iPhone 12 review: Who needs the Pro?

Significant improvements for less



The story of the iPhone 12 can be summed up in three parts. First, the way Apple improved on it to the point where it’s closer to the Pro model than ever; second, how its new A14 Bionic chip and the addition of 5G offer more than what the average consumer needs; and third, the introduction of MagSafe and what this might mean about the iPhone’s future.

What’s in a name? Everything

In one brilliant marketing move not too long ago, Apple changed the way we look at phones. Back then, the iPhone XS and XS Max were all the rage — top of the line, the iPhones to get. Then there was the more affordable iPhone XR, which reviewers might call a premium midranger.

Apple flipped the switch by just changing their naming scheme. The iPhone XR became the iPhone 11 — the phone for everyone. The iPhone XS and XS Max became the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max — the iPhones for prosumers, users with more “pro” needs.

This year, the iPhone 12 continues that legacy. It’s still the iPhone for most people. It’s even more more compelling this time around.

Fresh new design

Every few years Apple redesigns the iPhone to keep it looking fresh and trigger that gadget lust in all of us. 2020 is one of those years.

This year’s design isn’t completely new. It’s partly inspired by the flat edges that we first saw on the iPhone 5 and then later, the original iPhone SE. It’s one of the most beloved iPhone designs.

If you ask me, there was nothing wrong about last year’s design. In fact, I liked its rounded frame. It felt comfy when gripped. Still, the redesign is lit. As a fan of all things blue, the new blue color is to die for. It also comes in Product Red, mint green, black, and white.

Apple’s choice of materials and finish are the same. The iPhone 12 is wrapped in a matte aluminum frame and a glossy back, and the camera module contrasts nicely against its glossy glass back. It’s bright and eye catching, which means it’s most likely going to be covered up with a case. The only bit of color that peeks through is the camera module.

The high gloss finish picks up smudges. If you’re averse to that and plan to use your iPhone unprotected, white is the way to go.

Tougher than ever

Since we’re on the topic of protection, it’s worth pointing out that Apple uses something called Ceramic Shield as the top layer of the display. They’re not calling it glass but it is. It’s made with a composite of glass and ceramic. Apple claims this material gives the screen 4x more drop resistance.

Apart from that, the choice to keep the display flushed against the frame improves durability. Tests by insurance company AllState confirm these claims, and so does a YouTube video by EverythingApplePro.

Just remember Ceramic Shield is only on the front and not on the back of the phone.

I’ve seen a lot of incorrect assumptions on social media, so I think it needs to be stressed that Apple is not promising improved scratch resistance. Keys are still going leave your iPhone 12 with scuffs. If that bothers you, get a screen protector. If you can afford it, I recommend Apple Care. It’s US$ 9.99/month and that covers up two screen damage repairs per year at a minimal US$ 29 service fee.

Pro display

It’s important that the iPhone has a great display. since it’s the part of the phone that you look at the most. Unpopular opinion: Apple has been really good at delivering a solid experience regardless of what it says on its spec sheet.

Display was also one of the biggest differentiators between the non-Pro and Pro models. The iPhone 11 had an LCD Display with only a 720p resolution. The 11 Pro had an OLED panel, Full HD resolution, and support for High Dynamic Range.

This time around that gap just doesn’t exist. The iPhone12 and iPhone 12 Pro both have the same top of the line Super Retina XDR Display. It’s an excellent panel with rich colors, lots of punch and contrast and enough brightness even outdoors under the sun.

In keeping with its more flat design aesthetic, the display rests flush against the frame and doesn’t have those gentle curves as before.

If you look closely, the edges of the display have been pushed out further, too. This means that even if the display is 6.1 inches like the iPhone 11 and the iPhone XR, the iPhone 12 takes up a smaller footprint. Going by Apple’s numbers: It’s 15% smaller, 11% thinner, and 16% lighter.

If you’re coming from either of those two phones and like their size, there’s not much of a size difference to worry about. If you’re switching from an iPhone 8, X, or XS then you’re gonna get a slightly bigger phone.

