Best Mi 10i Review: The Mi 10i offers some amazing specifications for less than Rs. 25,000
The number of smartphone launches by Xiaomi has actually slowed down in the last year, even though 2020 brought a lot of new gear to everyone’s attention. There have been fewer models launched in the sub-Rs, which is a fast-moving market.
company relaunched its premium Mi line with the Mi 10 and Mi 10T models. Prices range from Rs. 35,000 to Rs. 45,000. The company claims that it also had plans to launch the Mi 10i model, but it was delayed. Xiaomi now claims it is ready to complete its family.
The starting price for the Mi 10i is just Rs 20,999. The Mi 10i starts at Rs. 20,999, but it still has a 108-megapixel camera as well as 5G connectivity. These are the hallmarks of the Mi 10 series.
Xiaomi claims that the “i” in India stands for India because this model was customized for Indian markets. This might seem a little too extreme, as there are very few differences between this device and other models such as the Redmi Note 9 Pro 5G and Mi 10T Lite in other markets.
It is clear that Xiaomi wants to make a mark on the sub-Rs. The Mi 10i will need to compete with some big hitters like the OnePlus Nord (Review), Samsung Galaxy M51(Review) and Vivo V20. While the camera specs are certain to attract attention, I will also be looking at the whole package. Here is my complete review of the Xiaomi Mi 10i.
Price of the Mi 10i in India and other variants
The Mi 10i’s base price in India is Rs. The base price of the Mi 10i in India is Rs. 20,999. You get 6GB RAM and 64GB storage. This variant is not yet available for sale but will soon be.
You can buy the same phone for Rs. 21,999 with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. 21,999, which is only Rs. 1,999, which is just Rs. The third variant, priced at Rs. 23,999, offers 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. 23,999.
Xiaomi managed to beat the OnePlus Nord (Review), however, it doesn’t offer 256GB storage. This is a bit disappointing considering that you will lose space for a second Nano SIM if you use a microSD Card. Many people will opt for the top-end model due to such small price differences.
Design Mi 10i
The new Mi 10i is not a model that looks like the Mi 10 (Review), or the Mi 10T series. This is due to the fact that they are large and heavy phones. The Mi 10i measures 9mm thick and is 214.5g. The Mi 10i’s 6.67-inch screen is what all siblings share in common.
However, the Mi 10i’s panel is completely flat and has no rounded edges. The hole for the front camera is located at the top-centre, which is slightly larger than the one we are used to.
There will be three finishes available: the glossy, but subtle, Atlantic Blue and Midnight Black. The more eye-catching Pacific Sunrise has a matte finish with a colour gradient that changes from blue at its top to white at the bottom.
This is the version Xiaomi will use for its marketing push. I have it for review. It looks a bit like a horizon or beach landscape. It is not susceptible to fingerprints and smudges. However, it might be less so for other colours.
Although the camera module is quite large, it doesn’t protrude too much. This is Xiaomi’s fault. The fingerprint sensor is integrated into the power button on the right.
It is slightly recessed and was difficult to reach when the Mi 10i was still in its plastic box. Volume buttons are located above the box, so they weren’t always easy to reach. The left side has a dual-SIM tray that allows you to choose between an additional storage or a second SIM.
The inclusion of a 3.5mm audio socket to allow wired headsets is one of the best features. This feature is almost non-existent on premium phones these days. A tiny LED notification next to the earpiece lights up when your phone is charging. It also illuminates when you receive call or message alerts. Stereo sound is delivered by the earpiece and the speaker at the bottom.
The rounded edges make it easy to hold and use, despite being quite bulky. Although it will require some hand movement, the rear is not too slippery. Gorilla Glass 5 is available on the front, rear and camera module.
It is worth noting the IP53 dust and water resistance rating. This rating is rare at this price point. Although it isn’t the most impressive in the industry, the OnePlus Nord has no official water resistance. The front of my review unit had an adhesive screen protector.
Specifications for Mi 10i
We have the 6.67-inch full HD+ (1080×2400), 120Hz HDR10+ LCD screen. It might disappoint some people that Xiaomi did not opt for an AMOLED panel. The maximum brightness is only 450nits, and the colour reproduction is limited at 84 percent of NTSC’s gamut. This is not too bad.
