Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro full review
The mid-range continues to be a hotbed of smartphone innovation and fierce competition. It’s not unusual to find a 120Hz refresh rate, AMOLED display, 5G or even a 108Mp on some but combining multiple is rare. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro has three of those four at under $300.
As with many Redmi handsets, the Note 10 Pro is extremely impressive when you look at what you’re getting for not much money at all. It’s at the lower end of the mid-range undercutting Google and OnePlus.
However, there’s still some strong competition from the likes of Realme and even another Xiaomi brand in the form of Poco.
Design & Build
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro is much like many other phones these days when it comes to design and for ‘Pro’ model, this is quite plain-looking. At least, in the Onyx Gray colour I tested, anyway. However, you can get it in more exciting Glacier Blue, Gradient Bronze colourways.
It’s a pretty big phone (193g in weight) but nothing unusual and remains at only 8.1mm thick, although I can’t imagine that figure includes the camera module. That has to be the standout feature of the design here as it even has two levels.
The lower step contains the flash and various sensors while the upper section is where you’ll find the four cameras. It’s not the nicest looking module around but with the silver around the main module, I quite enjoy the old 35mm camera styling.
While it looks nice face down on my desk, flip the Redmi Note 10 Pro over and the camera module makes it very difficult to use without picking up. The rock between opposite corners is one of the worst I’ve encountered.
Apart from the ‘CE’ and bin logos slightly ruining the back – that’s a general bugbare of mine on phones – there are some more subtle or invisible design features to mention.
A headphone jack on the top is great to see along with stereo speakers (that sound quite decent) and an 'Arc' fingerprint scanner is found in the power button on the side, a position I’ve found works well in the past as well as here. It's also been a while since I've seen a phone with an IR blaster.
Xiaomi only says that the front is Corning Gorilla Glass 5 so the back is plastic I assume, but the phone still has an IP53 rating protecting it from splashes of water. There's also a clear silicone case in the box for extra protection.
As I mentioned earlier, this is a big phone. Most Pro devices are and with a 6.67in display, the Redmi Note 10 Pro fits the bill.
Like the Poco X3 NFC, the key specs include a 120Hz refresh rate, Full HD+ resolution (1080 x 2400) and HDR10 support. It is, however, AMOLED rather than LCD IPS so you get better viewing angles, punchier colours and better contrast. It is also very bright with a Spyder X measuring it at 455 nits.
It’s a lovely display and the punch-hole camera at the top is one of the smallest I’ve seen so stays out of the way, practically hidden most of the time.
Note that the phone isn’t set to 120Hz by default so it’s worth turning this on in the settings for a much smoother experience. As you’ll find out later, I still got impressive battery life despite using this mode.
Bezels around the display aren’t the smallest but this is a mid-range device so you can only expect so much.
Considering more expensive devices like the OnePlus Nord are limited to 90Hz and the Pixel 4a 5G is just regular 60Hz, the Redmi Note 10 Pro is very impressive for the asking price. It’s one of the best phone screens you’ll get in the mid-range.
Specs & Performance
Despite the ‘Pro’ branding, this is no rival to phones such as the Oppo Find X3. With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G, it’s more in the realms of another X3 device, the Poco X3 which also has the 732G.
This is one of Qualcomm’s most recent mid-range chips offering decent performance but without the inclusion of 5G to keep costs down. Other than 5G, it’s quite like the 765G found in various phones, featuring eight cores up to 2.3GHz (six lower power and two higher) and an Adreno 418 GPU.
The model I tested came with 6GB of RAM but you can also get an 8GB model if you like, which comes with 128GB of storage. Otherwise, you get 64- or 128GB with the lower memory so there’s lots of choice and there’s also a microSD card slot here if you want to add more.
As you can see below, the Redmi Note 10 Pro keeps up with devices with the 765G so it’s just a case of whether the lack of 5G is an issue for you. Our usual benchmarks apps – Geekbench 5 and GFXBench – wouldn't run so I’ve used PCMark for Android here.
Benchmark scores aside, the real-world performance of the Redmi Note 10 Pro is pretty solid. Apps open quickly and more difficult tasks are a relative breeze. Even shooting and loading a 108Mp picture in the camera doesn’t take long at all, which leads us nicely onto photography.
That’s right, the Note 10 Pro has a whopping 108Mp camera for its main sensor. This is backed up by an 8Mp ultra-wide, 5Mp telemacro and 2Mp depth sensor. Considering the last one is a sensor, it’s really a triple setup but an impressive one nonetheless.
The main sensor is huge and has an aperture of f/1.9. Of course, you won’t want to take pictures in the full resolution very often, but you can if you want. Normally, though, the Note 10 Pro uses 9-in-1 pixel-binning technology which Xiaomi says, combined with Dual native ISO technologies and 2.1μm ‘super pixels’, results in stunning detail and higher dynamic range.
When snapping ‘normal’ photos, the main camera is impressive and you’ll get 12Mp final images which are more manageable at 4000x3000 pixels at default aspect ratio, taking up around a quarter of the storage space compared to the full 108Mp.
With no telephoto lens, Xiaomi is leaning on that large sensor for those zoom zoom moments as you hit the ‘2x’ button in the app. Results at least have the same colour and dynamic performance of the regular images, which is very good most of the time, but can’t compete with a fully-fledged telephoto if you need one a lot.
Really, you’re likely better off using the 108Mp mode if you are going to want to crop in on something in the shot. You just have to remember to switch to it.
The main camera’s weakness is in lower lighting conditions, either indoor with artificial lighting or at night. Here, the performance is more hit and miss with some graining and slightly off focus. Night Mode 2.0 is on par with rivals, in that you’ll get a shot with some details rather than simply nothing but it can’t compete with the software found on the Pixel 4a phones.
