Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G Review
The Mi 10T and Mi 10T Pro are not as successful as the Mi 10. Instead, Xiaomi hopes that if the choice is between a high refresh rate display and a sophisticated camera, users won’t have to look too far or go too deep into their wallets. The Mi 10T Pro combines a 108MP camera with a 144Hz refresh rate display, which is to be expected from the doctor in the high-end segment. It’s not particularly good with the Mi 10, but like the OnePlus 8T it wants to be refined and polished.
Speaking of which, 2020 saw the high-wealth sector become truly democratic. OnePlus was still running the show until Xiaomi, Realme, Vivo, Oppo and even Apple and Samsung came to shake things up. With so many options, what can the Mi 10T Pro offer that others don’t? Find out –
The Mi 10T Pro runs on Snapdragon 865 with 8GB LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB UFS 3.1 storage. Only the original hardware, along with all the other high-end smartphones at this price. At 39 39,999, the Mi 10T Pro is much more affordable than the OnePlus 8T, and the 144Hz display can leverage overall performance gains.
I switched out the OnePlus 8T to Mi 10T Pro as my dai6⁷ly driver a week ago, with virtually no speed loss. In fact, the 144Hz display feels much more responsive and fluid, and UI animations have been tuned to take advantage of the technology. The phone unlocks using a side-mounted fingerprint sensor that is instantly responsive, but cannot touch the surface to unlock it. It needs to be pressed. It’s a neat touch, there to prevent accidental unlock. There is almost no delay in launching first party apps like Camera, even heavy third party apps like Adobe Lightroom, Call of Duty Mobile, and Google Earth, all of which are instantly launched.
Benchmark scores could match the Mi 10T Pro with other Snapdragon 865 flagships. It scored high on AnTuTu primarily due to the use of the latest RAM and storage modules. It maintains an impressive lead in 3DMark GPU testing and PCMark Work 2.0 that measures real-world performance.
The Mi 10T Pro’s large display and heavy body make for a great gaming experience. Holding the phone in landscape orientation to run a few rounds of Call of Duty: Mobile, Grip feels a lot like the Asus ROG Phone 3. Of course, without the pressure sensitive air trigger. But then, the display’s touch response time is good enough to take a quick headshot with a sniper rifle. There’s plenty of room for aiming and moving, and the flat surface lets you use the entire display area for gaming.
I clocked a 15-minute session of Call of Duty: Mobile using Gamebench, and the Mi 10T Pro easily reached the 60 FPS mark, maximizing all graphics settings, with 100% stability. There are no complaints, though after a few more rounds the phone became quite hot.
The Mi 10T Pro runs on MIUI 12 and is a big jump from MIUI 11. Although it is still based on Android 10, Xiaomi has never followed Google’s update pattern. MIUI 12 comes with some intuitive, useful features, fluid animations and interactive live wallpapers. But it is still a work in progress. Things like System-Wide Dark Mode change color in apps like Google Meet, Instagram and even the Google Discover app.
MIUI 12 has made me more responsive to messages and other notifications. WhatsApp, Instagram notifications can be dragged into a mini floating window. Type what you want to do and just swipe up to get back to what you’re doing. This leads to much less interruptions when watching episodes on Netflix, and should be a default feature on all Android phones going forward.
Xiaomi didn’t have to look too far for the control panel’s inspiration. It was picked up directly from iOS and I found it as annoying as the iPhone. Being a left-handed person, I dropped the control center when I wanted to copy an OTP from the notification bar. It always takes more than two attempts!
The Mi 10T’s success was primarily due to the camera, but the Mi 10T Pro can’t claim it. The 108MP camera primary camera is not as leveraged as the Mi 10, and the rest of the cameras in the quad-camera setup are as average as the Mi 10. On the Mi 10T Pro, it’s not as effective. Presumably, this could be due to premature tuning of the camera, and an updated camera software strategy. Or perhaps the two smartphones thus split across the price range. The Mi 10T Pro is now the most affordable 108MP camera. Anyway, at least I didn’t go down without explaining myself first.
With the right amount of light, the images taken with the primary camera are detailed and the sharp and dynamic range is wide enough. And it is expected from a smartphone priced at Rs 40,000. But a slight dip in the light (say around dusk), the detail is severely diminished. Darker areas are softer in detail, and there is a visible sound when you zoom in on the shot. Things like thick leaves have faded and the walls of the building have been marked by sound.
