New value for the king of money?
Xiaomi launched the all-new Redmi Note 10 line-up earlier this week, the successor to the popular Note 9 series from 2020. Much like the last, this new series brings with it three new phones – the Redmi Note 10, the Note 10 Pro and the Note 10 Pro Max. Of the three, the Note 10 Pro Max is the most premium of the lot, as it comes with a 108-megapixel primary lens and a fast 120Hz SuperAMOLED display with powerful space.
This hardware has made the Note 10 Pro Max the most powerful-packed Redmi Note series device ever. But is that enough to become the most successful note series device ever? Well, read our full review to find out.
Redmi Note 10 Pro Max: Design and Display
With the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, Xiaomi Aura has moved away from the design philosophy that it launched a few years ago. Instead, the new lineup is based on the EVOL design language. The biggest advantage of this switch is that it helps make the Xiaomi Note 10 Pro Max significantly thinner and smoother than the Note 9 Pro Max. In addition, the phone is slightly lighter at 192 grams. And this is despite the fact that Xiaomi has used glass on both the front and back of the device.
However, the use of glass makes the Note 10 Pro Max look more premium than its price, which is definitely a big tick in its favor. The phone has been launched in three colors, vintage bronze, dark night and glacial blue. Of the three, Xiaomi sent us the first two for review, and in our opinion, both look equally good. However, the Dark Knight is certainly the coolest of the two color variations. But it also comes at a cost. Compared to vintage bronze, Dark Knight has a glossy finish. The rear panel of this variant is also reflective in nature and easily removes stains.
But the common denominator between the two is that the rear panel has a dual-step camera set-up that holds the phone’s four camera lenses. The perimeter is also slightly extended which makes the phone a bit shaky when placed on a flat surface. However, this is certainly not something to worry about.
The Note 10 Pro Max uses a metal frame to hold the front and rear glass of the device together. It has cutouts for fingerprint scanner, volume rocker and SIM card tray, as well as a 3.5mm jack, dual speakers and USB Type-C port for charging the device. An IR blaster is placed at the top of the frame to help users control the TV, set-top-box and more with the device directly.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max display goes through Greyscale analysis on Calman
The front of the device has a display which is one of the biggest talking points of the phone. The brightness of this display is claimed to be up to 1200nits, but when we tested the panel using our display test set, we found a display peak brightness of 600nits for HDR and 395nits for SDR content. At the bottom end, the brightness for black light dropped to 0.01nits. The display was able to achieve an accuracy of 68.53 on the DCI-P3 color scale and higher, 46.322 on the BT.2020 color scale.
Using Calman Ultimate, we conclude that the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max has the best AMOLED display.
With the standard color profile enabled, the phone’s display is able to hit the right color and good RGB balance, and rarely throws in the way of color accuracy errors. However, when the color profile of the phone was changed and the display was tested for HDR content, we noticed somewhat less accuracy. Overall, this confirms that the phone was great for watching videos and playing games. This is especially true for streaming movies on platforms like Netflix.
As space, the phone’s display is 6.67-inch in size and can process up to Full HD + resolution. The panel is also rated for achieving a faster 120Hz refresh rate, but it doesn’t do that intelligently and can be set to work at either 60Hz or 120Hz. Protecting the display is a sheet of Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Overall, these components combine to create a rather well-designed device that not only looks great but also looks good on the hand.
Redmi Note 10 Pro Max: Performance
Underneath the hood, the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G processor which does not support 5G. This chipset offers an octa-core configuration CPU and Adreno 618 GPU. Xiaomi has chosen it with up to 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and up to 128GB of UFS 2.2 storage. The unit sent to us for review has 6GB RAM and 128GB storage.
As always, we tested the device using several synthetic benchmarks. And really, the results we got weren’t the best. This is because the phone scores less than the Dimensity 800U-powered Narzo 30 Pro and the Exynos 9825-powered Samsung F62. On the Antutu 8, the Redmi Note 10 Max Pro scored 238136, while on the Geekbench it scored 560 and 1761 points in the single-core and multi-core tests, respectively.
