After an excellent 10 and 10 Pro, here is the 2021 Redmi Note cuvée with a 5G version. To offer this network connectivity at such a low price, Xiaomi had to make some technical concessions compared to the rest of the siblings. Is this the right choice? Answer in this test.
By offering a 5G model at an introductory price of € 229, Xiaomi is entering an irresistible musical chair game. A thousand-time waltz that must define a big winner, namely which manufacturer will be able to offer the most efficient 5G smartphone at the lowest price this year. Le Realme 8 5G has already been swirling for a few weeks to ascend the throne, while the Samsung Galaxy A22 (€ 229) has just entered the track. Especially since this 5G model does not share at all the same technical sheet as the 4G and Pro instances of the Redmi Note 10 family. This seems logical after all, Xiaomi addressing each time to a different audience. So this time, who does the builder want to bring in?
Design, Screen and Audio
Clearly, the design is not the most differentiating element of this Note 10 family. The 5G version takes up, with a few trifles, the curves, sober but elegant, of the 4G model. For the dimensions, we go from 160.5 x 74.5 x 8.3 mm to 161.8 x 75.3 x 8.9 mm, the screen grows a bit, from 6.43 to 6.5 inches, which has the effect of making it heavier, 190 g against 178 g. Quite honestly, the difference in use is minimal, this 5G model is pleasant in the hand and remains easy to handle in all circumstances. The lines of the mobile are elegant, especially the flattened appearance of the lower and upper borders.
For the back, Xiaomi had to make the choice of economy, no glass or aluminum here, but rather a polycarbonate coating that soberly does the job. Pleasant to the touch without the feeling being transcendent, solid without being given a crash test and (not too) messy. We insist all the same on the “not too much”, which will be understood by: “do not forget to put him shell”. Not offering an ultra wide-angle lens, the camera unit is naturally more discreet, which is not bad for once, while its retained protrusion will prevent the phone from turning into a tumbler when it is on a table.
To continue downsizing, Xiaomi offers a fingerprint reader, not under the screen, but integrated into the power button. Some inconvenience can occur if you want to unlock it quickly in the middle of a phone call, but otherwise on the whole this reader works well. At the screen level, to be completely honest, we were initially skeptical. Unlike the 4G and Pro version, this model loses the OLED in favor of a “simple” 6.5-inch LCD panel, Full HD + (1080 x 2400 pixels).
But to our surprise, this same screen comes with an adaptive refresh rate that switches from 60 to 90 Hz depending on your use. Xiaomi has therefore sacrificed pure display quality on the altar of fluidity. Rather clever reasoning, since a 5G smartphone must above all make us enjoy our various entertainment with as much speed as possible. As far as we can take advantage of its cover …
The screen is very bright, even when having a drink in full sun on the terrace (sic!) And the colorimetry is rather balanced. Neutral without being too cold. Finally, even if this RedMi Note 10 5G only offers a main speaker, it is doing with honors. It’s not great symphony, but surprisingly the bass doesn’t drip even at high volume, which still leaves enough presence in the treble and vocals.
Performance, Autonomy and Software
To be able to offer 5G at a modest price, Xiaomi therefore did not opt for a Snapdragon 678, but for MediaTek’s recent mid-range SoC, the Dimensity 700. A processor that is also found in Realme 8 5G. Clocked at 2.2 Ghz, this octo-core is accompanied by a Mali-G57 MC2 graphics chip, 4 GB of RAM (LPDDR4x) and 128 GB of storage. On a daily basis, this 5G smartphone is much more alert than its 4G counterpart, especially when it comes to browsing quickly between several applications already open. Unsurprisingly, if you are gamers or creative, you should instead turn to the Redmi Note 10 Pro. Indeed, this 5G version will be too tight to run greedy 3D games or photo or video editing applications. For everything else – 2D or management games, streaming, social networks… – the Note 10 5G will satisfy you, provided that there is still juice left.
In fact, the more its battery drains, the more the mobile displays some latency, especially when you want to quickly open or exit the camera. Below 15%, it really starts to be felt. Despite its relative finesse, 9 mm in size, the smartphone offers an imposing 5000 mAh battery. During our tests, the smartphone held without batting an eyelid a good day and a half in versatile use. On the other hand, when the discount rate is blocked on 90 Hz, in order to enjoy video or game content with greater clarity, it dries up like a currant. It lasts a whole day, but ends the evening on the kneecaps. Small disappointment with regard to its recharging speed, in fact unlike the 4G version which has a 33 W power supply unit, here we are only allowed 18 W. To resume a few colors, it is rather fast, allow about 30 minutes to recover a third of the battery. On the other hand, to fully charge it, it will take you almost two hours.
To finish on the software part, no big surprise or disappointment. This Redmi Note 10 5G takes advantage of Android 11 and the overlay of Xiaomi, MIUI 12 with its advantages: a well thought out dark mode, floating windows and a useful application drawer. And its drawbacks: an overflow of unnecessary pre-installed applications and sometimes a little lack of originality in the animations. To get a complete idea of MIUI 12, we invite you to consult our complete handling of the latest home overlay from Xiaomi.
Photo and Video
Rather austere, the photo equipment of the Redmi Note 10 5G ignores the ultra-angle and the telephoto lens. As a result, the configuration is not very versatile from the outset with a 48-megapixel main sensor (f / 1.79), a 2-megapixel macro lens (f / 2.4) and a 2-megapixel depth lens (f / 2, 4). At the front, housed in a discreet punch, an 8 megapixel module will be useful for lovers of selfies, however it will be necessary to focus well because the sensor is very capricious, especially in Backlight.
Concretely during the day and indoors in good light conditions, the main sensor is doing well. Overall, the colors and exposure of the scenes are well managed, although it sometimes lacks sharpness especially at the edges of the frame. By using the HDR or 48 megapixel mode, we can take care of this lack of detail, as long as you take your time, once again, to focus. The more the brightness decreases, the more the Redmi Note 10 5G shows its weaknesses.
At the end of the day or at night, the photos show quite a bit of digital noise, while the sharpness falters terribly. The “Night” mode manages to save the furniture by enhancing the brightness and the colors to the detriment of a consequent loss of details on the whole background of the photo. The “Portrait” mode is arbitrary, as most of the time in this price segment, the depth sensor blurs the background well without so that the clipping of the shapes is completely meticulous.
A word on the video, the image clearly lacks sharpness and electronic stabilization is absent subscribers. Nothing surprising, since here we have to be content with a 1080p video capture at 30 frames per second. And even going down to 720p, you can’t go up to 60 frames per second. A real regression compared to the 4G model.
Où to buy the Redmi Note 10 5G?
Available since May 18 at a price of 230 euros for its 4/64 GB version, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G is also available in a 4/128 GB version for 270 euros. It comes in four colors: Chrome Silver, Graphite Gray, Twilight Blue and Aurora Green. Below in this Redmi Note 10 Pro test, here is a comparator with the best prices in real time. Moreover, until 06/21/2021, Xiaomi offers a refund of up to 30 euros if you buy one or more products from the Xiaomi universe from a list of eligible products.
Redmi Note 10 5G at the best price
Base price: 229 €
See more offers