We have the Redmi Note 10 Pro for testing, which is the global edition of the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, which is only available in India. The only difference is that the Indian version lacks NFC and is not classified as IP53-rated.
Release Date : 24th March 2021
The Xiaomi-made Redmi Note 10 Pro, with a global RRP of $279, is an enigma. Its 108MP camera system is best-in-class by a broad margin, its screen sounds like it came straight from a premium spec sheet, and with a massive battery, streamlined style, and enough power to provide smooth performance, it can be more expensive. Although the Mi 11 was holding back from perfection due to its interface, the Redmi Note 10 Pro sits pretty at the top of the budget phone podium.
The Redmi Note series is one to keep an eye on because, sooner or later, it will deliver flagship features at a midrange price because their prices don’t differ all that much.
Lets check on the key features and full specification before analyzing its pros and cons
|Body||164×76.5×8.1mm, 193g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass 5), glass back (Gorilla Glass 5), plastic frame; IP53, dust and splash protection.|
|Display||6.67″ AMOLED, HDR10, 120Hz, 450-700 nits (typ), 1080x2400px resolution, 20;9 aspect ratio, 395ppi.|
|Chipset||Qualcomm SM7150-AC Snapdragon 732G (8 nm); Octa-core (2×2.3 GHz Kryo 470 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 470 Silver); Adreno 618.|
|Memory||64GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM; UFS 2.2; microSDXC (dedicated slot).|
|OS/Software||Android 11, MIUI 12.|
|Rear camera||Wide (main);p 108 MP, f/1.8, 25mm, 1/1.52″, 0.7µm, PDAF; Ultrawide angle; 8 MP, f/2.2, 118˚, 1/4.0″, 1.12µm; Macro; 5 MP, f/2.4; Depth; 2 MP, f/2.4.|
|Front camera||16 MP, f/2.5, (wide), 1/3.06″, 1.0µm.|
|Video capture||Rear camera; 4K@30fps, 1080p@30/60fps, gyro-EIS; Front camera; 1080p@30fps, gyro-EIS.|
|Battery||5,020mAh; Fast charging 33W.|
|Misc||Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); NFC; FM radio, Infrared port; 3.5mm jack.|
Lets get rolling
The Redmi Note 10 Pro expands on the limited-edition Redmi Note 9 Pro 5G, also known as the Mi 10i 5G in some countries, both of which were launched a few weeks ago. It has a better HRR OLED screen but uses the weaker Snapdragon 732G chip rather than the more expensive Snapdragon 750G 5G. The rest remains largely unchanged: camera, speakers, battery, and quick charging.
The latest Redmi Note 10 Pro does not have the finest mid-range SoC, but it does have an intriguing quad-camera on the rear. The primary camera is a 108MP Samsung sensor, followed by an 8MP ultrawide snapper, a 5MP cam with tele macro lens, and finally a 2MP depth sensor.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro comes in a standard paper package with everything you need but a pair of headphones. The retail package includes a 33W power adapter and a 3A USB-A-to-C cable.
A translucent silicone case with a cover lid for the USB-C port is also included. In addition, there is one thin screen protector that has already been added to the phone’s display. That was peeled off; sorry, Xiaomi, it was just too cheap.
Design Build Handling
The Redmi Note 10 Pro is one of the only Redmi phones with an IP ranking – IP53 in this case. This ensures the handset is dust-proof and can survive light rain and spraying water. Even better, Xiaomi also added a silicone case with a cover lid for the USB port, which can offer even more security overall.
Aside from being dust and water resistant, the Redmi Note 10 Pro is a standard smartphone. On top of the latest 120Hz OLED panel is a smooth Gorilla Glass 5, a subtly angled piece of what seems to be glass on the back, and a translucent plastic frame between those two parts.
The back and frame, on the other hand, are shiny, and scratches and smudges cling quickly, gradually ruining the appearance. If carried without a shell, the Redmi Note 10 Pro can be wiped clean more often than any of you would like. If you don’t plan to use a case, we recommend the brighter orange or blue alternative.
So, the front is all about the latest 6.67″ OLED screen, which has a normal 1080p resolution but a refresh rate of 120Hz. It looks and feels great on the Note 10 Pro, and the bezels are pretty slim for this class, but the chin hasn’t been trimmed as much as we’ve seen on other flagships.
The panel is covered by a Gorilla Glass 5 piece that is largely smooth and has these familiar 2.5D edges. One very small earpiece grille can be seen on the very end along the corner. Behind it is a directional speaker that serves as an earpiece during phone calls (the sound comes from this grille) and as a stereo speaker when playing music (the sound comes from the vent on top of the phone).
