Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review

GSMArena team, 06 Nov 2019.

Daylight camera samples

The Mi Note 10 takes very nice 27MP photos with its main cam. They are packed with detail (27MP is a lot) and this is the first time we're seeing the patterns of the balcony blinds rendered so clearly with a 1x cam. Meanwhile noise is virtually eliminated. The colors are spot on, and dynamic range is very wide (all of these were shot in HDR Auto).

Daylight samples, 1x - f/1.6, ISO 100, 1/2816s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 1x - f/1.6, ISO 100, 1/1834s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 1x - f/1.6, ISO 100, 1/2943s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Daylight samples, 1x - f/1.6, ISO 100, 1/2393s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 1x - f/1.6, ISO 101, 1/2465s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 1x - f/1.6, ISO 101, 1/2858s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Daylight samples, 1x - f/1.6, ISO 101, 1/2158s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 1x - f/1.6, ISO 102, 1/4802s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 1x - f/1.6, ISO 101, 1/1917s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Daylight samples, 1x

Shooting at the nominal 108MP resolution comes with an obvious noise penalty, for which you're getting a marginal increase in absolute detail. Upscaling and then sharpening the 27MP will give you cleaner images with only the slightest bit less fine detail, which, frankly, we can't imagine anyone needing out of their phone camera. Mind you, when shooting in 108MP, the phone takes significantly longer to save the image, and we also had the camera app freeze on us on several occasions during this process. 27MP is more than enough, use that.

Daylight samples, 1x, 108MP - f/1.6, ISO 101, 1/1231s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 1x, 108MP - f/1.6, ISO 101, 1/889s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 1x, 108MP - f/1.6, ISO 100, 1/957s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Daylight samples, 1x, 108MP - f/1.6, ISO 100, 1/1143s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 1x, 108MP - f/1.6, ISO 100, 1/1266s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 1x, 108MP - f/1.6, ISO 102, 1/1126s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Daylight samples, 1x, 108MP

Since we have a bit more to say about the telephotos, let's get the ultra wide out of the way first. It's photos are a touch soft throughout the frame, but only in comparison with the main cam and certainly not worse than other ultra wides. The software distortion correction is competent too and doesn't mess up your corners. We're liking the colors and the dynamic range too. Most important, perhaps, is the camera's ability to autofocus, making it a lot more versatile than the majority of rivals, letting you focus on nearby objects, as opposed to being locked at infinity.

Daylight samples, 0.6x - f/2.2, ISO 100, 1/1073s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 0.6x - f/2.2, ISO 100, 1/885s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 0.6x - f/2.2, ISO 100, 1/847s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Daylight samples, 0.6x - f/2.2, ISO 100, 1/709s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 0.6x - f/2.2, ISO 100, 1/982s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 0.6x - f/2.2, ISO 100, 1/1262s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Daylight samples, 0.6x

On to the zoom modules. The 2x cam takes really sharp 12MP images, which are, however, quite noisy even in bright daylight. Colors are nicely matched with the main cam, which isn't something you can say of all multi-cam setups we've seen. Dynamic range is quite good too - not main-camera-good, but still respectable.

On a side note, one begins to wonder if cropping the center of the main cam's 27MP to match the coverage of the short tele wouldn't make for a better 2x shot, but after trying it out, the answer is 'not really'. Almost, but not really. The same experiment carried out when starting with a 108MP shot got us to the same conclusion - the dedicated 2x module still makes a valid case for its presence.

Daylight samples, 2x - f/2.0, ISO 100, 1/3252s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 2x - f/2.0, ISO 101, 1/1855s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 2x - f/2.0, ISO 102, 1/3826s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Daylight samples, 2x - f/2.0, ISO 100, 1/1012s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 2x - f/2.0, ISO 101, 1/1244s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 2x - f/2.0, ISO 100, 1/2248s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Daylight samples, 2x

Which gets us to the 5x telephoto. The 8MP photos we got out of it are plenty sharp and we'd easily forgive it the moderate amounts of noise there is. The continued consistency in color rendering is much appreciated too.

Daylight samples, 5x - f/2.0, ISO 100, 1/1992s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 5x - f/2.0, ISO 100, 1/1153s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 5x - f/2.0, ISO 100, 1/2637s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Daylight samples, 5x - f/2.0, ISO 100, 1/1024s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 5x - f/2.0, ISO 100, 1/1039s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 5x - f/2.0, ISO 101, 1/2275s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Daylight samples, 5x

We did immediately think of a comparison with the other 5x camera that's widely available, the periscope one on the Huawei P30 Pro. In a head-to-head comparison, the two capture about the same detail - the Huawei may have a minor edge in the definition of the text inside the clock in the second sample, but we can't say it has a definitive advantage in the plant on the balcony in the first image. In any case, the Mi Note 10 costs a little more than half the price of the P30 Pro, and the Huawei certainly isn't performing twice as good.

