img-6467

Xiaomi's Mi 10 Pro has an inconspicuous front-facing 20-megapixel camera on the left side of the screen.

Sareena Dayaram/CNET

The Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G costs roughly $1,100 when converted from its price in Europe (999 euros, which is about £890 or AU$1,660). It's stuffed with pretty much everything you'd expect from a premium 5G phone, including a Snapdragon 865 chipset, a 90Hz refresh-rate display, a 4,500-mAh battery and even a 108-megapixel rear camera.

6.9

Xiaomi Mi 10

Pricing not available
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Like

  • Fast-charging
  • Fast performance
  • Smooth 90Hz display

Don't Like

  • Not available in the US for now
  • Too much bloatware and ads
  • Not rated for water-resistance

For the most part, those specs allow the Mi 10 Pro to deliver the goods. But it has its shortcomings. The most obvious one is that the Mi 10 series lacks an IP rating for water resistance. The phone does have some degree of water resistance, but an IP rating would have given me more peace of mind. The other drawback is the phone comes with a dizzying array of preloaded apps and annoying advertisements. It just feels cluttered compared to, say, a Google Pixel or even a Samsung Galaxy phone. Depending on what carrier you get the phone through or if you get it unlocked, the apps that come out-of-the-box may be different. 

If an IP rating is important to you, there are other Android phones to choose from, such as the OnePlus 8 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S20 or the Motorola Edge Plus ($1,000 at Motorola). But even if water resistance isn't a priority, I'd still recommend any of those phones over the Mi 10 Pro. Even though the Mi 10 Pro is impressive, it's way too expensive when compared to the competition.

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The Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G has a 6.7-inch display with delicately curved edges.

Sareena Dayaram/CNET

Pricing and international release

Mi 10 phones are available in several European and Asian countries, but Xiaomi stopped short of announcing any details of a US launch or release for the Mi 10 Pro. In Europe, the Mi 10 starts at 799 euros (with 8GB RAM and 128GB), while the 10 Pro starts at 999 euros (8GB RAM and 256GB). Convert that to US dollars and the Mi 10 and 10 Pro are about $865 and $1,085, respectively. 

Though I didn't get a chance to review it, the cheaper Mi 10 has mostly the same specs as the Pro, like a 90Hz display and large battery. But it lacks a telephoto lens in its quad-camera module. Instead, it has a macro and depth lens instead.

Design and display 

always-on-dispay

 If you're willing to pay the price of battery life, Xiaomi has an always-on-display feature available (pictured above). 

Sareena Dayaram/CNET

The Mi 10 Pro has a large 6.7-inch AMOLED screen, delicately curved edges and ultra-narrow bezels. I love that Xiaomi eliminated the notch entirely and put an inconspicuous in-display selfie camera on the left side. The phone comes in two colors, white and gray. I received the gray model for review and I absolutely adore its metallic finish. It has an attractive sheen but it's not too shiny. It is a fingerprint magnet though, so you'll either have to get a case for it or constantly wipe it down. 

The Mi 10 Pro's  90Hz screen is a higher refresh rate than most phones, which have 60Hz displays. It's silky smooth and I love the way it looks, though it's not as high as the 120Hz screens on the OnePlus 8 Pro ($999 at OnePlus) and Galaxy S20. The Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro also has a lower resolution than the Galaxy S20, so images and video aren't as sharp. 

In addition, even though I'm a fan of big phones, the Mi 10 Pro is heavy. I have large hands for a woman and one-handed use was still challenging for me.

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The Mi 10 Pro features four cameras on the rear led by a 108-megapixel sensor.

Sareena Dayaram/CNET

The Mi 10 Pro's 4 rear cameras 

The Mi 10 Pro's biggest draw is its astonishing 108-megapixel camera. While more megapixels don't necessarily translate to better photos, the key advantage of having so many megapixels is that the image retains clarity when you zoom into it.

And that it did. The camera captured magnificently crisp and vibrant photos with a lot of detail. It caught details that I missed with my own eyes and, at certain lighting conditions, it captured more detail than other phones I used after zooming in.

