It isn’t often that I do a long-term review. But it isn’t often that I keep a smartphone around for long enough to be able to do one. I am doing this Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro long-term review because it has earned a place in my smartphone hall of fame, joining remarkable devices like Nokia E90, BlackBerry Passport, and Lumia 950.
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro is not a flagship. But when it was initially released in China in November 2019 as the Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro Premium Edition, and then released as Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro for the global market, it was one of the top 5 camera phones in the world. A mid-ranger having a flagship camera? Well… it is not exactly a mid-ranger either. Let’s think of it as a cross between a premium flagship and a mid-ranger. Lets’ just call it a super mid-range smartphone.
I described a super mid-range phone as one that is not in the league of the flagships, yet has features and specs very similar to them, and costs much, much less. Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro is the pinnacle of the concept of the super mid-ranger.
Along with its non-Pro version, it was the world’s first smartphone with a 108-megapixel camera. The non-Pro is different in that it has 6 GB of RAM and a 7P camera lens, while the Pro as 8 GB RAM and an 8P lens. Otherwise, they are the same devices. Let’s call them identical twins.
I have owned one since January 2020, and over a year later, I still find it difficult replacing it. Heck, I find it difficult figuring out what to replace it with. You see, it is still a formidable smartphone today in March 2021.
In my initial review, I described it as the super mid-ranger with a premium flagship camera. That description has remained valid. And a year and 4 months after its release, it is still one of the top camera phones in the world. DXOMARK rankings puts it in the top 20 .
How good is it? As a camera phone, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, Apple iPhone 12, and iPhone 12 mini barely do better. That is saying a lot. This crossover device plays with the big boys in the photography department. I have another article singing its praise as the first mid-ranger with a camera that outperforms premium smartphones.
So, it is March 2021 now; how has the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro performed so far? As a smartphone, performance has not degraded, thanks to the Snapdragon 730G chipset and 8 GB of RAM. I still haven’t filled up the 256 GB internal storage. One of the best features is its 30W fast charging that tops up the 5020mAh battery from zero in one hour. In summary, everything still works fine.
Plus, it was launched with Android 9 Pie, but has received updates to Android 10 and 11. In addition, it is on the list of Xiaomi devices to get the new MIUI 12.5 in June 2021. That still gives me something new to look forward to. MIUI 12.5 is said to come with a new UI, performance improvements and better battery life, so the Mi Note 10 Pro is set to get even better in the months ahead.
Thanks to how solid the Mi Note 10 Pro has been, I have not felt like I need a new smartphone yet, though the constant slew of new releases have me checking out possible replacements. So far, I have not found any. Not even one that wouldn’t feel like a downgrade in one way or the other at its price point. And I am a sucker for smartphones that deliver huge value at non-premium prices.
As it is, I am inclined to keep this phone as my daily driver till the end of the year. There is just nothing yet in the market in its price range that delivers as much value as it has. When I finally get totally bored with using a smartphone for almost two years, I will find a replacement. But something tells me that the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro will still be irreplaceable even then.
DXOMARK Rankings: Source.
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From 2001 when GSM phones were introduced in Nigeria till date, Mister Mobility has owned and used hundreds of mobile devices running proprietary, Java, Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.