Shiomi’s new smartphone provides excellent value for money

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Shiomi’s new device costs between NIS 2,600 and NIS 2,900, depending on the specifications you choose, and is the only one that offers a connection to the 5th generation in Israel in this price range. And the device’s camera – the best from Shiomi

Shiomi is not the largest smartphone maker in the world, two are fighting for this class, Samsung and Wavi. It holds about 10% of the global mobile devices market, but in Israel it has a higher position. While in the world it is satisfied with fourth or fifth place, in Israel it is the third best-selling brand with about 18% market share, according to Statcounter data.

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But so far Shiomi has been mostly the queen of cheap or mid-range devices. The coveted premium segment is still largely dominated by Samsung followed by Apple. Because the iPhone does not compete directly with Shiomi devices thanks to a different positioning and a separate operating system, Samsung is the one that has to compete with it. To attack Samsung directly, Shiomi relies on its latest flagship device, the Shiomi Mi 10 5G. His name indicates his support for Generation 5 networks. Although these are not here yet, but given that the Ministry of Communications closed the tender for these networks this week, they are expected to arrive in the next year or two and perhaps even before the antenna closest to your home.

Shiomi Mi 10 Photo: Rafael Kahn

As we reported this week, Samsung is not really ready for the 5th generation in the country. Even the Note 20, its latest flagship device, is launched in Israel with a processor that does not include a 5G-supported modem. So is Apple. In fact, the Israeli consumer has two premium devices available to him if he wants support for Generation 5: the Van Plus 8 of its kind and the Shiomi Mi 10 5G. There is also the Foucault F2 as well as the One Plus intermediate device, the Nord, which is not yet regularly available in Israel, but these are not premium devices. In short, given that the Mi 10 provides one major advantage over the competition, can it really compete with the heavy guns of Samsung and Apple?

Design and structure: Luxury but cheap

Shiomi designs have always tried to correspond to the leading trends in the world of smartphones, the Mi 10 is no different in this respect. It is based on an edge screen, which means that its edges slope towards the center of the body, and it includes a selfie camera with an eyelet. If in the past the inspiration for its designs came from Apple, it seems that now Samsung is the one that provided the muse. And it is hard to say that this is a bad or unsuccessful design. The device looks very luxurious and if you place it next to a device from the Galaxy series or even an iPhone, it will not feel inferior or simplistic in relation to them. In fact you could even say that it looks more expensive than it is.

Shiomi Mi 10 back of the device Shiomi Mi 10 back of the device Photo: Rafael Kahn

However, not everything is rosy there. Let’s start with the painful issue or in our case the aggravating one. With almost 210 grams of curb weight, the Mi 10 is perhaps the heaviest smartphone among its direct competitors. Although the iPhone 11 Pro Max is heavier, the Galaxy S20 Plus is about 35 grams lighter than it is. It may not sound like much, but in your pocket it’s noticeable. It is also thick, about 9 mm, compared to Samsung’s 7.8 mm. In short, it is not the device with the most refined structure there is. However he manages to look good. The device we received included a back coated in Gorilla Glass 5G, with the color chosen for us, midnight gray, more like blue most of the time but the light games tilted the color in one direction or another depending on the angle.

The chassis of the device is made of shiny aluminum and the build quality is very good in relation to competition. There is nothing unique here. The power and volume buttons are located on the right and fall just below the thumb in a normal, natural grip. The power button is also painted red, a kind of design-friendly addition that also helps to differentiate it from the two accompanying buttons. The back of the camera is based on a vertical stripe that is made up of the top left, has four lenses and is slightly protruding. Enough to make the device dance on the table if you place it on your back and want to type a message for example. In short, the Mi10 is a device built for Talpiot, with a pleasant and luxurious design. The only downside here is the lack of water and dust resistance standard, probably to save costs, and the problematic location of the rear camera defect.

Interface and display: Spectacular screen but a bit dark

The screen of the Mi 10 is its highlight. With a size of 6.67 inches and super AMOLED technology, it also features a display smoothing mechanism that offers a refresh rate of 90 Hz. These are the strong points. On the other hand, the screen is satisfied with a basic FHD resolution, which translates to a pixel density of less than 400 PPI. In human language this means that it is a relatively low density for competition, but on the other hand unless you use strong magnifying glass, you probably will not notice the difference. The colors are spectacular and that’s really what matters. Instead of investing in a strong saturation of the color display, this means that their display is artificially highlighted, Shiomi has calibrated it in a number of pre-configurations and also added a mechanism that allows us to adjust the display to our personal preference. Anyway it works and even well.

Shiomi Mi 10 with 6.67 screen Shiomi Mi 10 with 6.67 screen Photo: Rafael Kahn

It is impossible without a little criticism, so the only disappointing point I have found concerns the clarity mechanism. In auto mode it is a bit disappointing. It comes “only” to about 520 nits. Reasonable figure but not unusual. Conversely once the sensor detects direct sunlight, it increases the brightness above 850 impressive nits. The problem is that there is not so much middle ground between these two figures. At least not in auto-view mode. Also using increased brightness over time leaves its mark on power consumption and drains the battery quickly.

