Xiaomi set its sights squarely on Samsung with the Mi 10 Pro, offering the same 108MP camera as the Galaxy S20 Ultra for several hundred dollars less. The Mi 10 Pro was proof that Xiaomi could deliver a camera that can hold up to the best that Android has to offer, and the premium design combined with 50W charging and 30W wireless charging made it one of the best phones I've used in 2020.
Xiaomi is now launching new variants in its flagship series in the form of the Mi 10T and Mi 10T Pro. While the naming suggests that these phones are upgraded models of the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro, that is not the case. The Mi 10T series does not supersede the Mi 10 lineup; if anything, it slots in at a lower price point.
The Mi 10T Pro retains the same 108MP camera as the Mi 10 Pro and is powered by the same Snapdragon 865 chipset, but it switches to a LCD panel — albeit one with 144Hz refresh rate — instead of the AMOLED screen on the Mi 10 Pro. It also gets a larger 5000mAh battery, but loses 50W wired charging for a 33W option. Gone also is the 30W wireless charging, but Xiaomi has retained the stereo speakers.
The result of all these changes? The Mi 10T Pro is available for just ₹39,999 ($542), making it a stellar value. That's ₹10,000 less than the Mi 10's retail price of ₹49,999 ($678). So let's take a look at what the Mi 10T Pro has to offer, and whether you should consider picking up the phone.
Bottom line: The Mi 10T Pro nails the basics: you get a 108MP camera, Snapdragon 865 chipset, 144Hz LCD display, and a massive 5000mAh battery. The phone is unwieldy and runs Android 10 out of the box, but you are getting a lot of value for your money here.
- Great 108MP camera
- Outstanding battery life
- 144Hz LCD panel with adjustable refresh rate
- Stereo sound
- Snapdragon 865
- Runs Android 10 out of the box
- Unwieldy and heavy to use
- No wireless charging
- No water resistance
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro Design
Xiaomi hasn't settled on a design aesthetic for its flagships, and that's evident when you look at the Mi 10T Pro. Last year's Mi Note 10 introduced a sleek design in line with other flagships, with Xiaomi switching to a dual-curved screen.
The Mi 10T Pro is big, bulky, and unwieldy — a stark departure from the Mi 10 Pro.
The Mi 10 series built on that aesthetic, and Xiaomi nailed the in-hand feel with the Mi 10 Pro in particular. Although the phone had a 6.67-inch screen, the symmetric curves at the front and back and the 74.8mm width resulted in a great in-hand feel.
The Mi 10T Pro misses out on that in spite of retaining the same 6.67-inch screen size as the Mi 10 Pro. The phone has a 5000mAh battery (versus 4500mAh on the Mi 10 Pro), and Xiaomi had to increase the dimensions to accommodate the larger battery. As a result, the Mi 10T Pro 2.6mm taller, 1.6mm wider, 0.3mm thicker, and 10g heavier than the Mi 10 Pro.
That may not seem like a lot, but you'll definitely feel that heft in day-to-day use. While I thoroughly enjoyed using the Mi 10 Pro, I can't say the same for the Mi 10T Pro. It's too big and bulky, and Xiaomi should have retained the same form factor as the Mi 10 Pro.
For what it's worth, the Mi 10T Pro has subtle curves at the back that make it easier to nestle in your palm, and the screen at the front is flat — unlike the curved panel on the Mi 10 Pro. The front and rear panes of glass are covered by a layer of Gorilla Glass 5.
Another issue with the Mi 10T Pro is the gigantic camera housing at the back, which protrudes significantly from the chassis. It's just as bad as the Note 20 Ultra, but where Samsung masked the size of the housing by giving it added design flair, Xiaomi just added a 108MP label underneath the primary lens and switched to a rectangular layout.
Xiaomi switched to a side-mounted fingerprint sensor with the Mi 10T Pro.
Elsewhere, the Mi 10T Pro has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor in lieu of an in-screen module. Xiaomi used side-mounted sensors on its budget phones this year, and considering the segment the Mi 10T Pro is targeting, the brand should have used an in-screen module.
