The sub-Rs. 15,000 smartphone segment has been bustling with launches for a while now. One look and you are swamped with options to choose from, including multiple from several manufacturers. In all this commotion, Xiaomi is pushing in the Redmi 10 Prime, a successor to the Redmi 9 Prime, to cement its position in this segment. So how good is the Redmi 10 Prime and what does it offer that will help it stand out? I got to spend some time with this smartphone and here are my first impressions.
Redmi 10 Prime price in India
The Redmi 10 Prime starts at Rs. 12,499 in India for the base variant which has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. There is a higher variant as well, with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, priced at Rs. 14,499. The Redmi 10 Prime is offered in Bifrost Blue, Astral White, and Phantom Black. It will go on sale starting September 7.
The Redmi 10 Prime looks unmistakably like a current-gen Xiaomi phone as it adopts the 'Evol' design language popularised by the Redmi Note 10 series. It has a big 6.5-inch display, a plastic frame, and a polycarbonate back. Let's talk about the display first – you get a full-HD+ panel with a 90Hz refresh rate. There is Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on top for protection. Power the smartphone on and you'll notice that the display has a thick chin and a hole at the top for the 8-megapixel selfie camera. I found the display to have decent viewing angles and it was bright enough indoors.
The side-mounted fingerprint scanner is easy to reach
Side-mounted fingerprint scanners are now quite common on budget smartphones, and the Redmi 10 Prime has it too. It's located on the right side and is easy to reach. You'll find the volume buttons just above it, and these might require a bit of a stretch to reach. On the left side of the frame is the SIM tray which has provisions for two Nano-SIMs and a microSD card.
Xiaomi has curved the frame along the sides which makes this phone comfortable to hold. The top and bottom of the frame are flat, and reminded me of the Redmi 9 Power (Review). You get dual speakers on the Redmi 10 Prime, one of which is at the top along with an IR emitter and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The bottom has the other speaker, primary microphone, and USB Type-C port.
The Redmi 10 Prime has a quad camera module at the back, which protrudes slightly. This phone has four cameras, with the primary having a 50-megapixel sensor with an f/1.8 aperture. There's also an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera, a 2-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor.
I had the Bifrost Blue colour variant of the Redmi 10 Prime which looks nice but also picked up fingerprints rather easily. I had to wipe the back quite often to preserve its glossy finish. At 192g, you'll definitely notice the weight of this smartphone.
The quad-camera setup on the Redmi 10 Prime
Xiaomi has gone with a 6,000mAh battery for the Redmi 10 Prime. It is capable of 18W fast charging and you get a 22.5W charger in the box. The Redmi 10 Prime is also capable of 9W reverse charging.
Coming to hardware, you get the MediaTek Helio G88 SoC which is a new processor in this price segment. The phone is available in two variants: 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage, and 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage. Xiaomi has implemented a feature that it calls Extendable RAM on the Redmi 10 Prime, which uses a small part of the storage as additional RAM – 1GB on the base variant and 2GB on the higher one.
On the software front, the Redmi 10 Prime runs MIUI 12.5 on top of Android 11. My unit had the July Android security patch. The Redmi 10 Prime comes with a number of preinstalled apps including Amazon, Netflix, Mi Pay, GetApps, and a couple of Google apps. Xiaomi says that some of its preinstalled apps can now be uninstalled, and I'll check this out during the full review.
The Redmi 10 Prime seems like an upgrade on all fronts over its predecessor, the Redmi 9 Prime. However, the competition has also geared up in recent times. The Redmi 10 Prime is a little more expensive than its predecessor and might attract a different audience. Xiaomi's pricing puts the Redmi 10 Prime closer to the Realme Narzo 30 (Review) which costs Rs.1000 more but offers better hardware. Is the Redmi 10 Prime better than the Narzo 30? Can the Redmi 10 Prime carve out a spot for itself in the sub-Rs. 15,000 segment? Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for the full review to find out.