Fingerprint Shiomi Mi 10 Shiomi Mi 10 fingerprint Photo: Rafael Kahn

The device interface on the other hand is based on the MIUI 12 that we were awarded shortly before we returned it to the Hamilton importer. I did not get to try all his innovations, but his highlight are the wallpapers and home screens that are very nicely animated. Beyond that there is a dark mode that moves the display to a black background. You can also find detailed settings for almost everything on the device. From sound effects to different types of alerts and message formats. Those who like to customize their device will have a lot of freedom of action here. Yet even here Shiomi is still pushing its own apps that don’t really add anything to the functionality. In fact in a large proportion of cases they also push advertisements, such as in the security app. Beyond that the interface itself is very smooth to operate, fast and without hiccups and burps. The high refresh rate definitely helps. The fingerprint scanner installed under the screen also works well and quickly.

Camera: The best in Shiomi’s device so far

The Mi 10 is equipped with a camera that on paper looks great. Samsung’s main sensor offers 108 megapixels with an F / 1.69 aperture key. This is an interesting number because it is very reminiscent of the data of Samsung’s S20 camera. This will not be surprising given that it is probably the same sensor. However a sensor is not a single measure of performance. The main sensor is assisted by a wide-angle sensor with a resolution of about 13 megapixels and a key of F / 2.4, which is a bit low compared to the competition. In addition, there is only a 2-megapixel macro sensor and an F / 2.4 key. Finally there is a 2 megapixel depth sensor that is only for calculating depth of field for portrait images.

Shiomi camera Mi 10 Shiomi camera Mi 10 Photo: Rafael Kahn

The camera app is no exception. It is very reminiscent of the photography apps of the rest of the company’s models. The big advantage is that it is very easy to operate automatically – that is, for those who do not want to set anything manually. On the other hand, it also allows for a reduction to precise details and adjustments. In short, a great app. The selfie camera is excellent, the 20-megapixel sensor works well and issues detailed portrait images with excellent color. On the other hand, the main sensor also provides good results. Caution, the fact that Samsung’s sensor does not mean that the quality is comparable to Galaxy S20 devices, Samsung’s device is still better. But in relation to the price, this is an excellent value. And this is already no small achievement. The night photography is good and the pictures come out detailed and with good contrast. The additional sensors for a wide shooting angle and macro also provide good performance. Note that the optical image stabilizer is not available for them. All in all, this is a very good camera, which will provide an answer to most current usage scenarios. Although it is not yet at the level of market leadership, as stated it still provides 90% of their capabilities. Which is quite a bit considering.

Hardware and Performance: Chinese Ballistic Missile

The Mi 10 is equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 processor. It is the main flagship processor currently on the market and it delivers excellent performance at all levels. However this power comes with a problem. Warming is noticeable under exertion, such as during 3D games or high-quality video shooting. Apparently there is no liquid-based cooling mechanism like in the Foucault F2 that helps greatly in reducing heat. Beyond that he bravely tackles any task you throw at him. It is agile on a regular basis and does not show any problems in running smooth applications, no matter what their purpose. Audio quality delivers mixed performance, on the one hand the stereo speaker array delivers superior performance. The kind that will make you listen to good quality music at high volume. On the other hand, the audio quality of the internal speaker in the earpiece is not one of the best. The sound is metallic and a bit weak. But maybe it has to do with the quality of absorption in my area.

Generation 5 support and impressive performance. Shiomi Mi 10 Generation 5 support and impressive performance. Shiomi Mi 10 Photo: Rafael Kahn

Fast and accurate GPS positioning. And so is the wireless internet that connects in the blink of an eye. The battery here is one of the highlights of the device. It is equipped with a capacity of 4,780 mAh. That number translates into impressive ability. It can be reasonably used for two days before you have to look for a charger. Under effort this number drops to a day and a half. However it is important to emphasize that a high refresh rate requires a higher power consumption, so if you move the screen to a lower refresh rate you can save about 25% more. The battery is probably also the reason for the relatively high weight, but it is a compromise that can be reconciled with. In all respects, Shiomi took care to equip the specifications with the highest data it could, and the 8 GB of operating memory and the 128 or 256 GB of storage space are not guilty of this purpose.

Summary and Alternatives: A highly recommended purchase if it is important for you to be ready for the 5th generation

The Mi 5 5G is currently sold at a price of about NIS 2,600 to 2,990, depending on the source of the device, an official Hamilton importer or equivalent. Considering the Mi 10 competition is the only one at this price to offer a 5th generation connection in Israel. The Van Plus 8 is more expensive by about NIS 500 on average, but also provides a slightly better experience. But as a purchase the Mi 10 is a beauty of value for money. We also found the Foucault F2 as a worthy competitor, at least in terms of 5th generation connectivity. It sells for between NIS 1,500 and NIS 2,500 and although the camera is considerably less good, it is still a worthy alternative for the average user. Until Samsung drops prices or starts importing its 5G models, the Mi 10 is a great device that will answer all the important points: value for money, a very good camera and a beautiful and bright screen.

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