We’ve seen hyper-premium smartphones topping every chart — including price! On the other hand, we’ve seen fantastic value smartphones costing less than €400 with cheaper, more efficient chipsets. The Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro is somewhere in the middle. At €599, can it balance features and price? Find out in Android Authority’s Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro review.
Design: Dominos, anyone?
- 165.1 x 76.4 x 9.3mm
- Gorilla Glass 5
- A side-mounted capacitive fingerprint scanner
- Notification LED
- Stereo speakers
The Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro is a typical 2020 smartphone. It’s made of metal and Gorilla Glass 5, with a flat punch-hole display on the front, and a chunky camera bump on the back. From whichever angle you view this device, it’s as familiar as they come.
It's a familiar, yet hefty design with a big domino-shaped camera bump.
At 218g, it’s a rather hefty unit. Add a display spanning a mighty 6.67 inches and it’s hardly your pocket’s best mate. That said, the rounded glass back and thin bezels help it, ergonomically. In the hand, the phone feels smooth yet grippy thanks to the coating on the metal side rails. Unfortunately, there’s no IP rating on the Mi 10T Pro. This decision was likely made to keep the device cost as low as possible.
On the right, there’s a rapid capacitive fingerprint scanner that doubles as a power button. Above that is a volume rocker which was slightly loose on our Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro review unit, unfortunately. The opposite side is completely bare. On the top, is a speaker port, an IR blaster, and a microphone. At the bottom, you’ll find a speaker, microphone, USB-C port, and the dual-SIM card tray.
The rear glass panel is curved on all four edges with branding towards the bottom of the panel. On the top left, there’s a thick domino-shaped camera module that stands out as the phone’s main hardware feature. It protrudes so far that I recommend using the included case to protect the camera as much as possible.
Display: One of the fastest around
- 6.67-inch IPS LCD
- 2,400 x 1,080 pixels
- 144Hz refresh rate
- 20:9 aspect ratio
- Gorilla Glass 5
The Mi 10T Pro’s 144Hz display is one of the quickest around. It feels super responsive to use, and gamers will enjoy the fast refresh rate. Xiaomi has included AdaptiveSync technology. This dynamically switches between refresh rates depending on the application that you’re running. You can manually switch in the settings menu too.
Gamers will enjoy the super fast 144Hz display. Others will appreciate the great viewing angles.
The IPS panel gets pretty bright at 550 nits but it does suffer from some typical IPS issues. There’s shadowing around the edges of the display which can be distracting on white screens. Secondly, the grey-to-grey response times are a little slow. This means that there’s a fair amount of blur when there’s a lot of movement on the display. It’s not hugely distracting but it’s more noticeable with faster motion.
Read more: AMOLED vs LCD: differences explained
Viewing angles are excellent thanks to the use of an IPS panel, and colors seem both vibrant and accurate. The panel supports HDR10, making for a solid movie-watching experience. My experience watching Netflix corroborates this. Gaming is great too, thanks to that 144Hz refresh rate. Overall, the MI 10T Pro’s display is superb.
Performance: Solid across the board
- Snapdragon 865
- Adreno 650
- 8GB RAM
- 128/256GB UFS 3.1 storage
- 5,000mAh battery
- 33W fast charging
Processor: As quick as you need
Xiaomi opted to use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 instead of the more up-to-date Snapdragon 865 Plus in the Mi 10T Pro. This is likely to keep the phone cost down without sacrificing much performance. This chipset along with 8GB RAM breezes through most tasks and games. I never had a performance hiccup outside of a couple of games. Even then, there were only occasional stutters in Fortnite and Minecraft. The rapid UFS 3.1 storage further helps load times and generally speeds up the user experience.
Battery: A full day at 144Hz
With a 5,000mAh battery, the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro’s battery life is pretty good, but it all depends on the frame rate that you set the display to. I used 144Hz throughout the review period, which netted me a full day’s usage without any issues. My day consisted of 30 minutes of YouTube playback, some Bluetooth connectivity, and general social browsing.
The Mi 10T Pro's 5,000mAh battery delivers solid battery life, which can be extended by lowering the refresh rate.
On my slower, more frequent days of 2hrs of screen-on time, I’d finish the day with a whopping 70% left in the tank. It is worth noting that my work requires spending eight or more hours a day at the computer and so I’m not constantly on my phone.
The included 33W charger topped the device up in 50 minutes in our testing. While not groundbreaking, it’s still conveniently quick. Unfortunately, Xiaomi opted out of wireless charging for the Mi 10T Pro 5G, which makes sense given the price point.
Continue reading: Tested: These are the fastest charging phones
Software: You’ve seen it all before
- Android 10
- MIUI 12
Xiaomi’s MIUI 12 is running on Android 10. Unfortunately, the firm missed an opportunity to launch this device with Android 11. MIUI 12 is a different aesthetic approach to Android. Included are a handful of features designed to enhance the user experience.
