Xiaomi Mi10i Review: Not without its flaws

We are already half-way into the primary month of 2020 and there have been a number of new smartphone launches already. While the Samsung Galaxy S21 launch has been the largest one to date, in different elements of the world – Asia, specifically – manufacturers like Xiaomi and OPPO have already launched a couple of merchandise. As the NextPit editor from India, I’ve been capable of pay money for Xiaomi’s first 2021 launch for the Indian market – the Xiaomi Mi10i. Let’s discover out good a cellphone the Mi10i actually is and the way it performs in our first smartphone assessment of 2021.

Mi10i or the Mi10T Lite? What is it, actually?

For these unaware, the Mi10i is principally the identical handset because the Xiaomi Mi10T Lite – albeit with a brand new digital camera sensor. The Mi10T Lite 5G was launched in a number of European markets again in September 2020 and is at present on sale with a beginning worth of round EUR 250.  The Mi10i is similar cellphone however is barely accessible in India – the place I reside.

In India, the pricing of the Mi 10i is roughly much like that of the  Mi10T Lite 5G – with the bottom variant promoting for Rs 20,999 (EUR 237) and the top-end variant going for Rs 23,999 (EUR 270). Do take into account that every part I discuss on this Mi10i assessment additionally holds true for the European variant of the cellphone – the Mi10T Lite since they’re, primarily, the identical telephones.

I examined a retail unit of the Mi10i in Ahmedabad, India on Airtel’s 4G community. The cellphone was on the most recent model of MIUI 12 which is predicated on Android 10.
 

What I preferred on the Xiaomi Mi10i

Design and color choices

While design and color preferences are subjective, the Mi10i – a minimum of within the Indian market – has obtained widespread popularity of its stylish seems and engaging color choices. Most folks appear to have taken a particular liking for the Pacific Sunrise variant of the system (bought because the Golden color possibility in Europe) – which is what additionally seems on most promotional supplies from Xiaomi. The two different color choices are Atlantic Blue and Midnight Black (Pearl Grey in Europe).

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The ‘Pacific Sunrise’ color possibility known as ‘Golden’ on the European model of the cellphone / © NextPit

The Pacific Blue color possibility of the cellphone exudes a way of premium and is fairly good at avoiding fingerprints. That is to not say that it doesn’t catch grime and dirt simply. The mild color additionally means there will probably be a continuing battle to maintain it spotless if you happen to want to use the cellphone without a case. The cellphone is fairly properly constructed – and at 215g, it’s fairly hefty as properly. You don’t really feel that weight, although, all due to the wonderful weight distribution.

120Hz Display

The Xiaomi Mi10i will get a 6.67-inch IPS LCD panel which appears to be considerably of a downgrade – particularly when in comparison with the AMOLED panel on the Samsung Galaxy M51 in opposition to which it competes in a number of markets. But then Xiaomi does have an ace up its sleeve within the type of help for 120Hz refresh fee. One must allow the 120Hz adaptive refresh fee possibility from below the show setting, although, to get it going for the reason that display, by default, is about to 60Hz mode after the preliminary arrange. While the show can’t match the everyday brightness ranges of AMOLED panels on telephones on this phase, that is among the many higher LCD panels I’ve used on mid-range telephones.

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The 120 Hz IPS LCD show on the Mi10i is vivid sufficient outdoor / © NextPit

One quirk with the show was that by default it’s set to the ‘Auto’ mode, which is meant to regulate colors based mostly on the ambient lighting. However, on this mode, the show tends to lean in the direction of the cooler finish of the spectrum. The most suitable choice, in my view, is to set the color scheme to the ‘standard’ mode which is close to the DCI-P3 colour space. 

Stereo Speakers

Smartphones that feature stereo speakers are rare. Period. With true wireless earbuds becoming increasingly common and more affordable, I am sure this is a dying trend. That’s to not say it’s a good characteristic to have. 

The Mi10i is among the many only a few mid-range smartphones to come back with this characteristic. Personally, I really like stereo audio system and those on the Mi10i turned out to be fairly good – providing perceptible stereo separation whereas watching movies or listening to music within the panorama mode. But that is solely perceptible in a silent space. As the case normally is with smartphones that characteristic stereo audio system, it’s the earpiece that doubles up because the second channel. This additionally means there’s a slight imbalance within the loudness between the left and proper channels. The bottom-firing main loudspeaker is perceptibly louder. 

