My first impressions on this one definitely surrounded the size of the phone. It’s quite a weighty and large device at 218 grams and 9.3mm thick. Compare that to the 199g weight and 8.5mm thickness of something like the OnePlus 8 Pro. Sure, the extra 19 grams might not sound like much but for me it was noticeable.
The video overview
Want the quick info? Here’s our overview of the Mi 10T Pro..
Using an aluminium frame, this is otherwise an all-glass affair with a big 144Hz 6.67″ 1080 x 2400 panel running at 395 ppi.
The screen isn’t curved but it does managed to consume a lot of the front frame and that speedy refresh rate means that browsing and gaming is silky smooth.
You can, should you wish, throttle the refresh rate down to either 90Hz or 60Hz – there’s a settings screen that’ll show you the difference. The lower refresh rate will save your battery.
On the side is a fingerprint sensor which I wasn’t expecting too much from (considering how thin it is), but it’s incredibly quick and responsive – unlocking your phone in no time at all. It’s also in just the right place, so you naturally rest your finger or thumb up against it when you pick up the phone. It also doubles as the wake key, which is a nice touch. Very nice indeed.
Above the fingerprint sensor / wake key you’ll find the volume controls on a single button. It’s a thin and polished button which is easy to locate.
Up top, a range of holes for your secondary microphone and the left speaker. Holding the phone in landscape orientation means that you get a very decent stereo sound from both ends of the phone.
The left side of the phone is totally unused but you may be able to see by now just how pronounced that camera arrangement is on the back. When placed flat on a desk, this rocks due to the bulge and, although it looks rather lovely, it’s a definite “Marmite” moment on whether you can deal with it.
The bottom has the SIM tray (dual SIM) and USB-C charging. No microSD card here, so the storage you have (either 128GB or 256GB) is what you get. The model we’re reviewing has 128GB storage and around 20GB has already been consumed out-of-the-box.
Powered by the super-quick Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 running 8 cores and up to 2.84GHz. You’ll have no problems from this chip, believe me. Inside there’s Android 10 but the MIUI 12 flavour has been added to the interface and you’ll notice that things are slightly different to the usual Android stock build.
Onto the back though, and things get pretty serious with the camera setup – a 108 megapixel f/1.7 lens, a 13 megapixel wide-angle lens and a 5 megapixel macro shooter. There’s also a 20 megapixel lens in the display up front for your selfies.
That 108 megapixel lens is the same as the one found in the Mi 10 and Mi Note 10. It’s an incredible amount of megapixels, that’s for sure, but for me it didn’t always mean a better photo, and I found that shots taken on cameras with less megapixels were better.
Don’t get me wrong of course, the majority of shots were amazing – bright colours, sharp shots and the ability to crop out a shot without losing too much resolution. Daytime shots came out well, but in lower light conditions things did seem to suffer a little. There was a need to hold the phone quite still and some shots – for example this one of my cat – seemed to confuse the phone quite a bit.
I’d recently reviewed the Vivo X51 and there was a definite difference in zoom levels. Despite the 108 megapixels, I couldn’t zoom as far and things got grainy quickly. It needs a telephoto camera.
During my shots, the AI abilities of the camera detected what I was snapping, and tweaked settings to ensure that the resulting photo came out well. There’s also a “Pro” mode if you want to do things yourself and lots of additional camera modes such as a Vlog mode, Document shots, time-lapse, night mode, panorama, slow-mo and more. You can also take photos or film using the front and rear camera at the same time.
I liked using “Clone”, which uses two pictures or videos of the same scene, blending them together and the “Sky” mode, which lets you fiddle around with the sky.
Here’s some example photos…
As you’ll have seen on the photo of the moon above, there’s a “Night” mode which boosts the available light. The shot below was taken in darkness but, when held steady and in the right mode, you get a very decent shot.
I also experimented with the differences between the macro lens, the normal lens and the wide-angle lens. Here’s some shots from each..
Video footage, especially when played back on the 144Hz screen, looked incredible smooth. It’ll do 8K video recording if you’re into that.
For £599 you’re getting quite a lot for your money here. Dual-band WiFi (and WiFi 6), Bluetooth 5.1 with aptX, GPS, NFC (contactless payments), 5G, USB-C charging, that excellent fingerprint sensor, a 5000mAh battery (with 33W fast charging getting you to 100% in an hour) and a great screen with reading and eye-comfort modes. Inside you’re also getting the MIUI interface, which is something that’s added onto the existing Android user experience.
The MIUI 12 user interface adds “Super Wallpapers” and you get Live (moving) wallpapers too. There’s also a Weather app with some lovely sounds and animations, an easy-uninstall method (just click and hold an icon) and a fairly chunky “Control centre” which is accessed from the notification pull-down. There’s a large amount of phone features accessible here and I’d advise using the little “edit” option to ensure that the most frequently-used ones are shown up top.
Other features include more information being presented on a single screen, intuitive visuals, privacy protection (such as sharing pictures without location data etc) and smaller but really useful additions, such as being able to pull down a notification and getting a more fully-featured reply window with floating windows.
MIUI version 12 also adds a Dark Mode, a “Lite” mode for making the icons bigger and more accessible, a video toolbox and a message grouping system that’ll keep your chats all in one place via “Smart Messaging”.
Other than that, you get all the Google kit – YouTube, Maps, Google Play for your apps, Calendar, Drive, Gmail and so on. There’s a small element of bloatware – an additional browser (Chrome seems to be default but “Mi Browser” is also here) and Mi Video for playing your video footage or any MP4 / AVI / MOV / MKV files that may have “fallen off the internet”. I also found that Facebook, Linkedin, Netflix, WPS Office and eBay were all pre-installed on here too.
Swipe left and you’ll get the usual Google news feed, but swipe up from the bottom and you’ll get Microsoft News, Youtube videos and a very “embellished” Search system. Luckily you can turn this off in the “Home screen” settings options. You can also switch the layout – adding or removing the App drawer, changing the layout, icon size, switching off Google Discover and much more.
Oh, I should also mention that you can shake the phone whilst in the Home screen edit mode and it’ll fill all the empty cells automatically – keeping your main screen tidy.
The interface, the clarity and just how everything is display really did win me over. The myriad of settings were far easier to navigate thanks to the clear definition in what everything did.
Other bits I appreciated included a “Cleaner” to keep your phone performance running as well as can be, plus the fully-featured Gallery system with the ability to doodle, beautify, filter, adjust and erase (plus you can remove the “Shot on the Mi 10T Pro” watermark if you’ve forgotten to turn that off, which I thought was a really nice touch). There’s also gesture navigation, a “second space” for additional app security, a “Game Turbo”, digital wellbeing and parental controls, beautification for video calls, a one-handed mode and – yes – it’s got a notification light too!
It rocks when you’re using it on a desk because of that protruding camera arrangement and the camera does struggle a little in low light. I tried with the supplied case but the “rocking” was still there, but whilst in the box I was able to confirm that you get a 33W charger and there’s also a USB-C-to-3.5mm converter should you have a favourite pair of non-Bluetooth headphones you’d like to use.
The handset also has a slight amount of weight to it, but for £599 direct this is priced very well considering the spec inside of it. The screen is LCD but the 144Hz refresh more than makes up for it and the performance, battery life and interface is fantastic.
Great value, the best CPU around right now, a healthy amount of storage and memory plus 5G and a 5000mAh battery. All of that is incredibly decent at this price.
Update – As I type, there’s a sale on at the Mi.com website and you can get the 8GB / 256GB version for £439, plus there’s £40 off that in vouchers – so it’s only £399!