“Striking the Right Note!”: The Redmi Note 10 Buying Guide

We will keep it simple: if you want a phone for less than or around 15,000, you can just close your eyes and go for a Redmi Note. 

That is because  the Redmi Note has become almost a household name in the country. Since Xiaomi launched the first Note way back in 2014, both the brand and the series have come a long way. Some even call the Note series the anchor that helped the Xiaomi-ship stand tall and firm against the competition-current in the Indian smartphone ocean. It has been so popular that had it been a separate brand in its own right, it would have been one of the top phone brands in the country, selling more than the entire portfolios of the likes of Motorola and Nokia.

Why? Well, because no other phone in that zone gives you so much for the price. It beats the competition quite comfortably.

So many Notes

There is a catch, though. You cannot just go and buy a Redmi Note today. No, we are not talking about the flash sale model followed by the company but about  good old coinfusion. 

You see, a few years ago, buying a Redmi Note was pretty much just grabbing the Redmi Note currently in the market or waiting for the one the brand was set to launch. 

Times have changed since then. 

In the past, there used to be just one Note, with different RAM and storage variants. That has changed. There are now more Redmi Notes floating in the market than ever before – there were four at the time this was being written (which was more than the total number of Redmi Notes between 2014-2017). And they are all rather different, with each having its own strengths. Deciding to get a Redmi Note is no longer enough. You now have to also figure out which Note strikes the right Note for you.

A Note-worthy guide

If a Redmi Note has been on your mind but you cannot quite figure out which one, here is a guide that can help you pick the right Note for you!

The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max: The most beefy Note in the market
(Rs 18,999 onwards)

This is the best, most expensive package under the Redmi Christmas tree. Just like the name that has it all (Redmi, Note, 10, Pro and Max). It is also the only Note with a 108 megapixel main sensor. This is paired with an 8 megapixel ultrawide sensor, a 5 megapixel macro and a 2 megapixel depth sensor, and a 16 megapixel camera on the front. They are very good cameras too – even the macro one, actually. The Note 10 Pro Max is powered by the very decent Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G processor, and has three RAM and storage variants – 6 GB/ 64 GB, 6 GB/ 128 GB and 8 GB/ 128 GB. 99

It sports a beautiful, tall 6.67 inch full HD+ Super AMOLED display with 120 Hz refresh rate – this is the first time the Note series has Super AMOLED displays, and these ones are gorgeous. It comes with a glass back and there is Gorilla Glass 5 protection on the front. The phone runs on Android 11 topped with MIUI 12. There is a 5,020 mAh battery with support for fast charging and a 33W charger in the box as well, which will comfortably last past a day of even heavy usage. There are stereo speakers in there as well to make film watching and gaming the best it has been on a Note. 

All of which makes the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max probably the most loaded device in the sub Rs. 20,000 category. It does everything you want – great photography, good gaming, great videos, great battery life, great display, the works. If you are looking for the most beefy Redmi Note in the market with no compromises, this is the one for you. 

Perfect for: Those who want the best Note out there. 
Not so good for: Those on a tight budget, and those who are not too crazy about big megapixels. 

The Redmi Note 10 Pro: Max minus massive camera
(Rs 15,999 onwards)

It comes with the exact same specs as the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max – a similar display and processor and almost the same design. It too runs the same Android 11 and MIUI 12 skin on top, has stereo speakers, a 5,020 mAH battery with fast charge support and a 33W charger in the box.And yes,  it also has  6 GB/ 64 GB, 6 GB/ 128 GB and 8 GB/ 128 GB RAM and storage variants.

The one key difference between the Redmi Note 10 Pro and the Note 10 Pro Max is the camera –  the Redmi Note 10 Pro brings a 64 megapixel main sensor on the back, as opposed to the 108 megapixel sensor on the Note 10 Pro Max. The other cameras are the same, even the 16 megapixel front facing camera. 

So, if you can let go of the extra megapixel dream in exchange for a lighter bill without having to compromise on the overall premium Note 10 Pro experience (or maybe you are not just THAT much into photography), then this is the Note for you. It will do everything the Max can – it just cannot take 108 megapixel shots. 

