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Xiaomi Mi 10 Review: A Premium Smartphone with Annoying Bloatware and Ads

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Xiaomi has launched high-end Mi series phones in India. However, much of the company’s success in the market is based on the popular Redmi series. In fact, the last major Mi brand product in India was the Mi Mix 2, a device that received reasonable publicity but did little for Xiaomi.

Last year Xiaomi decided to make Redmi into a separate brand to enhance the connotations of affordable hardware. With the launch of Mi 10, the company wants to make a niche in India’s fast-growing premium smartphone class.

In Europe, the combination of the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro is a hit or two on OnePlus when Xiaomi tries to go up in the value chain.

The stakes are high, and since there are no relatively brand in India as a premium segment player, Xiaomi’s work has been interrupted. But the proof is in the pudding. Does Mi 10 have what it takes to face the competition?

Let’s see in Xiaomi Mi 10 Review.

Pros:

  • Understated, yet eye-catching design
  • Excellent fit and finish
  • Excellent primary camera
  • Top-tier performance
  • Fast wired and wireless charging
  • Big battery

Cons:

  • MIUI still has bloatware and annoying pop-ups

Specifications

 Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro
Display6.67-in AMOLED DotDisplay with TrueColor
19.5:9 aspect ratio, 92.4% body/screen ratio
90Hz
Full HD+
800nits
Under-display fingerprint reader
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 865
Adreno 650 GPU
LiquidCool 2.0 vapor chamber
Memory8GB LPDDR5 RAM
Storage256 UFS 3.0 storage
Battery4,780mAh
30W wired charging
30W wireless charging
30W charger in box
CameraRear:
Main: 108MP, f/1.69, 1/1.33-in sensor, 82-degree FoV
Ultra-Wide: 13MP, f/2.2, 117-degree FoV
Macro: 2MP, f/2.4
Depth: 2MP, f/2.4

Front:
Selfie: 20MP f/2.3, in-display, 1/3.4-in sensor

Video:
8K @30fps, 4K @60fps, 1080p @60fps, 720p @120fps
Dimensions162.58 x 74.8 x 8.96mm
Weight208g
ColorsAlpine White, Solstice Grey

Jump to Sections

Xiaomi Mi 10 Review: Design

The design of the Mi 10 is a testament to moderation: it embodies all modern iconic trends without being over the top. The back panel is a polished glass panel that gently curves around the edges for a steady hand.

xiaomi mi 10 review

The camera module is located near the left side of the frame. While the three main lenses are placed on one island, the ultra-wide camera is inexplicably positioned among the others. While it doesn’t affect design, it’s a rare choice with such a well-designed device.

While there are devices on the market that require performance, there is something to be said for the understated design of sheer elegance. The matte gray hue of the Mi 10 option makes the phone look first class without screaming.

xiaomi mi 10 review

Elsewhere, the metal frame between the front and rear glass is painted to fit the hardware and ensures a perfect appearance. I especially liked the feedback from the volume control and the on/off switch. The buttons are well positioned and easily accessible regardless of the size of the device.

Xiaomi Mi 10 Review: A Premium Smartphone with Annoying Bloatware and Ads 1

I found the built-in fingerprint reader quite quick and accurate. Although the scanner rarely failed to open the phone, the animations and haptics took their own time doing the thing. Xiaomi would do well to optimize the duration of the haptics here.

While most premium phones today offer a high level of fit and professionalism, the Mi 10 seems somewhat special overall.

Xiaomi Mi 10 Review: Display

  • 6.67-in AMOLED Dot Display
  • 19.5:9, 92.4% screen/body ratio
  • HDR10+ / TUV Rheinland cert
  • 90Hz
  • Full HD+
  • 800nits
  • 5,ooo,ooo:1 contrast
  • Under-display fingerprint reader

The Mi 10’s screen isn’t as big as the OnePlus 8 Pro‘s, but frankly, it’s better. It is a completely manageable size that still offers enough space for intensive media consumption. The hole in the top left corner of the camera doesn’t distract too much, though I have to say that I definitely miss the unhindered display that comes with a pop-up selfie camera.

Xiaomi Mi 10 Review: A Premium Smartphone with Annoying Bloatware and Ads 2

There are other features missing compared to OnePlus 8 Pro. First, this is a Full HD panel compared to the OnePlus Quad HD display. The refresh rate also reaches a maximum value of 90 Hz instead of 120 Hz. The lack of a Quad HD panel and a 120 Hz display is not a deciding factor.

