Xiaomi has made it quite obvious with the Redmi Note 10 Pro that it desires Huawei’s former Western market share, which was lost when Huawei lost access to Google apps. Just below the phone’s name on the Redmi Note 10 Pro’s packaging is the words “with quick access to your favorite Google apps.” Ouch, Xiaomi, ouch.
Xiaomi is aggressively targeting the mid-range market with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G engine, 6GB of RAM, and a 120Hz display, which, strangely, are the exact same specifications as another Xiaomi budget favorite, the Poco X3 NFC.
Yet, it is an improvement in a number of respects. The display is AMOLED as opposed to IPS, which provides limitless contrast and a perfect black level. Second, while both devices feature a quad-camera arrangement, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro’s primary sensor is an astounding 108MP (f/1.9). It is not the first phone with a three-digit megapixel count, but it is by far the cheapest.
Design-wise, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro gets off to a fantastic start. The front is dominated by the 6.56-inch display, which is surrounded by a narrow bezel. While the bottom border is marginally broader, it is hardly apparent and does not appear to have a prominent “chin,” as is common with inexpensive handsets. In lieu of a notch, a pinhole camera sits in the center of the screen one millimeter from the top edge.
Turn it around, and it appears to be just as much of a flagship as the most recent high-priced smartphones from Apple or Samsung. With a back panel that gradually curves towards the sides and a glass back, it gives the impression of being a more costly product. The camera array appears adequately intricate, with the 108MP number sporting a gorgeous silver frame that makes it resemble a recolored Instagram logo.
On the sides, Xiaomi keeps things simple with only a volume rocker and power button that doubles as a fingerprint reader. The headphone jack is located on the top, while the USB-C charging connector is located on the bottom.
Moreover, the phone supports both microSD expansion and two SIM cards simultaneously. It’s a good thing because some devices won’t allow you to extend storage or have a second SIM card, while others will force you to choose between the two.
On paper, the screen of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro challenges the concept of mid-range. The 6.56-inch AMOLED display offers a 120Hz refresh rate, making operating smoother and theoretically enabling 120fps gaming.
The resolution is 2,400 x 1,080, which translates to approximately 395 pixels per inch — much better than what you’d get on a typical laptop screen, but it lags behind some 2K screens on high-end smartphones.
Moreover, this is one of the finest displays we’ve seen in any price range, much less the mid-range. We measured a sRGB gamut coverage of 95.4% with our colorimeter, based on a volume of 97.2% and an almost flawless average Delta E of 1.04. Given it is an OLED display, contrast cannot be beaten, and while 430cd/m2 is not the brightest screen available, it is more than adequate for all but the sunniest days.
In order to conserve battery life, the 120Hz refresh rate is deactivated by default, but can be enabled in the phone’s display settings.
The increased refresh rate is pleasing, albeit modest. Menus and app transitions feel noticeably more fluid, and it’s undoubtedly more enjoyable to use, even though you’re more likely to notice its lack than its existence.
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Yet, the theoretical advantage of frame rates in the triple digits for gaming is largely absent here. This is mostly due to the fact that the Google Play Store doesn’t provide many options, and partially due to the fact that even if it did, the Redmi Note 10 Pro’s mid-range processor wouldn’t be the best vehicle to demonstrate them.
Unfortunately, we have not been able to test the performance in our usual manner. As is common with pre-release phones, our standard testing programs, GeekBench and GFXBench, do not function, preventing us from obtaining comparative results.
The Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC has the same core specs as the Xiaomi Poco X3, thus we may presume that its performance will be comparable. Here’s how it stacks up against other smartphones in the same price range:
As you can see, at this price point, the options are comparable, however it is interesting that the Google Pixel 4a, our favorite mid-range option, lags behind in multi-core performance. It’s unlikely that you’d notice the difference in daily use, but it’s worth mentioning given that it costs £50 more than the Moto G 5G Plus and £100 more than the Moto G9 Plus. The Poco X3 NFC is the actual star of the show, though, given that it costs for £200 and occasionally goes on sale for much less.
In addition to the screen, the camera array distinguishes the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro from its competitors. A 108-megapixel camera at this pricing point is unheard of and quite rare in general. Comparatively, we’ve seen such high megapixel counts on the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, S21 Ultra, and Note 20 Ultra (all of which cost more than £1,000 at launch) as well as Xiaomi’s own Mi Note 10, which costs £459. Regardless of how you look at it, putting this component into a sub-£300 smartphone is an accomplishment.
Before discussing its performance, I should mention that it is not the sole camera on the Redmi Note 10 Pro. Three additional sensors support the 108MP (f/1.9) primary camera: an 8MP (f/2.2) ultrawide lens, a 5MP (f/2.4) macro camera, and a 2MP (f/2.4) depth sensor.
Unless you dislike the company’s cartoonish MIUI Android overlay, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro has few significant flaws. Yes, we don’t yet have a UK price, but assuming it’s under £300 – which it should be, considering that the American MSRP is $279 – then it’s a fantastic choice with respectable performance, an amazing screen, and excellent photographic capabilities.
The only blemish is that Xiaomi’s Poco X3 NFC is available for at least £100 less, while having the same chipset and Memory. The amazing camera and silky smooth 120Hz AMOLED display, however, make me believe that the additional cost is justified.