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Redmi Note 10S Review – What are the changes?

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Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 10 series was widely popular in the country due to the price to performance value it offers. It comes with different types of iterations starting from the vanilla, the Pro, and the 5G version. I have here is the Redmi Note 10S, this one stands in between the vanilla and the Pro version. but what are the upgrades and downgrades that it offers? Read our review to learn more.

Pros

Good battery life
Decent performance
Good display quality

Cons

Average cameras
Lacks a high refresh rate

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DESIGN

The Redmi Note 10S has 3 color variants, ocean blue, frost white, and our review unit the onyx gray. The design of the back of the Note 10S is nothing much different than the others iterations of the Note 10 series. It has a smooth glossy finish making it prone to fingerprint smudges. It has the same style on its camera module that has a little bump so putting it on a flat surface doesn’t give too much of a wobble. To be honest, despite being a fingerprint magnet design it still gives out a very pleasing look to the eye which makes it premium.

It is lightweight and comfortable to hold thanks to its slim design. It weighs 178.8g similar to the Redmi Note 10 and is lighter than the Redmi Note 10 Pro with 193g. Even though it is lighter, the Redmi Note 10 Pro is still slimmer than the Redmi Note 10S. Even tho it is made out of plastic it is still equipped with an IP53, dust, and splash protection.

The design of this camera module is pretty much the same as all other Redmi Note 10 series devices, and the only difference we get is the sensor for their main shooter. The Pro version offers a 109MP main while the vanilla has a 48MP, on the other hand, the Note 10S offers a 64MP main camera. Other lenses are identical to their other iterations.

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Around its frame, it is equipped with pretty much the same features that the other Redmi Note 10 series devices offer. It has a dual speaker, a side-mounted fingerprint scanner and volume rockers on the right side, and a dual nano sim slot with a dedicated slot for expanding storage up to 512GB. It still has the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack alongside the microphone and the IR blaster.

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DISPLAY

Moving on to its display, the Redmi Note 10S boasts a 6.43″ FHD+ AMOLED display which is identical to the vanilla version but lacks the 120Hz refresh rate of the Redmi Note 10 Pro. It has good brightness outdoors with up to 1000nits of peak brightness. It is protected by a corning gorilla glass 3 with barely any bezels and a bit thick chin. It has a hole-punch cutout at the middle which can be distracting.

The display quality is pretty good since it is an AMOLED panel. It shows sharp and vivid colors, with good view angles and a fairly decent luminosity. Despite its price, it offers a pretty much premium kind of display. although it is quite a bummer to not have a 120Hz display like the Pro or even the 90Hz of the 5G version. But all in all the display is satisfying to use in gaming especially in watching movies.

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As usual, on its display settings, it offers color schemes that can boost the contrast of the AMOLED panel even more. It has pre-made settings or you can just adjust it manually on the color wheel. I don’t see an eye-care mode on its settings but it does have an Anti-flicker mode which functions just like the eye-care mode.

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CAMERA

As for the cameras, as I mentioned earlier it is equipped with a 64MP f/1.8 main shooter, 8MP ultrawide, and 2MP for both macro and depth purposes.

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The quality of the main camera outputs a true-to-life color but with less dynamic range. Shadows and blacks are deep and details arent that visible if taken against the light source. On this next sample image as you can see details are now visible plus colors are sharper. With HDR on shadows are raised by a little but blacks remain deep and sometimes even though the highlights are balanced its exposure is a bit drastic resulting in a loss in details.

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For its Ultrawide, It has decent colors but oftentimes the image looks soft and lacks details. Other sample images give out better quality than the first one, It has vibrant colors, sharp and somewhat detailed, though the edge of the images tends to lose quality and starts to get blurry.

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For its macro shots, I feel like it is kinda gimmicky that they have to put it there. The colors are a bit inconsistent based on the lightsource, images don’t show that many details and lacks sharpness.

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As for the portrait mode, It has good subject to background separation plus the details really do pop out. highlights are balanced, colors are sharp and vibrant. Even tho it uses the same lens as its main sensor it still outputs better color quality.

