Xiaomi Redmi Note 10: test / review
Published on: 03-03-2021 / Modified: 19-06-2021
Every year the launch of the new mid-range Redmi / Xiaomi smartphone is a big event and this smartphone line typically sells millions of copies in just a few days. Xiaomi has so far always managed to push the boundaries of what was possible to market in this price range a little more and I think this new Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 will be a hit.
Xiaomi has a large toolbox of components (photo sensor, CPU, GPU, battery, screen, ...) with which they play to create (or recompose) models at all price levels, this is sometimes done to the detriment of innovation, but in the end, this allows us to buy smartphones with an unbeatable price / quality ratio. What recipe will they use for the Redmi Note 10?
The Redmi Note 10 will be officially announced on March 4, 2021 to be marketed a week later. Rumors seem to indicate that the Redmi Note 10 will be equipped with an Amoled screen, this is the first time that Xiaomi has equipped a phone in this price range with a screen of this type. Amoled screens offer a much higher level of contrast than LCD screens, but that's not all because this screen will use a frequency of 120hz to ensure excellent fluidity of the image. The other big rumor concerns the camera. Xiaomi would use the 108 million pixel sensor already used in high-end models, this sensor is not new but it is one of the best on the market. This would allow the Redmi Note 10 (in its pro version) to become the best mid-range photo smartphone.
As with the other models of this type from Xiaomi, I will buy the phone blindly as soon as it is released and I would probably be one of the first to receive it as was also the case for the latest models in the Poco range.
Manufacturer web site:
Site where I have bought the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10: https://www.goboo.com
Structure of my testsI test the phones according to a pre-established structure (see below) to provide you with as much information as possible. Unfortunately, this takes a long time. Some tests like network performance tests take several days and for photo tests I sometimes have to wait until the weather is suitable to take pictures in good conditions. I am therefore obliged to publish the tests step by step, so I invite you to come back if the test is not complete at the time of your visit.
Price Xiaomi Redmi Note 10The list below shows the prices for the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 from more than 50 sites around the world. If you are not satisfied with any price, you can subscribe to a price alert to be the first to be notified when the price drops.
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Timeline03/08/2021 I bought the Redmi Note 10 for 159 € in pre-order on Goboo.com. This is my first time buying from this site, it is an official Xiaomi reseller in Europe, so delivery times are shorter and the warranty is two years.
15 / 03/2021 I have received the Redmi Note 10, fast delivery, the test can start.
Why this phone?I've been testing phones for a little over 2 years and the first phone that motivated me to do these tests was the Redmi Note 5 (which I still have!). Xiaomi had shaken the market codes by offering an ultra complete phone for an unbeatable price, the camera of the Redmi Note 5 was also one of the first to really offer good photos at Xiaomi.
I then bought the Redmi Note 7, Redmi Note 8, Redmi Note 8 Pro and Redmi Note 9, so I followed the evolution of the range quite well. I had been a little disappointed with the Redmi Note 9 which had not brought as many new features as the previous models.
I think the Redmi Note 10 will sell millions of copies because it takes good high-end ingredients like the Amoled screen or the 108 million pixel photo sensor to offer them at an ultra competitive price.
It is again a blind buy but the risk of being disappointed is quite low. So those who can't wait for my test to finish shouldn't take much risk either.
UnpackingXiaomi probably launches more phones than any other brand, so it's no wonder they're trying to cut costs by producing identical boxes for almost all of their phones. The box of the Redmi Note 10 is therefore no exception to the rule. It contains the phone, a transparent silicone protection, a manual, a charger and a USB cable.
I made a small video to illustrate the contents of the box:
First configurationThe configuration of the Redmi Note 10 follows exactly the same steps as the Redmi Note 10 Pro, this configuration seems to be common to all phones released under MIUI 12. This configuration procedure has been improved several times, I find it is enough simple to follow, you just have to be careful not to be fooled at the end of the course where Xiaom will try
The degree of finish of the Redmi range evolves from generation to generation but not always in a good way, the 9th generation went through a lower quality finish with soft plastic at the back. I could literally feel the components of the phone with my fingers pressing down a bit on the back. Xiaomi has made up for it very well with the Redmi Note 10 because although this phone still uses plastic on the back, this plastic is more rigid. The texture is also more sober than the previous generation, it's a matter of taste but I much prefer this Redmi Note 10. The plastic is still ubiquitous but it offers a good level of finish for this price range.
