Chinese Xiaomi has been criticized for many years for the poor quality of the cameras in its models. The quality of photos and videos lagged behind the competition quite significantly, but the manufacturer intervened. He invested a lot of money and built his own division only for the development of mobile cameras. Today, it also operates one in Europe, namely in Finland.
In the last two years, this big investment has begun to bear fruit, and Xiaomi smartphones are much closer to expensive competition in the quality of photos. Recently introduced Xiaomi Mi Note 10 surprised the whole technological world when he first came up with 108 MPx "penta" camera.
The legendary series of Mi Note smartphones thus deviated from the original intention to create competition for Samsung's Galaxy Note smartphones. In addition, the Mi Note 10 is the successor to the Mi Note 3 model, which was introduced in 2017. Xiaomi thus skipped 7 models in the designation, but why, we have no idea.
However, we managed to get this expected piece for the test and we bring you one of the first Slovak reviews. Is it a really high-quality photosmartphone or just marketing? You can read this in our detailed review.
Where we bought it
Before we start with the review itself, we will let you know some information about the purchase itself. At the time we ordered it, it was exclusively available from the seller Gearbest.com with a very decent coupon.
You can find the best coupons here 👇
We ordered November 7 / November and November 21.11. he was already on our table. We have chosen for delivery EU Priority Line and therefore it took only 14 calendar days, which is very decent for delivery from China.
Interestingly, Gearbest on the Mi Note 10 offers a warranty of up to 2 years, which has not been the case so far. In addition, in the event of a breakdown, you can claim the warranty at a European service center, so you do not have to send the phone to China.
The standard packaging with accessories is already a classic
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 comes in a black box with a large inscription 10, which is part of its name. In addition to the smartphone, the package also includes a solid protective cover. In the case of our black version of the mobile phone, it is a black rubber cover.
The cover is thick enough to perfectly cover the prominent rear camera. The package also contains a classic USB Type-C cable, a very nice surprise is a fast 30 W charger, which is not a habit in the basic package.
There are also standard manuals and a clip for opening the SIM card slot. It does not contain a cutout for a microSD card, but offers DualSIM functionality (NanoSIM + dual stand-by mode).
Feel the luxury of the design
As soon as you hold the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 in your hand, you will feel that it is not a cheap smartphone. Its construction is made of top quality and consists mainly of glass. It is on the back, from the front it is a 3D curved display.
Everything is held together by a high-quality metal frame with a matte finish and rusted edges. The design is very similar to the smartphone of the competing Huawei P30 Pro, so Xiaomi was inspired again, but this time by her Chinese competitor.
We chose the elegant black color of the phone, but there is also a distinctive green and beautiful white color. Everyone will choose that way.
In terms of size and weight, the Mi Note 10 is definitely not the lightest smartphone. Dimensions stopped at 157,8 x 74,2 x 9,7 mm a the weight is 208 grams. So it's definitely not a compact smartphone, and users with smaller palms may have trouble controlling it with one hand. However, the higher weight is justified by the massive battery.
The front side consists of a large 6,47 "display with an effective 3D bend. It is protected by a Gorilla Glass 5 protective glass and on the upper side it contains a slowly dying cut-out for a selfie camera. The cutout is smaller in size and does not interfere very much in use.
Above the camera is a very loud speaker for telephony, which provides clear sound. The underside is empty, with only a narrow chin. Overall, from the outside, the smartphone looks really premium, the high-quality glass construction and the curved display will delight luxury lovers.
As for the layout of the elements, this is the classic we are used to at Xiaomi. The left side contains the power button, above it are the volume buttons. The slot for a pair of nanoSIM cards is also on this side, leaving the right side completely empty.
The bottom edge contains a mono speaker, USB Type-C connector and this time Xiaomi did not forget even the 3,5 mm audio jack. On the opposite top edge we find an IR sensor for controlling household appliances and a microphone.
The backside hides the jewel of this smartphone - 108 MPx “penta” camera. 5 sensors in a vertical arrangement together with a pair of dual LED flashes.
