[Test] Xiaomi Mi 10: does the little brother have the makings of a big one? – Geek journal

For several weeks, we had the opportunity to use the Xiaomi Mi 10, the intermediate model of the new range from the Chinese manufacturer. After an important move upmarket, Xiaomi manages to justify its new prices this year? SPOILER: Yes.

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At the start of the year, Xiaomi had created the surprise with its Mi 10 range, which had the effect of a cold shower among some fans of the brand. The Chinese manufacturer has indeed effected a major strategic reversal by going so far as to double its prices, thus confronting, for the first time in its history, the premium smartphone segment. But if the "flagship killer" has become a "general flagship", it is for a reason: the Xiaomi Mi 10 is definitely a premium smartphone. Screen, finish, performance, photo experience … The brand is no longer looking to cut prices, but incorporates all the latest technologies in its flagship. But if the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro (read our test here) is the real standard bearer of this new range from the Chinese manufacturer, the Xiaomi Mi 10 seems to present the ideal compromise. It is indeed 200 euros cheaper, without being much worse. So, does the little brother really have the stuff of the older ones?

Mi10 Pro
Screen – 6.67 inch Dynamic AMOLED
– Flat screen in 20: 9 format
– 1080×2340 definition (Full HD +)
– Density 386ppp
– HDR10 +
– 90Hz
– 180Hz sampling frequency
– Gorilla Glass 5
– Punch
Design – Aluminum outline
– Glass back
SoC and GPU – Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
– GPU Adreno 650
– 7 nm
– Liquid Cool Technology
Memory – 8GB of RAM
– 128 or 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage
Colors – Twilight Gray
– Green Coral
Camera – 108 MP main sensor (1 / 1.33 inch, aperture f / 1.60, optical stabilization)
– 13 MP ultra wide angle sensor (f / 2.4 aperture)
– Macro sensor 2 MP (aperture f / 2.4)
– 2 MP ToF sensor (aperture f / 2.4)
Audio – Stereo speaker
– High Resolution Certification
– No 3.5mm jack
Drums – 4780 mAh
– Fast wired recharge 30W
– Qualcomm Quick Charge QC4.0 +
– Power Delivery 3.0
– USB-C port (USB 2.0)
– 30W wireless charging
– Reverse wireless charging
Connectivity – Optical fingerprint reader under the screen
– Bluetooth 5.1
– WiFi 6
– 2x nano-SIM
– 5G sub-6G
Software – Android 10
– MIUI 11
Height and weight – 162.5 x 74.8 x 9 mm
– 208g
Price € 799.90
availability date April 2020

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Design, Screen and Audio

If its price up sharply will have made us understand before purchase that Xiaomi is indeed upmarket, the grip of the Mi 10 will definitely get us in the lead. Yes, the Xiaomi Mi 10 is clearly a premium smartphone. The finishes are excellent, with quality materials, and the screen occupying almost 90% of the front surface of the smartphone is really sumptuous. This is a 6.67 inch OLED panel with a refresh rate of 90 Hz, curved on the sides, and stamped on the top left, exactly like its big brother equipping the Mi 10 Pro. It’s an excellent display with wide viewing angles and fairly accurate colors. This year, Xiaomi therefore succumbed to the fashion of the hallmarked screen, like most of its competitors in this segment (Oppo, OnePlus, Samsung …). However, despite the extremely contained size of this punch, some might see it as a step backwards, in the sense that its direct predecessor, the Xiaomi Mi 9 Pro, offered a completely borderless screen, with its retractable camera system. Despite everything, the punch solution seems to us, in our opinion, much more durable in the long term, in addition to allowing better resistance of the smartphone vis-à-vis the vagaries of everyday life, even if we note that Xiaomi has not deigned offer their Mi 10 IP68 certification to their smartphone (this is also the case for the Mi 10 Pro). The screen of the Mi 10 also contains an optical fingerprint sensor, which is quite effective, even if we found it placed a little low, which can be dangerous when using the with one hand. Despite everything, the fairly classic format of the panel, with a 19.5: 9 ratio, reassures us in the sense that the device is not particularly elongated, and therefore rather balanced in hand, while other manufacturers have done the choice to further extend the screen lengthwise, like the latest Galaxy S20 from Samsung.

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On the back, there is shiny glass, curved on the sides, in the same way as the facade. This shiny glass, although very messy, offers an excellent grip, with a very pleasant slight grip. This glass with an almost metallic rendering on our gray test version, will be somehow one of the main differentiating elements between this Xiaomi Mi 10 and its big brother, the Mi 10 Pro, which opts for the frosted glass. The strategy chosen by the Chinese manufacturer is reminiscent of that of Apple, which offers shiny glass to its top of the range (the iPhone 11) and frosted glass to its premium (the iPhone 11 Pro). This back includes a row of photo sensors, like what the brand was already doing last year on its Mi 9, but also, more recently, on the Mi Note 10. This photo block arranged vertically seems to us more aesthetic than the impressive photo blocks that can be found in competition. However, it makes the smartphone unstable when placed flat on a table, without a shell. But which smartphone is not in 2020? To finish on the design, we note that the Mi 10 has stereo speakers that distill a very correct sound for a smartphone, a USB-C port, buttons (volume, main) all located on the right edge of the device.

