Xiaomi has been making waves in the Indian market with its smartphones as of late. It happens to be the top-selling phone brand in the country at present, with a market share of 30%. Redmi Note 5 is the best example of why the company is so successful. The phone, released in early 2018, packed in powerful hardware and an excellent display for a cut-rate price. It managed to corner the mid-range Rs.15,000 smartphone market with ease.
Redmi Note 6 is the company’s newest offering. Priced a little higher than its predecessor at Rs.16,000, Xiaomi is hoping to replicate its previous success. Will it succeed in becoming king of the mid-range segment? Is the Redmi Note 6 Pro worth your hard-earned money? Let’s find out!
What’s different about the Redmi Note 6?
You may be familiar with Xiaomi’s previous phones. Here’s what you need to know about the Redmi Note 6 at a glance:
- The Redmi Note 6 Pro packs a large 6.26-inch full HD display with a pixel resolution of 1080x2280p.
- The phone has the same processor as the Redmi Note 5, namely the Snapdragon 636 SoC.
- The smartphone ships with Android 8.1 Oreo OS (MIUI 10.2.2 latest version), but an Android 9.0 update is expected in Q1 2019.
Design: Say Hello to the Trendy Notch
If you know Xiaomi, you’re aware that the company’s phones all sport a similar design language and can be hard to distinguish from each other. The Redmi Note 6 Pro doesn’t buck the trend. It features the same body-type, size, and overall aesthetic as its predecessor. However, that in itself doesn’t make it a bad-looking phone! The phone manages to look sleek and modern. The display now has a trendy notch at the top, which is a feature most buyers will welcome. The notch increases the phones screen-to-body ratio and makes it look more premium than the Redmi Note 5 Pro.
The phone does have a nifty IR emitter, which you can use to control appliances conveniently. The back of the phone is curved slightly, which makes it easy to grip. The Redmi Note 6 Pro supports expandable storage. If the inbuilt 64GB storage isn’t enough, you can always use an SD card. However, note that the SD card will occupy one of the two SIM card slots. The power button and volume keys are responsive and easy to reach. Overall, this phone looks and feels good.
Display: Crisp Full-HD Display
The Redmi Note 6 Pro comes with a bigger, brighter, and just better 6.26 inch full HD display. It’s a definite step up over its predecessor, which had a slightly smaller display without the notch. The display is very crisp and bright. Colors appear lifelike. Watching photos and videos on the phone is a pleasure. The viewing angles are good and it’s usable outdoors, under direct sunlight. Xiaomi gives you an option to change the color warmth and white balance, though the default should be perfect for most users.
Don’t like the notch at the top because it serves no practical benefit? No problem, you can always turn it off! The Redmi Note 6 lets you toggle the notch on and off, depending on your tastes. The display is protected by a Corning’s Gorilla Glass, so it’s tough to scratch and resistant to falls. It’s hard, if not impossible, to find another phone with a better display in the mid-range segment.
Camera: Impressive Camera with AI Support
You can’t expect a professional-grade camera on a ~Rs.15,000 phone. However, the Redmi Note 6 Pro’s camera comes surprisingly close to being professional-grade. The Redmi Note 5 Pro had a very good camera, and the Redmi Note 6 Pro has an even better one. Xiaomi has retained the same 12MP+5MP rear camera setup as before. However, the Redmi Note 6’s camera has a wider f/1.9 aperture, which allows it to pull in more light, resulting in brighter, more vivid photos. Taking night-time photos is also easier.
The Redmi Note 6 Pro’s camera also comes with built-in AI support. The rear camera is capable of recognizing 32 scenes with its AI’s help, while the 20MP front camera can recognize 12 scenes. The AI makes it easy for you to take good-quality photos. The rear camera supports Depth effect in portrait mode, which is welcome. The Redmi Note 6 Pro is capable of recording 1080p videos, but not 4K. It supports electronic image stabilization (EIS) too.
Performance: Fast, Good for Everyday Use
The Redmi Note 6 Pro carries a last-gen Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor, the same as the one on its predecessor. The Snapdragon 636 is an octa-core processor at 1.8GHZ, with 4 dedicated performance cores and 4 efficiency cores. It includes a powerful Adreno 509 GPU.
How well does the Redmi Note 6 Pro do when it comes to performance? It boots up apps lightning-quick. The 4/6GB RAM allows you to do some serious multitasking. Web browsing on the phone is fast and watching videos or photos is a seamless experience. It will allow you to play demanding games – like PUBG – at low-medium settings, but the phone heats up after extended gaming sessions. For everyday use, the Redmi Note 6 Pro is more than enough. But if you’re a heavy user or gamer, you might be better off with getting the slightly-higher-priced Poco F1.
Software: Android 8.1 with a Custom MIUI 10.2.2 Firmware Layer
Xiaomi’s MIUI custom firmware has always provided a good user experience. The Redmi Note 6 Pro ships with Android 8.1 Oreo out-of-the-box, with a current stable MIUI 10.2.2 firmware layer. Oreo 8.1 is an excellent OS, and the MIUI custom firmware adds unique features like a fresh app switcher layout, gesture shortcuts, an Enterprise mode, and convenient card-style updates.
Of course, we’re in 2019 and Android 9.0 Pie has been out for a long time. Fortunately, Xiaomi has a guaranteed upgrade planned to Android 9.0 Pie for all Redmi Note 6 Pros. The launch date is up in the air, though you can expect it to be somewhere in Q1 2019. The premium Poco F1 has already received an Android 9.0 upgrade.
Battery Life: Excellent
Xiaomi’s smartphones have always had good batteries. The Redmi Note 6 Pro’s battery lives up to the expectations set by its predecessors. It packs a 4000mAh battery, which provides enough juice for an entire day’s moderate-to-heavy use. The company claims you should be able to use the phone for 2 days on a single charge. In reality, the maximum you can go is 1.5 days — which is still spectacular. Compared to other smartphones that barely last for half a day, the Redmi Note’s battery life is nothing short of spectacular.
The Redmi Note 6 Pro also supports Quick Charge 3.0. If you want your phone to charge faster, you will have to buy the Quick Charge 3.0 charger separately. The charger you get with the phone is also pretty good and will let you charge your phone quickly.
The Bottom Line
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro has an amazing display, a great camera, plenty of storage, and excellent battery life. While it’s not a gaming monster like the Poco F1, it’s a great phone for everyday life or office use. Being a minor refresh over its predecessor, it’s unlikely to become the king of the mid-range segment. Still, it’s an excellent phone and definitely worth the buy.
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