Mi Note 10 India launch soon: Will 108MP camera be enough for Xiaomi to take on OnePlus?

“Mi Note 10 with a 108MP penta-camera setup will be launching in India with an expected price of over Rs 30,000 as Xiaomi looks to take on OnePlus once again”

Xiaomi will launch a 108MP camera phone in India soon. The company is yet to confirm the name of the phone, but considering there is only one 108MP camera phone in the market right now, it is widely expected to be the Mi Note 10 aka Mi CC9 Pro. This will notably be the first Mi smartphone from Xiaomi since the Mi MIX 2 back in 2017. Xiaomi’s Mi-series phones have not been launched in the country for the past couple of years as the company has mostly focused on offering affordable smartphones through its Redmi sub-brand. But the Mi Note 10 is coming, and it could be the company’s most expensive smartphone in India yet.

Recently, the Mi Note 10 price in India was speculated to be around Rs 45,000 based on an official listing. If true, it would more expensive than the Mi MIX 2, which launched in India at around Rs 35,000. However, it is worth keeping in mind that brands like Xiaomi typically price smartphones in India more competitively compared to their European pricing. While the Mi Note 10 price starts at around Rs 43,000 in Europe, the Chinese variant, called Mi CC9 Pro, is available in China starting at Rs 28,000. If we take the latter into consideration, the Mi Note 10, which is powered by Snapdragon 730G, could launch in India at starting price of around Rs 30,000.

Xiaomi hasn’t launched a lot of Mi-series phones in India, mainly because it hasn’t been able to crack the premium segment of this price-sensitive market. It is unclear why Xiaomi is bringing a new Mi smartphone to India, especially with the competition right now. It could be that the company once again wants to take on OnePlus in the premium mid-range segment, but does the Mi Note 10 offer enough to make it a OnePlus 7/7T challenger. 

Mi Note 10 is all about that 108MP camera

The USP of the Mi Note 10 is its 108MP primary camera. The 108MP Samsung ISOCELL Bright HMX sensor has been co-developed by Xiaomi, so it makes sense that it would be the first brand to launch a smartphone with this sensor. And indeed, the Mi Note 10 will be the first 108MP camera phone to launch in India. The high-resolution sensor is part of an array of five rear cameras. 

In addition to the 108MP camera, the penta-camera system includes a 12-megapixel sensor with 2x zoom, a 5MP telephoto lens with 10x hybrid zoom support and OIS, a 20MP ultra-wide-angle lens, and a 2MP macro lens for close shots. A penta-camera system offers versatility with various shooting modes to choose from. It will also give the company an edge over HMD Global, whose Nokia 9 PureView is the only other penta-camera flagship that is available at a steep price of Rs 49,999 in India.

We have seen phones like the Realme XT and Redmi Note 8 Pro bring 64MP camera systems to India. The megapixel war is real, but it is still unclear how much of an improvement a 108MP camera really is over the 64MP sensor in real-world performance.

Still, the Mi Note 10’s penta-camera setup makes it a unique offering in its segment and will allow it to compete against the OnePlus 7T, which offers a 48MP triple camera setup. Moreover, DxOMark has also ranked the Mi CC9 Pro Premium Edition as the top-rated camera phone, tying with Huawei Mate 30 Pro with a score of 121.

And while a 108MP camera does set the phone apart from the competition right now, Xiaomi will need to offer more at this price point. 

Could the Mi Note 10 launch in India with a flagship processor?

Arguably, the biggest concern for everyone is the processor of the Mi Note 10. The smartphone is powered by a Snapdragon 730G chipset, which is a processor found in more affordable smartphones such as the Realme X2. With this processor, it will be a tough task for the Mi Note 10 to compete against any OnePlus phone right now on a performance level, unless Xiaomi upgrades the processor that is. 

Xiaomi is yet to confirm the name of the 108MP phone it will launch in India, so we can make a few speculations. The first is the possibility of the Mi Note 10 India variant launching with a Snapdragon 855 Plus processor rather than a Snapdragon 730G. This would keep the Mi Note 10 in a better position to take on the OnePlus 7T and Realme X2 Pro. 

The other possibility is that we could see a completely new 108MP Xiaomi smartphone. There haven’t been any rumours or reports about this, so it seems less likely. However, at the recent Snapdragon Summit, Xiaomi announced it will launch the Mi 10 flagship with Snapdragon 865 SoC. This could be a 108MP flagship phone, but we’re merely speculating at the moment. 

Can the Mi Note 10 take on a OnePlus phone in India?

Depending on the price that the Mi Note 10 launches in India, the smartphone could either be taking on the OnePlus 7 or OnePlus 7T. Both OnePlus phones come with some really impressive combination of features. Even if we take the processor out of the picture, the OnePlus 7T has the advantage of offering a 90Hz display, which is also seen on the Realme X2 Pro as well.

But the Mi Note 10 has a few advantages as well. In addition to a unique penta-camera setup, the Mi Note 10 gets a massive 5,260mAh battery with 30W fast charging support, bigger than the 3,800mAh battery inside the OnePlus 7T. The Mi Note 10 also gets a 32MP selfie camera as opposed to the 16MP sensor on the OnePlus 7T.

Mi Note 10 would make a fine addition to Xiaomi’s portfolio in India. It has enough features to set itself apart from Redmi, so Xiaomi can play with the pricing as little. But pricing will be a key factor with the Mi Note 10. With a Snapdragon 730G processor, Xiaomi will need to make sure the Mi Note 10 price in India does not land much higher than Rs 30,000. It’s not just OnePlus that Xiaomi needs to worry about, but also Realme with the Realme X2 Pro at under Rs 30,000.