On August 11, 2020, Xiaomi celebrated its 10th anniversary and released the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra in this regard. The company wants to set a monument for itself with its first “ultra smartphone” and offers some superlatives. 120x zoom, 120 Hz refresh rate, and 120W strong charging via cable are at least partially new standards for the smartphone industry. Is it THE smartphone 2020?
Technical data of the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra
|Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra|
|Display||6.67 inch 19.5: 9 Full HD + (2340 x 1080 pixels) 120 Hz AMOLED display, Gorilla Glass 6|
|processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 @ 2.84 GHz + 2.42 GHz + 1.8 GHz|
|Graphics chip||Qualcomm Adreno 660|
|R.A.M.||8/12/16 GB GB LLPDR5|
|Internal memory||128/256/512 GB UFS 3.1|
|camera||48 megapixel sensor with ƒ / 1.85 aperture|
20 MP wide angle with 12 mm & 128 ° recording angle
48 MP 120X zoom periscope camera
12 MP portrait camera
|Front camera||20 megapixels with ƒ / 2.0|
|battery pack||4,500 mAh with 120W Quick Charge, 50W Qi charging|
|Connectivity||AC WLAN, Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C, GPS / GLONASS / BDS, Single-SIM (Global), NFC, SA / NSA 5G|
|Features||Fingerprint sensor in the display|
|operating system||MIUI 11 based on Android 10|
|Mass weight||162.38 x 75.04 x 9.45 mm / 221.8 g|
Packaging & scope of delivery
Actually, we save the section on the packaging and scope of delivery of a smartphone, but if you already leaf over 600 € for a China import of the Xiaomi anniversary smartphone, you can start from the beginning. Because even the smartphone box symbolizes the exceptional position of the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra. The box is much longer, all in silver and on the front you get the reference to the 10th anniversary: 2010 – 2020 Xiaomi 10th.
Inside is of course the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra, in our case with a transparent back, 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, the 120W charger with China plug, a white USB Type-C cable, operating instructions, SIM needle and a transparent hard case. Here I would have liked something more special than a standard case. Not only because the Mi 10 Ultra is expensive, but also because a special smartphone is presented here. You have managed to do that with Mix devices like the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 .
Xiaomi is transparent / Xiaomi recycles “old” designs
The fact that Xiaomi is still releasing a revised version of the respective flagship model is nothing new. Both the Mi 8 and the Mi 9 have already received a Pro version. The manufacturer basically relies on the same design to underline the affiliation.
Perhaps it is because I have already tested the Xiaomi Mi 10 and Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro , but the front does not cause much emotion. The 6.67 ″ AMOLED display and the small punch-hole front camera in the upper left corner look all too familiar to me. As in the Mi 10, the display is curved, so it’s about the corners, which certainly not everyone likes. I’m not the biggest fan either, but Xiaomi solves it more gently than the Mi Note 10 . This also creates the impression of a borderless device, but the edges of the screen can still be seen. But especially the otherwise thick lower edge is pleasantly slim at 4 mm.
But then the Ultra had me on the back. We received a test device with a transparent back . The Qi charging coil and the NFC module are revealed, which looks really good. But you quickly notice that the rest or these two hardware components are part of a sticker, so unfortunately you can’t really see the inner workings. Still, it just looks cool at first! Just like the camera module, especially the silver accent of the 120x zoom periscope camera makes a difference.
Xiaomi is recycling even more materials from its previous flagships. The Mi 10 Ultra comes as an alternative, like the Mi 6 (good old days <3), in a Bright Silver Discovery Edition, i.e. with a highly reflective silver back. In fact, according to his own statement, the Mi 6 belongs to Lei Jun’s three favorite Xiaomi smartphones. There is also a black ceramic version, based on the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, which is also one of the three favorite smartphones of the Xiaomi CEO. It’s nice that Lei Jun’s personality is incorporated here.
