Redmi Note 10 Pro Max review: More than enough for most Indian people's

At this time, it looks like the competition Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is the Redmi Note 10 Pro which comes with the exact same features, apart from a 64-megapixel main camera.

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  • Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is a big upgrade.
  • The competition of smartphones in the segment is very less.
  • The camera performance of Note 10 Pro Max is excellent.

Xiaomi has already tried to introduce the 'flagship killer'. We all know how it happened. It may have been found eventually without realizing it or at least claiming it. The Redmi Note series is known to push the boundaries in the budget category and bring high-end specifications at an affordable price. Redmi Note 10 Pro Max pushes the boundaries further by entering the mid-range category where it will compete against OnePlus Nord, Vivo V20 and Xiaomi's own Mi 10i.

Needless to say, the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is the biggest overall upgrade over the Redmi Note smartphone. Compared to last year's Redmi Note 9 Pro Max, it has improved in almost all departments. The smartphone comes with an AMOLED display, 120Hz refresh rate panel, 108-megapixel primary camera and a brand new design. Still, Xiaomi has managed to keep the price under Rs 20,000 for at least two variants.

At this point in time, it looks like the only competition for the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is the Redmi Note 10 Pro, which comes with exactly the same features apart from a 64-megapixel main camera, but costs Rs 3,000 less for each variant. So, should you go for the Note 10 Pro Max or look to save a few bucks? It's time to find out.

Redmi Note 10 Pro Max review: Redmi Note 10 Pro Max review Camera

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Let's start with the biggest talking point of Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, it is the camera. The Redmi Note series, in the past, democratized them by introducing 48-megapixel and 64-megapixel sensors in the Note series. It has done the same with the 108-megapixel lens. Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is now India's most affordable smartphone with a 108MP main camera, beating the Mi 10i by a small margin.

The main lens is assisted by a second 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, a third 5-megapixel macro camera, and a fourth 2-megapixel depth sensor. The camera app has enough options to keep photography enthusiasts engaged. Standard options include Photo, Video, Portrait, Pro, and Night mode.

Interestingly, the option to enable the 108MP option is not on the main menu and has to be selected from the 'More' window where the other camera modes are listed.

The main camera is the star of the show. It is really surreal and impressive to see a phone under Rs 20,000 performing so well at the same time. Details and color accuracy on the main lens is simply outstanding. Auto-focus is fast, subjects are generally sharp and the sensor manages to capture a good number of details.

The only aspect I wasn't very sure about was the skin complexion that lacks sharpness and has a reddish tint to it. You can also zoom in on the swatches of the image to see the blurred strands of my beard or the lack of sharpness around the forehead. Portrait shots are reasonably good, except at times of mediocre detection.

What steals it from the main camera though, is its really impressive macro lens. Xiaomi has used a macro lens with 2X zoom which means you can take macro shots from afar. This is a relief for someone like me who is still getting used to the best way to use a macro lens and at the same time, doesn't have a steady hand. The macro camera of the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max captures the smallest of details to piece together some really cool images.

Night mode is also great. In fact, it is much more effective than the most affordable Redmi Note 10.

Xiaomi has gone ahead of the ordinary and added some fun features to the camera of the Redmi Note 10 series. These include- clone mode and dual video. The first one is a really fun way to clone yourself and make some interesting pictures. The best part is that it is really easy to use and does not require any technical expertise. However, it needs some improvements. On several occasions the camera fails to detect the subject while cloning and the phone gets very hot after using the clone mode for a few minutes. The heat is so high that even the camera app closes.

The Dual Video feature will be more useful for content creators. This allows them to use the front and rear cameras at the same time to record videos.

Redmi Note 10 Pro Max Review: Design

Xiaomi has introduced a new "Evol" design language with the Redmi Note 10 series. Both the Pro models have glass backs with curved edges. These three color options come in Dark Knight, Vintage Bronze and Glacial Blue. We initially received the Dark Knight Edition for review, which I was a little disappointed about, as explained in India Today Tech's unboxing video because the bronze color looks better in images.

Xiaomi was kind enough to share a vintage bronze unit as well and this has changed my opinion a bit. While the bronze color looks stunning, the black version is more subtle even though it tends to capture a lot of fingerprint smudges.

The highlight of the new design is the new rectangular-shaped camera module placed at the top right corner. This is a welcome change over the larger centrally aligned rear camera module of the Redmi Note 9 series. Xiaomi uses a three-tiered approach to place the lens within the camera module while the LED flash is placed right next to it. The rest of the back panel is clear with the Redmi branding at the bottom.

