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    Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime Review: Another Budget Smartphone But Not Best

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    By Tech Geek - 
    Updated: 16th Oct 2021 21:18 IST
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    Xiaomi-Redmi-10-Prime
    Review Summary

    A successor to the Redmi 9 Prime, the new phone Redmi 10 Prime is here and it claims to have a lot of improvements over its predecessor. The smartphone includes a new MediaTek Helio G88 processor and a 50MP primary camera. But with all these new features, the device does come with an increased price tag where the base price of the Redmi 10 Prime starts at Rs. 12,499. A high refresh rate display, big battery and decent performance are a few things to look forward to. But with an average pair of cameras, bloated software and a higher price tag are a few downsides that make you look out for other options in the market.

    PROS
    • Excellent battery life. Provides solid two days of use.
    • Good 90Hz display with an adaptive refresh rate.
    • The MediaTek G88 delivers decent performance
    CONS
    • RAM management is very bad
    • The performance of the camera is overall poor.
    • MIUI has a lot of bugs and stutters.
    • The fingerprint scanner needs a lot of improvement.
    Key Specs
    Battery Capacity
    Battery Capacity
    6000 mAh
    Operating System
    Operating System
    Android v11
    Screen Size
    Screen Size
    6.5 inches
    Highlights:
    • Yes
    • Gorilla Glass 3
    • 6000 mAh
    • Android v11
    Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime Review

    The Redmi 10 Prime is the successor to the Redmi 9 Prime and claims to have a lot of improvements over its predecessor. The smartphone includes a new MediaTek Helio G88 processor, a 50MP primary camera and a 90Hz high refresh rate display. But all these new features do come with an increased price tag where the base price of the Redmi 10 Prime starts at Rs. 12,499.

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    I was too excited to use this new budget smartphone from Xiaomi and here is my comprehensive review of the Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime.

    Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime Prices in India, Variants, Availability

    The Redmi 10 Prime is priced at Rs. 12,499 in India for the 4GB RAM, 64GB storage variant. If you have to buy the higher variant it will cost you Rs. 14,499 which will give you 6GB RAM and 128 GB of storage. The three color options include Frost Blue, Astral White, and Phantom Black. The smartphone is available to buy on Amazon, Mi.com, Mi Home, and Mi studio stores in addition to partner retail outlets.

    Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime Box Contents

    Here’s what we have inside the box of Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime :

    • USB-A to USB-C charging cable
    • A protective case
    • 22.5W Power Adapter
    • Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime device
    • Documentation
    Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime Specs at a glance

    Let’s talk about the on-paper specifications of the Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime at first:

    • Display: 6.5-inch Full HD+ LCD Display with 90Hz adaptive refresh rate
    • Camera: 50MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP | 8MP Front Camera
    • Battery: Li-Ion 6000 mAh Battery with 18W fast-charging
    • Chipset: MediaTek Helio G88 (12nm) Processor
    • RAM & ROM: 4 GB RAM/ 6 GB RAM | 64 GB/ 128GB ROM | Expandable Upto 256 GB
    • Dimensions: 161.2 x 75.6 x 9.6 mm
    • Weight: 192 grams
    Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime Design and Build

    Redmi 10 Prime gives us another chance to experience the company’s ‘EVOL’ design language that it introduced with the Redmi Note 10. But compared to that the Redmi 10 Prime has the hallmarks of an affordable product. By that I mean the frame of the device is made out of plastic and you can see noticeable bezels all around the display. Talking about aesthetics, Xiaomi has made the edges of the device rounded so that it is easier to grip. Overall the device feels quite big and heavy to hold in hand and the device is definitely can’t be used easily with one hand.

    At the front, there is a hole for the selfie camera right in the centre towards the top portion of the display. The hole is quite big compared to other phones and some people might find it distracting.

