If you’d like to get yourself a flashy new phone, most especially if you’re an imaging buff, you owe it to yourself to check out the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 if you haven’t yet done so.
In a nutshell, the Note 10 is a stylish device that comes with quite a few features that will endear it to the snap-happy crowd – its awesome camera set sits atop this list, obviously. But even for those for whom cameras aren’t a top consideration, this device still does have quite a bit to offer.
Join us as we give the Mi Note 10 a spin!
A high-end feel
The Mi Note 10 feels like a very high-quality device thanks to its hardware and construction. It boasts metal sides which give it a substantial and classy feel, and both front and rear are composed of beautifully curved pieces of glass.
You’ll be pleased to hear that unlike many other phones, there’s no plastic where the metal sides meet the glass front and rear – adding significantly to the impression that this phone is a quality piece.
The display is a big, bright, beautiful 6.47-inch curved AMOLED affair that’s not quite end-to-end, but is still very striking. Said screen is nearly notch-free and only has a tiny teardrop-shaped one for the front-facing camera. It also incorporates an in-screen fingerprint sensor for those of you who aren’t into using your faces to unlock your devices.
Out back, what will draw and keep your attention is the massive camera set housing. It really is enormous – it protrudes quite a bit from the device and is really quite prominent, doubly so given that the Note 10 isn’t a super-slim device to begin with. But if you slip on a case, and there is a silicone case included in the package, said camera bump becomes much less noticeable.
We hope you’ll be mindful of the fact that the Note 10 isn’t water-resistant, just in case this is matters to you.
An imaging monster
Up next, let’s talk about the Mi Note 10’s imaging capabilities. This phone’s biggest draw is far and away its camera set – how could it not be, given that monstrous main snapper?
The Note 10 has five rear cameras, or, in Xiaomi parlance, a “penta camera”. Let’s break it all down for you: you get a 5-megapixel telephoto camera, a 12-megapixel portrait camera, a 108-megapixel ultra-high-resolution camera, a 20-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera, and a 2-megapixel macro camera. As for the front-facing or selfie camera, it’s not insubstantial either: it’s a 32-megapixel affair.
The Note 10 thus has the chops to take some excellent photos, which it does manage to do. Ordinary shots are packed with detail, and shots using the 108-megapixel “main gun” are of course even more detail-filled. All that lens firepower is no less than awesome at snapping shots in good light, and makes it a cinch to take pictures of challenging situations like sunsets or other subjects in low light and at night.
We also have to mention that the zoom of the rear camera is, in a word, terrific – it feels like actual zoom (i.e. zoom you do with a DSLR or other such dedicated camera) and the results clearly display the quality and capability of Xiaomi’s multi-lens setup.
As for the front-facing camera, it took pretty sharp and clear selfies and group shots and we were quite happy with it as well.
The Mi Note 10’s camera set is a truly powerful and capable one and we were very happy to give it a try.
The Mi Note 10 proved to be an adequate performer in our day to day tests. Almost everything we did with it was handled promptly and without drama, from daily tasks such as surfing the net to more demanding tasks like taking photos and video and playing games.
The Note 10 runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G octa-core processor set, which isn’t Qualcomm’s top-end chip set, but under nearly every circumstance it did manage to perform for us quite well. 6GB of RAM helps keep things snappy, whereas 128GB of onboard storage (non-expandable) helps make sure you don’t run out of space too quickly.
Oh, and by the way, this phone does come with a 3.5mm headphone jack, for those of you who can’t let go of their wired headphones just yet.
The Note 10 can be bought in Midnight Black, Glacier White, and a more unusual shade of Aurora Green (this is our pick of the three).
We felt that the Mi Note 10’s battery deserves a section unto itself. This is a seemingly ridiculously large battery – all of 5,260mAh. We feel that given the phone’s photo capabilities, people will be using it quite a bit, and so the inclusion of a battery of this size is warranted.
On a full charge, our test unit lasted a day and a half to two days (of solid use, mind you, no trying to eke out what we could from the battery by severely minimizing usage). Very heavy camera use will drop the battery life to a bit over an entire day, which is still quite significant and nothing to sneer at.
Xiaomi claims that the Mi Note 10 can be charged to 100% from 0% in just 65 minutes; our charge time from 0% took us a bit over two hours.
There you have it – the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 is the latest entry in the “more megapixel” phone stakes, but it’s not just all about the camera. This is quite a decent phone and it has some really impressive features that just might sway you even if you think you could only ever be made happy by a top-end device. We suggest you have a look even if you aren’t thinking of buying one.