Xiaomi Mi 10 is truly a top flagship for 2020. It proves this with its construction, equipment, but also at a slightly higher price.
Can the Snapdragon 865 processor, 108 MPx camera, 90 Hz display or high-quality metal workmanship defend a higher selling price? The just-beginning review will answer this and other questions.
We bought the Mi 10 model for the editorial office through the well-known GearBest e-shop for the price of 630 €. You will find their offer in this reference.
A pack worthy of a flagship smartphone
At first glance, it is clear that this is not just an ordinary smartphone. The package in which the Xiaomi Mi 10 arrives is gray and, unlike its cheaper counterparts, it attracts with the glossy number 10, the 5G technology logo, the delicate manufacturer's logo and Hi-Res Audio technology on the front.
For review, we have a version of Twilight Gray in the editorial office, while the color of the phone also matches the overall packaging. After unpacking, there is an envelope with accessories on the very top of the box.
It contains a paper manual, a needle for opening the SIM card slot, a practical clear silicone case and also a reduction from the USB type C connector to a 3,5 mm audio connector.
Below is the space for the smartphone itself wrapped in a protective foil. At the first touch, you can feel that it is a huge piece of hardware and has a slightly higher weight.
Below the level of the smartphone, there is a charging cable with a USB type C connector and a standard USB-A, for example, for connection to a computer. There is also a European fast charger terminal. The phone supports fast up to 30W charging.
An interesting feature is the protective foil glued to the display right from the unpacking, but its quality is really pathetic, scratches appeared on the first day of use. We recommend purchasing quality protective glass.
Mi 10 grew
The Xiaomi Mi 10 is a truly bulky and powerful device. Its physical dimensions stopped at 162,5 x 74,8 x 9 mm and its weight is a total of 208 grams. Use in a protective case exacerbates this feeling.
Larger dimensions and higher weight are a tax on the large AMOLED display and above-standard battery capacity. Compared to the competing Huawei P30 model, which we have also been using in the editorial office for a long time, Huawei looks really compact, like a smaller sibling to the flagship Xiaomi.
In terms of processing, the phone is made of very high quality and works premium. The main chassis of the device is traditionally made of metal material, the front and rear walls are made of tempered glass.
Without the cover, the phone slides quite significantly and also captures a lot of fingerprints on the back.
In the case of the Mi 10 model, the back side is very shiny, which is directly a magnet for fingerprints or dust. Otherwise, however, the design itself can be evaluated very positively, it corresponds to competing flagship smartphones.
The layout of the elements is very good
The front of the phone has a large 6,67 ″ display that hides an integrated fingerprint reader under its surface.
The display has curved edges so that it protrudes gently to the side edges of the phone. Above the display there is a speaker for telephony as well as appropriate sensors.
The front camera is integrated in a modern display space. There are no controls below the display, there's just a soft "chin" on the phone.
System control is provided by softkeys or gestures. The user can choose what suits him best.
The right side edge contains a volume control button and an on / off button for the device. The buttons are high quality, metal, easy to touch and are very well placed due to the larger dimensions of the phone.
In addition, this wall also contains plastic parts for the passage of the signal through the metal body of the device. The left side edge is completely empty and there are only the same plastic elements for signal transmission.
The upper edge is a bit more interesting. There is one of a pair of loud "stereo" speakers.
There is also an infrared port for controlling home electronics, but also a secondary microphone, for example for video recording. There is also a plastic part for the signal to pass through the metal body.
At the bottom is the second of a pair of stereo speakers, there is also a primary microphone for telephony, a USB type C connector for charging or connecting to a computer and a slot for a pair of SIM cards. This page also contains plastic parts for signal transmission.
As for the SIM slot itself, it is the size of a standard DualSIM slot, but in reality it is only a Single SIM socket, as one of the slots is artificially blinded. Yes, the Mi 10 in the European version is just a classic Single SIM smartphone.
We have not yet experienced such an illogical approach at Xiaomi, and even though we support this brand, such a step is incomprehensible to us. It caused a great deal of unrest among other fans as well. If you would like a Mi 10 Dual SIM smartphone, this can be done with this adjustment.
Unfortunately, despite such a rough and heavy workmanship, the back contains camera lenses that protrude quite significantly from the body of the device. When placed on a flat surface, the phone really sways and causes reduced comfort during use.
This problem can be solved with the enclosed packaging, which calls the protruding cameras, but in this case the smartphone is even thicker.
In addition to the output module of the three rear cameras, there is a fourth sensor below, a slightly less protruding and also a dual LED flash.
The back wall is otherwise blank, below is only the manufacturer's logo, the logo of the used 5G technology and mandatory recycling information. This site is also home to the NFC sensor and reverse and wireless charging equipment.
You will always want to look at this quality AMOLED
For its new flagship model, Xiaomi has chosen a large AMOLED display with a diagonal of 6,67 ″, a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels, an aspect ratio of 19,5: 9, a contrast of 5: 000, a refresh rate of up to 000 Hz together with the HDR1 + function.
