The Xiaomi Mi6 is the reference terminal of the Chinese manufacturer to compete with the high range offering a much more attractive price, even of the half in some cases. With components of first, we have analyzed its operation to verify what secrets hides its great value for money.
Xiaomi becomes an adult while still being inspired
After the Mi Mix, at the design level the Xiaomi Mi6 was a challenge that the Chinese brand has solved with very good manners. There are those who complain that it is perhaps a step back from what was achieved with that terminal without frames, but look at the price and value. With the 64GB version costing over 430 dollars, you had to go back to a more classic design.
That said, this is a very attractive terminal visually, especially in the black finish, with the details very well thought out and finished, much more than in other high range of Xiaomi I have tried. The exquisiteness that I have praised Xiaomi as an assembler I think is very well complemented in this Xiomi Mi6 in the finish. We have already found a point of maturity and solidity in ideas.
However the Xiaomi Mi6 is not a smartphone with its own personality. From here and there picks up ideas, winks and literal copies of elements that primarily remind us of Apple and HTC. At least you have to praise Xiaomi that when you have to copy a design, it is fixed at the best.
In hand the Xiaomi Mi6 is very pleasant thanks to the very smooth lines that adorn the design of the terminal in all its dimensions. Front, back, sides … the very subtle cuva does not leave a single place aggressive neither in sight nor touch. For me it is the best Xiaomi terminal in this respect.
That delicacy in the design and the lines is accompanied with a wise choice in the material: aluminum for the frame and glass for the rear. The finish is especially well finished with the glass back, and in these days of use I did not find a particularly dirty finish. I have faced other glass finishes on the back that within a few seconds already needed a refresher and thorough cleaning. And by the way, the double camera, of which there is much to say, does not stand out in the design but it seems to me that it is too much on the edge.
These days with the Xiaomi Mi6 as the main smartphone, the combination of those soft lines and that material is nice but perhaps leaves me more feeling of fragility. It is in theory and based on my personal sensations, because using it intensively, the finish remains intact.
What I do think of this Xiaomi Mi6 is that it is slippery. So much curve and crystal has these drawbacks, so I miss a lot more grip. Even on the table skates quite easily.
A detail that is appreciated is the inclusion in the package of the Xiaomi Mi6 a flexible material cover, it seems silicon, quite basic and of fair quality but that is not limited to the design and experience in hand with the terminal but with which we won a Safety and grip necessary for day to day.
In the dimension part, the Xiaomi Mi6 is not bad. But just that. Its thickness is below 8 mm and the weight is 168 grams, which together and being relatively compact gives us idea of quite weight when compared with other terminals of similar screen dimensions.
Regarding the screen, I am that I am very diagonal of 5 inches, so out there I have conquered the first. What I am not so clear is that in the use of the front have achieved some good figures. Here would put one of the cut lines with respect to the high reference range and much more expensive than this Mi6.
No headphone port but with some water resistance
There are not many surprises in the physical connections of this Xiaomi Mi6. In the upper frame we have infrared sensor, removable area for the microSIM (no microSD in this design, eye) on the left side, speaker, secondary camera and LED notifier on the top of the front, volume controls and lock Of the terminal on the right side (I miss some texture on the power button to differentiate it), and in the lower frame the start button, which is not physical but capacitive and gives us a response in the form of vibration.
The Xiaomi Mi6 finishes a great design and finish with splash resistance, which gives us an extra safety that everyone should offer. But it falls into the trap of eliminating the port of headphones
This button hides as you would expect the fingerprint sensor and is not placed flush with the protective glass of the screen. This detail is of those that I spoke to you before, taken care of to the maximum. To the sensor are accompanied on the sides the capacitive buttons for Android that are referenced simply by two small white lights.
The operation of the fingerprint sensor is very good. The fingerprint reading is done almost instantly, and you do not need to press the button.
As a connection port we find a USB-C flanked by two elementary sound speakers and nothing remarkable either for quality or power (although in fact it is only one, the right one, since the left is for props ). The sound of the Xiaomi Mi6 is stereo but thanks to the speaker at the top.
Despite the thickness of the terminal, Xiaomi has eliminated the headphone port and now requires us to use an adapter (included in the package) for use with our classic headphones. Let each one decide if it was something necessary but I do not think it at all and we have seen this same year much thinner models and high capacity battery that have maintained.
The surprise or good news in the design of this Xiaomi Mi6 is that the Chinese manufacturer has officially included splash protection. We will not be able to use it in the pool, something that on the other hand also does not recommend the terminals that have a higher protection profile, but I think it serves us. We can take it with wet hands and if there is an accident with water in between, we are a little more calm. What less than this.
Solvent screen that gives the best in exteriors
Xiaomi has gone to safety with the screen of its new Mi6 in all its sections. And I think he has been right in all his decisions. Another thing is that it can compete with the best of the market, which I already advance that is not so. But let’s go in parts.
First, the diagonal. They are 5.15 inches, size that I personally love and that covers a sector of the market that you will find comfortable with it. As a resolution there is no novelty on the front and Xiaomi also shows conservative and does not rise beyond the 1080p that marry very well with a 5-inch terminal, giving us enough sharpness (426 dpi) and ensuring a more than optimal response in overall performance Of the telephone and autonomy.
