The Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro, which was launched recently along with the Redmi 6A and the Redmi 6, comes as a slightly expensive alternative to the ultra-popular Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (Review). The device brings two significant upgrades over the Redmi Note 5; a notched display for a higher screen-to-body ratio, and a dual-camera setup for better image quality. It retains the same hardware as the Redmi Note 5, though, including a metal body, Snapdragon 625 processor, and a massive 4000mAh battery.
At a glance, it looks like a fair deal, spending a thousand bucks more for a compact design and a better camera, right? Well, there’s a catch. The Redmi 6 Pro misses out on 4K video recording and it has a slightly smaller display. So should you spend the extra money on the Redmi 6 Pro over the Redmi Note 5? Here is what I think after using the device for a couple of weeks now.
[P_REVIEW post_id=112406 visual=’full’]
Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro: Specifications & Features
- Display – 5.84-inches, IPS LCD, 2280 x 1080 pixels resolution, 19:9 aspect ratio, bezel-less, notch at the top, claimed maximum brightness of 500 nits
- Primary Camera – 12MP + 5MP dual-camera (12MP camera for capturing images, 5MP camera for depth-sensing), f/2.2 aperture (12MP camera), phase-detection autofocus (12MP camera), LED flash, up to 1080p video recording at 30 FPS, Auto HDR; Modes – photo, video, portrait, panorama, manual, square, short video
- Front-Facing Camera – 5MP, fixed focus, f/2.0 aperture, HDR, up to 1080p video recording at 30 FPS; Modes- photo (with an option for depth effect and beautification), video, square, short video
- Processor – Snapdragon 625 (octa-core Cortex-A53 CPU clocked at 2.0GHz, Adreno 506 GPU)
- RAM – 3GB/4GB
- Storage – 32GB/64GB, dedicated microSD card slot for support up to 256GB memory expansion
- OS – Android 8.1 Oreo, MIUI 9.6 customisation
- Battery – 4000mAh
- Connectivity – Dual-SIM (nano-SIM), 4G LTE & VoLTE (works only on one SIM card at a time), dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, dual-band Wi-Fi hotspot, Wi-Fi direct, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS (with GLONASS and BDS), A-GPS, infrared port, microUSB port, 3.5mm audio jack
- Sensors – Accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, proximity, ambient light, fingerprint (rear-mounted)
- Variants – 3GB RAM + 32GB storage, and 4GB RAM + 64GB storage
- Colours – Black, Blue, Gold, Red
- Price – Rs. 10,999 for 3GB+32GB variant, and Rs. 12,999 for 4GB+64GB variant
In the Box
- Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro
- 10W wall charger
- MicroUSB cable
- SIM-removal pin
- Protective case
Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro Review: Design & Build Quality
The Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro features an all-new front design, courtesy of the notched, bezel-less display. The device is now more compact than its predecessor, and also looks in-line with the latest trend. The notch itself is tiny, unlike on the few other competitors such as the Nokia 6.1 Plus. The notch houses the earpiece, camera, and a couple of sensors. Switching to the back, it has the same, plain metal design that we are used to seeing with Xiaomi smartphones.
The metal body feels robust and premium.
The metal body of the device feels robust and premium. The device is slightly thicker than usual. This is mainly due to the limited vertical and horizontal space as a result of bezel cut-down. The thickness actually works in favour of the device; it offers more grip to the user while holding it. This is also the main reason why I managed to get through reviewing the device without even dropping it once.
The fingerprint scanner is placed very conveniently on the back, making it easier to reach and unlock the device. Although, not everything is placed conveniently. Take the notification LED for example; it is placed on the bottom bezel, which is very odd. That being said, it does not hinder any functionality. For the price, there are smartphones that look way more attractive than the Redmi 6 Pro. Nonetheless, the Redmi 6 Pro is a beautiful smartphone and one that is very well built.
Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro Review: Display
The Redmi 6 Pro is the first smartphone from Xiaomi in India to come with a notched display. The screen also has a taller, 19:9 aspect ratio. This sure makes the device more compact and gives it a better visual appeal. However, the fact that Android apps are yet to adopt the taller aspect ratio and the notch presents some issues while viewing videos and browsing through social media apps. Fortunately, though, there is an option to hide the notch for those who hate it.