The camera is also much better integrated than on the Redmi Note 9, this is the first time that I have tested a Redmi Note of this type with such a well integrated camera. The block containing the photo sensors is not too large despite the presence of 4 sensors. The inscription "ultra premium" seems to confirm this desire to bring this phone to a higher level of finish.
What surprised me the most when I took the phone in hand for the first time it's his weight. In 2020, Xiaomi released many fairly heavy phones, often weighing more than 200 grams, the Redmi Note 10 weighs only 179 grams even though it has a 6.43-inch screen. The Redmi Note 10 is a little smaller and lighter than the previous model while keeping the battery of the same capacity.
The good surprises don't end there. The Redmi Note 10 Pro surprised me positively by the presence of two speakers producing stereo sound from two identical speakers located at both ends of the phone. The Redmi Note 10 uses the same basics, it is undoubtedly the only entry-level phone offering stereo sound! The Redmi Note 10 also uses the same audio chipset as the Redmi Note 10 Pro, so Xiaomi hits hard by delivering great sound in an entry-level phone.
The phone is also Equipped with an infrared port (like most Xiaomi phones), a SIM drawer that can accommodate two SIM cards and a memory card and a USB Type C port supporting 33W fast charging.
Just by taking a quick look at this phone, I can already tell that this phone is probably going to sell very well.
The information below comes from the Device Info HW application. The application provides detailed technical information about the tested phone. I bought the Redmi Note 10 in its 4 GB / 64 Gb version (Onyx Gray color).
Here are the technical specifications from the phone:
By analyzing this information, I discovered the following information:
- the main photo sensor is a Sony IMX 582, this is the first time I have come across this sensor in the Redmi range. Xiaomi has used this camera before in the Xiaomi Mi A3 or in the Mi 9T which both produced excellent photos
- the sound chipset is the same as the Redmi Note 10 Pro, the audio test will confirm if the quality is also good
- the ultra wide angle sensor is a Sony IMX 355, it is the same sensor as on the Redmi Note 10 Pro, it is also a good surprise
- the radio interface is not the same as the Redmi Note 10 Pro, hope this will not result in degradation of the signal quality
- the screen is a 60hz screen unlike the rumors that circulated before its marketing
CPU / GPU Performance
The Redmi Note 10 is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 678 CPU, I have not yet tested this CPU on another phone, by the way I think the Redmi Note 10 is the first to use it. This type of CPU theoretically delivers almost 50% better performance than the previous model and if this is true, it will again be a very strong argument in favor of this new model.
The Redmi Note 10 is equipped with a Qualcomm Adreno 612 GPU, it is the same GPU as in the Samsung Galaxy A70 which was marketed at more than 300 € at the time. The Antutu test that will follow should confirm whether the Redmi Note 10 has received a big boost in performance.
Benchmark Antutu/3DMarkI got a score of 225,000 points with Antutu, I expected a higher performance but this score represents a performance increase of 20% compared to the previous generation. It is especially at the GPU level that the evolution is less important because at the CPU level, the Redmi Note 10 obtains a score very close to the Redmi Note 10 Pro. Regardless, this 20% increase in performance will allow the Redmi Note 10 to run most games (sometimes with a lower level of graphics) and everyday tasks will certainly not be a problem.
To test the performance in game, I download the mobile PUBG game and evaluate the in-game experience, graphics level and depth of vision. This game is quite demanding and should help you evaluating the performance of a phone.
Redmi Note 10 can run PUBG Mobile in HD and high texture level, same as Redmi Note 10 Pro. I didn't notice any slowdowns during the game, the textures loading is progressive but the depth of vision is important. The Redmi Note 10 is not a gaming-oriented phone but it will undoubtedly be able to satisfy a large majority of players.
