appeal the masses.
- Premium Design With IP53 Rating
- Big & Vibrant AMOLED Display
- Long-Lasting Battery Life
- Dedicated microSD Card Slot & 3.5mm Headphone Jack
- Camera Performance Could Have Been Better
- Unwanted Ads & Bloatware
We tested the 6GB RAM variant of the smartphone to test the phone's performance as a daily driver. Here's what we think.
Design: Looks As Premium As High-End Redmi Note 10 Devices
The Redmi Note 10 looks and feels as premium as its elder siblings, especially the white color variant that we are testing. The polycarbonate body feels sturdy and long-lasting. Unlike most of the budget handsets that flaunt glossy back panels, the Redmi Note 10's matte finish back easily resists fingerprints and smudges and offers a good grip.
The newly designed camera module is the icing on the cake. It adds a very premium touch to the overall appearance of the handset and is by far the best-looking camera module design on a budget and mid-range handset.
Good Ergonomics, All Required Basic Features Along with Needed Durability
Moving on, the Redmi Note 10 doesn't feel bulky (8.2mm & 178.8 grams) and is pretty easy to use with one hand, thanks to the new ‘EVOL' design philosophy and the comparatively smaller display size. The curved back panel with matte texture creates a very good grip in the hands. The phone also takes care of basics by offering a Type-C charging port, 3.5mm headphone jack, a dedicated microSD card slot, stereo speakers, and Xiaomi's signature IR blaster.
Most importantly, the budget phone is IP53 rated for water-dust resistance and can easily handle water splashes. It is a great feature to have on a budget device. Xiaomi also offers a basic case in the box for added protection. The screen is also protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
Display- Vivid AMOLED Display With Standard 60Hz Refresh Rate
The Redmi Note 10 flaunts a 6.43-inch 1080p (2400 x 1080 pixels ) Super AMOLED screen with 100% DCI-P3 color gamut and a 180Hz touch sampling rate. There's no higher refresh rate panel at play (Standard 60Hz) here, but the display itself is one of the best at this price-point. The AMOLED nature of the panel makes the color look vivid and lively. Videos and games look immersive on the Redmi Note 10. The COD Mobile and Asphalt 9 graphics look crisp and vivid on this budget Redmi Note device.
Widevine L1 DRM Certified
The phone also has Widevine L1 DRM certification letting you enjoy high-resolution content on the popular OTT apps. Also, you won't face any major issues using the phone outdoors as the AMOLED panel offers impressive brightness.
48MP Quad-Camera Justifies The Price-Point
The Redmi Note 10 flaunts a familiar quad-lens camera setup featuring a high-resolution sensor accompanied by a wide-angle lens, macro lens, and depth sensor. The primary camera is a 48MP, f/1.79, 1/2.0" Sony IMX582 sensor with PDAF. It captures crisp shots with ample details, adequate sharpness, and good dynamic range in the daylight. Even the 2x shots maintained good detailing and wide dynamic range. However, as expected, there's minor color shift in the image processing which we also noticed in the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max's picture output.
There were instances when the Redmi Note 10 did better with colors of flowers, t-shirts, and daily objects, and there were times when the camera delivered shots with highly saturated colors. It's funny that both the devices sometimes fail to capture realistic colors. Xiaomi needs to fine-tune the camera processing for more natural-looking color output. The phone allows you to shoot crisp 4K 30fps videos from the primary camera, again an impressive feat for a sub-12K phone.
Decent Wide-Angle Shots In Daylight
The 8MP wide-angle sensor does a good job in daylight. It allows you to capture some crisp landscape shots on a bright sunny day. You get a good 118-degree field-of-view; however, images lack details upon a closer look and some distortion is also visible around the corners, something expected from a budget smartphone.
Pleasing Portraits But Poor Macros
Moving on, the Redmi Note 10 captures good portraits. The 2MP depth-sensor manages to create a pleasing bokeh and images also maintain adequate sharpness. As far as macro shots are concerned, I did not notice any improvements over the predecessor or what the competition has to offer. If you are fond of macro photography, the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is an excellent option. The 13MP selfie camera is a decent shooter, and captures crisp selfies in good lighting.
