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Redmi Note 10S Review

Xiaomi's latest Redmi Note 10S in sub-15k segment offers decent specifications for its price, but is it worth your money? Read our full review to find out.

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Xiaomi’s sub-brand Redmi in March launched three smartphones in its Note 10 series in India - Redmi Note 10, Note 10 Pro and Note 10 Pro Max. But recently, it added one more device called the Redmi Note 10S. The Redmi Note 10S is the fourth phone in the Note 10 series and comes with some slightly updated specifications than the budget model Redmi Note 10.
Essentially, the Redmi Note 10S sits between the Redmi Note 10 and the Redmi Note 10 Pro. Interestingly Note 10S is also the first phone in India to launch with MIUI 12.5 out-of-the-box. Its other key features include an AMOLED display, a 64-megapixel primary camera and a 5,000mAh battery with 33W fast charging support.
The Redmi Note 10S comes in two different configurations. The base model with 6GB of RAM + 64GB storage is priced at Rs. 14,999. The second model costs Rs. 15,999 for the 6GB RAM + 128GB storage configuration. In terms of colour options, the smartphone is available options in three shades - Ocean Blue, Onyx Gray, Pebble White. We got our hands on the Ocean Blue variant (6GB RAM + 128GB) model. And , after spending about a week with the smartphone, here’s what we think of it.

Redmi Note 10S Review: Design and Display

Starting with the looks, the Redmi Note 10S looks just as premium as the Note 10 Pro or Pro Max. It retains the new EVOL design and soft-touch finish. The new arch-side fingerprint sensor sits flush on the right edge and the SIM card tray on the left edge.

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The USB Type -C charging port is placed at the bottom along with the speaker grille. The tapered edges, flattened ends, and curved back makes for a seamless design and a comfortable-to-use device.

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The smartphone also comes with a 3.5mm audio jack. The USB Type C charging port is placed at the bottom, along with the speaker grille. The budget phone is IP53 rated for water-dust resistance and can easily handle water splashes. Overall the build quality is good and the phone feels solid.

The smartphone features a 6.43-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels (FHD+), 409 PPI, 8-bit color, 1,100 nits peak brightness level, centered punch-hole, 180Hz touch sampling rate, and a standard 60Hz refresh rate. The panel covers 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, features a 4,500,000:1 contrast ratio, and is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 layer.

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The display of the device is something that we liked the most. If you are someone who simply loves watching videos on your smartphone, trust us this device will not disappoint you. The screen is quite bright in different lighting conditions, even under harsh sunlight you won't face any difficulty in responding to your WhatsApp messages.

Redmi Note 10S Review: Performance and MIUI 12.5

Redmi Note 10S is powered by a MediaTek Helios G95 chipset coupled with 6GB RAM + 128GB storage. The CPU has ARM Cortex A55 and A76 clocked up to 2.05GHz paired with the GPU ARM Mali G76 clocked @900MHz giving users a powerful performance that makes games run at the smoothest frame rate possible. To add to the power, it comes with UFS 2.2 high-speed storage.

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During our review, the smartphone performed well while browsing the internet as well as playing inline games in particular. There were no dips in performance. Most games also played well with this device and the phone does heat up while gaming. In addition, social media apps such YouTube, WhatsApp, or Facebook ran without any difficulty.

The new Redmi Note 10S is the first device in India to feature the latest MIUI 12.5 (Interim) update out-of-the-box. In order to deliver an optimized system experience, the company has re-written the system UI, which helps reduce core scene memory usage by 20 percent and power consumption by up to 15 percent, thereby providing longer battery life. Providing more control in the hands of the consumer, now users have the freedom to uninstall and remove pre-loaded applications they don’t want on their device. It comes with an interim MIUI 12.5 update and the final version will be rolled out soon via OTA.

Redmi Note 10S Review: Camera performance

The comes with a quad rear camera setup that includes a 64-megapixel primary sensor with an f/1.79 lens, an 8-megapixel sensor with an ultra-wide-angle f/2.2 lens, a 2-megapixel macro shooter with an f/2.4 aperture, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor with an f/2.4 lens.

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The smartphone comes with a decent combination of sensors which would not disappoint you at all. During our testing, the photos clicked in daylight or in the presence of perfect lighting came out as good as of a premium device. It had a great amount of detailing and the right amount of sharpness. That said, the photos clicked in dark or at night were just about okay and didn't really impress me. But you have an option to further enhance thepicture quality with the help of dedicated night mode. To better understand the quality of photos clicked in different conditions, we have embedded a few samples below.

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In addition, MIUI customisations on the camera app have been enhanced to suit new age social media creators, with features such as skyscraping, colour focus, pro colour and the all new pro timelapse mode. These features allow users to shoot timelapse videos even under the most complex lighting conditions. Additionally, the Redmi Note 10S features a 13-megapixel front in-display selfie camera. This in our testing performed well for the price and you won't have any complaint.

Redmi Note 10S Review: Battery performance and Charging

The Note 10S packs a massive 5,000mAh battery with a 33W fast charger in the box. We could easily get the phone to a full 100 percent in just over an hour. About the battery performance, during our regular use with social media apps and video watching, it could last more than a day. For heavy-duty usage, there is an ultra-battery saving mode that helps in preserving battery power for a little longer. We feel that you wouldn't have any complaints about the battery life of the Redmi Note 10S. Also, Xiaomi's 33W charger bundling is a good move.

Verdict: Should you buy Redmi Note 10S?

Overall, the Redmi Note 10S is a decent smartphone in its price range. Just like the other Redmi Note 10 phones, this one too has a great design, an AMOLED display, and a big battery with fast charging. As an added bonus, you get an updated camera from the Redmi Note 10 and a powerful Helio G95 SoC. We feel the smartphone ticks almost all the boxes for almost all kinds of buyers, except for people looking to buy a device with a higher refresh rate display.

That said, the Note 10S despite being a strong contender in the sub-15K segment, lives in the shadow of sibling variants Note 10 Pro and Pro Max. If you can spend a little extra then we suggest you pick the Note 10 Pro or the Note 10 Pro Max. But if you don't like MIUI or otherwise looking around for more options, then the Realme 8, Realme Narzo 30 Pro, Poco X3, and Samsung Galaxy M31 can be looked at as well.

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