However, the Adreno 618 GPU offers better benchmark results than the two competing phones. During our gamebench testing, we achieved an average FPS of 58 frames for Call of Duty Mobile at 98 percent stability. The Asphalt 9 runs at medium FPS of 30 frames but at a higher stability of 99. These were better than the gamebench results of the other two phones. On the GFXBench (Aztec Ruins, high tier) it clocked 683.9 points, while in 3D Mark Life the phone scored 1109 points.
Outside of synthetic benchmarks and testing, we can ensure that the device’s overall performance seems satisfactory and that the device is good for handling heavy-duty games including Call of Duty: Mobile and Asphalt 9 Legends. Quick display helps improve the gaming experience on the phone and generally makes the phone feel fast and responsive.
Redmi Note 10 Pro Max: Battery and other features
Xiaomi also retains some of the features that were popular with the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max. As such, the Note 10 Pro Max also gets a 3.5mm audio jack, IR sensor and stereo speakers. It also offers the same size battery as last year, the new device gets a larger 5,020mAh battery with support for 33W faster charging exterior.
In our video loop test, the phone used us for more than 16 hours at full brightness. The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max also did not experience massive battery exhaust while playing the game. The only real reason to reduce the battery life of the device was when we switched the display to run in 120Hz mode. With this feature on, the phone lasts about a day on a single charge. Otherwise, running at 60Hz, the phone should be able to run for more than one day on a single charge.
Redmi Note 10 Pro Max: Camera
For the camera, the Note 10 Pro Max also gets some major upgrades, with a 108MP lens-based camera set-up available for the device. This set-up not only gives the phone a lot of versatility due to the presence of a dedicated 8MP ultra-wide lens and a 5MP super macro lens, but also a 2MP depth sensor to help improve the quality of portrait shots clicked by the device. .
The protagonist of the show is of course the primary lens, which we found good for clicking pictures. Camera performance is generally good. Under well-illuminated conditions, the primary lens captures a good amount of detail. Color reproduction is good, but in low light conditions, the phone tends to over-color. But overall, Night Mode 2.0 does a really good job in situations where there is very little light to work with. As always, the phone’s MIUI 12-based camera app works seamlessly and offers support for several modes, including panorama, VLOG and clone modes.
The phone’s camera locks things up quickly and with a single tap to focus. Shutter speeds are also good and these components combine to create well-detailed images with high megapixel counts. The primary lens clicks well-detailed shots, especially in both good-light and low-light situations. As we mentioned above, for the latter, the images tend to be somewhat overly saturated, which takes a bit away from the color accuracy, but overall, the low light performance seems to be good for a phone within the price range.
Ultra-wide lenses work fine. Fish-eyes have no noticeable effect. However, the image quality is lower than the primary lens. The low light performance of this lens is nothing special. However, it still holds its ground compared to the competition in the market.
For those who like macro photography, the 5MP Super Macro Lens proves to be an excellent addition. While it may not be a replacement for a DSLR with a dedicated lens, Super Macro’s decent megapixel count still proves to be a good enough addition for a point-and-shoot camera set-up. However, the lens only works well in daylight conditions, while low light conditions reveal lens defects.
And last but not least, the device also has a deep-sensing camera. This 2MP lens is present in the phone to provide additional data for portrait shots. These come out with good bokeh effect. Edge separation and fuzzy effects are good, but in challenging situations, errors are seen. However, the overall performance of the portrait mode is good because the phone can click on a good portrait even in low light conditions.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is one of the best value for money offers you can buy right now. Starting at Rs 18,999, it offers a premium design, powerful camera, vibrant display and decent hardware under the hood for handling games and resource-intensive applications. It may not be very bright when tested against synthetic benchmarks, but it is its only flaw.
While there is a lot of competition in the market for Redmi Note 10 Pro Max like Realme Narzo 30 Pro and Samsung F62, the biggest competition for Redmi devices comes from a phone that is a little closer to home – Mi Note 10i. The Mi brand phone starts at a slightly higher price, but in return offers the same 108MP ISOCELL HM2 sensor and a better processor than the one found in the Note 10 Pro Max. It also loses to the new Redmi phone in the display segment.
While you can’t go wrong with choosing between the two, if you are pressed for choice, we recommend the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max. It looks better, has a better display and can be found for a few thousand rupees less.