Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra review

the premium flagship smartphone market is pretty saturated right now with devices from apple samsung oppo one plus and Huawei offering solid smartphones for around a thousand dollars but over the past seven days, Xiaomi has redefined the flagship smartphone  really on the outside, there isn't much different to a normal high-end flagship smartphone so we've got a big old camera bump on the back we've got a big screen on the front with a punch hole in it it's all very similar it's made of glass it's got metal rails around the outside unfortunately. 

This one doesn't have IP68 water and dust resistance it's got USB type C it's got dual sim support it's very standard on the outside but take a look at the spec sheet and you'll quickly find some incredibly impressive internals some standout ones are up to 
  1. 16 gigabytes of ram up to half a terabyte of storage, a 120 hertz full HD display,  
  2. 120-watt fast charging and 120 times, 
  3. zoom via a five-camera setup with one of them 
  4. having a five-times optical periscope 
the phone is currently only being sold in china which is a shame since seeing a device like this compete with the likes of Samsung one plus and apple in the west would be awesome in china the top-spec model of this phone which has 16 gigabytes of ram and half a terabyte of storage costs just around a thousand dollars in china the equivalent which makes us think incredible value for money not only are getting a fantastic smartphone but also a USB sees a headphone adapter a case and the 120 watt brick right in the box straight out of the gate and that's a lot for your money there's not much to say regarding performance because it's very much like its competitors. 
it's as fast as you'd realistically expect a snapdragon 865 equipped flagship to be only really being beaten by those with the tuned snapdragon 865 plus variant I haven't had a single performance hiccup with this device in the seven days that I've been using it and I'm on the Chinese ROM since there isn't a global version right now which is running me UI 12. 

now the skin is a little love-hate for most I personally enjoyed the bubbly aesthetic and the reworked interface but it strays a lot from stock which some just won't appreciate I like the included tools like the screen recorder and the game turbo mode which lets you customize the chipset working to balance power and graphical fidelity. 

Xiaomi software has been known to create good battery life but unfortunately this time around it's not doing it very well since when I'm using the device actually I'm not getting any notifications which is annoying because I've gone into the settings to make sure that  the setting is disabled to kind of stop notifications to prolong battery life that's not on and for some reason.

I log in to the device and then all of my notifications pop up as opposed to me getting them when the phone lights up the battery life itself is good but not top of the charts on most occasions, the phone lasted me a full day others it was two days but others in this category have lasted me the same amount of time the meat and ultra never failed me to get me through a full day even with heavy usage it's a 4 500 milliamp-hour cell so it's definitely not the biggest but it's split into two cells to allow for the game-changing.

120-watt fast charging which in our testing got the device from 0 to 100 in 21 minutes that is crazy fast that completely beats our last fastest which was the x2 pro and that had a smaller battery and obviously a slower charger however, the phone gets very hot when it's charging via the cable and that doesn't mean amazing things long term of course we haven't tested it and unfortunately, we don't have kind of a visual thermometer or a heat gun to point at it to really get an accurate reading however, it's uncomfortably hot when it's charging and heat kills batteries so we only really need to find out how far this thing will go before it starts degrading it doesn't get so hot however when you charge it with the 50-watt wireless charger now. 

unfortunately, this isn't included in the box but it does allow a zero to 100 charging just around 40 minutes which is really good for a wired charger let alone a wireless one so props to Xiaomi for that in fact the charging tech inside this thing is one of the main reasons you should go and buy it talking of 120 you know 121 that's also the screen's refresh rate it's smooth and it's quick but at full HD is lower than its competitors in resolution it gets fairly bright outdoors around 480 nits in our testing which was easily viewable in the sun viewing angles aren't the most impressive but that's not really helped by the curved glass edges which I think should have been flat to avoid glare and to have a lower chance of cracking.

that's how I would describe the cameras on this thing now it has five cameras one on the front four on the back and of course they're all different focal lengths so there's a lot of versatility in the hardware straight out of the gate they're all running fairly big sensors they're not the biggest they're not Huawei or the Samsung but they're definitely up there Xiaomi's camera app has many modes and options so whether you're a beginner or a keen shutterbug, there's plenty for you to play with however, I did find the main and both telephoto cameras to kind of struggle with a bit of focusing in continuous if they wouldn't lock onto subjects very easily and let me tell you tapping to focus 120 times is pretty tricky I'm not sure whether this is a hardware defect or it can be fixed in software processing but it really does need to be done.