The display covers almost 90% of the front wall and thus contains really thin frames, also thanks to the curved edges.
The most prominent frame and is located on the bottom underside below the display, while the panel is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
The AMOLED panel used is really very bright, its brightness stopped at 800 rivets. However, it is not just a number, but also a display optimization. High brightness is complemented by rich colors, reliable automatic control, but also a refresh rate of 90 Hz.
The color temperature can be additionally adjusted in the settings, which we evaluate positively. The maximum brightness is really great and direct sunlight was not a problem.
The minimum brightness is then low enough not to disturb the user even in complete darkness. Another positive is the very good viewing angles of the display. It can be seen that this part of the smartphone was definitely not spared.
The main attraction of the used display is its high refresh rate. If you are interested in saving energy, there is a choice of settings between the frequency of 60 Hz and 90 Hz.
We in the editorial office recommend a maximum value of 90 Hz, the display is really smooth in this case, the transitions are very smooth and any transition back to 60 Hz is visually really felt, in the negative sense of the word.
Many users who have already tried the 90 Hz display say that you will not want to go back and we definitely agree with this. You can really feel that the display in the Mi 10 is at a professional level and that it is one of the most expensive components in a smartphone. In our opinion, this is one of the best aspects of the whole smartphone.
Performance for years to come
In terms of performance, it is an uncompromising flagship smartphone, which will be equipped with an eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor made with 7nm technology (1 x 2,84 GHz Kryo 585 & 3 x 2,42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4 x 1,80 GHz Kryo 585) .
This chip is further complemented by the Adreno 650 graphics accelerator, which can also handle demanding 3D games from the Play Store or advanced multitasking. This is the best that the current technology market has to offer, and Xiaomi knows it very well.
During the testing, we did not notice any problems with performance, the smartphone managed a number of open applications, graphically demanding 3D games, all with reasonable endurance on a single charge. The smartphone didn't breathe and in combination with its 90 Hz display, the reactions were really lightning fast.
If you want to compare the performance of your own smartphone with the Xiaomi Mi 10, AnTuTu tests can help you. You can see the test result in the photo gallery above.
UFS 3.0 storage
For testing, we have a version in the configuration of 8 GB RAM LPDDR5 + 128 GB internal UFS 3.0 storage. This is definitely not a bad combination and the above-standard RAM memory explicitly helps the overall smoothness of the system and the experience of using a smartphone.
Despite being a Single SIM smartphone, the second slot is blinded. The user cannot insert a SIM card or expand the memory with a microSD memory card. It will be necessary to make do with the built-in storage, so it is good to think before buying which version you will use to your advantage.
Our 128 GB has shrunk to about 102 GB after installing dozens of applications and adding system storage. The system itself takes up just over 13 GB.
For the vast majority of users, this storage will be sufficient. However, if you are really demanding and you prefer your data stored on your phone rather than on cloud storage, a combination of 8 GB RAM + 256 GB will also be on sale.
Fingerprint reader + face unlocking
The fingerprint reader sensor is located on the front, it is integrated into the display at the bottom. The presence of this sensor can be observed thanks to the light border.
Today, in 2020, a modern sensor integrated into the display is practically a standard equipment of the flagship smartphone. The Xiaomi Mi 10 responded surprisingly quickly to unlock the device. However, the reliability of the reader was no longer so excellent.
We unlocked the device quickly, but not always for the first time. You just need to press a little more on the display. Wet or slightly greasy fingers can also have a problem.
We tested whether it would help to upload the same fingerprint twice, and the results were virtually identical. Sometimes you just need to apply the fingerprint a second time and the phone will unlock quickly.
If you don't want to use a fingerprint reader or just like to experiment, face unlocking is also available. However, this is only realized by means of a front camera located in the space in the display, and thus it is a less secure option.
You will not unlock Internet banking in this way. However, facial unlocking responses were exemplary and quick on the first try.
Android 10 + MIUI 11
In terms of software, the manufacturer has behaved really well. The current Android 10 operating system from Google is available, as well as the current MIUI 11 extension from Xiaomi.
During testing, we even received a software update to the MIUI Global 11.0.12 Stable extension.
The manufacturer also thought about security and the phone is equipped with an April security update from Google. Only the May security package is missing, which is likely to appear in one of the following software updates.
The environment is really fast and smooth, and these feelings are further enhanced by the 90 Hz AMOLED display. The smartphone did not have a problem even with more demanding multitasking, it will please control with gestures or standard soft keys. The system is very well optimized and will also enjoy the Digital Balance function.
For long-term fans, this combination of system and superstructure is quite well known. The graphic superstructure from Xiaomi is quite powerful and offers a number of elements for customization, including a full-fledged dark mode, which in the case of the AMOLED panel can also save some percentage of the battery.
The camera is exclusive and high quality
The photographic equipment of a smartphone is very important, especially at such a high price at which this smartphone is sold. And the fact that in this case it is equipment without compromises, there is no doubt about that.
The main sensor of this smartphone has 108 MPx (f / 1.7) and optical image stabilization, while it is the same sensor that we can already know from the smartphone Mi Note 10.