The camera also suffers from the shallow depths of the field when taking close-ups, and this is an inherent problem with all the large size sensors in smartphones nowadays. With AI mode on, there is plenty of time to wait after clicking a shot indoors or in hard light. The phone tells you to hold it still for a few seconds and during that time any movement in the frame results in a blurry shot. This has made it quite difficult for me to photograph my pet dog, but I am satisfied with at least some shots.
In low light, the Mi 10T Pro relies on a dedicated night mode that only works with the primary camera. The large sensor size and f / 1.7 aperture allow the sensor to read a lot of light and the night mode algorithm does a good job of preserving the sharpness and brightness of the frame. The edges appear to be somewhat artificially processed, but this is the case with most night mode nowadays. The interesting thing is that this night mode can create dynamic range.
Ultravide cameras are decent when used with adequate lighting. You get a wide frame with minimal distortion and sharp edges. But the camera cannot be used after sunset. With a small f / 2.4 lens, it can’t do much anyway, and without any night mode support, you really can’t switch to this lens so late at night.
The 5MP macro camera is decent enough, of course. I’m not a big fan of macro cameras on smartphones because their applications are extremely limited in the amount of light and the subject you’re taking pictures with. What’s worth it, however, is that the colors are right for it, which we can’t say is valid for many high-end smartphones.
In the case of videos, the Mi 10T Pro outputs sharp videos that are automatically transmitted and focus track without missing too much. Although it still feels overly processed, with OIS on board, the videos are quite stable. That being said, the Mi 10T Pro is quite heavy for video shoot. I had to fight for shooting with the phone using one hand, and it’s definitely a bummer.
The Mi 10T Pro 33W packs a large 5,000mAh battery with fast charging support. This is enough to keep the phone running for most of the day, even with heavy usage and 144Hz refresh rate enabled. The smartphone has a decent 8 hours of screen-on time, when used as a daily driver, which is good enough to take you all day without charging. Watching a 30-minute episode on Netflix reduces battery life by 4% while CoD’s 15-minute session: Mobile drains 5% of battery.
Charging time has felt slow since the OnePlus 8T came out, but the 33W should be good enough for most. It takes about 60 minutes to fully charge.
Design and display
Mi 10T Pro and a radical change from the Mi 10 in terms of design. The Mi 10 had a curved display, the Mi 10T Pro stuck to a flat panel, with a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and a thick, extended camera module. The rear glass panel is as shiny and smoke-prone as ever, and has a lot of folds attached to the body, which in some cases makes it almost incomprehensible. Still, the Mi 10T Pro grips well for rounded corners and the aluminum frame feels stiff. Although it has no official IP-rating, and the phone tumbles to a flat surface. Honestly, I’m not a big fan of this design, but I can see why this strong build and glossy finish can be considered as premium and luxurious.
The Mi 10T Pro stole the 6.67-inch display show. Despite switching to an LCD panel to enable higher 144Hz refresh rates, the panel has not lost any of its charm before. In fact, it seems a lot more responsive, and the colors are much more vibrant and vibrant than the Mi 10. There are no glitches or discoloration along the edges, since it is a flat panel. And that makes it especially good for gaming, like the OnePlus 8T. You have enough surface area to move your thumbs around and the visuals are bright enough for competitive gaming. The refresh rate adjusts based on what you’re doing on the screen, which is quite neat and saves a lot of energy, but I didn’t notice the demand for Xiaomi’s MEMC technology to work. I tried with content from Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime and measured the frame-rate using an option from the developer settings, but all content ran at the specified 24 fps because they were shot. Like the OnePlus 8 Pro there is no upscale that I have noticed.
The last row
If you have a budget of Rs 40,000 then Mi 10T Pro may be the best purchase. No other smartphone offers a 108MP camera, a 144Hz display and a Snapdragon 865 at that price, and that’s what makes the Mi 10T Pro hard to ignore. You get great value for money, though you may not get the best flagship experience. That, unfortunately, still brings a premium. The camera is a big area that needs a lot of improvement, and the experience of using the Mi 10T Pro is smooth and hassle-free, without minor glitches in the software. It’s definitely a smartphone I’ve enjoyed using, and if you acknowledge its weaknesses and look past them, the Mi 10T Pro comes with fast, fast and the best display at this price point.