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Performance, Autonomy and Software

In terms of performance, Xiaomi has not skimped on resources and offers its Mi 10 the same SoC that the brand has installed on its premium, the Mi 10 Pro. We are not going to expand on it, it is neither more nor less than one of the most powerful mobile chips to date, and the uses that would be able to bring it to its knees are not really available on smartphone. We tried to load it to the maximum, with greedy games, and even by multiplying the video sockets in 8K, the smartphone came out without ever showing the slightest sign of fatigue, and by heating only very little. By way of comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S20 + that we tested, and equipped with an Exynos 990 SoC in its European version, would heat up excessively when taking 8K videos. So this is an excellent point in favor of the Xiaomi Mi 10, which makes no compromises at this level, and which will benefit from a good lifespan, with power to spare for many years. There are 8 GB of LPDDR5 RAM to support this SoC, which is enough to avoid slowdowns.

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On the autonomy side, the Xiaomi Mi 10 shows once again that it does deserve its place as a high-end smartphone. With a larger battery than its big brother, the Mi 10 Pro, the Xiaomi Mi 10 and its 4,780 mAh, coupled with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chip, gave us excellent autonomy. We go well beyond the day, but we won't go for two days either. It is in any case more than enough, and much better than other smartphones sold sometimes more expensive, and all the more so since the Mi 10 has a screen with the refresh rate at 90 Hz, which we have kept activated. permanently.

Finally, let's talk about software. The Xiaomi Mi 10 arrives equipped with Android 10 and the latest version of the manufacturer's home interface, MIUI 11. Even if it has gone a long way, Xiaomi has taken the time to improve its interface over the years, and today manages to offer an excellent experience. The firm borrows sometimes from the side of Android Stock in its options than from iOS in its design, while offering a large number of options allowing to customize the experience as it pleases, including a dark mode, a rather efficient gestural navigation , and the ability to create multiple shortcuts via the volume buttons. Also, let's clarify it since some certainly ask the question vis-à-vis what is happening on the side of Huawei, Xiaomi does indeed have the services of Google, the Play Store, and all the applications of the Californian firm , which are also pre-installed when the smartphone is delivered. Finally, on the experience side, the Xiaomi Mi 10 leaves us the choice of whether or not to use the application drawer. We thus find an operation rather close to iOS by default, with a home screen, and the possibility of creating several pages of apps, folders, which will be perfect for a first approach for a former iPhone user. You can still activate the application drawer to take advantage of the strengths of Android. The best of both worlds, in short.

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Photo and Video

It is on the side of the photo that this Xiaomi Mi 10 differs from its big brother, the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro. However, that doesn't make it a discount photophone, far from it. The little brother (which is not smaller in size) offers four photo sensors on the back, including a main sensor of 108 MP (27mm equivalent), an ultra wide-angle of 13 MP (equivalent 15mm opening to f / 2.4), a 2 MP macro sensor (f / 2.4) and finally, a ToF for depth of field. Versatility, therefore, even if we will not benefit from the impressive Zoom of the Mi 10 Pro.

It is especially this famous 108 MP sensor that offers the Xiaomi Mi 10 its acclaim in photo. Make no mistake, this is not the same 108 MP sensor found on the flagship of Samsung, the Galaxy S20 Ultra, since this one is smaller, and therefore less effective in terms of depth. natural field. However, it remains quite good in this configuration, with its aperture at f / 1.7. Like the Galaxy S20 Ultra, the smartphone does not capture photos at 108 MP, but uses Pixel Bining to combine four pixels in one and thus end up with photos of 25 MP, which is still more than enough for photos from a smartphone, as high-end as it is (if you intend to display on a building, you generally do not take a smartphone to take the photo …). On the ultra wide angle side, it's very good, even if the quality leaves much to be desired after dark. When it comes to macro, you have to have an interest in it, and that contained in the Mi 10 is, however, largely the case for amateurs. Alas, since we do not benefit from telephoto on the Mi 10, the photos captured in Portrait mode are taken with the main wide-angle, which, despite its qualities, does not have a focal length particularly suitable for this use. However, the results are really satisfactory in this way, especially since the Xiaomi Mi 10 can count on the help of the ToF sensor to cut out the subject and blur the background, while the Mi 10 Pro do not have one. Finally, a word on the main sensor, which is quite effective with its 20 MP and its aperture at f / 2.2.

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On the video side, the onboard stabilization system of the Xiaomi Mi 10 clearly works miracles. If we are not at the level that can offer an iPhone 11 Pro, really impressive at this level, we are clearly at the top of the basket. Otherwise, the images benefit from a beautiful sharpness and an exemplary focus, even in 8K. The Mi 10 is capable of recording videos in 8K at 30 fps, but also in 4K up to 60 fps. The 2.35: 1 mode is also available, for those who would like to make their Mi 10 a real little film-making machine.

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Rather than words, some images (you will note the "signature" at the bottom left of the image, affixed by default, but which it is of course possible to remove):

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