Handling & processing
If you build so much “ultra” into a smartphone, the weight is correspondingly ultra. With 223 g on the fine scale , it is 50 g heavier than the supplied 120W charger and therefore has a relatively high SMI value (yes, that stands for smartphone mass index and yes, I invented that). The cell phone is still not too heavy, but for my taste it is already at the limit.
Because the Mi 10 Ultra is expected to be 9.45 mm thick, which makes it significantly thicker than a Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 with an integrated slider (!), The whole camera bump does not protrude that far . Nevertheless, it protrudes far enough for the ultra smartphone to wobble when it lies flat on the table. The supplied case can put that into perspective. Similar to the Mi Note 10 , you have the problem of covering the lower camera sensor relatively easily.
Xiaomi’s recipe for high quality workmanship consists of two Gorilla Glass sides on the front and back and a metal housing frame . The glass sandwich has also been garnished with good pressure points on the keys, neatly milled recesses, a minimalist, embedded punch-hole camera and rounded sides. Only the plastic film on the display should be exchanged for a real bulletproof glass film as soon as possible, scratches collect here faster than you would like.
Design & processing: 10/10 points
Just for the fact that Xiaomi pays tribute to the three favorite smartphones of Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun, deserves the ten points. Our test device with the transparent back looks awesome, even if it’s just a sticker. In addition, there is excellent workmanship and a good implementation of the hated punch holes & the curved display.
120 Hz display: the key to speed
As the name suggests, the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra is an improved version of the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro . One of the integral upgrades to this Ultra version is the display. That hasn’t changed in size or aspect ratio, but in the refresh rate. With 120 Hz , there is another 30 Hz compared to the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro, which now catches up with the competition from Samsung. The Hz number only indicates how often the screen updates per second. 60 Hz is still the industry standard in this regard, but higher frame rates ensure smoother and faster display of content and animations. In fact, the phone simply feels faster, which is also the case with the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra.
Even if there are already gaming smartphones with 144 Hz displays, the difference to an Asus ROG III or a Nubia Red Magic 5G is negligible. 120 Hz is the sweet spot for flagships, even if the difference to 90 Hz is not as significant as the difference between 60 and 90 Hz. In the display settings, Xiaomi only allows between 60 Hz and 120 Hz, but explains the difference very clearly with an animation. In addition, there is a 240 Hz touch sampling rate , which ensures that inputs are implemented faster. A high refresh rate is a must for a Flagship 2020 and also suits the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra very well.
Apart from that, you actually get the same fare as in the Mi 10 Pro . The display brightness of 800 nit shines even in strong sunlight, but half of the maximum setting is sufficient for everyday use. Thanks to HDR10 +, colors are displayed richly and thanks to the AMOLED panel you have a strong contrast ratio of 5,000,000: 1 – nice! Dark mode is particularly recommended. In addition, the viewing angle stability compared to cheaper models is impressive: constant brightness, good contrast and no color shift. The display panel is also protected by Gorilla Glass 5.
However, one can criticize the resolution. Which is with 2340 x 1080 p Although sufficient and, with 386 ppi for a sharp display, the “ultra-right” not fulfilled it in our eyes though. Because Samsung, for example, has installed a panel with a QHD + resolution of 3,200 x 1,440 pixels in the S20 Ultra. Even if that doesn’t make the decisive difference in practice, there is still room for improvement on the part of Xiaomi.
Display settings in MIUI
Apart from that, there is still some room for improvement in the software. Xiaomi is actually one step ahead in the industry and has multiple setting options in Android style. But already in our unboxing I noticed the very limited functionality of the always-on display . This is apparently due to MIUI 12, under MIUI 11 you still have different styles and animations to choose from. In MIUI 12 it is unfortunately only a very generic time & date display with few setting options.
There are, after all, a lot of setting options for the color space , where you can completely hide individual colors, for example. However, we recommend using one of the default settings. There is also a reading mode, an anti-flicker mode, the dark mode and the option to hide the notch or punch hole.