Average Low-Light Results
The Redmi Note 10 justifies its price for low-light photography; however, results could have been slightly better with the yearly device upgrade cycle. There's no noticeable upgrade in the picture output when compared to the Redmi Note 9. You have to maintain a very steady hand while framing low-light shots otherwise the images will mostly end up blurry with poor details. I am glad to see similar dynamic range and colors even while taking low-light shots on the Redmi Note 10. With little efforts and a tripod handy, the Redmi Note 10 can create good night photography shots.
Last but not the least, Xiaomi has reserved all those interesting camera modes (Vlog, Clone, Dual video mode, etc.) for the premium Redmi Note 10-series phones, which is a bummer. It seems the SD678 isn't quite capable to handle the heavy processing required to create those artistic results.
Overall, the Redmi Note 10 isn't an excellent phone for shutterbugs. It is mostly good for daylight photography and for smartphone users who have a good knowledge of making the most out from an average camera device
Redmi Note 10 Hardware And Software Performance
The Redmi Note 10 is powered by the recently announced Qualcomm Snapdragon 678 chipset. The successor to the SD675 is an 11nm SoC with Adreno 612 taking care of graphics. The octa-core chipset has a clock speed of 2.2GHz and is paired with 4GB/6GB LPDDR4X RAM and 64GB/128GB UFS 2.2 internal storage options. Our 6GB variant sailed smoothly through day-to-day tasks and even managed to run the most popular games without any major performance issues. Yes, it warms up with continuous gaming sessions or with long camera usage and video editing but that's just with every device out there irrespective of the price-point. In a nutshell, this budget phone offers enough firepower to get most of the things done without breaking up a sweat. And that's what matters at this price-point for most buyers.
Android 11 out-Of-The-Box
As far as the software is concerned, the MIUI 12.0.1 based on Android 11 runs smoothly on the Redmi Note 10 for most of the part. You can have a regular app-drawer UI or the typical MIUI setup with all apps placed on the home screens. The settings menu is full of the most used software functions that help you make the most out of an Android phone. For instance, the budget phone offers smooth gestures for navigation, a game turbo mode, floating windows for enhanced controls over apps, always-on display mode, screen recorder, scanner, themes, battery saver, button shortcuts, sound effects and the list goes on. I noticed some hiccups in the MIUI 12's camera app while shooting portraits and 4K 30fps videos. The little gallery icon in the camera viewfinder became unresponsive quite often.
The Redmi Note 10 even offers a dedicated mode to clear the phones' speakers from the accumulated dust. What more can you ask from a sub-12K smartphone?
And while the MIUI 12.0.1 feels much refined than the previous versions, it still has some bloatware in the form of GetApps and Zili applications. These apps send unwanted notifications on the device but thankfully, you can uninstall them with just one tap. Things might get better with the promised MIUI 12.5 update, as promised by Xiaomi.
Battery Life, Audio And Connectivity
The Redmi Note 10 draws power from a beefier 5,000mAh battery unit and the battery life very good overall. The budget phone easily lasts a day and even more depending upon your usage pattern. The bundled charger can refuel the phone's battery from flat to 100% in about 80 minutes which is pretty good from a budget phone's perspective. For connectivity, the Redmi Note 10 has Bluetooth 5.0, Type-C charging port, a 3.5mm audio jack, two SIM card slots, dedicated microSD card space, and dual-band Wi-Fi ac. The touted stereo speaker setup produces loud but not so immersive audio. The sound is loud but lacks clarity. You would be better with a pair of headphones to enjoy your favorite music on the Redmi Note 10.
The Redmi Note 10 hits the sweet spot with its pricing and could be the ideal budget smartphone for most of the buyers in India. It looks good, feels sturdy, clicks decent pictures in the daytime, and smoothly sails throughout the day. The 1080p AMOLED display is a good deal at this price and the phone can easily last more than a day on one full charge. These are some of the basic requirements for the price-conscious buyers and Xiaomi has once again managed to fulfill it with the most affordable Redmi Note device of this season. If you want more than just good old basic performance, the Redmi Note 10 Pro and the Max version are must check out phones in the sub-20K price-bracket.