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Moving on to its 13mp selfie camera, Redmi Note 10S gives out good quality selfies. The colors and contrast are great, with vibrant and sharp images. It has a true-to-life skin tone but sometimes with its highlights blowout. Selfie indoor also shows a true-to-life skin tone with no visible grains and noise but sometimes outputs tend to be pinkish.

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As for its video recording, It can shoot up to [email protected],[email protected], and [email protected]. It has a built-in stabilization feature that is only available to [email protected] and below. It doesn’t offer much on its camera features, other than the basic ones like night mode, 64mp, short video, panorama, documents, slow motion, and time-lapse.

Read: Infinix Note 10 Pro Review – Budget Gaming Smartphone with a 90hz Display

SOFTWARE

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As for its software, It runs on Android 11 slapped with MIUI 12.5 on top. MIUI 13 is just around the corner, and according to some leaks the Redmi Note 10 series including the Redmi Note 10S will be eligible for the software upgrade. MIUI 12 is close to being a stock Android experience but Xiaomi still has some numbers of pre-loaded applications and bloatware.

The configuration of our review unit is 6GB of ram and 128GB of storage, It has expandable storage up to 512GB so if the internal storage is not enough, you still have options to expand.

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PERFORMANCE

Under the hood, the Redmi Note 10S is equipped with a MediaTek G95 chipset with a 12nm architecture which is quite unusual, since most of Xiaomi’s recent smartphones are equipped with a Snapdragon chip. Its GPU is Mali G76 MC4 based on Bifrost architecture with a max GPU frequency of 900MHz. If you want to watch our full gaming review of the Redmi Note 10S click here.

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BATTERY

For its battery, we also tested its performance when gaming on our full gaming review of this device. After 2 hours of gaming, the 5000mAh battery dropped from 100% to 72% which is not bad. It is power-saving since it is already AMOLED and it doesn’t have a high refresh rate that contributes to its battery consumption.

As for the charging, It took 1hours and 14 minutes to fully juice up the device. It works great if you are always on the go since you can charge the device to 30% in just 15 minutes.

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VERDICT

Redmi Note 10S is priced at Php 10,990, for the 6GB of ram and 128GB of storage. If you want the 8GB variant that will cost you an additional 1000 pesos.

Overall Redmi Note 10S doesn’t offer much of an upgrade from its younger brother but does have some downgrade from the big one. Considering its price you can pretty much opt for a different Redmi Note 10 device that offers the same features but on a more affordable package. But still, it does have its own strengths especially its battery life, and more reliable gaming performance than the vanilla. So pretty much we did get the upgraded vanilla version that has a higher camera resolution and a chipset for your gaming needs.

Read: Honor X20 Max likely to launch with a 7.2-inch display, 6,000mAh battery

Redmi Note 10S specs, price, availability in the Philippines

  • Display: 6.43″ (1080 x 2400), AMOLED
  • Dimension and Weight: 160.5 x 74.5 x 8.3 mm (6.32 x 2.93 x 0.33 in), 178.8 g (6.31 oz)
  • Chipset:Mediatek Helio G95 (12 nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core (2×2.05 GHz Cortex-A76 & 6×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55)
  • GPU: Mali-G76 MC4
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB, microSDXC (dedicated slot)
  • Main Camera: 64MP, f/1.8 Main, 8MP Ultrawide, 2MP Macro, and Depth
    | video up to [email protected], [email protected]/120fps
  • Selfie Camera: 13MP f/2.5 Front
  • Connectivity & Ports: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 5.1, A2DP, LE, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, USB Type C 2.0, USB On-The-Go,
  • Security: Fingerprint (Side-mounted) face-recognition unlock
  • Features: accelerometer, gyro, compass
  • Battery: Li-Po 5000 mAh, non-removable, 33W fast charging
  • Audio: dual speaker
  • OS: Android 11
  • Colors: Ocean Blue, Onyx Gray, Frost White
  • Price: PHP 10,990 (6GB,128GB), PHP 11,990 (8GB,128GB)
  • Release date: June 3, 2021 (Philippines)
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