Due to the curved display, you also have the option of not registering unintentional entries on the edge of the display . To do this, you have to select “Ignore accidental touch on the edges” in the additional settings and then select one of three presets or adjust the red area yourself.
Display: 9/10 points
Xiaomi is installing a 120 Hz AMOLED display in one of its smartphones for the first time and is thus on a par with Samsung. The display is bright, rich in contrast, has an integrated fingerprint sensor and the 120 Hz refresh rate, which is simply super fluid in combination with the top hardware. For an ultra smartphone, however, you can expect a QHD + resolution, which is why we have to deduct a point here.
Is it really ultra?
Even if you raise the bar in terms of camera and charging technology, the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra doesn’t have to hide in terms of performance. We have both the Red Magic 5S and the Asus ROG III gaming smartphone here and the Mi 10 Ultra performs absolutely at eye level . This is not least due to the 120 Hz display. After all, the difference between 120 Hz and 144 Hz is really negligible. And even if you can’t see it, there is a Snapdragon 865 processor with 2.84 GHz clock frequency, 8 GB LPDDR 5 and 256 GB UFS 3.1 mass storage on the board. You almost run out of exclamation marks. It’s great that you opted for the faster storage standard.
And you really notice that in every situation. It doesn’t matter whether it’s just about opening the new control center, starting apps, triggering the camera or starting more complex processes such as games. The direct speed test comparison with the Asus ROG III gaming smartphone reveals that the Mi 10 Ultra is sometimes even faster , especially when closing apps. You can’t say so many words about the performance, because everything is just right here. During the test period, I did not have a situation in which the Ultra did not react directly enough or even got hooked.
Even if it should hardly make a difference in practice, the choice of processor can or must be criticized here as well. Because why isn’t Xiaomi installing the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ Plus here? The revised version of the Snapdragon 865, which is already in the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro, would be appropriate in an ultra smartphone.
Even if it is not quite “top notch”, the benchmark results underline the power of the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra. We get very strong results across the board, which, as I said, can keep up with gaming smartphones without any problems.
Performance: 9/10 points
Yes, the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra offers a perfect performance across the board in all areas. There is no difference to performance-optimized gaming smartphones here. But it is not the best processor on the market either, which means that the Mi 10 Ultra does not quite meet the Ultra claim. There is one point deduction for this.
120W store: the (still) fastest store in the world
You can certainly blame Xiaomi for taking inspiration from other manufacturers, but they have been pioneers in charging technology for years. The second of the three “120” refers to the charging technology, which for me personally is the biggest surprise of the Mi 10 Ultra. The Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra can be charged with 120W power , the previous maximum was 65W power for a Realme X50 Pro . Oppo and Realme have already announced such a technology, but Xiaomi delivers the first mass-market product with the Mi 10 Ultra.
The 120W charger with China plug is included, weighs almost 170g and is accompanied by a USB-A to USB-C cable. At first we thought we had problems with the 120W store, but we were probably too enthusiastic and impatient. The charger can be used with the appropriate China adapter. TradingShenzhen includes one in the package, but personally I would recommend this model .
The 120W store is amazing! We were able to charge the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra from 6% to 100% in under 25 minutes! We usually measure every 15 minutes, for the Mi 10 Ultra we have set the interval to 5 minutes. In the first 10 minutes the mobile phone charges from 6% to 60%, which means it has increased its charge level tenfold! Xiaomi can only enable such fast charging by dividing the 4,500 mAh battery into two 2,250 mAh batteries. Here comes Quick Charge 5for use. Both the charger and the smartphone are of course warm, but not alarmingly hot as we think. It is difficult for us to predict whether there might be long-term problems in this regard. We have to assume that the Xiaomi has tested this intensively enough.
At first we were just confused because the Mi Charge Turbo 120W animation was not displayed. To do this, however, you simply have to “switch off” the display and then plug in the plug. A charging time of over 2 hours was also displayed in the safety app under “Battery”. The 55W Qi charger for wireless charging has unfortunately not yet arrived, which is why we can currently only deliver the test for it.
