The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max‘s 120Hz AMOLED display and 108-megapixel camera cast doubt on the existence of high-end smartphones. This is our complete review.
The Redmi Note Pro Max was introduced by Xiaomi last year as the ultimate evolution of its best-selling smartphone line. However, it was lame in numerous ways; The Redmi Note 9 Pro, which offers better value, was the better option for most buyers. There was very little improvement over the standard model. The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max appears to remain unchanged this year as well.
There were two new cameras and a faster charging solution that set the Note 9 Pro Max apart from the regular Note 9 Pro. The 108-megapixel camera on the Pro Max this year is the only difference between the two models. The Note 10 Pro Max starts at Rs 18,999, which is also more expensive than its predecessor. Especially for a phone with the “Redmi Note” moniker, that is quite a premium.
It also puts it dangerously close to the Mi 10i, another Xiaomi mid-ranger that is currently our favorite, with a starting price of Rs 18,999. The Realme X7 and Realme 7 Pro should also be considered! enticing options for the discerning Indian customer!
How does the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max fare among the numerous “want-to-be-premium” smartphones in this crowded market?
In our piece on first impressions, I went into detail about the design and build quality of the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max; Feel free to refer to it for more information. If you don’t want to read it, here’s a summary: the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max sets new standards for smartphone design and quality.
The design of the Mi 10T is novel for the market. The Note 10 Pro Max appears plush thanks to its floating glass surfaces and chrome-laced main camera. The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is a stunning phone when combined with the new “Evol” design, which is essentially a fancy name for subtle shades of gradient. The Dark Night shade that I had has a glossy finish, but other shades have matte finishes.
I’ve never seen a phone with better build quality at this price. Xiaomi’s designers have done a good job of covering up the “plasticky” feel despite the plastic frame. While the buttons themselves are tactile, the fingerprint sensor is cleverly concealed by the power key. The 6.7-inch display is surrounded by the same thin bezels and thick chin as on the Mi 10i’s front. Yes, the stereo speaker setup has a separate second speaker rather than an integrated unit for the earpiece.
Despite the display’s Gorilla Glass 5 protection, I appreciate Xiaomi’s efforts to pre-apply a screen protector. However, the rear is susceptible to scuffs and scratches. The Note 10 Pro Max has developed age spots all over its body in the last ten days. The in-box case should be used a lot!
The AMOLED display technology is the most significant addition to the Redmi Note 10 series this year. Xiaomi raises the refresh rate to 120Hz for Pro models. The terms AMOLED and 120 Hz alone can entice potential buyers of the Redmi Note. Do they function? Yes, to a greater extent.
The biggest improvement over the Note 9 Pro Max is the AMOLED display. Instead of going overboard with color tuning, Xiaomi aimed to create a rather pleasing profile. Here, the saturation levels are contained, but the traditional “AMOLED blacks” are present. Additionally, higher brightness levels make it easier to read in direct sunlight. It appears that the rated peak brightness of 1200 nits is accurate; In the noon sun, I was able to easily read the contents and identify colors on this display, something that most phones this price range struggle with.
Additionally, the high refresh rate aids in gaming and scrolling experiences. The display maintains either a 120Hz or 60Hz refresh rate and does not have a variable refresh rate. An early version of MIUI 12 that came with my Redmi Note 10 Pro Max had bugs and stability issues that eventually led to lags and stuttering, negating the benefits of the high refresh rate display. This might be fixed by a future software update.
The Redmi Note series’ first-ever Always On Display feature is made possible by the AMOLED display. However, this option only allows for a bare-bones AOD interface for ten seconds before turning it off. As a result, this is not always on display. It is more like the Motorola smartphone’s Moto Peek display.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is as capable as some of the most advanced smartphones available for less than Rs 20,000 thanks to its Snapdragon 732G processor. This chip was previously seen in the Poco X3; It has enough muscles to pampered users who were demanding. Even if you play Call of Duty for an extra hour, this chip is present on the Note 10 Pro Max: Mobile.
The Note 10 Pro Max performs as advertised on a daily basis, opening menus quickly and managing 4-5 apps simultaneously without any issues. The bugs in the early release version of this MIUI 12 based on Android 11 caused my unit of the Note 10 Pro Max to occasionally display stutters and delays. However, this phone works flawlessly on most days, and the Redmi Note’s high-performance chip never bothered me.
Additionally, I tried my hand at gaming, and the Pro Max performed admirably. At “High” graphics and “Ultra” frame rates, I was able to consistently have a smooth gaming experience on this phone. I didn’t notice any frame drops or the Pro Max heating up uncomfortably after 2.5 hours of constant Deathmatch battles. Genshin Impact, on the other hand, was barely playable, and in order to get good frame rates, I had to lower the quality.
The dedicated stereo speaker setup, which provides a satisfying audio experience, also enhances the gaming experience. Despite the setup’s lack of volume, the stereo effect is effective; To hear my brother’s footsteps over his ROG Phone 2’s massive stereo speakers, I frequently had to hold the speakers in my palms. The result from the earphone jack is perfect and those possessing superior execution earphones will surely appreciate it. Additionally, MIUI offers a plethora of audio output tuning options for headphones.
MIUI comes next; You either adore or despise it. I’m a member of the former group, and MIUI 12, in its most recent form, is one of the most beautiful Android experiences I’ve had. With all of the animations, the inspirations for iOS 14 do make for a fascinating smartphone experience. There is so much to play with and so much that can make your life easier while you are on the go. Although the bloatware is still present, Xiaomi has now limited it to apps that are “absolutely necessary.”