Network performanceThe Redmi Note 10 is compatible with most 4G frequencies in Europe, so you can use it anywhere, it is even compatible with the B28 700Mhz frequency that some operators use.
Signal 4G (before december 2020)
The ability to pick up the network correctly is an essential element for a phone but it is only very rarely measured. To measure a phone's ability to pick up the network, I perform a large number of measurements on the same cells to be able to compare phones under similar conditions. The signal is measured in dBm, a value of -90dBm indicates a worse signal than -70dBm. These measurements are therefore taken under real conditions and not in a laboratory, they are not scientific but give a good indication of performance.
Signal 4G (from December 2020)
I decided to change the methodology for measuring the network because I noticed that the configuration of the mobile network changes over time. This makes it more difficult to compare phones because the conditions are no longer exactly the same.
To overcome this problem, I set up a device that captures 24 hours a day about ten parameters from the mobile network (ex: cell id, rssi, rsrq, snr, frequency,...). I then place the phone next to the device for 24 to 48 hours taking the same measurements so that I can compare them.
Overview of the phones tested with this methodology
I made almost 1000 measurements in 4G to measure the signal sensitivity of this Redmi Note 10 and got a very good score. The Redmi range has never been very good in terms of 4G signal but this new generation is much better than all the previous ones. I started by testing the Redmi Note 10 pro which became the best phone in the ranking, the Redmi Note 10 also ranks very well.
To test the download speed, I have identified some 4G cells offering good performance where I test all my devices several times to see what download and upload speed they can achieve.
Wifi performanceTo test a phone's ability to receive the network properly, I take measurements near my router and then remotely (and always at the same place). This gives me an average in dBm where a value of -90 dBm indicates poorer performance than a value at -30 dBm.
The Redmi Note 10 uses the same wifi chipset (wcn3990) as the Poco X3 and the Redmi Note 10 Pro. So I had to get similar results with the Redmi Note 10. For the nearby signal measurement, I get exactly the same score as the Poco X3, only the Redmi Note 10 Pro seems better with the same technical base. The Redmi Note 10 therefore ranks in the upper average in terms of wifi signal.
To test the speed in Wifi, I connect to my router in 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz (if available) and use the Ookla application to measure the speed.
To test the quality of the GPS signal I use the Offline Maps application and I make the same train trip in pedestrian mode. Why? In pedestrian mode, the GPS does not artificially correct the signal to stick to the road, it has no markings, so you can see the actual position. I then use an application to measure the accuracy of the signal.
I obtained an accuracy level of 3 meters outdoors and in the open with the Redmi Note 10, it is an average result. This precision will drop from 1 to 2 meters in the covered area. In principle, this precision deviation can be compensated by a GPS application (eg Waze) which will compensate for the deviations by bringing the signal back to a known route.
The Redmi Note 10 has a very bright screen and the battery test shows that when I push the brightness to 100%, the screen consumes almost 3 times more power than at 50%. The screen brightness is therefore clearly not linear
I charged the battery of the Redmi Note 10 in 194 minutes (0 to 100%), the charge is quite fast at first (especially in the first 20 percent) and then gradually slows down. It is especially after 80% that the charge is longer. Charging time is similar to what I've been able to test on other phones, it's a good performance but it's not the fastest phone. The screen is 100% very greedy, I went from 100% to 0% in just under 700 minutes. On the other hand at 50%, I get a good autonomy of a little more than 1700 minutes (= more than 28h!). I imagine you're not going to be using this phone around the clock and using maximum brightness so you should be able to last 2-4 days depending on your usage.
Photo camera testTo test the quality of photos produced by a phone, I do a technical test (resolution, sharpness, chromatic aberration,...) in studio (identical conditions) to evaluate the technical part objectively. From the second half of 2020, I built my own laboratory to take completely objective technical measurements. I then take pictures in real conditions to see how the camera performs. I then evaluate these photos according to my criteria but I publish the photos so that you can evaluate the result according to your criteria.
