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Redmi Note 10 review: Sleek, lightweight, value for money

Redmi Note 10 review: Sleek, lightweight, value for money

Xiaomi has neatly added a punch hole at the top centre for the front camera. Looking bright and vibrant, the screen is great for streaming OTT content and YouTube videos too

Redmi Note 10 review: Look no further Redmi Note 10 review: Look no further

Price: Rs 11,999 onwards

Specs: 6.43-inch display Full HD+ Super AMOLED Display (2400x1080), 48MP Quad Camera array, 8MP Ultrawide sensor, 2 MP macro sensor, 2MP depth sensor, 13MP front camera, Qualcomm Snapdragon 678 processor, 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM/6GB RAM + 128GB ROM, IR Blaster, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3.5mm jack, MIUI 12 based on Android 11, 178 gram, 5000 mAh battery

Colour: Aqua Green, Shadow Black, Frost White

In the Box: Redmi Note 10, Case, 33W charger, Type-C cable

Xiaomi's Redmi Note series was a game-changer, not just for the company but consumers too. The value proposition the Note series offers (starting right from the Redmi Note 3) has continued over the last few years. And the new addition - Redmi Note 10 - is only furthering the company's dominance in this space.

All Android smartphones look alike. And as companies continue to add a bigger display, they become rather difficult to hold. Frankly, rarely do I come across a smartphone that is comfortable to hold.  The Redmi Note 10 is. It is sleek, lightweight and has a premium soft finish, all of which contributes towards a great hand feel. The grip was so comfortable that it seemed the Redmi Note 10 has been designed just for my hands.

The plastic used at the rear has a soft matte finish, which curves at the corners, providing it with a comfortable grip. A metal panel is running around the sides housing fingerprint scanner within the power button along with volume key on the right, IR blaster along with speaker grill at the top, SIM tray on the left and the Type-C charging port along with another set of the speaker grill and audio jack at the bottom. Overall, the Redmi Note 10 feels premium.

Complementing the aesthetics is a bright 6.43-inch Super AMOLED display with the sunlight mode offering good legibility in bright sunlight. Protected using Corning Gorilla Glass 3, the Redmi Note 10 does not have an edge-to-edge display. The bezels on the top and sides are sleek whereas there is a slightly thick bezel at the bottom. Xiaomi has neatly added a punch hole at the top centre for the front camera. Looking bright and vibrant, the screen is great for streaming OTT content and YouTube videos too.

Other than streaming videos and gaming, another popular used case of smartphones is the camera. And the Note 10 houses a quad-camera setup, which is impressive for its asking. The images captured using the primary sensor in bright day-light and well-lit surroundings are impressive. The colour accuracy is also remarkable. The phone managed to capture great details of most of the plants on my terrace - details of the lotus leaf, ladyfinger flower and even birds quenching their thirst. The same stands for the ultra-wide sensor but the edges feel a bit distorted. The AI mode comes in handy that identifies the scene and can be turned off with a quick tap. The portrait mode is great with edge detection and works well on not just humans, and pets but objects and plants as well. However, the macro mode had to be turned on from more settings and was erratic as at times it stunned me with the capture but many times it simply failed to focus. The night mode liking is subjective. I found it to be just about average as in certain images it brightened the image a bit too much. But given the price, I should not be complaining. Instead, Xiaomi offers a host of camera modes such a manual/pro mode, panorama, documents to name a few. Even for capturing video (up to 4k at 30 fps), there is an option to capture short video, slow motion and time-lapse. The front camera with beauty mode captures decent selfies.

With the Redmi Note 10, it isn't just the looks, display or camera as the performance is equally impressive. With a lot of work happening on smartphones these days, I used it for my official emails, documentation, streaming events, attending meetings, browsing the web along capturing images and playing some basic games. To my surprise, there wasn't any lag or any heating issues. While the base model houses 4GB RAM with 64GB storage, my review unit was the one with 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage. Of this, close to 15.5GB was consumed by the system, 1.5GB by preinstalled apps, 2.7GB by others, leaving around 110GB storage for use. Tapping on the occupied storage option from settings opened the clearer app to get rid of cache and obsolete files. One of my favourite features of the Redmi Note 10 is the IR blaster and Mi Remote that helps me in controlling my air conditioner, TV and other appliances directly from the phone. At the same time, I am not a fan of MI UI.

Overall, the performance is backed by a 5000 mAh battery, which easily lasted me a day. Over weekends, when I spent time streaming videos and reading books, it drained out earlier than I expected. But the 33W fast charging adapter came in handy. It juiced about 50 per cent of the phone's battery in about 35 minutes and the remaining 50 per cent in an hour.

All in all, for Rs 11,999, the Redmi Note 10 is a great buy. If you can spend a little extra, consider the 6GB with 128GB storage variant for Rs 13,999.

Also read: OnePlus 9 Pro review: Beyond all benchmarks