Redmi Note 10T 5G Review: A 5G-Forward, Specs-Backward Note 10
Mainly Note-able for 5G
- The Redmi Note 10T 5G is the fifth phone in Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 10 series to be launched this year, after the Redmi Note 10, Redmi Note 10 Pro, Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, and Redmi Note 10S.
- It is also the first Redmi device to come with 5G connectivity.
- While the Note 10T is the first among its siblings to get 5G, it also loses out on some specs, making it a slightly odd proposition.
- It joins the Realme 8 5G and the Poco M3 Pro as the most affordable 5G smartphones in the Indian market right now.
Just when we thought Xiaomi had enough phones on the market with the Redmi-Note-10 tag, the brand decided the world could use another device. After launching the Redmi Note 10, the Redmi Note 10 Pro, the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, and the Redmi Note 10s, all within six months of each other, the company has now added another Note 10 to the mix, the Redmi Note 10T 5G. This new Note is Redmi’s ticket to the 5G Hall of Fame, as the name suggests. But will this device be Note-worthy enough?
Another Note-able brick in the Redmi wall
The Redmi Note 10T 5G comes from the Redmi Note 10 family and has some design hints that reiterate the same, what Xiaomi calls EVOL design language (it is basically “love” spelled backward). The Redmi Note 10T 5G comes with a tall, thin bezel-ed display on the front with a punch hole notch in the top center. It comes with a shiny, patterned carbonate back that tries to mimic glass and gets smudgy quite easily but stays true to its carbonate roots as it offers a good grip. The phone is on the thicker side with 8.9 mm width, but it does not really feel too wide and sits well in hand, thanks to the curvy back. The camera unit placed on the top left side of the back gives the Note 10T its slightly distinct look. It comes with a rectangular camera unit with metallic silver highlights around the first two lenses and the flash (the metallic silver highlights are a very Note touch).
The smartphone carries the fingerprint sensor and the volume buttons on the right, while the left side holds the Dual SIM card/ microSD card tray. The base is home to a USB Type C port and speakers, while the top houses the IR blaster and a 3.5 mm audio jack. Weighing 190 grams, the Redmi Note 10T 5G is certainly a little heavy but feels solid. The phone comes with P2i splash resistance, giving it a thin layer of protection against water damage.
This is a good-looking phone, but it will not really turn heads. We would stay that its Note 10 siblings have a clear edge over it in the looks department. The Note 10T 5G in no way, shape, or form is bad looking, and that metallic highlight around the camera marks it out as a Redmi Note, but it does not really stand out and looks like another brick in the Redmi Note wall.
Toned down specs, but a steady performance
When a smartphone comes with the Redmi Note tag, you expect it to come with surprisingly good specs for its price. We expected the same from the Redmi Note 10T, but Xiaomi has toned the spec-muscle down a little on this one in a manner of speaking.
The smartphone is powered by MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset paired with 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage, with a 6 GB/ 64 GB variant as well. The storage on the phone can be expanded using a microSD card. The MediaTek Dimensity 700 is the go-to chipset for 5G smartphones under Rs. 15,000, and while it is a steady performer, many feel that it is not quite in the league of the likes of the Snapdragon 732G or the Helio G95.
This reflects in the smartphone’s performance. It can easily handle your daily chores and flow through apps swiftly, but you do start to feel the lag once you get into the high-end gaming zone, although you can enjoy heavy-duty games like Asphalt or Call of Duty for long as you do not max out the settings.
The Redmi Note 10T is also the first amongst the Note 10 crowd to come with an LCD display. All of the Note 10 kids carry AMOLED displays. The phone comes with a 6.43 inch full HD+ LCD display, which is about the same size as you get on the Note 10S and the Note 10. It also comes with a 90 Hz refresh rate, which is below the 120 Hz refresh rate on the 10 Pros but above the 60 Hz on the 10S and 10.
Now, if you have used an AMOLED display, the one on the Note 10T might seem slightly dull, but it produces vibrant, rich colors and would make for a good partner for consuming content. The Redmi Note 10T speakers are also good, but unlike other Note 10 devices, it does not come with dual speakers, which again puts it a level behind even the most affordable one, the Redmi Note 10. The physical fingerprint scanner on the side is pretty prompt and accurate, and the call handling on the phone is good too. Overall, the Redmi Note 10T 5G is just a few steps behind its other Note siblings in some key respects (display, sound) but still manages to offer an authentic Note experience by being consistently steady and smooth.
Of course, the main highlight of the Redmi Note 10T’s existence is its 5G support. It comes with support for five bands. Now, the network is yet to become available but having 5G on board makes the phone future proof for whenever the technology comes to India.