The display was still easy to use for everyday use, and it’s good enough to enjoy video and other games. Even if you don’t like saturated colours, you won’t feel as though you’re missing out.
The adaptive refresh rate can be set to scale between 30Hz and 60Hz in six steps. Xiaomi claims that the panel automatically matches whatever content is being played. For example, it will change to 48fps when you watch a 24fps movie. Blue light emission is certified by TUV Rheinland. You can choose the level of saturation you prefer and also manually adjust the white balance.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G SoC is relatively new. It is currently used by the Moto G 5G in India. This chip is more recent than the Snapdragon 765G. It has some advantages, such as the modern Kryo 570 cores based upon the ARM Cortex-A77 design and not the Cortex-A76-based Kryo 475 cores.
These cores are joined by six Cortex-A55 cores, which provide additional efficiency. The integrated Adreno 619 GPU has a lower graphics power than the Snapdragon 765G Adreno 620. Both chips use the same integrated SnapdragonX52 5G modem.
Although the 4,820mAh battery may not seem very large by current standards, real-world usage will depend on many factors, including the SoC’s efficiency. The Mi 10i supports USB-PD standards and comes with a fast 33W charger.
Xiaomi claims that the battery has two cells running in parallel. This will enable a quick charge of 100 percent in less than an hour and a charge of 68 percent in just 30 minutes.
All models of the Mi 10 have 5G as a common feature. The Mi 10i can work with both sub-6GHz networks and all other 4G, 3G, and 2G bands.
Dual-band GPS, Indian NavIC positioning systems, Bluetooth 5.1 and WiFi ac are all supported. Xiaomi claims that it has developed custom hardware to support Alexa and Google Assistant, but that this will be enabled in a future software upgrade.
Software and usage of Mi 10i
The Mi 10i is equipped with Android 10 and Xiaomi’s highly customized MIUI 12.0.3 interface. My unit came with the November 2020 security update, but I also received the December update that retail units should come with. It is easy to set up your unit, and you can change any preferences at any time.
Xiaomi is known for its heavy use of bloatware, promotional content, and despite promising a “clean MIUI 12 user experience with Google apps”, It is common for the lock screen to display sponsored content.
This can be turned off by going into the Settings app.
It was a pleasant surprise to find that the setup process did not attempt to force people to download promoted apps.
However, the first thing you will see once the phone is ready for use is a prompt to use Xiaomi’s GetApps app store. There were also several notifications from it within the first few days. I found several third-party and Mi apps preloaded on my phone. Fortunately, many of these can be uninstalled.
MIUI 12 offers many useful features and customization options. An app drawer allows you to choose whether or not you want one. It has tabs that correspond with different app categories.
It is located at the bottom of the screen, just below your thumb, making it convenient. You can adjust the icon size and grid spacing on your home screen. You can change the wallpaper by going to Xiaomi’s Themes App. It is loaded with many options.
The Settings app has more to offer: battery saver modes and shortcuts, gestures, a secure Second Space for private information, a simplified Lite Mode UI and Game Turbo optimisations.
A floating Video Toolbox contains various sound and picture enhancement options. Google also offers Digital Wellbeing and parental controls.
Performance of Mi 10i
It’s clear that today’s premium and mid-range phones perform well. The Mi 10i proves this. The experience is smooth, and it should not be a problem to use the phone every day. The default screen refresh rate is 60Hz.
However, switching to 120Hz will make scrolling and swiping a little easier. This phone’s bulk and heavy weight are its only drawbacks. After holding the phone in one hand for a while, I felt some wrist fatigue.
It is very difficult to use the fingerprint sensor if you are left-handed. My right thumb was fine, but my left thumb never lined up well. Although face recognition was quick, the setup UI warns that it is less secure than using a pattern or PIN and that a photograph of you could be used to unlock your phone.
The Benchmark performance was mixed. Although the Mi 10i was able to score an impressive 3,29,286 in AnTuTu’s benchmark test, Geekbench 5 failed to run despite multiple attempts. Graphics benchmarks simply wouldn’t run.