The iPhone 12 mini, with all the same specs and features as the iPhone 12, is coming soon. That phone will be smaller than the 2020 iPhone SE, making it the smallest phone in Apple’s current lineup.

Top notch, literally

While the industry has tried its best to combat the notch and conceal the selfie camera, the iPhone has had the same big notch for four generations now. It’s there for a reason: to house the True Depth sensor that enables Face ID. Face ID is still the most secure face unlock system out there.

While a completely edge-to-edge display is nice to have, the notch does not bother me and Face ID remains my favorite way to unlock. That is, until the industry can figure out under display selfie cameras.

When the pandemic struck it got inconvenient. When the new iPad Air was announced to have Touch ID built into the home button, I hoped Apple would put the same feature onto the new iPhones. Pulling down my mask or typing in my passcode when I’m out to pay for something is not only inconvenient, it isn’t safe either.

Dual camera system

The iPhone 12 has two cameras. There’s a new 12 megapixel wide camera with a faster f/1.6 lens for better low light performance. The iPhone 11’s main camera had a slightly slower f/1.8 aperture. It retains the same 12 megapixel ultra-wide angle camera. Missing is a telephoto camera, which you will get from the Pro model.

Aside from hardware improvements, Apple improved what it cheekily refers to as computational photography mad science. This tech is responsible for features like Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3 and Night Mode, which are not available on all cameras.

Here are some sample photos we took with the iPhone 12.

The weather in New York has been mostly rainy so these first few shots are from a cloudy day in Brooklyn.

The faster main lens means the iPhone 12 can take photos with a shallower depth of field. Photos also turn out brighter in low light. As you can see in this shot of Chay’s affogato sundae, the second scoop of ice cream is already out of focus. Chay loves ice cream so much so you get a night time shot of her Pistachio gelato, too. This was taken without night mode. See all those balls of bokeh.

The iPhone 12 doesn’t have night mode for portrait mode. That feature can be found on the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max. The shallower lens lets in more light, so portrait mode does a really good job in low light nonetheless. The iPhone 12 is supposedly better at depth segmentation. It should be better at cutting out things like glasses or strands of Chay’s hair. In our tests, the results came out not perfect, but they were not bad either. In photography school, they tell you never to take photos against the light. With Smart HDR 3 on the iPhone 12, go right ahead! Notice all the details on Chay’s face despite the challenging shooting scenario.

I also tested Night Mode across all cameras. Here are examples using the main wide angle lens, the ultra-wide angle camera, and the selfie camera.

Hardware-wise the the ultra-wide angle camera is unchanged. It’s still sufficiently wide for dramatic shots like this.

Thanks to Night Mode, it’s now usable in low light. Resulting photos are softer versus those taken with the main camera.

The iPhone has a long history of being one of the best smartphones for videography and the iPhone 12 is no exception. Watch this montage of a cloudy, gloomy New York City shot on the iPhone 12:

A14 Bionic

The iPhone 12 is powered by Apple’s new A14 Bionic Chip. This is the world’s first 5 nanometer processor. According to benchmarks it blows its competition out of the water.

I’m not that big of a benchmark guy, but in the week that I used the iPhone 12 it took everything I threw at it. Graphics intensive games like Asphalt 9 and console style Apple Arcade titles like Way of the Turtle ran well. Shooting and editing videos using the new Dolby Vision format were not a problem either.

The phone can do everything else that we do on the daily easily — catching up on social media, messaging, and browsing because it’s my daily habit.

To put it simply, A14 Bionic is probably overkill for what you do on your phone everyday. This also means that the iPhone 12 will be able to meet your performance needs 3-5 years down the line, if you plan on holding on to it that long.

Battery life and charging

If there’s one touchy subject concerning the iPhone 12, it’s got to be battery and charging. Some folks are not too pleased that Apple no longer includes a power adapter in the box.

I respect Apple’s decision to prioritize the environment. It’s a tough, inconvenient one to make, and I respect that Apple is leading the charge.

