Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G review: when the price changes everything

It was not easy to understand how to approach the review of Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G. The reason? We are faced with an absolutely valid device from many points of view, but which we probably didn’t really need. In fact, it is difficult to frame the newcomer in the commercial proposal of the Chinese manufacturer. We are used to seeing new Xiaomi smartphones with similar characteristics and often overlapping with models already on the market. This is one of the reasons that prompted us to create one dedicated guide, to help users navigate the many models available. Despite this, the manufacturer has never been criticized, thanks to prices that are always very competitive, and lower than direct competitors.

This time the situation is a bit different. Mi 10T Pro 5G arrives in Italy starting from 599 euros in the 8/128 Gigabyte version up to 649 euros for the configuration that includes 256 Gigabytes of internal memory. As successors of the successful series Mi 9T, many expected a more aggressive positioning. Mind you, they are anyway adequate figures to what is offered but that – in addition to putting it in direct competition with many other devices (OnePlus 8, Realme X50 Pro just to name a few) – might even make him less attractive when compared to his older brother Wed 10. The latter is now available online at similar figures (sometimes even lower) and provides that little bit more, which the newcomer lacks.

Design and ergonomics: goodbye lightness

Mi 10T Pro 5G does not stand out for its originality. The shell is made of glass and is available in Cosmic Black, Lunar Silver, Aurora Blue colors. The first is the one in our possession and is certainly the least attractive of the three. The panel unfortunately holds too much fingerprints. The oleophobic treatment was therefore rejected. The rear glass also houses the photographic compartment, whose protrusion is really very evident. It certainly does not go unnoticed.

The panel curves slightly on the sides before meeting the aluminum side frame, where on the right Xiaomi has placed the volume rocker and the biometric sensor for fingerprint recognition inside the power button. Personally I find this solution much more comfortable compared to the one that sees the sensor integrated under the screen, but it is precisely a personal judgment. In any case, the operation is perfect, the fingerprint recognition takes place always quickly. You can also use face recognition to log in to your smartphone.

The lower edge houses the speaker, which together with the ear capsule offers stereo sound, of a quality that we can define as average. Then we find the trolley for the SIM (there is no memory expansion, but you can use two phone cards at the same time) and the USB Type-C port for charging.

The first feeling as soon as you pick up the Mi 10T Pro is of absolute solidity and good build quality. The dimensions of 165.1 x 76.4 x 9.3 mm and the weight of 218 grams help to convey this feeling, but we cannot say that it is a comfortable smartphone to carry with you, indeed it is bulky and heavy. If you are used to carrying it in a bag or using clothing with large and deep pockets, you will probably have no problem, but don’t think that it will disappear easily in every pocket. In addition, the weight is not very well balanced, and it becomes difficult to hold and use it with one hand.

The screen is a 6.67-inch IPS LCD panel with Full-HD + resolution, HDR10 certified. All (or almost) we turned up our noses when we saw the absence of an AMOLED panel, present instead on MI 10. We all (or almost all) have to change our minds. The display is of high quality and offers a satisfying visual experience, with excellent contrast, vibrant colors and excellent brightness, not to make you miss the AMOLED screen very much.

Auto brightness works well and I have never had to take action to manually adjust it. The outdoor visibility is discreet which – on very sunny days – could be a little compromised also due to the reflections of the glass cover. And then there is the notification LED, which is now disappearing, but which is always a pleasure to find again. It is small and discreet, in one word, perfect. On the other hand, the 3.5 mm audio jack that I personally always prefer to have available.

One of the most advertised features by Xiaomi is the 144Hz refresh rate, a hardly usable value at the moment since it is not supported by many applications or games. In any case, the fluidity of the Mi 10T Pro display is undeniable. Moreover, thanks to technology Adaptive Sync the software automatically adjusts the refresh rate to the content we are viewing, thus also optimizing energy consumption.

Excellent performance, autonomy that satisfies

We had no doubts about the performance of the Mi 10T Pro. Under the body we find the same hardware platform as Mi 10: Snapdragon 865, 8 Gigabytes of RAM and 128 or 256 Gigabytes of non-expandable internal memory. The Xiaomi smartphone did not disappoint at all, always showing itself to be fluid and responsive. Never any uncertainty or slowdown, even when put under stress.

It is responsive and fluid in every operation, even with video games, where the high refresh rate of the screen is most visible. Heat dissipation is also very good, difficult to perceive on the back, even after a long use. In short, it has absolutely not failed to meet expectations.

