Promise and achievement are two completely different things. I am giving this disclaimer at the top as we have yet to get our hands on the newly launched Redmi Note 10 series. But given the specs and price, it would be fair to say Xiaomi has pulled a rabbit out of the hat. The Redmi Note series has been a game-changer for the smartphone maker. It is credited with democratizing several high-end features in the past, but what the smartphone manufacturer has done with the Redmi Note 10 series sets a new benchmark in the budget and mid-range segments, which are not easy to get.
Xiaomi has set all guns on fire with the new Note 10 smartphones and while there are few points of interest in our review, there is little to complain about the offering. The Note 10 series brings OLED screens, fast charging capabilities, and a 108MP camera to the sub-Rs 20,000 segments and it should give its competitors sleepless nights.
Redmi Note 10 Pro Max Can Rule The Middle Segment
Although the price of the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max starts at Rs 18,999, it beats most sub-Rs 30,000 smartphones without a doubt. Aside from the processor, the smartphone has the potential to put even premium smartphones to shame. Let’s take a look at some specifications.
The Note 10 Pro Max has a 6.67-inch Super AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. The only mid-range smartphone that comes close to the mid-range segment is the OnePlus Nord with its 90Hz AMOLED panel. Vivo V20 series and Google Pixel 4a both have 60Hz displays and are priced significantly higher than the Note 10 Pro Max. Samsung’s case is even worse. The Galaxy S21 with a similar display is three times more expensive than the Note 10 Pro Max, while most of its affordable devices stick to a 60Hz refresh rate.
Not only this, but Xiaomi has also increased the peak brightness to 1200 nits, which is in line with the brightness levels of the iPhone 12 Pro.
The smartphone is also equipped with a 108-megapixel main camera, a feature currently only found on Samsung and Xiaomi smartphones. Again, all Samsung smartphones with that sensor are priced more dearly. Meanwhile, Xiaomi is bringing all of this at a very aggressive price point of Rs 18,999. The price sounds so crazy that you have to wonder how Xiaomi makes money at all? But they certainly are.
Another interesting aspect is that while most premium smartphone makers take accessories out of the box to keep costs down, Xiaomi gives its customers a 33W fast charger and a phone case. Not to mention, you now also get dual stereo speakers, a feature that is missing on most premium smartphones.
Redmi Note 10 Is The Phone To Beat
Just a few weeks ago, we said the Poco M3 will be the best budget smartphone in 2021. Xiaomi got us thinking. Priced only Rs 2000 more than the Poco device, the Redmi Note 10 is an absolute gem of the smartphone maker. It brings the OLED experience to an incredible price of Rs 11,999. Sure, the phone has a 60Hz refresh rate, but some devices in this category don’t even offer a Full HD + display. So all credit to Xiaomi.
Even the Redmi Note 10 comes with a peak brightness of 1100 nits, which should make it easy to use outdoors. The phone gets a quad rear camera with a 48-megapixel primary camera. It gets a huge advantage over the Poco M3 with an additional 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens that is missing from the Poco phone.
It’s funny that Xiaomi is shipping a 33W fast charger with a phone costing just Rs 11,999. Some smartphones that cost more than Rs 50,000 don’t.
While Xiaomi deserves a pat on the back for coming up with a smartphone that has all the ingredients to be a segment breaker, there are few concerns either. All smartphones come with mediocre processors. The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max and Note 10 Pro are powered by Snapdragon 732G chipsets, while the Note 10 has Snapdragon 678 SoC. Even if we let Xiaomi pass this, the bigger concern is that none of these processors support 5G.
That’s a gamble the smartphone maker has taken. No telecom operator offers a 5G network in India as of now. Some of them have hinted at a possibility shortly, but Xiaomi believes that by the time the service rolls out, most users will change their smartphones anyway. This will succeed if the new connectivity is not rolled out in the next two years. Otherwise, the buyers will have a sincere complaint.
At the moment Xiaomi seems to have done most things right and the Redmi Note 10 series will have a huge impact on the entire smartphone industry, forcing its competitors to come up with better and more aggressively priced products. As always, customers win.