Since its arrival, Xiaomi has been killing it in the Indian budget segment with its sub-brand Redmi, and it’s no different this year. With the Redmi Note 10 series launch, Xiaomi has upped their game by a notch, atleast on paper, but how good is Xiaomi’s latest budget offering in real life? Is it any good for Rs 11,999? Let’s find out.
Design – Made with Love
The Redmi Note 10 follows the ‘EVOL’ design language, same as its bigger siblings, Note 10 Pro and Pro Max. I’d have to say that it looks beautiful and much more premium than other smartphones available in its price segment.
Despite having a 6.45-inch display and a behemoth 5,000mAh battery, the Note 10 feels quite light, weighing just 178.8 grams and around 13 grams lighter than its biggest sibling, the Note 10 Pro Max, which weighs 192 grams. It feels relatively thinner thanks to the curved edge, and that cavity wins me again either on this one or on the Pro Max.
Unlike its siblings, the Note 10 comes with a plastic rear panel which in no way feels cheap. Xiaomi has left no stone unturned to make it feel premium. It feels as premium as its siblings. The camera module is flushed with the transparent plastic encasing, which adds neatness to the overall aesthetics of the phone.
The side rails are made out of plastic and have a chrome finish on the Frosted White unit, which goes hand in hand with the white colour of the phone. The top and bottom edges are now flat, but Note 10 can’t stand on its own, and please don’t try this on your own. Also, we need to appreciate that it doesn’t wobble a bit when placed on a flat surface.
The right side accommodates the volume rocker and the power button, which doubles as the fingerprint sensor. You will find the SIM tray on the left, holding two nano-SIM cards and a microSD card simultaneously.
Then there’s an IR blaster and a speaker grill along with a secondary microphone on the top. At the same time, you can find one more speaker grill on the bottom alongside the 3.5mm jack and USB Type C charging port.
Like its siblings, the Redmi Note 10 also comes with IP53-certification, ensuring its resistance against splashes and rain. But, it’s not recommended to take it with you for a swim. Well, we didn’t do it, and we’d suggest you the same.
In terms of design, the Redmi Note 10 gets things right, and it is undoubtedly one of the well-crafted smartphones in the budget segment.
Display – Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode
The Redmi Note 10 boasts an AMOLED display, a first for the Redmi Note series and the Redmi in India. It comes with a 6.45-inch FHD+ panel with a standard 60Hz refresh rate protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
Getting an AMOLED panel at this price point is quite a big deal, and it won me over. The colours are vivid, and the content looks sharp on this display. The display is also bright enough, and it gets sufficiently bright under the sunlight. Overall, it’s an excellent entry-level AMOLED display. However, it’s not the best, but most importantly, it isn’t just AMOLED for the sake of marketing.
Performance – Fair and Square
The Snapdragon 678 SoC inside the Redmi Note 10 is quite a powerful chipset, and it’s more than enough for day-to-day tasks. Well, it’s also good enough for gaming, but you might notice some jitters while playing resource-heavy games.
Just like its siblings, the Note 10 also runs MIUI 12 on top of Android 11 out of the box. Well, MIUI isn’t great, but the situation is atleast better than before. Now, you get fewer advertisements and more control over them. Though RAM management is still aggressive, and things get pesky if you have more than three or four apps running simultaneously.
Redmi Note 10 comes with a massive 5000mAh battery, and boy, I never charged it twice in a day. The battery on Note 10 lasted me around a day and a half, while it took almost an hour to go from 0-100%, thanks to the 33W fast charger, and it comes inside the box.
Camera – Old Is Gold
Redmi Note 10 borrows the quad-camera setup from its predecessor, the Note 9. The camera setup includes the 48MP primary camera, an 8MP ultra-wide camera, and a 2MP macro and depth sensor pair.
The 48MP primary camera clicks 12MP images by default, but you can click pictures at full resolution also. The photos from the 48MP camera are good enough during day time with enough details and pleasing colours. The dynamic range is also decent, and you won’t need HDR mode most of the time, but it works fine when needed. The 48MP images give you much more details, but then it takes a toll on the overall quality of the pictures.
The 8MP ultra-wide camera also gets work done. The photos from the ultra-wide snapper contain enough details during the daytime. However, things start to get a little rusty during lowlight scenarios. Moreover, the images clicked from the ultra-wide camera produce natural colour tones. But pictures tend to have more of a cooler temperature when compared to the primary camera. There is not much to complain about as it turned out to be better than most ultra-wide snappers in the budget category.
In my opinion, the two 2MP cameras are of no use. The 2MP depth sensor is just for helping out in portraits, while the 2MP macro camera is for clicking absurd close up shots, which looks like some rendered images. Well, there will be times when you’ll find yourself enjoying the closeup’s taken from the primary camera more than the macro shots. So, I think we’d be better off without these two 2MP cameras.
Speaking of the low light performance, the primary camera clicks decent images during evenings or in the artificial light scenario, but it suffers during the night. Though you can turn on HDR to get some good shots still, it’s not the best. The images from the ultra-wide camera are also not that good, but it gets things done.
The Night Mode on the Redmi Note 10 is a hit or miss. Sometimes you get some great images with a lot more light, but sometimes the photos clicked in the Night Mode look like an oil painting. Also, there’s no option for clicking images in Night Mode from the ultra-wide snapper.
The 13MP selfie snapper clicks detailed shots while keeping the skin tone as realistic as possible. Except it suffers during the low light conditions, just like other selfie cameras in this price range. You also get the portrait mode for selfies which works out pretty well. Overall, the front-facing camera is good enough for selfie enthusiasts, which won’t disappoint you much.
Redmi Note 10 – Verdict
Redmi Note 10 is another great smartphone from Xiaomi. Well, it isn’t the best out there, but it gets lots of things right. It is far superior to its competition when it comes to design, display and camera;. However, it misses out on being a powerhouse which is not much of a dealbreaker.
The Redmi Note 10 is a wholesome deal considering that the base model is available for just Rs 11,999. You’re getting a solid build quality, an AMOLED panel, and great pairs of the camera along with a 5000mAh battery and a 33W charger included in the box. However, there is room for improvement in the software and camera department. But overall, the Redmi Note 10 is an absolute winner, and it is undoubtedly the best value for money smartphone in the sub-15,000 price segment.