“While being priced around Rs 15k, both the Redmi Note 6 Pro and Mi A2 are quite different”

Xiaomi has never been one to shy away from launching products at frequent intervals. In fact, the company has often been credited with having one of the most robust portfolio of products. With the launch of the Redmi Note 6 Pro (review), the Chinese brand has introduced yet another potential heavyweight in the sub-Rs 20,000 smartphone category in India. But, with the pricing being at Rs 13,999 and Rs 15,999 for the two variants, the Redmi Note 6 Pro invariably has to compete with its own brethren — the popular Xiaomi Mi A2 (review). What, then, clearly differentiates the two phones from the same company’s stable? We list out the key differences and similarities to help you make the right choice.

Design and display

One of the most noticeable differences between the Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro and the Mi A2 lie in their display sizes — the former sports a 6.26-inch panel, while the latter comes with a 5.99-inch one. The Note 6 Pro features a resolution of 1,080 x 2,280 pixels with an 19:9 aspect ratio and a notch at the top of the display. The Xiaomi Mi A2 on the other hand, doesn’t include a notch, and with a resolution of 1,080 x 2,160 pixels, houses an 18:9 display aspect ratio and a similar pixel density. The different display screen sizes also translate to different screen-to-body ratios for both the phones — while the new Redmi Note 6 Pro has a screen area of 81.4 percent, the Mi A2 has only 77.6% of the fascia covered with its display, giving the new device a larger panel in a more compact footprint.

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In terms of the overall design, neither of the two smartphones feature radically different designs, although they do achieve the target of a staid, simple design language. The new Redmi Note 6 Pro actually closely resembles the outgoing Redmi Note 5 Pro (review), which has been significantly popular in India. Both the devices include Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and 2.5D curved glass above the display, which add to sturdiness as well as a smooth design where the glass meets the aluminium frame. The  Note 6 Pro is 8.2mm thick and weighs 181g, while the Mi A2 is slimmer at 7.3mm and lighter too, as it tips the scale at 168g.

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Many will be happy to note the presence of the 3.5mm headphone socket on the Redmi Note 6 Pro, which the Mi A2 skimps upon. The former also features the (still) more commonplace micro-USB port, while the Mi A2 uses a USB Type-C port for charging as well as audio. The Note 6 Pro also includes a hybrid SIM slot that supports microSD cards of up to 256GB, while the Mi A2 relies only on its internal storage. The physical dimensions of the two devices are almost similar, thereby giving the Note 6 Pro a more bezel-less look about it.

Hardware and software

The new Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro comes powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 octa-core SoC, with four of its Kryo 260 cores running at 1.8GHz and the other four tuned at 1.6GHz. This is supported by the Adreno 509 GPU for rendering graphics, and there are options for 4 / 6GB of RAM. There is 64GB of internal storage with both models. All standard wireless communication standards and sensors are present, including Bluetooth 5.0. Software-wise, the Redmi Note 6 Pro runs on Xiaomi’s custom MiUI 10, which is still based on Android Oreo v8.1.

Xiaomi-Redmi-Note-6-Pro-FI 12The Xiaomi Mi A2, meanwhile, is part of Google’s revamped Android One programme. Hardware-wise, the handset is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 octa-core SoC, which includes the same Kryo 260 cores, but runs at higher peak clock speed of 2.2GHz, thereby making it the better performer. Graphics duties are taken care of by the Adreno 512 GPU, which too is superior to what the Redmi Note 6 Pro offers. RAM and storage options for the Mi A2 in India are 4GB + 64GB and 6GB + 128GB, which are presently priced at Rs 15,999 and Rs 18,999 respectively. The Mi A2 also houses a 5.99-inch, 18:9 display with screen resolution of 1,080 x 2,160 pixels. It is on the software front however, that the Mi A2 has the biggest differentiating factor — not running the custom MIUI as it boots stock Android. The Mi A2 is already being upgraded to Android 9.0 Pie as well, which can be a crucial deciding factor between these two devices.

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Camera and battery

In the imaging department, the rear camera module of the Redmi Note 6 Pro comprises 12-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL image sensor with f/1.9 lens, which is coupled with a 5-megapixel f/2.0 shooter. This is further equipped with Dual Pixel phase detection autofocus, while videos are maxed at 1080p (though you can use a third-party camera app to record 4k videos). The front-facing camera module is also a dual-camera unit now, featuring a 20MP camera powered by a Samsung ISOCELL sensor and a secondary, depth-assisting 2MP camera powered by an Omnivision sensor.

Xiaomi-Redmi-Note-6-Pro-FI 07The rear cameras of the Mi A2 include a pair of 12MP and 20MP shooters, powered by Sony’s Exmor RS IMX486 and IMX376 sensors, respectively. The primary 12MP rear camera is also paired with an f/1.75 lens, giving it wider aperture than the Redmi Note 6 Pro’s primary lens. It is superior in terms of video recording as well, capable of shooting UHD videos at 30fps, full HD at 60fps and HD at 120fps. The front camera is a single 20MP unit powered by the Sony Exmor RS IMX376 sensor and an f/2.2 lens.

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The Redmi Note 6 Pro is fueled by a large 4,000mAh battery pack equipped with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0. The Xiaomi Mi A2 on the other hand, is powered by a smaller 3,010mAh cell aided by Quick Charge 4.0+. Sadly though, both these devices don’t come bundled with fast chargers. 

Closing thoughts

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Xiaomi’s Redmi lineup has been a rather popular one in India, and the Redmi Note 6 Pro will aim to continue its popularity in the country. Pricing is a key factor in the highly value-sensitive market of India, which is what primarily differentiates the two devices. That said, if you are fine with spending a few extra bucks, the Mi A2 appears to be the better bet of the two devices — it has more firepower under the hood, a better camera, and the promise of regular and more frequent Android updates (it is already on Pie!). The only area where it truly loses out on is a smaller battery, and if it really matters to you, the dual-front cameras. Having said that, if you want a larger display (with a notch) and a larger battery on your phone, then you can save some money and opt for the Redmi Note 6 Pro instead. With a starting price of Rs 13,999, the Redmi Note 6 Pro offers a very strong value proposition, which might allure potential buyers.