    Also Read: Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max Review After 6 Months of Usage

    On the sides, it has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner that is integrated into the power button on the right side. You will find the volume button above the power button while on the left side there is the SIM tray. Similar to the design of Redmi 9 Prime, the top and bottom of the frame are flat. As we see in all the Redmi phones there is also an IR emitter that you can use to control electronic devices around your house. Along with the IR emitter, we have the headphone jack and speaker holes on the top where the USB Type-C port, primary microphone, and loudspeaker are all located at the bottom. 

    The back panel of the phone is also made of plastic. The camera module includes four cameras and protrudes a bit causing the device to rock when kept on a flat surface. I was testing the Blue Bifrost colour variant which comes with a nice gradient pattern at the back but it has a glossy finish that attracts a lot of fingerprints. You can use a good case or a skin to keep it fingerprint and smudge-free.

    Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime Display

    The new Redmi 10 Prime comes with a 90Hz IPS LCD panel with a sizeable hole punch at the top. The company has kept the bezels quite slim around the display to provide a better viewing experience. The overall resolution of the display is full HD+ 1080p although it is a bare minimum that you can expect at this price point. 

    The brightness levels are decent for outdoor usage and the colour reproduction is not as prominent as few other LCD panels by other manufacturers in this budget category. The 90Hz refresh rate makes the content and the UI appear ultra-smooth, but as it is still a budget phone those occasional stutters will still be there. 

    Planning to upgrade? Sell Your Old Phone in 60 Seconds From Home

    Thanks to the big battery life you will easily be able to use the 90Hz all the time without worrying about the battery running out at the end of the day. Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime is Widevidne L1 certified and this will enable you to binge your favorite TV shows and movies in HD resolution on all the streaming platforms. 

    Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime Performance

    The MediaTek Helio G88 processor on the Redmi 10 Prime isn’t exactly a star performer. On GeekBench 5 it manages to achieve an average score of 370 points in single-core and 1210 points in multi-core performance. For reference, the scores are significantly less than the average benchmark scores registered by the Helio G95 processor on smartphones like Realme Narzo 30 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 678 that comes in the Redmi Note 10

    I could spot the difference in its real-world performance as well. For references, the Redmi 10 Prime takes a while to reach a state of smooth performance once it boots up. They are fairly visible lags after the boot-up and in fact, those lags are clearly visible if you have too many apps open in the background. I could see the performance take a hit when I would open more than seven or eight tabs on Google Chrome and having even five of six apps actively open would also cause the device to stutter. If you really want to buy this phone I would recommend that you get the 6GB RAM variant as it would provide smooth enough day-to-day performance.

    Also read: iPhone 13 Mini Review: The Best Compact iPhone Out There!

    When it comes to gaming I hoped to see the 90 Hz display make a difference but it does not reflect the fluid smoothness the way you want to see on devices with these specifications. While games on the Redmi 10 Prime are not entirely unplayable but they also do not offer any kind of smoothness that the best mid-range phones offer. For reference, Realme’s Narzo 30 and Xiaomi’s own Redmi Note 10 are certainly better when it comes to gaming at this price range. 

    We tried gaming with BGMI, Call of Duty, Asphalt 9 etc. and all the performance was acceptable enough. But with long gaming hours, I could feel the heat and the performance dip that was a result of this higher temperature. Redmi 10 Prime is a decent smartphone for day-to-day tasks, light multitasking and casual gaming sessions.

    Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime Software

    Xiaomi’s MIUI is considered one of the best and properly optimized Android skins provided by any manufacturer. But somehow I faced a lot of performance issues because of the poorly optimized MIUI version in this phone. I found a bug in which the app icons don’t appear in the first go when you search them in the app drawer. And it doesn’t get any better when it comes to RAM management.

    The phone couldn’t even hold three basic applications like Google Keep, Google Photos and Gmail in memory even though it had more than half of its 6GB capacity unused. I can only imagine how it could get for the lower 4GB RAM variant. Speaking about software issues, the phone’s screen on timer wouldn’t budge after a point that forced me to manually lock the screen on time for the sake of this review. 

    Also Read Realme 8s 5G Review: Just Another Budget 5G Smartphone!

