Xiaomi Mi Note 10

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It’s all the way up there but not really…

Xiaomi Mi Note 10
Xiaomi Mi Note 10

The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 is not really out here to challenge the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra or Huawei P30 Pro or the iPhone 11 Pro Max or anything like that, this phone is here to take on the budget smartphone market with features that can put these top end phones to look after their positions, and it really makes you think these budget Chinese phone makers are out there to offer. To put things out there in perspective, this was the first phone to get a 108megapixel camera, much before the S20 did, it has a curved display, massive battery and healthy number of cameras and yes an in-display fingerprint sensor which even top notch phones are missing out on. And it costs a lot lot less than any of these phones, however it doesn’t mean it’s a monster because there are enough compromises made on it to include all these features and also maintain it’s very accessible price. So is the Xiaomi Note 10 mean business or it’s just a lot of talk?

The design of the phone is very much like a combination of all the Android phones you’ve probably ever seen and felt, it gets that curved edges thing going on the back to compliment the curved display making it rounded on the sides and reminds very much of the thing that is going on with the Samsung phones for the past few years, and a very Huawei flavor in the
colors that come along and the camera placement. Now this is a bulky phone, it’s pretty thick sitting in at 9.7mm, which is freaky thick and weighs in at 208 grams making it also one of the heaviest phones out there, so using it for a long time with one hand is going to be quite tiring. It gets a glass sandwich design with the front and rear glass of the Corning Gorilla
Glass 5 spec and gets an aluminum frame. The girth of this phone is made easier to hold thanks to the curved display and back which is a nice touch. The camera bump is also super protruding, and while most phones have that issue, it is super pronounced on this one. Also the layout is a little weird because only 3 lenses are housed into the bump and the other 2 just
sit below it independently so no idea what’s going on out there. On the front it has a massive 6.47inch display which is an AMOLED panel running at 1080×2340 resolution and has excellent brightness and vibrant popping colors which is great considering this is a very cheap phone, and in fact this is the best display you’d find on a budget phone. Not to forget this is a curved display it also feels quite premium, and there’s also the in-display fingerprint display which is quick and great for the price. But the weird thing is that it doesn’t have a tap to wake option on it so either you’ll have to reach out to the power button or directly put your finger on the scanning area for the fingerprint scanner to wake the display up. It also gets a teardrop notch like other Android phones from this class and houses the front facing camera.

Now the real highlight of the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 is the cameras on board. The primary sensor is a 108 megapixel lens, which makes it the first phone to have it, yes the S20 has it now but those are super expensive and late to the party. It even has the 108megapixel stamped onto the back of the phone. There is also a 12megapixel telephoto lens that offers 2x optical zoom and portrait mode, another 5 megapixel telephoto lens that offers upto 5x zoom, a 2megapixel macro lens and a 20 megapixel ultra wide lens. That’s a lot of cameras and they all work brilliant. In fact the photos out of that 108 megapixel sensor are outright the best that can come out of a phone right now, the focus of the Mi Note 10 is to have brute power
in terms of hardware as it lacks the power for after processing and AI wizardry like pricier phones. While the results of the camera are phenomenal on the phone, it takes it own sweet time to process this as it simply lacks horsepower in the processor department so that is something you’ll have to live with if you’re not willing to spend a 1000$ for the Samsung. The other lenses are all fine and are workable, except the macro lens which is just not good enough and they could’ve picked up a trick or two from the OnePlus 7T Pro to work the Macro mode from the other better performing lenses.

The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 is powered by a weakly Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G which is a decent processor but simply isn’t enough to support the high end hardware that’s paired to this phone. The phone might see some apps crashing or taking long times to load and process but that is just down to the processor and there is pretty much nothing you can do about it,
after all it’s not an 855 and for the market and segment this phone exists, it works fine, it wasn’t designed to take on the iPhone 11 Pro or the S20 or OnePlus 7T Pro. The chip is however optimized for gaming and you’ll see decent performance on high end titles too. The Mi Note 10 gets 6 gigs of RAM to work with and 128GB of storage, however if you move upto the Note 10 Pro, you get 8 gigs of RAM and 256GB of base storage to go to and is pretty much the only difference between the two phones. The sound quality of the phone is also great even though its a single speaker unit, and gets 3.5mm jack for your old school headphones, however the Bluetooth has issues and can lead to stuttering. It gets a massive 5260mAh battery which you’d expect to take you on for at least a day and a half or two easily, but this phone will drain it out quick, it’ll last a day no problem but nothing extraordinary thanks to the not so smart chip on the phone and that high quality display sucking power.

The phone runs Android 9 out of the box with Xiaomi’s MIUI skin on it, and it’s something that’ll have divided opinions. Some people absolutely love it, some hate it. Personally its not the greatest thing out there, but once you get used to it, it’ll be naturally a go to. All in all, the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 is a very ambitious phone with a lot of hardware that’s going to keep you happy for a long time and also put you right on the top of mid and low end phones with it’s camera and display, and with an expected price of around 400$ this is a great pick.

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