Without making too much noise, Xiaomi has become a worth considering option across all price ranges, and with the Redmi 10 the company offers a solid mid-range phone at an incredibly affordable price.
Plus, it’s a very attractive phone, with a glossy finish that makes it look more premium than most phones that cost less than $180. It has a fingerprint sensor integrated into the Home button, a screen that occupies almost the entire front, and admirable performance considering its components.
Unfortunately, its 90Hz screen uses LCD technology, which means it doesn’t reach the levels of other mobiles that use the most modern OLED technology. Still, for its price, it’s hard to argue.
Design and construction
- 8.9mm thick
- no water resistance
Despite its low price, no one can deny that the Xiaomi Redmi 10 is very good looking.
Thanks to the matte finish on the back (the model I tried is in Sea Blue, but it also comes in Pebble White and Charcoal Grey) it looks great when the light hits it, giving it a aspect premium.
However, unlike the Redmi Note 10 5G, it has a glossy back, which means it will be easily marked by your fingerprints and not as easy to grip as the other Xiaomi model.
The front part is almost entirely occupied by the screen. There are still bezels, of course, and perhaps made more apparent by the LCD (more on that below), but a notch in favor of a perforated screen to house the camera selfie.
The Redmi 10 charges via the USB-C port on the bottom, while we have the volume buttons on the right side, just above the power button, which also activates the Google Assistant. This button also incorporates a fingerprint sensor, although you can also unlock it using a passcode or pattern.
Finally, there is an infrared port on the top of the device, which Xiaomi has been integrating for some time, although I have not yet found any use for it on a daily basis. I would prefer it to have some sort of water resistance, but it doesn’t.
- 6.5″ LCD screen
- 90Hz with AdaptiveSync
The LCD screen of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G is 6.5″, which means it is quite large. The panel provides users with plenty of space to play games and use applications, but it lacks the vibrant colors of an OLED panel.
I understand that an LCD panel was chosen to be able to offer it at this price, but the Full HD + screen (1080 x 2400) has a limit of 90 Hz, while there are rivals with 120 Hz panels. But , we must say that at least exceeds 60 Hz (like the Honor 50 Lite).
When stable, the AdaptiveSync feature is set to 45Hz, while videos stream at 60Hz. When playing games or browsing social media, the refresh rate drops to 90Hz. a smart way to make sure the screen doesn’t consume too much power when you don’t need it and helps to have decent battery life.
What is most noticeable, however, is the LCD panel’s lack of contrast. Photos rarely appear and I’ve always needed more vibrant colors. Plus, even the home screen icons are pretty bland.
In daylight, the screen is sometimes hard to read and viewing angles aren’t good unless you’re looking at the screen from the front. It’s a shame, given the size of the screen, because it could be used for watching movies, TV, or even your best photos.
Specifications and performance
- MediaTek Helio G88
- 4 GB of RAM
- 64 GB or 128 GB of storage
The Redmi 10 comes with the MediaTek Helio G88 processor and besides the quality of the screen, this is the best indication of the sacrifices Xiaomi had to make to achieve such a low price.
We ran Geekbench 5 and others landmarks on mobile, whose average scores you can see below. The results are similar to the more expensive Poco M4 Pro, while in the battery test it nearly matches the Moto G9 Power.
In the real world, just play a game of PUBG-Mobile (at most with medium settings), or to use several Google applications at the same time, such as Google Docs or Google Sheets, while checking e-mails. Beyond that, it will be too much.
This is partly due to the meager 4GB of RAM, which means you’ll have to close the most demanding apps before opening others. There is also a 6GB model available, but it is found in few markets. Storage is 64GB or 128GB, but there’s a microSD card slot.
If you’re looking for more power, it’s hard not to recommend Xiaomi’s similarly priced Redmi Note 10 Pro, which comes with 6GB or 8GB of RAM and a much more powerful processor.
- 50 MP main camera
- 8 MP ultra-wide angle
- 2 MP macro lens
- 2 MP depth lens
- Camera selfie 8 MP
As for the camera, the Xiaomi Redmi 10 has a 50 MP rear lens and an 8 MP front sensor housed inside the display.
At the rear, nothing too exciting or functional for my taste. Images are crisp, but they lack vivid colors and it doesn’t help to see them on a basic LCD screen. Contrast is minimal across the board, which along with the display makes any images appear washed out.
During the day, however, the colors are fairly accurate, but if you’re looking for a phone to enjoy photography, it’s not the best. The quad rear camera might look good, but the dual 2MP sensors, as we’ve seen countless times, are really there to make it look like more than it is.
The photos offer a lot of close-up detail, but as you’ll see from the photo of the toys on the shelf, the effect bokeh makes backgrounds less sharp. Night mode performance isn’t anything out of the ordinary either, with the Redmi 10 capturing the moment but not offering much else.
the selfies they are sharp, even if the “beautify” option is activated by default. Without it, facial details look a little blurry, making it hard to tell if the front camera isn’t up to the task or if additional filters are applied.
Videos lack OIS (optical image stabilization) and are capped at 1080p at 30fps, with 720p also optional.
Battery life and charging
- 18W load
- adapter included
The Redmi 10 has a large 5000mAh battery, which will easily last a day and a half. Less active users on social media or more sporadic gamers will likely reach two days of use before needing to recharge it.
I ran our usual Work 3.0 test and the results showed an impressive 15 hours and 48 minutes of screen time while the phone performed simulated tasks.
It also includes a fast charger, with 18W fast charging as standard and a 22.5W charger. That, by today’s standards, isn’t very fast. During our usual 30-minute shutdown test, the Redmi 10 only reached 29% charge.
The Xiaomi Redmi 10 uses MIUI 12.5, Xiaomi’s particular version of Android, in addition to Android 11 (not the current Android 12). There will probably be an update at some point.
So far though, I like MIUI 12. It can be easily customized, has a quick and easy setup wizard, and isn’t too different from the Stock Android version.
One thing I would like to point out, however, is that there is a considerable amount of bloatware included (on initial startup I was greeted with an assortment of utility apps, but also very heavy games like PUBG-Mobile). Be prepared to uninstall a fair amount of unwanted content.
Price and availability
The Xiaomi Redmi 10 is available worldwide and with a starting price of $179.99 for the 64GB model. There’s also a 128GB option for $199.99 (although with the microSD card slot , you will be able to expand the space on both models).
In Europe you can buy this mobile on the Xiaomi, Amazon, Fnac, El Corte Inglés and PcComponentes sites. In Mexico you will also find it on Amazon, while in other Latin American countries it can be purchased on Linio and Mercado Libre.
The Xiaomi Redmi 10 is a reliable phone that won’t blow you away, but it won’t break your bank either.
Its camera and display tech are pretty basic, but it offers a big screen with an adaptive refresh rate of up to 90Hz, solid battery life, and it’s pretty.
We understand that, for its price, it does not offer 5G and that the performance is limited, that the recharge is slow and that it is not waterproof. Still, it’s one of the best options you can find on the market right now for under $200 if you don’t need cutting-edge technology.
List of specifications
- Operating system: Android 11 + MIUI 12
- Processor: MediaTek Helio G88
- RAM memory: 4 GB
- Storage: 64 GB | 128 GB (expandable with microSD)
- Display: 6.5-inch FHD+ LED (1080p, 90Hz)
- Rear cameras: 50 MP (main) + 8 MP (ultra wide angle) + 2 MP (depth) + 2 MP (macro)
- Front camera: 8 MP
- Connectivity: 4G, 5G
- Battery: 5000mAh
- Dimensions: 162 x 75.5 x 8.9mm
- Weight: 181g
Original article published in Tech Advisor.