The camera bump makes the phone sit unevenly on the surface, even with the protective case on.

The volume and power buttons are given on the right side of this smartphone. The power button also doubles as a fingerprint sensor. The top body houses a 3.5mm headphone jack, the Type-C USB charging port at the bottom while dual speakers are on either side. These are really loud stereo speakers. The tray on the left has two nano-SIM slots and a separate micro-SD card slot. Redmi Note 10 Pro Max has got IP53 rating for water and dust resistance.

The front panel has a small hole-punch cut-out to house the selfie shooter. When I say small, I mean it. This should be one of the smallest hole-punch on any smartphone, let alone the budget or mid-range segment. The bezels are also thinner than the previous generation Redmi Note smartphone but the chin is still quite thick.


Redmi Note 10 Pro Max Review: Redmi Note 10 Pro Max Display

Another major reason for you to spend on the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max will be its gorgeous 6.67-inch Super AMOLED display with 1080x2400 pixels and an aspect ratio of 20:9. There is an option to choose between 60Hz and 120Hz refresh rates but by default, the smartphone is set to first. To get the best experience on Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, you need to change it from the Settings menu.

Xiaomi has ensured a peak brightness of 1200 nits on the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max which brings it on par with the screen of the iPhone 12 Pro, at least in terms of brightness. Of course, it will take time for one to meet the quality of Apple display but the upgrade makes Redmi Note 10 Pro Max great for outdoor use.

The only drawback with an AMOLED display is that it tends to oversaturate the on-screen content. So, you basically have blue-er skies, red-er roses and green-er grasses. This is evident when streaming content or even just browsing through Instagram photos. If you're okay with that, the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max makes for a decent panel for bingeing shows and playing games.

Plus, it's an HDR-enabled panel with 100 percent DCI-P3 wide color gamut support, as well as TÜV Rheinland certification for low blue light emissions. So, the output is more than satisfactory. The screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and Xiaomi has pre-installed the plastic screen protector.

Redmi Note 10 Pro Max Review: Performance Quality

If there is one area where we could possibly ask for more, it is the performance of the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max. And, we're just getting greedy. Xiaomi has used the Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G SoC in the Note 10 Pro Max paired with up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It's not a bad processor at all, especially for the price you pay for a smartphone.

Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is much more than a capable daily driver. It handles most of your tasks with ease and can handle games too. I played a few hours of Call of Duty: Mobile without any visible lag or issues.

Having said that, it is certainly not the most powerful Qualcomm-7 series chip, and you can expect better performance on the OnePlus Nord which is a bit more expensive than the Note 10 Pro Max. Xiaomi's Mi 10i also comes with a better Snapdragon 750G SoC but has an LCD display.

The other thing you need to keep in mind is that the chip doesn't support 5G, so anyone buying the Note 10 Pro Max can ideally make the switch in 18 to 24 months. Xiaomi has predicted that some of its executives will soon after the launch. But, not everyone switches phones every two years. So, factor that in.

The 6GB RAM and 64GB storage model of the smartphone is priced at Rs 18,999, while the 6GB RAM and 128GB variant costs Rs 19,999 and the 8GB RAM and 128GB variant costs Rs 21,999. The pricing is about as good as it gets and it will be hard for anyone to beat in the near future.

A lot has already been said about the software of the Redmi Note smartphone. Well, not much change, at least for now. Redmi Note 10 Pro Max continues to ship with MIUI 12 based on Android 11, but the smartphone maker promises to completely change the experience with the roll out of MIUI 12.5. Till then keep waiting.

Redmi Note 10 Pro Max review: Battery capacity

The battery upgrade has not been seen in the previous generation Redmi Note smartphone. The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max still packs the same 5020 mAh battery and comes with a 33W fast charger inside the box. The battery dropped by 20 percent after an hour of gaming and about 13 percent after clicking 50 minutes of pictures. You can expect the phone to last for about a day with moderate usage.

Redmi Note 10 Pro Max review: Should you buy?

The question is not whether you should buy Redmi Note 10 or not but which one should you buy. And, it totally depends on your budget. We are not used to the Redmi Note 10 Pro yet, but apart from the difference in the main camera, there is hardly anything to choose between the top two models. This shouldn't make a big difference to your everyday smartphone experience.

Redmi Note 10 Pro or Pro Max will offer you a great display, great camera performance, good battery life and great audio output. The Pro Max is definitely for those who don't want to compromise on anything and have the most megapixels available, but for most users, the Redmi Note 10 Pro will suffice.