When Redmi talked about the 5MP SuperMacro camera on the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, I was trying hard not to roll my eyes. I’ve reviewed countless phones with the ‘Macro’ camera, and have almost always found it to be lacking in quality. But with the Note 10 Pro Max, Redmi is promising a much improved macro camera at the back. So when I got the phone for review, it was definitely one aspect I was keen to explore. Of course, that’s not the main highlight of this phone. The big focus is that this offers a 108MP camera at a starting price of Rs 18,999.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is also the most expensive phone in the Note series from the brand to date. The highest variant of 8GB RAM and 128GB storage will cost Rs 21,999. The price is interesting, given Redmi’s parent Xiaomi also has the Mi 10i, which is a 5G ready phone with a 108MP camera at a price point of Rs 20,999.
I’ve had the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max for two days now, and here’s my first impression of the device.
Redmi Note 10 Pro Max: Camera
I’m going to start with the camera because that is the main focus of the phones. In fact, this has become Redmi’s formula with the Note series. Each year, the camera gets a massive upgrade. Last year, the Note 9 Pro Max had a 64MP camera, and this year, it gets bumped up to 108MP.
I would say the camera continues to deliver excellent performance, especially if I consider the price of Rs 18,999. Now, what about that SuperMacro? It is impressive, to say the least. The phone manages to get a lot more clarity when you are really close to an object, it preserves details and the colours, though on the saturated side, look pleasing. I shot pictures of flowers on my roof with the Macro and it was windy when I was attempting this. Despite the wind and my shaky hands, the camera managed to keep focus, which is also impressive.
I’ve only used the 5MP Macro in bright daylight, and the performance in low-light or indoors is still to be determined. I will discuss more in the full review.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max comes with a 108MP camera at the back, and while I’ve not shot in the full mode, the other shots I’ve taken with the camera are pleasing. I also used the night mode when clicking pictures of some toys inside a room with the phone, and it certainly brightens the photo in a good way.
One colour where I did notice the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max struggle was with a bright dark purple flower, which appears washed out and a little unnatural. I’ve yet to use the camera in low-light. It also comes with other modes such as long exposure, better video recording and Vlog modes, which I’ve yet to test out. But so far, the camera is delivering excellent results
Redmi Note 10 Pro Max: What else has changed?
The other major change on the Redmi Note 10 series is the AMOLED display along with a higher refresh rate of 120Hz for the Pro Max. It is also brighter with 1200 nits maximum brightness. The display is crisp and bright when using indoors, though I prefer to keep brightness on the lower side. In bright sunlight, it is legible and works fine, though it is a bit reflective.
But I must say I’ve never had a problem with the display on most Xiaomi phones even in bright sunlight. Yes, it is good to see AMOLED at lower price points, but don’t let that be the only reason for purchasing this or any other phone.
The phone runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G processor and I have the 6GB RAM+ 128GB version for review. Redmi has not gone for a 5G phone, unlike rival Realme. Their logic is if you want a future-proof device, this might not be the phone for you. Given 5G is unlikely to roll out properly in India, even over the next two years, one shouldn’t worry that the device is not future-proof. After all, even 5G rolls out in 2022, the pricing for such connections might be on the higher side, and adoption will take some time. Still, those who want every single latest feature might find this aspect of the Note 10 series, as a deal-breaker.
The phone comes with a 5020 mAh battery and a 33W fast charger, which should easily last two days with minimal usage. I’ve yet to put the battery through tests, but I’m expecting at least a day’s battery life with heavy-duty usage.
Xiaomi has added dual-stereo speakers on the phone as well as Hi-Res audio support. The phone retains an audio jack as well. I’ve yet to watch any show on this phone and will have to wait to see how it fares on this front.
The design has also ‘evolved’ on the Redmi Note 10 series. It is now called ‘Evol’ design, and the camera is tucked away in one corner, with the Redmi branding written at the bottom in a more minimalist style. The camera module does jut out a lot.
The fingerprint sensor is part of the power button. The dot-camera on the front is smaller than ever as well. Still, the phone is light and sleek. I didn’t get the ‘Vintage Bronze option’ and have the ‘Dark Night’. My main issue would be that it is glossy and feels slippery. I would highly recommend getting a sturdy case for this phone if you plan to buy it.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is also splash-resistant and dust resistant with a rating of IP53, so it should be good with minor splashes. But Xiaomi’s website makes it clear that if the device is wet, one should not “attempt to charge it.”
So far, the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max looks promising for the kind of features it offers, and while the price is certainly higher, the phone has evolved from its earlier iterations. There’s a lot more on offer for those who want to get the best features from the Redmi Note series. The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max goes on sale from March 18. Stay tuned for our review for a more detailed verdict on the phone.