22nd February 2024 1:07 pm
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First impression of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro

Earlier this week, Xiaomi unveiled three new mid-range smartphones in the form of its Redmi Note 10 series. The devices will be available to purchase at various retailers over the coming weeks, but in the interim, we were fortunate enough to be seeded a review unit of the Redmi Note 10 Pro, which is the flagship device among the trio.

Our fully fledged review will be coming out later this month, but we thought we’d share our first impression of the Redmi Note 10 Pro, especially as there are a number of well specced and affordably priced mid-range devices at the moment, which we have remarked on more than one occasion.

After 24 hours exploring the Redmi Note 10 Pro, here are our initial thoughts on the new smartphone.

Design and Display

Starting with design and the Note 10 Pro is what we’ve come to expect from mid-range devices these days. There is certainly a design by committee aspect to it, with decisions taken not to push the boundaries, but also tick the necessary boxes.

There are minimal bezels – for example – to make the large 6.67″ Amoled display really pop. Added to this is a central pin hole that houses the front facing 16MP camera to add a but more symmetry to the device and of course showcase that Xiaomi has evolved past tear drop notches.

Flipping the phone over and we see another trend – a ridiculously large camera housing. We’ll touch on its performance shortly, but it should be worth noting that this housing juts out quite a bit. Even the transparent phone cover included in the box does not provide enough of a buffer, as the housing does not sit flush.

This is very much in keeping with what flagship phones do these days, but could prove an eyesore for some. Luckily in the Onyx Gray colour option, the rear camera housing does not stand out too much.

The last thing worth mentioning at this stage is the side mounted power button that doubles as a fingerprint sensor. Even the slightest graze will prompt your fingerprint to be read, and should you do that a few times while handling the phone, you’ll get asked to punch in a key or pattern code. It is a small gripe at this stage and a forgivable one given the price of the phone, but something we thought worth pointing out here.

Either way, from a design perspective is not going to wow, but it won’t offend. The real star of the show is the display itself, which is both crisp and vivid to accompany its size.

Performance and Camera

Next is performance. Here Xiaomi has asked Qualcomm to assist with a Snapdragon 732G processor doing the heavy lifting.

There is also 6GB RAM and 128GB onboard storage, all of which adds up to a fairly responsive device. We did notice a little sluggishness when unlocking the device, but after that, multitasking has handled easily and apps fired without fault. Navigation around the really clean UI and settings was rapid too.

In terms of benchmarking, the Redmi Note 10 Pro scored solidly, yielding better scores on Geekbench and getting close to the scores of the Oppo Reno5 5G across the board. We’ll share full benchmarking in our proper review later this month, as well as what the performance is like after a couple of weeks, but early signs are promising.

As for the camera, it too can be categorised as solid. There are a trio of lenses on the rear, but what grabs your attention while sifting through the specs sheet is the 108MP wide-angle option. In our testing so far, this option only appears to be available when switching to the Pro camera mode, which may be Xiaomi’s way of ensuring photos aren’t too large and take up too much storage space.

First Impression

At R5 499 (RRP), there is a lot to like about the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro. It actually makes us wonder whether Xiaomi is making a loss on these phones or if other phone makers are significantly marking up, that’s how good of a first impression it has made thus far.

We’ll reserve judgement after a couple of weeks of use, seeing what the 5 020mAh battery’s performance is like, as well as how it handles serious multitasking on a busy work day.

For now though, it looks like Xiaomi may have a real winner on its hands for those savvy mid-range smartphone owners.

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