Xiaomi launched the Redmi Note 10 series earlier this month and just like in 2020, we got three variants that cater to different budgets. We have already tested the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max which manages to pack a host of premium features without costing a bomb. When we started using the Redmi Note 10, our expectations were tapered, based on its price.
Most people would be eager to know if the base model of the Redmi Note 10 series lives up to the name, and if they can expect significant upgrades over the Redmi Note 9 (review). So, should you pick the Redmi Note 10 over the Realme, POCO or Samsung phones in this price range? Let’s find out in this review.
Design and display
- 160.46 x 74.5 x 8.3mm, 178.8g
- 6.43-inch Super AMOLED, Full HD+, 1100 nits peak brightness, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
The new EVOL design has trickled down to the Redmi Note 10 as well. And even though the finishing at the back includes a matte plastic panel, it does not betray the overall value of the device. The smaller screen footprint makes it a compact phone, and add to that, it is worth commending Xiaomi for managing to keep the weight under 180g, despite the massive 5,000mAh battery. All these factors make the Redmi Note 10 an ideal phone to be used with one hand.
The screen sports a small punch hole cut out that houses the selfie camera. The functional buttons are placed on the right side.
The headphone jack and USB Type-C port sit at the bottom, right next to each other. The protruding camera module at the back is not too disconcerting like the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max.
The biggest upgrade lies in the screen department, where Redmi Note 10 features a Super AMOLED panel. Yes, it does miss out on a high refresh rate, but the instant feedback of the screen while navigating is noticeable.
In addition to this, AMOLED panels produce higher levels of contrast and bright colours, and the Redmi Note 10 does not disappoint on that front. You can easily switch to different screen modes to make the best of the colours on offer.
The screen packs 1,100 nits of peak brightness, which is more than enough for regular as well as outdoor visibility under bright sunlight. The blacks are deep and the colour reproduction standards are matched by the crispness of the content that you view on the display. The fingerprint sensor is integrated into the power button and is quick to respond. You can either press or touch the button to unlock the device without any noticeable delay.
- Rear: 48-megapixel primary, 8-megapixel ultra-wide, 2-megapixel macro, 2-megapixel depth
- Front: 13-megapixel
The base model of the Redmi Note 10 series gets a lower count of megapixels on the camera front. And for this price, the quad rear cameras of 48-megapixel primary, 8-megapixel ultra-wide, 2-megapixel macro and 2-megapixel depth are the standard these days.
The module design is similar to that of the Redmi Note 10 Pro and Pro Max, but where the difference lies is the megapixel count of the sensors. The main sensor offers advanced features like 48MP mode, Slow motion, Night, Panorama, HDR and more.
As you can see from the sample images, the 48-megapixel shooter offers impressive results for photos shot in bright daylight.
The ultra-wide-angle fares well as long as you have decent lighting in the background. But when it comes to low-light, the details are a bit sketchy and not up to the mark.
Performance, software and battery
- Android 11 with MIUI 12
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 678
- 4GB + 64GB , 6GB + 128GB
- 5m000mAh battery, 33W fast charge
Xiaomi has decided to go with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 678 chipset for the Redmi Note 10. This is paired with 4GB and 6GB RAM options. While there is a 64GB base storage model, we got the 6GB + 128GB storage variant for review. The results were more than satisfying with the new chipset on board.
The Snapdragon 678 did surprise us with its capabilities. You can easily play games like Call of Duty: Mobile at the highest settings, albeit with slight heating after a while. Essentially, this phone suffices for casual gaming. Coming to the day-to-day usage, you can multi-task with several apps open in the background, have multiple tabs open on Chrome and watch videos on YouTube without any major hiccups.
On the software front, Redmi Note 10 features MIUI 12 built over Android 11. You get the usual apps pre-installed, such as LinkedIn and Facebook. In addition to these, apps like Themes and GetApps that continue to infiltrate your screen with notifications. The first thing you need to do while setting up this phone is turn off the personalised adds feature. Apart from that, MIUI 12 benefits from a cleaner Android 11 interface.
The Redmi Note 10’s 5,000mAh battery comes with 33W fast charging. It charges up to 50 percent in around 30 minutes. Having a big capacity battery means you can expect long backup. During our video loop test at full brightness, the battery dropped from 70 percent to 60 percent over two and half hours. The omission of a high refresh rate and a smaller screen makes a big difference here. On an average, you can easily get the battery to last you for a day and more.
Xiaomi has given us another Redmi Note model that manages to stay grounded and deliver on the budget promise with aplomb. The new design is an upgrade over its predecessor, and the additions of a Super AMOLED panel and stereo speakers are added incentives. But where the Redmi Note 10 really scores for us is the overall performance and the long battery backup that is paired with 33W fast charging.
At its starting price of Rs 11,999, the Redmi Note 10 faces competition from the POCO M3 (review), Realme Narzo 20, Moto G10 Power and the new Samsung Galaxy M12. But there is a reason why the Redmi Note series has been a best-seller year-on-year, and with the upgrades on offer this time around, we can expect the Redmi Note 10 to follow suit.
- Compact, slim design
- Super AMOLED display
- Good performance
- Camera takes good shots in daylight
- Long battery life with fast charging
- Display lacks high refresh rate
- MIUI 12 comes with bloatware
- Secondary cameras not up to the mark