MIUI 12 is strange, though, in its current state. On the one hand, it aims to incorporate more Xiaomi apps and services. For instance, in addition to the Google Play Store, there is a GetApps app store that frequently displays ineffective notifications. Similar to Android 11, the Control Center, Xiaomi’s version of Quick Settings, contains shortcuts to all smart home devices. However, Xiaomi pre-installs a dozen Google apps that the majority of users might not use. The Google Phone app takes its place in place of the more useful MIUI dialer app. The same holds true for the Contacts. The MIUI Gallery app also includes Google Photos. Although Xiaomi is hurling the entire suite of Google apps at you, there is no sign of Android 11 here.
MIUI is overwhelming to a new user due to the plethora of options and apps presented directly to them. Users might be able to try out the other features at their own pace if Xiaomi made this easier for them to do. Also, it would be fine if Xiaomi stopped trying so hard to combine the feel of stock Android with the MIUI experience.
I didn’t have any issues with the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max’s speeds or connectivity during my time with it. Even in basements, my Jio connection remained connected to the network and maintained internet speeds. I did occasionally encounter issues with call drop; something Xiaomi should investigate, and possibly fix with a software update.
The 108-megapixel camera is the primary reason to choose the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max over the standard Pro model. It’s a really good camera experience that gets you out of your suspense, especially in this sub-Rs 20,000 price range. In point of fact, the performance of the main camera is closer to what I experienced with the Mi 10i.
The large 108-megapixel camera with 1/1.52-inch sensor and 0.7-micron pixels produces slightly more detailed images than the numerous phones with 64-megapixel camera sensors. With 9-in-1 pixel binning in play, this Samsung HM2 sensor’s default output is rated at 12 megapixels. I could see the improvements in shadow areas and slightly better details in daylight.
When you switch to the 108MP mode, you get an output with a higher resolution and more details. In fact, in good lighting, this mode eliminates the need for a dedicated zoom camera. The 108MP mode has trouble keeping details clear as light levels start to drop, and noise starts to increase. It is more shrewd to change to the ordinary mode, turn on the HDR and simulated intelligence to produce attractive photographs in testing low light circumstances. To get long-exposure shots, there is a Night Mode, which is very helpful.
However, this 108-megapixel camera also has some drawbacks. Because it has such a large sensor, it has a very narrow focal plane, which frequently blurs out edges when taking portraits and close-up shots. Even when you turn off the AI intervention, Xiaomi’s camera tuning increases saturation and contrast unnecessarily. Skins on human figures have a reddish tint, and other colors are boosted, frequently giving the image an artificial appearance. If you have hands as unstable as mine, the absence of an OIS system also results in shaky photographs.
All of this is made up for by Xiaomi’s excellent macro camera. Even though it only has a 5-megapixel resolution, the new image sensor produces more usable macro photos than the older Redmi Note models, even when lit artificially! During my time with the phone, I took a lot of macro photos, and I was amazed at how well the colors and details were captured. As a result, I used my smartphone’s macro camera more than ever before.
The 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera is adequate, but it lacks the main camera’s vibrant color profile. Even in good lighting, pixel peeping in extremely wide shots won’t please you. Photos frequently appear underexposed due to the extreme lens distortion toward the edges. The ultra-wide camera is best ignored as light levels drop.
Photos taken in portrait mode are good because they show the subject and background clearly. The subject separation is satisfactory even when taking selfies with the single front camera with 16 megapixels. Despite the increased saturation, normal selfies still appear vibrant and bright. Overall, this kit will please selfie enthusiasts.
For a phone this cost, the video performance is satisfactory. At 30 frames per second, 4K videos look sharp with lots of details and decent colors. However, it struggles with exposures and fails to maintain color accuracy in artificial lighting. Additionally, shaky videos result from the absence of OIS, particularly when shooting in motion. With Xiaomi’s decent EIS system, 1080p videos offer better stability despite losing resolution.
I assumed that the 5020mAh battery would only last a full day under heavy use due to the 120Hz AMOLED display. I made a terrible mistake. With the 120Hz option turned on, the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max lasted up to a day and a half thanks to MIUI 12’s strong software optimization. With a battery life of 1.5 days, you could play games, make calls, text, watch videos on YouTube, stream music through wireless earphones, and occasionally use the cameras for 30 minutes.
Concerning Call of Duty: On mobile marathon weekends, I had to spend an entire day getting the battery down to below 30 percent. Within about an hour, the included 33W charging adapter increased the battery’s capacity to below 30 percent. When compared to Realme’s 65W charging solution, this is actually the second-best option.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is the kind of phone that might make you wonder why you should spend more money on anything else. It truly has everything a smartphone enthusiast could possibly want. It works well, has a great display, can easily run some of the most difficult mobile games, takes good pictures, and, to top it all off, has a long battery life. While doing all that, it also looks good.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is hard to fault for its price of Rs 18,999. The Mi 10i currently appears unnecessary because 5G is not expected to arrive soon. With its cameras and battery life, it outperforms the Realme X7 and Realme 7 Pro. In its class, it also has the best display, and the Realme 8 Pro that will likely follow suit.
If I had to nitpick, the only disadvantages I can think of are an oversaturated camera output and a cluttered and unstable MIUI experience. Additionally, it costs Rs 18,999 for a phone bearing the Redmi Note brand. The 64-megapixel camera on the Redmi Note 10 Pro, which is identical to the Pro Max in all other respects, may save you Rs 3,000, in my opinion. One really needs to figure out why the 108-megapixel camera costs more.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max does not currently hold the title of “value-king,” despite the presence of the Redmi Note 10 Pro. The phone, on the other hand, is what makes you question the necessity of spending more than Rs 20,000 on a phone with a premium price tag. The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is your best bet right now if you really want to buy into the “108-megapixel camera” hype without spending a lot of money.