This monstrous photographic setup takes up a decent amount of space and the cameras stand out significantly. Without the use of a cover, the smartphone is on a flat surface, such as on a table like a swing. We definitely recommend using the included protective cover.
The construction is thus (almost) perfect. However, someone with such a premium smartphone may lack water and dust certification to find a place.
It is a pleasure to look at the display
6,47 “AMOLED panel with a brightness of 600 nits, a contrast ratio of 400: 000, FullHD + with a resolution of 1 x 2340 pixels, a pixel density of 1080 ppi or a color scale of 405% NTSC. There is also a double-tap function to light up the display, but also to lift a device with the same functionality.
Xiaomi really won on the Mi Note 10 display. The high-quality AMOLED panel has been enriched with an effective 3D bend that "stretches" the display to the edges of the structure. When scrolling through home screens, this bend is perhaps the most visible and creates a really interesting "waterfall" effect.
These are the main parameters of the display in Mi Note 10. Maybe some data doesn't tell you anything. In reality, however, it is a beautiful display panel, which is a pleasure to look at. It has beautiful colors, excellent viewing angles and high brightness in direct sunlight. When used at night, it does not harm the eyes and Xiaomi deserves praise for balancing the maximum and minimum levels of brightness.
There is also an ambient mode for displaying time and notifications, which is a convenient feature. The manufacturer boasts the curved edges of the display. It looks really premium, following the example of flag models. However, the actual use of this function is questionable. Color rendering, but also text is distorted at the edges.
Performance is the mentioned imperfection
There is an eight-core processor inside the device Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G (2 x 2,2 GHz Kryo 470 Gold + 6 x 1,8 GHz Kryo 470 Silver). This is a relatively new chip focused on mobile gaming performance, but the smartphone still breathes in places.
It was the processor that was criticized by the fans immediately after the introduction of the news. We were also somewhat skeptical, as only processing 108 MPx photos would ask the flagship Snapdragon processor. They divided the part about the performance and smoothness of the smartphone, as the phone was tested by two of our testers and they have different views.
Performance evaluation by Jura tester:
I used Xiaomi Mi Note 10 really intensively during our 10-day business trip to China. First of all, I wanted to try what it could do and I just needed to use it.
During the whole stay I used mobile data on a Chinese SIM card, I always had VPN turned on, I hot-spoted the internet for other members of the "crew", I photographed and filmed a lot, used social networks.
I must say that my feelings about performance are very mixed. With such a demanding use, the smartphone often did not catch up, it simply "chopped". It even happened to me that he froze completely three times and I had to restart it hard. I have been using Xiaomi smartphones for many years, this has never happened to me and I would not expect it from Xiaomi.
I also encountered a slow-moving camera, only when I turned on the camera application did the image first cut and then run up. Taking 108 MPx photos is slow, it took 2-3 seconds to save the photo. Later, I also encountered a long time of creating classic photos and freezing the gallery while viewing photos or videos.
On the other hand, I am very happy for the massive battery that often held me and managed my whole hard day in China. I didn't need any power bank.
However, I must say that after arriving home and uninstalling the VPN application, the freezing problems have stopped. During normal use in home or office conditions, the phone is very smooth. Problems make it more difficult to use.
Performance evaluation from tester Slava:
Occasional hesitation is not explicitly the fault of the processor or other hardware. I observed it especially with the frequent use of the camera application and photo processing in the gallery. Literally, the more powerful model Snapdragon 855, resp. 855+.
Gaming performance is definitely not bad and is also helped by the existing graphics accelerator Adreno 618.
The processor itself remains a little disappointing, you can see the results of AnTuT benchmark tests in the gallery above.
This time without microSD card
In terms of smartphone memory, there is currently a relatively expanded 6 GB of RAM available, due to the computing power, especially in the area of the camera, we could imagine a better optimized version with 8 GB of RAM. It is a pity.
Internal storage is a place where you could not save money and the manufacturer offers 128 GB for the given price. This is enough capacity for the vast majority of users, if you do not take only all photos in full resolution 108 MPx.
