The Xiaomi Redmi 10 has everything you'd expect in a budget smartphone, and more. A cursory glance at its specs — 90Hz refresh rate screen, quad-camera system, and an octa-core processor — suggests a mid-range rather than an entry-level phone. But the Redmi 10 is still a cheap phone, and its budget components ultimately hold back its performance. However, I doubt its intended audience will be overly critical of its few flaws, seeing as it starts from just S$229 for the 4GB + 64GB model.
- 6.5-inch LCD screen (2,400 x 1,080 pixels), 90Hz refresh rate
- MediaTek Helio G88 chip with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage
- Quad cameras: 50MP (main), 8MP (ultrawide), 2MP (depth), and 2MP (macro)
- 5,000mAh battery
The Redmi 10 looks fairly similar to the more expensive Redmi Note 10 5G (S$329). Both smartphones have a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, a hole-punch cutout for the selfie camera, and a plastic build. In fact, the Redmi 10's 6.5-inch LCD screen, with its 90Hz refresh rate and a reflective sheen, is probably identical to the Note 10's. Switching from the default 60Hz display mode to 90Hz also makes a difference. The Redmi 10 feels noticeably smoother while navigating the interface at 90Hz. But as its name implies, the Note 10 comes with 5G connectivity, which is lacking in the Redmi 10. The Note 10 also has a faster processor. It scored 562 in the single-core test in Geekbench 5 compared to 359 for the Redmi 10.
The performance discrepancy between the Redmi 10 and the Redmi Note 10 is partly down to the Redmi 10's pokey eMMC storage. Apps load significantly slower, taking at least a second or two longer than mid-range models. As for its quad-camera system, the 50MP main camera performs decently in well-lit environments, but colours seem overly cool with limited dynamic range. Meanwhile, night shots look muddled and noisy, as expected of a budget phone. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the Redmi 10's dual speakers, which are decent for a smartphone. Like many of Xiaomi's more affordable phones, the Redmi 10 also has a headphone jack, IR blaster, and a microSD card slot (up to 512GB). But disappointingly, the Redmi 10 lacks NFC functionality, which is present in the Redmi Note 10.
Despite its sizable 5,000mAh battery, the Redmi 10 did not impress in our video-loop battery test. It clocked a decent 10hr 46mins, which is similar to the Poco X3 GT. In normal usage, the Redmi will comfortably last you a long work day. You also get 18W fast-charging with the Redmi 10, and it can even top up other devices via its reverse wired-charging (9W) feature.
My Xiaomi Redmi 10 review set (6GB and 128GB) is priced at S$249, and is available at Lazada and Shopee. It's a good price for an entry-level smartphone with several nice perks like a 90Hz display, dual speakers and a 50MP main camera. But if you have slightly more to spend, the Redmi Note 10 makes more sense. It is similar in design and features, but with 5G and NFC functionality, too. The Redmi Note 10 is also slightly faster, more responsive, and has better battery life.
Note: Review unit provided by Xiaomi.
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