At Xiaomi, the Redmi Note is a hit. Marketed around 200 euros, these smartphones are the bestsellers absolute values of the Chinese brand which sells tens of millions of them each year. Not all are created equal (last year’s Redmi Note 9 was worse than its predecessor, the 8T), but few manufacturers come close to Xiaomi’s level on this price bracket.
With its Redmi Note 10, Xiaomi adopts an OLED panel for the first time in one of its entry-level smartphones. Marketed at 199 euros (128 GB), this smartphone amazes by its versatility.
OLED at 200 euros
The screen of the Redmi Note 10 measures 6.43 inches. This is a size consistent with what most builders do today. This will suit most users, although lovers of compact devices may be a bit confused at first.
Unlike all of its predecessors, the Redmi Note 10 does not use an LCD panel. For the first time on an entry-level smartphone, Xiaomi is switching to OLED. The screen of the Redmi Note 10 is clearly not as fantastic as that of a Galaxy S21 Ultra at 1,259 euros, but the move upmarket is more than appreciable. The smartphone’s infinite contrast ratio allows you to better enjoy darker content, which is extremely pleasant, especially on Netflix or YouTube. Never has an entry-level smartphone done so well in video playback.
Full HD +, the OLED panel used by Xiaomi is just as bright as that of the old Redmi Note (674 cd / m2, according to the measurements of our laboratory). We are far from 1000 cd / m2 and more than some high-end smartphones but, at such a price, we are pure excellence. Even the colors of the smartphone are well calibrated (Delta E of 3.65 by default, 1.49 in standard display).
On the design side, only the presence of an imposing border at the bottom of the screen can be blamed on Xiaomi. Apart from this detail, the Redmi Note 10 is really successful. Even its back, made of plastic with imitation glass, is above the competition for the same price. It is going to be difficult for Xiaomi’s rivals to catch up with this device.
A Snapdragon processor at the controls
In terms of performance, Xiaomi had the foresight to return to Qualcomm processors with its new Redmi Note 10. Indeed, the Redmi Note 9 used a poorly performing MediaTek processor. We reproached him a lot for that. The 2021 model uses the Snapdragon 678, which is a much better choice.
Without being a racehorse, Xiaomi’s new smartphone should satisfy most of its users. Apps sometimes take a few seconds to open, but is it really annoying? Everything works very well on this smartphone. Many competing mobiles, sold at a higher price, are not doing as well.
If it is equipped with a fairly fast side fingerprint sensor and just satisfactory stereo speakers, the Redmi Note 10’s only flaw is its somewhat obsolete vibrator. Next to haptic feedback from some smartphones premium, it’s quite disturbing. Those who have not known more high-end devices will not realize it, the others will be embarrassed.
Finally, note that the Redmi Note 10 does not support 5G. At 200 euros, this feature is still quite rare.
Believe it or not, the OLED screen is not the Redmi Note 10’s greatest strength. According to our laboratory measurements, the smartphone is more enduring than all of its predecessors, which allows it to be used. easily two days without having to plug it in. The device withstood our versatile battery life test at 5:25 pm, 4:52 pm in video streaming and 36:10 in communication. These are excellent results.
With the charger provided in the box, it only takes 1h10 to recharge the 5,000 mAh battery of the Redmi Note 10 (22% in 10 minutes). We are a long way from the time when entry-level smartphones recharged in 3 hours. What progress!
A camera in trouble at night
Unsurprisingly, it is at the camera level that the Redmi Note 10 could do better. Entry-level smartphones have improved a lot in recent years, but lag behind the more expensive devices. We find on the back of the mobile a fake quadruple camera module with two very dispensable sensors (macro sensor and depth sensor). In reality, the smartphone has two real cameras. A wide-angle attached to a 48 Mpix sensor (f / 1.79) and an ultra wide-angle (8 Mpix).
By day, the Redmi Note 10 is doing very well. The sharpness is not as exceptional as on a more expensive smartphone, but most users will see it fire.
At night, the smartphone is much more capricious. Its camera is slower and the management of light is sometimes hazardous. We often get very blurry pictures. The lack of an optical zoom is also unfortunate, but it makes sense at this price.