The Redmi Note 10 Pro has to be in any conversation about the best cheap phones on sale at the moment – this is a handset that’s available for not much more than a rock bottom price, but it comes carrying some decent mid-range specs and a lot in the positive column.
There are compromises along the way, like a lack of 5G and wireless charging, but on the whole we’ve been impressed with the Redmi Note 10 Pro – and in our full review below, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about this affordable Android smartphone.
From battery life to camera quality, we’ll take you through all the features that the Redmi Note 10 Pro has to offer, so you can decide whether or not it’s the upgrade for you. If you want a refresher on what else you can pick up right now, check out our best phones guide.
Redmi Note 10 Pro review: price and availability
The Redmi Note 10 Pro is manufactured and released by Xiaomi, and it’s available now in the UK: you can pick it up for £249 (with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage) or £269 (with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage). Check the widgets on this page for the best Redmi Note 10 Pro deals on the web at the moment, but you can also pick up the handset direct from Xiaomi or from Amazon.
Redmi Note 10 Pro review: design and screen
We’re rather impressed by the lightness and the smooth curves of the Redmi Note 10 Pro, even if the glass back is a bit of a fingerprint magnet. There are hardly any signs that this is a lower-priced handset, and the silver ring on the rear camera module is a nice touch, even if the camera bump on the back is a little on the large side. On the front, the only interruption on the screen is a small punch hole notch for the selfie camera.
That screen is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the Redmi Note 10 Pro overall: it’s a 6.67-inch, 1080 x 2400 pixel AMOLED display running at a rather impressive 120Hz refresh rate, which means that animations, menus, scrolling webpages, games and everything else look super-smooth. It’s a display that we like a lot: it’s big, offers plenty of brightness, and has respectably thin bezels, though (as you would expect) it’s not quite on a par with the flagship handsets that Xiaomi and its competitors put out in terms of colour vibrancy and sharpness.
It feels as though the 120Hz refresh rate is there to give the display at least one premium spec – because otherwise it’s all rather ordinary and standard. As we’ve said though, we do like it, and it’s one of the better options you’re going to get at this price point. We tested it with everything from watching movies to scrolling through websites to playing Android games, and the screen more than passed the test every time.
You get some stereo speakers here that can actually pump out a decent level of noise at a reasonable quality – and speaking of noise there’s a 3.5 mm headphone jack included too, up on the top of the handset. The phone is IP53 rated, so it’s protected against splashes but not full submersion, and it comes in three colours: Onyx Gray, Glacier Blue and Gradient Bronze. Data transfer and charging is handled via USB, while the fingerprint sensor is embedded into the power button on the side of the phone.
Redmi Note 10 Pro review: camera and battery
The Redmi Note 10 Pro camera setup certainly catches the eye on paper: we’ve got a 108MP wide + 8MP ultrawide + 5MP macro + 2MP depth rear camera on the back here (with video recording up to 4K at 30fps), and a 16MP wide selfie camera on the front. The snaps we took with the rear camera were pleasing, on the whole, with good colour reproduction, well-balanced contrast and fine levels of detail.
There’s no optical zoom, but there is ultrawide, and the mode squeezes more into a scene without any noticeable distortion or colour shifting. If you’re looking for photos that are going to shine on your social media feeds then the pictures captured by the Redmi Note 10 Pro will do the job very well indeed, and for a phone that’s priced as it is we think the end results are better than you might expect.
Low light performance is less impressive, but it’s not the disaster that it is on some handsets around this price point. You can usually get a decent result, especially if you enable the dedicated night mode (and keep the handset steady for a few seconds) – we noticed more blurring and more noise in the dark, but most of the time we think you’ll be satisfied with the results.
Battery life is definitely above average based on our testing, with the phone easily getting through a whole day – and often having around half of its juice left by the evening, as long as you’re not pushing it too hard. In our two-hour video streaming test, with the display set to maximum brightness, the battery dropped from 100 percent to 85 percent, suggesting 12-13 hours of playback overall.
Redmi Note 10 Pro review: other specs and features
The Redmi Note 10 Pro is certainly no slouch when it comes to the internal specs you get. The phone runs a capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G chipset that’s paired with 6GB of RAM and up to 128GB of internal storage (a microSDXC card slot if also available to expand the storage if you need to). Those aren’t top-level, flagship phone specs, but they certainly offer plenty of performance for the price you’re paying, and keep everything running on Android nice and smooth.
We had no problems with day-to-day smartphone tasks, and didn’t notice any lag or slowing down when switching between screens and apps. This phone isn’t running a top-level CPU though – in terms of performance it’s perhaps the very definition of mid-range – so you’re not going to get the very fastest frame rates or the very slickest app experiences that the flagship phones can give you.
Unfortunately our usually Geekbench 5 benchmarking app couldn’t complete its tests, which makes us think there are some gremlins under the hood of the phone that will hopefully be sorted out in future updates. We were able to run a couple of more demanding games on the phone, which all performed well and didn’t lead to too much in the way of excess heat around the back of the handset.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the phone doesn’t come with 5G, so you’ll be limited to 4G if you pick up this handset – not a huge hardship for most people at the moment we don’t think. The phone comes with Android 11 on board, with Xiaomi’s own MIUI 12 software on board – MIUI has its own particular quirks (why do we have to see ads after installing apps from the Play Store?), and it’s a bit too cartoonish and fancy for our own particular tastes (give us stock Android any day), but you won’t have any major problems using it.
Redmi Note 10 Pro review: price and verdict
Check the widgets embedded on this page for the latest prices on the Redmi Note 10 Pro, but at the time of writing you can get the 6GB and 128GB spec phone for £269 in the UK. That’s something of a bargain considering everything that you get – the 120Hz screen, the decent processor, the very capable camera. Yes there are compromises of course, but the phone does enough to make you forget about them.
There’s no 5G here, no wireless charging, and no IP68 waterproofing. The camera and the screen are good, without being particularly great. These are the considerations to weigh up when you’re thinking about whether or not to spend a little bit more money – there are a lot of great phones at the next price point up from the Redmi Note 10 Pro, so as always we’d recommend taking a long look around to see what else is available.
We can say that the phone was mostly a pleasure to use, whether it was powering through day-to-day tasks or taking photos. It feels well built and looks well designed, and don’t forget that battery life – something else to put in the positives column. In terms of value for money this is no doubt one of the better phones we’ve reviewed in recent times.
Every smartphone has to be judged against its price, and in that regard it’s a definite thumbs up for the Redmi Note 10 Pro from us. Despite a few minor issues – including slightly annoying software and performance that we were unable to benchmark with apps – on the whole this is a phone that gives you a lot of bang for your buck. If you’re in the market for one of the best cheap phones around, give this a look.