While people like me might have plenty of USB-C power adapters lying around, not everyone does. It would have been nice if Apple offered store credit so those new to the world of USB-C can get one for free. It’s worth pointing out that Apple slashed the price of its USB-C power adapters from US$ 29 to US$ 19 following the iPhone 12’s launch. Price of Lightning EarPods, which are not included in the box, was also reduced from US$ 29 to US$ 19.

Another touchy subject: The iPhone 12 has a smaller battery than the iPhone 11 according to teardowns. This shouldn’t be that big of an issue considering how much more power efficient A14 Bionic is. However, the iPhone 12 also supports 5G networks. This alone drains the battery faster.

In my tests my iPhone 12 lasted longer when I switched to LTE. I got 6-8 hours of screen-on time on LTE, while 5G Auto gave me only 4-5 hours. The latter is a smart mode that switches between LTE and 5G based on what tasks you’re doing.

The iPhone 12 supports fast charging with Apple’s optional 20W USB-C charger. You can also use faster ones like those that come bundled with Macs, or other third party chargers. By fast charging I don’t mean the crazy speeds you get from OnePlus’ Warp Charge. That tech can get you from 0 to 100% in less than an hour.

Using Apple’s 20W charger, the iPhone 12 got to 20% in 10 minutes, 47% in 30 minutes, and 80% in an hour. A full charge took close to two hours.

MagSafe today, zero ports tomorrow

Perhaps, the big news this year is the optional accessory called MagSafe, which appears to be Apple setting the stage for a port-less future. For now, it’s being marketed as a smarter way to wirelessly charge.

By placing a sheet of magnet paper on top of the iPhone 12, you’ll see where the magnets are. These allow the phone to attach to this MagSafe charging puck. This is an optional US$ 40 purchase from Apple. The charger only attaches one way — where the outline of the circle is. It also lights up and makes a sound.

If you own a wireless charging mat, you’ve probably woken up to find that your phone didn’t charge overnight because you improperly laid it down. MagSafe solves this problem.

As it is today, it’s not fast charger by any means. It only supports up to 15W wireless charging. In my tests I got to 10% in 10 minutes and 57% in an hour. A full charge took about 2 hours and 45 minutes. It’s definitely more of an overnight charger and not one you should rely on for quick top ups.

Apple also sells a range of accessories that support MagSafe. There are new silicone cases and a magnetic wallet that all snap together and make different colored animations.

Do you need 5G?

With every smartphone manufacturer launching a 5G phone this year, it comes as no surprise that it’s also the iPhone’s headline feature. From its product page on to the amount of time spent talking about it during the launch event — it’s everywhere.

Let me preface by saying this: Don’t buy the iPhone 12 just for 5G. Depending on where you live in the world 5G might not even have rolled out at all. In the US, carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile are aggressively advertising and rolling out nationwide. You see it everywhere in a big city like New York, but I know this isn’t the case for everyone.

This chicklet shape on the side of the iPhone 12 is unique to US models. It’s actually a window for the mmWave antenna – a different kind of 5G that’s only currently supported by Verizon. It should give you faster speeds but it’s not as reliable right now.

I tracked down a few Verizon Ultra Wideband spots around Manhattan and Brooklyn but I could not get anything more than 200 Mbps. I even went to a tried and tested corner of Bryant Park where I used to get speeds of 1700 Mbps. T-Mobile’s sub-6 network was giving me faster speeds.

Not that 200 or 300 Mbps down isn’t fast enough. I tried to download an entire Troy Sivan album and it completed in mere seconds. With 5G you can now make HD FaceTime calls over cellular. That’s better quality video calls than was previously possible.

All of this said, 5G is here. There are growing pains, but it’s good to know that when you get the iPhone 12, you’re getting a device that supports it.

WATCH: Will 5G change our lives?

Is the iPhone 12 your GadgetMatch?

This time last year, I used the iPhone 11 for a good two months. I wanted to know if a pro user like me could survive on the non-pro model? TL;DR I didn’t mind at all. This year Apple brought the gap between the 12 and 12 Pro even closer.

Upgrades from the iPhone 11 are also significant enough: a Super Retina XDR display, improved photo and video performance, 5G support, and an eye-catching redesign.