Even with a runtime of 12.0 hours
At 4,500 mAh, the battery is just as big as the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro and thus slightly smaller than the Xiaomi Mi 10. And despite the large 120 Hz display, Xiaomi can maintain its otherwise long battery life. In the benchmark, the Mi 10 Ultra achieved a value of a good 12 hours, which is sufficient for a day and a half of runtime. That of course depends on the individual use, but even power users should be able to get by with it for a day. The only negative thing I noticed was the relatively high standby consumption. Overnight 10 to 15% of the battery is missing if you don’t switch the phone to flight mode or adjust the brightness.
If you really value battery life in a top smartphone, the Xiaomi Mi 10 with a slightly larger battery and 90 Hz display will get you a little longer.
Battery life & charging: 10/10 points
THE highlight of the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra for me is the 120W charging. It is a man of honor from Xiaomi to include the 120W charger in the scope of delivery, but being able to charge your mobile phone within 25 minutes is really amazing. There is also 50W wireless charging and a solid runtime of 12 hours. What more do you want?
Do you need a 120X zoom camera?
Does the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra also set new standards in the field of cameras? A 120x zoom in a smartphone camera has not been available to date, the space zoom of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra with 100X zoom was the highest of emotions. The Sony IMX586 sensor with 48 megapixels is used for this, which offers a 5x optical zoom and optical image stabilization. However, the choice of the main sensor is almost even more surprising. This is not the 108 MP Samsung sensor from the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro, but the Omnivision OV48C with 48 megapixel resolution, dual ISO technology, 8P lens and optical image stabilization. The Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite already relied on a sensor from the manufacturer Omnivision, which we have only seen in cheaper smartphones in the past. Nonetheless, the pixel size of 2.4 µm is impressive. Have you listened to our criticism here?
In contrast to the Mi 10, you opt for a usable third and fourth sensor. In addition to the main camera and periscope camera, there is also a 12 MP portrait camera with a Samsung S5K2L7 sensor and 2x optical zoom. In addition, there is a 20 megapixel ultra-wide angle camera from Sony with a 12mm focal length equivalent and 128 ° angle of view. The ultra-wide angle sensor can also be used for macro shots with a close-up limit of 2.5 cm.
But how does the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra perform in the practical test? Does the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra deserve first place in the DXO benchmark?
48 megapixel main camera
While we surprisingly liked the Omnivision sensor in the Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite in the price range, the 48 megapixel main sensor in the Mi 10 Ultra is not quite as convincing. It basically takes good photos , with solid sharpness and the typical Xiaomi color profile. I really like the results in good light, you get a lot of details around the edges and the skin tones look relatively natural. I also like the processing time and the larger focus area better than with the Xiaomi Mi 10 and Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro .
However, the Mi 10 Ultra cannot guarantee this quality consistently. Since it is an ultra smartphone, we compared it with the photos of an iPhone 11 & 11 Pro Max. It can quickly become unnatural, especially in areas with artificial light, such as in our office. As in the case of the picture of Alex, the hair color is simply not right anymore. In addition, the autofocus in the viewfinder is actually buttery smooth, but the end result is that the camera sometimes does not focus optimally. But even when the focus is on, you get less sharpness and details than with a current iPhone . Sure, you only see that when you zoom in, but whoever promises “Ultra” has to be put to the test.
Which colors you like better is certainly a matter of taste. iPhones have a reputation for delivering somewhat more natural colors, although here, too, the saturation is screwed a bit in some situations. At first glance, this also seems to be the case with Xiaomi, but on the computer you can see that Xiaomi’s color profile is generally a bit flatter . Here, the display of the AMOLED panel on the mobile phone seems to intensify the colors. Write us in the comments which photos you like better!
The zoom camera: the highlight?