Daylight samples, 5x, Huawei P30 Pro - f/3.4, ISO 50, 1/683s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 5x, Huawei P30 Pro - f/3.4, ISO 50, 1/1142s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Daylight samples, 5x, Huawei P30 Pro - f/3.4, ISO 50, 1/686s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Daylight samples, 5x, Huawei P30 Pro

Low-light camera samples

We're really liking the low-light shots out of the Mi Note 10's main camera, in the general Photo mode. They're detailed and clean, with nice mostly accurate colors. Perhaps a bit more dynamic range in the highlights wouldn't hurt, but we're more than okay as it is.

Xiaomi Mi Note 10 27MP low-light photos - f/1.6, ISO 2884, 1/13s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review Xiaomi Mi Note 10 27MP low-light photos - f/1.6, ISO 2842, 1/13s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review Xiaomi Mi Note 10 27MP low-light photos - f/1.6, ISO 2023, 1/13s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review Xiaomi Mi Note 10 27MP low-light photos - f/1.6, ISO 2927, 1/13s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 27MP low-light photos - f/1.6, ISO 1907, 1/13s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review Xiaomi Mi Note 10 27MP low-light photos - f/1.6, ISO 763, 1/13s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review Xiaomi Mi Note 10 27MP low-light photos - f/1.6, ISO 1879, 1/13s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review Xiaomi Mi Note 10 27MP low-light photos - f/1.6, ISO 12800, 1/4s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 27MP low-light photos

Switch to Night mode, and you won't be getting much better results, though it restores most of the clipped highlights but loses some detail and sharpness. The Night Mode on the Mi Note 10 is one of the most conservative ones we've seen and acts more like HDR rather than Night mode. There is something that may make it rather unattractive though - while shooting takes about 2 seconds, processing the image (read the camera is unavailable) takes about 10 seconds. That's why we suggest sticking with Photo mode instead, and happily so.

Xiaomi Mi Note 10 27MP Night Mode photos - f/1.6, ISO 2875, 1/7s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review Xiaomi Mi Note 10 27MP Night Mode photos - f/1.6, ISO 2232, 1/6s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review Xiaomi Mi Note 10 27MP Night Mode photos - f/1.6, ISO 2150, 1/7s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review Xiaomi Mi Note 10 27MP Night Mode photos - f/1.6, ISO 2420, 1/7s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 27MP Night Mode photos - f/1.6, ISO 1751, 1/8s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review Xiaomi Mi Note 10 27MP Night Mode photos - f/1.6, ISO 1452, 1/10s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review Xiaomi Mi Note 10 27MP Night Mode photos - f/1.6, ISO 1766, 1/8s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review Xiaomi Mi Note 10 27MP Night Mode photos - f/1.6, ISO 12768, 1/5s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 27MP Night Mode photos

On to the 2x zoom module. Unlike most phones on the market which will decide for yourself which camera to use in the dark, if it says 2x in the Mi Note 10's viewfinder and you're in Photo mode, the 2x will be used.

It's capable of some very sharp and detailed shots, though they all exhibit one major flaw - noise. It's luminance noise this time, made all the more obvious by the sharpening. It's a valid approach, and you can get rid of some of it in post choosing your own balance between noise and detail, it's just that it's a bit too much to start with.

Low-light samples, 2x zoom - f/2.0, ISO 6400, 1/33s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Low-light samples, 2x zoom - f/2.0, ISO 4883, 1/33s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Low-light samples, 2x zoom - f/2.0, ISO 6400, 1/33s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Low-light samples, 2x zoom - f/2.0, ISO 6400, 1/33s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Low-light samples, 2x zoom - f/2.0, ISO 2743, 1/33s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Low-light samples, 2x zoom - f/2.0, ISO 6400, 1/33s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Low-light samples, 2x zoom

Now, if you go into Night mode, the 2x magnification will come out of the main cam instead, and will be in 27MP, only zoomed in to match the correct field of view. As with the 1x mode it takes a while for the photo to be saved and this one will restore the clipped highlights as well, and also do a minor improvement in contrast. We played around and downscaled a 27MP 2x Night mode image to 12MP to see how it compares against the 12MP 2x Photo mode shots, and it's... ever so slightly more detailed, though not really worth the trouble, perhaps.

Low-light samples, 2x zoom, Night mode - f/1.6, ISO 2874, 1/6s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review Low-light samples, 2x zoom, Night mode - f/1.6, ISO 2444, 1/7s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review Low-light samples, 2x zoom, Night mode - f/1.6, ISO 3630, 1/10s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review
Low-light samples, 2x zoom, Night mode

It gets more interesting when you zoom in to 5x in the dark - the long tele actually does produce usable results much to our amazement. Your results will vary from scene to scene, and even the best ones won't be spectacular in terms of dynamic range, and maybe you'll generally get underexposed shots. But the fact is, you'll be getting images in which you can make out the subjects in the dark at around 130mm focal length out of smartphone. And that's mighty impressive.

It's worth pointing out that while the camera may be capable of capturing a sharp image, the autofocus may not be willing to comply all of the time. If you get soft shots, it's very likely that you didn't bother to tap to focus, or didn't wait for the focus to lock before triggering.

