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Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G hands-on: 144Hz adaptive display and a 5,000-mAh battery – CNET

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Xiaomi’s Mi 10 series, released earlier this year, is the company’s marquee line.

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Xiaomi on Wednesday launched its latest flagship line, the Mi10T, alongside a new smartwatch as the Chinese company continues to bet on its lucrative premium phone business. Mi 10T phones are designed to be sold outside of China and Xiaomi says they “power your creativity.” This series is different from the Mi 10 phones launched several months ago, which is Xiaomi’s highest-end flagship line. The Mi 10T Pro 5G starts at 599 euros, which converts to approximately $700 (£545, AU$980).

There are three members of the Mi 10T family: the Mi 10T Lite, Mi 10T and Mi 10T Pro. All three phones have the same 6.67-inch display, support 5G, use a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, and are splash-proof. But they have varying camera modules and refresh rates among other differences. The Mi 10T Pro and Mi 10T have a cutting-edge Snapdragon 865 processor as seen in the Galaxy S20, for instance, while the Mi 10T Lite is powered by Qualcomm‘s midrange Snapdragon 765G chipset (the G stands for gaming). While the phones are all splash-proof according to Xiaomi, none of them have a formal IP rating for water and dust resistance. If you need more specifics, scroll down to our specs chart. 

These phones will first roll out in Europe, before a wider international release, of which the company hasn’t shared details. Based on Xiaomi’s track record, the Mi 10T line probably won’t hit shelves in the US.

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The Mi 10T Pro line comes with three rear cameras headlined by 108-megapixel shooter.

Sareena Dayaram/CNET

The Mi10T Pro looks standard, but has a crisp, high-speed screen

There isn’t anything particularly distinct about the look and feel of this phone. It takes the form of a long rectangular-shaped device with glass on both sides, complete with a rectangular bump. Whether you see it as a classically designed phone or a boring one is a matter of opinion, but it seems to be the go-to design for many phone-makers.

The Mi 10T Pro has a crisp 6.67-inch LCD display with an in-display selfie camera on the upper right of an otherwise uninterrupted screen. You won’t find any buttons or ports on the left edge of the phone, but on the right you’ll see two: A power button that doubles up as a fingerprint reader as well as a longer volume rocker. The phone is chunky, however, and I found myself using it with two hands most of the time. 

Flip the handset around, and you’ll find a large bump on the upper left, where the phone’s three rear cameras and flashlight are found. I was given the lunar silver color for review, which is a gleaming, mirror-esque shade where reflections as well as fingerprints are easily visible. It’s a hard-to-miss color, so if subtlety is your jam, you can select from two alternative color options: aurora blue and cosmic black.

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Screenshot by Sareena Dayaram/CNET

In sunny conditions, the screen was visible when I cranked up brightness to around 75% or so. Scrolling was silky smooth and animations were crisp thanks to the phone’s ultrafast 144Hz screen, which means the panel refreshes 144 times per second. This is probably one of the fastest displays released this year, if not the fastest, alongside the Asus ROG Phone 3, which is designed for gamers. 

Xiaomi has emphasized that its AdaptiveSync display intelligently matches the frame rate of your content whether it’s your “favorite movie at 48Hz to watching TV series at 50Hz, from streaming video at 30Hz or 60Hz to scrolling social media.” This in turn should help conserve some battery life. 

The Mi 10T Pro’s huge 5,000-mAh battery

Speaking of battery life, I can’t comment for sure on battery longevity since I’ve been testing only for a day or so. But the Mi10T Pro does have a mammoth 5,000-mAh cell, and a decent track record for battery life among the phones I’ve reviewed, so this should last you at least a full day. What I can say is the 33-watt charger refilled the battery from 0 to 99% in under an hour. Thirty percent of that charge came within 15 minutes. 

The Mi 10T Pro’s 3 rear cameras

Xiaomi tends to equip its midrange to premium phones with a lot of megapixels, and it’s no different in the Mi 10 Pro. Leading the triple-rear camera pack is a 108-megapixel main sensor, with a 13-megapixel (ultrawide) and 5-megapixel (macro) as its sidekicks. On the front, there’s a 20-megapixel shooter.

I look forward to testing out this camera in more depth, but so far it took decent photos in both sunny and overcast conditions. I haven’t tried it out at night. One thing I can say for certain is that if you’re planning on relying on this camera to capture detail in faraway objects, then you just won’t get the results you’re looking for in the Mi 10T Pro. Pictures began to look grainy once I zoomed past 2x. 

But apart from the more “traditional” features it has some fun photo and video tools that are great for creatives, content creators or people that just want to have some fun. One of those is what Xiaomi calls Dual Mode, which splits the phone screen then records from the rear and front cameras simultaneously. And there’s also a photo and video clones feature that lets you clone a subject several times in an image by simply clicking the camera app’s shutter button a few times. As for video, you can shoot 8K video at 120fps on the Mi10T Pro. 

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Taken in overcast weather using the ultrawide camera.

Sareena Dayaram/CNET

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Taken on default settings on an overcast day.

Sareena Dayaram/CNET

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Taken using 2x zoom. You can clearly see the water droplets resting on the leaves.

Sareena Dayaram/CNET

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I’m getting better at multitasking. 

Sareena Dayaram/CNET

Mi10T Pro gets enhanced privacy features

Xiaomi announced MUIU 12 in April and the Mi 10T family are among the earlier phones from the Chinese company to launch with this software. Xiaomi’s MIUI 12 skin, which is layered over Android 10, is headed down the right direction and is narrowing the gap between OnePlus‘ OxygenOS and Samsung‘s One UI skins. Apart from the cosmetic enhancements (like a new iOS-inspired control center and so-called floating windows), Xiaomi added and amped up much-needed privacy features. Now you can now see what apps have access to your data (location, contacts, mic), choose to share some media without metadata, and opt out of data collection by Xiaomi’s browser apps. Earlier this year, Xiaomi drew accusations of collecting private data from people who use its phone and web browser.

Mi 10T Pro 5G specs

Display size, resolution 6.67-inch, LCD, FHD
Dimensions (Millimeters) 165.1mm x 76.4mm x 9.33mm
Mobile software Android 10
Weight 7.68 oz; 218 g
Rear cameras 108-megapixel (main), 13-megapixel (ultrawide), 5-megapixel (macro)
Front-facing camera 20-megpixel
Video 8K
Procesor Snapdragon 865
Storage 128GB, 256GB
RAM 8GB
Fingerprint sensor No
Connector 5,000 mAh (33W fast charging)
Headphone jack Side
Special features USB-C
Connector Yes
Special features 5G enabled, 144Hz refresh rate, 30W fast charging
Price (at launch) 599 euros (8+128GB), 649 euros (8+256GB)
Price (USD) ~$700 and $760 (converted from euros)
Price (AUD) ~AU$980, AU$1,060 (converted from euros)
Price (£) ~£545 and £590 (converted from euros)

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