These problems could be due to pre-release software installed on review units. Xiaomi used UFS2.2 flash with fast read/write speeds, while Androbench’s storage benchmark measured sequential read/write speeds of 929.54MBps & 459.47MBps, respectively.
Gaming was a breeze. I managed to play a few rounds of Call of Duty Mobile. The Mi 10i got a little warm but it wasn’t too difficult. At the highest quality settings and at high frame rates, the game ran well. Metal Madness was enjoyable and ran smoothly.
Despite some misgivings due to the spec sheet, the screen is bright and vibrant. Photos and videos look great, and colours are vivid even in the “natural” setting. Stereo speakers make up for the lack of sound quality.
The battery life was not as bad as it might have seemed, despite the low capacity. With normal use, the Mi 10i ran for about a day before it had to be charged.
The HD video loop test lasted for an impressive 18 hours, 22 minutes. The charging process is very fast, with Xiaomi’s claim that it can charge 100 percent in just under an hour being quite accurate.
Mi 10i cameras
With its Samsung HM2 sensor, f/1.75 aperture and 108-megapixel primary camera, the main star of the show is the 108-megapixel primary back camera. It is disappointing, however, that the three other cameras are so subpar.
The 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra wide camera, the 2-megapixel macro camera and the 2-megapixel depth sensors look more like what I would expect on a phone costing around Rs. 10,000. 10,000 These appear to have been pushed in because the “quad camera”, as it is known, is such a selling point.
You can record video at up to 4K 30fps, and slow-motion video at up to 960fps. However, you can only record video at 720p.
The default setting for photos is 12 megapixels. This sensor can combine nine pixels into one. Although the photos taken with the primary rear camera in daylight were good, there was some evidence of oversharpening and a lack of detail. The exposures were not always correct and textures looked strange.
These issues may be fixed with software updates. However, the quality was still disappointing. Although portrait mode doesn’t appear to provide better quality than the default photo mode for close-ups, you can adjust the background blur in the gallery app.
Each shot is saved in 108-megapixel mode. Photos are not displayed at full resolution unless the user taps to view them. This is to reduce the phone’s load. These shots are quite large, but you shouldn’t expect to see super sharp details at maximum magnification.
This resolution has one advantage: you can crop your photos however, it doesn’t replace optical zoom. Although the macro and ultra-wide cameras can take good shots, there’s not much to be excited about. The colours are less vibrant and the detail is less sharp.
Night photos were less sharp, and any hand shaking could cause blurring. Although night mode increases brightness and contrast, objects from a distance do not look very natural.
While video recorded at full-HD and 4K was good, there was some jerkiness when the camera was moving. 4K video was very warm and saturated in colours. This made it difficult to see the details and felt unnatural in low lighting. It is disappointing that there is no stabilization. While shooting, you can’t switch between the cameras.
The 16-megapixel f/2.45 camera is good for selfies. Skin smoothening is automatically enabled. There are many other filters and options available. These photos can be shared to social media with no problems, although the quality isn’t great.
The camera app from Xiaomi has many options and customizations. There are many modes, including short video and Vlogging modes, that can be used to create quick social media-ready packages, alignment, framing, and other useful guides. Some modes require more explanations than others, so it can be difficult to find what you are looking for.
Xiaomi clearly is aggressive in the premium price range. The price of all three versions of the Mi 10i is below Rs. The company has clearly set its sights on the OnePlus Nord, which is priced at Rs. 25,000.
The specifications of the Mi 10i are very competitive. However, once you get started with it, you will notice many useful features and design details. The battery life is excellent and there’s plenty of power for entertainment and gaming.
The main selling point is the 108-megapixel camera. It’s here that things start to fall apart. Although software updates may improve camera performance, my experience with Xiaomi’s options was limited.
All secondary cameras are weak and the main camera is often disappointing. If software updates improve camera performance, this review will be updated.
The Mi 10i is a great phone to show off and offers excellent value for money. It could be a good choice if you don’t care too much about the quality of your photos. But, cameras are what really make high-end phones stand out.
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