Redmi’s main highlight for most of its phones has been the main camera bump on the back, minimalist design, and long-lasting batteries that were better than other brands, probably a year or two ago, but most of them have now caught up.
This time we’re looking at the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G, a decidedly mid-ranged phone (going by its choice of cameras and chipset) but with 5G connectivity and 90Hz refresh rate. Is it any good? Should you buy it? Let’s find out for ourselves.
Design-wise, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G feels good to the touch, and after playing with it for a few days, a lot of interesting stuff came to light.
On the surface, the device comes with an impressive spec sheet. A few notable entries include a 90Hz display, 48MP triple AI cameras, MediaTek Dimensity 700 7nm chipset, and more.
Design & Display: Neat With A Little Touch Of Premium
One thing you should note is the weight because Redmi makes a big deal out of it. It’s a little heavier than Oppo’s Reno 5 Pro 5G device, weighing in at 190g because of the big battery.
On the front, there’s a 6.5-inch IPS LCD display that offers an encouraging 83.7% screen-to-body ratio.
There’s been a tremendous focus on taking a big 6.5-inch phone and not making it feel big, but the weight of the battery highlights how handy the device feels.
The phone packs a high refresh rate on the display, which can be enabled in settings.
There’s a dark mode, actually, there’s quite a variety of dark modes in here, depending on how dark you like it to be. The dark mode applies to third-party apps on the phone as well.
It runs MIUI 12 based on Android 11 and a few minutes into the UI, we noticed it’s very similar to the earlier Redmi Note 10 Pro version. The little customizations and the added features call for good usage.
However, bloatware and not-so-smooth gesture navigation are some of its downsides, but things could get better with subsequent updates. Additionally, there are nice feature additions including a smart sidebar for gaming mode and a customizable Floating Windows option for apps like WhatsApp and Google Chrome.
In addition, the audio is clean, but the speakers tend to resonate sounds through the device, giving it that mid-range feeling you don’t like but that doesn’t matter much, given the cheap price tag. This might come across as likable for some who fancy an immersive audio experience, but overall it feels annoying.
From the outset, the phone sports a good screen-to-body ratio that offers a neat user experience. We got the Nighttime Blue version, and there’s a neat texture on the back which sort of comes off as matte, meaning that the back isn’t going to be a fingerprint magnet at all.
In fact, it’s gotten even harder for fingerprints to show up.
Is The Performance Any Good?
Right off the bat, the fingerprint sensor is side-mounted that also doubles as a power button.
Unlike its Redmi Note 10 Pro sibling which packed a discouraging Snapdragon 732G SoC, the latest Note 10 5G lineup runs on a mid-range MediaTek 5G chipset. Dimensity 700 lags behind Snapdragon’s 845s of 2018 , so it’s safe to say it’s not quite up there in terms of impeccable gaming performance, but it’s close.
The variant we received packs 4 GB of RAM tossed with 128GB internal storage, and the performance feels pretty much identical to the Poco M3 Pro 5G, which packs more RAM but the same Dimensity chipset.
The experience was seamless and smooth throughout the testing period, despite a few dents along the way such as lags on PUBG mobile if you go beyond the standard settings.
PUBG experience rating: 6/10
The camera module is where you’re going to find some of the AI features that Xiaomi talked about in the days leading up to the phone’s launch.
If you’re looking at a bright scene, then it will turn on the HDR mode in order to maintain those highlights to keep them in the frame. However, the AI mode tends to oversaturate the colors and artificially brightens up the shadows, giving the image an artificial look.
Some cool features include the high frame rate mode in macro video. It goes up to 30fps in 720p and 1080p, nothing new or innovative, but fun to play around with.
Some extra features include slow-mo control over certain camera elements.
There’s also Panorama, and a macro option but the detail won’t change much as the main camera module isn’t quite what you’re looking for.
Overall, it does well with the hardware it sports, the 48MP AI cameras perform as well as they can but ultimately fall short of similarly priced phones like its distant sibling Poco M3 Pro 5G.
The Pro modes don’t quite match up with rival phones hands down.
The punch-hole cutout on the front houses an 8MP selfie shooter that works like any mid-ranger would. While the selfie games are disappointing, the front camera does the job well if you’re in a meeting on Zoom or Google Meets.
Big Battery | What About Fast-Charging?
The battery is big, like 5,000mAh big, and features an irritating 18W fast-charging support which can give you a 70% recharge in 90-110 minutes. Battery life is exemplary, lasting almost a day and a half with normal use.
Even with extended gaming sessions, the Redmi Note 10 5G should easily last a full day, unless you’re playing with 90Hz enabled. In that case, expect the battery life to last as much as 6-7 hours at best.
The PKR 32,999 price tag doesn’t hurt much and the cameras aren’t quite up to the mark, but you’ve got to lose some to win some.