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Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Review


The last time we saw a Mi Note phone was in 2017 with the third generation of the premium Chinese intermediate. And now in 2019, Xiaomi decided to do a reboot of the series and brought such a premium device that has the best camera on the market, at least according to DxOMark. Of course, this has a price. It comes out more expensive than many flagships with more powerful hardware. And then that doubt arises: is it worth it to pay so much for the much-praised camera? This is what you discover in this full review of tspn1.

Accessories

The Mi Note 10 comes in a black box with the name of the device printed in a large font on the lid. It's the same minimalist design we've seen Xiaomi adopt in other recent releases. In addition to the device you will find:
  • 30W power charger
  • Standard A USB cable at one end and C at the other
  • Silicone Case
  • Key to open SIM card drawer
  • Quick Use Guide

Design

It's been so long since the previous Mi Note came out that the evolution in design was huge. The new one has far fewer edges, adopts a drop-shaped notch and boasts no less than five cameras at the rear and insane 108 MP sensor. And if you are in doubt: yes, it is the global version of Mi CC9 Pro released in China.



As expected from a premium phone, the body is made of metal and the back is made of glass. In addition to the traditional black and white colors, we have more colorful options like green or blue. They all rely on paint with iridescent color to escape the solid pattern of older phones.

The design may resemble the Mi 9 a bit, but here Xiaomi has decided to bet on curved edges, which should also be present on the Mi 10. This helps make the design more elegant, but the curvature of the screen is useless and even complicates the design. visibility away from home with increased glare on the glass.

As expected from an intermediary sold as a premium product, the Mi Note 10 comes with a fairly complete package. It has Wi-Fi 5 GHz, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, infrared support for using the device as a remote control, USB-C, FM radio and P2 input for headphones.

The on-screen bio-metric reader is a newer generation than we have seen on other Xiaomi mid range models. He is a little more agile but still needs to hit the spot perfectly or will often fail.

Screen and sound

There is Gorilla Glass 5 protection that covers the AMOLED panel with Full HD + resolution. The screen has high brightness and support for HDR 10, and low emission of blue light to not harm your eyes when using the phone in the dark.

By default, the colors displayed on the Mi Note 10 screen are well balanced. Only white that is colder than it should be. This can be easily corrected by changing the temperature to 'Warm' in the settings. If you like to see colors popping out of the screen, you can explore the full potential of AMOLED technology by switching to the 'Saturated' profile.

One thing we would like to see in Note 10 is the presence of a double speaker. Unfortunately, what is at the top of the screen is only for calls. So you will have to settle for mono sound. The power is good, but it is below other Xiaomi we tested this year.

At least the sound quality is great and there is no noticeable distortion even when the volume is turned up. And as usual no headphones in the box. At least as there is P2 input to use any headset on it and the delivered sound quality is very good, even better than the various Mi 9 family intermediaries.

Performance and games

For the price that Xiaomi asks for it, we expected to see a Snapdragon 855, but the company spent everything on the powerful camera and bet on the intermediate Snapdragon 730G, the version that is optimized for games.



We have already tested other devices with this hardware and the performance was very good. Here on Mi Note 10, we didn't have the same result. There is a serious lack of MIUI optimization that greatly compromises hardware performance, making it slower than its rivals and even cheaper models.



Already in benchmarks is where we see the full potential of the Mi Note 10 with a higher AnTuTu score than others with Snapdragon 730. But what good is being good in numbers and suffering to load multiple apps?

And the lack of optimization also compromises gaming performance. In PUBG we notice constant drops in fps, and also other games do not have the expected fluidity of hardware of this size. The good news is that all of this can be fixed with software upgrades, just wondering when that will happen.

Camera

Note 10 is Xiaomi's first with five cameras, and if you're here following this review, it's because you're interested in the quality of photos and videos, right? In addition to the insane 108 MP sensor, we also have two zoom lenses (one 2x and one 5x), one wide-angle, and one dedicated for macro.



