Xiaomi Mi 10S Review: What Changes Snapdragon 870 Brings?

Last year, Xiaomi launched the Mi 10 as the first true premium smartphone. Its balanced performance without shortcomings has also won consumers’ approval. As a result, in 2021, the preservation rate of second-hand smartphones of the Xiaomi Mi 10 is still high. Therefore, Xiaomi decided to launch a small upgraded sub-flagship to continue the vitality of the Xiaomi Mi 10 series.

As we all know, Qualcomm adopted a dual flagship chip market strategy in 2021: the Snapdragon 888 pursues extreme performance and the Snapdragon 870 pursues a balance between performance and power consumption. Therefore, manufacturers who have recently released new phones often also adopt a major and sub-flagship product line. Xiaomi first released the new flagship Xiaomi Mi 11 equipped with the Snapdragon 888 earlier, and on March 10, Xiaomi released the sub-flagship Xiaomi Mi 10S equipped with the Snapdragon 870.

So can this Xiaomi Mi 10S inherit the positioning of Xiaomi Mi 10’s bucket flagship? We have already got the blue version. Let’s find answers.

Xiaomi Mi 10S Design

The packaging box of the Mi 10S is similar to the Mi 11, adopting a thin and environmentally friendly design. Plus, it no longer comes with a charger and charging cable. The package only includes a smartphone case, a card pin and a 3.5mm conversion cable. Not surprisingly, it should be the same as the Xiaomi Mi 11, using the package version with a 33W charging package, and the environmental version only uses a bare-metal solution.

The Mi 10S body weighs 208g. The measurements are 162.58mm x 74.8mm x 8.96mm. These parameters are exactly the same as the Xiaomi Mi 10. On the front, we have a 6.67-inch punch-hole curved screen, which is exactly the same as the Xiaomi Mi 10.

However, the back of Mi 10S is very different from the Mi 10. It’s more like the style of Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra. The material on the back is glass, which is not easy to be contaminated with fingerprints after frosting. The blue version has some orange reflections when viewed diagonally. The hardware configuration of the quad-camera module in the upper left corner is a 2MP depth-of-field lens + 100MP main camera + 2MP independent macro lens + 13MP ultra-wide-angle lens. It is exactly the same as the Mi 10, but the design is the same as the Mi 10 Ultra. The difference is that the upper periscope lens is replaced with a depth-of-field lens, and the size of the entire quad-camera module is reduced, which solves the problem that the lens is easy to touch when holding the Mi 10 Ultra.

Audiovisual Performance

She supplier of this screen is Huaxing Optoelectronics, and it can be basically confirmed that it is the same Chinese screen as that of the Xiaomi Mi 10. We mean it achieves the highest peak brightness of 1120 nits. With the front and rear dual photosensitive units, the automatic switching of brightness is also quite sensitive. Functionally, it supports screen fingerprints, DC dimming, DCI-P3 color gamut display, and professional factory screen color calibration. The average Delta E of the screen is only about 0.41, which is sufficient for people with high requirements for screen color accuracy.

In MIUI’s color management, users are allowed to customize the RGB color space, HVS color space, contrast, Gamma value and other options, and can call up the color style that suits their own eyes. However, since the Mi 10S has already been color-calibrated when it leaves the factory, it is generally not recommended to change these advanced settings. In general, this screen completely inherits the excellent look and feel of the Mi 10 series, which is in line with the positioning of the next flagship.

Through microscope observation, we found that the pixels of the screen of Xiaomi Mi 10S adopt a Pearl arrangement, which is not exactly the same as the diamond arrangement of the Samsung screen. But it is roughly the same. The only difference is that the red and blue pixels are in a four-pointed star with fineness. It is also similar to the arrangement of diamonds. In general, this is a relatively good domestic screen.

In addition to the common Type-C interface, microphone and infrared emission hole, the top and bottom of the Xiaomi Mi 10S also have the signature symmetrical independent dual speakers of the Mi 10 series. The Mi 10 series was once well received for this speaker system and was called a “music phone”. It is equipped with the industry’s first 0.7mm amplitude sound unit, and is powered by Harbin. The measured sound quality of the external amplifier was quite excellent, and won the championship of the DXO sound quality ranking with a score of 80 points.

Xiaomi Mi 10S Performance And Battery Life

As the second flagship of Xiaomi’s family, the Mi 10S also inherits the style of Mi 10 in the stacking material – Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor, full LPDDR5 memory, UFS3.0 flash storage, dual-mode 5G + Wi-Fi 6, 4780mAh battery and 33W wired flash charging, 30W wireless flash charging and 10W wireless reverse charging, multifunctional NFC, horizontal linear motor, P2i grade waterproof rating, infrared remote control and other functions. In general, except that the processor is upgraded to Snapdragon 870 and the charging power is increased by 3W, it is exactly the same as the Xiaomi Mi 10.

So how does this Snapdragon 870 perform on the Xiaomi Mi 10S?