The primary speaker sits at the bottom to the left of the USB-C charging port, with the SIM card slot on the right. Thankfully, the global version of the Mi 10 Pro has a dual SIM slot unlike the Mi 10 Pro, where the second SIM card tray was inaccessible.
The Mi 10 Pro felt elegant and understated, but the changes to the design with the Mi 10T Pro make it look gaudy. It looks unnecessarily huge, and that would have made sense had Xiaomi offered a larger screen, but that's not the case here.
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro Display
One of the more controversial changes with the Mi 10T Pro is that it offers a 6.67-inch IPS LCD panel instead of the Super AMOLED screen on the Mi 10 Pro. Xiaomi says it used an LCD panel because some users may feel uncomfortable using AMOLED, but the real reason is cost-saving.
There's no AMOLED screen here, but Xiaomi's 144Hz adaptive refresh rate tech is a welcome addition.
Everything about the Mi 10T Pro feels like it was designed with a price in mind, with Xiaomi having to get rid of several features to get the phone down to its ₹39,999 ($542) asking price in India. That said, the FHD+ (2400 x 1080) LCD panel here is one of the best in this category, and the only thing that you're missing out on is the contrast levels that you get with an AMOLED screen.
The standout feature here is the 144Hz refresh rate, and with the Mi 10T Pro, Xiaomi is debuting its adaptive refresh rate tech. Most high refresh rate panels can switch between two modes — 60Hz and either 90 or 120Hz — but with the Mi 10T Pro, Xiaomi is offering seven refresh rate modes: 30, 48, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 144Hz.
The screen dynamically adjusts the refresh rate based on the context,, so if you're streaming a video on YouTube, it might go down to 48Hz, and switch to 60 or 90Hz when you're playing a game. You get a 144Hz refresh rate in Chrome and the likes of Twitter and Instagram, and Xiaomi has nailed the execution of the adaptive refresh rate tech. Xiaomi relies on MEMC to optimize the frame rate of videos, and at this moment, there's no way to turn off the feature.
The Mi 10T Pro also has stereo sound, but unlike the Mi 10 Pro, you don't get identical speakers at the top and bottom. You still get decent channel separation and it is enjoyable to stream videos on the Mi 10T Pro, but you miss out on the excellent speakers on the Mi 10 Pro.
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro Hardware
The Mi 10T Pro is powered by the the flagship Snapdragon 865 chipset, just like the regular Mi 10 series. Although Qualcomm introduced the Snapdragon 865+ a few months ago, we haven't seen the chipset outside of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and select gaming-focused phones.
|Specs||Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro|
|Software||Android 10, MIUI 12|
|Display||6.67-inch 144Hz LCD|
|Chipset||2.84GHz Snapdragon 865|
|Rear Camera 1||108MP ƒ/1.7 (primary)|
|Rear Camera 2||13MP ƒ/2.4 (wide-angle)|
|Rear Camera 3||5MP ƒ/2.4 (macro)|
|Front Camera||20MP ƒ/2.2|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6, BT 5.1, NFC|
|Battery||5000mAh, 33W USB PD|
|Dimensions||165.1 x 76.4 x 9.3mm|
One of the reasons why manufacturers are continuing with the Snapdragon 865 is that it is still one of the fastest chipsets in the market. It delivers superlative performance in day-to-day tasks, and the Adreno 650 is a gaming powerhouse. You won't see any lag in visually-intensive games, and the chipset should hold its own for several years.
The Mi 10T Pro is available in two configurations: an 8GB/128GB version and an 8GB/256GB option. It is interesting that Xiaomi is not offering a 12GB variant this time around, and it shows that 8GB of RAM is more than enough in 2020. Like other value flagships, the Mi 10T Pro features a UFS 3.1 storage module.
In daily use, the Mi 10T Pro is one of the fastest phones available today. The 144Hz screen is sublime, and the high refresh rate is immediately noticeable — particularly if you're coming from a regular 60Hz panel. The hardware ensures you won't see any lag even after sustained gaming, and the 5000mAh battery delivers over a day's worth of use without any issues.
