The Redmi Note series is an extremely popular line from Xiaomi, and there are thousands of fans waiting for the next release of the Note lineup. It’s now arguably a more popular line than Samsung’s Note series (which, sadly, Samsung is killing off). The Redmi Note 10 series is the current best seller in the lineup, aside from its beefier brother the Redmi Note 10 Pro.
For sure, it’s the undeniable king of budget/midrange phones, capable of giving somewhat higher than midrange performance at unbelievably low prices. It has set a standard for performance for phones at this price range. It just offers so much value at a great price, so we were excited to check it out!
Packaging and Contents
Design and Build
The Redmi Note 10 is undeniably sexy – it’s thin enough, feels great on the hands, and textures are just right. It has a polycarbonate body that just feels sturdy while elegant at the same time. It’s the type of phone that you wouldn’t worry looking cheap, but at the same time won’t make you worry if it’s dropped. Its back surface is a fingerprint magnet though. It’s good that there is an included silicon TPU case that would prevent this, and the case is quite thick too.
Speaking of which, it’s IP53 rated for water and dust resistance, which is a great feature for a relatively budget phone. It has a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protecting its screen. It weighs 178.8 g, and measures 8.29mm thick.
The Redmi Note 10 probably has one of the most flexible connectivity options possible for an entry/mid range phone. It has a USB Type-C charging port capable of Mi Turbo Charge (33W charging), as well as a 3.5mm audio jack both located at the bottom. At the top, it has IR (infrared) Blaster for those who still would want to control a lot of devices, which is pretty cool.
Interestingly enough, Xiaomi opted to include stereo speakers, with one speaker each on the top and bottom parts of the phone which push out pretty good and loud sound quality. There’s also a microSD card slot for upgradeable storage up to 512GB, as well as space for two SIM cards. The power button with fingerprint reader is located at the side below the volume rocker.
The display of the Redmi Note 10 is probably the best part about the phone. For a budget phone, it’s just fantastic. Xiaomi opted to use a 6.43-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED DotDisplay that looks absolutely superb. Colors just pop out and vivid, and definitely challenges all other phones in this segment.
It can get quite bright at a max of 1100 nits. Thus, sunlight legibility is outstanding, although it will take up a whole lot of power. However, the screen doesn’t have the same 120hz refresh rate as the Redmi Note 10 Pro. Screen-to-body ratio is just okay at 83.5%, but it’s not a deal breaker since the size alone doesn’t make it feel bulky at all.
Internals, UI, and Performance
The Redmi Note 10 is powered by a Snapdragon 678 SoC. While not really new or high-end, it’s great for a multitude of tasks and general everyday use should be no challenge. It’s not a huge jump from the Redmi Note 9 though.
There are two options for RAM+ROM, which are 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM, and 6GB + 128GB ROM. The unit we had was the 6GB version, and we encountered no issues playing most games, watching movies, browsing. Apps such as Facebook, Waze, Netflix, Google Maps, were smooth and performed well even run after each other.
The MIUI 12.0.5 version on Android 11 is pretty stable and had no visible issues. Simply put, MIUI has always been one of our personal favorites for android ROM’s. It’s clean, offers a lot of great and helpful features, and is visually one of the better looking UI’s available. There’s a whole lot of choices for theme designs and color palettes as well. The only downside is probably the amount of bloatware included with the package, but some are pretty helpful anyway.
Gaming performance was at par with expectations. MOBA Games such as Mobile Legends, League of Legends: Wild Rift were enjoyable at 60 fps max, with low to medium settings turned on. For relatively demanding games like Genshin Impact and PUBG, we had to crank it to the lowest possible settings for a smoother experience, but were still playable.
To boost performance even further, Xiaomi has the Game Turbo app pre-installed to further focus processing power specifically just for gaming. There’s also other features to help out and focus the user on gaming usage only.
PC Mark Work 2.0 Score: 7163
PC Mark Storage 1.0 Score: 11226
Overall performance for daily use was fantastic. The Redmi Note 10 is rated with a 5,000mah battery, and was capable of around more than 1 day use on normal activities (2-3 hours gaming, always on WIFI, 3-4 hours on social media). It should last more than 1 and a half day if usage is cranked down a little bit.
