The letter designations in the name of smartphones from Xiaomi will confuse ordinary buyers and tech bloggers – those who are faced with the task of being a guiding beacon in choosing a balanced solution. Redmi Note 10S is a cross between the usual “ten” and its advanced version. Global differences lie in the processor and the main sensor of the camera. Let’s see what the “middle son” of the tenth series of the Note line from Redmi is capable of.
- Operating system: Android 11, MIUI 12.5.
- Display: AMOLED, 6.43 inches, 2400 × 1080, 395 PPI, 60 Hz.
- Processor: MediaTek Helio G95, 12nm, 2 × 2.05 GHz Cortex-A76 + 6 × 1.95 GHz Cortex-A55.
- Video accelerator: ARM Mali-G76.
- Internal memory: 128GB, UFS 2.2, support for SD Card.
- RAM: 6 GB, LPDDR4X.
- Main camera: 64 MP (f / 1.79) + 8 MP (f / 2.2, wide-angle lens) + 2 MP (f / 2.4, portrait) + 2 MP (f / 1.79, macro lens) 4K video recording at 30 FPS.
- Front camera: 13 MP (f / 2.45).
- Battery: 5000 mAh, fast wired charging up to 33 W.
- Security: Fingerprint scanner in the power button, face recognition.
- Communication: 4G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo, NFC, USB OTG.
- Connectors: USB Type-C.
- SIM card slot: triple.
- Dust and moisture protection: IP53.
- Dimensions: 160.5 x 74.5 x 8.3 mm.
- Weight: 179 g.
Design and ergonomics
The front side of the gadget is a 6.5-inch AMOLED display with an aspect ratio of 20: 9 and a resolution of 395 PPI. It showed itself perfectly in the bright sun, and when the smartphone is tilted, there is practically no darkening of the image. True, green stripes sometimes appear on white, but this is what many representatives of the middle-class sin on this type of matrix.
While most brands try to minimize the visibility of the front camera, Redmi’s designers have taken a different path. The silvery bezel in sunlight unmistakably indicates the position of the peephole at the top of the display.
The back cover, made of glossy plastic, collects fingerprints very well and attracts dust particles, especially in the area of the camera block. Despite this, I want to praise the designers for a rather interesting implementation of the gray gradient: depending on the inclination angle, the color tone changes from dark to light.
I consider using the power button in conjunction with a fingerprint scanner the best option, both in terms of unlocking speed and data protection. The finger falls by itself in the right place, and the smartphone identifies the owner without delay. This happens regardless of whether the finger is dry or wet.
It was shocking for me to find a second multimedia speaker on the device’s top edge. It is located in different corners from the bottom and has the same size. Thanks to this, the smartphone sounds balanced, loud, and wheezing does not appear at maximum power.
Additional space for expanding memory in the SIM-card tray will serve as a pleasant bonus.
Unlike Redmi Note 10 and 10 Pro, the review’s hero works on MediaTek Helio G95 and not on a solution from Qualcomm. The octa-core chip clocked at 2 GHz does a good job of rendering interface elements with the rather loaded MIUI shell customization. And after the update to the global version MIUI 126.96.36.199, the situation has changed in an unpleasant direction. There were jams when minimizing applications, and the animation of the desktop became a little twitching.
In the AnTuTu and 3DMark benchmarks, the device, for some reason, stubbornly did not want to load application data. And after all, the chip from MTK can hardly be called a novelty because it is also installed in smartphones such as Realme 8 and Realme 7, released in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The throttling test revealed a not very competent study of the cooling system. At the 10th minute of the test, the processor lowered the frequency by 20% of its maximum power.
6 GB of RAM in mid-range devices has become the gold standard. And despite not the latest LPDDR4X format, the speed of 20 GB / s can be considered an excellent indicator for comfortable work in multitasking mode. The internal storage of 128 GB in UFS 2.2 format is more than enough for moderate use of the gadget. Otherwise, the memory can be expanded with an SD card.
In a bundle of four cameras, the main character is a 64-megapixel module, the one that is emphasized by a silver edging. In the daytime, the sensor produces good, highly detailed images and rarely misses focus. The color rendition is close to reality and is not full of bright colors, giving room for further post-processing. Personally, I like this option more.
The built-in Smart Scene Detection mode dramatically raises the saturation of the frame. Sometimes it looks appropriate and organically brings the shot to life. But there are times when the colors become excessively vigorous, and the frame already looks unnatural.
The second large lens is a 2-megapixel macro module without autofocus. What shocked me is that it is quite difficult to find the macro mode in the camera menu. To use this sensor, you need to go into professional mode and select it manually or click on the three bars in the upper right corner.
The wide-angle lens takes good pictures in the daytime and even handles backlight well without leaving lens flare. But we must consider the lack of autofocus, which is why some objects during macro photography may refuse to be in the field of focus. At night, the camera falls noticeably, and great detail is out of the question.
Long exposure night shooting with wide-angle lens is not present.
The 13-megapixel front camera pleased me with great details, correct color reproduction, and many software chips of various embellishments. In good light, you get good pictures, but in the backlight, the picture becomes dull. Moreover, in portrait mode, automatic HDR does not work, which is standard shooting mode perfectly retains information in bright areas.
The 5000 mAh battery is the strong point of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S. With a fairly active usage scenario, the charge lasts for a day and a half. And in our battery test, the figure is more than decent – 19 hours and 30 minutes.
Another strong argument in the face of the complete 33W power supply. With its help, the gadget is charged, albeit not in a record, but 55 minutes.
Redmi Note 10S turned out to be an extremely controversial smartphone. Each point has both several advantages and several disadvantages. Along with pleasant ergonomics, lightweight, and relatively compact dimensions, a rather slippery and easily soiled back cover is made of glossy plastic. The pleasantly designed MIUI shell with many different settings and customization options turned too tough for the Helio G95. This resulted in unpleasant short-term freezes of animation, which constantly clung to the eye and spoiled the overall impression. Moreover, the gadget refuses to pass some tests, and throttling is completely incomprehensible to me.
In the field of cameras, I can praise the work of the main sensor, which perfectly reproduces the correct color and copes well with difficult shooting conditions at night when using the night mode. I also want to scold the strange work of the AI mode, oversaturation of photos, which often leads to overexposure in some areas of the photo.
An indisputable advantage of the gadget is a good display with bright backlighting, a convenient and fast fingerprint scanner, long battery life, and stereo sound.
- bright and contrast AMOLED display;
- convenient location of the fingerprint scanner and its fast operation;
- loud and clear stereo sound;
- nice shell;
- excellent pictures on the main sensor and front camera;
- long autonomy.
- friezes inside the system;
- throttling after a short load;
- strange work of AI-mode in the camera;
- no autofocus on wide-angle module.
- strong soiling of the back cover;
- silver edging around the front camera.