Xiaomi’s Redmi Note series is a very famous line in the world of affordable phones. Today, the company launched the latest generation – the Note 10 series – worldwide. It also launched the same series in India with a slight rebranding in the names.
Although there are several phones in this series, I will mainly focus on the Redmi Note 10 Pro – the model known as the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max in India.
It is the highest variant in the series with a 6.67-inch Full HD AMOLED with a refresh rate of 120 Hz – a first for Xiaomi in this series. Last year, the Chinese tech giant launched the Poco X2 with a 120Hz refresh rate display at just $ 225.
I have been using the Redmi Note 10 Pro for over 72 hours. But before I tell you about my first impression of the phone, let’s take a look at its impressive spec sheet.
- Screen: 6.67-inch FullHD AMOLED display
- Refresh rate: 120 Hz
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G
- RAM: 6 GB / 8 GB
- Internal storage: 64GB / 128GB (UFS 2.2 type storage; flagship phones usually get faster UFS 3.1 type storage)
- Rear camera: 108-megapixel wide sensor with f / 1.9 aperture + 8-megapixel ultra-wide sensor with f / 2.2 aperture + 5-megapixel telemacro sensor with f / 2.4 aperture + 2-megapixel ultra-wide sensor with f / 2 aperture , 4
- Front camera: 16 megapixel sensor with f / 2.45 aperture
- Drums: 5,020 mAh
- Software: MIUI 12 based on Android 11
First impressions: design and display
The moment I picked up the phone from the box, I felt how thin and light it was. Just for comparison, it’s 16 grams lighter and 0.7mm thinner than the Redmi Note 9 Pro. Now these numbers may not seem significant at first, it makes a substantial difference in the way you hold the phone. So much the better, Xiaomi.
On the back of the phone, the company upgraded the camera module to a rectangular corner slot from a square module placed in the center of its predecessor. The fingerprint reader stays mounted on the side and I generally find it more convenient to unlock the phone than an under-screen solution.
You may find that some tones are still too saturated. But you can tone them down by selecting standard color settings from the display menu – so it’s far from a dealbreaker.. This is a huge upgrade from the LCD panel from the previous year.
Then there’s also support for the 120Hz refresh rate and that makes everything super smooth: from scrolling through web pages and apps to games (I haven’t tried much in this phone).
It should be noted that the phone boots up in 60Hz mode, so you will need to go to settings to enable a 120Hz refresh rate. The battery might take a little while for this, but with a whopping 5020mAh cell to boot. indoors, hopefully it could last at least an entire day – even at a high refresh rate.
The second major selling point of this phone is its 108 megapixel camera. It didn’t blow my mind, but it does take some great photos for a phone at this price range. The Samsung ISOCELL sensor is physically larger than the Note 9 Pro’s 64-megapixel shooter. However, it is not a flagship level sensor used in the Mi 11.
In daylight, the camera captures object detail well, but it slightly saturates some colors to make photos more impactful and contrasting. It’s a familiar trope with this series of phones, so if you use these photos for your Instagram, you might even get more likes. You can use the wide-angle camera for generic landscape photos, but it loses detail if you try to capture a specific photo with certain objects.
The telemacro camera is a total hit-and-miss, so I would avoid using it unless you wanted to take a close-up shot of an object in very well-lit conditions.
Xiaomi said there is an improved night mode on the phone, but the pictures look better if but it works better when there is a few light around. Even then, you might see some noise, but various Instagram filters can hide it. Do not use this mode in very dark conditions.
Overall, the Redmi Note 10 Pro stays true to its series name and offers great value for money. While I’ll write a full review after using the phone for a longer time, I think there’s nothing wrong with the device other than its mid-range caveats.
In India, this phone starts at ₹ 18,999 ($ 260). In other markets, it’s launched at $ 279, and that’s a good deal for a device with a great display and a good camera for the range.
Did you know that we have a newsletter dedicated to consumer technologies? It’s called Plugged In – and you can subscribe to it here.
Published March 4, 2021 – 12:59 UTC