In the year 2021, Xiaomi India has started with a bang. Their first phone of the year, Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G. I am going to review the Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G, this 5G smartphone drags down some stunning hardware including Snapdragon 750G, HDR compliant 120Hz Display, and 108MP primary camera to an extremely aggressive starting price of just INR 20,999!
Do all these enticing features add up to an unbridled recommendation? To answer that, we have been putting the Mi 10i 5G through its paces for the last few days. Before we are done with our Mi 10i 5G review, here are our initial thoughts and impressions.
Table of Contents:
- Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G review: Unboxing
- Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G review: Design and Build
- Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G review: Display
- Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G review: Performance Expectations
- Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G review: Camera expectations
- Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G review: Battery and Audio
- Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G review: Conclusion
Xiaomi Mi 10i India Price and Specifications
|Model||Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G|
|Display||6.67-inch FHD+ (2400 x 1080), HDR10 and HDR 10+ compliant
120Hz (6 steps VRR: 30Hz, 48Hz, 50Hz, 60Hz, 90Hz)
Gorilla Glass 5
|Dimensions and weight||165.38 x 76.8 x 9 mm; 214.5 grams|
|Chipset||8nm Snapdragon 750G octa-core chipset, Adreno 619 GPU|
|RAM and Storage||Up to 8 GB LPDDR4x; Up to 128GB UFS 2.2|
|Front camera||16MP, f/2.45|
|Battery||4820mAh, 33W fast charging|
|Connectivity||5G, dual-band Wi-Fi, Dual-band GPS, and NavIC|
|Price||6+64GB: INR 20,999
6+128GB: INR 21,999
8+128GB: INR 23,999
Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G Unboxing
The Xiaomi Mi 10i box doesn’t have any unexpected surprises. Box contents include:
- Handset with pre-applied screen protector
- Protective Case
- 33W fast charging adapter
- Charging Cable (A to C)
- SIM ejector tool and documentation
Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G Design and Build
At first glance, the Xiaomi Mi 10i was reminiscent of the Poco X3 and that’s probably because of the similarities in the rear camera module design. The quad-sensor array juts out quite a bit and Xiaomi uses a surrounding circular ring layer that softens the impact and makes the protrusion feel less jarring.
With a 6.67-inch screen size, the Mi 10i is a big phone. The 9mm thickness and 214.5 grams of heft further push it to the unergonomic side of the spectrum. It feels remarkably solid, though. The weight is well balanced, there is Gorilla Glass 5 on front and rear, and the side frame (polycarbonate) feels quite durable.
The side fingerprint sensor is easily accessible, snappy, and consistent. It’s clubbed with the power button. The biometric unlock responds to ‘Press’ by default but you can make it respond to ‘Touch’ from settings.
The selfie camera resides in a centrally aligned punch hole notch. Bezels surrounding the screen are quite narrow with the bottom strip being expectedly thicker. Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G retains a 3.5mm audio jack, SD card slot (Hybrid), has a USB Type-C port, IR remote sensor, and stereo speakers.
The Pacific Sunrise color that we have feels quite elegant. There is also Midnight Black and Atlantic Blue for consumers with more subdued taste.
Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G Display
Xiaomi sticks to the IPS LCD display for its affordable and mid-range phones. The panel on the Mi 10i has Full HD+ resolution and is HDR10/10+ compliant. The screen gets up to 450+ Nits bright and outdoor visibility is decent enough.
Interestingly, the Mi 10i has a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate. This is to say that the display automatically switches between 30Hz, 48Hz, 50Hz, 60Hz, 90Hz, and 120Hz refresh rates depending upon the content being drawn on the screen. So the full 120Hz fluidity can be realized with tasks like scrolling and the display can dial down to 48Hz when playing 24Hz content to avoid judder or to 30Hz while displaying static content in order to conserve battery. As of today, that’s as close to VRR on phones as it gets.