Does it make any difference? Nothing I can notice. The Mi 10 has a beautiful display that looks absolutely fluid when browsing, looking at the social media or doing everyday work. When you add this HDR10+ support, you have a great device.

I also loved how bright the screen will be, and had no problems viewing the screen in the harsh 44-degree sunlight from Dhaka.

Xiaomi Mi 10 Review: Performance

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
  • Adreno 650 GPU
  • 8GB LPDDR5 RAM
  • 128GB/256GB UFS 3.0 storage
  • LiquidCool 2.0 vapor chamber

You already know what to expect. It can’t be a high-end phone if it doesn’t have a premium chipset. As expected, Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 will bring the show out here. Combined with 8GB of LPDDR5-RAM, LiquidCool 2.0 vapor chamber, and up to 256GB of memory, the specs offer the best possible.

Let’s talk about actual performance. Xiaomi has done an excellent job optimizing MIUI 11. The user experience is incredibly flexible, and there has never been a time when the phone feels like it is performing to catch the task at hand.

With the 865, of course, the phone exceeds benchmarks, and gaming is a smooth and smooth experience.

Xiaomi Mi 10 Review: Battery

The USB-C card slot is located at the bottom and supports 30W quick charging with the included charger. Like the OnePlus 8 Pro, the Mi 10 also supports 30W wireless charging, although you’ll need to invest in Xiaomi’s own charging base to achieve these speeds. I really enjoyed the opportunity to plug the Mi 10 Xiaomi’s wireless charger and charge it quickly without having to worry about cables. In contrast to the world market, Xiaomi has also launched 10W reverse charging on the Mi 10 in India which is ideal for charging a wireless headset or other phones faster when needed.

Xiaomi Mi 10 Review: A Premium Smartphone with Annoying Bloatware and Ads 5

At the same time, the 4780 mAh battery lasts a whole day and longer. Xiaomi has always been good at achieving maximum battery life, and the Mi 10 is no exception. I have reliably a full day with an average of six hours on-screen time.

Xiaomi Mi 10 Review: Software

MIUI can be optimized for hardware, but it doesn’t override some really questionable decisions.

No matter how you say it, bloatware and pre-installed third-party apps won’t fly in India on a phone of Rs 49,999 (~ $650). From Mi Pay to Mi Credit, Helo and others, the device comes pre-installed with almost fifteen unnecessary apps, and I can’t say that they add any relevant experience.

We understand that if we do not accept that the versatility of available affordable hardware would not be possible if Xiaomi and now Realme did not treat their screen as a billboard. Still, Xiaomi claims that Mi 10 is a high-end product for the company and contains no ads. That may be technically true, but it is not the whole truth. The phone won’t bombard you with interstitials or full-screen ads, but the constant spam notification from GetApps and the security app is just as annoying. This is far from the main experience that users expect from a premium smartphone.

The user experience is reasonably good. There are countless customization options that allow you to customize the user experience to your liking. MIUI has several standard features, from lock screen gestures to always-on-display. Unfortunately, Xiaomi still doesn’t have an app drawer in the launcher.

Finally, with MIUI 12, Xiaomi is moving towards transparency and surface control for permission management. Mi 10 should receive MIUI 12 at some point in the future.

Xiaomi Mi 10 Review: Camera

Xiaomi Mi 10 Review: A Premium Smartphone with Annoying Bloatware and Ads 8

On the rear side:

  • Main: 108MP, f/1.69, 1/1.33-in sensor
  • Ultra-Wide: 13MP
  • Macro camera: 2MP
  • Depth sensor: 2MP

On the front side:

  • Selfie: 20MP f/2.3, 1/3.4-in sensor

Video:

8K@30fps, 4K@60fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@240fps

The Mi 10 Pro and Mi 10 are very similar, the main difference of which can be found in the cameras. The Mi 10 retains the Pro’s main trigger, but drops the telephoto lenses, lowers resolution on a wide-angle sensor, and includes 2MP macro cameras and 2MP depth sensors.

Xiaomi Mi 10 Review: A Premium Smartphone with Annoying Bloatware and Ads 9

By default, the camera captures pixel-binned 25.2-megapixel images that look pretty good. The colors are vivid and the exposure metering is often accurate. The camera can create a beautiful and natural-looking bokeh effect. Interestingly, images were taken in 108-megapixel and full-pixel mode does not have a large visual delta in excellent light.