You might not need all of this today. All these improvements, however, guarantees that your iPhone can keep up five years down the road. That’s the same amount of time that Apple guarantees iOS updates.

It’s worth noting that these improvements come with a US$ 100 price increase from last year. The iPhone 12 starts at US$ 799 for the 64GB model. If recommend spending US$ 50 more to get the 128GB model.

Unless you need more storage, more RAM, and a telephoto camera, I recommend saving your money and getting the iPhone 12 over the iPhone 12 Pro.

I wholeheartedly believe that the iPhone 12 is the one most iPhone users should consider. If you have an iPhone that’s two years or older and are considering an upgrade, now is a good time to do so.

The iPhone 12 is an excellent phone, reasonably priced, and backed up by a rich ecosystem of apps, services, and other devices that are designed to work together seamlessly.

There is nothing quite like it.


realme GT Master Edition: Not a ‘disruptor’

But it’s still a damn good smartphone



realme GT Master Edition

The realme GT Master Edition is a fine piece of tech. Spending roughly around 10 days with it, I can say it’s a pretty good midranger overall. So, this review is gonna be short and… I was tempted to say sweet, but I don’t think that’s the taste I’ll leave you with.

I’m going to jump right ahead to pricing. It’s always been one of realme’s strengths; offering great value products. That means you get a little more than what you pay for.

I’m gonna slap on the specs here once more so you can reference it as I babble about my time with the phone.

  • Display — 6.43″ AMOLED, 120Hz refresh rate
  • Processor — Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G
  • RAM — 8GB + up to 5GB DRE (Dynamic RAM Extension)
  • Storage — 128GB and 256GB
  • Battery — 4,300mAh, Dual-cell design, 65W SuperDart charging
  • Rear Cameras — 64MP f/1.8 main camera, 8MP f/2.3 119° ultra-wide lens, 2MP f/2.4 macro lens
  • Selfie Camera — 32MP
  • OS — Android 11, realme UI 2.0
  • Color Options — Voyager Grey, Daybreak Blue

Price and availability

The realme GT Master Edition comes in two colors — Voyager Grey and Daybreak Blue. And two variants: one in 8GB+128GB and another in 8GB+256GB. Here are the pricing and pre-order details:

Lazada Exclusive 

  • 8+128GB — PhP 18,990
    • September 24 (Whole day flash sale) — PhP 17,490 (PhP 1,500 discount)
  • 8+256 GB — PhP 21,990
    • September 24 (Whole day flash sale) — PhP 19,990 (PhP 2,000 discount)

Offline Pre-Order details:

  • September 24 – October 1 (with free realme Smart Scale)
    • 8+256GB — PhP 21,990
    • Claiming: October 2 & October 3

It’s right around the ballpark of my personal favorite midranger/sub-flagship — the OnePlus Nord 2 — a phone I was generally happy with.

Build quality and design 

I had already expressed my opinion on the realme GT Master Edition’s design in the Unboxing and First Impressions article. TLDR:

  • The concave vegan leather feels great
  • I appreciate the travel/suitcase theme
  • Not particularly fond of the the designer’s signature (I even mulled over slapping TWICE stickers on it but decided otherwise)

I thought the size was perfect at first. Phones like this that have a 6.43” display are typically the ones I feel are in the sweet spot of not too big and not too small. However, after further use, I felt it could have used a little more chunk.

Without the included silicone-ish case, the phone gradually felt tiny in my hands. But I refused to use it with the case because it takes away from that fantastic leather feel. Perhaps they could have added another component or two to add some chunk and heft. Although, that may have pushed the price up which would betray realme’s whole “disrupt” approach.

That said, it’s not entirely unsatisfactory. And how it feels in your hand will vary differently from mine. One thing’s for sure, most people will love the concave vegan leather back. It’s a material rarely seen in this category and realme deserves props for having the balls to include it here.

Bloaty much

One thing I thoroughly disliked about the version of realme UI on the realme GT Master Edition is the incredible amount of bloat on the thing. You know how pre-installed apps take up some of the first home screen and maybe a little bit of the second page of the home screen. Well, this one took over half of the second page. That’s too much.

realme GT Master Edition

Sure, you have staples like Facebook, Messenger, and Netflix installed. But for every single one of those you get crap folders like Hey Fun, Hot Games, and Hot Apps. Yes, you can remove them, but it’s just inconvenient.

