Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro in the test: finally really high-end!

In the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro, two optical zoom lenses are supposed to swap the gap of the Mi 10 without a Pro addition – this test clarifies whether this works as desired.

The Xiaomi Mi 10 (review) is actually a really good smartphone. Therefore, some questionable decisions of the manufacturer, especially with the camera, disappointed. The Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro seems to do that much better, in addition to the same main camera with another 108 megapixels, it brings a wide-angle camera with higher resolution and two optical zoom lenses. That sounds promising, at least on the data sheet. Since there is otherwise a lot of technical agreement, we mainly focused on the differences in the test of the Pro model.

The front of the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro is constructed identically: Curved display on the side with few edges, punchhole notch on the top left – just like the Mi 10. There are only differences to the cheaper model at the back, and they are also moderate there. The camera unit has a slightly different design due to the different equipment, and the Pro model is also available in a frosted look, i.e. matt, in white and gray. As a result, the glass housing of the smart smartphone is not so susceptible to fingerprints and other grease smears, but this does not change much about the general slipperiness. On the other hand, as with previous models, the simple protective cover that is included in the scope of delivery helps. Value and build quality are on the same very high level as with the non-pro model.

There is little news to report here either – no wonder, the display with its almost 6.7 inches was adopted unchanged by the Mi 10 (test report). Accordingly, the OLED screen not only shines with 90 Hz playback and 180 Hz sampling rate for particularly fast touch detection, but also with very high brightness (around 500 cd / m² in manual mode, around 850 candelas in automatic mode) and great others Values. Even though the Full HD + resolution may seem a little low on paper, the screen of the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro with its almost 400 PPI is really good in everyday life. This also applies to the extensively configurable always-on display.

With the Xiaomi Mi 10 (test report), we criticized the manufacturer’s decision to install a great main camera with 108 megapixels, but to save on the rest. The wide-angle camera of the device only offered 13 megapixels and could not keep up with the main lens in terms of quality, but worse was the third lens, in which Xiaomi opted for macro optics with just 2 megapixels – like a smartphone for 200 euros. It’s different with the Pro model. Four lenses are used here again, but for the user this is a difference like day and night.

Finally a high-end camera!

Because in addition to the same 108-megapixel camera, the Chinese company is now opting for a 20-megapixel wide-angle camera (f / 2.2) and two optical telephoto focal lengths with 2x and 5x magnification (f / 2.0 each). So much in advance: Even if Xiaomi “only” installs modules with 12 and 8 megapixels, the result is really good – much better than with the simple Mi 10 in any case. The worry that the portrait function could no longer be so good due to the lack of a depth sensor is unfounded. Because now the 12-megapixel telephoto lens, which already brings more bokeh, Xiaomi installs a laser auto focus in the Pro model, with the help of which distances can be classified even better, at least in the close range.

Nothing has changed in the image quality of the 108 megapixel camera; it is excellent in moderate to good lighting conditions. Whether image sharpness, dynamics or noise behavior – the results look really good. Again, the shots of the Xiaomi smartphone offer nice, smooth bokeh, that just looks great, even if it is sometimes difficult to really focus on the desired subject. The wide angle now also offers quality. There are still slight differences in quality, since there is more image noise at the edges than with the main camera, but this is a good step forward compared to the non-pro model. This also applies to the two optical zoom lenses, which bring distant objects much closer without losing image sharpness. Thanks to the division into 2x and 5x magnification, the user also has an even higher degree of flexibility than, for example, the Huawei P40 Pro (test report), which was previously our camera leader.

The 10x hybrid zoom can still be used with a moderate loss in quality, but users should also forego it immediately: the 50x digital zoom is more of a marketing strategy than a really useful feature. The Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro also does a good job at night shots, but without getting close to the king of the night, the Huawei P40 Pro. The available night mode separates light sources from each other better, takes even sharper pictures freehand and offers better white balance. The 5x zoom is no longer usable in night mode, but the 2X magnification can.