The main digital camera

The solely distinction between the Mi10i and the Mi10T Lite is the upper decision main digital camera on the previous. The Mi10i makes use of Samsung’s pretty new 108-megapixel HM2 sensor versus the Sony IMX 682 sensor on its European sibling. This is, maybe, the primary time that we’re seeing 100-plus-megapixel sensor on a comparatively reasonably priced cellphone – a characteristic hitherto reserved just for higher-end, flagship-grade units. On the Mi10i, this sensor outputs a 9:1 pixel binned 12-megapixel picture within the 3:four facet ratio. You do get the choice to seize photographs within the full 108-megapixel decision as properly.

Xiaomi Mi10i Primary Camera
The main digital camera captures detailed pictures – however HDR is not constant throughout the board as evident from the blown-up sky within the first picture/ © NextPit

The secondary digital camera makes use of an 8-megapixel sensor and is mated to a 120-degree, ultra-wide-angle lens. The cellphone additionally throws in twin 2-megapixel sensors for macro pictures and depth sensing. And you already know these have been included simply to bump up the digital camera rely in markets the place a bit of consumers appear to nonetheless imagine on “the more, the better’” mantra. Needless to say, this appears to be working for Xiaomi, and I don’t see the development fading away from price range and mid-range telephones anytime quickly. 

Images from the first digital camera end up good – however is a notch under what you’ll get from dearer, flagship telephones. The main digital camera takes good photographs in well-lit, vivid circumstances, though I did discover some lack of sharpness in the direction of the sides. While colors weren’t off by an enormous margin, the principle digital camera does handle to over-saturate the first colors.

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Macro mode on the Xiaomi Mi10i. You can see the cameras tendency to oversaturate colors right here / © NextPit

At evening, when there may be sufficient ambient mild, the cellphone switches to the Night Mode (if the AI is turned on). One factor I observed persistently with low mild photographs was the cellphone’s tendency to oversharpen them.  It seems nice on the cellphone’s show if you happen to have a look at them without zooming in. On a bigger show, and at 100% crop, you may simply discover it. In areas with low ambient mild, even with the Night Mode turned on, you will notice lots of noise and artefacts.

Xiaomi Mi10i Low Light Primary Camera
Low mild pictures from the first digital camera look good on the cellphone display – however oversharpening and noise is obvious on greater shows/ © NextPit

The ultra-wide digital camera is finest used throughout the daytime and produces nice-looking photographs. Unlike the principle digital camera which oversaturates stuff, photographs captured by this digital camera look considerably boring.

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Shots captured utilizing the secondary, ultra-wide-angle digital camera on the Xiaomi Mi10i/ © NextPit

The 16-megapixel selfie digital camera is at the perfect common however is on par with what you’re going to get from a cellphone on this worth vary. Xiaomi, like most Chinese smartphone distributors, tends to go overboard with their ‘beauty mode’ settings on the selfie digital camera. Even with the results turned all the best way down, you’ll nonetheless see the cellphone ‘smoothen’ and ‘beautify’, your face. Portrait photographs come out good with good background separation and can satiate the necessities of your pleasant neighbourhood influencer.

Xiaomi Mi10i Portraits
Portrait mode utilizing the rear digital camera (L) and the entrance digital camera (R) / © NextPit

Overall, the picture high quality is what you’ll anticipate from an reasonably priced, sub-EUR 300 smartphone. While I haven’t used the cellphone but, I’ve been given to know that the Samsung Galaxy M51 is the marginally higher of the 2 on the subject of images and imaging.

Battery Life 

The 4820 mAh battery on the Mi10i is greater than able to powering the cellphone for greater than a day with ease even with the adaptive 120Hz mode on. I did, nevertheless, maintain the display brightness at a continuing 60% degree to do that. I used to be additionally capable of simply eke out a median of seven hours of display on time with the Mi10i. 

While not on par with the battery life supplied by the huge 7000 mAh battery on the Samsung Galaxy M51, I’m positive greater than a day of battery is what most of us anticipate from any self-respecting, mid-range smartphone. Xiaomi additionally ships the Mi10i with a 33W quick charger within the field that takes round an hour to cost the cellphone to 100%. 

Overall, I had little to complain in regards to the battery life or the charging occasions supplied by the cellphone.
 

