Xiaomi’s done it – it’s transcended into the totally loony territories of a 100MP+ camera on a smartphone.
With their smaller-than-thimble-sized sensors, Apple and Google reckon 12MP is a rational limit for main camera’s resolution, but oh no, Xiaomi, in partnership with Samsung, has broken the silly pixel-count continuum to bring us the €549 Xiaomi Note 10.
Design: A familiar face
We know, we know, this isn’t the first Note 10 we’ve seen this year, and it’s not the first phone we’ve seen with this design either – Huawei P30 Pro much? Xiaomi has borrowed from a couple of other brands in the last few days, but while the Mi Watch isn’t coming to the UK, this camera phone behemoth is.
Packing a big 6.47in curved AMOLED screen, the Mi Note 10 is a chunky thing, but it’s still elegant with its curved back. The body’s a combination of Gorilla Glass 5 and metal, it has a headphone jack – huzzah! – and the camera bump on the back means business.
For €549, it looks as good as it needs to, if not better, and the screen is a beauty, combining Full HD+ resolution and 600nit max brightness. In the flesh, we’re not left wishing it was QHD or 4K on first impression, with detail looking good even when we get right up close.
Camera: Ton up
The Mi 9T Pro actually outdoes the P30 Pro and every other flagship around from a camera point of view though, with its five cameras clocking in at roughly 180MP when you combine their pixel power.
The main wide-angle camera is 108MP, despite shooting at 27MP by default. There’s also a 12MP 2x zoom camera, a 5MP 5x zoom camera, a 20MP ultra-wide camera and a 2MP macro photography camera.
On paper, nothing comes close, and in a few hours with it, the detail it captures is staggering. There’s a bit of slowdown when processing full-resolution 108MP pictures, which you can enable despite it not being the default capture resolution, but that’s unsurprising, given the power inside the Note 10.
Performance: No slouch
The Mi Note 10 is fuelled by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor, which, while plenty powerful for day-to-day tasks, 3D gaming and more, isn’t quite flagship grade, falling behind the Snapdragon 855 in the Mi 9T Pro, and the 855+ in the OnePlus 7T and 7T Pro. Coupled with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, the Mi Note 10 isn’t top-tier, but it’s no slouch either.
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 initial verdict
With its giant 5260mAh battery, 30W fast charging, in-screen fingerprint scanner and support for hi-res audio, we can’t help but be impressed by the value and camera offered by Xiaomi and its shiny new P30 Pro-alike.
We’ve got one in for review, so check back in the coming weeks to find out if big pixel counts really do make for banging camera phones.