Simplifying your needs for a decent phone in 2021 can be confusing. With so many phones coming out every year, it may be harder to differentiate what gives you the most value for your money.
The Redmi 10, under the sub-brand of Xiaomi, has slyly made its way into the market priced at only RM649. And with such a competitive price, some pros and cons are inevitable.
It comes in three colour options: Carbon Gray, Pebble White and Sea Blue. We have the Carbon Gray for our review and it has a nice matte finish that hides most fingerprints. Weighing in at 181 grams and 8.9mm thick, you'll feel confident holding it even without a case. For the lack of a better word, "chonky" is the best way we could describe it as it isn't the most minimal of designs, featuring a significant camera bump and a slightly protruding screen.
Equipped with a 6.5-inch Full HD+ LCD screen and topping out at just 1080p, it's definitely not the brightest or most vibrant of screens, but we do appreciate the 90Hz refresh rate in an entry-level phone while providing colour accuracy in its wake. The fingerprint reader on the side is responsive.
As for battery life, if you’re someone who worries about running out of charge or often forgets to charge your phone, you’ll be glad to know that the Redmi 10 claims over two full days worth of normal use thanks to its 5,000mAh battery. It claims to power you through over 52 hours with Battery Saver mode turned on, and an astonishing 312+ hours with Ultra Battery Saver mode.
Surprisingly enough for an entry-level phone, we're greeted by stereo speakers which are loud and immersive when watching videos or listening to music. Or if you'd prefer the trusty headphone jack, as rare as they come nowadays, we're still glad to see it here.
The Redmi 10 runs on a 2.0GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio G88 processor with 4GB of RAM, holding up well enough for casual tasks such as light gaming, web browsing or watching videos online. Our benchmark tests show scores that are comparable to other phones in its class, albeit a little on the lower end for its form factor with a single-core score of 357 and a multi-core score of 1124, but it gets by decently at its own pace.
One noticeable shortcoming is the fact that Redmi 10 operates on eMMC 5.1 storage instead of UFS, which has become commonplace even in the entry-level tier. But while it’ll take a little more time to do things like access data and open apps, it won't be as noticeable unless you’re really putting it through its paces.
Cameras, on the other hand, comes with a quad-array camera construction consisting of a 50MP wide lens, 8MP ultra-wide lens, a 2MP macro lens, and 2MP depth sensor. The HDR feature does quite well in managing shadows and highlights for most natural light settings but isn't consistent in colour outputs. Tones may come out differently from one photo to the next as the exposure management isn't the best. Always a constant hit and miss, in our opinion.
Videos translate the same issues in noise and colour accuracy. Since it tops at 1080p 30fps, the processing power falls behind and it doesn't get to fully utilise the 50MP sensor and its capabilities. Aside from that, the front 8MP camera will serve you well enough for your important video calls.
Overall, the Redmi 10 makes an earnest effort to improve upon its predecessor. But, while the battery life may be great and the stereo speakers are commendable, you’re also able to find this and more in other entry-level phones.
If you have an extra hundred ringgit or so, you may want to consider other similarly priced models like the Redmi Note 10 that could give you more bang-for-your-buck. It’s a competitive space out here even in the entry-level tier, but if budget constraints are driving your decision, the Redmi 10 would serve well enough for daily use.
We believe it's suited for users who are always on the go and don’t want to worry about their phones dying on them all of a sudden. In the simplest of ways, it's reliable. And in the tech world, reliability will always be in high demand.
The Redmi 10 starts at RM 649 and is available nationwide in Malaysia. More information can be found at Xiaomi's website.
Content by Fitri Aiyub and Melissa Tan