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Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 in for review

The Redmi Note 10 did not win over the voters in our weekly poll, its siblings proved quite a bit more popular. That said, plenty of people are closely following the phone as evident by our trending chart – the phone has been in the Top 3 for the last several days.

The Note 10 became available a few days ago, it starts at $200 for the base 4/64 GB model. There are also 4/128 GB and 6/128 GB versions topping out at $280. In India the prices range from INR 12,000 to INR 14,000 (though this is with a discount in effect).

Redmi Note 10 (left) and Redmi Note 10 Pro (right)

We already reviewed the Redmi Note 10 Pro (Max) and we came away impressed. It’s not a perfect phone, but its price point makes it excellent value for money. And this is the best shot that the vanilla Note 10 has at reaching big sales numbers.

First, the Pro costs $300, so the price gap is quite notable. But you do lose a lot of what made the Pro special – the high refresh rate screen with HDR and the 108 MP main camera. There’s still much to like about the phone.

The Redmi Note 10 is more compact due to its 6.43” display. It’s not a small phone by any measure, but 6.5” is a tipping point for some. And it’s still a Super AMOLED panel, so we expect good image quality, even without the HDR10 support.

6.436.43″ Super AMOLED display, 1,080 x 2,400 px resolution, 450 nits typical brightness, Gorilla Glass 3

Then there’s the Snapdragon 678 chipset. It’s an 11 nm part, so it’s behind in terms of power efficiency. The CPU side of things is okay, but we’re worried that the GPU is too slow for gaming (even at 60 fps). If you play games, there could be better phones in this price range – a Realme 6S, if you can find one near you, offers a better gaming experience, despite being a year old at this point.

 11 nm, 2x 2.2 GHz Kryo 460 Gold + 6x 1.7 GHz Kryo 460 Silver, Adreno 612 GPUSnapdragon 678: 11 nm, 2x 2.2 GHz Kryo 460 Gold + 6x 1.7 GHz Kryo 460 Silver, Adreno 612 GPU

The chipset also lacks 5G, which is becoming an increasingly important consideration when buying a new phone, even in the $200 segment. At least Xiaomi knew better than irritate fans by dropping the microSD slot or the 3.5 mm headphone jack.

3.5 mm headphone jack on the bottom
Triple card tray with a dedicated spot for a microSD card

3.5 mm headphone jack on the bottom • Triple card tray with a dedicated spot for a microSD card

The fairly large 5,000 mAh battery could prove to be a highlight of the phone. The Pro model certainly impressed with its 118 hour Endurance rating (and same capacity). The vanilla Note 10 doesn’t have to feed a 120 Hz display, but it’s hobbled by the aging 11 nm chipset. Still, if this gets 100+ hours, we’ll be happy. Especially since the 33W charger can do 0-50% in a little less than half an hour.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 in for review

A Galaxy M21 offers a similar 6.4” Super AMOLED display and an even larger 6,000 mAh battery, though it charges at a glacial 15W. Still, if battery life is a priority, it’s worth having a look. The M21 has a similar camera too, though its chipset is similarly unimpressive.

Anyway, the camera is the last thing we wanted to talk about before diving into the review process . “It’s okay” is the nicest thing we can say about it. It has a run of the mill 48 MP sensor in the main module, which is not going to shoot impressive night time shots or offer good quality zoom. Next to it is an 8 MP ultra wide-angle camera, the same as on the Pro, which should be pretty good (different chipsets process images differently, however, so we’ll still do a full test).

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 in for review

There are plenty of alternatives to consider in this price range – and only several dozen of those are other Xiaomi-made phones. Will the Redmi Note 10 get lost in the crowd? Not if it aces the display and battery tests, the camera needs to do better than the specs suggest too.

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