We did not have a problem with the storage capacity. After the first start-up, the Android system and the MIUI extension will open less than 11 GB, and after installing about three dozen applications, we still had a decent 114 GB of free space on the phone. Note, however, that your smartphone does not support the microSD memory card extension.
The reader on the display will not be ashamed
The fingerprint sensor is located below the display and does not interfere with the overall design of the device. Its location is highlighted by the light effect, as well as the use itself. It is an optical sensor and although it does not reach the speed of the standard sensors located on the back, it is not bad at all.
You could say that it is better what is currently being sold on the market in the form of a sensor below the display. We didn't have a problem with the recognition, that's good news. However, some moment of waiting is still present. Recognition of slightly moist or oily skin is also impaired and problematic.
There is also Android 9 Pie and the latest MIUI 11 extension
The software is no less important in any Android smartphone. In this case, we still have here Android 9 Pie, is still waiting for an update with the latest version of Android 10. Nevertheless, the device contains security packages from Google as of November 01.11.2019, XNUMX, which is good news and only the December update is missing.
Besides the system itself, there is also a new superstructure with a sign MIUI 11.0.11. We updated the latest version just during testing, we definitely praise the manufacturer for this support. The current version includes a full dark mode, which can also gently save battery in the case of AMOLED panels, as well as updated font, device sounds and other improvements.
The system as such is therefore regularly updated and is suitably optimized. Unwanted mowing or slowed down behavior of the device was recorded only with the already mentioned use of the camera application resp. photo galleries during their processing.
108 MPx "penta" camera makes sense
The smartphone is equipped with five rear cameras, which is definitely unusual in the price range. The camera is the biggest attraction of this smartphone.
Everything starts with a 25 mm main 108 MPx (f / 1.7) sensor, which provides really detailed photos with a beautiful and especially natural depth of field.
The vast majority of users, however, use the automatic mode, which produces 16 MPx photos from the main sensor through the well-known pixel folding technology.
Other cameras include a 50mm 12 MPx (f / 2.0) telephoto lens with laser focus and 5x optical zoom, a 2.0MPx (f / 8, upscale to 5MPx) sensor for up to 20x optical zoom, a 2.2MPx wide angle lens (f / 2), but also "only" XNUMX MPx "macro" sensor.
The video can be shot at a resolution of up to 2160p (30 fps), but 1080p video (60 fps) offers slightly better stabilization. There is a time-lapse shot, slow-motion video, but also HDR and panorama.
The three rear cameras protrude quite significantly from the body of the device in one module, the other two sensors are located under this module, perhaps too low. Placing them on the back literally asks for unwanted finger touches.
When shooting with a wide-angle sensor, we often happened to have accidentally covered the camera sensor with our finger. The location of this sensor may have been higher.
The front camera has a resolution of 32 MPx (f / 2.0) and is located on the front in a notch in the display. It also offers HDR, sharp photos and records 1080p video (30 fps). The photos themselves are at a very good level in terms of sharpness and detail, the colors are realistic and perhaps too neutral.
In DxOmark is second in the world, what is the reality?
If you're following the events around the Mi Note 10, you're sure to hear about its rating in the renowned DxOmark test. The testers awarded him a total of 121 points, placing him second in the world. Only the Huawei Mate 30 Pro model precedes it, not even the more expensive iPhone 11 Pro Max overtook it.
It should be noted, however, that DxOmark tested the Xiaomi CC9 Pro Premium (in Europe as Mi Note 10 Pro), which has a slightly better master sensor. The 108 MPx sensor in this model consists of 8P lenses, while the classic Mi Note 10 has 7P lenses. More lenses contribute to better light transmittance, making night photos a little better.
Okay, we have a theory behind us, what is the practice? We were not particularly excited about the quality of taking the first photos with Mi Note 10 and then watching them on the phone screen. However, when displayed on a large computer monitor, the resulting quality is very high, even breathtaking!
12 x 032 px
Photos are very sharp, especially with the main sensor. The camera basically creates 27 MPx photos, to take 108 MPx photos you need to switch to another mode. As we mentioned, saving these photos takes 2-3 seconds, but the result is worth it. Below you will find a few examples, which exactly means a resolution of 12 032 x 9 024 px.
