Xiaomi claims it reignited the tablet industry after the launch of the Xiaomi Pad 5 last year. The brand is not entirely wrong as we did see an influx of decent tablets in the budget and mid-range segments from brands like Realme, OPPO, and OnePlus, among others. The Xiaomi Pad 5 (review) got a lot of things right, but it also had a few misses, especially a ‘black crush’ issue that was reported by many users. So, does its successor, the Xiaomi Pad 6, bring the same black crush problem or does it tick all the right boxes?
Table of Contents
The Xiaomi Pad 6 carries forward all the good stuff from the Pad 5 and fixes some of the problems that plagued last year’s tablet as well, making this one the go-to Android tablet under Rs 30,000.
Design and display
The Xiaomi Pad 6 has a sleek and premium look thanks to a matte metal finish on the back and sides. The tablet comes in two shades: Graphite Grey and Mist Blue. At 490 grams, the Xiaomi Pad 6 is lighter than its predecessor by around 20 grams. This makes the new tablet easier to hold in one hand for a stretch if you’re watching something on the go.
Xiaomi hasn’t changed the overall look of the Pad 6 from last year’s model and the Pad 6 still misses a headphone jack and fingerprint sensor. But there are a few tweaks here and there that have been made for the better. The pogo pins (for magnetically attaching the keyboard) have been moved to the back while the front camera has moved to the long edge of the device. The latter change is a welcome one as it makes it easier to have video calls in landscape orientation.
Other aesthetic changes include a square-shaped rear camera module that houses a single 13MP rear camera, although it would seem as if there are two cameras. The module also holds an LED flash. Coming to the front, the display sees uniformly slim bezels around it, with just enough width for your palms to rest on it and not obstruct the screen. And while the Xiaomi Pad 6 gets an 11-inch screen size much like the Pad 5, the overall footprint of the newer tablet is slightly smaller thanks to slimmer bezels.
The Xiaomi Pad 5’s display was nice, but the Pad 6’s screen is better. There are some sweet improvements under the hood, including a sharper resolution at 2,880 x 1,800 pixels, a higher refresh rate at 144Hz (which no other tablet offers in this price range), and improved brightness at 550 nits. It’s still an LCD panel so you miss out on the inky blacks that an AMOLED display would offer. But aside from this, everything else about the Xiaomi Pad 6’s display is quite perfect. The screen offers plenty of brightness and streaming content is a delight, with the added support of HDR10 and Dolby Vision, although HDR was only supported on Netflix at the time of writing this review. And no, the Pad 6 did not exhibit any black crush issue.
Performance and software
The Snapdragon 870 chipset powers the Xiaomi Pad 6. Yes, it is a two-year-old chipset and just a marginal upgrade over the Snapdragon 860 SoC inside the Pad 5. However, as long as you don’t plan to use the Xiaomi Pad 6 as a mobile or a laptop, you should face no major issues with the performance. The tablet is a breeze to use for light usage like streaming content, checking mail, browsing through social media apps, etc. It can also handle light gaming as well, but you might notice the occasional lag and stutter. You can buy the tablet with 6GB RAM + 128GB ROM or 8GB RAM and 256GB ROM options. I would suggest spending the extra Rs 2,000 and opting for the higher variant as it would deliver a comparatively smoother performance and enough storage for your needs.
On the software front, the Xiaomi Pad 6 runs on MIUI 14 based on Android 13. Android 13 is largely optimised for tablets so apps like Twitter, WhatsApp, and others work pretty well, although some might look too big for comfort. MIUI 14 is largely clean with little to no bloatware. That said, Xiaomi could improve its widgets as some of them look small and don’t take advantage of the tablet’s screen real estate. As long as Xiaomi provides consistent security patches and a couple of major Android updates, the Xiaomi Pad 6 should perform well for about 2-3 years before you look to upgrade.
Xiaomi’s MIUI has some nifty productivity features such as floating windows that allow you to bring up apps from the sidebar and have them float on the screen to help you multitask. You can resize the floating windows in a few ways and also flick them to the side to minimize. There’s also a feature that lets you connect the tablet to other devices like a phone or a TV using Bluetooth or HDMI cable, allowing you to mirror the same app on a larger screen.
Pencil and keyboard
Xiaomi has a 2nd generation Smart Pen that works over Bluetooth and magnetically attaches to the side of the tablet, which is how it charges as well. Recently, Xiaomi announced that the Smart Pencil 2 can work with the Xiaomi Pad 5 as well. However, you won’t be able to use the first-generation Smart Pen on the Pad 6. Xiaomi claims the stylus offers a solid 150 hours of battery life on a single charge, so you won’t have to worry about it running out of juice in the middle of your work. I’m no artist and my handwriting is quite awful, so I didn’t find the need to use the stylus much for writing notes or doodling.
The keyboard, however, was an accessory I found quite useful for the Xiaomi Pad 6. It’s easy to type on with good spacing between the keys and decent travel. The keyboard cover has a faux leather finish and comes in black. The finishing is not as premium as the OnePlus Pad’s keyboard and it doesn’t offer a trackpad as well, but it is nevertheless a functional keyboard that is worth buying with the Pad 6.
The Xiaomi tablet gets an 8,840mAh battery, which is slightly bigger than the 8,720mAh cell in the Pad 5. To keep things short and sweet, the Xiaomi Pad 6’s battery life is stellar. You get iPad-level battery life here with exceptional standby time as well. I used the tablet for 2-3 hours daily, primarily streaming content on Netflix and Prime Video, and was able to get around 5-6 days on a single charge. The tablet supports 33W charging and you get a 33W charger in the box that takes less than an hour and a half to fully charge the device.
Xiaomi Pad 6 price in India
The Xiaomi Pad 6 starts at Rs 26,999 for the 6GB + 128GB version. The 8GB + 256G variant costs Rs 28,999. Note that Xiaomi has launched a Wi-Fi-only model in India. The Smart Pen 2nd generation is priced at Rs 5,999 while the Pad 6 keyboard costs Rs 4,999. Essentially, the bundle will cost you under Rs 40,000, which is a pretty neat deal considering that a similar combination with the OnePlus Pad will set you back around Rs 50,000.
Over the past two years, Xiaomi has made a convincing case that affordable Android tablets can be extremely capable. The Pad 5 was a solid entry last year and the Pad 6 takes it one step further. While the Snapdragon 870 chipset might not enable the tablet to deliver pro-grade performance, it is ideal for light usage on the go. Really, it is the display, speakers, and battery life that stand out, ensuring an excellent entertainment device to travel around with. Should you buy the Xiaomi Pad 6? Absolutely. It is easily the go-to Android tablet for those who don’t want to spend a fortune.
Editor’s rating: 4 / 5
- Attractive display
- Excellent battery life
- Good audio quality
- Clean MIUI experience
- Chipset might not age well
- No headphone jack or fingerprint sensor