One thing that probably makes this phone last much longer than usual is because MIUI shuts down background apps a little bit more aggressively compared to other systems. This is great if you don’t want a lot of apps running, but not so great if notifications are affected. This setting can be customized though.
The included 33W charging capability on the Redmi Note 10 was also very helpful and one of the fastest we’ve experienced for a device at this price point, and was able to charge to around 65% in less than 30 mins.
Aside from the display, the camera would be one of the Redmi Note 10’s stronger suits. It’s decent, and well-equipped enough for daily use. Although it does lack from some overexposure at times, it’s still a great camera for its price range. Normal users who just post on Facebook or Instagram would not really mind some of the lack of detail, but power users might notice the difference.
The quad-camera setup at the back of the phone features a main unit with 48MP f/1.8 aperture, an 8MP f/2.2 ultrawide camera, a 2MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth camera. While it’s obvious that Xiaomi opted to boast the “48MP” as the main selling feature of the camera setup, it’s not necessarily the best feature of the camera. Actually, there is a slight downgrade overall compared to the Redmi Note 9, with the macro camera losing the autofocus. Despite this, macro shots still turned out pretty good.
Aside from the standard photo, portrait, and video modes, there’s a couple of other modes available on the camera app as well. There’s night mode, 48MP mode, short video, panorama, documents, slow motion, and time lapse.
Turning on the AI feature will automatically select the photo mode for the specific scene. AI mode was quick, although not necessarily accurate. However, once it was figured out, the scenes changed drastically. There were some times that we wished AI was not adjusting too aggressively for every scene.
Redmi Note 10 Sample shots
Overall, the camera quality of the Redmi Note 10 performed well above expectations. However, there is a significant difference in the quality of the front camera from the back camera, especially in low light situations. Even in good lighting conditions, the color reproduction on the front/selfie camera was just okay, and there some blurriness was noticeable (only if you zoom in really closely).
There was some overcompensation for outdoor scenes as it seemed too bright and contrasts were not too balanced especially with HDR on.
Night mode is pretty solid but also took a much longer time to process. It doesn’t have a delightfully surprising result since the pictures turned out still a little bit dark and grainy, but should be passable for most users.
Macro photography was great despite the sensor downgrade. Details were crisp, although there is no super macro mode which zooms in a little closer to the subject.
The Redmi Note 10 is arguably one of the most popular midrange phones in the market, and has been available for some time. There’s literally thousands of people who have bought this, and with good reason. While not having exactly “high end specs at a low-end price”, the specs to price comparison is pretty fair, and gives most users fantastic value for money. It has a brilliant, high-res AMOLED display, above-average camera performance, great battery life, and some of the best connectivity options. While it does have some downsides such as not having wireless charging, NFC, all these seem very negligible once you take a look at a low price.
There’s just very little strong competition at this price segment, and no wonder it has been flying off the shelves and crushing the competition. If you are able to get a unit at this moment, even until the end of 2021, you would definitely not regret buying this phone.
Redmi Note 10 Specifications
Display: 6.43-inch Super AMOLED DotDisplay, 2400 x 1080 pixels
Chipset: Snapdragon 678
CPU and Graphics: Octa-Core, Adreno 612
RAM + Storage: 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM; 6GB RAM + 128GB ROM
SIM: Dual-SIM – SIM 1 + Hybrid (SIM or microSD)
Expandable storage: MicroSD up to 512 GB
Primary Camera: 48 MP, f/1.79 aperture
Secondary cameras: 2 MP Macro, 8 MP Ultrawide and 2MP Depth sensor
Selfie Camera: 13 MP
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 5.0, FM radio
Ports: USB Type-C, 3.5mm Audio Jack
Battery: 5,000 mAh Lithium Polymer, Non-removable. 33W Fast charging
Software: Android 11 with MIUI 12
Colours: Frost White, Shadow Black, Aqua Green