The Redmi Note lineup has been one of the most popular budget smartphone series in India ever since the first Redmi Note device launched way back in 2014. Adding to the lineup, the company recently launched the Redmi Note 10S in India, whose placement turns out to be confusing, in my opinion. The confusion is mainly because the Redmi Note 10s starts at Rs 14,999, which is just Rs 1,000 lesser when compared to the Redmi Note 10 Pro, which starts at Rs 15,999. Also Read - Redmi Note 11 review: Lackluster upgrade to Note 10
I have been using the device for some time now, trying to find out if the device is actually worth the money or should you just spend the extra Rs 1,000 and get the Pro variant instead. In this review, I will share my experience with the Redmi Note 10S and also answer whether you should buy this one as your next primary smartphone or not. Also Read - Xiaomi's Valentine and Mi Sale: Huge discounts on Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge, Redmi Smart TV, Mi Band 6, and more
Redmi Note 10S Price: Rs 14,999 (6GB RAM/64GB storage variant), Rs 15,999 (6GB RAM/128GB storage variant) Also Read - Redmi Note 11S vs Redmi Note 11: What’s different?
Redmi Note 10S specifications: 6.43-inch full HD+ AMOLED display | MediaTek Helio G95 processor | 6GB RAM | 64GB/128GB internal storage | 64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP quad-camera setup on the back | 13MP front camera | Android 11 (MIUI 12.5) | 5,000mAh battery | 33W fast charging |
Redmi Note 10S offers a sleek design and also feels extremely light in the hands. In simple words, it’s great to use the phone at all times. The device looks quite similar to the Redmi Note 10, which is not bad at all. The new Redmi Note looks modern and stylish unlike the competition out there, which is a plus point for Xiaomi here.
The phone has a plastic frame as well as a plastic back panel, which I personally do not like (many might like it though). It all depends on how you like your smartphone to be). I personally would have appreciated if Xiaomi opted for a metal frame instead. I do like the textured matte back panelbut unfortunately there is a bit of flex to it when you press down in the centre. Well, that’s something we have often seen in phones at this price range and Xiaomi is no exception here. The camera module is sheathed with a glass encasing, which is great to see at this price point.
The top edge consists of the IR blaster, which is a welcome feature in any smartphone in my opinion. It also sports the secondary microphone and the stereo speaker. The right edge sports the volume rockers and the power button, with the SIM tray being located on the left edge of the device. The power button also doubles as the fingerprint sensor, which I personally prefer over the in-display ones we are getting to see these days. Lastly, the bottom edge consists of the USB Type-C port, the primary microphone and the primary stereo speaker. It also features the now rare 3.5mm headphone jack.
The quad-camera module is similar in looks to what we get to see in the Redmi Note 10. I do prefer the Deep Sea Blue colour variant we received for review over the Black and White colour options. The blue colour makes the device feel a lot more premium than it really is.
The Redmi Note 10S features a 6.43-inch full HD+ AMOLED display with a claimed peak brightness of 1100 nits and resolution of 2340×1080 pixels. The display on this one works very well in both indoor and outdoor conditions. It is quite colourful and sharp. Credits to the AMOLED panel the blacks appear much deeper than its competitors and the colours feel extremely appealing as well. Redmi has worked out an extremely good colour profile for the display panel to help it shine.
The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which ensures some peace of mind for sure. The only thing I did not like about the display was the 60Hz panel rather than a 90Hz panel, which makes content consumption and the user experience of the device much smoother.
Overall, I liked the display a lot, apart from the fact that it does not have a higher refresh rate. I liked watching Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube on it a lot, and the gaming experience has also been quite amazing. For the price, it is amongst the best smartphone displays I have used to date.
Performance is not an area where I was expecting the Redmi Note 10S to lack, considering how well the Redmi Note 10 handled pressure during our review. The Redmi Note 10S surely did not disappoint.
While using the device for calls, browsing social media apps, watching videos, and clicking a few photos, it performed quite well and did not show stutters or lags.
During my multi-tasking test, I had around 48 tabs opened in Chrome, 32 is Opera browser, 38 in Firefox and 28 in Brave, with around 18 apps running in the background. At this time, switching between apps and the browser tabs, I was able to put a lot of pressure on the device, which is great for a phone at this price. The device manually killed most of the tabs and around 12 apps from functioning in the background. Even with so much pressure, the device did not hang or restart, which is a good sign in my opinion.
Playing basic games like Crossy Road, City Takeover and Among Us was extremely easy on the device with no stutters. This was expected.
Moving on to heavier games like Call of Duty: Mobile, Asphalt 9: Legends and Shadow Fight 4 is where the most fun is. All games were set to high graphics performance modes, and to my surprise, I did not find any major lags or stutters. There were times when I could see that the device was trying too hard to catch up, but that aside, the gaming experience was pretty good.
Note: The phone did get warm during extensive gaming sessions, however, it was manageable.
Xiaomi has been hearing out customers and tweaking MIUI as per their liking, making it a lot more user friendly when compared to the last version. It was a breeze to use MIUI 12.5. Features like ability to hide system apps, new Super wallpapers, heavy focus on privacy and more, makes the skin feel a lot more intuitive. Moreover, I personally liked the level of customisations offered within the software, which makes the UI feel a lot more personal rather than generic.
The Redmi Note 10S is backed by a 5,000mAh battery, which can easily offers two day’s worth of usage with light gaming, browsing the web, making a few calls, scrolling through social media and taking a few photos. I was personally able to get a day’s worth of battery with heavy gaming and watching Netflix shows.
The device was able to get fully charged with the in-box charger within one and a half hours from zero to 100.
The Redmi Note 10S sports a quad-camera setup, consisting of a 64-megapixel sensor paired with an 8-megapixel ultra wide angle sensor, a 2-megapixel macro lens and a 2-megapixel depth sensor.
Shots captured using the primary sensor turned out to be crisp and vibrant in good lighting conditions. Shooting in the 64-megapixel mode, the images came out even more appealing with popping colours. The shutter is quite fast and ensures you won’t miss a shot.
Low light photography is nothing stellar in this one and the dull performance was expected from a phone at this price point. The photos came out with a lot of noise and grain. These lowlight shots looked dull. Night mode did help in brightening the photos a bit, but it did not do any wonders.
Images from the ultra wide angle sensor came out vibrant and detailed in good lighting, low light results were similar to the primary wide angle sensor. Photos taken using the macro lens did not match my expectations, and I think that Xiaomi would have been better off skipping this one.
Redmi Note 10S camera samples:
Overall, the Redmi Note 10S performs similar to other phones in this price bracket in terms of camera performance. The device manages to capture good shots in ample light, however, does drag along during low light conditions. I also feel that the macro lens and the depth sensor could have been skipped for this one.
The front camera manages to take decent images in good lighting conditions. I noticed that if the light source is coming from a single angle then the images might come out a bit overexposed on this one. Night time photography with the front camera is not recommended.
The Redmi Note 10S is a good phone when it comes to performance and it even looks good. However, sitting just Rs 1,000 shy of the Redmi Note 10 Pro, puts it in a very awkward position. As the Redmi Note 10 Pro comes with the more capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 732 SoC, a 120Hz refresh rate display and much more.
Taking everything into note, I would recommend that you spend the extra Rs 1,000 to get a better phone for your money, say the Redmi Note 10 Pro. However, if you are constrained to a budget of Rs 15,000, then you can look at the Redmi Note 10S as an option.
|Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
|MediaTek Helio G95
|6.43-inch full HD+ AMOLED display
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18999Android 11MediaTek Helio G9564MP+8MP+2MP+2MP