The camera also has up to 50x digital zoom, but pictures taken while zoomed in that far were grainy and I can't see myself using the feature much or at all. But pictures taken using 5x and even 10x zoom still retained impressive detail and clarity.

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This photo was taken in the afternoon using the phone's 108-megapixel camera.

Sareena Dayaram/CNET
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I cropped this photo from the picture above that was taken with the 108-megapixel camera. The crop retains impressive detail considering how far the buildings were from where I took the original photo.

Sareena Dayaram/CNET
image-on-the-left-was-taken-with-main-xx-megapixel-camera-with-the-ai-enhangement-feature-turned-off-you-can-see-that-the

Both photos were taken with the standard shooter on an overcast day. You can see how the AI software perks up the green leaves on the image on the right. 

Sareena Dayaram/CNET
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro ultrawide cam

The image of the buildings on the left was taken with the ultrawide camera.

Sareena Dayaram/CNET
Mi 10 Pro 5g camera

The was taken with the default 12-megapixel shooter.

Sareena Dayaram/CNET
example-of-5x

The image of the building was taken while zooming in 5x on an overcast day. You can see the photo is crisp and fairly detailed.

Sareena Dayaram/CNET
example-of-10x-hybrid-zoom

This photo was taken zooming in 10x on an overcast day. It's an example of the Mi 10 Pro's 10x hybrid zoom capabilities.

Sareena Dayaram/CNET
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And this one was taken using 50x digital zoom. The image is grainy and pixelated.

Sareena Dayaram/CNET

The 108-megapixel camera was accompanied by three others: a 20-megapixel ultrawide-angle lens, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens.

Photos taken in low light were also impressive. I took a photo in my dark living room. I couldn't see much with my naked eye, but the camera managed to capture plenty of detail. Sometimes the colors weren't accurate, but overall the pictures were rich considering the dark conditions the camera had to work with.

Compared to other phones, such as the iPhone XS ($900 at Sprint), portrait photos taken on the 10 Pro were only OK. They looked washed out and didn't capture as much detail as I would have liked, especially of my dog's fur (pictured below).

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I shot this image using the Mi 10 Pro's Night mode after sunset in Hong Kong. The sky was a blackish gray color in real life, but on the image the sky looks blueish gray.

Sareena Dayaram/CNET
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Portrait mode comparison between the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro (left) and the iPhone XS Max (right). The iPhone XS captured far more true-to-life colors, particularly my dog's golden brown fur.

Sareena Dayaram/CNET

Software and design

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Advertisements like this one appeared every time I downloaded a new app from the Google Play store.

Screenshot taken by Sareena Dayaram/CNET

Xiaomi's MIUI 11, which is layered on top of Android 10, is one of the more playful skins I've come across. It has bright colors and some unique little touches, like confetti animations appearing on the home screen when you use certain wallpapers. There's also an always-on display and dark mode. You can take screenshots or adjust the phone's volume by swiping three fingers downwards on the home screen. That took a bit of time to get used to, but it was easy enough to learn and ended up being kind of fun. 

What is irritating though is that I was served ads every single time I downloaded an app on Google Play. It also happened when I used apps native to Xiaomi's MUIU 11, like its Theme app for changing the wallpaper. These ads can be turned off, but it's a tedious process and if I'm paying over $1,000 for a phone, I don't want to see unnecessary ads. For this reason, I felt I had to ding the phone's rating under the Features category.

Performance and battery

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There's a discreet in-display camera on the left side of the screen of Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G.

Sareena Dayaram/CNET

The Mi 10 Pro has a 4,500-mAh battery, which is smaller than the 4,780-mAh battery inside the more affordable  Mi 10. We're in the middle of revising our battery testing procedure, so I don't have a comparable score, but overall I was pleased with the battery performance. Anecdotally, it lasted more than 24 hours with medium usage. That means I checked my email, WhatsApp and social media apps, watched YouTube videos for a few minutes and made a few short calls while the display was set to 90Hz. I also ended up tethering my phone's internet connection to my laptop for about two hours when my connection went down. At that point the battery was at about 30%. 