HardwareThe main sensor (48 Mpx) of the Redmi Note 10 is a Sony IMX 582. Xiaomi used to equip the Redmi range with Samsung sensors and they even pushed recycling so far that the last 3 models were equipped with the same sensor Samsung in 48 Mpx. The Redmi Note 10 will therefore break the cycle with a camera that has already proven itself on other phones. This Sony sensor is the same as the Xiaomi Mi A3 that I tested two years ago and had some very nice photos.
The ultra wide angle sensor is the same as the Redmi Note 10 Pro, I had had great results on this type of sensor as well, so I guess the results will be the same with the Redmi Note 10.
The default photo application of the Redmi Note 10 is overall very similar to what can be found in other Xiaomi phones. The basic functionalities are the same, the Redmi Note 10 however offers less advanced functionalities than the Redmi Note 10 Pro.
I made a small video with the different photo modes with each times a zoom on the quality of the photos. The screen flips when I switch to viewing mode but I couldn't avoid this toggle, it's the video capture application that behaves this way.
Photo test / studio
Main sensor: Sony IMX 582
I have already tested this camera on another phone (Xiaomi Mi A3), so I am first went to see the photos I had taken at the time. The results were pretty good but with Xiaomi the optimization layer sometimes messes everything up, the previous model had a good sensor but the image optimization was very bad. Fortunately, this is not the case with the Redmi Note 10, Xiaomi made a good choice for the photo sensor but also made a good choice for optimizing photos. I took pictures in normal mode, I tested the pro mode, the 48 Mpx mode and the optimizations in HDR and AI. The photo used at the beginning of the paragraph was taken in normal mode with HDR and AI enabled.
I got good results from the first photo and without any form of optimization. The exposure time is good, the color saturation is good, the sharpness is good and all without the slightest effort! Pro mode is not necessary here to take good photos. The 48 Mpx mode on the other hand tends to underexpose the photos but this problem is often linked to exposure under artificial light, I have often encountered this problem with other phones and in daylight this problem disappears.
Secondary sensor: Sony IMX 355
The ultra wide angle sensor is also a Sony sensor and not surprisingly, the photo is a little more underexposed and the level of detail is less good. I almost always get this kind of result with ultra wide-angle sensors and here too these problems will probably be less noticeable in daylight.
Photo test / sunny
The main sensor of Redmi Note 10 is Sony IMX582 sensor, this sensor is not new, I tested it for the first time in August 2019 with the Xiaomi Mi A3 and I had found it to be quite good, here is a photo I took at the time:
As you can see, even 2 years later this Sony sensor is far from ridiculous. Xiaomi has also decided to use it for the new Poco X3 Pro as well as the Poco F3. So this sensor is capable of doing good things, I just wanted to see if Xiaomi had managed to improve its performance with all the aids present in today's phones.
The scenery is not as spectacular, I was in Scotland in 2019 but today we are all stuck at home because of the Covid. The photo is still quite interesting, it was taken at the end of the afternoon with grazing light. The first thing I notice with this photo is the very natural side of the colors, the colors are not too saturated as is often the case. The sharpness is also good, the trees in the background of the image are well detailed. The white clouds are correctly clipped without the effect being forced and the whites are not overexposed. There is a good dynamic between light areas and dark areas.
For this second photo, the sun was hidden by a big cloud and here too the dynamic between the light areas and the dark areas is quite good even if the dark areas could have been a little more illuminated. The sharpness is correct again and the colors are natural.
Ultra wide angle sensor
The ultra wide angle sensor is also a Sony sensor (Sony IMX355) and I had the opportunity to test this sensor recently with the Redmi Note 10 Pro. Ultra wide-angle sensors often provide poorer photo quality than the main sensor. The biggest weakness of ultra wide angle sensors is the lack of light which results in darker photos but this problem is much less pronounced on this Sony IMX355.
This photo has dark areas and light areas and this is the kind of situation that ultra wide angle sensors don't like too much, yet the result is really good. The photo is not only well lit but the colors are natural and the level of detail is fine. Obviously the photo is of lower quality than with the main sensor but you really have to be careful to see the flaws. The clouds are for example overexposed and the outline is less clear, the tree trunk in the foreground is smoothed and loses detail, I also see chromatic aberration at the periphery.