The 16MP selfie camera is housed in a tiny punch-hole in the OLED panel. And, regardless of how small it is, the thing is an eyesore for any perfectionist. The camera isn’t precisely focused in this cutout, because it’s a little higher than it should be, almost touching the top boundary while leaving more room along the rim. They say a photo is worth a thousand sentences, so here’s one.
We realize we’re being a little picky here, particularly given the price, but we thought it was worth mentioning.
While we’re on the issue of nitpicking, the inexpensive screen protector that came pre-installed was not properly applied, with its punch-hole stepping on those already misaligned circles. Yes, it was dreadful.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro lacks an under-screen fingerprint scanner. Xiaomi is only using the side-mounted always-on sensor, which we like. The sensor is lightning fast and extremely accurate, and we’d never trade it for a subpar under-display option. It’s on the Power/Lock key, which is both a blessing and a curse. However, by adjusting the Fingerprint Recognition Process from Tap to Click, you can remove all possible problems and never be locked out again due to unintended mis readings.
The rear glass is gently angled against the window, giving the Redmi Note 10 Pro the appearance of being much smaller than it is. The only thing of note here is the quad-camera configuration, which seems to be quite odd. Let’s take a closer look.
A stairway-like arrangement of glass is used in the camera configuration. The raised smaller one, obviously, the LED flash, and what appears to be laser-autofocus technology, but Xiaomi hasn’t revealed any information. It may be some form of sensor, such as a color temperature or light sensor, but that’s just a wild guess before we understand more.
The four cameras are housed in the top glass. The 108MP shooter from Samsung is at the top of the list. The 5MP macro camera with telephoto lens and the 2MP depth sensor are shown below. Finally, there’s an 8MP ultrawide-angle camera.
The frame is made of plastic, and it’s shiny, but it’s not as slippery as we expected. The visible screen enclosure is likely to support a little, and the grip is very strong.
On the left, there is a single electable tray with a tri-card slot that can accommodate two nano-SIM cards and a microSD card. On the right, you’ll see the volume rocker and the power/fingerprint scanner.
The top seems to be very crowded, with the IR blaster, a second mic, a speaker grille, and the 3.5mm jack all situated there. The other speaker, the USB-C connector, and the mouthpiece are located on the bottom.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro is 2mm shorter and thinner than the Redmi Note 9 Pro. It weighs 193 grams, which is 16 grams less than its ancestor.
It’s a pleasure to hold the Redmi Note 10 Pro. Though the back is somewhat slick, the frame offers enough grip, and the Note can be managed without difficulty much of the time. That is, before your hands begin to sweat, at which point you should exercise strict caution. There is a case included in the pack, so you are safe right away.
Lab tests – display, battery life, charging speed
A 6.67″ 120Hz OLED screen
The screen has seen the most significant update since the Redmi Note 9 set. The latest Redmi Note 10 Pro retains the familiar size – it’s the 6.67″ we’ve grown to love on the Notes, but it now has a more premium 120Hz OLED screen.
The screen resolution is 1,080 x 2,400 pixels, or 395ppi. The selfie camera has a slight punch-hole cutout, but it isn’t perfectly fixed in the hole. That’s what there is to it.
The updated screen allows adjustable refresh rates of 60Hz and 120Hz. It also has a touch-sensing layer with a 240Hz sampling rate, and the panel is beautifully smooth and sensitive.
There is also HDR10 certification, which, when paired with Widevine L1 DRM support, allows you to get the most out of any streaming service.
Let us now discuss the adaptive refresh rate. You can choose between 60Hz and 120Hz refresh rates for your phone, referred to as Standard and Medium refresh rates. The 120Hz option is dynamic, but not as much as Samsung’s AMOLEDs.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro screen still displays 120fps in the UI and all device applications, but it switches to 60Hz when the image is static to save battery life.
Aside from that, the screen runs at 120Hz for approved applications and 60Hz for Netflix, Twitter, Prime Video, the regular Mi Video player, and some sports.
When watching HDR video, Xiaomi claims a maximum auto-brightness of 700 nits (typical), 450 nits (manual), or 1200 nits (peak).
We can check the 700nits brightness, 725 nits to be exact, when the screen is set to Auto-Brightness or when the Sunlight Boost switch is turned on in Manual Brightness Mode.
Xiaomi offers three predefined Color presets – Auto, Saturated, Standard – each representing a specific color space.
