When it comes to affordable flagship phones, one of the first few brands that come to mind is definitely none other than Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi.
Over the past couple of years, the company has already established itself as a reliable smartphone maker in the local market, launching dozens of smartphone across every price segment that bring great value for their price.
To build upon their success, Xiaomi is now back to the scene with the all-new Mi 10T series devices to take on the likes of other recently announced flagship phones including the Sony Xperia 5 II, Realme X50 Pro (Review), as well as the OnePlus 8T Pro (Review).
At S$749, the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro is currently the most affordable flagship device in the local market. However, does it have what it takes to stand out in this highly competitive market? Let’s find out in our Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro review!
Design & Handling
On the outside, we can’t deny the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro looks really fanciful. For the Lunar Silver review unit, the Silver paint job at the back is donned in a mirror-like finishing that’s unique and attractive.
As usual, the Mi 10T Pro employs a glass back which makes the device feels sturdy and premium on hand. Moreover, its also blessed with subtle curves that run across the sides of the device for better ergonomics.
Coupled with its grippy metallic frames along the edges, the device is ideal for single-handed use even though its a tad heavier than most flagship phones at slightly over 200 grams.
To round out its rear package, there’s also a domino-shape camera housing that’s home to a triple camera system paired with a LED flash. Though the camera bump is pretty hefty, but that’s pretty much a pre-requisite of an advanced camera system – so we can’t really complain about that.
Jumping to the front, the Mi 10T Pro is built around a 6.67-inches front display which comes with the usual hole-punch design similar to what we saw on most of the recent flagship phones.
This time round, the front display will be an IPS LCD display which boasts a FHD+ screen resolution. Although some might be disappointed by the lack of OLED display, but Xiaomi make up for it by bringing in an ultra-smooth 144Hz refresh rate which is currently the highest among all smartphones in market.
To sweeten the deal, the Mi 10T Pro also has a “Smart AdaptativeSync” feature that “automatically matches each App to the best-suited refresh rate from between 30Hz – 144Hz that helps optimize power consumption.
Overall, its front display did a great job in reproducing colors with good accuracy. On top of that, the smooth refresh rate also makes the user interface extremely fluid and renders entertainment contents on the screen at maximum smoothness.
Of course, one of the perks of a LCD display will be its exceptional brightness which is reflective on the Mi 10T Pro. The device certainly has enough peak brightness to ensure the screen remain visible during all occasions even directly under the sunlight.
At the helm, the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset which is used in the majority of the flagship models launched this year including the more expensive OPPO Find X2 Pro (Review). As such, the Mi 10T Pro certainly packs a punch in terms of performance.
On a day-to-day usage, the Snapdragon 865 chipset is no doubt an overkill since common tasks like messaging, web browsing and video streaming can be easily handled by slightly weaker Snapdragon “6” or “7” series chips as well.
However, the chip will showcase its true potential on more complex tasks like real-time 3D gaming and image processing that require more CPU time. As such, real-time competitive games like PUBG Mobile or Brawl Stars run really smoothly on the Mi 10T Pro even at high graphic settings.
Most importantly, the Mi 10T Pro doesn’t has any notable heating issues during prolong gaming, or when snapping photos during a sunny day with high ambient temperature.
In the memory department, there’s also an ample 8GB RAM that can easily handle dozens of simultaneous apps running at the background. Since average users barely needs more than 4GB RAM, the additional RAM offers more headroom for growth during certain occasions when you need to multi-tasks heavily on your phone.
While most of the current smartphones in the market has four cameras at the back, but having more cameras don’t necessary translates to better photos.
Similar to the recently announced Huawei Mate 40 Pro (Review), the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro sticks to a triple-camera system that’s capable of producing flattering images that eclipse those taken by a quad camera system.
These cameras include a 108 megapixels (f/1.7 aperture) primary shooter, 13 megapixels (f/2.4 aperture) ultra-wide lens, as well as a 5 megapixels (f/2.4 aperture) macro camera.
In the default shooting mode, the Mi 10T Pro employs the usual 4-in-1 pixel-binning technique to produce 27MP still shots with great dynamic range especially under a well-lit environment. On top of that, image also looks sharp with high level of details.
This time round, the Mi 10T Pro has also did an excellent job in eliminating the “ghosting” effect of moving subjects within the scene as seen in the flock of birds on the evening sky (above).
For night shots, the device has a dedicated night mode to illuminate the scene for better contrasts and details. What’s notable is that its night mode works like a charm even in a near pitch dark environment.
Moving to its ultra-wide shots, there isn’t any stark contrast in quality when compared to its default shooting mode under good lighting. However, the level of details do suffer slightly under poor lighting scene as shadows occasionally appear smudgy. Considering its price point, its ultra-wide performance still outclass others within the same segment.
Although the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro doesn’t has a dedicated telephoto lens, but the device can still support up to 30x digital zoom via the usual cropping technique. In fact, the Mi 10T Pro is the only smartphone within its price range that supports 30x digital zoom courtesy of its ultra-high resolution 108 megapixels shooter.
Between 1x to 5x zoom factor, images are generally usable with nice color profile and acceptable level of details. However, as you edge beyond the 5x mark, image noise inevitably becomes more prominent with flatter colors as well. That’s something that occurs to most devices that rely on digital cropping. Still, 30x digital zooming is a nice feature to have as compared to the standard 10x digital zoom.
As for close-up shots, its dedicated macro camera did a fine job in edge detection and isolating the subject from the background. Furthermore, its bokeh effect also looks natural and pleasing to the eyes.
Finally, its camera department will be rounded out by a single 20 megapixels (f/2.2 aperture) selfie camera at the front. Overall, selfies clicked by the front shooter are definitely insta-worthy with wide dynamic range and ample details. Facial textures and features also appear true to life unless you meddle with the beautification settings on the screen.
Battery & Charging
To keep its lights on, the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro features a 5,000mAh heavy-duty battery that’s incredibly long-lasting. On a light usage, the device can easily last up to two days on a full charge. Otherwise, a moderate usage will still allows you to end your day with at least 30% battery remaining.
In terms of charging, the Mi 10T Pro supports up to 33W fast-charging capable of delivering a full charge from 0 to 100% in slightly under an hour. Although it doesn’t have then fastest charging rate, but its still considerably faster than other models including the Apple iPhone 12 series devices that cost twice its price.
Last but not the least, the Mi 10T Pro doesn’t come with wireless or reverse charging support. That’s however, completely understandable since its necessary to cut corners on least frequently used features in order to keep its price competitive.
Just looking at the specs sheet alone, we don’t need any convincing to know that the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro offers the best value for money within its price range.
Not only does it come with an immersive front display, flagship processor and a highly capable camera system, the Mi 10T Pro is also futureproofed with 5G support as well.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a sub-S$750 smartphone, the Mi 10T Pro is certainly the first device you should consider.