The excellent Redmi Note 10 barely launched, Xiaomi goes up with a 5G version at an equally attractive price. To achieve this result, the brand had to make some concessions in terms of equipment. What to call into question the interest of this smartphone?
Test carried out by Alix Denoyers
It was missing from the range Redmi Note of 2021 than a 5G model to be complete. It’s done. This May 18, Xiaomi is marketing its Redmi Note 10 5G that the Chinese brand presents as a simple – and affordable, of course – solution to access very high mobile speed. Should we, even if it means paying a few euros more, prefer it to its younger brother the Redmi Note 10 (only 4G), launched last month? Despite their similar name, these two smartphones do not unexpectedly share the same components and therefore do not necessarily target the same audience. We tested this new Xiaomi mobile for a few days to help you choose the right model.
Read also – Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro test: the new benchmark for mid-range smartphones
Pricing and availability
The Redmi Note 10 5G is marketed from 229.90 euros, or a priori 30 euros more than the 5G 4G version, which we tested last April. By digging a little, we quickly understand that the difference is in fact much more important. For a little less than 230 euros, the 5G version – with RAM equal to 4 GB – has only 64 GB of storage space against 128 GB on the other. To purchase a 128 GB version, the Redmi Note 10 5G will cost you 269.90 euros… i.e. 70 euros more than the 4G model. All the same.
This new smartphone from the Redmi range is available in Xiaomi stores, at the four operators, in most specialized brands (Darty, Boulanger, etc.) and even in supermarkets (Auchan, Leclerc, etc.). A promotional offer accompanies this launch, with up to 30 euros reimbursed for any purchase of other Xiaomi product (s), provided they are eligible for this offer. We feel that, for the manufacturer, this “first price” 5G smartphone is a strategic product.
The smartphone is available in four colors: Chrome Silver, Graphite Gray, Twilight Blue and Aurora Green. Like its predecessor, it benefits from a film affixed to the screen to avoid scratches and if, in the packaging of our test copy, we did not find a protective silicone shell (as with the Redmi Note 10), it seems that it is well planned in the commercial versions. Also found in the box a USB cable and a 22.5W charger.
Comparative technical sheets
To discover at a glance the big differences between the two Redmi Note 10 of the manufacturer, nothing beats a comparison of the data sheets on two identical versions, 4GB / 128GB, for example.
|Redmi Note 10||Redmi Note 10 5G|
|Dimensions||16.05 x 7.45 x 0.86 mm
|16.18 x 7.53 x 0.89 mm
|6.5 “IPS LCD
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 678||MediaTek Dimensity 700|
|Storage||128 GB||128 GB|
|Main sensor||48MP, f / 1.79, 0.8μm
8MP ultra-wide, f / 2.2, 118 ° FoV
2MP macro, f / 2.4
2MP depth sensor, f / 2.4
|48MP, f / 1.79, 0.8μm
2MP macro, f / 2.4
2MP depth sensor, f / 2.4
|Biometrics||Side impression scanner||Side impression scanner|
In short, on the Redmi Note 10 5G, the Amoled screen disappears in favor of a simple IPS LCD screen. The secondary objective ultra wide angle is no longer in the game, just like the 33W fast charge. On the other hand, connectivity is reinforced with 5G thanks to the new Mediatek Dimensity 700 processor while NFC is supported.
A wise design that stays in the spirit of Redmi
Regarding the design of the Redmi Note 10 5G, Xiaomi has not reinvented the wheel, although there are some differences. Beyond one barely larger screen (6.5 instead of 6.43 inches, a difference almost invisible to the naked eye), the smartphone displays a little larger dimensions and takes about ten grams. Without this being prohibitive, we feel this slight overweight to the grip. But it’s a very fleeting sensation, we reassure you, and not bothersome at all.
With the loss of the ultra wide-angle lens, the photo block is narrower and therefore more discreet, which is always a good point. Especially since, as on the 4G model, this block forms a protuberance on the back of the smartphone. However, it is light enough not to unbalance the smartphone when it is placed on a table, photo pad facing down.
