“The Redmi 6 Pro comes as the first handset in the series to feature a notch design”
Xiaomi unveiled the first handset in Redmi series with notch display design in the form of the Redmi 6 Pro (first impressions), in China last month and even though the company has not shared any plans to bring the budget handset to India, we managed to grab a Chinese unit of the smartphone. Now that we have spent some time with the new offering from the company, here’s a detailed review of the Redmi 6 Pro.
If you look at the back of the handset, you will find that the company has retained the exact same design from the Redmi Note 5 Pro on the Redmi 6 Pro. There is a vertically-stacked dual camera module on the top left, with the LED flash sandwiched in between the lenses. The fingerprint sensor is placed right in the middle, where it is easily accessible. Even though the handset’s body is primarily made out of plastic, the Redmi 6 Pro feels sturdy in the hand.
The volume rocker and power button are located on the right spine of the handset, while the SIM card slot can be found on the left. There is a micro-USB charging port at the bottom with holes on both sides. On the top, you’ll find the IR blaster and the headphone jack. Much like some of the other smartphones launched this year, the Redmi 6 Pro offers a large screen in a compact factor, thanks to a slim bezel design. The cutout at the top of the display houses the front camera as well as the earpiece. Notably, the bezels on the left, right, and bottom of the display are still thicker than you would find on some other handsets that claim to offer bezel-less designs.
I found no issues in accessing the buttons on the handset and the phone doesn’t feel slippery or heavy in the hand either. Except for the notch, the design offered by the Redmi 6 Pro feels slightly boring, especially when we consider that some of the mid-range handsets are now offering a premium glass sandwich designs at affordable prices. Here’s a closer look at the design.
The Redmi 6 Pro features a 5.84-inch full HD+ (2,280 x 1,080 pixels) IPS LCD display with a taller-than-usual aspect ratio of 19:9. I found the display to be vibrant but slightly oversaturated. The viewing angles are good, and the images as well as text, appear crisp on the display. While this observation is getting slightly old, it is important to point out that the screen cut-out never feels like much of an issue and when you are watching videos on YouTube app, the notch doesn’t come in the way as it is covered up by a neat uniform bezel.
Further, the taller-than-usual aspect ratio makes it noticeably easier to handle multitasking. The maximum brightness level offered by the handset’s screen is impressive and makes it easy to use even outdoors under bright sunlight.
The Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro comes with a dual-camera module at the rear, consisting of a 12MP primary sensor with a f/2.2 aperture and a secondary 5MP f/2.2 depth sensor, accompanied by an LED flash. At the front, the phone has a 5MP camera for selfies and video calls. Having spent some time clicking pictures in both daylight as well as poor lighting conditions, I can safely say that the camera performance offered by the Redmi 6 Pro is good for its price range. However, for what it’s worth, the low light performance and selfie camera still leave room for improvement as there are some exposure and detail issues in these conditions.
In the default camera app, you get the option to click the image in Portrait, Square, Panorama, and manual modes. In the manual mode, you can adjust ISO and white balance to take better images and apart from regular video shooting mode, there is a short video mode that allows you to shoot small video clips of just 10 seconds.
There are tons of customisation options that allow you to click pictures with the fingerprint sensor and show grid lines among other things. You can check out the camera gallery below to figure out the quality of images by yourself.
Software and Performance
The new Redmi handset runs Android Oreo-based MIUI 9 out of the box and comes with all the features that you might expect out of a Xiaomi phone. Our Chinese unit came out of the box filled with some bloatware but users can expect other features like dual apps, lite mode, and Full Screen Display, which will make way to units across regions, if and when the handset is launched outside China.
I found the overall user experience offered by the Redmi 6 Pro to be fairly clean and did not face any stutter issues while navigating through the platform.
Moving to the hardware aspect, the new Redmi handset is powered by Snapdragon 625 SoC coupled with Adreno 506 GPU and either 3GB or 4GB of RAM, depending upon the variant. As you might have guessed, Xiaomi is trying to serve old wine in a new-ish bottle over here. Xiaomi has offered the same processor in the Redmi Note 4, Redmi Note 5, Mi A1, and Mi Max 2 earlier. Worth mentioning that our unit comes with 3GB of RAM.
The smartphone handled some graphically demanding games like PUBG and Injustice 2 relatively well. I did not face any heating issues but there were occasional hiccups, though not far too often to ruin the experience. The Second Space feature allows you to install apps and keep pictures separately for security. If we talk about the AI-based Face Unlock feature, the handset manages to offer convenience but we are not too sure about the security. This is because we managed to unlock the handset even in poor lighting conditions as well as with part of our face covered.
Due to the presence of the notch, apps and games are usually displayed with a black strip on that side of the screen. Oddly enough, when you try to take a screenshot in these apps and games, the screen grab also features a thick black strip, which is not the case with other phones that come with the notch display design.
The Redmi 6 Pro packs a rather massive 4,000mAh battery. Given this particular specification, it should not come as a surprise that the handset easily manages to last beyond a day under regular as well as heavy use. To give you further perspective, in our HD video loop test, the handset managed to last around 20 hours.
Effectively, this all means that the smartphone from Xiaomi won’t disappoint you if you are heading out for a road trip and planning to catch up on a TV series or watch a movie or two. At this point, we would seriously appreciate if all phones would offer this kind of battery life across price ranges.
The Redmi 6 Pro can be described as a horse for all courses. The handset looks good, comes with the trendy notch design, and packs a massive battery. Although Snapdragon 625 feels like a dated processor at this point, the SoC gets the job done. Currently, the 3GB RAM and 4GB RAM variants of the smartphone are retailing for CNY 1,199 (roughly Rs 12,300) and CNY 1,299 (roughly Rs 13,300), respectively in China. If launched in India around the same price, the handset will be competing against the likes of the Realme 1 (review) and the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 (review), both of which feature better processors. In fact, at that price, the Redmi 6 Pro could even go up against its own sibling, the popular Redmi Note 5 Pro. We will update this review as and when Xiaomi decides to launch the Redmi 6 Pro in India officially.
Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5
- Impressive display
- Good camera performance
- Excellent battery life
- Processor choice
- Face unlock is not particularly secure
Photos by Raj Rout