Xiaomi smartphones between 12,000 and 15,000: Which one is the absolute best?

Three very price competitive phones in the 12 to 15K price point, all three targeting different kinds of users. Which one is for you? Read to find out more....

Three smartphones come to mind when looking at some of the best Xiaomi offerings in the 12,000-15,000 Rupees price point. They are the Poco M2 Pro, the Poco M3 Pro (5G) and the Redmi Note 10. The Redmi note 10 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 678 Processor, the Poco M3 Pro comes with the dimensity 700 5G chip, and the Poco M2 Pro comes with the Snapdragon 720G. While the Poco M2 Pro is an offering from last year, it is still a very considerable phone at this price point and it will be interesting to see the differences between the Poco M2 Pro and the M3 Pro besides the 5G Tag.

If we look at CPU performance, the Redmi note 10 is crushed by the other two smartphones. The 720G and Dimensity 700 are nearly equally powerful chips, the Dimensity pulling a 24% higher score in Antutu. In geekbench, both of them score nearly equally with only 1 to 2% difference, which can be dismissed as margin of error. The M3 Pro’s Dimensity 700 is also a 5G chipset, if that is something you’re interested in. Ultimately, The Poco M3 Pro takes the lead in CPU scores.

Must read: Powerful 5G Chips designed in-house by Xiaomi might arrive by the end of 2021!

If we move to the cameras, the situation is different. The Note 10 comes with a 48 MP Main and an 8 MP Ultra wide along with those 2+2 MP useless macro and depth cameras. The Poco M3 Pro for some reason has no ultrawide and only has a 48 MP main sensor with those 2+2 MP rubbish cameras. We feel the Poco M2 Pro has the best camera setup when you look at the specs on sheet, with a 48 MP main sensor, 8 MP ultrawide, 5 MP macro (which is actually useful) and again we have that 2 MP rubbish depth camera.

The Redmi Note 10 has the best background blur and the photos do not look too over saturated. The Poco M2 Pro and Redmi Note 10 captures some great shots in the budget, but the Poco M3 Pro adds unnecessary saturation and over beautifies a few photos, also it cannot record 4K video, which I find surprising, because the other two devices can. The M2 Pro and Redmi Note 10 front cameras trade blows depending on the lighting situation, so I have no say over that, but the M3 Pro has a worse front camera than the other two. Both the Redmi Note 10 and the M3 Pro can take 4K videos at 30FPS. So, either the Redmi Note 10 or the Poco M2 Pro take the win in this segment.

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It is worth noting that while the Poco M3 Pro and Redmi Note 10 ship with Android 11 right out of the box, the M2 Pro comes with Android 10. Battery life on all three of them is not worth comparing, all of them will easily get you through a typical day of use. The Redmi Note 10 and Poco M2 Pro come with a 33W fast charger right out of the box. However, the Poco M3 Pro lacks behind both of them, offering only 18W fast charging.

Comparing the displays, the M2 Pro has a 60Hz IPS LCD Screen with HDR10 support. The M3 Pro has a 90Hz IPS LCD Screen, while the Redmi Note 10 has a 60Hz Super AMOLED Screen. So, you basically have to pick between punchier colours and better dark mode on the Note 10, HDR10 support on the M2 Pro or the 90Hz on the M3 Pro. This is entirely based on what the user wants. Resolution is not an issue, all of them are 1080*2400 (Full HD+, 1080p) displays. When it comes to brightness, the Note 10 is the brightest one.

All the base variants of these smartphones start at 64GB of internal storage with 4GB of RAM. Finally, pricing. They are all very closely priced. The M2 Pro is priced 12,999. The M3 Pro is priced at 13,999 while the Redmi Note 10 is 12,499. Note that I only mentioned the base variants. Mostly, the price jump in the M3 Pro is due to 5G.

Software experience, while there is not much to say, all of them run on MIUI, the M3 Pro and M2 Pro have the Poco Launcher. No sneaky advertisements on all three of them. If you don’t set it up right and opt into advertisements, you might see some in the lock screen. There is some bloatware, but it can be easily uninstalled. There is still that annoying Get Apps, which is a MIUI Alternative to the Google Play Store. I recommend turning off the notifications of Get Apps, because you cannot uninstall it, and it often sends a lot of unwanted notifications.

To summarize:

  1. Display: Redmi Note 10
  2. Cameras: Poco M2 Pro and Redmi Note 10
  3. Software: Uncomparable
  4. Battery Life: All will last a typical day
  5. Performance: Poco M3 Pro
  6. 5G Compatibility: Available only on M3 Pro
  7. Charging speeds: M2 Pro (33W) And Redmi Note 10 (33W)
  8. Price: Redmi Note 10

We know it’s been a really long post, but it was necessary, because this is a comparison. To conclude, I think the Poco M2 Pro is a really well rounded device for the 12,999 price tag. However, if you’re looking to save 500 rupees and get a brighter and better AMOLED, the Redmi Note 10 is also a very well rounded device, but you will have to compromise on performance. The M3 Pro is for users who want a 90Hz display and 5G, which is pretty much a Gimmick in India at this point, only Silicon cities and High Tech cities will get it initially.

To us, it is pretty clear that in some ways, the M3 Pro was a downgrade from the M2 Pro, like in the cameras, charging speed and value for money. Is the 90Hz, 5G and the very slight processor performance boost worth the extra 1000 you’re spending, because you are getting worse cameras front and back? Some say yes, some say no.

So, the answer really depends on what you want as a user. Do you want 5G and a 90Hz screen and can afford to spend the extra 1500 (compared to Note 10)? Go for the M3 Pro. Looking to save some money and compromise a little on performance for a well rounded phone with an AMOLED and decent cameras? Go for the Redmi Note 10. Want decent cameras, great build quality, along with a power packed chipset, then the Poco M2 Pro is the right choice for you.

With that being said, let us know what you thought about this comparison down in the comments, and which device you would pick.

Thanks a lot for reading.

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Chandan
Chandan is the founder of Xiaomi Central. He’s also a tech journalist at dealntech. He writes on Mobile and Android-related news. Keeping the contents as simple as possible with proper information is his goal. He enjoys researching all kinds of tech products, especially fascinating latest mobile phones and gadgets. In his free time, he loves playing mobile games.

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