So we expected the photographic results to be at least at the same, if not better, level.
This sensor is supplemented by three more. Namely, these are 13 MPx (f / 2.4) ultra-wide-angle sensor, 2 MPx sensor for "macro" images and 2 MPx depth sensor for background blur or "Bokeh" effect. It is important to mention that the more expensive "Pro" version of the Mi 10 offers even better photographic equipment, especially in terms of the rear camera.
The rear cameras (or three of them) are located in a module protruding from the body of the smartphone. This is a relatively significant module, mainly due to the use of optical stabilization, and the smartphone swings significantly when placed on a table, which can be negative for some users. This problem can be solved by a protective cover.
Below the camera module is a fourth rear sensor, namely an ultra-wide-angle sensor. Although it is bulky, it is placed relatively low and often becomes miserable due to the distribution of fingers when shooting in landscape. Below it is a dual LED flash.
The video can be recorded in a maximum resolution of 4K / 60fps. Some sources report up to 8K video, and even indicated by the Camera application, but with a quick selection of video quality, the 8K option was not available at the time of writing the review.
Full-size original photos are available at the following link.
The quality of photos in daylight is very good and can compete with other flag colleagues. The colors are rich, advanced artificial intelligence helps, and the level of detail or depth of field is also fine. On the contrary, we expected slightly better results at night and the night mode of the photo may be very bright.
4K 30 fps test video:
On the other hand, great performance is also provided by a wide-angle sensor or a sensor that offers a really rich and tasteful background blur. Sometimes it's too exaggerated and the camera blurs closer, not just more distant subjects. Depending on your taste, Xiaomi probably tried to bring the most versatile camera possible.
5G: Connectivity is premium
The flagship smartphone must already provide full-fledged equipment in terms of connectivity. The name of the device itself implies that in addition to the standard 4G connectivity, 5G Connectivity is also available in this case (1, 3, 7, 28, 77, 78 Sub6). However, you will not make full use of it in Slovakia yet.
The equipment includes Wi-Fi 6 technology (802.11 a / b / g / n / ac / ax), Bluetooth version 5.1, together with aptX HD and aptX Adaptive technology. Dual GPS, A-GPS, Glonass and Galileo are also available. We didn't see any problems finding the location, and the localization itself was very fast.
Other features include an NFC chip for making mobile payments, for example via Google Pay, and an infrared port for controlling home electronics.
Rock fans will not enjoy the absence of a 3,5 mm audio connector and there is also an FM radio. A USB Type C connector with USB On-The-Go support is available for charging or connecting to a computer.
This time, Xiaomi also cared about the quality of the sound, and the Mi 10 was equipped with real stereo speakers. One is located on the top edge, the other on the bottom and together they create a perfect interplay. The sound from them is very clear, but we would appreciate more of the bass component. Also, their overall volume is above standard and they can sound a smaller room.
The 4780 mAh battery surprised
If we are to evaluate endurance in one word, it is surprising. It was already clear to us from the technical specifications that with one day of using the smartphone will not have a problem, but the Mi 10 often reached at least 1,5 days, with a display with a refresh rate of 90 Hz.
If you switch the display to a refresh rate of 60 Hz, you will save even more energy in a more moderate way and you will also get two working days on one charge.
Depending on the value of the on display, it is not a problem to reach the values of 5 - 7 hours "screen-on-time", which is a decent result.
Standard use in our case included mainly active use of social networks and surfing the Internet, viewing e-mails, etc. There were hours of phoning, casual photography, video recording, photo editing and playing mobile games for about an hour.
The smartphone achieved the highest endurance when it was easier to use, especially for telephoning and more moderate use for surfing the Internet. On the contrary, the lowest endurance resp. its fastest decline was recorded by the smartphone when actively playing graphically demanding 3D games or watching 1080p video.
In addition to the high battery capacity, support for fast charging is a positive feature of the phone's equipment. Specifically, fast 30W cable charging (terminal included), 30W fast wireless charging and 5W reverse charging are available on the back of the smartphone.
So far, we have had the opportunity to test only 30 W cable charging, while charging from 15 to 100% did not take even 60 minutes. Charging is really very fast.
However, we evaluate the battery life very positively and due to the powerful hardware it is more than good. A demanding user can count on a full working day and a simpler user can reach up to two full working days on a single charge.
Xiaomi Mi 10 Review: Final rating
The company Xiaomi reached the price of the device quite significantly, the novelty started almost twice as much as last year's, ninth generation. However, the flagship smartphone is trying to defend its higher selling price.
Perfect 90 Hz AMOLED panel, powerful Snapdragon 865 processor, quality construction and top photographic equipment. This is the foundation that you will find in virtually any flagship device today, including the current one Xiaomi Mi 10.
Despite the great results, the selling price is very high, especially in the official Slovak distribution, and if you are considering a purchase, we recommend waiting for some time until the selling price drops a bit. However, you will definitely not make a mistake with the purchase, it is an exceptionally high-quality smartphone with powerful equipment.
Xiaomi Mi 10 Global
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