We have the Xiaomi Mi 6. For the price, the Xiaomi Mi 6 is a really tough phone to beat. It can be purchased for right around $500 give or take, depending on where you purchase it. However, for a limited time, GearBest is selling it for $430. The biggest con right off the bat is the lack of compatibility with carriers in the US. Xiaomi is working on launching in the North American market but until then, all we can really do is admire what they offer in Asia.
So one of the things Xiaomi is known for is producing products eerily similar to Apple’s products. The Mi 6 is no exception. It has a jet black finish similar to the iPhone 7 and has dual camera sensors in a similar configuration. It’s an extremely slippery phone and will pick up micro scratches in everyday usage. It does look very sleek and stylish. But given its scratch-prone build and slippery ceramic material, it’s going to reside inside a case for most users. The model I have has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. You can select a variant with 64GB of internal storage but do note that there is no microSD card slot for expandable storage. There’s no headphone jack on this phone, which is a major con in my book. I still pull my iPhone out of my pocket thinking I can plug it in my car stereo only to be disappointed that there is no headphone jack and I don’t have the adapter with me.
I do however love the IR blaster that is built into the top of the phone. You don’t see that very often anymore. A couple of years ago, it was standard for flagships but not so much anymore. This IR blaster works well. Another hardware feature I loved is stereo speakers. Similar to the iPhone 7, the call speaker doubles as a loudspeaker and there’s a bottom-facing speaker as well creating that stereo sound.
The front of the phone is home to a 5.15-inch 1080p IPS LCD display that has good contrast and brightness for an IPS panel. It’s a bit of an unusual screen size but I find it to be a very comfortable size for one-handed use. The side bezels are pretty slim but the top and bottom bezels I think could be slimmed down quite a bit.
One of the reasons why this phone is such a good deal is because it features the newest Snapdragon 835 chipset and comes paired with 6GB of RAM. There’s Android 7.1.1 Nougat but we don’t see all the features available in stock Android. For example, you cannot run two apps side by side simultaneously. That’s a pretty big feature to be missing in my opinion. It’s a feature that I use quite a bit with my phones running Nougat. It’s coming in a future version of Mi UI, which is a heavy skin running on top of Nougat. But it’s not here yet. There are a host of other features available through the skin that users might like such as themes, a dual apps feature that lets you run two instances of an app at the same time, great if you have multiple social media accounts. You can password protect certain applications, create a second space for a guest that hides all your apps and personal info and whatnot. There’s actually a lot of features available in Mi UI version 8.0 that lets you customize the look and feel of the device.
But in terms of performance, the phone is very smooth. The Qualcomm processor does its job and keeps the phone relatively hiccup free. Geekbench 4 gives out a single-core score of about 2,000 and a multi-core score of about 5,500.
On the rear, we have dual 12-megapixel camera sensors, one with an f/1.8 aperture and the other with an f/2.6 aperture. This combo enables 2x optical zoom. There’s also a portrait mode that will use software to create ultra milky depth of field shots with tons of Bokeh. The results can look a little bit synthetic but it’s still neat to have and does do well differentiating between the subject and the background. As for the main shooter and what it can capture, it can capture photos that compete with some of the best smartphone camera sensors on the market. The phone has great dynamic range and does well in low light scenarios. I did notice that reds and magentas tend to be a little bit oversaturated. Indoor photos can come out a little bit overexposed but all in all, it’s a very good camera sensor.
To top it all off, the Mi 6’s 3350mAh battery has enough power to get you through a full day of moderate to heavy usage, thanks largely in part to the conservative 1080p resolution 5.15-inch display.
All in all, I’ve enjoyed using the Mi 6. For those looking for a near stock Android device, then certainly look elsewhere as the Mi skin is very apparent. There’s no getting around that. However, there are some handy features only available in Mi UI like I mentioned early in the beginning of this video, if you’re living in the US, you’re kind of out of luck as it’s not supported here in the US. But if you live overseas, the Mi 6 might be a great option for you.
Buy from GearBest here: http://www.gearbest.com/cell-phones/pp_609495.html?lkid=10994802