    At one point I found the software to be so frustrating that I wanted to switch to another phone as soon as I could. I feel this is the kind of his first that also went behind to pushing the half-baked MIUI 12.5 update for the Redmi 10 Prime. The company could have provided a pleasant experience for the user if they had spent more time smoothing out the rough edges and it is still not too late to do that. A software perk that I was happy to see is that you can now uninstall or disable most of the bloatware that MIUI comes preloaded with.

    I hope these bugs can be fixed in future software updates, but right now the MIUI totally spoils the experience.

    Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime Camera

    As we see in typical budget smartphones these days, the Redmi 10 Prime comes with a quad-camera setup but there are only two cameras that you would ever find useful. The main 50MP sensor isn’t up to the mark despite having a higher megapixel count. The photos that were taken from it usually appear to have a slightly muted tone and it fails to capture minute details even in broad daylight conditions. When it comes to the dynamic range the primary camera is so unusable that I sometimes find the 8-megapixel ultra-wide sensor better to capture photos in good lighting conditions. 

    The camera system is even a bigger letdown when it comes to low light conditions. To be honest I was not expecting any miracles in this price range but I was still surprised by how smooth and grainy nighttime photos were. The included night mode in the camera app does a decent job of brightening a dark scene but it still doesn’t help with the grainy images. 

    Check Out: What is Gcam? How to install Gcam on any Android smartphone?

    The portrait mode is actually quite impressive but it is better that you try to capture those portrait mode photos in good natural light conditions. In low light conditions, you will definitely notice the visible lack in details, soft edges and the fine skin textures will be compromised. I felt the camera app to be quite sluggish which can be a bit irritable at times. This becomes very off-putting when you are trying to capture a photo in a fleeting moment. If you are planning to buy the Redmi 10 Prime certainly don’t buy it for the camera alone. 

    Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime Battery

    Redmi 10 Prime’s long battery life is certainly the thing that impressed me thoroughly. I found it extremely hard to kill this phone in a single day of use thanks to its 6000mAh battery that also doubles as a power bank. In my regular use which is fairly light without any kind of gaming easily got between 8 and 9 hours of screen on time over two days which is a fantastic figure in this price range. Even with heavy use, you can expect at least 40% of battery life still left by the end of the day. With this incredible battery life, fast charging proved to be a limitation at 18W while there is a 22.5W charger provided in the box. This means that it takes about 2.5 hours to completely charge the phone from 0 to 100% so you would feel better charging the phone at night.

    Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics

    Similar to many of the budget smartphones in this price range the Redmi 10 Prime comes with only 4G support. The side-mounted fingerprint scanner is quite a good placement. But what I thought to be a good idea turned out to be one of the biggest disappointments for me. The fingerprint scanner failed to recognize my fingers almost a third of the time and in the end, I had to frustratingly resort to punching in the pin most of the time that happened. 

    Xiaomi has provided the standard Bluetooth 5.1 and dual-band Wi-Fi that can be considered as a bonus with the smartphone. The smartphone speakers sound impressively good and I did not run into any problems watching movies or playing games on the smartphone. 

    Also Read: Buy iPhone 12 at Just Rs 29,999*! Don’t Miss This Deal

    Verdict
    If you asked me whether you should buy the Redmi 10 Prime or not my answer would be probably don't. If the phone had a slightly lower price tag I would still recommend it but that's unfortunately not the case. Apart from its outstanding battery performance, there are not many good things to talk about the device. Redmi 10 Prime isn't necessarily a bad phone but its pricing and other alternative options in this segment make it very difficult to suggest this phone. Redmi’s own Note 10 and Note 10S not just offer a better software experience but also provide more value with their superior overall package. If you are not a big fan of MIUI then RealMe Narzo 30 still makes a decent choice for around the same price tag as the Redmi 10 Prime. You also have to keep in mind that the price of Xiaomi phones tends to increase after their launch. This is something that happened with the Redmi Note 10 and if it also happens with Redmi 10 Prime that would be the worst thing. But in my opinion, buying Redmi Note 10 is still a good option even with its revised prices than buying the Redmi 10 Prime.


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