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Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro first take: 108MP camera, 120Hz display, and 5,020 mAh battery

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Last year Redmi phones occupied two out of six top spots in best-selling phones so outside of the US the Redmi brand is doing well. As technology advances, lower cost phones are becoming more capable and people are finding they can easily get work done without spending a $1000 on a phone.

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For the past couple of weeks, we have been testing out the new Redmi Note 10 Pro in Onyx Gray with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. This phone does not support 5G so it worked as intended via LTE on T-Mobile here in the US. There are many high end specifications included in this phone with a particular emphasis on the advanced 108MP rear camera with 9-in-1 pixel-binning and Dual native ISO technologies.

Also: Best Android phone for you in 2021

Specifications

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G
  • Display: 6.67-inch DotDisplay AMOLED, Gorilla Glass 5, 120 Hz refresh rate
  • Operating system: Android 11
  • RAM: 6GB/8GB
  • Storage: 64/128 GB internal options with microSD card support
  • Cameras: Rear quad camera system with 108MP f/1.9, 8MP ultra-wide f/2.2 with 118-degree FOV, 5MP f/2.4 macro, and 2MP f/2.4 depth lens. 16MP f/2.45 front-facing camera.
  • Wireless technology: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, GPS/GLONASS, IR blaster
  • Battery: 5020 mAh with 33W charger in the box
  • Water resistance: IP53 splashproof protection
  • Dimensions: 164 x 76.25 x 8.1 mm and 193 grams
  • Colors: Onyx Gray, Glacier Blue, Gradient Bronze

In addition to many high-end specifications listed above, the Redmi Note 10 Pro has an IR port, 3.5mm audio port, and stereo speakers firing out the top and bottom of the phone.

Hardware

The 6.67-inch AMOLED display looks great and with the very small center top hole-punch front-facing camera I enjoyed videos on the screen. The bezels on all four sides are fairly consistent.

There is a headset speaker in a small slit above the display. Dual stereo speakers are positioned on either end of the phone and sound great. The speakers were quite loud and I enjoyed the media experience without headphones.

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An IR port, microphone, speaker, and 3.5mm audio port are on the top while a mic, speaker, and USB-C port are found on the bottom. The top and bottom have flat surfaces with matte finish. On the right side, a power button with integrated fingerprint sensor and a volume button are positioned on the upper half of this side. A long tray with a microSD card and two SIM card holders is found on the upper left side.

Four cameras are found in the upper left of the back with a small LED light below the cameras. The back has a gradient color scheme with the Onyx Gray one transitioning from gray into black. The back has a glossy finish and is slick in the hand.

The Redmi Note 10 Pro is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G processor and in my week of testing I never saw it stutter or lag. I've used it with typical daily apps, watched movies, played music, and enjoyed some games.

Also: Google Pixel 4a 5G review: Affordable 5G phone with stunning camera performance

Software

The Redmi Note 10 Pro arrived with Android 11 and the January 1, 2021, Android security patch. MiUI Global 12.0.1 is the UI that is used by Xiaomi, but it offers a fairly stock Android experience. Most of the UI customization is in some settings, extra utilities (Mi Video, Music, Mi Remote, and Mi Browser), and app launcher organization.

There is a settings area for special features that includes Game Turbo, Video toolbox, Floating window, Second Space, and Lite mode. There is a cool Quick Ball element where you can have five shortcuts selected to appear when you drag in from one side of the phone. It's kind of like the Edge panels we see on Samsung devices, but I found it a great way to quickly take screenshots.

The Second Space option and Enterprise mode offer a couple of methods to set up secure areas or spaces on the phone to keep your work separate from other data.

The home screen supports having a Google Discover panel on the far left with the option for a drawer to show the app launcher too.

Along with the 108MP camera hardware, and other cameras, the Redmi Note 10 Pro includes advanced camera software that has a plethora of shooting modes. These include 108MP with pixel-binning, video, photo, portrait, clone, long exposure (moving crowd, neon trails, oil painting, light painting, starry sky, star trails), night, panorama, documents, vlog, slow motion, time lapse, dual video, short video, and pro/manual. With solid camera hardware and this software your ability to get creative and spend a lot of time shooting with this phone is readily available. The 5,020 mAh battery helps ensure you can go all day shooting too.

Usage experiences and thoughts

I popped in my T-Mobile SIM and used the phone as my daily driver for a few days. It worked perfectly well with calls, messaging, and daily apps like Gmail, Teams, and Outlook. The phone supports LTE, but I didn't get a chance to travel too far to fully test out the coverage.

The 108MP camera is one of the main features of the Redmi Note 10 Pro so I captured photos with the S21 Ultra and iPhone 12 Pro Max to see how well it compared. While my results didn't show that the Note 10 Pro bested these two flagship phones, the phone exceeded my expectations and also has many options for creative shooting.

The phone has a very large capacity battery and I was able to easily use the phone for two days between charging sessions. In addition, I was able to run in drizzle with the phone since it has IP53 dust/water resistance.

Pricing and availability to be announced during the livestream launch event.