There’s Mi Remote, which allows you to control your media devices with the Mi 10T Pro’s IR blaster. There’s also Game Turbo which allows you to optimize performance for gaming. Additions like a built-in screen recorder, a QR code scanner, and the WPS Office suite might not be all that useful to some. Others will appreciate the added utility.
On the whole, MIUI 12 is a solid Android skin that manages features and speed excellently.
Continue reading: Everything you need to know about MIUI 12
Camera: A focus on the fundamentals
- 108MP, f/1.7, 26mm, 1/1.33-inch sensor
- 13MP ultrawide, f/2.4, 123-degree FOV
- 5MP macro, f/2.4
- 8K 30fps, 4K 60fps, FHD 120fps
- 20MP, f/2.2, 27mm, 1/3.4-inch sensor
- FHD 30fps
Xiaomi is focusing on its two main cameras, the 20MP selfie, and the 108MP main shooter. This means that there are no telephoto or depth lenses. The only two supplementary cameras are a 13MP ultrawide camera and a 5MP macro sensor.
The samples show this focus (ha!) since the photos from the main camera have the most accurate colors. They also have the most balanced contrast and the most sharpness. Despite being binned down to 22MP files, the photos have plenty of detail in good lighting conditions.
In darker scenes, unfortunately, the device struggles to pick up detail in the shadows. You’ll notice that in these photos of a factory. The trees are crushed with very little detail. There’s an awful lot of noise-removal at work here, creating a pretty smeary image. While noise isn’t much of a problem, noise reduction can be, in challenging conditions.
Night mode photos look pretty good, however. The Mi 10T Pro was able to capture a lot of light in pitch-black darkness. I took a photo of a tree between houses in the middle of the night. The phone was able to pick up detail in the tree as well as both houses.
The Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro takes good selfies given enough light. In lower light, the phone applies a lot of noise reduction which can result in what looks like oil paintings. Xiaomi’s software picked up my skin tones just fine and there wasn’t too much skin-smoothing going on.
Selfie portraits struggle a little bit as the device tries to create a believable background. There doesn’t seem to be any focus roll-off, so often it looks like I’m cut out of the background instead of at a different depth to it.
Xiaomi has opted to focus on its two main cameras — the primary rear and the selfie.
Standard portrait photos do a better job of this. As you can see in the Lucozade bottle picture, the background gently blurs the further from the subject. This is a much better simulation of what would happen with a DSLR or mirrorless camera.
The Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro has plenty of video features. These include 8K recording, a steady video mode, a movie crop, and a dual-mode in which you can record using both the front and rear cameras.
The 8K video looks quite sharp, though it doesn’t seem to capture much dynamic range. This leads to pretty heavy contrast in videos and not much detail in the shadows when exposing the highlights properly. There also seems to be a lot of noise in these shadows.
The steady video captures very smooth movement, even when you’re walking heavy-footed. There are a lot of correction artifacts where the software is cropping and synchronizing the footage to your movement. As long as you’re not fussy about these quirks, you’ll be happy with how crazy smooth the footage comes out.
Check out the full-resolution image samples in this Google Drive folder.
Extras: Attention to detail
The Mi 10T Pro’s haptics are very crisp, adding to an already premium-feeling smartphone. From the minute I started typing on the keyboard, I instantly loved how the haptics felt. Good job Xiaomi!
The Mi 10T Pro's speakers and haptics are excellent.
Xiaomi amplified the earpiece to link with the bottom-firing speaker for a stereo pairing. This setup sounds full with plenty of detail and adequate bass. It doesn’t get very loud, but because of this, it doesn’t distort when set to max volume. I was very impressed with the speakers, especially since Xiaomi also includes a USB-C to headphone adapter in the box.
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro specs
|Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro|
|Display||6.67-inch IPS LCD|
2,400 x 1,080 pixels
20:9 aspect ratio
Gorilla Glass 5
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865|
|Storage||128 / 256GB|
33W fast charging
|Operating System||Android 10|
|Dimensions||165.1 x 76.4 x 9.3mm|
|Colors||Cosmic Black, Lunar Silver, Aurora Blue|
Value: A congested space
At €599, the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro is out to compete with the Asus Zenfone 7, OnePlus 8, and Google Pixel 5 in the upper-midrange smartphone market. It’s got some serious competition, but it holds its own in this congested field. The Mi 10T Pro has the fastest display of the lot, and the highest resolution main camera. It’s the only one that can shoot 8K video, and in most other areas it trades blows with its contemporaries.
There are two models of the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro — two different storage options. These are to be made available across Europe, Asia, and the United Kingdom.
- Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro: 8GB/128GB — €599
- Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro: 8GB/256GB — €TBC
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro: The verdict
The Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro is one of the better-balanced phones of 2020. It cuts away the extra features and delivers the basics at premium quality. From its 144Hz display to its 108MP camera, to its Snapdragon 865 processor, the device performs just as you’d expect. It’s a solid choice in 2020, a year in which smartphones are skyrocketing in price.