Low-light samples, 5x camera - f/2.0, ISO 2423, 1/20s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Low-light samples, 5x camera - f/2.0, ISO 1941, 1/20s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Low-light samples, 5x camera - f/2.0, ISO 2687, 1/20s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Low-light samples, 5x camera - f/2.0, ISO 3147, 1/17s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Low-light samples, 5x camera - f/2.0, ISO 1535, 1/25s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Low-light samples, 5x camera - f/2.0, ISO 2284, 1/20s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Low-light samples, 5x camera

The ultra wide angle cam really struggles in the dark, with both exposure and autofocus. Give it enough light and time to focus, however, and it can produce decent images, like the second sample below.

Low-light samples, ultra wide angle camera - f/2.2, ISO 5315, 1/14s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Low-light samples, ultra wide angle camera - f/2.2, ISO 1845, 1/17s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Low-light samples, ultra wide angle camera - f/2.2, ISO 8411, 1/14s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Low-light samples, ultra wide angle camera - f/2.2, ISO 7136, 1/14s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Low-light samples, ultra wide angle camera - f/2.2, ISO 2652, 1/14s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Low-light samples, ultra wide angle camera - f/2.2, ISO 7690, 1/14s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Low-light samples, ultra wide angle camera

There's no night mode for the 5x telephoto or the ultra wide angle cam.

Picture Compare Tool

Here's how the main camera on the Mi Note 10 stacks against the rest of the competition in a more controlled environment.

Photo Compare Tool Photo Compare Tool Photo Compare Tool
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 against the Mi 9T and the Realme X2 Pro in our Photo compare tool

Close-ups

Since there's a dedicated 'macro' camera, we snapped a few quick close-ups. At just 2MP, it's not all the resolving power you might want, but as we previously pointed out with the telephotos, you can't replicate this unassuming module's output with the other cams.

Close-up samples - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Close-up samples - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Close-up samples - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Close-up samples - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Close-up samples

Portraits

Portraits on the Mi Note 10 are taken with the 2x cam. Subject detection is excellent, and the produced background blur looks natural at the f/1.8 simulated aperture we opted for (the default is f/3.5).

Portrait samples - f/2.0, ISO 314, 1/100s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Portrait samples - f/2.0, ISO 621, 1/50s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Portrait samples - f/2.0, ISO 100, 1/954s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Portrait samples

Of course, you can use the portrait mode on non-human subjects with much the same success.

Portrait samples - f/2.0, ISO 100, 1/1282s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Portrait samples - f/2.0, ISO 100, 1/490s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Portrait samples - f/2.0, ISO 100, 1/211s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Portrait samples

Big sensors with bright optics will have the ability to naturally blur the background more than small-and-dim combos due to their inherently shallower depth of field. Well, the Mi Note 10 has the biggest sensor on a smartphone to date, coupled with an f/1.7 lens, and that shallow depth of field is one aspect of the phone camera's performance that's easy to overlook. The Mi Note 10 in its photo mode will deliver creamy out of focus areas like no other phone right now, provided you keep your subject close - works with people too.

Natural bokeh from main cam at 1x with nearby subjects - f/1.6, ISO 100, 1/111s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Natural bokeh from main cam at 1x with nearby subjects - f/1.6, ISO 141, 1/50s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Natural bokeh from main cam at 1x with nearby subjects - f/1.6, ISO 131, 1/100s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Natural bokeh from main cam at 1x with nearby subjects - f/1.6, ISO 100, 1/114s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Natural bokeh from main cam at 1x with nearby subjects - f/1.6, ISO 195, 1/100s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Natural bokeh from main cam at 1x with nearby subjects - f/1.6, ISO 102, 1/50s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Natural bokeh from main cam at 1x with nearby subjects

Selfies

Selfies out of the Mi Note 10 come out looking pretty good, with high dynamic range and mostly nice colors. Looking at them up close, there's not really 32MP of detail, but we didn't expect that either.

Selfie samples - f/2.0, ISO 100, 1/165s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Selfie samples - f/2.0, ISO 240, 1/50s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Selfie samples - f/2.0, ISO 261, 1/33s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Selfie samples - f/2.0, ISO 100, 1/670s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Selfie samples

When shooting selfie portraits on the Mi Note 10, you'd be sacrificing the HDR processing - there's only so much they can do at the same time with just one cam. However, subject isolation is competent and the background blur at our chosen f/1.8 setting is pretty convincing.

Selfie portrait samples - f/2.0, ISO 100, 1/158s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Selfie portrait samples - f/2.0, ISO 243, 1/50s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Selfie portrait samples - f/2.0, ISO 261, 1/33s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review Selfie portrait samples - f/2.0, ISO 100, 1/670s - Xiaomi Mi Note 10 hands-on review
Selfie portrait samples

Reader comments

Well, first of all, that phone has a 60hz display. Second of all, it's from 2019 and you'd be hard pressed to find a phone from that year that didn't have a 60hz display. The only one I can name off the top of my head is the OnePlus 7 ...

  • Anonymous

Hlo bro do u know how much is the refresh rate of mi note 10 pro.. cuz i wanna buy it plz bro just tell me the refresh rate I can't find it anywhere

  • Anonymous

This one haw march mani