I took this photo while the sun was hidden behind a big cloud, it is a more difficult situation for a sensor of this type but nevertheless, the Sony sensor is doing very well. The photo is darker, this is normal for a sensor of this type but the dark areas remain clearly visible, the sky a little overexposed, certain parts of the sky turn purple but these defects will undoubtedly be invisible for the most part smartphone users.
I took more photos in the same place alternating wide angle and ultra wide angle, I also used HDR and AI to cover as many cases as possible. HDR works well enough to uncover gray areas, AI tends to heavily saturate colors and this sometimes makes photos look artificial. The Redmi Note 10 offers much better photo quality than the Redmi Note 9 and Redmi Note 9T. In this price range, it is arguably the best photo sensor, it is also used in other more expensive phones. After a few disappointing models, Xiaomi is back in force with this new generation of Redmi which offers a successful cocktail at the photo level for an unbeatable price.
Photo test / cloudy
Not yet available / tested
Test photo / night
Not yet available / tested
In the price range of the Redmi Note 10, I have never seen effective video stabilization and even though the Redmi Note 10 outperforms most of its competition, video stabilization does not part of his strength. I have the impression that the shocks are slightly damped but we cannot speak of stabilization, the jolts caused by my steps are clearly visible. The lateral movements are on the other hand quite fluid, the focusing is fast and I do not see the pixels which are put back in place like on many entry-level phones.
Video normale conditions
The Redmi Note 10 is capable of filming in 4k and 30 FPS and the Sony IMX 582 sensor does a good job here. Focusing is very fast, the phone finds where it needs to focus quickly, movements are smooth and exposure jumps are not visible. I took this video when the sun was behind a big cloud but the exposure level is quite good. Zoom is digital zoom, so its use results in a loss of detail, but even with maximum zoom, the video still offers a good level of detail.
Video low light
Not yet available / tested
Audio qualityTo test the quality of the phone's audio output, I connect the device's audio output to a measuring tool, then play sounds on all frequencies and measure the differences between the original sound and the sound produced by the phone. In this way I measure the phone's ability to correctly reproduce all sounds.
This test is intended to test the device's ability to correctly reproduce all frequencies. The white line in the middle of the graph is the ideal situation and the other colors come from tests on different phones. A deviation from the reference line indicates a deviation from the ideal situation. To see good sound at all frequencies, it is therefore necessary to get as close as possible to the reference line.
The Redmi Note 10 is able to reproduce most frequencies and it even does better than the Poco x3 which uses the same chipset. The differences are not very large but the Redmi Note 10 offers better sound reproduction at low frequencies where it is a little worse at high frequencies but again the differences are minimal. I got similar results with the Redmi Note 10 Pro except that there the volume was higher.
This test is designed to test a phone's ability to play sounds at different volume levels. Here too, the phones must be as close as possible to the reference.
The curves of the Redmi Note 10 and Poco X3 almost merge on all frequencies because they offer a very similar performance, here too this result is really good for this price range. I get better results in the high end but for a price 3 or 4 times lower, the sound is not 3 or 4 times worse.
This test aims to identify if the device under test is able to reproduce sounds without too much noise. A high score indicates a low parasite rate, a lower score indicates a higher presence of parasites.
I did not notice any interference problem with the Redmi Note 10, the sound performance is generally good. Even the sound from the speakers quickly comes to a pronounced distortion, this is not the case with headphones where the distortion at high volume is well controlled.
Screen qualityTo test the screen, I use a colorimetric probe that measures the color accuracy of a screen, as well as other parameters to see if a screen is able to correctly reproduce an image. I also test the brightness level to determine if the screen will be able to display an image in full sunlight.
Xiaomi generally uses good screens in their phones, in any case I have never tested a bad screen with this brand. In this price range, the phones are equipped with an LCD screen, this is not in itself a problem because these screens are able to deliver a good image but their main drawback comes from the contrasts. Blacks are never really black on an LCD screen and this affects how photos look. Xiaomi has once again decided to shake up the market by equipping the Redmi Note 10 with an Amoled display. What does that mean? Amoled screens offer almost infinite contrast, blacks are really black, so the picture quality is significantly better. Amoled screens are generally available from mid-range, so this is the first time I have seen a good Amoled screen under € 200.