No OIS (optical image stabilisation) doesn’t help with this and it’s also missing for video, of course. Video can be shot at up to 4K at 30fps, but still looks nicely crisp and colourful at 1080p on the phone’s display. Digital stabilisation is decent but only really if you’re standing still.
Back to photography and the ultra-wide option is about average and doesn’t have the same level of performance as the main sensor, of course, but it’s there when you need it for reasonable results.
Typically, I’m not a fan of macro cameras on phones as they are often a waste of space, but the Note 10 Pro’s is quite impressive. It’s 5Mp compared to the usual 2Mp and, with a bit of patience, can take some lovely close up shots. It just took me a while to find out how to access it since it’s not under ‘more’ in the camera app, but in the settings along with aspect ratio, timer et al.
At the front is a typical 16Mp camera which offers good quality selfies and includes a portrait mode. It’ll blur the background for you but I did find some blooming type effects where it has the tricky task of deciding where my hair ends the background starts.
On the whole, I’m impressed with the camera results which you can see below in the gallery.
Battery & Charging
Big phones with mid-range components make for a perfect combination to result in long battery life and that’s exactly what the Redmi Note 10 Pro offers.
Its size means that there’s a huge 5020mAh nestled inside and even with the screen set to 120Hz, I’ve found the phone just keeps going. After 48 hours of use over a weekend when I use my phone the most and I had 45% juice left.
I am a fairly light user on the whole but even those using a phone for a lot more gaming and media consumption than me will likely find it lasting two days. In the PCMark for Android battery test it lasted 10 hours and 53 minutes, a little behind rivals but nothing to worry about.
When you do find the Redmi Note 10 Pro low, the charging is quick with 33W fast charging via the supplied charger. Starting completely dead, this can get the phone to 27% after 15 minutes and 59% after 30 minutes.
The latter matches the Poco X3 exactly and unsurprisingly you don’t get wireless charging here.
Software is often the area where Chinese phones fall down and that’s somewhat the case with the Redmi Note 10 Pro, although it’s not as bad as I feared based on previous phones.
The phone runs MIUI 12 which is based on Android 11 so you’re getting the latest OS, which is a good start.
Overall, the interface runs very smoothly and everything is where you’d expect it to be. It’s just a case of a few things adding up here and there to make it a little irksome.
As a fan of stock Android on phones like the Pixel 4a, MIUI is comparatively busy and child-like in a sort of big, primary colours kind of way. I like that you can pull the notifications bar down from anywhere on the screen but there are an overwhelming number of quick settings.
There are also a few too many pre-installed apps including Netflix, LinkedIn, Amazon Shopping, Facebook, TikTok and eBay, along with promoted apps if you open the ‘more apps’ folder. Luckily, you can quickly uninstall them all.
Don’t even get me started on the message that pops up randomly as well as instead of notifications on the lock screen saying ‘always believe that something wonderful is about to happen’ (in full caps).
Luckily, this is Android, so it’s easy enough to change most of these things if they also get on your nerves. It just takes a bit of time to find where some settings set and get things how you want them.
Price & Availability
We don’t have UK pricing for the Redmi Note 10 series just yet but can inform you that this Pro model starts at just US$279. The regular Note 10 isn’t getting a UK launch but the 10S and 10 5G models are the other two (cheaper) options.
Here are the full details of all three Pro SKUs:
- 6/64GB - $279
- 6/128GB - $299
- 8/128GB - $329
Xiaomi says you'll be able to buy the phone in early April from Aliexpress.
The prices are pretty stunning when you compare with the OnePlus Nord at £379 and Google Pixel 4a, at £349. The main rivals here are the £299 Realme X50 5G and the Realme 7 Pro at £279 - and the Realme 8 Pro is coming soon with its own 108Mp camera.
Check out our full list of the best mid-range phones to see what's out there.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro is one of the best phones you can buy at this price point with Xiaomi delivering exceptional value for money.
Highlights here start with the stunning screen offering AMOLED technology and a 120Hz refresh rate and continue with an excellent set of cameras. The headline is a 108Mp whopper which is backed up by a reasonable ultra-wide and a surprisingly decent telemacro.
The lack of a telephoto lens might bother you but you can shoot in the full 108Mp if you like then crop in. I'd rather have OIS to improve video and low light performance. Still, it's amazing for the price.
There are smaller delights too such as the inclusion of a headphone jack, Arc fingerprint scanner, stereo speakers and even an IR blaster. Battery life is also strong and Xiaomi includes the 33W charger in the box.
Core specs are decent, hinging on the Snapdragon 732G to ensure smooth performance. However, the Redmi Note 10 Pro doesn't support 5G, which might be a deal breaker.
MIUI is also a downside with its overly complex interface that's simply not as stylish or easy to use as many rivals - even if you can make it a lot better than default with some tweaking.
We discussed the Redmi Note 10 Pro in episode 57 of Fast Charge. You can watch it below:
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro: Specs
- MIUI 12, based on Android 11
- 6.67in 20:9 Full HD+ (1080x2400) AMOLED display, 120Hz, 450 nits
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G processor
- Adreno 618 GPU
- 6/128GB RAM
- 64/128GB storage
- microSD card slot
- 108Mp main camera, f/1.9
- 8Mp ultrawide camera w/ 118° FoV, f/2.2
- 5Mp telemacro camera, f/2.4
- 2Mp depth sensor
- 16Mp, f/2.45 front camera
- Up to 4K @30fps video recording
- Stereo speakers
- Headphone jack
- Arc fingerprint scanner (power button)
- Dual-band Wi-Fi 5
- Bluetooth 5.1
- IR blaster
- 5020mAh battery
- 33W fast charging (charger included)
- 164 x 76.5 x 8.1mm
- Onyx Gray, Glacier Blue and Gradient Bronze