Review verdict: The Redmi Note 10s is, unsurprisingly, another great daily driver for anyone in the Philippines looking for a high-performance budget phone.
- Good display
- Great price
- Decent performance
- Lackluster camera performance
- Backpanel is a fingerprint magnet
Redmi Note 10S Review Specs
- MediaTek Helio G95 Processor
- 8GB RAM
- 128GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
- 6.43-inch AMOLED display, 60hz refresh rate, Gorilla Glass 3
- 64-megapixel f/1.8 main camera, 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide camera, 2-megapixel f/2.4 macro camera, 2-megapixel f/2.4 depth sensor
- 13-megapixel f/2.5 front camera
- 4G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth 5.1, side-mounted fingerprint scanner
- 33W Fast Charging
- 5000mAh battery
- Android 11, MIUI 12.5
The Redmi Note 10S is basically more of the same stuff you’ve come to expect from Xiaomi’s budget sub-brand, and that’s always a good thing. It has a good set of internals, a great display (for the price) as well as a powerful processor.
Out of the box, the design is simple and clean – instead of flashy designs like gradients and what-not, Xiaomi chose a smooth and glossy plastic exterior. The phone boasts the same IP53 splash-proof rating as the rest of the Redmi Note 10 family, handy for the inclement weather we’ve been having lately.
The chassis of the phone is made out of plastic, which makes the device comfortable to hold. The back is, predictably, a smudge magnet, which is the case with phones that have the same glossy finish as the Redmi 10S.
The Redmi 10S sports a rectangular camera module on the upper left corner that’s the same style as most smartphones we’ve seen this year, complete with the same protrusion on its cameras. That means it won’t lay down flat on a surface, so you’d probably want to use the included case to keep the module and the back looking pristine with long-term use.
On the left side, you get your standard dual-SIM and microSD card tray, while on the right you have your comfortably placed power (which doubles as a side-mounted fingerprint scanner) and volume buttons. The top includes a loudspeaker, secondary microphone, and IR blaster. Located at the bottom are the essential headphone jack, USB-C port, primary microphone, and another loudspeaker.
The dual-speaker setup is a great addition to the phone as you typically don’t see this setup on budget phones. The phone weighs around 178.8 grams and feels great to hold.
The display uses minimal bezels with a 6.43-inch AMOLED display. There’s a punch hole for the front camera, which is just the right size without being too invasive. Sadly, the Redmi Note 10S settles for a conventional 60Hz refresh rate. However, given the choice between an LCD screen running at 90Hz and an AMOLED screen running at 60Hz, we’d go for the AMOLED panel every time.
The display is protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and has a Full HD+ resolution. The panel itself is bright enough that everything is legible even when using the phone outdoors in broad daylight.
The Redmi Note 10S uses a quad-camera setup that consists of a 64-megapixel main camera, 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera, 2-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. Unfortunately, there’s no OIS for the main camera, so some shots under less than ideal lighting will look blurry.
The overall image quality of the Redmi Note 10S is pretty standard for a Redmi series. While the details are sharp, we noticed in some of the sample photos that the colors are a bit desaturated. It could be the lighting condition, but it seems to have some sort of contrast and low saturation filter on. However, in good lighting conditions, the colors are better and the shadows come alive. Sadly, the night mode for this phone is a bit lackluster. There’s noticeable blooming and the highlights look blown out.
For the selfie camera, a 13-megapixel shooter is standard. The quality is just alright and you can get decent shots if you have good lighting. There are also built-in filters in the front-facing camera that “beautify” you, though if you want the best quality selfies, it’s better to turn off that filter.
Performance, software, and battery life
The phone uses Mediatek’s Helio G95 chipset. That’s paired with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. The Helio G95 processor is a rather dated choice but it’s still perfectly usable today.
The phone can handle games like Call of Duty Mobile without noticeable lags, though pushing the graphics up to the highest setting might be pushing it. However, it lags a bit with Genshin Impact. It’s best to manage your expectations for more resource-hungry titles, but for more casual (read: MOBA) titles, the phone handles them just fine.
The phone runs Android 11, with Xiaomi’s MIUI 12.5 overlay on top. Much has already been said about this new version of MIUI, and it overall looks cleaner and more organized and more in line with what we’d expect from an Android device.
As for the battery life, there’s really nothing to complain about. With our standard video loop test, the phone managed to get 13 hours and 59 minutes on the phone’s 5000mAh battery. Those numbers are pretty standard for a Helio G95 processor. The phone has 33W fast charging as well, which can top up the phone to 100% in a little over an hour.
Wrap up and conclusions
From what you get out of the box for a budget mid-ranger, our review of the Redmi Note 10S in the Philippines shows that it is still a good deal. It has a powerful processor, a great screen, and long battery life with fast charging. The cameras could be a little better, but for the price, their performance is perfectly acceptable. There’s also no 5G here, but let’s be real: the phone’s target market isn’t really concerned about that VS the overall value proposition that the phone offers.