This is a decent quality IPS panel that supports a wide color gamut and works best in the ‘Standard’ color profile. We’d still not rate it above available AMOLED options.
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Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G Performance Expectations
The performance hardware on the Mi 10i is really impressive. The phone is powered by the 8nm Snapdragon 750G octa-core chipset that has integrated X52 5G modem and can compare to Snapdragon 765 and Snapdragon 768 in terms of raw performance power. That’s because it uses a newer IP or the new Cortex-A77 based performance cores.
The chipset is further backed by UFS 2.2 storage (UFS 2.1 with improved write speed) and LPDDR4x RAM. Needless to say, this is the best performance hardware you can expect for an affordable or mid-range phone.
Performance, however, is also a function of the software. The Xiaomi Mi 10i runs MIUI 12 which is still Android 10-based. By now this is a very familiar user interface in India and users who have had some experience with a Xiaomi phone in the past would know what they are getting into.
If you ask us, MIUI 12 isn’t our personal favorite. The interface feels bloated and at times unintuitive. At the same time, it is rich in useful customization options and it’s fairly easy to get rid of annoying bits and to align the experience to our personal taste.
We will continue testing the call quality, connectivity, and day-to-day and gaming performance of the Mi 10i in the coming days, but things look really optimistic. There is definitely a lot of performance assurance from the hardware employed.
Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G Camera Expectations
The camera is what could give Mi 10i an edge over its rivals like OnePlus Nord. Xiaomi uses Samsung’s HM2 sensor that’s 15% smaller than HM1 but combines 9 pixels to 1 resulting in bigger 2.1um pixels.
The primary 108 MP camera is paired with an 8MP wide-angle camera, a 2MP portrait sensor, and a 2MP macro camera. On the front, the Mi 10i employs a 16MP sensor.
Once again, we’d reserve our judgment till we have tested the Mi 10i some more, especially in lowlight and dark scenes, but here are few daylight samples that look quite promising.
Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G Battery and Audio
This one comes with a massive 4820mAh battery that can comfortably carry you through a day of moderate to heavy usage with the display set to 120Hz adaptive refresh rate. Xiaomi bundles a 33W charger in the box that can fully charge the battery in around an hour.
Mi 10i also has stereo speakers that get fairly loud. Audio output via Bluetooth and wired headphone has been great so far.
Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G review: First Impressions
Xiaomi Mi 10i has all the ingredients needed for a disruptive online blockbuster and then some. The long list of great-haves includes class-leading performance hardware, stereo speakers, 108MP camera, expandable storage, audio jack, IR blaster, fast charging, and a fast side-mounted fingerprint reader.
So, yes, indeed there is a lot to look forward to here and that too at a very alluring price.
Our experience so far has been pleasant. We are still getting used to the design and software and are keeping our eyes and ears open should any inconsistencies show up. We will be back with a final verdict really soon.
Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G FAQ
Q) What is Xiaomi Mi 10i SAR Value?
Head SAR is 0.867W/Kg and Body SAR is 0.825W/Kg (distance 15mm)
Q) Does Xiaomi Mi 10i supports auto call recording?
No, it does not.
Q) Does Xiaomi Mi 10i display support VRR or Variable Refresh Rate?
Xiaomi Mi 10i has a 120Hz Adaptive refresh rate display that switches between 6 fps presets – 30Hz, 48Hz, 50Hz, 60Hz, 90Hz, and 120Hz – depending on the content on screen. The display isn’t true or seamless VRR, but since it can dial down to below 60Hz, it’s as close to VRR as you may expect on phones as of today.
Q) Does Xiaomi Mi 10i have DRM L1 certification for HD streaming on apps like Prime Videos and Netflix?
Yes, it does. HD streaming is supported by popular apps. HDR videos are supported on YouTube.
Q) Does Xiaomi Mi 10i have a dedicated SD card slot?
No, it does not have a dedicated card slot.