The cutouts in the photos are after 100% zoom.
The classic daily photographs are managed by the Mi Note 10 on the left back, so we won't pay any special attention to them. We focus on night photos where many smartphones have problems. We can say that even in low light conditions the phone is doing really well. Of course, some noise will be found, but in general the photos are very sharp.
The photos in the review are reduced, you can find them in full quality in the link below.
We recommend using the built-in night mode wisely - the resulting photo is not always better than in classic mode. Night mode tends to illuminate some objects, and photos are less contrasting.
A special feature of the camera in the Mi Note 10 is the telephoto lens, which offers not only a 5x optical zoom without loss of quality, but also a crazy 50x digital zoom. It is questionable whether the photos with this zoom are usable at all, but you can see a preview below.
The video has amazing stabilization
The video camera is one of the best parts of the Mi Note 10. The video stabilization is amazing, as it evokes the impression that the video is shot with a gimbal. Just by walking and holding the phone in your hand, the image is stabilized really excellently.
Support for only 4K video at 30 fps freezes a bit, in this price category we would expect 60 fps from Xiaomi. Well, here the stumbling block is the processor again. However, FullHD video at 60 fps has better stabilization than the mentioned 4K video.
Final evaluation of the camera
So to sum up. In the category of smartphones up to 400 € you will certainly not get any better. However, the camera can really compete with the world's flagships, such as the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro or Galaxy Note 10.
These are excellent photographic results and this also applies to photos in poor lighting conditions. It is felt that the manufacturer has actually invested in photographic equipment. It may freeze a worse "macro". Carefully, however, with a full 108 MPx photos, one such photo will take up approximately 15 - 20 MB.
Full-size original photos are available at the following link.
You will find more photos in the original resolution from our trip to China in this reference.
In the gallery we bring you a preview of photos taken in daylight, photos taken in poor lighting conditions, full-fledged 108 MPx, but also wide-angle and "macro" photos.
Connectivity without problems
We have virtually no reservations about connectivity. The smartphone also offers full-fledged LTE networks for Slovakia and the Czech Republic, so the LTE B20 band (800 MHz) used in our country is also present.
There's also an NFC chip for hands-on, non-contact mobile payments via Google Pay.
Other equipment includes Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 5.0 A2DP LE with support for aptX HD, GPS, A-GPS, GALILEO or GLONASS, as well as an infrared port for controlling home electronics and FM radio.
Huge and premium 5260 mAh battery
The thickness and weight of the device manifested itself in the most positive sense, My Notes 10 got a really above-standard battery with a total capacity of 5260 mAh. Yes, the gaming experience and the demanding camera will take their toll, yet this really won't be just a one-day smartphone.
With standard use, we did not look for the charger until the next day in the afternoon. And not any of them, but the one from the package with fast charging with a power of up to 30W. Unlike flagship competitors, the wireless charging function is absent, which must be taken into account.
Battery life in classic use:
In our case, standard use included really active use of social networks, hourly telephony, hourly watching of 1080p videos and occasional gaming. A passionate photographer or player may experience somewhat less endurance, yet the endurance itself and the battery used are certainly praised. Thumb up.
Battery life in demanding use (VPN, constantly mobile data, hot-spot, GPS navigation, social networks, internet browsing):
Final evaluation: The top photosmartphone is not for everyone
A demanding user will definitely lack extra performance, that's right. However, this smartphone has the main advantages somewhere else.
These are top photographic equipment, a beautiful AMOLED display and a really large battery capacity. On the other hand, there is no support for IP certification for increased durability and also wireless charging.
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Global
Express delivery from a European warehouse free of duty and VAT.
This product will be delivered to you expressly from your local warehouse in Europe. Delivery from EU warehouses usually takes 7-10 days and delivers courier. No extra charges, no customs duties or VAT.
So if mobile photos are important to you and you are looking forward to high-quality and premium device processing, a new smartphone My Notes 10 is definitely a model for you.