Xiaomi‘s Redmi sub-brand is known for its affordable smartphones, with the budget Redmi and mid-range Redmi Note devices being the moneymakers in India. So far, the distinction between Redmi and Redmi Note smartphones has been quite straightforward, with the Note series leaning towards more premium features and the former offering the basics. With the Redmi 10 Prime, things have changed.
The latest Redmi smartphone brings several upgrades to the Redmi series, including a 90Hz refresh rate, powerful Helio G88 chipset and 50MP primary camera. As a result, it’s also more expensive than other Redmi series phones, and is almost on par with the Note 10 series. But can a revised ploy with the new Redmi phone work in its favour? We decided to find answers to that with our review of the Redmi 10 Prime.
Design and display
- 161.2 x 75.6 x 9.6mm, 192 grams
- 6.5-inch LCD FHD+, 90Hz refresh rate, 400 nits brightness
Redmi 10 Prime gives us another chance to experience the new EVOL design language from the brand. But compared to the quality that we got with the Redmi Note 10, this device has the hallmarks of an affordable product. And by that we mean, use of glossy plastic panel, LCD instead of AMOLED and few other compromises. The camera layout at the back is the saving grace here.
Having a large capacity battery takes a toll on phone’s dimensions and grip. But it’s good to see the Redmi 10 Prime focused on the basics. It weighs 192 grams which is respectable, even though its thickness 9.6mm may not appeal to everyone. But when you get to hear the phone has a 6,000mAh battery, you might feel pleasantly surprised at how light it feels.
As for the controls, the power button and the volume rocker are on the right of the device. The headphone jack is at the top, while the USB Type-C interface sits at the bottom next to the speaker. The power button doubles up as a fingerprint sensor.
Moving on to the screen, Redmi 10 Prime sports a 6.5-inch LCD display that offers Full HD+ resolution and supports a 90Hz refresh rate. It features Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection as well.
But you’ll notice the large-size punch hole added at the top, and honestly, it tends to be an eye sore. The overall screen to body ratio comes to 83 percent and you get pixel density of 405 ppi. All these numbers translate into immersive viewing, and having Full HD quality on board is always a plus. Outdoor viewing on the phone isn’t the best, but is acceptable at this price.
The refresh rate is adaptive, and by default comes at 60Hz, which you can change from the Settings. The fingerprint sensor works swiftly and gives you accurate unlock most times.
- Rear: 50-megapixel primary sensor, 8-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, 2-megapixel macro sensor, 2-megapixel depth sensor
- Front: 8-megapixel sensor
Redmi 10 Prime is the first phone to feature the new 50-megapixel quad rear cameras. The system comprises a 50-megapixel main sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, 2-megapixel macro and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. In the front, it has an 8-megapixel shooter for selfies.
The Redmi 10 Prime does benefit from the high resolution primary sensor. But the limitations of the other sensors mean you’ve got an average package. The main 50-megapixel main camera shoots decent images in daylight and sometime you will notice extra sharpness in details. As you can see from the images below, the colour temperature of the subject is quite balanced, but move closer, and you start noticing loss of detail.
But the camera’s ability to shoot in low-light is the bigger concern for us. Not only do the images look washed out, they also lack any semblance of detail. The front camera is mediocre at best, and you might prefer using it for basic purposes or video calls.
Performance, software and battery
- Android 11 with MIUI 12.5
- MediaTek Helio G88 SoC
- 4GB + 64GB, 6GB + 128GB
- 6,000mAh battery, 18W fast charging
As you might know, Redmi 10 Prime is one of the first devices to use MediaTek Helio G88 chipset in India. The company sent us the 6GB RAM + 128GB storage variant for review. And safe to say, the performance of this device didn’t leave us wanting.
You can get most basic tasks done without any issues. Redmi 10 Prime has two variants for buyers, one with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, the other gets you 6GB RAM with 128GB internal storage. The storage is further expandable using the dedicated microSD card slot.
Games like Battlegrounds Mobile India work well enough, but as expected, the settings were limited to HD quality. Even then, you start noticing the phone’s back getting warm after half an hour or so.
All these indicate the Redmi 10 Prime is not meant for heavy gaming purpose, even though it has a 6,000mAh battery on board. But if you need a daily workhorse machine that is suited for multi-tasking other activities, you can surely go for it. Special mention goes to the stereo speakers at the top and bottom that makes watching videos immersive.
Xiaomi is once again offering MIUI 12.5 built over Android 11 as the default software for the Redmi 10 Prime. And like we’ve experienced before, this MIUI version is polished, with its set of quirks and animations that has become popular among users.
Xiaomi has limited the number of pre-loaded apps on the phone, but you still have Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, Prime Video and LinkedIn. All the apps can be uninstalled, but there are a few Mi apps that stay on the device.
And finally the Redmi 10 Prime packs a 6,000mAh battery which promises long backup on a single charge. The company’s choice is understandable, but having this unit takes a toll on charging of the device. Especially, when it supports only 18W charging speed. So, you generally have to wait for a couple of hours (or more) to get the 6,000mAh battery fully charged.
In general, we got decent return from the phone. During our video loop test at full brightness, we saw the battery marginally dropping from 70 percent to 60 percent in close to 4 hours, which is quite impressive. So, we reckon that with normal usage, Redmi 10 Prime should easily give you two days of usage.
At its Rs 12,499 starting price, the Redmi 10 Prime goes head to head with the Redmi Note 10 series. In fact, the price is even higher than the Redmi Note 10’s launch price. However, Xiaomi has been introducing frequent hikes to its Note 10 series, given the global chipset shortage. As a result, the base Redmi Note 10, which was launched for just Rs 11,999 is now retailing for Rs 13,999.
The bridge between affordable and mid-range has narrowed, and buyers might find it confusing. But we are here to make things simpler. With the Redmi 10 Prime you get a device that ticks most boxes. You get the desired performance, long battery, large screen for multimedia consumption and a design that is respectable to the say the least. However, you might find it falling short on the cameras.
At its asking price, the Redmi 10 Prime gets some competition from the Redmi Note 10 (review) which has AMOLED display and better cameras. The Realme Narzo 30 is another compelling option which offers a Helio G95 chipset and faster 30W charging. However, both these options will require you to shell out a bit more, making the Redmi 10 Prime the more VFM buy.
- Lightweight design
- 90Hz FHD+ display
- Good performance
- Long battery life
- Dedicated microSD card slot
- Average cameras
- Plastic build quality
- Slow charging given the battery size
- More expensive than previous Redmi phones