First of all, Xiaomi’s choice of the Sony IMX586 sensor for the periscope camera should be praised. This should be the highest resolution periscope camera on the market. But do you need that much zoom? My impression after some test photos is currently tending to be rather negative. Yes, it is impressive to be able to cover such a range of focal lengths with a smartphone. A 120x zoom is almost too much of a good thing and only has the potential to be worthwhile in extreme situations .
And how often are you in such situations? Even when I stand on the platform of the Leverkusen-Mitte train station and, according to Google Maps, aim at the Leverkusen-Bürrich water tower ~ 2 km away, I only have pixel mud on the screen. In such extreme situations the quality declines quite a bit: a lot of noise, hardly any sharpness and little to no details. Of course, you don’t have to take advantage of this spectrum. The 5x optical zoom is the sweet spot for this , the maximum is for the 10 hybrid zoom . I would only go over this in exceptional cases, as the quality deteriorates significantly. It is also noticeable that the Mi 10 Ultra can automatically switch back and forth between the sensors if it thinks it is getting too little light.
A periscope camera makes sense and thanks to the 48 megapixel resolution, Xiaomi can maintain the quality level here . With enough light, the dynamic range is sufficient, you can even see writing and the colors are good. If you are sufficiently close to a person, for example, you can even see pores and / or whiskers – not bad! As expected, the 120X Zoom is just pure marketing and the headline, so you shouldn’t buy the phone.
But I’m glad that Xiaomi has also installed a lower optical zoom here. The portrait camera is actually a 2X telecamera and is used in portrait mode. In some cases this delivers the better result, but you have to deactivate the bokeh effect if you really only want to use it as a zoom camera. However, the bokeh effect is typically very soft and natural for Xiaomi.
However, the Samsung sensor is obviously not the best choice here, in contrast to an iPhone 11, Xiaomi is left behind here. Despite a resolution of 12 megapixels, you get washed-out skin tones, few details and excessive saturation. Even if the color fidelity is a bit better in some cases (e.g. my T-shirt), the entire photo is still nowhere near the level of the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
Ultra wide angle camera
Another small highlight is the ultra-wide-angle camera, which with a recording angle of 128 ° is significantly wider than comparable ultra-wide-angle cameras. Are we dealing with one of the best ultra wide angle cameras out there? Probably! The photos look good, thanks to the 20 MP resolution you get a lot of details and a surprisingly good dynamic range. The difference between the ultra-wide and the main sensor is not immediately apparent. Sometimes I even like the colors of the ultra-wide angle camera a bit better and don’t have to hide from an iPhone.
The only competitor I can think of is the Oppo Find X2 Pro , which can also take very detailed ultra-wide-angle photos due to the 48 MP Sony IMX586 sensor.
In the night mode area, a lot has happened in the smartphone market over the past two years. In addition to Google’s Nightsight , Huawei and Apple’s night mode, there are three heavyweights in this regard, but the Mi 10 Ultra also performs well . You still get some details, the focus is still there and the image becomes significantly brighter despite only 2 to 3 seconds of exposure time. But this is where the crux of the matter lies. The night mode is not about brightening an image as much as possible. Apple and Google in particular are creating a more natural approach here. Nevertheless, the night mode on the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra is good and does not have to hide from the iPhone, at least in the test example.
The front camera is the same 20 MP sensor that we already know from the EU flagship. The selfies look really very good. Skin tones are accurate, the focus is right, you get a lot, depending on how you feel on the day, maybe even too many details and just a good look . It doesn’t necessarily have to be 20 megapixels, but in this case the photos benefit from the large Samsung sensor. In addition, the portrait mode is also supported, which, typical for Xiaomi, provides good edge detection and naturally soft bokeh.