One of the best screens among its competitors, and you can’t get better than this in its price range.
The 5.84-inch IPS LCD screen has a resolution of 2280×1080 pixels. The display is sharp and colourful, which makes consuming media on it an absolute joy. The outdoor visibility is good, thanks to the high brightness levels and a low reflective surface, at least for its price. The display, however, poses issue while displaying gradients of black and white, but that is the case with every budget smartphone out there, so Xiaomi isn’t to blame here. The Redmi 6 Pro has one of the best screens among its competitors, and I think you can’t get better than this in its price range.
Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro Review: Camera
Even budget smartphones nowadays come with a dual-camera setup, where one camera captures images, while the other acts as the depth-sensor. However, most of the budget smartphones with dual-camera setup use a low-resolution sensor for the depth-sensing camera; mostly a 2MP unit. Unlike them, the Redmi 6 Pro has a 12MP + 5MP dual-camera hardware, which looks promising on paper.
Before we jump to the camera performance, let’s talk about the camera UI. In my opinion, the camera UI is neat, and simple to use. You can easily switch between modes by just swiping over the camera viewfinder, which includes your usual photo and video modes along with Square, Short Video, Portrait, and Panorama modes. The setting for each mode is neatly tucked into the modes themselves.Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro Camera UI
The image quality from this camera is excellent in the daylight. The images turn out colourful, bright, and full of details. There is a very minimal amount of noise, which is visible only if zoomed-in at 100%. The phase-detection autofocus does a brilliant job of focusing quickly and accurately. The dynamic range is also pretty good, and the camera manages to capture scenes with tricky lighting conditions very well.
The image quality, however, takes a hit during low-light conditions. There is a fair amount of noise in the images. Though the amount of details captured isn’t too bad, it could have been better. The colours reproduced are very vivid and thus saves the images from looking too shabby. Having tested enough smartphone cameras, I can firmly say that the lowlight image quality from the Redmi 6 Pro is better than what most of the other smartphones in the same price range offer.
Coming to the Portrait mode, the camera produces some brilliant bokeh-effect images, that is if it works. It is kind of hit or miss. If it captures right, the images come out with great depth of field. Although, if it misses, you’ll be served with a scruffy background blur. Also, the Portrait mode is totally useless in low-light conditions. The camera just refuses to blur-out the background in such poorly lit conditions.
Portrait Image Captured With Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro
The Redmi 6 Pro offers the best image quality among all its competitors with its rear camera.
Jumping to the Panorama mode, which I guess not many people will use, I was surprised to see that the device is capable of capturing 13-megapixels Panorama images. This is quite unusual for smartphones in this price range, as most of them max out at around 5-megapixels. Take the Galaxy J6 for example. These panorama images have excellent stitching and details. The camera also compensates for the change in lighting conditions very well.Panorama Image Captured With Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro
Coming to the front-facing camera, it is a 5-megapixel unit with ƒ/2.0 aperture. This camera performs very well in the daylight. It takes detailed and vivid images. In low light, the images aren’t very bright, but not dull either. Xiaomi has also managed to pack the front-facing camera with the portrait mode, which takes help of the software to blur-out the background. This works very well most of the time. Although, just like the Portrait mode in the primary camera, this one too has a hit and miss performance.
While the cheaper alternative of the Redmi 6 Pro, which is the Redmi Note 5, can record 4K videos, the former can’t in spite of having the same amount of processing power. I’m not sure if this is a cost-cutting measure, or a deliberate effort to keep the 4K video recording exclusive to the Redmi Note 5. Either way, I’m disappointed. That being said, the Full HD video recording that the Redmi 6 Pro offers, has a very good quality, including smooth video stabilisation, vivid colours, and a decent amount of details.