The next day, I didn't use my phone as a hotspot and the battery lasted more than 34 hours with similar usage as the day before. When the Mi 10 Pro did run out of battery, it took nearly 30 minutes to charge it to 60% and about 55 minutes for it to fully charge. That's pretty good, but it's not as impressive as the charging speed of the pricier Oppo Find X2 Pro ($1,199 at Giztop), which charged up to 100% in 38 minutes.

One of my favorite things about the Mi 10 Pro is its reverse wireless charging capability. Featured on phones such as the Galaxy S20 and OnePlus 8 Pro, the phone can charge other phones and accessories wirelessly. It's a handy feature when you need that emergency top-up, say like charging your AirPods Pro before a workout.

The Mi 10 Pro has the newest Snapdragon 865 chipset with 12GB of RAM. On benchmark tests, it stacked up well against other phones with the same chip.

3DMark Slingshot Unlimited

OnePlus 8 Pro 5G
9,810
Samsung Galaxy S20 5G
9,092
LG V60 ThinQ 5G
9,956
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G
9,593

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Geekbench v.5.0 single-core

OnePlus 8 Pro 5G
902
Samsung Galaxy S20 5G
887
LG V60 ThinQ 5G
901
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G
898

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Geekbench v.5.0 multicore

OnePlus 8 Pro 5G
3,371
Samsung Galaxy S20 5G
3,186
LG V60 ThinQ 5G
3,371
Xiaomi MI 10 Pro 5G
3,304

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Mi 10 Pro series vs. One Plus 8 Series

Mi 10 Mi 10 Pro OnePlus 8 OnePlus 8 Pro
6.67-inch AMOLED, 2,340x1,080 pixels (Full HD) 6.67-inch AMOLED; 2,340x1,080 pixels (Full HD) 6.55-inch AMOLED; 1,080x2,400 pixels 6.78-inch AMOLED; 1,440x3,168 pixels
386ppi 386ppi 402ppi 513ppi
6.4x3x0.35 in 6.4x3x0.35 in 6.3x2.8x0.31 in 6.51x2.93x0.35 in
162.58x74.80x8.96mm 162.58x74.80x8.96mm 160x72.9x8.0 mm 165x74.4x8.5 mm
208g 208g 6.35 oz; 180g 7.02 oz; 199g
Android 10 Android 10 Android 10 Android 10
108-megapixel (primary), 13-megapixel (ultrawide), 2-megapixel (macro) , 2-megapixel (depth) 108-megapixel (primary), 20MP (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (telephoto), 8-megapixel (telephoto) 48-megapixel (standard), 16-megapixel (ultra-wide), 2-megapixel (macro) 48-megapixel (standard), 48-megapixel (ultra-wide), 8-megapixel (telephoto), 5-megapixel ('color filter')
20-megapixel 20-megapixel 16-megapixel 16-megapixel
8K 8K 4K 4K
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
128GB, 256GB, 256GB, 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256GB
8GB, 12 GB 8GB, 12 GB 8GB, 12GB 8GB, 12GB
None None None None
4,780 mAh (30W wired and wireless charging, 30W in-box charger) 4,500 mAh (50W wired and 30W wireless fast charging, 65W in-box charger) 4,300 mAh 4,510 mAh
In-screen In-screen In-screen In-screen
USB-C USB-C USB-C USB-C
None None No No
30W wireless charging, dual stereo speakers, 5G enabled, reverse wireless charging, in display fingerprint reader 30W wireless charging, dual stereo speakers, 5G enabled, reverse wireless charging, 90 Hz, in-display fingerprint reader 5G enabled; Warp Charge; 90Hz refresh rate 5G enabled; Warp Charge; reverse wireless charging; water resistant (IP68); 120Hz refresh rate
Starts at 799 euros (8/128GB), converts to roughly $865; and 899 euros (8/256GB), which converts to roughly $985 Starts at 999 euros, converts to $1,095  $699 (8GB RAM/128GB), $799 (12GB RAM/256GB) $899 (8GB RAM/128GB), $999 (12GB RAM/256GB)
6.9

Xiaomi Mi 10

Score Breakdown

Design 7 Features 6 Performance 8 Camera 7