Over the years, Xiaomi has offered numerous value champions under its Redmi banner. The brand has been consistently raising the bar for both value and features which has ultimately helped it sell millions of Redmi series phones and become the number one smartphone brand in the country. 

In 2021, Xiaomi’s Redmi vertical has already delivered a winner in Redmi Note 10 series and now it’s time for the Redmi Note 10S. Will it repeat the same success story? Well, that we’ll get to know only after a few weeks. For now, we will share our initial experience with the Redmi Note 10S which was loaned to us by the brand for our unbiased review. Let’s take you through the Redmi Note 10S unboxing and specs first. Shall we:

Redmi Note 10S Unboxing

Xiaomi hasn’t tried to woo reviewers with a special review box. The Redmi Note 10S we received has a package similar to the official retail box. The Redmi Note 10S box includes everything you expect from a budget smartphone. Here’s what you’ll find in the retail box:

  • Handset with pre-applied screen protector
  • Transparent protective case with frosted side edges
  • 33W Fast charging adaptor
  • USB Cable for charging and data transfer
  • Documentation and SIM ejector PIN 

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S India price and specs

Screen: 6.43-inch, 60Hz, 1080 x 2400, 20:9 aspect ratio
CPU: MediaTek Helio G95
GPU: Arm Mail G76 MC4 GPU
Storage: 64GB/128GB/256GB; UFS 2.2
Rear cameras: 64MP, 8MP, 2MP, 2MP
Front camera: 13MP
Battery: 5000 mAh
OS: Android 11, MIUI 12.5
5G: No
Colors: Ocean Blue, Onyx Gray, Pebble White
Dimensions: 160.46mm × 74.5mm × 8.29mm
Weight: 178.8g
IP rating: IP53 Splash-proof
Price: 6GB + 64GB – Rs. 14,999; 6GB + 128GB: Rs. 15,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S Design and Build

Every year the Redmi Note series introduces a new design language in India, which is then followed by successive Redmi phones. The same trend is at play this year as well. Recently launched Redmi Note 10 series introduced new ‘Evol’ aesthetics and the Redmi Note 10S follows suit. The front is all about the screen with narrow bezels and a selfie camera punched in a small cut-out at the top. Just like the other Redmi Note 10 phones, the front snapper has a silver color ring lining it.

The side frame has a fingerprint embedded within the power button that sits flush with the side frame. The sensor is within my thumb’s easy reach. Right above the power key, there’s a volume rocker that offers excellent tactile response.

Xiaomi offers Redmi Note 10S in Ocean Blue, Onyx Gray, and Pebble White hues. The Ocean Blue version has a frosted mirror-like finish which looks cool to the eyes and offers an excellent in-hand feel. The plastic back panel is resistant to finger smudges. Weighing in at 178.8g and being just 8.29mm thick, the Redmi Note 10S feels more compact than most phones available in this segment.

Apart from its appealing colors, Redmi Note 10S also has a distinctive-looking camera housing. The quad-camera has a large primary sensor followed by a trio of lenses. However, this camera housing bulges out quite a bit. Thankfully, there’s a TPU case bundled within the box which evens out the hump.

Xiaomi hasn’t cut any corners as far as ports are concerned. There is a 3.5mm audio jack alongside a USB Type C port and a primary loudspeaker at the bottom edge. You will find an infrared blaster for controlling appliances and a secondary loudspeaker at the top. There are dual Nano-SIM slots on the left edge. There’s also an IP53 rating for water and dust resistance, which is always good to see on affordable phones. 

Overall, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S is a sophisticated-looking smartphone without any glaring omissions.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S Display

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S manages to score well on the display front as it is one of the rare few AMOLED screen phones in its segment. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about the AMOLED or IPS but rather the quality of the panel. It seems like a well-sourced panel. The 6.43-inch FHD+ screen delivers 60Hz refresh rate while delivering exuberant colors and high contrast ratios. We didn’t witness any concern with regard to peak brightness levels.

If you are someone who consumes OTT content a lot you will be pleased to note that Redmi Note 10S supports DRM-protected HD Streaming. 

We found the option to turn on DC Diming, which should ensure that people with sensitive eyes will feel less strain while using their phone in dark ambiance. Let’s now talk about the hardware and software of the phone.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S Performance expectations

At the heart of the Redmi Note 10S, you will find MediaTek Helio G95. The octa-core processor can clock up to 2.05GHz clock speeds and includes ARM Mali G76GPU which claims to deliver 31 percent better gaming performance as compared to its predecessor. Xiaomi has opted for a UFS 2.2 offering in 64GB and 128GB space. There’s ample RAM on offer – both variants include 6GB LPDDR4X memory.

Our review unit of the Redmi Note 10S boots up in MIUI 12.5 based on Android 11. While the new version of MIUI doesn’t look much different from its previous avatar, Xiaomi is now offering users the liberty to uninstall most of the third-party preinstalled apps.

In our initial testing it felt smooth and we are hoping the same should sustain in the long run. We will be pushing the phone to its limit and will get back with more performance stats and gaming experience in our full review later.

The 5000mAh battery should comfortably last for more than a day or even 2 days for most user. We have been testing the phone for more than a day now and are yet to put it on charge. Thankfully, there’s a 33W fast charger bundled within the box.

Once again, let me reiterate, this is just our initial experience with the phone.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S Camera expectations

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S flaunts a quad-camera system with the biggest draw being its 64-megapixel wide-angle primary camera. It is clearly an upgrade over Redmi 9S’ 48-megapixel primary camera. The primary sensor is complemented by an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, two 2-megapixel sensors for depth and macro photography similar to its predecessor. A 13MP front camera is responsible to deliver crisp selfies.

How good is Redmi Note 10S camera? Well, you will find these and other details in our Redmi Note 10S review.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S first Impressions

Xiaomi with Redmi Note 10S did a smart play here. It has tried to bridge the gap between Redmi Note 10 and Note 10 Pro with Redmi Note 10S. On paper, it clearly seems like a better phone than Redmi Note 10 which is obviously substantially more affordable.  

Currently, the Redmi Note 10S is my daily driver. Over the due course, I intend to test it out on various performance parameters in order to determine if you should actually go ahead and buy it or opt for another Redmi Note 10 series phone instead. I’ll share my verdict in our Redmi Note 10S full review soon.


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