In the Antutu benchmark, the Xiaomi Mi 10S scored 653,410. In GeekBench4, which represents CPU performance, the Xiaomi Mi 10S scored 4,667 points for single-core and 13,504 points for multi-core tests. From the perspective of theoretical performance, the Snapdragon 870 on the Xiaomi Mi 10S is 15%-20% stronger than the Snapdragon 865 on the Xiaomi Mi 10, and the improvement is quite obvious. What’s interesting is that although there is no change in flash storage, it still uses UFS3.0, the Xiaomi Mi 10S has a considerable improvement in random read and write performance.

Has the actual game performance of Mi 10S improved?

The Mi 10S also supports Game Turbo on hardware, ensuring that users can play with the best performance and network environment when running games. In the game, you can check the game performance or open various gadgets by sliding the sidebar in the upper left corner of the screen to call up the quick game toolbar. The following test data are all measured in the game performance enhancement mode.

Although the Mi 10S is a new smartphone, “Honor of Kings” has been adapted to the ultra-clear and extreme picture quality 90 frame mode. The 30-minute game is also maintained at 90 frames throughout the entire game. The game experience is very good, with an average frame rate of 87.1 frame.

In “Peace Elite”, you can turn on the smooth 90-frame mode or the HDR limit frame rate. The frame rate in the measured game is also very smooth, with an average frame rate of 88.6 frames in 30 minutes. At this time, you can feel the warmth of the back cover while playing. The temperature is about 37.2°C.

A benchmarking software (called “Yuan Shen” if you are interested), the pressure on the game is relatively high. The highest image quality can only be maintained at 50 to 55 frames, the 30-minute average frame rate is 54.2 frames, and the back cover is already a bit hot. The measured temperature is about 40.5°C. If you want to play the Honor of Kings at 60 frames, it is recommended to lower the level of special effects except for the rendering accuracy.

After the actual measurement of these three games, we found that the performance of the Snapdragon 870 does have some improvement over the 865. As Qualcomm’s current sub-flagship chip second only to the Snapdragon 888, smoothly playing most games is no longer a problem.

Charging

Thanks to the 4780mAh large battery, after one and a half hours of intensive play, the remaining power is still about 60%. After playing, you can quickly replenish it with 33W charging. Although the peak power of 33W is not high in 2021, Xiaomi’s charging solution can maintain a high power state for a long time. It can be fully charged in about 80 minutes.

In addition, the Mi 10S also supports 30W wireless charging and 10W wireless reverse charging.

Xiaomi Mi 10S Camera

The quad-camera solution of Mi 10S is exactly the same as that of the Mi 10. Both come with a 100MP main camera + 13MP ultra-wide-angle lens + 2MP depth of field lens + 2MP macro lens.

In terms of software optimization, it focuses on supporting three major features. One is the super night scene. When shooting low-light images, the Xiaomi Mi 10 will obtain more dark details based on the RAW algorithm. The second is AI scene recognition. The new content perception deep neural network will analyze the brightness, color, and even the composition of the picture in real time, and then use artificial intelligence algorithms to enhance the photos to make them more “textured.” The third is that the Xiaomi Mi 10 supports the HEIF camera format. Because of the introduction of 100MP lens, the size of the photos taken is very large. Turning on the HEIF switch can save 50% of the photo volume and store more photos while ensuring the image quality.

Under the condition of sufficient light during the day, this 100-megapixel main camera performs very well in color and restores the realness. It is not overly rich due to the intervention of AI, and the purity of the sky is also good.

However, in the environment of high light ratio, the latitude performance of this lens is still not satisfactory, and it is prone to problems of bright overexposure and dark overdarkness.

Due to the lack of a telephoto lens, the image quality is poor after 5x digital zoom, and there will be some smearing after zooming in.

If we want to take pictures of the distant scenery, we can adopt a method of 100MP + post-cropping. After opening the 100-megapixel mode, thanks to the large amount of detail brought by the 100-megapixel, the picture is still sharp after zooming in, even the distant windows are clearly distinguishable.

Another 13-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens has good imaging quality, and the details and colors of the film are not much different from the main camera. The large field of view of 123° is enough to capture more information when shooting.

In the night environment, the Mi 10S can turn on the night scene mode in the “More” menu. At this time, the multi-frame synthesis technology will be activated to increase the brightness, reduce the noise, and shoot more beautiful sunset clouds.

For the suppression of night highlights, the Xiaomi Mi 10S is also doing a good job, and the two highlight light sources in the lower left corner of the proof are well controlled.

After you manually pull down to open the macro mode on the camera interface, you can call this 2MP macro lens. The image quality of this lens is acceptable and can complement our shooting scenes, especially suitable for shooting text content at close range.

Verdict

The Mi 10S is a very accurate sub-flagship. It upgrades the SoC, the core eature that users are most concerned about in this price range, on the basis of the Mi 10 standard version, while also reducing the price. This wave of increased volume and price cuts helped the Xiaomi Mi 10 get stuck at the sub-flagship price and kept the bucket machine’s status.

It is a pity that although its imaging system adopts a design similar to the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra, the hardware quality is still at the level of last year’s Xiaomi Mi 10 Standard Edition, which is a bit regrettable.

In general, if you are more concerned about performance and battery life, then Mi 10S will be a pretty good choice. It is precisely because of the balanced performance of the Mi 10 series that its successor Mi 10S can still shine in 2021.

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