Logically a terminal with panel of more resolution, 2K for example, gives us more clarity and is more suitable for certain tasks such as multimedia playback or virtual reality. But I insist: at this price and with the pubic target that I think has the Xiaomi Mi6, the experience is satisfactory. Let’s go now with the panel.
The technology behind the Xiaomi Mi6 screen is IPS, and leaves us quite global quality. We can not talk about a screen that does not respond to what we pay for it, but it is not far from what we have seen for some time in smartphones even at a lower price. If we go further, on the screen of the Xiaomi Mi6 we miss some more depth and color fidelity as well as contrast, which are the points where we notice the difference with this year’s high-end terminals from the best manufacturers.
There is also nothing related to HDR, another of the differences with more expensive terminals. We are talking about extras that contribute (especially at first glance) but are not so decisive for the general public for now.
The viewing angles are good (they just lose in brightness) and the contrast, right. In the unit that has touched us to prove I have not found apparent faults at first sight. If you look at and analyze data, the screen is bluish when you should see a pure white.
The Xiaomi Mi6 patches can not be said to be flashy but neither is it excessive. We have different profiles to configure if we prefer. The automatic mode is the one that I found the best despite being cooler. The others tend to add more color temperature but at the cost of worsening other sections such as contrast.
The best of the screen of the Xiaomi Mi6 is the brightness, very high (600 nits), but also with a very small minimum value for use at night. Not many terminals can boast of these figures. That great brightness benefits you in exteriors, where it gains enough visibility , which together with a good reduction of reflections, makes of this Xiaomi Mi6 probably the best outdoor smartphone of those that mount IPS panels.
Finally, a novelty on the screen of this Xiaomi Mi6 is the protection against eye fatigue, as fashionable as dubious reality. Like other brands, Xiaomi includes a night-time mode that reduces the emission of blue light, resulting in the view in a warmer tone. We can apply it automatically according to the time or manually, configure its intensity or indicate which applications use this mode. Quite complete in any case.
Splitting of figures for fluid operation
A new high range of Xiaomi means nothing more than showing muscle in the pure specifications part. It has been doing so the Chinese manufacturer since its inception. It is part of its strategy: to assemble at the best price components of leading brands. So, when facing the technical file of this Xiaomi Mi6, everything we find smells of powerful and the latest market.
|XIAOMI MI 6|
|PROCESSOR||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835|
|RAM||6 GB LPDDR4X RAM|
|STORAGE||64GB, 128GB (not expandable)|
|SCREEN||5.15 inches FHD|
|MAIN CAMERA||Dual camera: 12MP + 12MP (2x optical zoom), 4-axis stabilizer|
|CONNECTIVITY||USB Type-C (no audio jack), Dual Wi-Fi|
We emphasize of its components of course the processor, all a Snapdragon 835 (64 bits, eight cores and GPU Adreno 540), which is reinforced by 6 GB of RAM, which is a figure that astonishes in the windows and webs but that, seen Seen, in the end can not differentiate too much from the performance of computers with less RAM. At least in MIUI 8, with just a few open applications, we’re done with that memory.
We would have preferred more optimization (we suffered excessive heat that we only solved with a reboot) but above all an internal memory that could be extended with microSD cards. It is something that brands like Xiaomi have known to use to differentiate themselves but from what they soon forget. The model we tested is basic, with a very good 64 GB for the price of the equipment (there are for the user 55 GB just after turning it on), also counting on a version with capacity of serial of 128 GB.
The day to day with the Xiaomi Mi6 is expected. Except for occasional hang-ups with MIUI, the system is very thin, running smoothly applications, games and everything that we put ahead. However, with that FullHD screen and the 6GB of RAM, these days I have not been left with the experience of being a performance beast as the figures and conditions point out. Much less notice the difference between performance beyond benchmarks with last year’s Snapdragon. And that the 10 nm pointed to small revolution in the smartphone world.
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More battery, same range
Two are the news that brings us the Xiaomi Mi6 in the battery section. And both are welcome. On the one hand we have a greater capacity than in the previous high range of the same family, in total, 3345 mAh. That figure excites me in advance given the processor and screen, both by size and resolution; And in the benchmark data of PCWork leaves us an interesting figure: about 9 hours.
Despite the capacity of the battery, display type and processor, the autonomy of the Xiaomi Mi6 remains correct when it could have marked differences. Lack of optimization in software?
However, these pillars do not sustain the Xiaomi Mi6 battery experience in everyday life. With about 6 hours of screen per charge, in the end we arrived with little more than 20% of battery remaining at the end of the day without being excessively demanding in use, when we expected to obtain a clear advantage in this point with respect to the rest of high ranges of the market. I have noticed that although with the active screen the Xiaomi manages the consumption well, in standby mode, perhaps by poorly managed background processes (and that have caused us to have to restart the terminal several times for excessive heating without reason), no We can go much further than day of use.
In the information and control that MIUI 8 gives us to improve autonomy, curiously one of its positive points should be that: to check what consumes more energy or “kill” ineffective background processes. But we have not found consistency to solve this problem. There is room for improvement that could come with an update of the operating system.