It's interesting to see Xiaomi add a larger battery in the Mi 10T Pro, because I didn't have any issues in this area on the Mi 10 Pro. Even with the 144Hz panel, I got well over a day's worth of use on the device, averaging over six hours of screen-on-time. The Mi 10T Pro has 33W fast charging, and you get a 33W USB PD charger in the box.
Thanks to a 5,000mAh battery, the Mi 10T Pro delivers outstanding battery life.
It takes just over an hour to fully charge the battery, and you can hit a 60% charge in just 30 minutes. That should be more than enough for several hours' worth of use, and the only downside in this area is that the Mi 10T Pro misses out on wireless charging.
The regular Mi 10 series has 30W wireless charging, and Xiaomi sells its 30W wireless charger in India, so for the brand to not offer the feature feels shortsighted. Talking about feature omissions, the Mi 10T Pro misses out on water resistance. Xiaomi doesn't offer an IP rating on any of its devices, and the manufacturer needs to change this particular stance going forward.
Elsewhere, the Mi 10T Pro has Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, LDAC, AAC, and LHDC audio codecs, and NFC. The phone gets the same great haptic engine as the Mi 10 Pro, and it is one of the best you'll find on Android.
It's great to see Android manufacturers make considerable headway in this particular area over the last 18 months, and the granular feedback with the vibration motor makes using the Mi 10T Pro just that much more enticing.
The side-mounted fingerprint sensor is fast and reliable, and it's positioned right where your thumb rests on the mid-frame, allowing for easy access. Overall, the Mi 10T Pro nails the brief in terms of value, and Xiaomi has once again managed to undercut its rivals with the device.
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro Cameras
Xiaomi differentiated its premium devices by offering the same 108MP camera module as the Galaxy S20 Ultra, and the Mi 10T Pro gets the same module. With the phone retailing for under $600, you're essentially getting an incredible bargain here, with the sensor holding its own against the best Android phones in the market.
This is one of the best cameras you'll find in the mid-range segment.
The 108MP sensor uses four-to-one pixel binning to deliver 27MP shots, and there's also the option to take full-res 108MP photos. The Mi 10T Pro also has a 13MP wide-angle lens and a 5MP macro module, and a 20MP camera at the front.
Xiaomi made a few tweaks to the camera interface in MIUI 12, adding new icons and changing the layout of the menu that sits behind the action overflow button. You'll find the macro mode here, as well as the ability to select the ratio for photos and video, timer, tilt-shift, settings, and more. The camera modes are laid out in a ribbon at the bottom of the screen, and you get toggles for AI, HDR, flash, beauty effects, and Google Lens.
The 108MP sensor is a known quantity at this point, and it delivers incredible shots in just about any lighting condition. That's the case on the Mi 10T Pro as well, and you get images with plenty of detail and excellent dynamic range in daylight and artificial lighting conditions.
Low-light shots in particular turn out really well, with the camera retaining a high amount of detail and minimizing the noise levels. The wide-angle lens delivers the same caliber of shots as the primary lens, and the 5MP macro lens also does a decent enough job thanks to the addition of autofocus.
The fact that Xiaomi is offering a 108MP camera for such an affordable price makes the Mi 10T Pro an insane value.
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro Software
The Mi 10T Pro runs MIUI 12 based on Android 10 out of the box. Xiaomi has lagged behind the likes of OnePlus and even Samsung when it comes to platform updates, so it isn't surprising to see its latest value flagship running last year's Android version.
Xiaomi is running a closed beta of MIUI 12 based on Android 11, but that's limited to the Mi 10 series, and there's still a long way to go before a stable update is available. As such, it is unlikely the Mi 10T Pro will make the switch to Android 11 before the end of 2020.
MIUI 12 has a lot of great features — and the Mi 10T Pro doesn't have any ads.
That said, MIUI 12 brings a lot of exciting new features, with Xiaomi redoubling its efforts when it comes to privacy and security. The new privacy dashboard makes it incredibly easy to see just what apps get to access location, camera, microphone, or other details, and you get to revoke access directly from the menu.