For videos and selfies, the statements we made in the test of the Xiaomi Mi 10 (test report) apply – unfortunately also in relation to the lack of possibility to switch between the individual lenses during video recordings.

There is actually nothing new to report here, because the equipment of the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro corresponds to the technology of the Mi 10 (test report). In a nutshell, this means: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 with up to 2.84 GHz clock frequency, 8 GB fast LPDDR5 RAM (in China up to 12 GB) and 256 GB fast UFS 3.0 memory (in China up to 512 GB) without expansion options. Even with the rest of the equipment, Xiaomi is not stingy, with 5G support everything you need to have a top smartphone – including Wifi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC and even an IR blaster. Buyers only have to do without IP certification, which was already missing in the Mi 10. It would have looked good on the much more expensive Pro model.

The fingerprint sensor on the display is just as good. Unlocking is not as quick as using the front camera, but overall it is very quick and reliable. The stereo speakers of the Pro model are even a class better than in the simple Mi 10. They offer even more volume and depth, so that they make even simple Bluetooth speakers superfluous. Whoever holds the device in landscape format not only enjoys a clearly differentiated stereo separation, but also notices a slight air flow from the speakers in time with the music – impressive for a smartphone. Again, there is no 3.5 millimeter headphone jack, after all, Xiaomi puts a jack USB-C adapter in the delivery box. The USB port unfortunately only offers 2.0 speed again.

Android 10 with MIUI 11 is also installed on the Pro model, which offers the advantages described in the test of the Mi 10 (test report). Unfortunately, another thing has remained the same: The security patch on our pro test device is clearly out of date, it still dates from March 2020. Xiaomi should urgently change that!

Addendum: To The test came with the update with security patch May 2020, so that Xiaomi apparently continues to try to maintain its 2-month update cycle.

On paper, the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro with 4500 mAh offers the slightly smaller battery. The Xiaomi Mi 10 has 4780 mAh (test report). In everyday life you hardly notice the lower battery power, under measurement conditions the Pro model lacks around half an hour of screen-on time compared to the more than 12 hours of the Non-Pro model in the Battery test from PCmark. This is not a world, especially since the manufacturer tries to make up for it elsewhere: with the loading speed.

Because the normal Mi 10 charges both with and without a cable with 30 watts each, the Mi 10 Pro even manages it with 50 watts – with a 65 watt power supply included in the scope of delivery. This means that the smartphone does not even need 1 hour for a full charge, which is quite a decent value, even if competitors like Oneplus or Oppo are sometimes even faster.

The Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro is available in the colors Solstice Gray and Alpine White, i.e. gray and white, each frosted. At the time of the test, the prices for the 8/256 GB memory variant officially sold in Europe were 994 euros.

The Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro is what the Xiaomi Mi 10 (review) should have been without a pro addition: a real top device that doesn’t have to hide in terms of camera quality either. Because the Pro is much better – because of the better wide angle and the double optical zoom, which makes the smartphone camera much more universal. If the price had been a bit lower, the Mi 10 Pro would have deserved the title “Value for Money” again this year.

Because then you could forgive the device little things like missing IP certification, a surprisingly slow USB 2.0 port and room for improvement in night shots. This leaves a really good smartphone that is one of the best on the market, but now also costs the same as the competition. The Pro model is well worth the money, but in contrast to the predecessor, it simply does not trigger enthusiasm – a shame.

In terms of price, the “simple” Mi 10 (test report) is currently the better choice in relation to what is offered, unless the camera is the main focus. If you can do without the optical zoom of the Mi 10 Pro, you can save more than 300 euros with the same memory configuration, while otherwise having the same construction. If you’re not itching, you should take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra (review). Although that costs even more, it is, from a neutral point of view, the even better overall package. Camera fans, on the other hand, should be on the lookout for the Huawei P40 Pro (test report), which is still a step ahead, especially in lowlight situations – unfortunately without Google services. Somewhere in between and at a similarly high level as the rest, the Oneplus 8 Pro (test report) moves.