Redmi Note 10S Review — The Middle Child
Powered by a Helio G95 chipset, the Redmi Note 10S comes with a 64MP quad camera setup plus an AMOLED display. How does it fare compared to the rest of its brothers? Find out in this review.
+ Enjoyable AMOLED display
+ Decent battery life
+ Solid build
+ Camera setup is good
+ Fast 33W charger
- Fingerprint magnet at the back
- Lacks a high refresh rate
- Macro camera comes with mixed results
- Some may argue that a better chipset could've made it to the phone instead
Following the 5G variant, we take a closer look at the last entry of the Redmi Note 10 series in this Redmi Note 10S review. Wondering what’s different this time around? Read on to find out.
Inside the box, you can expect the following items to be included with the device:
- Redmi Note 10S
- Soft case
- Charging brick
- USB-C cable
- SIM ejector
On the front, you have a 6.43-inch AMOLED DotDisplay with a 13MP selfie camera right on the dot, pun intended. Bezels are noticeable but they are still within acceptable levels.
As usual, you got the standard volume rockers and power button on the right side of the smartphone. As for the left side, you’ll find its SIM tray residing in solitude.
Moving over to the bottom, you can find a 3.5mm headphone jack, microphone, USB Type-C port and the speaker grille.
As for the top of the device, you can find the second microphone, IR blaster, and NFC. The middle part is flat while the sides come with a curved design.
Finally on the back, you can see that it comes with a glossy finish as it’s easy to see reflections. The usual Redmi branding is located on the bottom-left while on the top, you can find the 64MP quad camera setup.
Redmi Note 10S Specifications
|CPU||MediaTek Helio G95 Octa-core (2 x 2.05GHz Cortex-A76 & 6 x 2.0GHz Cortex-A55) 12nm|
|Storage||128GB UFS 2.2|
|Display||6.43″ AMOLED DotDisplay (2400×1080)|
|Main Camera(s)||64MP f/1.79 PDAF
8MP f/2.2 Ultra-wide
2MP f/2.4 Macro
2MP f/2.4 Depth
HDR, AI, Panorama, Portrait, Night Mode
|Selfie camera||13MP F/2.5
Portrait mode, HDR, AI camera
|Connectivity||LTE Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/20/28/38/40/41
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz & 5GHz)
|Software||MIUI 12.5 based on Android 11|
33W fast charging
|Dimensions||160.46 x 74.5 x 8.29mm|
|Ingress protection||IP53 Splash-proof|
Before we begin the benchmark segment, the Redmi Note 10S wasn’t able to run the usual 3DMark tests that you would usually see in our review. This is a trend that you’d notice from several of Xiaomi’s recent devices that we’ve tested. On the other hand, PCMark has updated their version to PCMark Work 3.0 recently so we won’t be comparing the device against older devices because it would seem unfair.
Out of all the Redmi Note 10 series that we’ve tested, the Redmi Note 10S achieves the highest score among the Redmi Note 10 series of smartphones and by quite a noticeable difference too. However, we can see that it falls behind other mid-range device like the Galaxy A52 and vivo V21.
We see a similar result in Geekbench 5, with the Redmi Note 10S coming out on top compared to its fellow siblings in both single-core and multi-core tests. We see that the Dimensity 800U in the vivo V21 performs slightly better than the Dimensity 700, which is to be expected.
While we won’t be comparing battery performance, in real-life usage, I would normally end up with 65% to 75% battery at the end of the day. Of course, this would depend on the usage itself. In my case, I’d use messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram, Facebook, as well as watching a few videos on YouTube. It’s worth noting that the device doesn’t come with a higher refresh rate option so that will save the battery more.
If you’re wondering how fast the 33W charger is, this smartphone managed to charge from 29% to 64% within a span of 30 minutes. That seems decent enough, considering the fact that it has a whopping 5,000mAh battery under the hood.
Though the Redmi Note 10S has a nice feel on hand, I simply don’t fancy the glossy back as it attract fingerprint stains. I’d definitely recommend you to use the case that’s provided or get a different one if you don’t fancy the looks.
Another thing that I’m not satisfied is the lack of dual speakers, as is the case with the Redmi Note 10 5G that I’ve reviewed before this. Despite that, I’d say that I enjoyed using the Redmi Note 10S even more when it comes to media content. Why? Simply because it has an AMOLED panel. If you’ve tried it before, you’ll know that you get darker blacks and colours look crisp.
Some may question the device due to the lack of a higher refresh rate but I feel the panel itself makes it decent. One could argue that a good AMOLED screen without a fast refresh rate is better than a poor IPS panel with a 90Hz or 120Hz refresh rate.
The Redmi Note 10S is one of the first few devices that we’ve seen wielding the new MIUI 12.5 update. It has gotten my attention and I personally like it. Though there are new themes, sounds, and animations, the overall feel of it is quite similar to the previous version. Due to the lack of higher refresh rate, navigating through the phone isn’t buttery smooth. It’s not bad but not exactly the best either.
As for the camera UI, it has two of the features that I find lacking with the previous Redmi Note 10 5G; Pro mode and ultra-wide. It definitely feels more complete than the Redmi Note 10 5G in that sense. Other than that, you get a straightforward experience as everything is easy to access. If you don’t like the layout you can even customize it to your liking.
The Redmi Note 10S performs rather decently in good lighting, offering a decent dynamic range. For low-light shots, the Night mode does help in giving a clearer view but at the expense of some smudges, noticeably in the sky.
For the macro mode, I have mixed results with it. Certain times, it turns out alright but on occasions, the exposure was just too much. It may be due to the AI doing its thing in processing photos. If that’s not your thing, you might as well turn it off for a more natural look.
You can check out the full-sized images by heading to the link here.
Redmi Note 10S Verdict
Would I suggest you to buy the Redmi Note 10S? It really depends. Out of all the smartphones in the Redmi Note 10S series, it sits right in the middle. It has all the essential features that the Redmi Note 10 Pro has, barring the chipset and lack of a higher refresh rate.
If you don’t mind missing out on those, I’d say that the RM899 price tag for the device is rather decent. For that, I award the Redmi Note 10S our Bronze Pokdeward.
We would like to thank Xiaomi Malaysia for providing the Redmi Note 10S that was used in this review.