Each year we all wait for one of the most powerful budget flagships and it is finally here. Meet the Xiaomi Mi 6, the phone that has killer specs, awesome looks, and a compelling dual-camera setup. Stay tuned to find out if the best of Xiaomi is worth your attention in the full Xiaomi Mi 6 review.
Thanks to Giztop for providing the Xiaomi Mi 6 review unit.
The Xiaomi Mi 6 ships with all the usual stuff and some extras include a soft TPU case to protect your phone.
Also, you get a USB-C to the headset jack adapter since the phone lacks the 3.5mm port. Finally, the Mi 6 ships with the fast charger.
DESIGN and DISPLAY
Once you first pick the Xiaomi Mi 6 up, the first impressions are that the phone looks just gorgeous. Also, it has excellent build quality and it is fairly compact since it sports a 5.15” IPS LCD display, which is sharp, vibrant and definitely one of the best 1080p panels you can find.
We have an 8MP shooter and LED notification light, which, however, is not customizable like on previous Xiaomi phones.
At least we have nicely backlit capacitive keys and the fingerprint sensor that is one of the fastest and most accurate scanners that you can find on any smartphone. It unlocks the phone 10/10 times, straight from the standby mode.
I love that the phone sits nicely in the hand. The stainless-steel frame is almost seamless with a curved glass back panel, which actually does a decent job with all the fingerprints and smudges. In comparison, the phone does not attract fingerprints so quickly like the Galaxy S8. Also, the buttons are easy to reach and they have a great tactile feedback.
It’s worth mentioning that the Xiaomi Mi 6 is now splash-proof even though the official certification number is not yet confirmed. Keep in mind that splash-proof phones are not the same as water resistant smartphones. In other words, you cannot submerge the Xiaomi Mi 6 under water, don’t mess your new phone up.
One of the key selling points of the Mi 6 is the dual camera setup that consists of a 12MP shooter with a wide-angle lens and another 12MP sensor with the telephoto lens that gives 2 times zoom and the ability to take beautiful portrait photos with bokeh effect. The main camera has a bright f/1.8 aperture lens, 4-axis OIS, and dual tone dual-LED flash.
It is great that we have the IR blaster that allows you to control devices like TVs.
I love the loudspeaker quality. The sound is balanced and rich, and there is even a decent amount of bass.
What I don’t like is that there is no headset jack on this phone. I know that Xiaomi wants to follow a trend but if you look at the latest flagships from Samsung or LG, Xiaomi should be more careful with this decision and I think they should have kept the headset jack. Anyway, the sound quality via the USB-C port using a supplied adapter is great. No distortions, great volume output, and rich sound.
Xiaomi Mi 6 in pictures:
HARDWARE and PERFORMANCE
As far as hardware goes, the Xiaomi Mi 6 is one of the most powerful smartphones the money can buy.
It ships with the latest and greatest Snapdragon 835 chip, 6GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of internal storage, which is, however, not expandable.
The gaming performance is almost perfect. All the 3D games run fine on the very highest graphics settings and the phone does not have any overheating issues. However, I noticed that there were a few skipped frames on the Asphalt 8. I believe that this is due to an early software build and you don’t really need to worry about that since Xiaomi releases software updates very often.
The Mi 6 ships with the MIUI 8, which is built on top of Android 7.1. My device has the MIUI Global ROM 8.2 that has Google Services pre-installed and all the Chinese bloatware removed.
I love how fast the phone is on the daily basis even after installing quite a few apps. So far, the phone has been working fine and I didn’t have any lag.
As usual, there are plenty of customization options Xiaomi phones have been famous for. Just to name a few, you can adjust display settings, choose from a variety of themes or wallpapers, customize the capacitive buttons, use some gesture controls and so on. If you want to customize the phone even further, there are a lot more other features to play with.
Check out our camera review video:
We have a familiar Xiaomi camera app that allows you to take pictures very fast. You can also play with some basic shooting modes and settings. E.g. you can adjust some image properties using the manual mode or shoot slow-motion videos at 720p.
There is also 2x lossless zoom mode that allows you to utilize that secondary camera sensor and this feature comes really handy. The results are pretty good, definitely a lot better than using digital zoom.
The portrait mode takes good-looking pictures with bokeh effect but sometimes you may get a picture with a bit unnatural looking blurred background.
When it comes to the image quality using auto-mode, the Mi 6 can take great pictures in good lighting. There is plenty of detail, the colors look nice and noise reduction is pretty good. However, I found that the dynamic range adjustment is a bit worse than on the top tier phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8.
The indoor and macro shots are great too. Again, there is lots of detail and you get that nice bokeh effect thanks to the bright lens.
The low-light camera performance is decent but it is far from the top-shelf flagship-grade quality. If we compare the pictures with the Samsung Galaxy S8, you will see that there are much less detail and much more noise.
The 4k video quality is great. The footage is detailed and the continuous auto-focus feature works well. The colours look nice too but they seem to be slightly oversaturated. Also, there are some video artifacts going but in general, this is probably the best video quality from any Xiaomi phone.
The 1080p video looks good too. Obviously, there is less detail but the OIS seems to do a better job than in 4k video mode.
The selfies look great as there is a lot of detail and the colors are accurate. However, the quality decreases quite dramatically in lower-lit situations.
The 1080p selfie video looks quite good. There is a good amount of detail but the footage is not as good as the one shot with the Galaxy S8. Finally, the sound recording quality is decent but still, not quite the mainstream flagship quality.
When it comes to connectivity, the Xiaomi Mi 6 is flawless. The call quality and signal reception have been excellent, the Wifi range and speed are good, the Bluetooth works fine and finally, the GPS is very accurate, thanks to a reliable Snapdragon processor.
The Xiaomi Mi 6 ships with a 3350 mAh battery that performs great. I used my phone very intensively for taking a lot of pictures and shooting 4k video, running benchmarks, installing a lot of apps and so on and I still managed to get over 5 hours of screen-on time. If you use the device just for the basic stuff, you should be able to get 6 or even 7 hours of SOT.
Finally, the Mi 6 ships with the fast charger. It takes about 1:30 h to fully charge the phone, thanks to the Quick Charge 3.0.
So, there you have it, the Xiaomi Mi 6, the latest and greatest from the Chinese tech giant.
I have to say that this is one solid smartphone and it brings a lot of flagship-grade qualities for a much lower price than the mainstream flagships.
Xiaomi nailed the design and build quality, the display is nice and sharp, and the overall performance is great. You also get a great battery life with the fast charger and all connectivity options work flawlessly.
The dual-cameras can take some very nice pictures but the quality is still not on par with the top tier phones like the Galaxy S8, especially if you compare the low-light photos.
You should also know that the Mi 6 lacks the headset jack and there is no microSD card slot.
At the end of the day, the Xiaomi Mi 6 is the best Xiaomi’s phone yet. Even though it has a few cons to consider, you can definitely call it a flagship phone even if it does not carry a mainstream flagship price tag.
Xiaomi Mi 6 is the best Xiaomi’s phone yet. Even though it has a few cons to consider, you can definitely call it a flagship phone even if it does not carry a mainstream flagship price tag.