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Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max: First Impressions

Xiaomi is back with the latest additions to its successful Redmi Note series, with the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max leading the pack. Here's what we think of the company's latest offering. 

Xiaomi is back with the latest additions to its successful Redmi Note series.
Xiaomi is back with the latest additions to its successful Redmi Note series. (David Delima/HT Tech)

Xiaomi released the biggest update to its Note series last week, bringing hardware improvements across the board and adding features that were previously considered “flagship territory”. With such a wide combination of features, these devices feel like they're just too good for the price. But that is what Redmi phones have always been about, offering the maximum value for the lowest price.

At 18,999 for the base variant, the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is looking to undercut the newly launched Samsung Galaxy F62, the Realme X7 Pro - and even the company’s own Mi 10i. Xiaomi has also launched a very similar Note 10 Pro with the exact same specs, except for a 64MP primary sensor instead of the 108MP sensor on the Note 10 Pro Max.

Also read: Samsung Galaxy F62 review: Ticking all the right boxes

We’ve spent a couple of days with the high-end Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, and while we’re working on a detailed review of the device, here are our first impressions of the company’s latest offering.

Xiaomi has changed to a new EVOL design language this year, which subjectively feels like a premium upgrade over last year’s Aura design language. The phone’s front and back are covered in glass and this phone definitely feels like a premium phone, thanks to the frosted glass back that weighs 192 grams, despite the 5020 mAh battery. Xiaomi ships this phone with not only a charger and cable, but also a screen protector and a clear rubber case in the box, which fits very well and protects the camera bump at the back.

The device comes with a bright Super AMOLED display and runs the latest version of Android and MIUI 12.  
The device comes with a bright Super AMOLED display and runs the latest version of Android and MIUI 12.   (David Delima/HT Tech)

During the launch event, Xiaomi’s major focus was on the device’s screen. This is the first time the company has included an AMOLED panel across the Note series. But the company has also included 120Hz refresh rate on the Note 10 Pro and Note 10 Pro Max and the screen on this device is quick and responsive. Apps and websites look sharp and clear when you’re outdoors, even with the dark theme enabled.

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Another big upgrade that Xiaomi has made on the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is to the camera setup - this year the company’s best Note series device sports a 108MP Samsung ISOCELL HM2 primary sensor and a 5MP “Super Macro” lens that features a built-in 2x telephoto zoom. The primary sensor takes some very sharp photos, but the macro lens is the real surprise here taking clear shots that are not easily found on competing devices. We’ll be back with more camera samples in our upcoming review, though.

Stay tuned for our detailed review of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max camera.
Stay tuned for our detailed review of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max camera. (David Delima/HT Tech)

It’s still too early to talk about performance or battery life on the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, but it appears that the company’s decision to pair a Snapdragon 732G chipset with UFS 2.2 storage seems to be paying off. The device has no visible stutter or lag and enabling the 120Hz screen refresh rate makes everything visibly smooth. RAM management seems to be optimal so far, with the phone keeping most apps in memory. The 3.5mm earphone jack and IR blaster are a Note series staple, yet very welcome inclusions. 

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Will the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max be able to replicate the success of its predecessors? On paper, this device is packed with impressive specs - with one omission, 5G connectivity. But considering we are likely at least two years away from any reliable 5G connectivity across the country, will its exclusion on the Note 10 Pro Max matter to most users? We’ll be answering this and other important questions in our detailed review, so stay tuned!

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