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Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S Review: Decent Mid-Ranger Outshined By Its Pro Variant

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S Review: Decent Mid-Ranger Outshined By Its Pro Variant 24

The Redmi Note 10S is the company’s latest budget offering in the smartphone entry-level segment. It is also the fourth device in the Redmi Note 10 series, priced in between the Redmi Note 10 and Redmi Note 10 Pro. While being a budget device, the Note 10S doesn’t slouch when it comes to its hardware offerings. With that said, let’s check out the phone’s specs.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S Review: Decent Mid-Ranger Outshined By Its Pro Variant 25

Redmi Note 10S – Specifications

ModelRedmi Note 10S
CPUMediaTek Helio G95 Processor
RAM6GB LPDDR4X
Storage128GB UFS 2.2
Display6.43-inch AMOLED
FHD+ Resolution
GPUMali-G76 MC4
Rear Camera64MP Wide Main Sensor
8MP Ultra-wide Angle Sensor
2MP Macro Sensor
2MP Depth Sensor
Front Camera13MP Main Sensor
Battery5,000mAh Battery
33W Quick Charging
ConnectivityDual-band WiFi 5
LTE Connectivity
Bluetooth 5.0

USB Type-C
3.5mm Audio Jack
IR Blaster
Arc Side Fingerprint Sensor
MiscIP53 Dust and Water Resistance
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Dual Speakers (Hi-Res Audio Certification)
OSMIUI 12.5 based on Android 11

What’s In The Box?

  • Redmi Note 10S
  • Charging Adapter
  • USB Type-C Cable
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Transparent Casing

Design

Redmi Note 10S

The Redmi Note 10S has a very similar design to the Redmi Note 10 Pro, but the back instead has a glossy, reflective surface, which can also be quite the fingerprint magnet. If you don’t want the smudges to show that much, you might want to slap on a casing (provided in the box, which is nice). The camera bump is also thinner, and has a slight angle increasing from the flash module to the lenses.

On the left, you have the SIM tray slot, while the right side has the volume buttons and the power button which has the fingerprint sensor embedded right in. The top has the speaker grille, and IR blaster, while the bottom has the 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C port, and the additional speaker grille to create a stereo speaker system.

The selfie notch is right in the top middle of the screen, and the bezels are quite minimal except for the bottom chin. The phone has a standard candy bar design, and nothing much to shout about.

Display

Redmi Note 10S

The Redmi Note 10S features a large 6.43-inch FHD+ display with an AMOLED panel. That’s right, an AMOLED panel, which offers better visual quality and battery life management. The display gets really bright even under harsh/direct lighting conditions, and the screen is still very visible. Auto-brightness sensor is a little aggressive, but that can always be rectified through OTA updates.

Redmi Note 10S

Display quality wise, colours are vivid but tend to be on the warmer side for me. Blacks are fairly black, but the experience is still great when watching movies or playing games. With the 20:9 aspect ratio, movies look particularly good as it somewhat removes the black bar on the top and bottom of the screen. You can maximize the video to fit the frame, and that would improve the overall viewing experience.

It’s unfortunate there’s no 120Hz or even 90Hz refresh rate on the display, but the AMOLED panel should be more than able to make up for it. This is a budget device after all, so they had to sacrifice certain aspects.

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User Experience

Redmi Note 10S

Can’t believe i’m saying this, but the Redmi Note 10S feels a little too thin (8.29mm) for me. It does provide a good grip in my hands, but I still prefer if the phone was slightly thicker. Maybe some of you would appreciate how thin it is, but not for me. It does have the right amount of weight (179g), and to protect the phone further, it even has IP53 dust and water resistance with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for screen protection. This is a feature that’s seldom seen on smartphones of this price range.

The phone’s 3.5mm audio jack can be a hindrance when I’m watching a movie or playing games while my earphones are plugged in. So, it’s better to just use a TWS earbuds instead for a more pleasurable experience. It would be more natural if the volume and power button can be positioned slightly lower, as I’ll need to reposition my palm up and down to reach them.

The 33W charger and transparent casing provided in the box is also a bonus, allowing you to get set up right away without needing to source for another charger or third party casing.

Performance

Redmi Note 10S

Packed with a MediaTek Helio G95 processor paired with 6GB of LPDDR4X RAM and up to 128GB of UFS 2.2 based storage, the device does offer decent day-to-day performance. In terms of app management and multitasking, it serves up great performance with very little hiccups. But when it comes to navigation, you can definitely feel the 60Hz refresh rate kicking in, but that’s mostly cause I’ve been used to 90Hz and above. If you’ve never used anything above 60Hz, this display wouldn’t be a problem for you.

Thermal wise, I’ve only felt a slight warmness in the camera bump region, especially when the phone is handling more intensive tasks like playing games or longer sessions of photography and videography.

Here are the benchmarks we ran for the Redmi Note 10S, except 3DMark:

Camera

Redmi Note 10S

In terms of camera, the Redmi Note 10S has a quad camera system on the rear, which includes a 64MP wide angle main sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide angle sensor, a 2MP macro sensor, and 2MP depth sensor for better bokeh/portrait shots. The UI is pretty easy to work with, but unfortunately, the macro mode still requires several taps to get it to work right.

Image quality wise, photos taken in daylight tend to look oversharpened. You’ll get nice details in your image, but objects that are further away can look a little blotchy. Weirdly enough, photos taken with the 64MP mode, they have low detail and aren’t as sharp as the pixel-binned ones. If you were using the ultra-wide angle sensor, images are alright, but there are some noticeable distortion on the sides.

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S Review: Decent Mid-Ranger Outshined By Its Pro Variant 26
Redmi Note 10S

Macro shots with AI turned on performed better as the phone could capture focus faster. Portrait shots also allowed me to select the amount of blur i wanted before taking the shot. Macro shots are great, but limited to a maximum 2MP resolution.

When it comes to night shots, they appear flat and grainy. However, once you turn on Night Mode, the images start to look better as they turn brighter with better details, and highlights. Do refrain from using the ultra-wide angle sensor at night, as it doesn’t offer the best picture quality. It’s better used for day shots instead.

Selfies are decent, and since I don’t take selfies as often, I do not have much comments on them. Background blur and beautification can be manually adjusted before taking the shot.

Here are the photo samples taken with the Redmi Note 10S:

Audio

Redmi Note 10S

In the audio department, the speakers do a great job at offering the stereo sound effect. The highs are bright, and the mids are splendid, but it does lack in bass. Volume wise, the device can get really loud with little distortion at 100%. But, you can feel the speakers vibrating on the back of the device. So, the sweet spot for me is actually at the 80% volume mark where you’ll get decent audio performance with no vibrations.

Battery Life

Redmi Note 10S

The Redmi Note 10S has a 5,000mAh battery, just like the standard Redmi Note 10. It is also coupled with the 33W Quick Charger provided in the box. On a single charge, I could use the phone for more than a day, and I didn’t notice any abnormal battery drain either.

Charging the device from zero to 50% took about 45 minutes, while a full charge took about an hour and 18 minutes.

Conclusion

Redmi Note 10S

The Redmi Note 10S is a great device that not only looks good, but is a great daily driver for those who are on a budget. Sure, there’s no 5G onboard, or 120Hz refresh rate, but you’re still getting a great deal from the AMOLED panel, more than capable Helio G95 CPU, and 5,000mAh battery.

For the price, it’s really hard to not recommend the Redmi Note 10S if this falls into your budget range. If 5G is something you’re after, then you could consider the standard Redmi Note 10 5G.

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Written By

Chief Content Developer at The AXO

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