The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 is a unique smartphone. First - its penta-camera is something you don't see every day - a 108MP sensor is a first, and it seems to be taking great high-res 27MP photos, both day and night. The other four snappers are quite good, too, making for one of the most skilled and versatile camera kits on a smartphone ever.
Then the Note 10 shines with excellent symmetry in design and its build is nothing less than flagship-worthy. The curves don't get in the way at all, it has very good palm rejection, while the sandblasted frame helps for a secure grip.
Finally, the Snapdragon 730G chip may not be the best chipset around, but it is among the better ones and it does great in combination with the 1080p AMOLED screen.
We only have two issues with the Mi Note 10 - the trickery it uses to get to 5x magnification and the lower than expected battery life. We can understand why Xiaomi made 5x zoom the way it made it, but we can't find logic in upscaling the 5MP image to 8MP, especially when the maker is advertising the 5x zoom camera as 5MP. At least we are hopeful for the battery life as MIUI 11 would get better with updates and so will the battery performance.
The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 costs about €550 at launch, which makes it a great offer already. But the so-called flagship killer segment is quite crowded, and there are other phones worthy of serious consideration.
The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro costs €100 more and it offers an upgrade in RAM and storage. You get 8GB/256GB and the main camera has a 8P lens design compared to the 7P on the vanilla Note 10. P stands for the pieces the lens is made of but honestly, we don't think the difference in photo quality will be palpable. So in end, we can't really recommend the Note 10 Pro over the Note 10 unless you really want to splurge on absolutely top tier of the device.
Xiaomi already has the Mi 9T Pro, which is at least €150 cheaper than the Note 10. It has a notch-free flat AMOLED screen, a faster Snapdragon 855, but lacks the 5x zoom and macro snappers. Sure, it doesn't have a 108MP camera either, but its photos are excellent nevertheless.
The OnePlus 7T Pro is about €200 more expensive, but if uninterrupted AMOLED experience at 90Hz is what you are after - you get it with the 7T. It may lack a macro camera, but its tele offers 3x zoom, which should be more than enough.
Realme's X2 Pro, where available, is much cheaper than the Mi Note 10, but it has a lot to offer. There is a large 6.5" AMOLED screen with 90Hz refresh rate, the most current Snapdragon 855+ chip is inside, while its battery supports 50W charging. The X2 Pro has a 64MP primary snapper, a 13MP 2x telephoto, an 8MP ultrawide and a 2 MP depth sensor - not exactly a match for the Mi Note 10 setup, but still an excellent configuration.
Finally, the price of the Samsung Galaxy S10 keeps dropping, and it is now about €50 more expensive than the Mi Note 10. The holiday season is almost here, and we expect to see the S10 trio on sweet discounts, and we'd suggest the S10 as a more compact offer, with a better display, faster performance, and high-quality triple camera on the back.
If you are after the camera experience, there is probably no better-equipped smartphone than the Mi Note 10 - it has a camera for every situation. Sure, the camera experience could use a bit more work via future updates, but even in this stage - it's certainly the phone's highlight feature.
The Mi Note 10 is not the best smartphone on the market, but with a stunning design, powerful hardware, and an unmatched set of cameras - it is certainly a great package worth recommending.
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