Xiaomi’s India success story has been largely about the brand dominating the budget and sub Rs 20,000 price segment. It’s why the brand’s newest smartphone has our attention. It’s not a flagship killer but a device that takes on premium flagships on their turf. The Mi 10 is the most expensive phone we’ve seen from Xiaomi and it lands in a territory that has seen Apple, Samsung and more recently OnePlus slug it out. You need to look every inch premium to play with these guys and that’s an area where Mi 10 doesn’t come out short.
This is a good looking device. An elegant curved 3D design that merges almost seamlessly with the curved AMOLED edge-to-edge display. Xiaomi stretches the screen: body ratio of the 6.67-inch (1080 x 2340 pixels) AMOLED DotDisplay with TrueColor to beyond 90%. While it may not have the specs as the pricier Samsung Galaxy S20+, the 90Hz refresh rate and 1120 nits of peak brightness allow the device to hold its own. We love how our favourite Netflix shows and intense games play out on this display. It’s truly immersive. The stereo speakers – one of the best out there, is the icing on the cake. You’ll need the 3.5mm to USB type-C adapter (bundled with the device) if you need to plug in your 3.5mm headphones. Wires are clearly passé and it’s time you made the leap with Bluetooth headphones in case you haven’t.
The quad cam rear cam is one of the talking points of this device. It’s the 108MP primary lens that’s at the heart of this cam. A 13MP ultra-wide cam, a 2MP Macro and 2MP depth sensor complete the rear cam set-up. We would have liked to see a better Macro Cam but it doesn’t take away from the Mi 10’s overall cam performance. This is one of the most versatile mobile shooters out there. Lowlight images are impressive and it’s good to see a 13MP ultra-wide sensor. The Mi 10 allows you to shoot 8K videos while the 20MP selfie camera holds its own too.
The Mi10 will take on the OnePlus 8 Pro and it has the hardware credentials for this battle. The Mi 10 is propelled by the best of breed Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor. Our review unit combined 8GB of RAM with 128GB of Internal memory; there’s also an 8GB/256GB variant available. The device blazed through our tests and intensive gaming. We didn’t experience overheating even as we pushed it over the limit. There’s a robust 4780 mAh battery under the hood. It certainly adds to the heft of the device (weighs 208 gm). But if you’re a heavy duty user, you might choose battery life over heft.
We had our share of minor cribs. While Xiaomi has packed the Mi10 with a toned down version of its custom UI (MIUI 12) with lesser bloatware, it’s still a tad busy. The device is not water-proof. But neither of these are deal breakers in a device that ticks many boxes. The Mi 10 certainly has what it takes – a premium build, immersive display, stellar cam and a robust battery, to take on the premium flagships at their game.