Xiaomi Mi 10 Unboxing, Quick Review: Xiaomi Goes Premium

by John Nieves  June 13, 2020

We go hands-on with Xiaomi’s new flagship!

Most people know Xiaomi for their bang-for-the-buck offerings, phones that punch well above their weight class in terms of specs, features and value. The company’s commitment to undercutting their competitors have earned them a legion of fans, but the company, by and large, has always been associated with “affordable” phones.

That’s something they’ve been trying to change in the past few months, spinning off their budget Redmi brand so the Xiaomi badge can start releasing more premium devices. That brings us to the Mi 10.

The Mi 10 is definitely one of the premium-looking and feeling flagship the brand has released in recent memory. Armed with a 108-megapixel rear camera, 5G capability, flagship build, and a price tag that makes even OnePlus blush, the Mi 10 is set to become the new flagship killer.

Packaging and contents:

Xiaomi’s Mi 10 comes in a silver box with a subtle gradient finish applied to it. There’s a large number 10 printed in front with a not-so-subtle holographic finish to it.

Inside the box is Xiaomi’s standard fare: a silicone case, USB Type-C cable, fast charger, a USB Type-C to 3.5mm jack, and documentation.

A wonderful chunk of tech

Despite Xiaomi’s penchant for producing affordable phones, the brand knows how to make incredibly premium-feeling devices.

It’s very apparent that Xiaomi has been taking notes with the flagship releases of their main rivals, and have applied many of those lessons on their own flagship.

The Mi 10 has a glass back that curves into a metal frame and has rounded corners, and while the design language isn’t exactly new, Xiaomi’s managed to nail the execution pretty well. The build quality is on par with the offerings of more expensive brands like Samsung, and that’s saying something.

Unlike Samsung’s current crop of flagships though, the Mi 10 is noticeably wider despite being slightly taller than the Galaxy S20 Plus. This, along with the phone’s hefty battery, means that the Mi 10 feels chunkier and heftier than the competition. That may or may not be a good thing depending on your preference. For me, it’s not a big deal, but then again I’m a big dude with gorilla hands.

The quad-camera module is located on the upper left side at the back and is stacked vertically. Weirdly enough, the top camera on the module is the 2-megapixel depth sensor, followed by the 108-megapixel main camera, then by a 2-megapixel macro lens. The 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera is set apart from the three other cameras. All four cameras protrude a few mm from the phone’s body, so the Mi 10 won’t sit flat on a surface when you place it screen up.

Just like other flagship phones nowadays, the Mi 10 uses a curved 6.67-inch full HD+ Super AMOLED display on the front.

One of the reasons why the phone’s so wide and chunky is the 18:7.9 aspect ratio that gives you a bigger slice of real estate to watch and game on.

Unlike sub-brand POCO, Xiaomi’s Mi 10 has chucked the pop-up camera in favor of a punch-hole notch that contains a 20-megapixel sensor.

The display has all the amenities you’d expect from a flagship phone: DCI-P3 color coverage, HDR10+ support, 90Hz refresh rate, in-display fingerprint scanner, and Gorilla Glass 6 protection.

The only thing that’s missing from the Mi 10 to truly make it the ultimate budget flagship is IP68 water resistance. It’s an annoying omission to be sure, and you do get P2i water coating to protect the phone from occasional splashes.

Moving into the meat of things, the Mi 10 comes packing Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 865 processor with 5G capability. The phone will be offered in two storage capacities: 8GB/128GB and 8GB/256GB, though you won’t be able to further expand the phone’s storage so you’ll have to choose wisely.

The phone comes with MIUI 11 built on top of Android 10. If there’s one thing that feels out of place in an incredibly premium flagship like the Mi 10, it’s definitely MIUI 11. There’s plenty of unwelcome stuff that comes pre-installed, though some (not all) can be removed.

The phone has a meaty 4780mAh battery and has 30W fast charging capabilities as well as fast 30W wireless charging too. There’s also reverse wireless charging pegged at 10W, putting the phone on par with the offerings of other flagships today.

The Mi 10 is priced at Php 34,590 for the 8GB/128GB model and Php 36,990 for the 8GB/256GB model, which is a substantial price increase from its previous flagship offerings in the Philippines. That being said, the Mi 10 feels like a thoroughbred flagship no matter how you cut it, and that price feels justified considering what you’re getting.

Xiaomi Mi 10 specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 octa-core processor
  • Adreno 650 GPU
  • 6.67-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED 90hz display, 18:7.9 aspect ratio, support for DCI-P3 and HDR10+, 500000:1 Contrast Ratio, Gorilla Glass 6 protection
  • 128GB/256GB of non-expandable UFS 3.0 storage
  • Quadruple rear camera setup: 108-megapixel f/1.8 main camera with OIS; 13-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera; 2-megapixel depth sensor, 2-megapixel macro camera; Dual Pixel and Laser Autofocus, dual-tone flash, AI scene detection, and AI portrait, 8K video recording
  • 20-megapixel f/2.0 front camera with 1.8um pixels, AI Portrait, AI Beauty
  • Dual SIM, with 4G LTE, LTE-A, 5G
  • Dual Frequency GPS, GLONASS
  • WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC
  • In-display Fingerprint scanner, Stereo speakers, LiquidCool 2.0
  • 4780mAh battery with 30w wired Charging, 30w Wireless Charging, and 10w reverse wireless charging
  • Android 10 with MIUI 11

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