When Redmi talked about the 5MP SuperMacro camera on the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, he was trying not to roll his eyes. I have reviewed countless phones with the ‘Macro’ camera and have almost always found it lacking in quality. But with the Note 10 Pro Max, Redmi promises an improved macro camera on the back. So when I got the phone to check it out, it was definitely an aspect I was eager to explore. Of course, that’s not the highlight of this phone. The big focus is that it offers a 108MP camera at a starting price of Rs 18,999.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is also the brand’s most expensive Note series phone to date. The highest variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage will cost Rs 21,999. The price is interesting, given that Redmi’s father Xiaomi also has the Mi 10i, which is a 5G-ready phone with a 108MP camera priced at Rs 20,999.
I have had the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max for two days and this is my first impression of the device.
Redmi Note 10 Pro Max: camera
I’ll start with the camera because that’s the main focus of phones. In fact, this has become the Redmi formula with the Note series. Every year the camera receives a massive update. Last year, the Note 9 Pro Max had a 64MP camera, and this year, it goes up to 108MP.
I would say that the camera still offers excellent performance, especially when you consider the price of Rs 18,999. Now what about that SuperMacro? It is impressive to say the least. The phone manages to get much more clarity when you are really close to an object, it preserves details and colors, although on the saturated side, they look nice. I took pictures of flowers on my roof with the macro and it was windy when I was trying this. Despite the wind and my shaking hands, the camera managed to keep focus, which is impressive too.
I’ve only used the 5MP macro in broad daylight, and performance in low light or indoors is yet to be determined. I will discuss more in the full review.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max comes with a 108MP camera on the back, and while I haven’t shot in full mode, the other shots I’ve taken with the camera are nice. I also used night mode when clicking pictures of some toys within a room with the phone, and it certainly brightens up the photo in a good way.
One color that I noticed the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max struggling in was with a bright dark purple flower, which looks faded and a bit unnatural. I still have to use the camera in low light conditions. It also comes with other modes, such as long exposure, better video recording, and Vlog modes, which I have not tried yet. But so far, the camera is giving excellent results.
Redmi Note 10 Pro Max: what else has changed?
The other major change in the Redmi Note 10 series is the AMOLED display along with a higher refresh rate of 120 Hz for the Pro Max. It is also brighter with a maximum brightness of 1200 nits. The screen is sharp and bright when used indoors, although I prefer to keep the brightness on the bottom. In bright sunlight it is legible and works well, although it is a bit reflective.
But I must say that I have never had a problem with the screen of most Xiaomi phones, even in bright sunlight. Yes, it is nice to see AMOLED at lower prices, but don’t let that be the only reason to buy this or any other phone.
The phone runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G processor and I have the 6GB RAM + 128GB version to review. Redmi has not opted for a 5G phone, unlike its rival Realme. Their logic is that if you want a future-proof device, this might not be the phone for you. Given that 5G is unlikely to be deployed properly in India even for the next two years, one should not worry that the device is not future proof. After all, even the launch of 5G in 2022, the price of such connections could be higher and adoption will take some time. Still, those who want every latest feature can find this aspect of the Note 10 series to be a deal breaker.
The phone comes with a 5020 mAh battery and 33 W fast charger, which should easily last two days with minimal use. I have yet to test the battery, but I expect at least a day of battery life with heavy use.
Xiaomi has added dual stereo speakers to the phone, as well as Hi-Res audio support. The phone also retains an audio jack. I haven’t watched any shows on this phone yet and will have to wait to see how it fares on this front.
The design has also ‘evolved’ in the Redmi Note 10 series. It is now called the ‘Evol’ design and the camera is tucked away in a corner, with Redmi branding written across the bottom in a more minimalist style. The camera module sticks out a lot.
The fingerprint sensor is part of the power button. The point camera on the front is also smaller than ever. Still, the phone is lightweight and stylish. I didn’t get the ‘Vintage Bronze option’ and had the ‘Dark Night’. My main problem would be that it is shiny and feels slippery. I highly recommend getting a sturdy case for this phone if you plan to buy it.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is also splash and dust resistant with an IP53 rating, so it should be good with small splashes. But the Xiaomi website makes it clear that if the device is wet, you should not “try 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 previous versions. There is much more on offer for those who want to get the best features from the Redmi Note series. The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max will go on sale from March 18. Stay tuned for our review for a more detailed verdict on the phone.