because I'm guessing this was a lot like the Samsung s20 ultra when it came out with its focusing problems on such a big sensor and the results well they're very competitive with the rest of the market there does seem to be a lot of saturation across the board and I happen to take the device to a garden center to get some more colorful photos and some of the flowers look a little less colorful in real life than on the phone, it managed to nail white balance though in every case which I think is brilliant photos look sharp and have quite a lot of depth as all of the sensors on the back are fairly big as I said before again they're not the biggest but they are big enough to give you some more natural without having to switch to portrait mode and in portrait mode the mi 10 ultra handles humans and human-like subjects very well edge detection is crisp and while the focus roll-off is a little bit abrupt it doesn't ruin the image flipping over to selfies. 

the metal ultra has a very capable front camera but there is still a little bit of skin smoothing going on even if the filter is turned off it is very subtle but it is happening and that's something to keep in mind the mi10 ultra's ultra wide camera captures a nice big frame 128 degrees field of view and the images from the camera look really good and the color temperature isn't too far off the main camera sometimes however there is a little bit more aggression from the noise reduction compared to the main camera and so this kind of effects the areas with a lot of the detail and in the shadows kind of like the trees in this image but hang on a minute what about that zoom.

that's what we're all here for well using the camera at five times telephoto it results in some great looking and rather sharp images for that focal length, you can even really take it up to 10 times hybrid and have a good like the properly good image, however, taking up to 120 times there is a significant quality drop-off as to be expected however in contrast heavy subjects like the text in this sign the camera is capturing enough light and information to digitally correct and give you a very readable photo it's very impressive stuff and I was astounded the first time I snapped a proper 120 time zoom shot because most of the time I wasn't far enough away from the subject to get anything in frame 120 times is a lot of zooms.  

there is a caveat to this however remember earlier when I said that focusing wasn't all that accurate or very fast well at 120 times zoom you would need to be unbelievably steady and be able to hit the middle for the tap to focus it's an absolute nightmare what this means is that more often than not zoom photos came out just very slightly out of focus of course this is amplified by the fact you are 120 times zoom into something that's rather annoying because you kind of have to go back and reshoot it which is not what you really want to be doing in low light things take a massive downward spiral I found that the mi10 ultra's night mode was completely underwhelming given the four large-ish sensors on the back and a seemingly comprehensive camera app. 

i was shocked to see that a lot of the night images just weren't very good one thing to note is that Xiaomi seems to not have an adaptive shutter timer and so whether you're in the pitch black or daylight the camera doesn't seem to adapt its timer to gather exposures in the video, the me10 ultra gives you plenty of modes 8k 24p ultra HD 60p and slow motion up to 960fps the footage looks sharp and has that typical Xiaomi over saturation as I said before I did find it hunting for exposure a little though this is more common when you use hdr video with other phones so for the equivalent of around a thousand us dollars should you buy this phone well if you're in china.

because it's gonna work with everything and it's going to cost actually the equivalent of a thousand dollars anywhere else in the world getting it imported you're gonna have to pay import fees and very expensive shipping costs and probably the most important thing of all you're not going to get all of the bands that you need necessarily which is rather annoying depending on where you live in the world because you're going to need those bands for different mobile frequencies what would be better is if Xiaomi launched this thing globally now there doesn't seem to be any plans of this which is rather frustrating however that way you would get all of your bands and the pricing would work well and shipping wouldn't take forever this thing could compete with the best of the best and probably overtake it as well.

the fact you're getting this much smartphone for around a thousand dollars even if it was the same price as the note 20 ultras you're getting so much more smartphone with this thing that there's a lot more value for money sure you won't get Samsung's likes pen or it's better to display or in my opinion, it's a better camera processing but there's just so much raw stuff in this smartphone that it's crazy it has redefined the flagship smartphone for me a flagship smartphone should be something where you put all of the best technology into that smartphone and sell it for a high price justifiably of course but let us know in the comments if you think the price is justified and if you would justify spending the money to get it imported into your country that's about it for today's review.