Good light friendly cameras
The Redmi Note 10T 5G brings a triple camera set up to the table in the camera department. It comes with a 48-megapixel main sensor and two 2 megapixel depth and macro sensors. This again is a bit of a downgrade as compared to the other Note 10s in the series as all of the others bring a quad-camera set up on the back and also feature a very usable 8-megapixel ultra-wide sensor.
Fortunately, the main sensor on the Redmi Note 10T is a good one. It can deliver some decent shots in well-lit conditions. The camera actually reproduces colors more accurately than some of its siblings and manages to capture a good amount of details. That said, the smartphone struggles as the lights dim down. The shots we took in low light turned out to be slightly blurry, and the colors were actually quite off. The case was the same for videos. The videos captured in broad daylight or in well-lit environments could easily sit pretty on your social media handles, but once the lights dipped, the quality of the videos went dipping with it. The 2-megapixel depth camera works well and produces some decent portraits in good light conditions (yes, you do need good light for this phone), while the other 2-megapixel sensor in the mix for macros does not deliver good results, even in good light conditions.
[Click here for full resolution images + additional samples]
On the front, the Redmi Note 10T features an 8-megapixel shooter, which is the lowest megapixel count on the front in the Redmi Note 10 family. And this selfie shooter also follows in the rare camera’s footsteps and delivers acceptable selfies in well-lit circumstances but fails to come through in low light. All in all, cameras are not the strongest suit of the Redmi Note 10T 5G. In fact, it sits on the lowest rank in-camera capabilities when compared to its siblings.
Long battery life, long charging time too…and MIUI 12
The Redmi Note 10T 5G is powered by a 5,000 mAh battery, which can easily see you through a day and a half of normal usage. You can even stretch it to two days if you are careful enough. The phone is paired with a 22.5 W charger in the box, but because it runs on the Dimensity 700, which only allows a charging speed of up to 18W, it turns out to be a bit of a waste. The phone takes a good two hours to go from zero to 100 percent charge, which is a lot considering many phones can get there in under an hour these days. Once again, its own siblings charge a whole lot faster as they come with 33W chargers and can charge at that speed too.
The Redmi Note 10T runs on Android 11 out of the box, with Xiaomi’s MIUI 12 on top. Rather disappointingly, the phone does not come with MIUI 12.5, which is the least cluttered and latest version of the OS as per Xiaomi itself. An MIUI 12.5 update has been promised for the phone, but as of now, it becomes another zone where the Note 10T loses out to the others – the Pro series has got the MIUI 12.5 update while the Note 10S came with MIUI 12.5 out of the box. Now, we have no real problems with MIUI 12, which runs smoothly and is feature-rich. Even the ads are fewer than before. But we really would have liked MIUI 12.5 on this.
A safe 5G bet
With a starting price of Rs. 13,999 for the 6 GB/ 64GB variant, the Redmi Note 10T 5G has entered one of the most competitive smartphone spaces in the market. The Redmi Note 10T looks like a worthy prospect if it is a 5G phone that you are looking for under Rs. 15,000. Most of its competition pretty much has a similar spec sheet with Dimensity 700 running the show. The likes of Poco M3 Pro and Realme 8 5G come with the same starting price but both the phones come with 4 GB/ 64 GB models at Rs 13,999. The M3 Pro brings a remarkable design to the table, which gives it a bit of an edge, but the extra 2 GB RAM gives the Redmi Note 10T an upper hand over its 5G competitors in the game.
But if 5G is not your priority, the going gets tougher for Redmi Note 10T 5G as its very own sibling, the recently released Redmi Note 10S lurks around in the vicinity with a meatier spec sheet for a slightly higher price tag. With a starting price of Rs. 14,999 for 6 GB/ 64 GB version, you get a more gaming-oriented chipset, AMOLED display, stereo speakers, a 64-megapixel main sensor, and faster-charging speeds. Some would even consider the lower-priced base Redmi Note 10 with its Super AMOLED display and stereo speakers, and better cameras as a more viable option. However, its chip is not as good as the Dimensity 700.
Of course, it all really boils down to your needs. If you can do without the future-proofness, there are more value for money options than the Redmi Note 10T 5G in the market, but if you want to board the 5G train, the Redmi Note 10T 5G maybe your best budget bet!
- Comes with 5G
- Decent design and solid build
- Long battery life
- Steady performer
- Bad low light camera performance
- Toned down specs (no AMOLED display, no ultrawide camera, slower charging)
- No MIUI 12.5
- No stereo speakers
|Build & design||
The Redmi Note 10T 5G is also the first Redmi device to come with 5G connectivity. It loses out on some specs, making it a slightly odd proposition. It joins the Realme 8 5G and the Poco M3 Pro as the most affordable 5G smartphones in the Indian market right now.