Redmi Note 10 Pro Max review: The Redmi Note series has evolved considerably in recent years. With the Redmi Note 5, the company introduced a Pro variant for the first time, and with the 9 series, it added a Pro Max. The 10th iteration of the Redmi Note series continues this evolution, but the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max gets some substantial improvements.
The main reason you would want to read this review is the camera. Yes, it has a 108MP camera, which is the highlight. The display has also now been upgraded to an AMOLED type, the macro sensor has also been greatly improved, and the phone includes stereo speakers and an improved water and dust resistance rating. But how does all this translate to daily performance? Here is my review.
Redmi Note 10 Pro Max Camera Review: What’s Good, What’s Bad?
Since the focus is on the camera, let me start with that aspect. The 108MP camera is excellent, there is no doubt that it works well, even in difficult lighting situations. Do you really need to take all the pictures in 108MP mode? Probably not, unless you want to zoom in on every aspect of the image and see the details.
For example, I took a photo of this painting at my home, and in 108MP mode, I was really able to get up close and see each person depicted in it in clear detail. This was not possible when shooting in the default mode, where the camera relies on 9-to-1 pixel binning. Still, photos taken in both modes look good and have enough detail. Colors are more saturated, but pleasant in most parts.
As I pointed out in my first impressions, the macro camera is another winner here. It gets the job done right and I found that I could really zoom in on a leaf or flower and capture the texture. Given the price of this phone, I’d say the Macro’s performance is exceptional. I also used the macro camera at night and some of the results weren’t bad at all – even with indoor lighting the macro works fine. Videos can also be recorded in SuperMacro mode, and the main problem I had was with saturation levels.
In night mode, the camera is capable of capturing good details and offering more than adequate performance. But make sure there is some light source when shooting in night mode and your hand really needs to stay steady. I saw some focus issues when shooting at night on my roof, but I was expecting them, given the light wind at the time. Yes, sometimes night mode makes colors look unnatural, but that’s the curse of most phones.
Portrait mode on the phone, although it still has trouble with the edges at times. For example, with my 10-month-old son, even when I managed to get him to stay still, the portrait shots weren’t that great.
As for video recording on the phone, I would say that this aspect of the phone still needs improvement, especially when recording video indoors. Videos shot outdoors are of excellent quality and look sharp.
The main problem I had on the video front would be for videos shot indoors, which are so saturated that the colors look very obviously off. Again, in the few videos I filmed of my son, his skin tone was off. Even in the videos of their toys, the colors are too intense and some of the playmats appear red, when in fact they are orange.
This indoor color saturation issue is also present when I take photos indoors and get too close to the subject. This aspect may need some software fixes. And no, the AI or HDR mode was not activated when recording these videos.
The selfie camera is 16MP and offers pretty good photos. Yes, the skin looks too smooth and my hair has never looked so rich and black, but it should keep most selfie fans happy.
Overall, my main comment on the camera is that yes, it is quite good and that the 108MP camera could come in handy in many situations. The macro is more than adequate and there are plenty of functions to get the most out of the camera. But colors, especially in videos, are sometimes too saturated and need to be dimmed.
See all the photos and videos in this Flickr album. These are not cropped, unlike the ones uploaded in this article. Click the photo below
Redmi Note 10 Pro Max review: design, display
The phone has what Xiaomi calls the ‘Evol’ design. While it looks premium and I like the minimal Redmi branding on the back, a major flaw is the camera and how much it sticks out. The end result is that the device is never laid on its back. Once or twice, he almost slipped off my little desk from home. What adds to the slick is the glossy finish all over. Yes, the device looks premium, but get a case right away to protect it from any potential damage.
The device maintains a slim profile, despite the 5020 mAh battery. The display has a 6.67-inch Full HD + resolution and is now an AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Unless you are one of those who are obsessed with specs, the 60Hz refresh rate should be what good enough. In fact, I only switched to the higher refresh rate later on. The screen works well, regardless of the lighting conditions. Even in bright sunlight, it is legible and you should have no problem using it.
Redmi Note 10 Pro Max review: performance, battery
The phone now runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G processor along with 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of storage. I have version 6 + 128 to review. It has two dedicated SIM slots and a dedicated microSD slot as well. In my one week use, the performance of the phone was not an issue at all. I played games like Dead Effect, Asphalt 9: Legends, Mars, Alto’s Adventure and the phone handled all of these with no problem. For Asphalt and Dead Effect, I switched to the highest screen settings and the games worked fine.
The other daily use is not a problem either. There were no issues when switching between apps, browsing through WhatsApp messages or making in-app video calls, or keeping multiple tabs open in Chrome. In my daily use, I did not see any lag or stuttering, which was not even expected given that Redmi has managed to perfect the performance of its Note devices for quite some time. But the device got hot on top, close to the camera, when playing for a longer period.
The phone runs Android 11 based on MIUI 12. The good news is that with MIUI 12.5 users will have the option to uninstall all preloaded apps, even Xiaomi ones, which some users will appreciate. It will certainly put more options in the hands of users, which is good to see.
The audio quality of the device is also impressive in most parts. Whether you’re watching shows on Netflix or just hitting the Spotify playlist, the phone’s audio is loud and pleasant enough, even with the volume levels halfway.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max’s battery is 5020 mAh and will last more than a day with heavy to moderate duty use. I found it went from less than 20 to 100 percent in just over an hour with the included 33W charger.
Redmi Note 10 Pro Max review: who should buy it?
If you think it’s time to throw your Redmi Note 9 Pro Max or even the more humble spec Redmi Note 9 into a garbage can, I’d say wait. In fact, someone is using a Redmi Note 9 at my house and it still works great with that 48MP camera. For those using the Note 9 Pro Max, that phone is still an excellent device.
If you’re on an older device, like the Note 8 or Note 7 series or even older, it might be time to upgrade. For those who have been looking for a new phone on the market and want top-of-the-line specs below Rs 20,000, this phone is certainly an option that will not disappoint.
If your budget is around Rs 16,000, it would be wiser to get the Pro version, which has a 64MP camera and the same processor, battery, and display. You don’t need to stretch your budget just to get a taller camera. But for those on a flexible budget, this is hands down one of the best phones at this price.