Mi 10 unboxing & hands-on review – defying preconceived notions

Mi 10 -3

After a long wait, the Mi 10 is finally here. Xiaomi India has plans to infuse a fresh lease of life to the Mi sub-brand and the Mi 10 is the first device in that journey. I know that quite a few people were concerned about the supposedly “high” pricing of this flagship phone. Well, now that we have the phone in our hands, we can try to put some of those worries to rest in due course.

Design and display

Starting with the design, the Mi 10 oozes premium from all its curves. This glass slab looks extremely polished and refined. In fact, thanks to the curved front, I am instantly reminded of the OnePlus 7T Pro. While the curvature is too pronounced, it makes it easier to hold in the hand and use it. The back, however, attracts smudges easily.  

As for the rest of the design, you get a proper stereo speaker on the phone and it can get loud. There is a Type-C port at the bottom and a dual SIM card tray, which is an exclusive India-only feature by the way. Also, just to remind you, this is a proper 5G phone whenever that happens. The camera setup on the rear definitely juts out quite a bit but that’s the norm these days anyway. 

The display on the front is a gorgeous 6.67-inch AMOLED panel with a 90Hz refresh rate and HDR 10+ support. But yes, in comparison the OnePlus 8 Pro has a better panel at least on paper. However, I found it odd that the hole-punch camera on the front is not at the very corner on the left. It is tucked slightly inside to avoid the curve. The display also has the optical fingerprint scanner and it was extremely fast. No complaints. 

Oh, and before I forget, the haptic feedback is great too but it is not Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra or iPhone level. 

Software

The Mi 10 runs on MIUI 11 based on Android 10 but the awesome news here is that Xiaomi has decided to go replace it’s very own Phone dialler and the messages apps with Google’s alternatives. How cool is that? Also, you have access to the Google Discover feed in the -1 page. Again, bravo Xiaomi. However, not everything is hunky dory. I don’t know why Xiaomi had to pre-install apps such as Helo and those pointless games. Such bloatware feels unnecessary. Plus, the lockscreen still has Glance ads by default. Please switch it off. 

Camera

So, the Mi 10 has four cameras on the rear. The headliner is the 108MP primary shooter, though. I haven’t had too much time to play around with the cameras. However, from the few initial samples I can tell that the pixel-binned samples are damn crisp. And, the ultra-wide angle camera and regular camera shots have colour science parity too. I still need more time to evaluate the pictures. Until then, take a look at the samples on your screen. 

MIi 10 – Mr Phone – Camera Samples2
MIi 10 – Mr Phone – Camera Samples6
MIi 10 – Mr Phone – Camera Samples10
MIi 10 – Mr Phone – Camera Samples3
MIi 10 – Mr Phone – Camera Samples9
MIi 10 – Mr Phone – Camera Samples1
MIi 10 – Mr Phone – Camera Samples7
MIi 10 – Mr Phone – Camera Samples4
MIi 10 – Mr Phone – Camera Samples11
MIi 10 – Mr Phone – Camera Samples12
MIi 10 – Mr Phone – Camera Samples5

Performance

The Mi 10 has top-of-the-line specs in the form of SD865, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. I really wish Xiaomi India had brought the 12GB variant to India as well – yes, along with the Mi 10 Pro, of course. I played a couple of games of COD and it was smooth as butter. I didn’t expect any better either. 

The battery inside is a 4780mAh unit and I am keen to check out how much it lasts on a single charge. Plus you get support for 30W wired and best of all 30W wireless charging. This feature alone makes it desirable for a lot of folks. 

Conclusion

I can’t give my verdict just yet, but the Mi 10 is shaping up to be the flagship to aspire in 2020. I mean, the changes to MIUI 11 alone make me hopeful. So, let’s not go with any preconceived notions and keep an open mind about the phone. Especially when it comes to the price-to-performance ratio. But yes, there are a few letdowns in the form of the 2MP depth camera and no IP rating. Do stay tuned for my full review to get a complete lowdown on the phone. 

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Ershad Kaleebullah
ershad.kaleebullah@u2opiamobile.com

When Ershad isn't writing, he spends time killing virtual zombies on his PS4. Having worked with a slew of renowned publications like PCWorld, Channelworld, CIO, NDTV Gadgets (now Gadgets360), MySmartPrice, The Inquistr, and 91Mobiles, Ershad brings a whole world of experience to Mr. Phone. He is trying hard to convert all the team members into Apple fans but is facing a lot of resistance. Is anyone willing to help?