Last year we reviewed the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9, noting, “The phone might be a bit sticky when it comes to performance, but for the most part the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 comes highly recommended.”
This year’s Redmi Note 10S pumps up the performance with the inclusion of MediaTek Helio G95 (Octo-core, 2.05 GHz) and a decent 6 GB of RAM. It really helps to up the speed of the system to a level higher than the Note 9, with the 'stickiness' all but gone.
The 6.43” screen also got an upgrade, going from LCD to a crisp AMOLED catering to a 1080x2400 pixel resolution (409ppi), and secured by Corning Gorillas Glass and a screen protector out the box.
Xiaomi touts a few interesting features, including the Arc side fingerprint sensor, dual speakers (okay but could be louder) and 33 W fast charging. The fast charging is perhaps not as fast as, say the spirited 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 quick charge capabilities of the Oppo Reno5. Instead, I received about 10% charge for 10 minutes on the charger. Still, a 5000 mAh size battery can take you into the next day without a charge.
The Redmi Note 10S’s camera setup comes complete with an 8 MP wide-angle camera, a 2 MP macro camera for close-ups and a 2 MP depth sensor to support portrait photography. The 64 MP Redmi Note 10S main camera does a decent job and is on par with other mid-range units.
While I appreciated the MIUI user interface Xiaomi offers on their phones, it felt just a bit more infringing than previously. Banner notifications can’t be managed by swiping to control or delete them, and the phone came with unwanted bloatware. It’s perhaps not much of a problem with 128 GB of storage and a microSD card slot but still annoying.
It’s not difficult to see that with the Note 10S you’re getting a decent phone for a fairly good R5k (the Redmi Note 9 went for an impressive R4k). However, Xiaomi doesn’t make it easy to choose, since the 5G enabled Redmi Note 10 5G retails at R4 500, while the Redmi Note 10 Pro with better specs retails for R5 500. My suggestion - rather go with the Redmi Note 10 Pro if you can afford the extra R500.