The small disappointment in terms of the battery is compensated with the second novelty: fast loading QuickCharge 3.0 (though it is not the latest generation of Qualcomm’s fast load), which has worked quite well. The over 3300 mAh battery is charged in just over an hour and a half, and the first 50% we have managed to measure it in less than 30 minutes with the included charger.
In connectivity, the Xiaomi Mi6 is fast and complete except for the non-compatibility with the 800 MHz band and the absence of FM radio, just in case you were looking for it.
Xiaomi are not Chinese phones: They are for China
With sales figures that are no longer growing at the expected pace, Xiaomi remains focused on its native market, China, where it is strong. Understandable that your personalization on Android 7.1 includes services, applications and ads that only have to do with China. We have tested the local ROM terminal which includes only English and Chinese language.
Becoming a Mi6 requires an act of faith and a lot of patience. Even for advanced users, the task of installing and running Google Play and several of the company’s services that are basic to Android users in the West is arduous and desperate. Something to keep in mind if you want zero complications. It will depend on which store you buy the terminal, it will arrive with global ROM or not. Here do all you can for it to be. But even Xiaomi Mi6 models with Global ROMs present the same difficulties that I tell you.
As very positive points of this layer of Xiaomi must recognize its policy of updates and improvements, which is constant, as well as the control, possibilities and customization it supports. I would stick with Dual Spaces and Dual Apps services. The second is very comfortable to manage several service accounts like Facebook or Whatsapp in the same terminal. And the first allows us to have almost two different terminals in it, being able to access contacts, images and other apps and services by entering a different password when unlocking the terminal.
But MIUI 8 is definitely not a layer with which any user will feel comfortable. Be aware of the output of a ROM, juggling everything is functional and other problems that we have encountered requires a complete determination, at least with a terminal just released. Over time, it might be more valid.
2X Zoom for a Level Up Camera
The great strength of the Xiaomi Mi6 beyond design, and where I think it has also reached a maturity and sweet level I would say it is the camera. After several models in which it was not known what Xiaomi wanted with his camera, this Mi6 goes safely and replicates the double camera of the iPhone 7 Plus that includes the optical zoom of 2 increases.
In the Xiaomi Mi6 we find two 12 MP cameras each, but with different configurations. The main one consists of Sony IMX386 sensor with aperture f1.8, pixels of 1.25 μm and equivalent focal length of 27mm. In this camera there are also 4 Axis OIS. As for the second camera, its focal length is 56 mm, with f2.6 and smaller pixels: 1.00 μm. Those peculiarities of the 2X camera, coupled with that it does not carry OIS in this element, marks what we can do with it and under what conditions.
And how does this technical datasheet translate into reality? Very well. I have no doubt that it is the Xiaomi phone that best camera offers and we can even say that it would enter the current top5 in quite a few situations. The Xiaomi Mi6 maintains the good photographic level with favorable light conditions that we had verified in previous generations.
The images are rich in detail, colorful and dynamic range. Of what less satisfied I have left I have to talk about the HDR, which saves some situation but in exchange for losing definition and not reduce well noise that can appear even in scenes of good light.
The camera is also fast both focusing and shooting , and the camera interface, although not my favorite, is complete and allows you to switch to different modes quickly, having options such as HDR or compensation of exposure to a single I touched.
Among the manual controls available are white balance, focus, exposure time or sensitivity. There is however no option to save the images in RAWnor to vary the resolution, although Xiaomi gives us the opportunity to vary other sections such as contrast, saturation or sharpness, something that we leave automatically.
So far we could be talking about a Xiaomi terminal from previous years without problem. However, the Chinese giant raises its proposal with a significant improvement in low-light images and the inclusion of a second camera capable of offering the most interesting way so far of that camera by double entry: the optical zoom of two increases.
As with the iPhone, due to its characteristics (sensor size, aperture or absence of OIS), the results are good when there is sufficient light. Then we get interesting approaches to objects or people with a good background blur (does not reach the iPhone level in my opinion). It is already up to the photographic eye of each to get more out of it, but the dual camera system with 2X zoom is the most useable implementation day after day and the best result gives the user.
R of the satisfactory experience with the Xiaomi Mi6 camera we obtained it at night. It is true that its results are not up to a Galaxy S8 + or especially a Google Pixel, but there is a leap of quality and evolution that we thank Xiaomi. Until this Mi6, the camera of its smartphones could denominate it as correct. From now on it is a value that adds and does not have to be ashamed.
When the light is low, the Xiaomi Mi6 is able to solve most situations with enough solvency. The 4-axis stabilization system coupled with a large brightness does not require pulling an excessive ISO, so without being shaken by the scene, Xiaomi can control the noise generated. The improvement of the camera of the Xiaomi Mi6 is precisely in that technical advantage that in the capacity of processing to eliminate noise. In several of the shots I show you there are situations with very obvious noise and degeneration of the final scene, even moved. Despite the improvement, it is advisable to stay steady and take photos calmly to get the most out of this camera.
Finally, you have to talk about the video mode, which supports 4K recording in a very solvent way.