Overall, I think the Redmi 6 Pro offers the best image quality among all its competitors with its rear camera. The selfie camera isn’t the best out there in the price range, but it does an excellent job, and I don’t see any reason to complain about it. I just wish that the Redmi 6 Pro had the 4K video recording, which would have made it a complete package.
Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro: Performance
The Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro comes with the same, tried-and-tested, Snapdragon 625 processor that we’ve seen from the past two generations of Xiaomi smartphones. You have an option to choose between the 3GB+32GB variant and 4GB+64GB variant. The one we got for the review has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The device runs on Android 8.1 Oreo OS, which, as you can expect, is coated with MIUI 9.6 skin.
Snapdragon 625 is showing its age and lacks the processing and graphics power to run a Full HD+ display smoothly.
Initially, I found the Redmi 6 Pro to have a fast and smooth performance. However, as I started using it more and more, I realised that it isn’t smooth after all. The phone is notably slow at opening apps. It also stutters frequently, may it be while using apps, switching between them, or just surfing through the UI. The Snapdragon 625 is to blame here. It is showing its age and lacks the processing and graphics power to run a Full HD+ display smoothly. Although, this could also be because of poor customisation. Either way, this is not what we have come to expect from Xiaomi smartphones. It is time that Xiaomi opts for a better performing chipset to maintain a fast performance, and also the brand’s image.
Coming to the software, the MIUI 9.6 offers immense UI customisation. It packs tons and tons of features including the essentials such as the dual-apps, app-locker, Second Space (for hiding files), and customisable themes. The design of the UI is modern, and it looks very polished. I would prefer the MIUI over the customisations from Honor, Vivo, and Oppo any day. That being said, the MIUI does have its flaws, and the most significant is the lack of application drawer. Although this can be fixed with any third party launcher.
MIUI 9.6 offers immense UI customisations.
As for the connectivity, the device has a dual-SIM card slot which supports 4G LTE with VoLTE. However, only one SIM card can work on the 4G network at a time. It would have been great to see both the SIM cards supporting 4G network, but no other manufacturer is offering that in this price range yet. The call quality and the network reception were flawless for the period I used the device. There is also dual-band Wi-Fi, which has fast transfer speeds. The only thing I miss in the connectivity department is the lack of USB Type-C port. Well, not many budget smartphones have it, but I think it is time for brands like Xiaomi to bring this change.
Coming to the audio, the speaker of the Redmi 6 Pro is quite loud and has a decent quality. The 3.5mm audio jack also puts out a solid performance with high volume levels and decently balanced sound signature.
Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro Review: Battery Life
This is one of the best battery back-ups you could get out of a smartphone.
The Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro packs a hefty 4000mAh battery. The combination of the large battery pack and a power-efficient processor yielded an average usage time of one and a half day with around 7 hours of screen-on time. In non-technical terms, this is one of the best battery back-ups you could get out of a smartphone. The only bummer, however, has to be the lack of fast charging; hence, the device takes almost three hours to fill a totally drained battery.
Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro: Verdict
The Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro isn’t the fastest smartphone its segment and lacks 4K video recording, which we’ve come to expect from smartphones in this price range. Although, those were the only two major drawbacks of the phone. Apart from that, it gets everything else right.
All-in-all, the Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro is a great package, and absolutely worth buying.
The Redmi 6 Pro has a solid build quality, and its display is a joy to look at. The cameras do a brilliant job at capturing images, considering the price of the device, and the device has one heck of a battery backup. On top of that, there is the beautiful and feature-packed MIUI skin. All-in-all, the Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro is a great package, and absolutely worth buying.
Now, for those who are confused between Redmi Note 5 and the Redmi 6 Pro, it all comes down to personal preference. If you don’t want to lose out on 4K video recording, then get the Redmi Note 5, or else, the Redmi 6 Pro is the way to go.
Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro₹ 10,999
Design and Build Quality8.5/10
Value for Money8.5/10
What Is Good?
- Robust build quality & compact design
- Good display
- Excellent image quality with primary camera
- Feature-packed and modern-looking UI
- Terrific battery life
- Great value for money
What Is Bad?
- Laggy performance
- Lacks 4K video recording
- Front-facing camera could have been better