Xiaomi’s sub-brand Redmi had successfully established itself as one of the leading provider of budget-friendly smartphones not just in Singapore alone, but also in pretty much the whole of the Asian markets.
The success of Redmi is well-deserved as the company remains committed to it’s ”honest pricing” model over the years, launching new models that are priced at a fraction of what it’s competitors cost without skimping on any of it’s core specs and features.
This was evidenced in the Redmi Note 10 5G which we’d reviewed several months back, and is once again embodied in the brand new Redmi 10 smartphone that arrived in both Singapore and Malaysia last month.
Launched with an affordable starting price of just S$229 (US$168), the newly minted Redmi 10 is surely one of the most enticing entry-level smartphone (or rather mid-ranger) in the market that will give other devices in the segment a run for it’s money.
However, does it have enough to prove it’s worthiness as your next smartphone? Let’s find out in our Redmi 10 review!
A Simple & Likeable Design
At first glance, the Redmi 10’s rear design inevitably reminds me of the POCO X3 GT (Review) thanks to it’s near identical-looking, rectangular camera housing on the back of the phone which features a dual-tone design with four camera lenses arranged in a ”L-shape” fashion.
The review unit I have in hand dons a Carbon Gray colorway that looks more understated as compared to it’s other Pebble White and Sea Blue variants.
One thing good about this variant is the accompanying matte finish which does an applaudable job in concealing fingerprints and smudges – something which smartphones with glossy back struggle to achieve.
Under the lights, the Carbon Gray variant gives off a subtle shimmering effect which set forth an impression that the phone is fitted with a more expensive frosted glass back.
Sporting an overall dimension that measures 161.9mm x 75.5mm x 8.92mm, the Redmi 10 feels rather compact on hand and is ideal for single-handed use even if you have a small hand. Likewise, it also feels pretty light with an amicable weight of just 181 grams.
On the frontside of the phone, it brings along a 6.5” IPS LCD display which adopts a central hole-punch design to accommodate it’s 8 megapixels front-facing camera for selfie and video-calling.
Diving into the specifics, the front display offers a sharp FHD+ screen resolution which brings up crisp details when browsing photos or streaming videos. Similarly, color reproduction also appears to be rather decent for a phone of it’s price range.
Despite it’s low-price, it managed to squeeze in some really nice features like a 90Hz refresh rate which not only makes scrolling and app launches felt seamless, but also delivers a much smoother gameplay as well.
Just like the Redmi Note 10 5G, it’s refresh rate is adaptive in the sense that it automatically adapts the refresh rate based on the frame rate of the onscreen content. This helps preserve battery life since a higher refresh rate will be utilized only when necessary.
With a peak brightness of 405 nits, the front display is able to get acceptably bright in outdoor environment to keep the screen visible. However, it does struggles a little when you’re using it directly under the sun.
Unlike any of the smartphones within it’s price range, Redmi 10’s front display is actually equipped with an additional layer of Gorilla Glass 3 which further protects the screen against accidental drops or scratches.
Snappy Performance For Gaming
Redmi 10 is the first smartphone in the world that’s powered by the new octa-core MediaTek Helio G88 chipset which offers some decent upgrades (in terms of performance and ISP) over the Helio G80 chip used in last year’s Redmi 9.
Although the phone might be an entry-level smartphone, but it’s actually capable of delivering a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience in fast-paced, action-packed games like PUBG Mobile under default game settings.
Most importantly, there’s also hardly any heating issue even after indulging myself in several hours of games. This is really quite impressive considering that the phone doesn’t have any dedicated cooling system.
To make gaming even more engaging, Redmi 10 also boasts a pair of stereo speakers that sounds surprisingly good and have loud enough volume that can easily fill the room. That’s perhaps another standout feature for the phone.
Since we’re on the audio side of things, it’s also worth mentioning that Redmi 10 brings along the much-coveted 3.5mm headphone jack which is getting increasingly uncommon among recent smartphones.
An Upgraded Camera System
For photography, Redmi 10 relies on a quad-camera system lead by a 50MP (f/1.8 aperture) main camera which is in fact a significant step up from the 13MP main camera that was found in last year’s Redmi 9.
As for the other three cameras, they include a 8MP (f/2.2 aperture) ultra-wide lens for landscape photography, 2MP (f/2.4 aperture) macro camera for close-up, as well as a 2MP (f/2.4 aperture) depth sensor for portrait shots.
Under the default shooting mode, the phone certainly has the capacity to click pleasant-looking images with good enough dynamic range and crisp details thanks to it’s high-res sensor which we don’t usually see among smartphones in this segment.
Just like any other Redmi smartphones, Redmi 10 comes with a handy HDR mode which does a fine job in pumping up color contrast to make the photos appear more vibrant and flattering, without looking artificial.
When shooting in low-light environment, it’s dedicated night mode feature did remarkably well in improving overall illumination of the scene, allowing you to capture photos with vivid-looking colors and sharp details despite having limited lighting.
Moving on to it’s ultra-wide shots, they are generally decent (but not exactly flattering) with good enough dynamic range and details whether in well-lit or low-light environment. Similar to the main camera, it’s ultra-wide unit can also rely on night mode when it comes to darker scene.
Considering that the majority of smartphones within this segment aren’t even equipped with an ultra-wide lens, it’s definitely an impressive feat for Redmi in this aspect.
As for close-up shots, Redmi 10 does have a functional 2MP macro camera for that. However, I personally prefer to use it’s digital zoom feature whenever I take close-up photos of insects or floras.
Therefore, I’m glad that the 2x digital zoom feature on Redmi 10 works perfectly in capturing well-focused subject with ample details and pleasing-looking color profile. Other than that, the accuracy of it’s edge detection is also something that’s worth heaping praise on.
Gigantic Battery With Fast-charging Support
Under the hood, the phone is fitted with a gigantic 5,000mAh battery which is capable of supporting more than a day’s worth of usage, even with one or two hours of gaming when commuting. Of course, if you use the phone moderately with Power Saving Mode on, you’ll probably get yourself at least two days battery life.
Despite being among cheapest smartphone in the market, Redmi 10 does supports 18W fast-charging which is capable of filling up a flat battery from 0 to 100% in slightly more than two hours via it’s bundled 22.5W charging brick.
Interestingly, it also comes with 9W reverse wired-charging capability which allows the phone to act as a ”portable charger” to recharge other devices using just a USB cable. This is certainly a nice-to-have feature that allows you to better take advantage of it’s huge battery capacity.
Redmi 10 is no doubt a superb budget-friendly smartphone which pretty much blurs the line between entry-level and mid-range devices. From it’s class-leading performance and camera system to it’s tasteful design on the outside, the new Redmi 10 definitely packs a punch above it’s own weight – providing tremendous value for the price you pay.
For those who’re interested, Redmi 10 is priced at S$229 and S$249 respectively for it’s 4GB+64GB and 6GB+128GB variants in the local market, and is available for purchase via Xiaomi Official Store on Lazada.