The OnePlus Nord was pretty hard to beat in the Sub-Rs. 25,000 segment since its inception. Xiaomi is precisely geared towards this market with the new Mi 10i. This phone is the cheapest member of the Mi 10 family, despite being a completely unique model. It has a 108 megapixel camera, 5G connectivity, Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G processor and a smart design. There is also at least one little surprise that fans will like and that will give Xiaomi a leg over OnePlus. A full review is imminent, but keep reading to find out what I think of the new Mi 10i after you’ve spent a day or two on it.
The Mi 10i costs from Rs. 20,999 in India with 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage, although this variant will not be on sale at launch time. There are two other options: 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage priced at Rs. 21,999 and 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage priced at Rs. 23,999. In view of the small price differences, the basic version doesn’t seem to make too much sense. However, the top end should be quite popular.
First, this is a pretty bulky phone. It has a 6.67-inch screen, which means you’ll have to stretch your thumbs a little to reach all four corners. It is 9mm thick and weighs 214.5g which definitely exceeds the limits of comfort in everyday use. Fortunately, the camera bump doesn’t stick out too much on the back.
Xiaomi offers the Mi 10i in three versions – Midnight Black and Atlantic Blue are the sober options, while Pacific Sunrise is a blue-white-orange gradient that is supposed to resemble the horizon over a beach. The stern is smooth but not slippery and I would recommend using the plastic cover that came with it.
The fingerprint sensor is integrated into the power switch on the right. Above you will find an infrared heater for controlling devices with. The hybrid dual SIM compartment means that the memory expansion must be done at the expense of a second SIM card. The speaker on the bottom works in conjunction with the earphones for stereo sound.
The first big surprise is below – we have a 3.5mm audio jack, which is pretty rare these days. Another notable aspect is the water and dust resistance according to IP53, which is also not common at this price level. Many buyers will also be pleased to note that there is a tiny white warning LED next to the earbud for charging status and incoming notifications. These features should be taken into account when comparing the Mi 10i with the OnePlus Nord (test), Vivo V20 (test), and Samsung Galaxy M51 (test), which are the obvious competitors in the Sub-Rs. 25,000 and even then Sub-Rs. 30,000 price bands.
However, you might be a little disappointed that the Mi 10i has a Full HD + LCD panel rather than an AMOLED. The advantages are an adaptive refresh rate, which can be scaled from 30 Hz to 120 Hz depending on the screen content, as well as HDR10 +. The screen seems to get bright enough for everyday use, but we’ll have more information on that in the full review. There is also Gorilla Glass 5 on the front.
The 108-megapixel primary rear camera is definitely an attention-grabbing feature, especially at this price point. Xiaomi has used the new Samsung HM2 sensor, which allows for 9-in-1 pixel binning and an effective 12 megapixel resolution – although you can of course shoot at a full 108 megapixels if you want enormous photos. It should be very interesting to put this sensor through its paces in the full test.
The rest of the rear cameras are disappointing, however – there is an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera, a 2-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. This is what we would expect on phones that cost around Rs. 10,000 these days. On the front, there is a single 16-megapixel selfie shooter in the top center of the display.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G is a pretty high quality SoC and has built-in Adreno 619 graphics as well as the Snapdragon X52 5G modem. While 5G is still a distant hope in India, it is likely worth future proofing if you are spending money on a premium smartphone these days.
Given the prices and the space it takes on Xiaomi’s overall lineup, it’s strange that the storage options are at 128GB and there isn’t a 256GB option. There’s a 4820 mAh battery – or rather, two cells in parallel for a total of 4820 mAh – and you get a 33 W charger in the box.
For the software, we get MIUI 12 with a number of interesting features and improvements such as: B. a reading mode, a Game Turbo mode, a video dashboard, Second Space for data protection and numerous adjustments to the user interface. Unfortunately, there is also a ton of bloatware and multiple promotions for Xiaomi’s GetApps app store.
The Mi 10i is an interesting new option. It feels fresh and brings a lot of unique details to the Sub-Rs. 25,000 seats. It seems to have some compelling specs as well as some useful design details, but will that be enough to set the OnePlus Nord apart? Check out our full review, which will be published shortly, where we’ll find details on the Mi 10i’s overall performance, camera quality, battery life, software, ease of use and much more.
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