On our test copy delivered in Graphite Gray, the back loses the shine that characterized the classic Redmi Note 10 and its plastic looking a bit like glass. On the 5G version, the back matt plastic, with a smooth touch, offers rather metallic reflections, with as always the Redmi 5G logo in one corner. Visually, it is less glamorous than the glass aspect and the grip is a bit more slippery. Fingerprints are less noticeable, while dust seems to accumulate a little less around the triple photo module.
A satisfying display, but without the flavor of AMOLED
The screen 6.5 inch display a definition Full HD + (1080 x 2400 dots) for a high resolution of 395 dpi. From this point of view, the level of detail is impeccable, the images and texts very clear. Which is appreciable at this price level. The front camera, housed in a punch a little larger than on the previous model – one wonders why – nevertheless remains discreet. The borders are relatively thin, except at the bottom of the smartphone.
Things go wrong when we compare this screen to that of its 4G model which benefits from AMOLED technology. The display then looks dull with whites that take on blue while the colors were warmer on the first Redmi Note 10.
This large screen offers an overall satisfactory contrast but appears less bright. This is of course a little disappointing, although it is still possible thanks to the many settings made available by Xiaomi in MIUI to change the mode or modify the color temperature.
In return, this screen offers a refresh rate that can go up to 90 Hz. The display, which therefore benefits from images refreshed at 90 times per second, or 50% more than usual (for 60 Hz), is intended to make navigation more fluid, for better visual comfort. This is particularly noticeable when unwinding a news feed or playing games compatible with this level of refreshment, which results in less jerky animations, for example.
Of course, one should not expect such extraordinary fluidity of navigation as with a very high-end smartphone, much more powerful and capable of going up to 120 Hz. Most users, especially non-gamers, do not will be little sensitive to this argument finally not very perceptible on a device sold at this price level.
Xiaomi, however, has done it right with a adaptive 90 Hz mode. Thus, this unfortunately energy-consuming mode only displays images at 90 Hz when necessary – in compatible games, for example – but decreases in frequency when the increase in frequency is unnecessary. Xiaomi announces a frequency of 50 Hz during a static display or even from 30Hz when playing compatible video content (excluding streaming). What to preserve the battery of this Redmi. You still have to activate this adaptive 90 Hz mode in the screen settings, set to 60 Hz by default!
Impeccable connectivity and connectivity
With the arrival of 5G on this smartphone and the support of NFC, we can draw an end to the few shortcomings identified on the first Redmi. Jack plug lovers will always be delighted to plug in their headphones (the Hi Res audio certification again) and enjoy the FM radio. This socket is now located at the top of the mobile, opposite the USB type-C socket.
Otherwise, it’s like the first version of Redmi. The volume keys and the fingerprint reader integrated into the power button (still as fast and efficient, if not last generation) are on the right.
The slot that accommodates the SIM and MicroSD card is on the left edge. Unlike its predecessor, the Redmi Note 10 5G only offers two vacant slots : you have to choose between using two SIM cards (5G or 4G) or a SIM card and a memory card. Side speakers, the sound is just as powerful, but this Redmi seems good have lost the stereo. Pity.
Finally, Xiaomi’s smartphone offers compatibility Wi-Fi 5 (ac) and Bluetooth 5.1, classic on a device bordering on entry and mid-range.
A more powerful processor to appeal to gamers
Instead of the Snapdragon 678, we discover a mid-range Mediatek processor, the very recent Dimensity 700 (which you also find in the recently announced Realme 8 5G) which has the particularity of offering this Redmi its 5G connectivity for a reasonable price. Beyond this characteristic, this processor displays performance significantly higher than those of its competitor at Qualcomm. This octo-core clocked at 2.2 Ghz thus shines in all benchmarks with higher scores and better results. Its Mali-G57 MC2 graphics chip of good power works in these senses, while its engraving in 7 nanometers (compared to 11 nanometers on the SD678) helps to preserve the autonomy of the smartphone.
Without being able to compete with high-end smartphones like the Mi 11, the Redmi Note 10 5G is more “playful” than its 4G alter-ego. Beyond its greater power, remember that this Mediatek brings to the screen its refresh rate of 90 Hz, an additional argument to seduce an audience of gamers.