The Auto option is tuned to reproduce Wide Color Gamut content faithfully, but it also adjusts the colors to correspond to your current lighting (like Apple’s True Tone). In normal daylight conditions in our office, we measured an average deltaE of 4.1 and a maximum deviation of 7.7 against the DCI-P3 color space – meaning a good calibration though with bluish-white and gray hues. If you opt for the Warm color temperature preset when in Auto Mode, you’d get an average deltaE of 2.4 and a maximum deviation of 4 – and that’s an excellent calibration.
The Standard setting corresponds to sRGB, and we also recorded an average deltaE of 1.3 for the color accuracy – a perfect one.
Finally, the Saturated mode makes the colors pop, and they are no longer as accurate to DCI-P3.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro is fueled by a massive 5,020mAh battery, which is more than enough for a computer of this caliber and hardware, and we expect it to pass our tests with flying colors.
And it worked! The Redmi Note 10 Pro’s battery endurance rating of 114 hours is outstanding. Also with a refresh rate of 120Hz, it performed admirably in screen-on tests.
The video test was run at 120Hz by our Visor software, but it turned out that all common video applications, including the default app, ran at 60Hz on the Redmi Note 10 Pro screen, regardless of our refresh rate choice. So, we even ran our tests at 60Hz, which should be more symbolic. We didn’t get any additional hours on the web survey, but we did get more when we watched movies!
Software and Performance
The Redmi Note 10 Pro is one of the first Xiaomi smartphones to ship with Android 11 and MIUI 12. The MIUI 12 launcher has been around for a while, and you can’t tell that it’s based on Android 11 because it skins it so well.
A new MIUI 12.5 update is expected to be released in April or May of this year. Although it may seem to be a minor upgrade, the company had completely redone the kit from the ground up in order to reduce the power and memory usage of the core apps. Aesthetics and graphic design have also been improved.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro has an Always-on monitor that you can schedule or turn on and off at will. MIUI 12 has a plethora of AOD themes from which to select and personalize. The majority of them can be customized. The Always-on monitor also supports breathing light, which causes the display’s curved edges to flash with colors when new alerts arrive.
The fingerprint scanner on the side of the screen is used to open it. The reader is simple to set up, runs extremely quickly, and has excellent accuracy. We recommend setting the unlock method to Press because the always-on reader can read your palm and/or other fingers, disabling the fingerprint unlock before you enter your PIN. There is a 2D Face Unlock option available thou less secure.
Performance and Benchmark
The Snapdragon 732G chip, which is also used in the Poco X3 NFC, powers the Redmi Note 10 Pro.
The Snapdragon 732G is a close relative of the vanilla S730 and the S730G in terms of hardware. Two Kryo 470 Gold (Cortex-A76) cores clocked at 2.3 GHz and six Kryo 470 Silver (Cortex-A55) cores clocked at 1.8 GHz make up the octa-core processor. They’re all based on an LPP node with an 8nm method.
The Adreno 618 DSP is used in all S73x chips. The one on the 730G runs at 575 MHz, which is 75 MHz faster than the S730. And the one found inside the Redmi Note 10 Pro has a clock speed of up to 800MHz.
Finally, the Redmi Note 10 Pro has 64GB and 128GB UFS2.2 storage options.
You get 6GB LPDDR4 RAM for both storage options, but a limited 8GB RAM + 128GB storage is expected to launch, too.
Camera photos and video Quality
The usual mid-range four-camera setup
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro has a quad-camera system on the back with a familiar layout: a high-resolution main camera, an ultrawide camera, a macro camera, and finally a small depth sensor.
The main camera has a 108MP Samsung ISOCELL HM2 1/1.52″ sensor with 0.7m pixels and an f/1.9 6P lens. The color filter is Nona-Bayer, which means 9 sensor pixels are combined into one 2.1m, and the output resolution is 12MP. PDAF is available, but there is no optical stabilization.
The ultrawide camera has an 8MP Sony IMX355 sensor behind an f/2.2 lens with infinity focus.
Behind a tele macro f/2.4 lens, the macro snapper uses a 5MP Omni Vision OV5675 1/5″ sensor. This camera has autofocus, which works for distances between 3cm and 10cm.
A 2MP GC02M1 depth sensor serves as the fourth camera on the rear.
The selfie camera uses a 16MP Sony IMX471 1/3″ sensor with a wide 20mm f/2.4 lens. The focus is fixed.
