Xiaomi is known for making exceptional budget smartphones. Today, we’ll talk about their latest iteration, the Mi Note 10. Yes, it shares the name with the all popular Samsung Galaxy Note 10. However, what it doesn’t share is the price, as we’ll talk about later. So how does this budget smartphone compete in the market? Let’s find out.
Design & Display
Like all the smartphones that came out recently, the Mi Note 10 features a glass and metal construction. The glass panels sandwich the aluminum panel in between. This results in a premium looking and feeling smartphone in the hand. However, that does make it fragile, prone to fingerprints and slippery.
Regardless, up front you have the 6.47″ 1080×2340 3D curved AMOLED display. The display takes up all of the front, which results in an impressive 87.8% screen to body ratio. You do have a teardrop shaped notch on the top that houses the single selfie camera. Apart from that there isn’t anything noteworthy on the front.
Move to the back and you’ll find the well known 5 camera setup that everyone’s hyped about. We’ll talk about them in detail in the relevant section. They are arranged in a vertical manner which does take a lot of space in the back. Apart from those, there are a lot of scripts as well, describing the phone, which does look cool but they also disrupt the clean look. Regardless, the phone does look good overall.
As mentioned earlier, the Mi Note 10 has 5 cameras in the back. Here are their specs:
- 108MP standard unit with 25mm focal length and f/1.7 aperture.
- 12MP telephoto with 50mm focal length and f/2.0 aperture. It is capable of 2x optical zoom.
- 5MP (upscaled to 8MP) telephoto with 125mm focal length and f/2.0 aperture. It is capable of 5x optical zoom.
- 20MP ultrawide with 13mm focal length and f/2.2 aperture.
- 2MP macro unit with f/2.4 aperture.
This is, without a doubt, the most unique camera setup that we’ve seen on a smartphone. It was 2 telephoto units that will give you the flexibility you need for capturing distant objects, albeit it does come at the cost of image quality as the 5x camera has only 5MP. Apart from that the standard unit has 108MP, which is probably the highest megapixel count that we’ve seen in a smartphone camera.
The video recording modes include:
- 1080p@120/240fps (slow motion)
- 720p@960 fps (super slow motion)
Apart from these, the front camera is a single 32MP unit with f/2.0 aperture. It can record 1080p videos at 30 fps. Being 32MP, it will give you exceptional quality selfies without breaking a sweat.
Powering the Mi Note 10, is a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 730G CPU paired with an Adreno 618 GPU. Now, I know this isn’t the most potent setup for performance but believe me when I say it’ll get the job done. It will get you through all the games available today. However, it will start to show its age after a year or two, unlike its more powerful sibling, the Snapdragon 855.
As far as RAM and storage are concerned, you only get one option. The Mi Note 10 comes with an 8GB RAM and 256GB of internal storage space. There is no MicroSD expansion available but you don’t really need that. 256GB of internal storage is more than enough for all your storage needs. Similarly, 8GB of RAM is what you get with most recent flagships and more than what you get on the Google Pixel 4. Needless to say, you’ll be good to go in this front.
Last and definitely not the least, let’s talk about the battery. The Mi Note 10 comes with a beefy 5260mAh unit, which is easily one of the most potent, if not the most, potent smartphone battery available. It will easily last you 2 days with heavy usage thanks to the 1080p display. What’s better is that it comes with a 30W fast charger which will top this beast up in the least time possible.
Software & Security
The Mi Note 10 comes, out of the box with Android 9.0 (Pie) with Xiaomi’s own MIUI running on top of it. Now, I know Android 9 isn’t the latest one out there but most devices still run this software so it won’t be left behind by many. Being a new phone, it will surely get the Android 10 update from Xiaomi soon.
MIUI isn’t particularly interesting. I like the clean, clutter free look of it. However, it isn’t as good as OnePlus’s OxygenOS and doesn’t pack as many features as Samsung’s OneUI.
In the security department, the Mi Note 10 comes with an optical in-display fingerprint sensor that all recent smartphones seem to be coming with. Again, it isn’t as secure as Samsung’s Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor or as fast as the one found in the OnePlus but it gets the job done of keeping your phone secure with your fingerprints.
Price & Verdict
The Xiaomi Mi Note 10, with all its features, would set you back just $649.00. It is a really good price for a smartphone like this and I commend Xiaomi for coming up with this. you do, however, have to make sacrifices like a less powerful processor, less secure fingerprint sensor, and a 1080p display.
However, that can be forgiven as the Mi Note 10 isn’t made to compete with flagships. It is aimed at people who are looking for budget smartphones that can give them decent performance and that is what the Mi Note 10 does best. Pair that with exceptional battery life and you’ve got yourself a worthy package for $650.