But for video creators in particular, the Mi 10 Ultra could be of interest due to the range of functions : 8K videos, 4K at 60 fps, VLOG mode, steady mode, record with two cameras at the same time and much more . The video quality of the 1080p and 4K recordings at 30fps is good and would certainly be sufficient for semi-professional YouTube videos. In my opinion, 8K recordings are not suitable due to too few frames per second. The “Front & Back” mode in particular could be of interest for some scenarios. For action-packed shots, I also recommend the normal steady mode, which simply drops a little further into the picture.
For example, what makes an iPhone 11 Pro Max better is the transition between the sensors. It is possible to film with the 20 MP ultra-wide angle camera as well as with the 48 MP main and periscope camera, but not to switch between these sensors while filming. Xiaomi at least partially compensates for this with the corresponding digital zoom, but of course you have to compromise on the image quality.
Camera: 9/10 points
The camera of a smartphone is probably the most important feature for many and in most cases it means the main camera. And that is also good in the Mi 10 Ultra, but it is not enough to be mentioned in the same breath as Google, Apple or Huawei. In addition, the 120X zoom camera is impressive, but hardly useful. Xiaomi makes up for this with an incredibly extensive range of functions, a powerful wide-angle camera and the selfie camera.
All connection standards
With the Xiaomi Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro, Xiaomi has ushered in the 5G era for the manufacturer, which the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra is of course continuing to consistently do. In this regard, the bands implemented n1, n3, n41, n78 and n79, whereby n1 and n3 are only supported by a software update. For Germany, depending on the provider, the n28 band would also be important. Most important, however, is the existing n78 band, which is supported by Telekom, Vodafone and O2, as you can read in our overview of all 5G-capable smartphones . LTE, i.e. 4G, is currently even more relevant. Since it is a China version, the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra unfortunately does not have an LTE Band 20 installed, but only B1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 12 and 17. With the China version you would have no or only bad LTE reception in rural areas in Germany.
In the metropolitan area in North Rhine-Westphalia, we have no problem with mobile internet reception despite the China version . The same applies to the local internet connection via dual band 802.11 a / b / g / ac and ax WiFi. Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to test the latter. And yes, such an ultra smartphone can simply be used to make calls. My counterpart always got along well with me.
Apart from that, the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra is equipped with Bluetooth 5.1, dual GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileio, Beidou and of course NFC . This means that Google Pay can also be used for contactless payments. To do this, however, you should allow the use of NFC in the settings under “Apps” Google Pay under “Permissions”. Physical connection options are limited to a USB-C port and a dual SIM slot. A memory expansion via microSD card is not possible and Xiaomi also saves the jack connection!
Extras: fingerprint sensor, IR blaster & stereo speaker
What else is there apart from the three big 120 features? The Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra has a fingerprint sensor in the display , which has been standard in flagships for almost two generations. I also like the reliability here, in over 95% of the cases the thumb is recognized immediately and the mobile phone is quickly unlocked. Every now and then there are those moments when the sensor does not react or does not recognize the finger immediately. The speed is very good for a fingerprint sensor in the display, but these are still not on the same level as classic capacitive sensors. But it’s cool that MIUI offers both different animations and shortcut functions.
According to DXOMark, the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro offers the best stereo speakers in a smartphone at the moment. So that should also apply to the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra. And even if it is certainly one of the best on the market, I would not agree that it is the best speaker. At least they are stereo speakers, which means that the sound generally sounds more spacious and full. The volume itself can score points without noticeably losing sound quality. However, it seems a bit “tinny” and more passive, we have to make the comparison with the iPhone 11 here again. But that’s complaining at a very high level, the bottom line is that the stereo speaker is really good .
There is also an infrared blaster on the top , which means that the Mi 10 Ultra can also be used as a remote control. For this you have to use the Mi remote control app and pair devices, but that works wonderfully and is used in almost every Xiaomi smartphone. It’s great that you don’t save yourself that with the Ultra-Flagship either.
Widevine Level 1 is also on board, which means that despite the Chinese version, video streaming content from Netflix or Amazon Prime Video can be played in Full HD.
