Camera Recap

The camera setup of the Mi 10 Pro is unique to Xiaomi’s phones. What sets the phone apart from the competition is the 108MP Samsung HMX sensor that produces default 27MP stills. It’s currently the highest resolution default shooter in the market right now. The Mi 10 Pro also is set apart by its telephoto module setup, opting to use two modules instead of just one, with a traditional 12MP 2x unit with a 48mm equivalent focal length, and a 8MP 5x unit with a 121mm equivalent focal length, without having to resort to complicated periscope prisms optics such as seen on Samsung or Huawei.

As with our recent reviews, this page is a recap of the extensive testing we’ve done a few weeks ago in our major flagship camera overview in which we evaluated almost all of this first half year’s devices, I highly suggest reading that piece for a more detailed breakdown evaluation as well as more sample shots:

Read Our Extensive Camera Evaluation For More Samples: 
Mobile Flagship Phone Camera Overview 2020 H1: Still Picture Battle

Click for full image
 Mi 10 Pro     ]
OnePlus 8     ] - OnePlus 8 Pro       ]
[ iPhone 11 Pro ] - [ iPhone SE ] - [ Pixel 4 ]
[ Galaxy S20U(S) ] - [ Galaxy S20+(E) ]
V60     ]
[ Mate 30 Pro ] - [ P40 Pro ]
[ Reno3 Pro 5G ] - [ Reno3 Pro ]
[ X-T30 ]

Starting off with the main camera, the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro has one big let-down, and that is its processing. Whilst the camera sensor’s default 27MP resolution is able to get quite a fair amount of details rendered, it’s vastly overshadowed by the colours and tones that are most of the time more of a miss than a hit. In the above shot, the Mi 10 Pro overexposes the brighter areas of the scenes too much and then the HDR algorithm post-processed them down, resulting in a muted flat look.

I feel as though the main camera is somewhat lacking in micro-contrast, and I think this is maybe due to weakness in the optics of the module. At f/1.69 with a huge sensor and a 24mm native focal length, that’s pretty challenging for the lenses, and I think Xiaomi went a bit too far with the wide aperture here. Indeed, other lower-resolution phones such as the V60 and S20+ at 64MP have much better detail retention and less chromatic aberrations than the Mi 10 Pro’s 108MP shots.

Click for full image
Mi 10 Pro       ]
OnePlus 8       ]
OnePlus 8 Pro         ]
[ iPhone 11 Pro ] - [ iPhone SE ] - [ P4 ]
[ Galaxy S20U(S) ]
[ Galaxy S20+(E) ]
V60       ]
[ Mate 30 Pro ]
[ P40 Pro ]
[ Reno3 Pro 5G ]
[ Reno3 Pro ]
[ X-T30 ]

The telephoto modules of the Mi 10 Pro are rather competitive and there’s certainly not a lack of micro-contrast or details in the shots, actually outperforming other 2x optics modules in this regard. On the 5x module, the Mi 10 Pro easily competes with the best phones out there, that being the S20 Ultra and the P40 Pro even though it’s only an 8MP picture. At 10x digital zooming the lower resolution sensor hits its limits. Again, the main weaknesses here are Xiaomi’s processing and colour rendition which isn’t always great. In the 2x shot here for example things look severely undersaturated, while the main camera flattens highlights too much.

Click for full image
Mi 10 Pro        ]
OnePlus 8       ]
OnePlus 8 Pro         ]
[ iPhone 11 Pro ] - [ iPhone SE ] - [ Pixel 4 ]
[ Galaxy S20U(S) ]
[ Galaxy S20+(E) ]
V60        ]
[ Mate 30 Pro ]
[ P40 Pro ]
[ Reno3 Pro 5G ]
[ Reno3 Pro ] - [ X-T30 ]

In terms of low-light photography, the Mi 10 Pro actually fares extremely well thanks to the hardware prowess of the main camera sensor which is able to capture sufficient light, as well as Xiaomi’s night mode computational photography mode. Xiaomi’s Night mode is a bit odd in its behaviour as sometimes, in brighter situations, it doesn’t seem to engage and pictures are very similar if not the same to the regular auto mode shots. One limitation of night mode is that it’s only present on the main and 2x camera modules, which means that the ultra-wide-angle in particular becomes completely useless in low-light, faring as bad as the iPhone with terrible results.

Read Our Extensive Camera Evaluation For More Samples: 
Mobile Flagship Phone Camera Overview 2020 H1: Still Picture Battle

Overall, the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro’s camera let me somewhat disappointed. Whilst on paper the hardware of the phone is outstandingly good, and Xiaomi did extremely well in designing a unique dual telephoto module solution that solves the conundrum of periscope camera modules, I feel that the phone could have done much better than what it ends up presenting.

On the main camera, the great sensor is handicapped by lacklustre optics that just can’t keep up with the high resolutions it can capture. So, while in practice 27MP sounds good, and sometimes it’s an advantage, other competing phones sometimes just have cleaner, more detailed and contrast rich photos.

Xiaomi’s processing is also what I would consider amongst the not-so-good half of devices out there, as HDR processing and exposures sometimes fall flat, and colours many times are off, even though here and there it can perform excellently. In general, this is a software issue which the company can address via software updates, so I hope that’s something in the works for the future.

 

Battery Life - Great Conclusion & End Remarks
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  • Xex360 - Thursday, July 23, 2020 - link

    Nothing solid about a phone with a bunch of dead pixels and headphone jack. Reply
  • PeterCollier - Thursday, July 23, 2020 - link

    Now I'm curious, do phones generally come with a no dead pixel guarantee? I know some high end monitors do. And the low end ones, the manufacturer might say that a few dead pixels are fine. Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, July 23, 2020 - link

    I’ve setup thousands of iPhones over the last decade and never seen a dead pixel in an original or OEM replacement screen. That’s part of the Apple tax though, and where form over function might actually make sense in this particular case. Reply
  • Arsenica - Thursday, July 23, 2020 - link

    I think you mean a phone with no headphone jack.

    But at this price point and feature set I would rather buy a Galaxy S20+ and not worry about Chinese spyware (Korean spyware is way cooler).
    Reply
  • sonny73n - Friday, July 24, 2020 - link

    Let say you said something you shouldn’t have on a phone, would you rather have that record be kept on a Chinese server or on a US server?

    I’m sure that since you used a device that have a microphone or a webcam, you have made stupid mistakes at least once or twice. But luckily for you, you’re a nobody. Your government wouldn’t waste money and human resources to come after a brainwashed nobody such as you. However, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. You know damn well everything you do on or around a smart device is being recorded and kept forever. But here you are, spreading the BS and hate on the Chinese. Didn’t you know that your government spy on you much more than the Chinese ever can?
    Reply
  • Fulljack - Friday, July 24, 2020 - link

    or just unlock the bootloader and install open-source custom rom so it'll be free of spyware. if shit happens at least Xiaomi still honor your warranty even if you tampered the software. Reply
  • 1_rick - Thursday, July 23, 2020 - link

    What dead pixels? Or are you talking about the hole-punch selfie cam? Reply
  • iphonebestgamephone - Friday, July 24, 2020 - link

    So the phones with thicker bezels had much larger areas of dead pixels or what? Reply
  • nagi603 - Thursday, July 23, 2020 - link

    Real shame how the price has skyrocketed between generations... I got a Mi 9 (128) for €400 w/ tax about a year ago. Of course they stopped producing it and you can't get it any longer. Reply
  • ads295 - Thursday, July 23, 2020 - link

    A flagship is one of the few avenues they have to make money. Xiaomi has openly admitted that they have a policy to make not more than 5% margin on their devices. Reply

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