Take the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 in your hand, and it feels like you’re holding a pricey smartphone. The five-lens camera array is massive and topped with a 108-megapixel main shooter for ridiculously sharp images.

Meanwhile the massive screen with an under-display fingerprint reader only stops to make room for a tiny cut-out for the selfie camera.

Only after a few days of use do you notice that this is a mid-range phone that can’t quite match the flagships from Samsung, Apple and Google. While the camera from budget Chinese brand Xiaomi is a powerhouse on paper, the results aren’t always the same as what you can get from a Pixel 4 or iPhone 11 Pro.

The five-lens camera array on the Mi Note 10 is massive and topped with a 108-megapixel main shooter for ridiculously sharp images. (Photos: dpa)

Amateur photographers certainly have a large choice between ultra-wide angle shots with the 20-mp lens, extreme close-ups with a macro lens and zooms with a 5 MP ultra telephoto lens. And yet photos are often more mid-range.

Holding the Mi Note 10 in your hand is tricky, and the heavy and oversized body requires plenty of finger acrobatics in one-handed use.

Images taken with the 108-megapixel lens, which Xiaomi says is a world first on a phone, are mind-bogglingly detailed. But they also only load in that high quality when you pinch to zoom in on them.

Details in poor lighting still come out better on a Pixel phone and shots with the telephoto don’t always look that much better than what you’d get with a digital zoom.

Even at night, the 108-megapixel main camera lens can deliver bright photos with a massive resolution. One disadvantage: very large file sizes.

Then again, we’re comparing a phone that costs less than U$500 to flagships that cost US$300 to US$500 more. You have to ask yourself if the price difference is worth it for details that many users might miss.

Because beyond the camera array, the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 is a beast of a phone.

Dark mode: The Xiaomi Note 10 comes running Android 9.0.

Xiaomi may be selling the 108-megapixel lens as the top feature, but for many, it will ultimately be something else: the combination of a large screen and a huge battery to keep it powered for more than a day.

The 5,260 mAh battery, which gets its juice from a 30W fast charger, will easily take you through an entire day of heavy use. And that’s a good thing, because the AMOLED screen is so nice to look at, you’ll want to keep it on all day.

Only interrupted for a small selfie camera notch, the large display is great for anyone who does lots of reading or watching videos on their phone.

Once a flagship feature, now affordable: Unlocking the phone with the under-display fingerprint reader is a cinch.

But the large size comes with one drawback: using it with one hand is tricky at best, and the heavy (208 g) and oversized (6.47 inch diagonal) body requires plenty of thumb stretches.

The upper-mid-range Snapdragon 730G chipset isn’t quite the best you could get, but it will still take some heavy-duty multitasking before you start to slow down this phone.

Don’t be fooled by the “Note” in the name. Unlike Samsung’s Note series which comes with a nifty stylus, you won’t get any special note-taking features in this phone.

Before buying, you might want to compare to other options in this price range, such as the Samsung Galaxy 10e or last year’s Galaxy Note 9, if you want a “real” Note phone with a stylus.

(Source: Xiaomi)

So what’s the specs? 

  • Dimension: 157.8 x 74.2 x 9.7 mm
  • Display: 6.47-inch AMOLED touchscreen with 87.8 per cent screen-to-body ratio
  • Weight: 208 g
  • Android: 9.0 (Pie) + MIUI 11
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SDM730 Snapdragon 730G
  • Memory: 128GB ROM, 6GB RAM
  • Camera: 108 MP main shooter, 12 MP potrait camera, 20 MP (117°) ultra wide-angle camera, 5 MP ultra telephoto camera, 2 MP macro camera + 32 MP selfie camera
  • Headphone jack: Yes
  • Special features: Under display fingerprint reader, notch selfie camera
  • Battery: 5260 mAh battery with 30W fast charging

Only interrupted for a small selfie camera notch, the Mi Note 10’s large screen is great for anyone who does lots of reading or watching videos on their phone.

What do you have to say?

What do you think of the Mi Note 10?

Is the 108-megapixel camera shooter worth it or is it just a gimmick?

Are you going to get one? Why? Why not?

Which shops in Brunei do you normally get your mobile phones from?

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