Connectivity & extras: 10/10 points
With the exception of LTE Band 20, which is due to the China version, all important connection standards are on board. There are also cool features such as the good fingerprint sensor and a really good stereo speaker.
Are you exhausting the MIUI potential?
A Xiaomi smartphone without MIUI is like a piece of cake without coffee – it works too, but only runs smoothly. In his twelfth iteration that must MI U ser I nterface of course not on the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra missing and is based on Android 10 . After an update, the security patch is at the status of August 2020, when it is delivered it is still July – very up-to-date! MIUI is version 12.0.7. Stable. Since it is a China version, the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra is unfortunately only available in English or Chinese ! Unfortunately, the German language cannot simply be installed afterwards, this requires unlocking the bootloader, flashing and a corresponding global ROM.
If you have never had a MIUI device in your hand, you may have to get used to the slightly overloaded operating system. It is basically more than just a surface or a skin, after all , Xiaomi’s adaptations sometimes deeply affect the system . In addition, there are many dedicated apps and services that are significantly more intrusive in the China version than in a global version. There are of course some apps that can only be used in China, but there are also Mi Services and their own apps such as MiShare or MiCloud. Fortunately, the bloatware can be easily uninstalled.
With MIUI 12, the Xiaomi operating system has been given a new coat of paint, which is particularly effective on the noble Mi 10 Ultra. Especially in dark mode, the colorful animations of individual menu items are a feast for the eyes and the new control center also looks more modern, if a little more confusing. As is so often the case with Xiaomi’s top models, you will also find some setting options here that are not available in every Xiaomi smartphone. Thanks to the curved display there is, for example, the setting of a “no-touch” zone on the display. The floating windows are also new, i.e. the option to display a notification as an additional, small window above the app that is currently open.
Software: 8/10 points
MIUI is certainly not to everyone’s taste, but in the Android world it offers probably the best update policy and with MIUI 12 now also a very modern look. Lots of setting options and smart features are fun, but you have to live with a lot of bloatware. The severely restricted always-on mode is also a thorn in my side. Since it is only a China version, it is only available in English, which would not be the case in a global version.
Conclusion: how ultra is the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra?
On the occasion of its tenth anniversary, Xiaomi is going one step further and improving the already very good Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro . Does that make it the best Xiaomi smartphone currently? Yes, ignoring the fact that it’s only available in China. Is it also the best smartphone on the market right now? I would say: no. But that can no longer be answered so clearly. In my opinion, the main camera is still not good enough for that, especially if you want to compare it with Apple and Google. In addition, I do not think that the Mi 10 Ultra fulfills the “Ultra” claim in all areas. Maybe it’s a mess of currants, but I would have wished for an ultra smartphone to have the best processor and a higher-resolution display.
But Xiaomi also proves at the same time that they can do a lot more than they are sometimes trusted. Especially in the area of charging technology, but now also in the area of mobile telephotography, they are doing pioneering work and are pioneers. A role that they usually take on with the Mi Mix range. If you also include the Chinese import price in the bill, the bottom line is that you get an incredible amount of hardware and pure performance for relatively “little” money. The 120W charger alone would cost at least € 50 in this country. So the price-performance ratio is actually right.
That’s why I would recommend an import from China for the first time in a long time, for example via TradingShenzhen . Anyone who is up for so much technology will probably be able to cope with the English language and LTE Band 20 is probably also bearable. In view of the Mi 10 Pro, a possible global version would theoretically have to cost over € 999, which then hurts a lot more.
Xiaomi has managed to set a monument for itself. Translated into English, the phone is called “Xiaomi Mi 10 Extreme Commemorative Edition”, which means commemorative edition in German. And the concept works. It starts with the packaging, goes through the three colorways based on Lei Jun’s favorite Xiaomi smartphones and ends with the three important 120: 120 Hz display, 120X zoom camera and 120W shop. This results in a 360 ° movement through the Xiaomi smartphone universe. Hats off and congratulations to Xiaomi for the next ten years!