Autonomy is also more than satisfactory. During our test, the 5,000 mAh battery (with a classic mixed use of work and entertainment) allowed us to use it for two days compared to almost 6 hours of screen on. In any case, even using it more intensely, you will arrive in the evening with a good percentage of residual charge. Then there is the support for fast charging from 33W, with charger included in the package where we also find a practical protective case.

The credit for these results also goes to the software optimization carried out by Xiaomi. Mi 10T Pro 5G arrives with Android 10 customized with the graphic interface MUI 12 which continues to improve day by day. In fact, the new interface is much cleaner than the previous ones without putting aside the many functions available as well as the possibilities of customization.

Complete connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi x dual-band, GPS A-GLONASS BDS Galileo, NFC, infrared port, obviously 5G. Too bad for the absence of the 3.5 mm audio jack already underlined above.

Camera: satisfactory results, but can be improved

Mi 10T Pro 5G integrates three cameras on the back. Xiaomi once again chooses to follow the line introduced with Mi Note 10 and adopt the main 108 Megapixel sensor, produced by Samsung with optics with f / 1.7 aperture and optical image stabilization. Accompanying it are a 13 Megapixel wide-angle (f / 2.4, 123 °) and a latest 5 Megapixel (f / 2.4) sensor for macros. In short, a configuration similar to that of the brother Mi 10.

As you will have understood, a telephoto lens is missing, even if I must admit that the 2X zoom managed by the main sensor behaves very well managing to pull out satisfying shots. In general, the photos taken during the day are of a high standard both with the main sensor and with the wide angle that manages to minimize the classic distortion effect.

The colors are bright, very natural. The photos retain a good amount of detail. Shooting and image processing taken at full resolution (108 MP) are really fast. Too bad that the result drops at night, where there is a significant loss of detail and digital noise takes over which tends to make the photo less realistic.

There is the night mode that manages to improve the scene a little, but we cannot use it with the wide-angle sensor whose performance – in the absence of sufficient light – drops drastically. On the other hand, macro shots are average. In short, the step forward that Xiaomi is making in the photographic field but it still remains far from the results obtained by the top of the range Samsung or Huawei. In any case, net of the aspects that can be improved, we would like to promote the photographic sector.

Note of merit for the software solutions developed by the Chinese manufacturer. The camera options are so many and meet the needs of those users who are looking for a way to create different content directly from their smartphone. The function Aperture – for example – it allows you to take several photos of the same subject in different positions and then create a single image. Or, the option Front-Back allows you to record a video simultaneously with both the front and rear cameras.

Selfies taken with the 20 Megapixel front camera are also good, capable of creating a satisfying portrait mode. You can also take advantage of the night mode with the front sensor. Videos can be recorded up to 8K resolution at 30 fps. The stabilization contributes to obtaining excellent results even if the advice is to shoot in 4K at 60 fps for more stable videos. Also, if you record at full resolution, you can’t switch between sensors to enlarge or shrink the scene.

Conclusions: who should buy it?

This time it is difficult to find the ideal buyer for this smartphone. Mi 10T Pro is a smartphone that does not show any particular critical issues. Good screen, excellent autonomy and excellent performance. The list price of 599 euros is adequate for what is offered, but which – as mentioned at the beginning – may not do it honor especially when compared with the top of the range of rivals, already subject to depreciation. Same phenomenon that is affecting the brother Wed 10 which you can buy at similar figures but which offers a more sophisticated design and an AMOLED display.

In short, it is a valid smartphone, but the quality / price ratio this time does not scream a miracle. Personally I was expecting that little bit more, which didn’t happen. However, it could still be successful if – as often happens – in the coming months it will suffer the natural price drop. Despite this, it will certainly not have the road smoothed. The big challenge will be played right at home. Mi 10T Pro will not only have to contend with Mi 10 (which will continue to be more and more convenient) but also with Poco F2 Pro, which on the same official website is offered at 469 euros in the 8/256 GB version. The latter, however, is part of a brand still little known in our country.

Without forgetting the younger brother Mi 10T which – with 2 GB of RAM less and a 64 Mp camera instead of the 108 MP one – has a list price of 499.90 euros. Paradoxically, this may be the most sensible choice for a potential buyer.

In short, Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro is a good product, but perhaps it was not so necessary. Or at least, not at this list price.

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