Let's start with its huge sensor developed by Samsung. It groups four pixels into one, as we've seen several 48 MP camera phones do this year. This ultimately results in 27 MP final images, which is enough to record many details. You can even capture 108 MP images, but in addition to having very large files taking up space, you still have to wait longer for the image to be processed.

We recommend leaving the better default mode, and the results are excellent. The camera of the Mi Note 10 can capture more detail than any other Xiaomi we have tested. The images are cleaner with much less noise, the color balance is more accurate than every flagship and the final quality is at the Pixel line level.

Ultra-wide

And not only does the main camera impress, but the wide-angle also stands out. It's fine that the quality of the photos is not the same as the higher resolution sensor, but it is not behind the best ultra-wides on the market. The software efficiently corrects for wider lens distortion and we have only slightly darker images. The highlight is the presence of autofocus, which you'll rarely find on other smartphones.

What is the point of having two telephoto cameras on one cell phone? The one that has only 2x zoom brings higher resolution. So if the object you are shooting is not too far away, it will have better quality with it. For something further, you will need to change the other with 5x zoom. Both deliver good quality, but there is a sharp level of noise.

You can merge the optical zoom with the digital zoom to zoom in on the object 10x without much quality loss, or you can push hard to get something that is too far away with the 50x zoom, but the quality drops a lot and the photos are poor at general.

Macro

Note 10 is not the first of Xiaomi with a macro camera, but this is the most competent we have seen. It has a shorter focal length than we tested and you can get less than 2cm from an object without suffering from focus. The camera still uses ultra-wide to ensure maximum sharpness, and the results are excellent.



All the Xiaomi mid-range models we tested suffered in low light and this is where the Note 10 camera also shines. Night mode makes everything clearer without pelleting the photos. The results are at the flagship level of other brands.

Selfies and portrait mode

Portrait mode does a very good job with both the rear and the front. You can choose the focus point and even the intensity of the effect even after the picture is saved. The front camera records great selfies. In darker locations, it loses sharpness, but turning on the screen flash greatly reduces the problem.

The camcorder records in 4K, but not at 60 fps by limitation of the Snapdragon 730G. Quality is great at the level of detail and color balance. Optical stabilization works very well with the main one and even electronics do a good job with the others. The focus is agile and the sound capture quality is above Xiaomi's others. Just the nightly footage that makes a lot more noise than we would like to see.

Battery

You look at the Mi Note 10 with its 5,260 mAh battery and think: it should deliver battery for several days. Yeah ... the battery does yield a lot, but we expected more from it. Sure, you can use the device all day long without worrying about the charger and even overcharging for the next day, but it doesn't go far beyond what we have on other 4,000 mAh Xiaomi ones.

At least it comes with a powerful 30W power charger that recharges this giant battery in just over an hour. It is almost half the time that very intermediate delivery. And with just 15 minutes left in the wall, you can get back a quarter of your battery to use, which makes for several hours.

Software

Note 10 is that typical product that had everything to shine but was trolled by poorly optimized software. Xiaomi needs to slow down its release pace and devote more time to its modified Android. It is not just hardware that is made a good smartphone.



MIUI 11 has serious problems with fluidity. Everything chokes, from switching between two apps to returning to the home screen. And for such an expensive device, this is completely unacceptable. Even more to come with advertisements scattered around the interface.

Of course, once again let us emphasize that this can be fixed in the future. But for now, the experience delivered is disappointing. But not everything is negative with the Mi Note 10 and all its features work well, including infrared to control electronics.

The remote control and FM apps come preinstalled. The most ironic part is that to use the radio you need a headset, which does not come with the product.

Conclusion

Yeah ... the Mi Note 10 impresses on camera, but is it worth paying over $ 625. It is a cool phone, but for this value, you can find better options on the market.

If you want cheaper Snapdragon 730 options we can refer to the Galaxy A80 and Mi 9T. Both are faster and deliver a good battery life, but their cameras are nowhere near the Mi Note 10.

Strengths and weaknesses

Strong points


  • Build quality
  • Screen and sound
  • Battery life
  • Recharge time
  • Cameras for photos and videos

Weaknesses


  • Overall and gaming performance
  • Top of the line price

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