Speaking of inconvenient, that’s the only word I can think of to describe the App Market. Yes, it’s the same one found on some OPPO phones. It’s a hassle to have to go to the Google Play Store to install an app, but then have that same app go through the App Market for some security check before you can launch it.

I tried to figure out how to remove that extra App Market layer but eventually lost patience. This might be a minor inconvenience for some, but it is an inconvenience, nevertheless.

realme GT Master Edition

What sucks most is that these weren’t present in previous realme devices we reviewed. The realme UI is relatively clean, so this amount of bloat was a bit of a shock to my system.

Smooth despite the annoyance

I don’t want to leave you with the impression that I hated my time with the realme GT Master Edition. Despite the largely annoying additions when you fire up the device, it remains pretty smooth for whatever you want to do with it.

For me, that’s some casual browsing on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as mindlessly scrolling on TikTok before bedtime. I didn’t really do any work tasks on it other than using chat apps for coordinating with teammates and external partners.

realme GT Master Edition

STAYC’s “Stereotype” is stuck in my head

Of course, I also snuck in some Netflix time in there for good measure.

realme GT Master Edition

I’ve been busy so I haven’t caught up to Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha

Most of my game time was also spent playing Marvel Future Revolution — which is the only other game on mobile I can tolerate other than Call of Duty: Mobile.

realme GT Master Edition

Glad to find another mobile game I can somewhat enjoy

I usually play after having lunch or breakfast to finish a mission plus a few sidequests. That takes about 20-30 minutes. The phone performed admirably while displaying fantastic graphics. It did heat up but nowhere near an alarming point.

It can go up as high as 120Hz for the refresh rate, but my personal recommendation is to stick with the default adaptive setting. This way, the phone will identify the best refresh rate for each app and will help conserve battery life.

realme GT Master Edition

realme UI looks just like ColorOS mildly reskinned

Speaking of battery life, this one’s right around what you would expect as well. It can last up to a day and a half for light to moderate usage, and one day for moderate to heavy usage.

Cameras, image processing is fantastic

Most realme midrangers have pretty good cameras. In fact, I even convinced one of my friends to buy a realme phone simply by showing a few sample photos. The realme GT Master Edition is no different. So I’m gonna do the same thing and just drop some samples here.

Food photos







I don’t really have much to say in this section. I’m not the type who over analyzes the photo output. What I do know is that you’ll have a generally pleasant time snapping with the realme GT Master Edition.

It captures a good amount of detail, the image processing isn’t too aggressive, and the zoom performed so much better than I expected. Just be wary about using certain features in low light situations. For example, Portrait mode, that’s best when you have plenty of natural light.

If realme is selling you on this phone’s sheer photography prowess, it has every right to do so. It delivers as advertised.

Is this your GadgetMatch? 

realme GT Master Edition

I wouldn’t call the realme GT Master Edition a disruptor, but it’s certainly one of the best devices in this category. My only real gripe is the bloatware but other than that, it’s pretty excellent considering price and performance.

realme could have taken a few steps to make sure this is a 100 percent easy recommendation. But even as it is now, it’s still a product worth your consideration if you’re in the market for a capable smartphone.

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Apple 2021 iPad mini Unboxing and Review

Is this the iPad for you?



After two years, Apple has finally changed the look of the iPad mini!

Gone are the thick bezels and home button in favor of a trendy fullscreen look a la iPad Pro and iPad Air.

Having a smaller form factor doesn’t mean it’s less powerful. While not as powerful as the M1 iPad Pro, the new iPad mini still has an A15 Bionic that’s similar to the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro series. It surely is a step ahead over last year’s iPad Air.

It may not have the most advanced Face ID system, but Touch ID still lives on — now found on its power button.

But are these features enough to make you buy one? Or do you still want the bigger screen of the iPad Air?

Head over to our 2021 iPad mini review to know which iPad is your GadgetMatch.