Xiaomi Mi 10 Review: A Premium Smartphone with Annoying Bloatware and Ads 10

The sharpness and level of detail of the captured images is excellent, even with pixel detection. I didn’t notice much noise in the shadow areas.

However, HDR images are somewhat confusing. The camera tries to illuminate shadow areas, and sharp algorithms and noise reduction are easy to spot. It’s good, but it’s not the key power of the camera.

Xiaomi Mi 10 Review: A Premium Smartphone with Annoying Bloatware and Ads 11

Poor HDR processing is also reflected in the shift of the color of the picture. The violet edges between the stair slats and the reflections on the left wall are symptoms that the camera is trying too hard and cannot capture the image exactly.

Night Mode
Night Mode
Night Mode
Normal Mode
Normal Mode

The Mi 10 night mode works as advertised. It’s not as good as we are used to from Pixel and Huawei hardware, but the phone is very well organized. The last shot chooses a more realistic exposure turning from day to night, an option that many users may prefer.

Ultra-wide
Ultra-wide
Ultra-wide
Wide
Wide

After all, the ultra-wide camera does a pretty good job. Unlike some other phones, the ultra-wide camera can measure white balance accurately without changing the color of the lenses. There are lots of details here with no significant effort, and the software is pretty good at correcting distortion.

The selfie camera can take detailed, well-lit images, but uses a large amount of anti-aliasing by default. I recommend disabling extraneous settings. After all, the macro camera was almost unusable. It was almost impossible for me to get a good shot. I would not base my purchase decision on that. Here you can view the Mi 10 sample images in full resolution.

In terms of capturing videos, Mi 10 is a star artist. While nobody should worry much about recording 8K videos at the moment, there is also something to be said about stabilizing at this resolution: which Samsung failed to manage on the Galaxy S20 Ultra. In fact, stabilization is excellent everywhere, and Mi 10 is an excellent video recording device. It also helps that Xiaomi includes a number of features that appeal to the video creator. This includes an integrated VLOG mode, which can make adding effects easier.

Should you buy it?

Xiaomi Mi 10: 8 GB RAM, 128 GB storage space – Rs. 49,999/ €799
Xiaomi Mi 10: 8GB RAM, 256GB storage – Rs. 54,999/ €899.

The price of the Mi 10 in India is quite skeptical. Let’s discuss the whole of whether Xiaomi has a trademark on the market. However, the fact that a company imports a product also affects the final cost.

In general, the quality of the hardware is more or less equal to the price it requires. In fact, I would say that Mi 10 is one of the best products you can buy from Rs. 50,000 in India as Xiaomi resolves annoyances such as app preloads and pop-ups in MIUI.

The Mi 10 covers the line between the OnePlus 8 and the OnePlus 8 Pro. If you just need pure performance, the OnePlus 8 is probably a better offer for the Rs. 41,999 / €599. With the Mi 10, you pay a premium for a very good primary camera, a larger battery, and the convenience of fast wireless charging. The additional features are worth Rs. 8000/ 200 euro? This is very subjective, but I can’t say the phone is particularly expensive.

The Mi 10 attaches great importance to hardware quality and does not look too expensive compared to the OnePlus 8.

Elsewhere, the Realme X50 Pro offers a high-quality spec package that includes the powerful Snapdragon 865 chipset for Rs. 47,999 / €599. The Mi 10 wins with the fit and finish of the package, but there’s something to be said for Realme’s versatile camera, which includes a special telephoto lens.

Final Verdict

Mi 10 has an interesting position in the Xiaomi lineup. While all phones from the previous Mi series have struck a balance between affordability and performance, the Mi 10, like the Mi 10 Pro, strives for a premium experience. The end result is hardware that feels great, offers great battery life, and really includes fast and interchangeable wireless charging of the game. In addition, the camera system is largely preserved, even if I prefer a telephoto camera over the borderline useless macro lens.

Unfortunately, MIUI in all its functions prevents the hardware from reaching its true potential. Don’t get me wrong, the company has come a long way, but compared to options like Oxygen OS, One UI, and of course stock Android, the experience feels too heavy and bloated. While this may not be the case with global variants, our Indian unit has been constantly producing annoying notification for system applications. This is not just the experience you expect from a high-end smartphone.

Overall, Mi 10 is a very good start for Xiaomi in India’s premium landscape. The hardware provides the products, but it is the software that holds the phone. Xiaomi must continue to work to provide a software experience that meets user expectations and product quality.

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