The Redmi Note 10S is a good phone and as we found out n our review, it checks all the right boxes for what it costs. It is a significant upgrade over the Redmi Note 10 and acts as a good filler before the Redmi Note 10 Pro. Starting at Rs 14,999, this is easily one of the best phones that you can buy at this price. But, the Redmi Note 10 Pro throws a spanner in its success.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro costs Rs 1,000 more and has been our favourite ever since its launch. It genuinely negates the need to spend more on a smartphone, unless one seeks high performance for gaming. Compared to the Redmi Note 10S, it has got a better and bigger display, slight better chip, and bigger battery.
Redmi Note 10S vs Redmi Note 10 Pro
Both of these phones adhere to the 2021 trends of smartphone design. Being the pricier option, the Redmi Note 10 Pro obviously looks slightly better and gets the glass rear treatment instead of the all-plastic one on the Note 10S. That’s not to say the Redmi Note 10S feels cheap. In fact, hold both of these next to each other and you could be pressed hard to hunt down the differences.
The front of the Redmi Note 10S has a think chin around the display while the Redmi Note 10 Pro minimizes it with clever design. The Note 10 Pro is also larger owing to its bigger 6.7-inch display.
This one too is a no-brainer win for the Redmi Note 10 Pro, considering its 6.67-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a faster refresh rate of 120Hz. The Note 10S has a smaller 6.4-inch 1080p AMOLED display with a standard refresh rate of 60Hz. If you love watching movies or browse social media a lot, the Redmi Note 10 Pro is the one that makes sense.
Both the phones run on Xiaomi’s custom MIUI 12 experience based on Android 11, with the Note 10S getting the newer MIUI 12.5. MIUI 12.5 is smoother in daily usage and improves performance by some margin.
It is the chipset where these two phones start confusing. The Snapdragon 732G and the Helio G95 are evenly matched in terms of benchmarks. The Helio G95 is more tuned for gaming performance whereas the Snapdragon 732G leads the charts with a more efficient battery life. Hence, this is more of a “whether you prefer Snapdragon or MediaTek” question – both of these phones are equally fast in daily use.
Both phones feature a 3.5mm headphone jack and dual speaker setup for a stereo effect. Hence, audio performance out of these phones is equally good.
The output from the main 64-megapixel camera on the Redmi Note 10S and Redmi Note 10 Pro is comparable. Both do great in terms of contrast, colour saturation, details, sharpness and exposure ( a for a phone of this price range). It is the rest of the cameras where the Redmi Note 10 Pro takes the lead over the Note 10S.
The 5-megapixel macro camera on the Note 10 Pro is leagues ahead of the 2-megapixel unit on the Note 10S in terms of clarity, focus, details and colours. The output of the ultra-wide camera is slightly better on the Note 10 Pro as well. Most of it has to do with the ISP and image processing on the Snapdragon 732G-equipped Note 10 Pro.
While both phones feature a 5000mAh battery (5020mAh on the Redmi Note 10 Pro), it is the Redmi Note 10 Pro that lasts longer effortlessly, despite the 120Hz mode. The power-efficient Snapdragon 732G and MIUI 12’s tweaking consistently delivers a day and a half’s battery life, unless you are gaming. The Redmi Note 10S is almost as good but one may need to recharge it the next morning to make it through the day.
The Redmi Note 10S in its capacity is a good phone starting at Rs 14,999 but the presence of the Redmi Note 10 Pro for an extra Rs 1,000 makes choosing it difficult. At Rs 1,000 extra, you are getting a superior display, better battery life, and more competent secondary cameras. This is currently the hot choice for buyers under Rs 20,000.
The Redmi Note 10S is a good phone as well and unless you absolutely cannot spend an extra Rs 1,000 on the Note 10 Pro, you won’t be disappointed with the Note 10S.