REVIEW: Xiaomi’s best of 2020, the Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G, is still a compelling buy

Paolo Lacuna
·Contributor
·6-min read
Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G. (PHOTO: Xiaomi)
Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G. (PHOTO: Xiaomi)

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SINGAPORE – While everyone is excited to hear more news of the Xiaomi Mi11, 2020’s Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G is still a compelling smartphone to purchase today. It was launched in the last quarter of 2020, giving it the advantage of having the best specifications for a 2020 smartphone. And priced at S$729 (before S$799) for a 5G ready phone, it’s easy to recommend if you’re looking to upgrade your 2-year-old phone today.

Buy now at S$729

Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G. (PHOTO: Paolo Lacuna/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)
Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G. (PHOTO: Paolo Lacuna/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

On hand, we have the Cosmic Black version of the Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G. Its shiny, mirror-like black back looks so good; it feels like holding a polished slab of precious metal. Being this shiny, though, fingerprints stick to it a lot. Inside the box, you will get a Xiaomi branded jelly case which is objectively acceptable. I do feel that the large Xiaomi text along the broad side of the case looks gaudy. There are better third party options for a protective case.

Shiny black back -  Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G. (PHOTO: Paolo Lacuna/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)
Shiny black back - Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G. (PHOTO: Paolo Lacuna/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

More on the design, the camera bump of the Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G is quite thick since it does house an extensive camera array led by a 108MP primary camera. More details on the camera below. The phone’s rear has rounded edges, making it easy and comfortable to grip, which is especially important because the phone can get quite slippery. There are no buttons on its left side of the phone. The volume rocker and the super-fast fingerprint scanner and power button combo lives on the phone’s right side. Honestly, I prefer this side fingerprint scanner to an on-screen for its accuracy and comfort.

Buy now at S$729

Camera view - Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G. (PHOTO: Paolo Lacuna/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)
Camera view - Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G. (PHOTO: Paolo Lacuna/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

The bright 6.67-inch LCD screen is flat, which I also prefer from rounded edges. It may not be AMOLED, but the screen is still clear with its FHD+ 1080x2400 resolution, with options to adjust the colour to your liking. But what really won me over is the 144Hz refresh rate, which makes the screen and the experience super smooth. You do have the option to drop the refresh rate to 90Hz or 60Hz to save on battery life, but they don’t deliver the same buttery smooth experience. The refresh rate is also adaptive to optimise the right refresh rate for the app you’re using.

Gaming looks clear on the Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G. (PHOTO: Paolo Lacuna/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)
Gaming looks clear on the Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G. (PHOTO: Paolo Lacuna/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

No surprise that the Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G is powerful with its Snapdragon 865 processor supported by 8GB memory and the Adreno 650 GPU. I’ve been daily-driving this phone for more than a month now, and it hasn’t stuttered. Apart from the usual social, video and entertainment apps, I’ve played some CPU intensive games like Genshin Impact with no real game-breaking issues. You’ll be stuck, though, with Xiaomi’s Android skin, MIUI, which at the time of writing is at version 12, but still stuck on Android 10. There will be an update to Android 11 soon.

The 5,000 mah battery is adequate for a day’s use while maxing the screen refresh at 144Hz. Letting it drop to 5%, I can charge the Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G to 100% in 55 minutes, provided I use the included 33-Watt fast charger. It’s not the fastest, but very much faster than other flagship phones. And the inclusion of the fast charger is always a plus. There’s no wireless charging, though, which is fine if you consider the detailed pricing of Xiaomi for this flagship-grade smartphone.

Now onto the Pro features of the Pro labelled smartphone. The Xiaomi Mi10T Pro’s main camera set includes a 108MP, 13MP ultrawide and 5MP macro lens, and the selfie cam is 20MP. There’s no telephoto or a depth sensor, but the photos and videos are still impressive for a phone in its price range.

Standard photo sample taken with the Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G. (PHOTO: Paolo Lacuna/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)
Standard photo sample taken with the Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G. (PHOTO: Paolo Lacuna/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

Xiaomi boasts that any beginner can compose outstanding photos with the Mi10T Pro 5G. The standard setting of the camera proves to be very capable with minimal tweaking. Images retain a lot of colour, detail and sharpness, even on macro shots. Colour saturation is not as intense as other cameras, although I generally feel it looks a tad more realistic.

Portrait photo sample taken with the Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G. (PHOTO: Paolo Lacuna/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)
Portrait photo sample taken with the Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G. (PHOTO: Paolo Lacuna/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

It is no surprise that the Xiaomi Mi10T Pro handles portraits very well, with subjects clearly being separated from backgrounds.

Video performance is also quite good, with support for 1080p, 4K and even 8K. 1080P and 4K support both 30 and 60fps, while 8K only supports 24fps and 30fps. I’ve tried walking around while recording on 4K 60fps, and video stabilisation works as expected. Videos are smooth with minimal wobble. 8K videos are a challenge, though, and would do better if the phone was stable on a tripod.

Nothing to complain about with the selfie cam; it works as expected for both video and photos. Portraits are clean, and beauty mode doesn’t make you look like a plastic doll.

Selfie photo sample taken with the Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G. (PHOTO: Paolo Lacuna/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)
Selfie photo sample taken with the Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G. (PHOTO: Paolo Lacuna/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

Some of the camera features and include photo editing tools might be too gimmicky, though. I’ve tried taking photos with the 108M setting, but overall I don’t see much of a difference with standard photos. I’ve stuck to using standard settings most of the time. I found Sky to be fun to use to swap out the skyline in your photos with other scenarios like a brighter, less cloudy sky, a night sky, or a dynamic scene with fireworks.

Dual video is also an interesting way to shoot videos, but not entirely new. We’ve seen this feature in many smartphones before the Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G. It’s pretty standard, but you can’t change the layout.

The Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G, for me, stands to be one of the best phones that came out in late 2020 and is an easy phone to recommend if you’re looking to upgrade your 2-year-old smartphone. Modern features are included, like the 144Hz screen refresh and Snapdragon 865 processor. The build looks and feels premium and can stand up to other flagship phones of much larger brands. The camera is competent; even casual shooters might even find the gimmicky features fun to use. And having 5G support is a plus when 5G becomes prime-time in Singapore.

I personally love the Cosmic Black. But the Xiaomi Mi10T Pro 5G also comes in Aurora Blue and Lunar Silver. On sale now with a very compelling price at S$729, you can get them in Xiaomi’s official stores in Lazada.

Buy now at S$729

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