Redmi 10 Review – The Gold Standard of Budget Smartphones?
This is the Redmi 10, an affordable yet substantial upgrade to the Redmi 9 before it. When I look at this device and how it’s priced amongst many other brands in the same category, I can’t help but marvel at how Xiaomi is still able to deliver a phone with standout features at a hard to believe price point.
For about $160-180 which converts to (N85k to N96,200), you receive a set of stereo loudspeakers, 90Hz high-refresh-rate display, reverse wired charging at 9W, a 50MP main camera and a dedicated microSD card slot to complement the rather generous 64GB or 128GB of internal storage within this price range. And that’s on top of the base specs you’d normally want to see in a budget device. And talking about the base specifications, you’re getting the following on the Redmi 10; A 6.50″ LCD Display that refreshes at 90Hz, With a 1080x2400px FHD+ resolution, a 20:9 aspect ratio and a PPI of 405.
The Redmi 10 also houses an Octa-core, MediaTek Helio G88 (12nm) processor, a Mali G52 MC2 GPU, 4 or 6 Gigs of RAM depending on the model you go for and you also get a 5000mah battery with 18w fast charging and 9watts of reverse charging.
Fun-Fact, This is actually the first MediaTek Helio G88-powered smartphone on the market.
On the camera side of things, you’re getting a 50MP Main Wide angle camera, an 8MP Ultra Wide angle camera with a field view of 120 degrees and two 2MP cameras for both Macro photography and depth sensing.
At N85k for the base 4GB RAM and 64GB Storage variant and N96,200 for the top 6GB RAM and 128GB storage variant, I think the Redmi 10 is a sweet deal. Let see why.
The Redmi 10 comes in a standard box with pretty much everything you’d normally expect. You have the USB-C to USB-A cable for charging and data transfer, a 22.5W-rated brick for charging, a transparent silicone case, a sim ejector pin and some paperwork.
Design and handling
The design is nothing too fancy but has a more “mature” looks this time around. The back of the device is still made of plastic that imitates frosted glass and has some subtle gradient, but it’s not as flashy as the Redmi 9 was. The Redmi 10 comes in three color variants – Pebble White, which is the one I have, and also Carbon Gray and Sea Blue. All of them have a neutral and mature feel.
The rectangular camera island with rounded corners has a rather distinctive design in line with Xiaomi’s design for language for 2021. The camera bump is quite pronounced and sticks out just enough to make the phone wobble when placed on its back.
At the front, is all flat with a rather big camera cutout that I would have preferred if it were a little smaller.
Overall it looks good.
Screen, Battery, Charging Speed and Performance
The 6.5 inch IPS LCD display that refreshes at 90Hz is quite an eye raiser for a phone at this price point. While this isn’t the brightest display in the market, it gets sufficiently bright at about 400nits of max brightness and 470nits of Auto Max Brightness. Colors look good and videos and images are crisp being a 1080p screen. Being a large screen, this will be very convenient and a joy for watching videos and movies on the go. Overall, for this price, the Redmi 10 offers an excellent IPS LCD panel, not to mention, it is high-refresh-rate capable.
The 5000mah battery lasts all day. I typically get 5 to 6 hours of SOT at the end of each day. I have never really killed the battery in this phone and I can say its sufficient enough for a full day of use and more. I did a standby test for about one week straight and this phone dropped about 24% of battery in that time all the while connected to my Wi-Fi network at home.
With the Redmi 10 having a mid-range chipset with low energy requirements paired with a 5,000 mAh battery, I always got great battery life. Although yo have a 22.5watt capable charging brick, you’re limited to 18watts fast charging on the Redmi 10 and considering the rather large 5000mah battery, charge times can be quite long. I was able to charge from 0 to 100% in about two hours.
There are some extra benefits with the Redmi 10. Things like, a dual external speaker system, an IR blaster, a 3.5mm earphone port and other features you’d find in the software.
Software and Performance
Software on the Redmi 10 is pretty clean and smooth. We have MIUI 12.5 based on Android 11 and it’s the typical MIUI you know and love. The software runs smoothly and offers an abundance of settings and customizations, even on a low-end phone like the Redmi 10
Transition animations as well as the overall design compares to the smoothness and simplicity of those of Apple’s iOS. And I love the fact that it works really well even on this phone.
Performance is decent on this phone, opening apps and playing games won’t be much of a problem here. The Mediatek Helio G88 that the Redmi 10 is rocking isn’t really a new chipset, it’s the well-known Helio G85 with a few new features. In that the Helio G88 can now officially support 90Hz at 1080p+ and can work with 64MP main cameras instead of 48MP. The rest of the specs are identical, though – octa-core CPU with 2x Cortex-A75 cores at 2.0 GHz and 6x Cortex-A55 clocked at 1.8 GHz. The GPU is Mali G52 MC2 working at 1 GHz.
As far as fingerprint reader performance goes, it’s blazing-fast, responsive and accurate too.
For accidental misreads that often happen with phones carrying a side-mounted fingerprint reader, MIUI has a solution. You can set the unlock method to require you to press down on the power button. And only then does it start to read your fingertip.
The main camera is one of the biggest upgrades this year’s Redmi 10 has to offer over the Redmi 9. It’s a 50MP Samsung ISOCELL Sensor. Photos look decent, not quite the head turner but totally useable. I took some photos and the results were okay. In fact photos from this phone look sharper and more detailed compared to most other devices in the price range.
You’d find that the images have good details, and dynamic range isn’t too great. However
Some of the low-light samples look decent and are suitable for social media. And that’s not something you should take for granted in a phone with this price tag.
The 2MP Macro shooter lacks proper autofocus and Images from this camera is useable but far from the best macro shots you’d find taken on a smartphone.
The Redmi 10 is an easy sell, easy to recommend device to the individual on a tight budget. It’s one of the best available entry level device in the market now and the fact that you’re getting a 1080p 90Hz refresh rate display makes for a sweet deal. Are there cons to the Redmi 10, well yes there are but what you’re getting versus what you’re missing at this price point is really insignificant.
Is the Redmi 10 a Step up and game changer? Well, when you compare it to the Redmi 9 before it; Yes, it is both a step up from that phone and a game changer to the entry level budget smartphone market. And yes, I can recommend this device.
Guys if you have any questions about the Redmi 10, please leave them in the comment section below and I’ll respond to every one of your questions/comments.