We remember when 3G networks started rolling out – they were the first to offer fast Internet on the go. You could browse comfortably the web and even stream video (including video chat). It was a big deal. Then 4G came and improved speeds further, but more importantly it reduced the latency.
Now we’re crossing over to the next G and what does that promise? More speed, less latency. With a phone like the Redmi Note 10 5G you can be among the first to experience the next generation networks without the price premium of cutting edge tech – this model starts at just $200.
This phone gets its 5G powers from a MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset. Our first encounter with this chip was just last week – it’s also at the heart of the Realme 8 5G. It benchmarks okay for the price range and managed to stay cool.
Plus, it has a sub-6 5G modem that can deliver downlink speeds up to 2.77 Gbps. It will be a few years before networks actually offer such speeds. There’s no mmWave support, but you don’t see that much outside the US, so it doesn’t make a difference.
So, everything looks great on the 5G side of things. However, the Redmi Note 10 5G and Realme 8 5G share more than just the chipset – both feel like they had to make a lot of cutbacks to hit their price target.
The Note 10 5G is the only one in its family to use an LCD instead of an AMOLED, the only one to not have an ultra wide-angle camera and the only one not to have 33W fast charging (it charges at 18W instead).
The Redmi Note 10 will get you those things at the same price, but it will cost you the 5G connectivity. The Note 10 5G has bet everything on that next-gen modem.
That has its pros and cons. Pro: there aren’t many 5G-enabled phones in this price range. And this one is pleasantly light and fits well in the hand. Con: well, the things we mentioned above. Also, most of the weight saving is due to the plastic build.
Like many of the competing offerings in this segment, the 48MP main camera on the rear cannot record 4K video. The Realme 8 5G can’t either, for example, nor can the Oppo A74 5G. They all top out at 1080p.
We know that some would prefer the 90Hz IPS LCD over the 60Hz AMOLED of the Note 10. Though at first glance it looks dim and with a blue tint, while the Note 10 Pro display proved quite good in our review, the Note 10S did pretty well in our hands-on review too.
The GPU can’t run many games at 90fps, but the UI zips around smoothly and the low-latency 5G connection will be a boon for fast-paced games. 18W charging is not painfully slow even with a 5,000mAh battery either, especially when the battery promises to last 16 hours of gaming before it needs charging.
Are all those sacrifices worth it just in the name of 5G? There is definitely a place in the market for $200 5G phones and there are a few of them already out there (but they are not for everyone). By the end of the review process we should have a clear picture of how the Redmi Note 10 5G stacks up against the competition.
Despite its low price, the Redmi Note 10 5G comes bundled with a 22.5W charger and a case
By the way, the Poco M3 Pro 5G that was unveiled earlier this week is just a Redmi Note 10 5G with a new name and a new design for the back, so you may see this hardware under one of two names in your neck of the woods.