What I didn’t like in regards to the Xiaomi Mi10i

No AMOLED display

While I perceive that the rationale behind choosing an IPS LCD panel is to chop prices, I’m not actually positive if Xiaomi made the appropriate determination with this one. The logic of providing a better refresh fee on a decrease high quality panel appears to be that it provides customers a characteristic that’s objectively extra perceptible to the attention. For instance, the bounce from a 60Hz panel to a 120Hz panel is extra perceptible to the attention than a bounce from an LCD panel to AMOLED shows. This is extra evident when you’ve got a cellphone to match facet by facet and won’t be observed by individuals who normally have one cellphone with them at any given time.

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Even without an AMOLED panel, the Mi10i delivers punchy colors and a excessive refresh fee/ © NextPit

In case of the Mi10i, nevertheless, due to occasional software program niggles, the UI was stuttery and the gameplay uneven. The consequence? I couldn’t benefit from the so-called benefits supplied by the upper refresh fee show whereas additionally dropping out on the higher colors and brightness supplied by an AMOLED panel. Besides, one of many main rivals of the Mi10i – the Galaxy M51- provides a wonderful AMOLED panel for a similar cash.

Noticeable UI stutter

While I have to admit that I’m not an enormous fan of MIUI and haven’t used it for the reason that Poco F1 from 2018, I’m positive the UI stutter and lag I skilled with the cellphone isn’t one thing you expertise on all Xiaomi telephones. What was much more regarding was that this stutter was felt throughout the board and wasn’t restricted to a sure utility. I observed this occur all over the place – starting from scrolling by means of contacts and bowsing the Play Store to easily scrolling a preloaded web-page.

While the SoC and the GPU are greater than able to dealing with graphics-intensive video games, I did really feel the cellphone thermal throttle whereas taking part in COD. While the throttling and the resultant choppiness stayed inside acceptable limits more often than not, there have been events when gaming was merely unattainable, and I needed to stop. 

I hope this is a matter that may be simply sorted through a small firmware replace.  Oh, and in case you didn’t discover, the cellphone nonetheless rocks Android 10. This will not be a significant subject – a minimum of for now – and I’m hopeful that we’ll see an official replace to Android 11 within the close to future.

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The rear panel of the Mi10I will get significantly heat to the contact after a couple of gaming classes after which begins to thermal throttle / © NextPit

Bloatware and Ads

I’ve informed this earlier on this assessment, and right here I’m repeating it as soon as once more. I’ve by no means been a fan of MIUI, and until it undergoes an enormous metamorphosis like within the case of ColorOS (which I loathed in its preliminary days), I’ll proceed to steer clear of it.  

However,

my greatest beef with MIUI isn’t the UI design or the best way it interacts. It’s about how you’ll proceed to see advertisements inside the UI regardless of all of the backlash the corporate has confronted to date.

Yes, you may flip the advertisements off by going deep into the settings menu – however that’s hardly going to be the case with the bulk of people that find yourself shopping for this cellphone. It’s nearly akin to how Facebook hides the ‘Autoplay videos’ and “Play videos with sound” possibility so deep inside the settings menu; a layman will discover it nigh unattainable to disable them and even know there may be such an possibility.

Who is the Mi10i for?

The Mi10i makes for an amazing mid-range smartphone that checks various packing containers within the options division. Apart from boasting of a pleasant design – particularly within the Pacific Sunrise color possibility the cellphone takes good footage, the battery life is nice and the efficiency isn’t too shabby – apart from the aforementioned throttling subject and UI stutter subject that may be mounted through a easy firmware replace. 

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The Xiaomi Mi10i is a handsome various to the Samsung Galaxy M51 or the Moto G 5G / © NextPit

While MIUI won’t everybody’s favorite Android pores and skin, I’ve to confess that there’s a appreciable fan following (in Asia, significantly) behind it and a number of other takers for it. The Mi10i or the Mi10T Lite, due to this fact, makes for an honest mid-range system for an individual who has lower than Rs 25,000 (EUR 280) to spend on a brand new cellphone however wants the oomph of a flashy design and the usefulness of MIUI’s additional options.

For those that favor a much less flashy cellphone with a no-frills, inventory Android interface, the Motorola Moto G 5G Plus is a viable possibility in Europe. Indians, however, can go for the Moto G 5G which rocks the identical chipset and show measurement because the Mi10i. If you would like for an total higher digital camera, a greater high quality show and for much longer battery life, you’ll need to go the Samsung route and get yourselves the Galaxy M51 – which is barely dearer. You can even go for the OnePlus Nord when you have barely deeper pockets.
 

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