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Redmi 10 review: Page out of a premium playbook

That 50-megapixel shooter is the saving grace



Budget phones used to be just budget phones. They used to lack groundbreaking features to make your experience seamless. And you’ll need to shell out a lot of cash just to get a decent phone that actually works. But I was speaking about budget phones from around five years ago.

In 2021, smartphone companies are reinventing what it means to have an entry-level handset. Xiaomi’s sub-brand Redmi, which has been leading the segment for a few years now, seems to set the course again on a new range of affordable smartphones.

Meet the Redmi 10 — the successor to its popular Redmi 9 — offering premium-like design and smart features but with a price tag that you can easily reach.

Finally looking like its siblings

The Redmi 10 rehashed its looks, looking differently than its predecessor. It employed the same design language found on other Redmi and Xiaomi smartphones, which was a trend started by Samsung — trickling down from its flagship to the more affordable Galaxy A series.

Somehow, it’s working since the Redmi 10 looks sleeker and it can be quite difficult to tell the difference compared to the Redmi Note 10 Pro. And even the Xiaomi 10T Pro. Unless, of course, you’re a tech junkie and a Xiaomi fan. But that’s probably the case when you have the Carbon Gray color option.

Nonetheless, the Redmi 10 in Carbon Gray looks neutral yet sleek with its frosted glass-looking back which is just actually plastic. But it makes up for being lightweight so it doesn’t put a strain on your hands for endless scrolling on TikTok. Just a heads-up, though. Carbon Gray is a smudge-magnet so you need to slap a clear case on — which comes in the box.

Moving to its frame and details, it’s also made of plastic but it comes with sweet, round edges and flat sides. Which I appreciate because the era of curved phones is now in my past.

SIM tray

The left side houses the SIM tray while the volume rockers and the power button doubling as a fingerprint scanner are found on the right.

Power button/fingerprint scanner and volume rockers

Speaking of which, gliding your fingers across the scanner will prompt it to read your fingerprint easily — but it takes a second to boot the phone.

On the top side of the frame, you can find a stereo speaker, IR blaster, and the well-loved 3.5mm audio jack.

On the bottom side are the other loudspeaker and a USB-C port.

Performing quite well for your needs

Let’s talk about the design again, but on the front panel of the phone. The Redmi 10 sports a 6.5-inch IPS LCD panel with 2400×1800 resolution. It’s adorned with thinner bezels equal on all sides except the chin. The punch-hole cutout seems bigger than other smartphones employing the same approach, too.

Despite the front design that clearly indicates it’s still a budget phone, the magic lies behind it. The Redmi 10 comes with the latest MIUI 12.5 based on Android 11. Having said that, you can expect that even if you have an entry-level device, Xiaomi will still supply you with core Android updates.

It also has a 90Hz refresh rate — which seems to be a staple to most smartphones. People are always clamoring about higher refresh rates for their gaming needs, and to be “in”. It also comes with AdaptiveSync, which adjusts the refresh rate depending on the content being viewed.

When you watch on Netflix, or if you play online games, AdaptiveSync will adjust accordingly. So you don’t have to worry about the battery life that easily drains when using a higher refresh rate. But then again, the Redmi 10 sports a 5,000mAh battery. It lasted me a day of heavy use and lasted up to three days when I put it on standby.

Although, my only problem would be its max 18W capacity when it comes to “fast” charging. So the 22.5W charging brick included won’t be of any help. It takes more than an hour to fill the juice, making it your cue to detach from your phone for a little while.

The dealbreakers

I only played Mobile Legends: Bang Bang on the Redmi 10 since it’s the only mobile game I play right now. I put it into the highest settings possible, in which case it performed decently.

However, I experienced the same type of drag I had when I used the Infinix Note 10 Pro. There was a noticeable delay — which lasts for one to two seconds — when toggling buttons and switching scenes inside the game. The delay still occurs even if you change to the lowest setting possible.

I’m starting to think that it’s a similar theme for budget phones, but it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker especially when you consistently play in the budget segment.

