There’s plenty to like in the Xiaomi Mi 6.
From the Full HD display to the Snapdragon 835 chipset and dual rear cameras, the Xiaomi Mi 6 has a lot going for it. The best part about the phone is that it is available for the equivalent of $420, making it an enticing proposition in this segment.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Mi 6 or are eyeing the device as a possible replacement for your current phone, here’s what you need to know about Xiaomi’s 2017 flagship.
It has a Full HD display
Xiaomi didn’t increase the screen size in the Mi 6 — it’s still the same 5.15 inches as the Mi 5 — and the screen resolution has also stayed the same. With a pixel density of 428ppi, it’s more than adequate. The panel itself is an IPS LCD that has excellent color accuracy and brightness levels. Xiaomi has been offering standout LCD panels for a few years now, and the situation is no different for the Mi 6.
You also get the usual MIUI features that make it easier to customize the display. There are options to adjust the color balance, and you also get a blue light filter that reduces strain on the eyes during night-time reading. Then there’s Sunlight Display, which selectively boosts the contrast to make the panel more readable when outdoors.
Powered by the 10nm Snapdragon 835
The Galaxy S8 became the first phone to offer the Snapdragon 835, but with the international variants of the phone powered by the Exynos 8895, the Mi 6 will be the first device running Qualcomm’s latest SoC in most Asian markets. The Snapdragon 835 has a boatload of new features, including a new octa-core semi-custom Kryo 280 CPU with four cores clocked at 2.45GHz and the other four at 1.9GHz.
The Adreno 540 GPU, meanwhile, is significantly faster than its predecessor and is designed to drive low-latency mobile VR experiences. Connectivity has also picked up a boost, with the Snapdragon 835 offering an X16 LTE modem that can hit Gigabit LTE speeds. There’s also Bluetooth 5.0, but you’re also going to need headphones or audio products that work off of the new standard to fully realize its benefits.
Dual rear cameras
The highlight with the Mi 6 is the dual camera setup at the back, which mimics what Apple has done with the iPhone 7 Plus. There’s a 12-megapixel imaging sensor with f/1.8 lens and 1.25-micron pixels that’s augmented by a secondary 12MP shooter with an f/2.6 lens and 1.0-micron pixels. The secondary sensor acts as the telephoto lens, offering 2x lossless zoom. It looks something like this:
The rear camera has 4-axis optical image stabilization (OIS), resulting in great shots in low-light conditions. You also get several a manual shooting mode, several filters with live previews, and a host of beautification effects directly in the camera app.
More memory but limited availability
The Mi 6 comes with 6GB of RAM as standard, and there are two storage tiers available — 64GB and 128GB. The model with 64GB internal storage retails for ¥2,499 ($360) in China, whereas the version with 128GB costs ¥2,899 ($420). Then there’s a limited edition ceramic model that is available for ¥2,999 ($435).
As the phone is limited to China, you’ll have to pay a premium to pick it up from resellers. Xiaomi has recently kicked off the first flash sale, and with subsequent sales we’ll likely see the phone become available on the likes of GearBest.
Android 7.1.1 with MIUI 8
Xiaomi doesn’t necessarily have the best track record when it comes to the software side of things, but this time around it is offering Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box. The Mi 6 runs MIUI 8, and you’ll feel right at home if you’ve used a Xiaomi device in the last 12 months.
There’s a smorgasbord of features available, and while most of them are designed for Asian markets, you get a ton of customizability. The global MIUI ROM that has the Play Store and Google’s services isn’t available for the device just yet, but it should be available soon.
There’s no headphone jack
The most polarizing feature of the Mi 6 is the lack of a 3.5mm jack. The omission isn’t going to factor heavily for those that have made the switch to wireless audio products, but customers that have invested in wired headphones will see it as a major drawback.
If you’re considering the Mi 6, you’ll have to either pick up a Bluetooth-enabled headset or resort to using a dongle to hook up your wired headphones to the device.
What do you think?
That’s a quick look at what’s on offer with the Xiaomi Mi 6. What do you think of the device? Share your thoughts in the comments below.