As usual the setting by The default for the colors at Xiaomi is not the right one, you have to choose the standard mode to obtain correct colors. So I tested the screen in standard mode and got a dE of 1.23, this score is simply exceptional and not just for an entry level device. Xiaomi has not only democratized access to Amoled screens but in addition they have done so by offering a very good color screen.
Brightness / Contrast
The contrast of an Amoled screen is almost infinite, which means that when the screen should display black, you will have the impression that the screen is turned off. The images on the screen will give a much greater sense of depth than an LCD screen.
You will understand, this screen is superb and that's not all, the brightness is exceptional. I measured a brightness of 432 cd / m² in normal mode, this level of brightness is not exceptional but it is still a good result. I then tested the "sun" mode which allows to increase the brightness according to the ambient brightness and there I obtained 726 cd / m². It is quite simply the brightest screen I have tested so far.
In this price range, Xiaomi therefore offers quite simply the best screen!
BiometryThe chassis of the Redmi Note 10 is designed on the same basis as the Poco X3 or the Redmi Note 10 Pro even if the size is not quite the same. The fingerprint sensor is placed on the ignition button and it works very well (as on the other two phones mentioned). Manufacturers have really tried everything in recent years from a sensor on the back, a sensor in the screen and now a sensor on the side. Before I clearly preferred the sensor on the back, but now I prefer this side sensor because it is well positioned and it reacts quickly.
The Redmi Note 10 is equipped with MIUI 12 which runs Android 11, so it benefits from all the novelties of Xiaomi and Google at the same time, in this price bracket it is not common either. This latest version of MIUI 12 is really successful, I don't find many flaws in it apart from the usual complaints about the large number of options. I noticed a difference in the dark mode of the Redmi Note 10 where the app drawer applied the dark mode to the text but not to the bottom of the screen, so the readability is not very good, this problem has not been updated on other sites so I'm going to put it on bad luck, it's probably a bug that will disappear with the next update.
Encoutered bugsNot yet available / tested
Accessories Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
Compare Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 with the others
Test / Review conclusion
I had been a little disappointed by the Redmi Note 9, the Redmi Note 10 on the other hand very largely corrected the defects of its predecessor and it even allows itself to rank at the top of my ranking when its price is less than 200 €. The Redmi Note 10 isn't the best in any category but it scores well for every criterion in my test, so it's a really good entry-level phone that will suit a very wide audience. It performs well, has good battery life, has a good screen, produces good sound, and is able to take good quality photos in its price category. Xiaomi has settled in the price segment between 100 and 200 € with the Redmi Note 10 and the Poco X3 Pro, these two phones have hardly any direct competition. If you prefer performance, you have to go for the Poco but for the rest, the Redmi will do very well.
The Redmi Note 10 is one of the first phones to offer an amoled screen for less than 200 € and since the screen is the most used part of a phone, having a good screen is an essential starting point in choosing a phone. The other essential element of a phone is the battery and with its 5000 mAh, you have a reservoir of energy to last several days in normal use and if you need to quickly recharge a few percent, the 33W of fast charging will quickly help you out.
So yes, we can probably regret the absence of 5G or a 120hz screen or a more recent camera, it exists but it is simply more expensive. In the middle of 2021, the kings of the 100 to 200 € segment are the Redmi Note 10 and Poco X3.
- amoled screen and excellent colorimetry
- good battery life (especially at 50% brightness)
- price / performance ratio
- only 179 grams (Xiaomi usually produces much heavier phones )
- good sensitivity to 4G network
- good quality stereo sound
The Redmi Note 10 does not really have a fault compared to its price. It could have had 5G, NFC or a newer camera but the price / quality ratio is already very attractive, Xiaomi must therefore keep a little under its feet for the next models.
Alternatives to this product
The phone closest to the Redmi Note 10 is the Poco X3 (Pro version if the price drops) which offers more performance but an IPS screen and more weight.