And even with a Helio G88 processor, the phone heats up a little while you’re playing mid-game. Nonetheless, it still performs decently as expected out of an entry-level handset. To expect more from it is just asking too much — there’s a Redmi Note 10 Pro if you want better performance at an easily reachable price tag.

The Redmi 10 comes in various configurations depending on your country: 4GB/64GB, 4GB/128GB, and 6GB/128GB. It has expandable storage through a dedicated microSD card slot.

What worries me is that the internal storage uses an eMMC 5.1 chip, not the UFS. So the reading and writing of data is slower and might wear out over time. Translation: slowed down performance after considerable updates.

So if you’re thinking of multitasking and using this phone for work, I’d advise you not to. Use it casually so you can make it last longer.



MediaTek Helio G88


4GB/64GB, 4GB/128GB, and 6GB/128GB


5000mAh + 18W charging


Android 11, MIUI 12.5

Front camera


Rear camera

50MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP



90Hz refresh rate

2460×1080 resolution


162 x 75.5 x 8.9 mm

50-megapixel goodness?

It’s rare for an entry-level smartphone to have a high megapixel count. In a way, the Redmi 10 is raising the bar for smartphones in the budget segment. After all, it delivers a quad-camera system: a 50-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, a 2-megapixel macro shooter, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. On the front, it has an 8-megapixel selfie shooter.

For most people, this kind of camera setup works. So we took a few samples to see if the Redmi 10 can cover the bases.

For regular shots, the Redmi 10 takes decent captures both indoors and outdoors. As long as it comes with sufficient lighting. When taking backlit shots, the Redmi 10 doesn’t post-process and keeps shadows dark.

When using the ultra wide-angle lens, the Redmi 10 struggles with exposure and highlights both day and night.

Food photos aren’t tasty-looking due to their lack of vibrance, even if you use the AI Cam. To make it look even more appetizing, I used the 2X optical zoom to capture more details and take better flat lays.

Cutouts are okay whether auto shots at night or even the portrait mode. Except photos don’t look as detailed as they should.

The same goes for shots taken at night using auto mode and night mode.

Of course, we took samples using the 50-megapixel shooter. It did well during daytime shots, retaining as many details as it can but compromises when it comes to color accuracy. At night, on the other hand, still struggles with exposure and highlights — a noticeable flaw for a supposedly great quad-camera system.

Moving on to selfies, its 8-megapixel front shooter pads a slight beautification to its photos even if you turn off its beauty mode. Color balance also varies depending on the lighting condition.

In a way, it delivers how it’s supposed to. If anything, a filter wouldn’t hurt if you want to correct the color balance of the photos. There are built-in presets, but you can never go wrong with Instagram filters!

Is this your BudgetMatch?

There are things to love about the Redmi 10, and there are things that might raise some red flags. Depending on your needs, the Redmi 10 can cover the base and perform decently as expected of an entry-level smartphone. It’s got a sleeker look, a 50-megapixel shooter that you can show off, a 90Hz refresh rate — all at an affordable price tag.

But if you’re asking for it to do more, then you’re way better off choosing something else. For nearly the same price, there’s the POCO M3. For those who need better performance for all-around use, add a few more bucks and you can get the Redmi Note 10 Pro.

On another note, the realme 8 5G is also a good alternative granted you can increase your budget by a tad. It has similar features — a 90Hz refresh rate, same display and panel, same battery, and charging capability. But more importantly, it has 5G connectivity which helps for future-proofing.

Frankly, the Redmi 9T appears so much better it feels like this one’s a downgrade. The only salvation for the Redmi 10 is that it’s got a better look, smarter features, and it has a 50-megapixel shooter compared to the alternatives mentioned.

If all your needs are covered, then this could be your BudgetMatch. But to most people, the Redmi 10 falls short especially when it comes to that eMMC 5.1 storage — when most smartphones are using UFS already.

The Redmi 10 retails for PhP 7,590 for the 4GB+64GB variant, and PhP 8,590 for the 6GB+128GB variant. It comes in three colors: Carbon Gray, Pebble White, Sea Blue. It’s available for purchase at Xiaomi’s official stores and authorized retailers.

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