At the back is a never-before-seen humonguous 108MP camera alongside with 4 other cameras. But it also packs big RAM, a big battery, big storage, super fast charging, and a class-leading processor. Is this the best phone under 700 dollars? Enjoy our Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro review.
2020 is off to a good start here at MobilityArena and the first smartphone to visit us for a full review is the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro. That is the legendary smartphone with a 108MP penta camera. It is the first of its name and has the potential of being a camera phone king.
The name is a mouthful though: Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro. Five words. Why do phone manufacturers think it is a good idea to stress our vocal chords this way? Imagine if I had to do a video review of this and I had to spell that out each time I needed to mention the phone. Sigh. Xiaomi phones, especially, tend to have convoluted names.
Anyway, let’s move on to the meat of this article. We have the Mi Note 10 Pro in the house and it is only proper to introduce it with an unboxing and our first impressions. “Mad oh!” is the most common reaction from people when we tell them that this phone has a 108MP camera. Considering that most people have nothing more than 16MP on their phones, I would say that is an appropriate response.
Let’s have a look at what else it has to offer besides the attention-grabbing camera resolution.
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro Review: Quick Specs
The Mi Note 10 Pro packs some very impressive specs:
- 6.47-inch curved AMOLED display, HDR10, Always-on, with Gorilla Glass 5
- Android 9 + MIUI 11
- 32MP selfie camera
- 108MP main + 12MP telephoto + 5MP telephoto + 20MP ultra-wide + 2MP macro camera with quad LED light
- 5260mAh battery with 30W fast charging
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G engine
- 8GB RAM
- 256GB internal storage
- No microSD card slot
- 3.5mm audio headset port.
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro Review: Quick Pros And Cons
Before we dive into the review proper, starting with the major pros and cons of this device:
- punchy AMOLED display.
- fantastic penta-camera.
- solid battery life and super fast charging.
- solid performance on all fronts.
- noticeable heft
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro Review: in the box
So we opened the box and find the following items in there:
- the smartphone itself.
- transparent silicon case
- user guide and other documentation
- SIM card ejector tool
- USB Type-C cable
- 30W quick charging Mi MOV-09-EN power adapter
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro Review: Hardware And Design
The Mi Note 10 Pro is an attention grabber. The AMOLED display is stunning and curves at the edges. The curved display feels nice but not so convenient when using the phone with one hand, as your fingers inevitably trigger something along the curved edges. The phone has a heft to it that you can’t miss when you pick it up. It weighs 208g afterall, thanks to the large 5260mAh battery.
Flip it over and you immediately come face-to-face with the complex camera setup at the back. There are five camera lenses there and four LED lights. It is not the most elegant camera setup we have seen, but we won’t hold it against Xiaomi.
Fixing in five cameras on the back of a phone takes some work. Nokia tried it different on the Nokia 9 PureView and not everyone like that either. Even Apple’s triple camera setup on the back of the iPhone 11 series sucks.
There is no fingerprint scanner here at the back, and it isn’t on the side either. Xiaomi embedded an optical scanner in the display, and it is snappy and accurate too, from the little time we have had the phone in our hands.
Here is a quick look at the phone:
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro Review: Software
MIUI 11 is also more refined than its predecessor and I am loving it – almost as much as I have come to love Samsung’s One UI. And that is because it mostly stays out of my way. Intrusive software irks me.
MIUI has many nifty extra features, as well as Google’s Digital WellBeing suite.
The Mi Note 10 Pro runs Android 9 Pie. I really do wish it was running Android 10, but I imagine that the update is on the way. It would be a crying shame to ghost on this beauty.
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro Review: Network And Telephony
Network performance on the Mi Note 10 Pro is rock solid. Voice calls are clear and strong, data connectivity is really good, and we have had no issues at all in this regard.
It is a dual 4G phone, meaning both SIM card slots support active 4G LTE connections at the same time. Does it support Glo’s 28(700) band? Yes; it does.
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro Review: Display And Multimedia
The best way to describe the AMOLED display of the Note 10 Pro is to say that it pops. It is rich, vibrant, and clear. Anyone will enjoy using this screen. Looking at images and watching videos on the phone is a pleasant experience, and so is reading.
