A month ago, Xiaomi took the wrapping off the Redmi Note 10 series in Kenya, as expected.
Since then, we have had a little hands-on time with the device and are able to place it against the competition in the local market.
Before we do that, however, it is worth looking at what Xiaomi is offering in the local market.
There is the Redmi Note 10 and the Redmi Note 10 Pro. Each one is available in several configurations and, therefore, pricing, as listed below:
Redmi Note 10
4GB RAM + 64GB internal storage – Kshs 19,499
4GB RAM + 128GB internal storage – Kshs 21,499
6GB RAM + 128GB internal storage – Kshs 23,499
Redmi Note 10 Pro
6GB RAM + 64GB internal storage – Kshs 27,499
6GB RAM + 128GB internal storage – Kshs 29,999
8GB RAM + 128GB internal storage – Kshs 31,899
Comparison with rivals in the local market
There are several ways to look at how devices compare in the local market.
A common way to do so, which is also the one we tend to be skewed towards, is a feature-by-feature comparison. However, this method often falls short of the kind of comparison that a buyer, when presented with all the options, usually goes for: price. Many of us compare devices, even across classes, simply based on price.
A good way of going around this is to combine the two considerations so that at any given time, one knows if they are getting the most bang for their buck. Fair?
Take the base model Redmi Note 10, for instance. 4GB memory and 64GB onboard storage for just under Kshs 20,000? Hmmm, what else does it have that would make it stand out in the crowded field? Well, there’s a Super AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 678 chipset from Qualcomm, a 5,000mAh battery and Android 11 crafted in the ways and means of Xiaomi’s MIUI 12. Oh, and there’s USB Type-C as well, something that we are still missing on some of the common brands in the local market at this price range.
If we are to look at the cameras, there’s a 48-megapixel main sensor that is backed by an 8-megapixel ultrawide-angle sensor and a pair of 2-megapixel macro and depth sensors.
Which other devices can you find in Kenya that match such a profile and for just under Kshs 20,000?
The Tecno Camon 17 (standard variant) seems to be the nearest answer we have to the question. It’s even about Kshs 2,000 cheaper. So, what’s the catch? Well, it makes do with a MediaTek chipset and a HD+ display. Sure, the display over there is a high-refresh-rate one (at 90Hz) while the one on the base model Redmi Note 10 is stuck at 60Hz (the high-refresh-rate, at 120Hz, is reserved for the Pro model) but you don’t get the extra pixels that come courtesy of the Redmi Note 10’s Full HD+ display. Plus, it’s a fraction of an inch smaller, meaning even more pixels. Clarity and all. And the Redmi peaks at 1100 nits of brightness. Oh, and it’s a Super AMOLED panel.
For the Redmi Note 10 Pro, if we are top pick the top model with 8GB RAM and 128GB onboard storage and consider what else it offers – notably a 120Hz AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 732G and 33W fast-charging – then its direct rivals become the Oppo Reno5 F among several other devices in the market. Given that the Reno5 F is one of the most recent devices we have looked at here at Android Kenya, that’s what we are going to compare with Xiaomi’s best in the Redmi Note 10 series.
It is worth noting that the Reno5 F is not Oppo’s best in its Reno5 series. In fact, if anything, it is what’s available for those that can’t afford the Reno5, the hero device of the series. However, since it costs Kshs 32,000 (or at least it did at launch), that’s fair game, no?
The Reno5F lacks a high-refresh-rate display but has an AMOLED panel and, since it is a fraction of an inch smaller, has higher pixel density. It trades the Qualcomm chipset found on the Reno5 for an Helio P95 from MediaTek and the 65W fast-charging courtesy of Oppo’s proprietary VOOC technology for 30W, where the Note 10 Pro has 33W fast-charging. The devices have similar memory and internal storage capacities even though we don’t know if Oppo’s smartphone does have fast UFS 2.2. For the laymen among us, what that means, simply is faster read-write teams which translate to faster application startup speed and cache loading. You know, when your device feels fast.
If we are to look at the cameras, the Reno5 F has a 48-megapixel lens headlining the quad-camera arrangement at the back. Does this match Xiaomi’s 108-megapixel sensor?
Another Oppo smartphone, the recently-launched Oppo A74 is a good match up to the 6GB RAM variant of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro given the similarities in pricing and stopping to look at what Xiaomi has to offer on this other side should be something its prospective buyers have to highly consider.
Now that you have a slight hint of what awaits you, does any of the devices in the Redmi Note 10 series look like the one for you?