The Xiaomi Mi 10 does something different from its predecessors: it costs more money and takes on Samsung and Huawei’s flagships directly. Xiaomi has packed a lot of technology into the new top model. In our test, you can find out whether the Mi 10 not only competes with the competition at eye level.
Design and feel: it goes down like oil!
The Xiaomi Mi 10 looks great. The frame is made of metal, the back of scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 6. The primary camera protrudes only minimally from the housing, and that’s good: With the Xiaomi middle class, you will find more giant humps here. For example, the Mi Note 10 Lite, which is visually somewhat comparable to the Mi 10. The top model also makes a good impression otherwise: numerous curves define the case. If you run your finger over the corners, you won’t find a sharp edge anywhere.
Gorilla Glass 6 also protects the display on the front, which bends around the left and right sides. Such a design is pretty to look at and ensures more immersion in some clips. The front camera is located in a small punch hole at the top left (hole in the display), and there it is pleasantly unobtrusive.
The Mi 10 lies very well in hand. I can also reach the volume buttons and the power button with one hand. But just like that: the cell phone shouldn’t have been bigger. However, the smartphone is a bit slippery as if it were covered with a small layer of oil due to the curves and the glass back. The whole thing doesn’t feel safe, which is why we recommend a case. However, many flagships with a glass back and beautiful curves share this problem.
Display: OLED fun-maker in large format
The display has a lot of fun because there are several unique features. First, the screen is quite large with a diagonal of 6.67 inches, without you having problems with one-hand operation. Anyone who knows their way around will now be surprised: The Redmi Note 9 Pro also has a 6.67-inch display, and here I had problems with one-hand operation in the test. But this is quickly explained: the buttons on the Xiaomi Mi 10 are more comfortable to reach with your thumb, and the housing of the top model is also a bit smaller.
Second, it is an AMOLED screen that is waiting for you with intense colors, good contrast, and an even better black level. The latter is possible because the OLED technologies can switch off pixels individually. So black is black. This saves energy and enables features such as an always-on display that shows you the time, notifications, and more even in standby. This becomes incredibly cool with the super background images that are waiting for you with MIUI 12.
Thirdly, we are dealing with a 90 Hz display. The higher refresh rate makes movements on the screen appear much smoother. I saw a difference here, not only in a direct comparison with a 60 Hz cell phone. The 90 Hz contributes a lot to the feeling that this is a damn fast smartphone.
MIUI: A user interface that is getting better and better
The MIUI user interface, which Xiaomi installs on its smartphones as standard, also works well. The Xiaomi Mi 10 comes with MIUI 11 from the factory, but version 12 is just around the corner. On board are all useful features that you also know from other manufacturers such as Samsung or Huawei. If you double-tap the screen, you get the cell phone from standby. Swipe gestures as an alternative to on-screen navigation are also on board.
A right app drawer is still missing, with which you can have all apps displayed in an overview, without all of them being stored on the home screen. This feature comes along with many other cool innovations but with the update to MIUI 12.
Technology: So nice and fluid
The 90 Hz screen makes many actions appear fluid. The performance of the smartphone also contributes a lot to this. The Xiaomi Mi 10 is super equipped with the high-end Snapdragon 865 chipset and 8 GB RAM. And that’s not just an advantage for gamers. Even when surfing, the cell phone shows its strengths. Even complex pages like the BILD homepage load practically immediately, while there are short loading times on many other mobile phones.
You can switch between apps just as quickly. In many cases, there are simply no loading times at all. We don’t even want to talk about games: It should be clear that you can smoothly enjoy all current 3D games with the Xiaomi Mi 10.
With 256 GB of internal memory, you are also well equipped if you want to save several Netflix series or Spotify songs directly on the Xiaomi Mi 10, for example.
All technical data:
- Display: 6.67-inch AMOLED screen (90 Hz), resolves in Full HD + (2340 x 1080 pixels)
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
- R.A.M: 8 GB RAM
- Storage space: 256 GB internal storage
- Quad camera: 108 MP (wide angle), 13 MP (ultra wide angle), 2 MP (macro), 2 MP (depth sensor)
- Front camera: 20 MP (wide angle)
- Battery pack: 4780 mAh, Fast Charging (30 W)
- Operating system: MIUI 11 with Android ten pre-installed at the factory
- Connections: USB-C
- Dual SIM: No, only one SIM supported (5G)
- Fingerprint sensor: Installed in the display
- Wireless charging: Yes (30 W)
- Price: approx. 690 euros
Camera: detailed snaps with weaknesses
The primary camera of the Xiaomi Mi 10 comes with 108 MP. The mobile phone only uses the full megapixels if you specifically select it in the camera app. Visually, the photo resembles a “normal” picture, in which the image is down-scaled to a smaller resolution.
That’s how good 108 MP photos are
No more foreword, here are the first pictures from our test of the Xiaomi Mi 10:
The level of detail is a fair bit higher at 108 MP. However, the digital zoom in this mode is limited to a double magnification. There is more zoom in a conventional way, but then the cell phone takes pictures with less detail than when you zoom in on the 108 MP image. Because here you still get a usable photo. At this point, we would like a software update from Xiaomi that improves.