The camera app is a rather straightforward implementation. So, you swipe from side to side to change modes, and you can also tap on the ones that you can see to switch to those directly. Up and down swipes don’t work for switching between the front and rear cameras; only the toggle next to the shutter release does that.
The main camera saves 12MP photos by default, and the daylight bunch are outstanding for this class. There is an abundance of detail, even the foliage looks great, the dynamic range is excellent yet not over the top, and the Auto HDR did not fire even once for any of the photos below.
The noise levels are impressively low, while the contrast and the colors very natural and true to life.
The only issue we observed is over-sharpening in some areas (like the building’s facades). Even though it’s not a deal-breaker, we think the sharpening could be taken a notch down. Still, these are some of the best photos you can get today from a phone’s camera, flagships included.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro captures 4K@30fps videos with its primary camera and 1080p@30fps with the ultrawide and macro shooters. The 1080p at 60fps is available only for main camera.
There is also optional electronic stabilization working on all 1080@30fps modes.
The audio in all of the videos is captured at 96Kbps, stereo. The low bitrate didn’t result in awful audio captures, but we did expect more even from a mid-ranger.
The 4K footage we shot with the main camera is great. The detail is plenty, the noise is low, and the video excels in everything else – smoothness, sharpness, colors and contrast. The high video bitrate (41+Mbps) surely helped, though.
Alternatives Verdict Pros and Cons
The Redmi Note 10 Pro is without a doubt one of the year’s most famous deals, and it will be difficult to top. Xiaomi has finally put an end to the 60Hz OLED vs. 120Hz LCD debate by placing a 120Hz OLED screen on such an inexpensive handset. What do you think, Realme?
For a long time, Realme has been known for prioritizing 60Hz AMOLEDs over HRR LCDs, and the Realme 7 Pro is one of these examples. The 7 Pro is more expensive than the Redmi Note 10 Pro, but it has a 60Hz OLED display and lower-resolution main (108MP vs. 64MP) and macro (5MP AF vs. 2MP FF) snappers. However, it stands out for its 65W SuperDart Charging. You may want to wait for the Realme 8 Pro, which will be released in a few weeks and will feature a 60Hz OLED, a Helio G95 chip, and a 108MP primary camera.
The Poco X3 NFC and the Redmi Note 10 Pro have a lot in common. It has the same size screen as the previous one, and it runs at 120Hz, but it’s an IPS LCD. It has the same Snapdragon 732G platform, the same speakers, and a 33W charging battery. The Poco X3 NFC also has a quad-camera on the rear, but instead of 108MP + 8MP, the relevant bits – main and ultrawide – are 64MP + 13MP. However, the Poco X3 NFC is €100 less expensive, so if you don’t want to pay extra for an OLED screen, you could find the Poco X3 to be a good fit.
The sum of €280 The Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite, like the Poco X3, has a 120Hz LCD screen and, for the most part, matches the rest of the specifications. However, thanks to the Snapdragon 750G 5G SoC, the Mi 10T Lite is capable of 5G, making it a viable alternative to the Redmi Note 10 Pro.
The €250 Samsung Galaxy A42 5G is another incredibly low-cost 5G handset. It has a 6.6-inch 720p AMOLED display and is powered by the Snapdragon 750G 5G processor. It has a similar camera (though the primary sensor is 48MP instead of 108MP) and a 5,000mAh battery. The Galaxy does not have stereo speakers or an IP53 rating, but it is a reliable phone, especially for gaming, and according to our battery life test, it will last you for days.
Three more Redmi Note 10 phones have also been released by Xiaomi. The Redmi Note 10 5G has a 90Hz OLED display and supports 5G, but it lacks stereo speakers and an ultrawide camera. The Redmi Note 10 and Note 10S both have 6.43″ 60Hz OLED screens, stereo speakers, and ultrawide cameras, but their chipsets are different: the N10 has Snapdragon 678, while the 10S has Helio G95. Obviously, neither of these will compete with the 108MP camera and 120Hz screen refresh rate, but if you’re on a budget, they’re worth considering.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro is so appealing, and it acquitted itself admirably in our tests, that it’s difficult to find any flaws. This is easily our current favorite bang for the buck deal, as well as one of the most straightforward “go for it” offers we’ve published in a long time.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro isn’t flawless, but it has enough flaws to be forgiven and forgotten about. Although the Note wasn’t designed to replace the flagship, it is closing the gap and could soon be breathing down their necks.
- A higher-grade chipset would have been more exciting.
- No reverse charging.
- The low-light camera quality is mediocre.
- No Night Mode for the ultrawide camera.
- EIS works only on 1080p resolution.