Xiaomi is known for launching budget smartphones in the market, and while many believe that’s the end of the road for Xiaomi, people forget that there are premium smartphones as well. Last year, the company spun off Redmi brand into its own company and now tries to tap into the premium segment with their new Mi 10.
The last premium smartphone from Xiaomi was the Mi Mix 2, which was launched almost 3 years ago. Now, with the Mi 10, the company aims to get back into the premium segment. However, it could be a rough road ahead considering the tensions between India and China. Also, most people know Xiaomi as a brand for creating budget smartphones at aggressive pricing.
Therefore, the stakes are high for Xiaomi with this one. So let’s find out whether the Xiaomi Mi 10 has what it takes?
Xiaomi Mi 10 Review: Specifications
Xiaomi Mi 10 sports a 6.67-inch FullHD+ Super AMOLED display with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. The storage is further expandable using a microSD card slot. It runs on Android 10 based MIUI 11 out of the box. All of this is backed by a 4,780mAh battery.
On the optics front, the Mi 10 features a quad rear camera setup including a 108MP primary camera, an 13MP ultra-wide-angle lens and a 2MP depth sensor and a 2MP macro sensor. Upfront, there is a 20MP selfie snapper.
Xiaomi Mi 10 Review: Design and Display
The Xiaomi Mi 10 design has an understated design. It does not sport a loud design attracting peoples’ attention in the public, however, offers an elegant look that makes the smartphone look good.
On the front, the Mi 10 sports a 6.67-inch panel with a punch-hole camera to the left side. It has thin top and bottom bezels offering a seamless display experience even with the punch hole camera. The heavily curved display from the sides contributes to the seamless look.
As for the placements, Mi 10 sports a USB Type-C port on the bottom edge surrounded by the speaker grille and the primary microphone, and a sim card tray. The right edge houses the power button and volume buttons. The left edge is completely cleaned, while the top edge has a secondary microphone, IR blaster and a secondary speaker. Overall, the ergonomics of the phone are really good and it feels premium in hand.
Coming back to the display, it is a 6.67-inch Super AMOLED panel with a resolution of 2340×1080 pixels. The curved display from the sides, along with the 90Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ looks really good whether you are playing games or watching a movie on Netflix. I would say it’s one of the best panels I have tried till date, just shy of the OnePlus 8 due to not supporting 120Hz.
However, the 90Hz instead of 120Hz panel doesn’t cause much difference. While performing day to day tasks, the fluid display of the Mi 10 makes you forget that you are even looking through a phone display.
Xiaomi Mi 10 Review: Performance, Software and UI
Xiaomi Mi 10 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor paired with 8GB of RAM. With the phone being priced at around Rs. 50,000, we expected no less than the provided specs. During the review period, the phone ran without any issue. The 90Hz refresh rate of the display makes the smartphone feel faster than it is. This combined with the top of the line specs, the phone performed as expected for the price range.
The Mi 10 runs on Android 10 based MIUI 11 out of the box. The software is well built, to take advantage of all that power to provide a smooth experience. However, MIUI did have its fair share of annoyances on the Mi 10. Despite the amazing amount of customizations and features packed into the device, the amount of bloatware, super colorful UI along with the exclusion of the app drawer is a big issue for me.
While the Mi 10 had no ads compared to other Xiaomi smartphones, the constant bombardment of notification from GetApps app feels nothing short of an ad. I appreciate the features and amount of customizations built-in, but the MIUI is still something I cannot get around to liking.
Xiaomi Mi 10 Review: Cameras
Xiaomi Mi 10 sports a quad-camera setup at the back. The setup comprises a 108MP primary camera, a 13MP ultra-wide-angle lens and a 2MP depth sensor and a 2MP macro sensor. Upfront, there is a 20MP selfie snapper.
The camera app is straightforward and offers a good amount of features. It’s easy to navigate through and is the same as other MIUI based phones.
During our tests, the Mi 10 managed to click some great shots. By default, it shoots 25.2-megapixel shots from the main sensor, but you can set it to take full-resolution 108-megapixel shots. Under good lighting conditions, the phone managed to lock focus quickly and even picked up the natural colours. The difference between 108-megapixel photos and the default photos weren’t much visible unless the images are put up on a 43’inch screen.
You can see the software in play when you try to take HDR shots, with heavy sharpening, noise reduction and weird shadows. The Night mode shots are good, but not as good as a Pixel or Huawei at the same price. The 2 megapixel macro sensor is the one I was interested in testing and as expected, it provided images which cannot be said to be taken from a phone at this price range.
The selfie camera was good enough. You can notice a lot of smoothening in the image with the beauty mode turned on by default and cannot be fully toggled off. Most people will like the results that the software tuned photos provide.
Xiaomi Mi 10 Review: Battery
The Mi 10 comes with a massive 4,800mAh battery. During my time with the device, light to medium usage got me two full days of usage. With my usage, the battery lasted a little more than a full day of usage. The MIUI software optimizations killing apps in the background and force stopping services help achieve this number.
The smartphone also supports 30W fast charging with the included wall adapter and 30W fast wireless charging with the proprietary wireless charger which you will need to buy separately. The smartphone also has 10W reverse charging which is good on paper, but in reality, it struggled to keep my S20 Ultra charged due to it disconnecting every now and then.
Xiaomi Mi 10 Review: Verdict
Xiaomi Mi 10 feels like a true flagship in hand and in performance. Priced at Rs 49,999, it truly comes in the flagship price bracket as well. The camera performance is good too, but I feel there is still a need for some software optimisations for better shots. As the phone comes with 5G support, it does make for a future proof smartphone as we might start seeing 5G trials starting next year.
I would recommend anyone interested in the Mi 10 to go for the purchase if they are willing to bear the annoyances of the MIUI. With all the bloatware, constant bombardment of notifications from that bloatware, it ruins the flagship experience. If you are willing to adjust a bit in the software front, the Mi 10 is a great deal.