Perfect for: Those wanting the best Note, but not wishing to splurge extra for the 108 megapixel camera. 
Not so good for: Those who do not want to go beyond Rs 15,000.

The Redmi Note 10S: The gaming Note, with brand new UI
(Rs 14,999 onwards)

This is the most recent Note 10 in the clan, the Redmi Note 10S can be called the gaming Note as it is powered by Mediatek Helio G95 processor, which is known for great gaming (some say even better than the Snapdragon 732 on the Pro). It comes paired with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage, with a 6GB/ 64 GB variant as well. You can easily play high-end games on the device on medium settings without too much trouble. Stereo speakers add to the film and gaming experience. The Note 10S is also the first phone in India to come with MIUI 12.5 which is the latest MIUI version from the company, the cleanest version of the UI. 

It has a smaller display than the Pros – a 6.43 inch full HD+ Super AMOLED display protected by Gorilla Glass 3, with a rather normal 60 Hz refresh rate (which is not too bad – it is what the iPhones have!). The Note 10S  has a plastic back which can easily pass off as a glass back – it is shiny, reflective and brings all the glass jazz you expect from a real glass back.  The cameras are also a level lower than the Note Pros.

You get a 64 megapixel main sensor, an 8 megapixel ultrawide sensor, and a couple of 2 megapixel depth and macro sensors. There is a 13 megapixel camera on the front. The main sensor takes good snaps, but is a step below its Pro variants, and the ultrawide and selfie cameras do an adequate job, with the rest being largely decorative.  The battery is very slightly smaller at 5,000 mAh but comes with a 33W charger and support for fast charge. Battery life is however, the weakest of the three, lasting a day of heavy use but struggling to get beyond that. 

The Redmi Note 10S is the Note for those  looking for gaming centric Note experience without having to spend too much.  

Perfect for: The ones who want the Note with a gaming flavour, as well as the geeks who want the very latest MIUI. 
Not so good for: Those who prefer glass on the backs of their phones, and want top notch battery life.

The Redmi Note 10: The real Note
(Rs 12,499)

There are now Redmi Notes with all kinds of suffixes – a Pro, a Pro Max and an S –  but the “Real” Redmi Note still is the Note that stands alone. The Redmi Note that serves the basic Redmi Note purpose– affordable, reliable with competitive specs, and with no suffix. The biggest USP of the Redmi Note 10 is the price tag – it is the most affordable with a starting price of Rs. 12,499. 

It packs in some good specs for the price. The display is smaller than the Pros and the same as the 10S –  a6.43 inch Super AMOLED full HD+ display (again a 60 Hz refresh rate, but really, it is more than enough). There is Gorilla Glass 3 protection on the front and there is a polycarbonate back, but again it is difficult to tell it apart from glas. It is also the only Note which comes with a new processor with Qualcomm Snapdragon 678 powering it, with 4 GB/ 64 GB and 6 GB / 128 GB variants. The processor is perhaps the least powerful of the four but is more than enough for handling your daily chores, multitasking duties and your casual gaming needs (it will not rock high-end gaming, though).

It comes with the lowest megapixel count in the camera department as well, with a 48 megapixel main sensor, paired with an 8 megapixel ultrawide sensor and two 2 megapixel sensors, one for depth and another for macros. There is a 13 megapixel sensor  on the front. The cameras do a decent job in good light conditions, but are not in the class of the Pro or the 10S. The phone also has a 5000 mAh battery, support for fast charging and 33W charger in the box. And it has the best battery life of all the Notes, going easily to almost two days . Software is Android 11 with a layer of MIUI 12 on top. And in spite of the lowest price tag, it still comes with stereo speakers, making it great for films and shows. 

Yes, it is not the most powerful of the lot, but it does the job well in almost every department, So if you want the latest Note experience, with the least amount of damage to your wallet, the Redmi Note 10 it is for you – the OG Note in the line-up. 

Perfect for: Those on a really right budget who want the no-frills, classic Note experience. 
Not so good for: Those wanting really good cameras or glass backs.

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