Xiaomi Mi 10 high-end mobile phone review
Two models make up Xiaomi’s top range after its official launch: Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro. Both identical in appearance and with some technical differences (in the camera, battery and charging). Both compete with the best and with a price that deviates from the strategy that has given such good results to the Chinese company. Xiaomi Mi 10 follows the same path as its rivals: a 5G with a premium look and good camera.
In the same line of other high-end phones, the Xiaomi Mi 10 is very similar in looks and size to other high-end phones, such as the Galaxy S20 Plus and the Huawei P40 Pro. The test unit they lent us resembles these even in colour, grey. But unlike these, the prints are quite marked, as is the case with most phones with a glossy, mirror-like finish. In design it’s safe, looks elegant and premium, and feels comfortable in your hand, both in terms of its dimensions (162.6 x 74.8 mm x, 8.96 mm) and weight (208 grams).
This device does not integrate the card slot at the side, but at the bottom next to the USB port. And it does not add to the fingerprint reader on the right side, but unlocks with the fingerprint on the 6.67 inch (2,340×1,080 FHD+) AMOLED screen covered with Gorilla Glass 5 and slightly curved on the sides. It does not show vivid colors like other phones, but more natural and not too bright.
To protect eye health, it is TUV Rheinland certified for low blue light. With a refresh rate of 90 Hz it responds very quickly and smoothly in the user experience. The selfies chamber is perforated on the top left side.
The expected weapons
While not the most advanced smartphone in this Xiaomi series, this model does not fall behind in specifications, although some are not the most advanced either. This is not the case with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor that supports 5G, the best from this manufacturer. We’re talking about the 8 GB of RAM and the 128 GB of storage, which is a good complement to the processor, but not a great addition to the top end. These two features are also found in mid-range phones (e.g. Xiaomi Mi 9 or Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro, Galaxy A80, realme 5 Pro or realme X2, among others).
For those looking for a dual sound experience, the device incorporates two speakers, one at the top and one at the bottom (next to the USB-C port). This provides a more immersive sound experience (especially when watching movies and series) compared to many other smartphones that only come with one.
This phone does not have the IP68 waterproof certification that allows it to be submerged for 30 minutes without problems. It does, however, withstand splashes (P2i Nano Coating protection) and accidental spills. So if it gets wet from rain or sweat, it shouldn’t be a problem.
The same applies to the battery section. Its capacity is not one of the best on the market, it stays at 4,780 mAh and this gives plenty for a whole day with normal use of watching two chapters of a series, calls, taking photos, messages, e-mail and video calls. On quick charge it’s also halfway through with a 30W charger.
Xiaomi indicates that it allows you to screw up in 56 minutes. However, when the phone was sent to us this accessory was missing and we have not been able to test how fast it charges. We did this with a 25W charger from a Galaxy S20 Plus and from 1 percent to 100 percent took 80 minutes (in the same test the S20 Plus, from 0 to 100, ran it in 70 minutes). With the 30 W wireless charge, Mi 10 fills its battery in 69 minutes, according to Xiaomi.
108 MP, macro and subtle night mode
And now we come to the section where we see the newest ones: its quad camera adds a mode to the menu for taking photos with a resolution of 108 megapixels. It’s not the first time we’ve seen this resolution on a Xiaomi phone (it was released on the Xiaomi Mi Note 19) and it’s also been joined by another manufacturer, Samsung, on its most powerful device, the Galaxy S20 Ultra. The 108-megapixel main sensor is complemented by a 13-megapixel ultra-angle, 2-megapixel depth sensor and 2-megapixel macro lens. The front camera sensor is 20 megapixels. In video, it records at 8K at 30 fps.
In our tests, we found that by selecting the 108 megapixel mode, the camera naturally captures colours as they appear in reality. When you take pictures in normal or standard mode, it enhances (and beautifies) the tones. Either way, the level of detail is high and they look great. It also features a macro sensor, which captures details with precision. In night mode it adds light subtly and without forcing the brightness too much.
Along with the conventional video mode, this model adds another mode for recording short videos (15 seconds, a perfect time to upload them to social networks). The portrait mode does allow to take selfies, with the possibility to make them with landscape format and give them a more artistic touch with predetermined filters. In the 108 megapixel mode and in the night mode, however, it is not possible to take self-pictures. Apart from taking selfies by pressing the classic button on the screen, it offers two much more convenient ways (with a countdown): one with a hand gesture and another by pressing the button on the right side of the volume setting.
MIUI 11, clear and simple
The latest from Google in operating systems, Android 10, Xiaomi customizes it with its own layer, MIUI 11. If you are not familiar with this software you will most likely get used to it quickly. If you are not familiar with this software, you will probably get used to it quickly. We like its neat look and easy use (for example, it simplifies the Settings function menu by allowing one-touch access to bluetooth and wifi and not through the Connections section). It brings everything you would expect today (dark mode, digital well-being) and we have loved the watch’s alarm tones with sounds of nature.
The Mi 10 is equipped with all the classic tools (clock, calculator, compass), as well as a screen recorder, voice recorder, scanner and one for using the phone as a remote control or remote control (Mi Remoto).
The Google application package is complemented by several pre-installed third-party applications, specifically five well-known ones: Amazon Shopping, Facebook, Netflix, eBay and LinkedIn. By clicking on the My Picks icon, you can access a space that facilitates the download of “Must-Have Apps” and many more classified by theme (for this purpose, link to the Play Store).
For 799 euros you get a conservative phone, Xiaomi does not play with experiments: an elegant and discreet design, quality materials, a good camera, a powerful sound, a performance in line with its range and a fast charge not the fastest but good if it takes what the manufacturer says. Its price seems competitive when compared to its direct rivals (although it does not have IP68, something that for us is important in a mobile, especially high-end), but it is not breaking as we are used to this manufacturer.
What rivals does Xiaomi Mi 10 face? Also supporting 5G connectivity, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of memory, it fights in the lower end with the Samsung Galaxy S20 (?1,009) and Huawei P40 (?799), both with IP68. With 12 GB and 256 GB, the Oppo Find X2 will be sold (in May) for 999 euros (without IP68). And with a very aggressive price of 599 euros, realme X50 Pro 5G that will also not come with IP68.