The Xiaomi Mi 10 and Xiaomi Mi 9 are both very affordable Android phones and well worth a look in 2021. But how do these two phones compare? Let’s find out…
Xiaomi Mi 10 vs Xiaomi Mi 9 – Technical Specs Compared
|Specs/Hardware||Xiaomi Mi 10||Xiaomi Mi 9|
|Dimensions||74.8 mm x 162.6 mm x 9.0 mm||74.7 mm x 157.5 mm x 7.6 mm|
|Display Size||6.67inch FHD+||6.4inch FHD+|
|Display Resolution||2220 x 1080 pixels||2220 x 1080 pixels|
|Display Technology||Super AMOLED||AMOLED|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855|
|Camera||108 MP, f/1.7, (wide), 1/1.33″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS|
13 MP, f/2.4, 12mm (ultrawide), 1/3.06″, 1.12µm
2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
|48 MP, f/1.8, 27mm (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF|
12 MP, f/2.2, 54mm (telephoto), 1/3.6″, 1.0µm, PDAF, 2x optical zoom
16 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/3.0″, 1.0µm, PDAF
|Battery Size||4780 mAh||3300 mAh|
|Release Date||February 2020||February 2019|
|Price||VIEW LATEST DEALS||VIEW LATEST DEALS|
Both of these phones were flagships. The Xiaomi Mi 10 is the newer of the two phones, it got a release in 2020, so it comes with better and more up to date hardware.
You have a newer CPU (the SD865) and more RAM, as well as more storage and a more advanced camera that is fronted by a 108MP sensor.
Xiaomi Mi 9 Official Pictures
Xiaomi Mi 10 Official Pictures
In terms of physical design and looks, the Xiaomi Mi 10 and Xiaomi Mi 9 are that dissimilar looking. They’re both smart-looking devices, although the Mi 10 does have a bigger display – and it is brighter too, thanks to its use of Super AMOLED screen tech (the Mi 9 just uses AMOLED).
What About 5G?
The Mi 10 ships with Qualcomm’s SD865, so it comes fully ready for 5G, whereas the Mi 9 does not – it runs on Qualcomm’s slightly older, non-5G CPU, the SD855. Both chipsets are solid performers, but if you want to future proof your phone, you’ll want to get one that is 5G ready.
And in this context, your only option is the Xiaomi Mi 10 – or, if you want something newer, Xiaomi’s Mi 11 which launched in 2021 and has specs to rival the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, only at a much lower price point.
Both the Mi 10 and Mi 9 can be picked up for less than $400 now, so if you’re in the market for a cheap(ish) Android phone with flagship specs, they’re potentially worth a look. I would go with the Mi 10, however, as it is more up to date and has significantly improved performance and hardware over the Mi 9.
Xiaomi made some HUGE changes to the camera department of the Mi 10. The Mi 9’s camera is fine. But the Xiaomi Mi 10’s quad-lens camera, which is fronted by a 108MP wide sensor, is leagues ahead of it in terms of performance and quality.
In fact, back in 2020, the Xiaomi Mi 10 had one of the best cameras on the market, a fact that still stands true today – few phones pack in this kind of spec in their camera departments. As we move through 2021, 108MP sensors will become more common. But with a Xiaomi phone, you won’t be HUGE sums of money for them.
Case in point: the Xiaomi Mi 11; this phone essentially packs in Galaxy S21 Ultra-grade specs, but it retails for the same price as the bog-standard Galaxy S21 which is to say it is about $600 cheaper than the Galaxy S21 Ultra. And that is a fairly large chunk of change. I mean, you could buy another phone with the money you’d save – and a good one at that!
You have a slightly larger display on the Mi 10 (6.7in) but this shouldn’t cause any problems; the Mi 10 has a significantly larger battery than the Mi 9 (4780mAh vs 3300mAh) and this size increase is there because the Mi 10 runs 5G and 5G is not nice to your phone’s battery life – just ask Apple.
For this reason, the difference in battery performance between these two phones is negligible. Both perform well and will get you through a full day of heavy usage. You don’t need to worry about battery life with either the Mi 10 or the Mi 9 – both are solid.
Will They Get Android 11?
Both the Xiaomi Mi 10 and Xiaomi Mi 9 are confirmed to be getting Android 11, although neither phone – at least at the time of writing – have a stable version of the software available.
Xiaomi released Android 11 for the Xiaomi Mi 11 but it had so many issues, the rollout was pulled. With the Mi 9, we’re still waiting – although the update should land at some point during 2021. At least, that’s the hope.
And this brings us nicely to one of the main issues of running Xiaomi phones, and Chinese brand phones in general: you’re always left wondering about Android updates – when they’re coming, if they’re coming, whether they’ll work or not.
If you want stable, consistent Android updates and you don’t want to pay big bucks for a phone, get the Pixel 4a or Pixel 4a 5G – or the Pixel 5a when it launches. These phones are great, they’re cheap, and they’ll get stable builds of Android as soon as they’re available.
If software is more important to you than things like a 108MP camera, then Google’s Pixel phones – notably the 4a range – are some of the best Android options on the market right now. You’re dealing exclusively with Google, so you know what you’re getting with respect to software and support.
Me personally, I’d take a Pixel phone over a Xiaomi phone any day of the week and twice on a Sunday.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.