This Dimensity 700, in addition to an undoubtedly higher price, does however bring some constraints, particularly in terms of the camera. The reason for the disappearance of the ultra wide-angle lens is undoubtedly to be found on its side and in terms of video capture, 4K is conspicuous by its absence. Not sure, however, that users are missing it on an entry-level smartphone!
Still in terms of performance, we particularly appreciate the updated OS of this Redmi which works with the latest version of Android and the environment MiUI 12 from the manufacturer. Its customization functions are still very attractive, even if a few ads continue to slip into the interface of a few preinstalled applications and functions like Cleaner. We also noticed a little instability, occasionally: the light sensor which panics or a few untimely jerks, for example. An update will undoubtedly remedy these drawbacks.
Correct photos that degrade in low light
We mentioned it in the technical sheet part, the Redmi Note 10 5G loses the ultra wide-angle lens present on the previous version. The smartphone is therefore equipped with a triple photo module which notably includes a main wide-angle lens which opens at f / 1.79 and associated with a sensor 48 MP (with Pixel Binning technology) as on the first Redmi. We also find two other 2 MP sensors, one dedicated to depth of field for portrait mode, the other for macro. At a time when algorithms are doing the job better and better, these two modules are almost dispensable. The disappearance of the ultra wide angle is therefore a real loss.
The front camera passes to its side of 13 to 8 megapixels but the objective offers, on the other hand a aperture at f / 2.0 (against f / 2.5), which is an advantage in low light. Finally, as we mentioned previously, video capture is limited to 1080p.
In terms of operation, the few delays that could occur on the first Redmi are fading. On the other hand, while we find the same camera equipment (excluding ultra wide-angle) on both devices, the quality is not the same with a scale that does not tip in favor of the Redmi Note 10 5G. Obviously, the management of the photo by Mediatek.
By day, the pictures are still generally satisfactory but do not suffer from the comparison with those taken with the first Redmi Note 10, especially on scenes where the activation of HDR has a strong impact. We have the impression that the photos are duller, without depth and less vivid colors.
The phenomenon is glaring on cloudy skies which seem flat with the Redmi 5G (first photo below), compared to those taken with the Redmi 4G. The contrast is with the latter much better.
Better to avoid backlighting effects that do not work well with the camera.
In most cases, the Redmi 5G will give complete satisfaction to the user. The LCD screen also tends to tarnish images more than necessary. Once the images are transferred to a computer, it’s better!
Portrait mode cuts out subjects fairly well with a rather flattering rendering as long as there are not too many complicated details (hair, mane …)
Photos in low light are much less successful, less sharp and less detailed.
A night mode makes it possible to significantly brighten the scenes and enhance the colors, but with an even greater loss of detail.
Autonomy and fast charging: good and bad
Equipped with a battery of 5000 mAh and aided by an efficient processor in terms of energy management, the Redmi Note 10 5G provides a battery life almost as solid as that of its predecessor, true champion of the genre. It should be possible to hold two days away from any electrical outlet, as long as you do not abuse the most resource-intensive functions.
Let’s not forget that this smartphone is a little more oriented towards games and that this type of use is among the most energy intensive. The 90 Hz refresh rate – even if it is limited to certain uses – can only reduce the endurance of the mobile. It’s up to you to make the right choice according to your needs. In battery settings, turning off this mode will save you over an hour, according to Xiaomi.
5G connectivity could also have a negative impact on the battery, especially the toggles between 4G and 5G which may draw a little more intensely on the resources of the smartphone. In the absence of a very high speed network near our test area and a suitable subscription, it is difficult to get an idea. In its battery settings, Xiaomi indicates that “Restricting 5G connectivity” can save 24 minutes of battery life. It sounds a little optimistic, but it’s a pretty good sign.
Fast charging is still in the game, but unfortunately it doesn’t quite come close to the Mi Turbo Charge mode that characterized the first Redmi Note 10. Where it took just over an hour to charge the latter, count rather two good hours with the 5G version of the mobile. To recover 50% of the battery, count 45 to 60 minutes, where 23 minutes were enough with Turbo mode. However, a two hour charge is still acceptable, given the high capacity of the battery.