The loudpeaker is sufficiently loud, but in terms of richness, it does not measure up to some of the best we have listened to. Which is fair, considering that this is not a premium flagship. However, using good quality earphones produces really solid audio quality.
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro Review: Photography
I am a huge fan of fantastic camera phones and I have owned and reviewed a long list of them in the last 15 years. Having put it to extensive use in the last two weeks, I can tell you that the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro is a fantastic camera phone.
The 32MP selfie camera is good and will have your Instagram and Snapchat game popping the way you want it.
But it is with the 108MP camera at the back that the super fun happens. Developed by Samsung in collaboration with Xiaomi, the 108MP main camera produces amazing details, reproduces colours well, and captures really beautiful images.
Here are sample photos taken with it (click on each photo for a larger image to appreciate it better):
You can check out the rest of the sample photos taken with the Mi Note 10 Pro in a special photoshoot titled, Enchanted With Munoyedi.
Perhaps you can understand better how good this 108MP camera is if I tell you that it will be the same camera in Samsung’s top-of-the-line 2020 premium flagship, the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro Review: Multitasking And Performance
The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro is a sleek device and feels every bit like a flagship. It mostly performs like one too. The Snapdragon 730G processor does not break a sweat at any task thrown at it, and 8GB of RAM is more than adequate to keep apps running smoothly.
AnTuTu Score: 269,162.
For storage, there is no external card slot, but the 356GB of built-in memory is more than adequate for your vidoe, images, and other files.
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro Review: Battery life
Being able to charge a smartphone from zero to 100% in an hour is a super power, and the Mi Note 10 pro pulls it off, thanks to 30W fast charging. It does 0-58% in 30 minutes too, so you can grab a quick charge before dashing out for that urgent meeting.
And with a battery as large as 5260mAh, you won’t find yourself scrambling for a charger during your entire day, even if you do not leave home with a full battery. I easilly went two days on a full battery with moderate use. When I pushed it harder, I still had 13% juice running on the battery the following morning just before I set out around 9am. That was still over 24 hours on a full charge.
The big battery justifies the Xiaomi Mi Note 10’s heft. With a battery capacity of that size, we expected the Mi Note 10 Pro to offer reverse charging i.e. be able to function as a power bank. So, we plugged different available phones to it and it did charge them.
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro Review: Final Words
I was a Doubting Thomas about the 108MP camera when it was first announced. I didn’t expect it to be this capable and I am happy to have been proved wrong. The Mi Note 10 Pro is an exceptional smartphone for its price: and it isn’t just about the fact that it has a camera that holds its own among the best premium flagships, it is the whole package.
Our experience from this Xiaomi Note 10 pro review is that the phone feels and acts every bit like a premium smartphone. It is classed a mid-ranger mainly because of the processor and the price. Perhaps we can just call it a budget premium flagship or something.
I do wish it didn’t feel so heavy, but I understand that you can’t have a battery that big without some heft, so it is forgivable. At $657 (₦260,000 in January 2021), the Mi Note 10 Pro is superb value for money – an exceptional smartphone with an exceptional camera. This is arguably the best phone under 700 dollars.
PS: Note that there is a non-Pro Xiaomi Mi Note 10. It has the same 108MP penta-camera, but with the lens made up of 7 pieces instead of 8 on the Pro. The non-Pro also has only 128GB of memory and 6GB of RAM. Besides those differences, everything else is the same. The non-Pro version costs about $600 (about ₦230,000).
Shout out to Swot Solutions for providing us with the review unit. They are based in Ikeja and do nationwide delivery of smartphones and accessories like power banks, cables, and headsets. You can reach Swot on +234 802 289 1860.
Other Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro Resources
- Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro Specifications
- Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro Hands-on and Photos
- Enchanted With Munoyedi: a photoshoot with the Mi Note 10 Pro 108MP camera.
Way back from the days of EPOC, Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems, founder of MobilityArena, Mister Mobility, has owned a few hundred smartphones and tablets, and counting.