Xiaomi is having another go at the premium segment with the Mi 10 and maybe it will work for them this time. It starts at ₹49,999 and has all the makings of a premium smartphone – polished looks, eye catching colours (twilight grey and coral green), and has a large display that curves around the edges adding to the whole immersive experience. It has one of the highest screen-to-body ratios of 92.4%. Also, the dot shaped cut out on the front panel looks small and less in your face compared to notches and teardrops. The phone’s side panel feels thinner due to curved screen and that surprisingly improves the grip quality. The phone is wide and at 208g is on the heftier side compared to some flagships, but overall it is quite manageable.
The only design niggle is the camera module on back, which sticks out quite a bit. Also, we were disappointed by the lack of proper protection against water, as compared to OnePlus 8 Pro (starts at ₹54,999) which can withstand up to 3 feet under water.
The Mi 10 doesn’t have an audio jack but Xiaomi has bundled a 3.5mm to USB type-C adapter. Not to forget, the audio quality from the dual stereo speakers placed atop and the chin is quite loud and likable.
The Mi 10’s large 6.67-inch AMOLED screen has a resolution of 1080p, which is on the lower side compared to OnePlus 8 Pro’s 1,440p AMOLED display, yet it doesn’t feel deficient in any way. Overall, the Mi10’s screen looks bright and vibrant and has 90Hz refresh rate which makes it quite smooth, especially during gaming. Visibility in outdoor conditions is striking. The 90Hz refresh rate is optional and can always switch to 60Hz to save up on battery. Despite the low resolution, the screen looks irresistible.
Driving the Xiaomi phone is Qualcomm’s top of the line Snapdragon 865 processor with up to 12GB RAM and all that power just reflects in the phone’s smooth and slick performance. It handles PUBG Mobile at highest graphics settings without batting an eyelid or showing signs of overheating.
There is no expandable memory card slot but you get 128GB of internal storage on the starting variant and 256GB on higher variant.
We were quite impressed with the battery backup. A single charge with modest to heavy usage would easily see you through a whole work day. And the 30W quick charge support ensures you have almost the entire phone fully charged in under an hour.
The phone supports 5G, but it is more of a novelty right now. As far as taking advantage of it is concerned, you will have to wait for at least 1 to 2 years.
The Mi 10 runs on Android 10 with the default MIUI 11 that doesn’t have the app drawer. It feels a lot more polished on the Mi 10 than it does on any Redmi phones.
The key talking point in any smartphone, especially the ones in premium segment is the camera. The number of cameras alone won’t get you into the good books of customers. The Mi 10 has a 108MP camera and three other cameras for wide angle and zoom photos. The 108MP camera is not active by default. Pictures taken from the default camera look quite well lit and sharp with colours standing out very well. The higher resolution camera doesn’t enhance it by a huge degree and makes it look a bit sharper at most. Indoor shots look sharp and lively too.
Colours in low light shots come out well, but detailing is a bit on the lower side and not becoming of a flagship. The camera can record 4K videos and has lots of handy camera modes. We were a bit disappointed with the macro mode, though.
The 20MP front camera takes great selfies and has an AI mode to enhance picture quality by adjusting camera settings by itself. Its available in rear camera too.
The Mi 10 can be Xiaomi’s ticket to premium segment. It is classy, has almost everything one expects from a flagship. For buyers it just expands the variety available in the premium segment. If closely compared to the OnePlus 8 Pro, the Mi 10 misses out on a few things like water proofing and quad HD screen. Nonetheless, the Mi 10 is notable and is going to give OnePlus and Samsung a run for their money.