Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G Review
Xiaomi’s Redmi Note line has been a popular choice for many, given the performance-to-price value proposition that it offers. However, things look a bit different this year with numerous variants available. From the Redmi Note 10, Redmi Note 10 Pro, Redmi Note 10S, and now the Redmi Note 10 5G—which is what we’ll be focusing more on in this review.
From the outset, its main selling point is its 5G capabilities and specs that can pass up as a mid-range device. So let’s find out how well it stacks up against other phones in the series.
Design and Construction
The Redmi Note 10 5G is a sleek and attractive device. It’s mostly made out of polycarbonate material, but the phone is well made in such a way that you can’t really tell it’s plastic. The sides are curved while the top and bottom have ridges. It’s a relatively tall device at 161.81mm and measures 8.92mm at its thickest point.
At the back, its camera module houses a triple camera setup together with an LED flash and AF sensors. You will also notice that its design looks like a cool frosted glass with some Redmi branding on the side. It looks simply great, but it is still a smudge and fingerprint magnet, so you might want to use the case included in the package.
The Redmi Note 10 5G comes in Graphite Gray, Chrome Silver, Nighttime Blue, and Aurora Green. The unit we have on hand sports the Onyx Gray colorway, the same as the Redmi Note 10 Pro.
Located on the right are the volume keys and the power/lock button that doubles as the fingerprint scanner.
We have the triple card tray for two nano-sized SIM cards and a microSD card on the left.
While up top is the IR blaster and 3.5mm headphone jack.
Down at the bottom are the main microphone, USB-C port, and loudspeaker.
Display and Multimedia
Flipping to display, the Note 10 5G features a 6.5-inch IPS screen with FHD+ resolution, 405ppi, and a smooth 90Hz refresh rate option. Do note though that there’s no HDR10 support on this one.
The panel has a small punch-hole centered at the top for its 8MP selfie camera, and as for protection, it’s covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 plus a pre-installed screen protector.
The display is a bit of an anomaly in this particular lineup as it has a 90Hz display but is only made out of IPS LCD panels, unlike its other siblings that are using AMOLED displays, and it really shows in terms of the color quality. Brightness is not a strong point either. The phone barely makes itself visible under direct sunlight, even with its highest brightness setting, but it still looks well indoors.
The phone also has a single downward-firing speaker, and this thing surprisingly can get really loud. However, I wouldn’t use it at a max volume much, as it can sound tinny. If you want an immersive audio listening experience better use the provided headphone jack to connect to something else. Notably, it’s also good for phone calls as it emphasizes vocal frequencies above everything else.
The Redmi Note 10 5G comes with a quad-camera consisting of a 48MP F1.79 main, 2MP F2.4 macro, and 2MP F2.4 depth sensors. The 8MP F2.0 camera handles selfies.
The main shooter does struggle a little bit when it comes to lighting but once you get good lighting, photos come out sharp, detailed, and with accurate colors. When it comes to taking high-res photos, the 48MP, there’s no huge difference between the standard.
In portrait shots, the subject-background separation is not as good as we thought, however, photos come out sharp and have a good color reproduction. Macro shots on the other hand are good as well, but takes time to get a perfect shot, so make sure to get the perfect distance from the subject.
There’s a dedicated Night Mode here and photo quality is okay, details are there but you can still get a lot of noise. Colors and contrast are okay too but that’s it.
When it comes to selfies, the natural skin tone is quite pale, and using the beauty mode, good thing it doesn’t go overboard. The selfie portrait mode also has a good background separation, and you could also adjust the blur depending on what you prefer.
For videos, you can shoot up to 1080p at 30 fps. The quality is good with vibrant colors, and the dynamic range is quite good too, which is usable for some social media postings.
Performance and Benchmarks
When it comes to internals, powering the Redmi Note 10 5G is MediaTek Dimensity 700 with a 2.2GHz octa-core CPU and Mali-G57 MC2 GPU. It’s available in two RAM and storage options, 4/6GB RAM and 64/128GB of internal storage. Our unit has the 4GB RAM and 128GB storage configuration.
It runs smoothly with casual tasks such as messaging, social media browsing, and video streaming as long as you keep the device optimized. Keeping too many apps in the background can cause some stutters at times.
As for gaming, it’s not as good as what we want. Aside from the usual frame drops, Asphalt 9 tends to crash with prolonged use even with the lowest available settings. Even the Redmi Note 10S with its MediaTek G98 SoC would perform much better than this.
Take a look at the benchmark scores we got:
- AnTuTu v8 – 257,914
- PC Mark – 8,195 (Work 3.0)
- Geekbench 5 – 553 (Single-Core), 1,679 (Multi-Core), 1,341 (OpenCL)
- AndroBench – 932.67 MB/s (Seq. Read), 407. 67 MB/s (Seq. Write)
For biometrics and security, you can unlock the screen via the side-mounted fingerprint scanner and face recognition. Both are pretty reliable and fast, but of course, expect the fingerprint scanner to work faster.
OS, UI, and Apps
Running the software department is Xiaomi’s MIUI 12 which’s based on Android 11. It’s quite loaded with pre-installed apps such as Amazon Shopping. Booking.com, iQYI, LinkedIn, WPS office, and the usual apps from Google. If you don’t plan on using them, you can simply uninstall such apps.
You get your typical MIUI experience with tons of customization options, with this particular skin being among the heaviest skins out there, you get a lot of extra stuff that you might find useful or annoying, based on our past experience with Xiaomi phones, like its phone cleaner and file manager utilities. It also has a dedicated dark mode that can be toggled on in the settings.
Storage-wise, we’re getting 128GB of total storage space and if that’s not enough it can be further extended via the microSD card slot.
Connectivity and Battery Life
The Redmi Note 10 5G comes with the usual connectivity features such as Dual-SIM, WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.1, SatNav systems, USB-C, IR blaster, fingerprint scanner, and 3.5mm audio jack.
Keeping the Note 10 5G running is a large 5,000mAh battery, which is great for an affordable daily driver. The PCMark battery test rates it at 17 hours and 37 minutes, while the video loop test gave us a total of 20 hours of playback. If you’re a light user, then the Note 10 5G’s battery life should be more than enough for your daily needs. For charging, the Note 10 5G supports 18W fast charging and takes an hour to reach 100%.
Many sacrifices were made to make a very affordable 5G phone at this point, and it seems that we’ve made it past the point that the phone is sadly a let-down especially compared with its LTE siblings, and with 5G technology still in its infancy, these trade-offs don’t seem to make sense if you’re just looking for a cheap, reliable phone you can use as a daily driver. However, if you’re in an area that already benefits from better speeds 5G can offer and don’t mind the tradeoffs this phone has, then definitely this is for you.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G and its variants are priced as follows:
4GB RAM + 128GB – PHP 9,990
8GB RAM + 128GB – PHP 11,490
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G (Global) specs:
6.5-inch FHD+ (2400 x 1080) IPS DotDisplay
90Hz/60Hz/50Hz/30Hz AdaptiveSync refresh rate
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
MediaTek Dimensity 700 octa-core CPU
Mali-G57 MC2 GPU
4GB, 6GB LPDDR4X RAM
64GB, 128GB UFS 2.2
• 48MP F1.79 main
• 2MP F2.4 macro
• 2MP F2.4 depth
8MP F2.0 front camera
5G SA/NSA, 4G LTE
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS
Fingerprint scanner (side)
3.5mm audio jack
MIUI 12 (Android 11)
5,000mAh battery w/ 18W fast charging
161.81 × 75.34 × 8.92mm
Chrome Silver, Graphite Gray, Nighttime Blue, Aurora Green