There's also a Control Center that is similar to what you get on iOS. You can easily toggle Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, increase the brightness, and access toggles for flashlight, location, screenshot, and more. Oh, and with MIUI 12, Xiaomi finally offers an app drawer. The feature isn't enabled out of the box, but you can go into the settings and go to the Home Screen sub-menu to switch to the app drawer.
MIUI 12 has a lot of productivity-focused additions as well, including floating windows and a file manager that lets you find files with ease. You'll also find new animations throughout the UI, a new Focus Mode that lets you cut down on distractions, and new backgrounds.
Overall, MIUI 12 is one of the best updates Xiaomi has rolled out in a long time. And the best part about using MIUI 12 on the Mi 10T Pro is that there are no spam notifications. Xiaomi continues to deliver ads on its budget Redmi phones, but the Mi 10T Pro is devoid of any system ads as it is a premium device. That alone makes it worthy of consideration, and while Xiaomi needs to do better with platform updates, MIUI 12 is a step in the right direction.
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro The competition
The ideal alternative to the Mi 10T Pro is the Mi 10. Don't be fooled by the lack of the Pro moniker here; the Mi 10 has the same hardware as the Mi 10 Pro but is missing a few auxiliary sensors for the camera and has 30W wired and wireless charging instead of 50W wired / 30W wireless. The Mi 10 is now available for just ₹44,999 ($607), making it a standout deal. You're getting the same 108MP camera, 90Hz AMOLED screen, 30W wireless charging, better stereo sound, and a design that's easier to hold and use.
The OnePlus 8T is another option if you want the latest hardware and Android 11. The phone comes with a 120Hz AMOLED display, Snapdragon 865, and a 4500mAh battery with 65W fast charging. The downside is that the camera isn't as good as the one on the Mi 10T Pro, but if you want regular updates and a sleek design, the OnePlus 8T is available for ₹42,999 ($580).
Xiaomi Mi 10T Should you buy?
You should buy this if ...
You're in the market for value
The Mi 10T Pro delivers top-notch hardware for significantly less than its rivals, making it a standout value in the mid-range segment.
You want a 108MP camera
Thanks to the 108MP camera, the Mi 10T Pro takes outstanding photos in just about any lighting condition. The phone outshines the likes of the OnePlus Nord and 8T in this regard, and comes close to the Pixel 4a.
You're looking for multi-day battery life
With a 5000mAh battery under the hood and intelligent 144Hz adaptive refresh rate tech, the Mi 10T Pro goes well over a day without any issues.
You should not buy this if ...
You care about the extras
Looking for wireless charging or water resistance? You won't find them on the Mi 10T Pro. The 33W wired charging is decent enough, but the phone misses out on the 30W wireless charging from the regular Mi 10 series.
You want the latest version of Android
Xiaomi is testing the Android 11 beta on the Mi 10 series, but as of now, there's no mention of when the Mi 10T Pro will get the stable release. Don't hold out for an update before the end of the year.
The Mi 10T Pro is a lesson in compromise. Xiaomi had to make a lot of changes to bring the device down to its ₹39,999 ($542) retail price, and that particular fact is evident once you start using the Mi 10T Pro. But in spite of these measures, the Mi 10T Pro is a great overall phone.
Sure, it has an LCD display, but the panel itself is of a high quality, and the 144Hz refresh rate is a differentiator. Lack of wireless charging is a letdown, considering the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro offer 30W wireless charging by default.
But the fact that the phone features the Snapdragon 865 chipset and a 108MP camera gives it a distinct edge in this segment, and for what you're paying here, you are getting an incredible bargain. Just know that you can get a lot more if you're willing to extend your budget just a little bit to get your hands on the Mi 10.
Bottom line: The Mi 10T Pro makes the excellent 108MP camera that much more accessible. The phone has the latest internal hardware, a stunning 144Hz screen, and a massive battery with 33W USB PD charging. You're missing a few features here, but Xiaomi has once again demonstrated that it is the value king.
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