The megapixel push in the smartphone camera is nothing new. While the smartphone manufacturers are now packing 48MP lens and 64MP lens, Nokia came with a 41MP camera smartphone way back in time. However, things didn’t go far from there and the 12MP camera became the norm, also because megapixels don’t mean everything in a smartphone.
But the next push in the megapixel count comes with the 48MP sensor, which quickly escalated to a 64MP sensor. And now we have a 108MP camera sensor featuring in a penta-lens or five camera setup on the new Mi CC9 Pro or the Mi Note 10. Xiaomi India Twitter account and Manu Kumar Jain shared on Twitter that “It’s coming #108MP” which suggests that the Mi Note 10 is coming to India.
India is the most important market for Xiaomi outside of China, where it is the number one smartphone vendor. For Xiaomi, launching the Mi Note 10 might make sense given increasing competition from Realme, which recently introduced a flagship in the market. Then other brands like OnePlus, Oppo, Vivo have traditionally done better than in the higher price segment where Xiaomi has struggled to make a mark, though the numbers from IDC showed the Redmi K20 series was more successful for the brand.
If the Mi Note 10 arrives here, it will be the first non-Android One Mi series device to be launched in the country since 2017, as well as the first Mi Note device to do so. Xiaomi has another smartphone (Mi MIX Alpha) with a 108MP camera lens but while that device is a concept smartphone, the Mi Note 10 is a standard Android phone with a price tag that is not off the charts.
The penta-lens setup also has 5x telephoto lens, another 2x telephoto lens for portrait shots, an ultrawide lens, and a macro lens that may prove sufficient to cater to the smartphone camera needs of a lot of people.
Xiaomi has a brand loyalty in India and that could play a major role for the smartphone manufacturer to sell the camera province of the Mi Note 10. Also, other aspects of the device including the curved OLED screen, 5,260mAh battery, and the 30W fast charging capability, make it a balanced smartphone that could see a positive response in India. However, that doesn’t mean the Mi Note 10 has a straight road to success in India without any challenges.
Challenges and competition for Mi Note 10
The Mi Note 10 is powered by the Snapdragon 730G and while the chipset is not bad, it cannot compete with the performance delivered by SD855 or SD855+. The image processing speed of the flagship chipset would have made more sense to utilise the efficiency of the 108MP camera lens.
The competition of the Mi Note 10 will eventually be the OnePlus 7T and the recently launched Realme X2 Pro, both of which are powered by the Snapdragon 855+ chipset. Also, since the arrival of affordable flagship smartphones in India, a good portion of the Indian consumers may want a flagship chipset when they spend around Rs 30,000.
Xiaomi could have learned a thing or two from the Vivo V17 Pro that concentrated heavily on the camera with a total of six-camera (four on the back and two on the front). The camera performance of the V17 Pro was spectacular but the overall performance of the device with Snapdragon 675 could not impress. While the Snapdragon 730G on Xiaomi’s Mi Note 10 is a better chipset than Vivo’s V17 Pro but at the end, it’s still not flagship and that bit might cause some problems for the device.
Mi Note 10 expected price in India
The Mi Note is priced at Euro 549 (around Rs 43,000) for the 6GB/128GB model and the 8GB/256GB model is priced at Euro 649 (around Rs 51,000). The China variant, on the other hand, is priced way lower than the global version at Yuan 2,799 (around Rs 28,000) for the 6GB/128GB. The 8GB/128GB model of Mi CC9 Pro is priced at Yuan 3,099 (around Rs 31,000) and the 8GB/256GB model is available at Yuan 3,499 (around Rs 35,000).
The India pricing of the Xiaomi products usually lies around the China pricing. So we can expect the Mi Note 10 to be priced lower than its European price and cost somewhere between Rs 30,000 and Rs 35,000 for the base model of 6GB RAM + 128GB ROM in the India market.
Mi Note 10 specifications and features
The Mi CC9 Pro features a 6.47-inch FHD+ OLED display that is curved at the sides along with a dot-notch on top to house the 32MP selfie camera. The phone sports a penta-rear camera setup where the primary lens is a 108MP sensor with 1/1.33-inch pixel size, f/1.69 aperture, and optical image stabilisation.
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I T’ S C O M I N G #108MP
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— Mi India #108MP IS COMING! (@XiaomiIndia) November 25, 2019
The 108MP lens has been made Samsung in collaboration with Xiaomi and it featured earlier on Xiaomi’s Mi MIX Alpha smartphone. The other sensors on the Mi Note 10 include an 8MP telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom and 10x hybrid zoom, another telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom for portrait shots, a 20MP ultrawide lens, and a 2MP macro lens.
The Mi Note 10 is powered by the Snapdragon 730G processor paired with up to 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of internal storage. The device is backed by a 5,260mAh battery with support for 30W fast charging. It runs Android 9 Pie out of the box with Xiaomi’s custom MIUI skin on top. The smartphone has an in-display fingerprint sensor, NFC support, and Hi-Res audio as well.