In itself, the Mi 10 takes beautiful photos. In a direct comparison with the Huawei P30 Pro New Edition, it is striking that the competitor delivers a more balanced picture with a crisper contrast. The photos of the Mi 10 look a bit softer in comparison. There is nothing to complain about the level of detail.
Ultra wide-angle and macro: has Xiaomi saved here?
It gets a little more interesting with the other lenses of the quad-camera. For the upper class, the Xiaomi Mi 10 is surprisingly slimmed down here. The ultra-wide-angle camera, for example, could have been a bit more light-sensitive. Photos with this lens are noticeably darker than with the primary camera and a little blurred. In the sunshine, the difference is much smaller.
The macro camera on paper belongs to the middle class: it only offers 2 MP. For that, you get damn close with the lens. I was able to take pictures of objects even closer than was possible with the Mi Note 10 Lite. I also like the recordings despite the lack of megapixel power. The contrast is particularly impressive here.
Night mode: great result if
Xiaomi has also equipped the Mi 10 with a night mode. This delivers good results and can even keep up with the P30 Pro New Edition, if not offer more. In the first photo, I captured so many details that you could no longer see in the dark.
But the results are only successful if it is not a deep black night. If you can no longer see your hand, the Xiaomi Mi 10 cannot either. The P30 Pro NE, however, does. The software makes the difference here: The camera of the Mi 10 usually works very short when you use the night mode. The Huawei software, on the other hand, takes the time to expose the subject sufficiently.
Selfies: Xiaomi makes you hot
As with other Xiaomi smartphones, the front camera ensures very sharp and high-resolution selfies. Some other flagships don’t offer that much detail. The Mi 10 convinces with many details. I just have the feeling that there is a slight red cast in the picture. But what could also be due to the little sunburn in the test pictures?
Sound: This is how music is enjoyable
I love music. But I never used to like listening to a song on cellphone speakers. External boxes or headphones were always required. That changed when I had the first smartphone with a stereo speaker in my hand. Thanks to the excellent stereo effect, it was suddenly fun to use smartphone speakers now and then.
And the Xiaomi Mi 10 is right at the top. The sound of the cell phone fills the room if you hold it in front of you. You can locate whether a sound is coming from the left and right. And if you turn it up a bit, you can even feel the bass that buzzes through the cell phone housing, fortunately, without oversteer.
On a whim, I have the speakers with the very colorful song “Hypa Hypa” by Eskimo Callboy. I can’t put it any other way: it was enjoyable. The flagship was able to reproduce the energy of the guitars and the vocals.
If you like good sound and have never owned a smartphone with stereo speakers, you should touch it up here – it is a world of difference. And the Mi 10 convinces in this category. The days of tinny, scratchy, and above all, weak mono sounds are over.
Battery: Lots of runtimes and fast wireless charging
The 4780 mAh battery of the Xiaomi Mi 10 can do a lot: Depending on use, the massive energy storage unit can run for up to two days. Not practical, but an announcement: if we operated the cell phone without a SIM card, it lasted for almost a week with one charge. Some other test devices have not been able to do this.
You can use the included power adapter and USB-C port to charge. Thanks to Fast Charging, up to 30 watts’ speed ensures that you only need two hours to set. Wireless charging can be just as quick – provided you have a suitable charger. The Mi 10 also supports up to 30 watts here. Hardly any other mobile phone is faster with wireless charging.
Pleasing: Like some other flagships, the Xiaomi Mi 10 also masters reverse wireless charging. That means you can supply other devices with energy via your cell phone. All you have to do is activate the feature and, for example, put the other smartphone or a smartwatch on the back of the Mi 10. Super: The top model can charge other devices with up to 10 watts speed – as fast as most charging pads.
Is the Xiaomi Mi 10 waterproof?
OnePlus and Xiaomi have something in common: The manufacturers do not have IP certification. Probably for cost reasons, to be able to offer cell phones at low prices. The Mi 10 is an exception, at least in terms of price, and at just under 690 euros, it is only a little cheaper than some waterproof flagships. Nevertheless, the IP rating is missing. However, P2i technology has provided some protection to prevent the ingress of water and dust at important points using nano-coating.
Absolute protection against water and dust is therefore available. For example, rain shouldn’t bother the cell phone. Some YouTubers have even been able to submerge the smartphone without producing a defect (but we do not recommend this). Overall, you should avoid taking the Mi 10 with you on dives.
Conclusion on the test: The Mi 10 costs a lot – and can do a lot
Xiaomi ventures into higher price regions than usual with the Mi 10, but the smartphone can also keep up with the flagship competition. For example, the 90 Hz display is a lot of fun. The performance also makes for joy. The camera also offers good results all around, although the Mi 10 is not at the top of the food chain. In terms of software, however, some improvements could still be possible.
Xiaomi is ahead of other manufacturers with its super-fast wireless charging. On the other hand, it is not entirely understandable why an IP certification is missing about the price. Many competitors are well protected here and should even go diving in shallow water. If you don’t want to get the Mi 10 mainly for bathing trips, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Overall, the flagship leaves a positive impression. A good camera, excellent performance, and surprisingly good stereo speakers characterize the picture here. Last but not least, the drilled-out MIUI 12 user interface, which we (as mentioned) have already tested, can be rated as positive.