XIAOMI MI 10 : Beauty, Bulk and Brawn

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XIAOMI MI 10 : Beauty, Bulk and Brawn

Xiaomi’s latest iteration of its signature flagship line builds on its predecessors in meaningful ways.

At this point in the smartphone cycle, the words ‘premium smartphone’ evoke a familiar image. And Xiaomi’s Mi 10 straddles that line; it has the standard-issue curved glass and metal sandwich build that we have come to expect from phones belonging to the segment.

While it may not be revolutionary, it’s certainly appealing from an aesthetic standpoint – the phone is gorgeous. Our ‘Twilight Grey’ review model is instantly arresting.

At the front, the Mi 10’s sizeable 6.67-inch, near-bezel less screen wraps around the metal frame in perfect unison. The Mi 10 weighs a considerable 208g, which lends the phone some heft and adds to that sense of premiumness.

At the back, the pristine glass finish houses the phone’s four cameras in a neat vertical alignment. While the camera module does protrude, making laying the phone flush on the back slightly uncomfortable, the issue is resolved with the addition of a case.

The phone looks spectacular, but as expected, it is a fingerprint magnet, and a case is recommended unless one is comfortable swiping the back every five minutes. Also, while the phone is protected with Gorilla Glass 5 at both ends; the prudent option would be to opt for a case.

From both build quality and design perspective, the Xiaomi MI 10 is phenomenal, the company has outdone itself.

Display    
The phone sports a 6.67-inch FHD+ (2340x1080) AMOLED display. More pertinently, the Xiaomi Mi 10 is the first phone that flaunts a 90 Hz display refresh rate in Nepal. For comparison, the vast majority of smartphones have a 60 Hz refresh rate.

In real-world terms, it all boils down to one word – smoothness. The large display is nearly bezel-less, and combined with outstanding colour reproduction, impressive brightness and a fluid 90 Hz refresh rate, the Mi 10’s display is deeply immersive. It is perhaps not an exaggeration to state that this is the finest display on a Xiaomi device yet.

Combined with the fantastic stereo speaker set up and HDR 10+ support for Netflix and, the Mi 10 is one of the very best smartphones for media consumption present in the market today.

Software, Performance and Battery
The device is also the first smartphone in Nepal to come equipped with Qualcomm’s latest smartphone chipset – the Snapdragon 865. The OS is Xiaomi’s MIUI 11 which is much more refined and stripped back than what it was in the past. Those factors, in conjunction with the 8GB of available RAM, ensure that the phone is razor-sharp at handling day-to-day tasks.

Everything runs smoothly and perfectly, I never once encountered a bug or a lag in my week using the phone. It’s fluid, fast and responsive. And it works wonderfully.

The battery life too is great, owing to the beefy 4780 mAh battery outfitted in the device. The phone does give you an option to dial down the refresh rate to the standard 60Hz to preserve battery life, but even under the burden of my heavy use, I didn’t have to resort to that measure. Besides, the bundled charger supports 30W fast charging, and the device also supports wireless fast charging, so battery life isn’t a major concern.

Cameras
This is becoming a bit of theme, but here’s another first – The Mi 10 is the first smartphone in Nepal to sport a 106 MP (megapixel) camera. Although by default, the primary shooter clicks 26.5 MP photos, there is an option to toggle the 106 MP mode.

As for the photos themselves, they are rather good. The shots are pleasing, colour accurate and packed with detail and have terrific dynamic range. The ultrawide lens is particularly fun to experiment with as it opens new avenues of framing a shot. Similarly, the telephoto lens works like a charm. The portrait mode produces beautiful shots with just the right amount of bokeh effect. The night mode is serviceable if not spectacular, but as a package, the camera set-up on the Mi 10 is fantastic.

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