Even as Xiaomi’s Redmi series has been successful in India, its market shares have plummeted in its China. In a bid to improve its market shares in home turf and compete with the newer lot of flagship smartphones, Xiaomi has launched the Mi 6. The successor to the Mi 5, the smartphone gets a range of under the hood upgrades along with a design overhaul to help it stand out. While some believe it packs the camera similar to the Apple iPhone 7 and has specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone, we find out how it is different from its predecessor which launched last year.
One of the important talking points of the Xiaomi Mi 6 is its new design. The smartphone features a stainless steel border running on the edges with a curved glass body. With the reflective mirror-like finish and the curved panel, the Mi 6 looks very similar to the recently launched Honor 8. Given the fine texture of the rear panel, the Xiaomi Mi 6 is likely to be a smudge magnet. However, if compared to its predecessor, the curved finish is on all four sides for a more ‘uniformly aligned’ design. The Xiaomi Mi 5, in comparison, features a two-sided curved glass. The top-end variant of the Mi 5 features a 3D ceramic body while the top-end variant of the Mi 6 features 18-karat gold camera rims. Another key difference between the Mi 5 and Mi 6 is the presence of the headphone jack. Although both smartphones are equipped with a Type-C port for data transfer and charging, the Mi 6 gets rid of the standard 3.5mm headphone jack.
In terms of display size and resolution, the Mi 6 doesn’t bring any change. Akin to the predecessor, the Mi 6 also features a 5.15-inch full HD LCD display. The fingerprint sensor on the Mi 6 is embedded beneath the screen. The Mi 5 also features the same ultrasonic sensor below the display which doubles up as the home button and is said to function even with soiled or wet fingers. ALSO READ: Xiaomi Mi 6: Top 6 features
Joining the league of smartphones running the most-advanced Qualcomm chipset, the Xiaomi Mi 6 runs the Snapdragon 835 octa-core SoC that has been built using the newer 10nm fabrication process. The chipset is said to offer higher performance and a better battery life. The chipset is paired with 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM and Adreno 540 GPU. It is further equipped with 64GB/ 128GB internal storage. In comparison, the Mi 5 runs Snapdragon 820 SoC clocked at 2.15GHz along with Adreno 530 GPU. There are 3GB/4GB of RAM choices along with onboard storage variants of 64GB/128GB. The 3D ceramic body variant runs the SoC at clocked at a lesser rate of 1.8GHz and paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.
If you look at the chipset, the Mi 6 is an incremental upgrade over the Mi 5. There’s more RAM as compared to the predecessor along with a higher GPU, eventually allowing a more enhanced experience. Xiaomi also revealed the AnTuTu benchmark scores of the Mi 6, which surprisingly surpass that of the Samsung Galaxy S8 which houses the same chipset but with lesser RAM. The Mi 6 achieves a score of 184,292, while the Galaxy S8 stands at 164,095.
Additionally, the Mi 6 runs the newer Android 7.1.1 Nougat out-of-the-box with MIUI 8.0 layered above while the Mi 5 ran Android 6.0 Marshmallow based MIUI 7 custom skin. ALSO READ: Xiaomi Mi 6 Ceramic edition with 18-karat gold camera rims launched
The camera of the Xiaomi Mi 6 is another highlight. It is equipped with a dual rear camera module with a pair of 12-megapixel lens. One of the lenses is a wide-angle lens with 4-axis optical image stabilization (OIS) while the other is a telephoto lens. The functionality is similar to what we have seen on the Apple iPhone 7 that offers 2X optical lossless zoom and 10X digital zoom with ISP (image signal processing) algorithms. Up front on the Xiaomi Mi 6 is an 8-megapixel camera for selfies or video calling. In comparison, the Mi 5 features a standard 16-megapixel rear camera along with a 4-megapixel selfie camera. In case you are mulling an upgrade when the smartphone arrives in India, you are not only getting a dual camera setup which is similar to that of the iPhone 7 at a lesser price, but also
Up front on the Xiaomi Mi 6 is an 8-megapixel camera for selfies or video calling. In comparison, the Mi 5 features a standard 16-megapixel rear camera along with a 4-megapixel selfie camera. In case you are mulling an upgrade when the smartphone arrives in India, you are not only getting a dual camera setup which is similar to that of the iPhone 7 at a lesser price, but also double the number of megapixels when it comes to the front camera as compared to the Mi 5. ALSO READ: Xiaomi Mi 6 dual-camera official samples surface online
Battery and connectivity
The Xiaomi Mi 6 gets a slight bump in the battery capacity. It is fuelled by a 3,350mAh battery while the Mi 5 is equipped with a 3,000mAh battery. With the newer chipset, the Mi 6 supports Quick Charge 4.0 which is said to offer 30 percent better efficiency without heating up the device. Both the smartphones do not support storage expansion and are 4G VoLTE enabled. One of the features differentiating the Mi 6 from the predecessor is that it is splash resistant with even the SIM tray sealed for protection from damage. The Mi 6 also features a stereo speaker setup for an immersive audio experience along with a dual Wi-Fi technology for better connectivity.
Being a top-of-the-line smartphone from Xiaomi, pricing of the Mi 6 starts from RMB 2,499 (approximately Rs 23,500) while the Ceramic edition costs RMB 2,999 (approximately Rs 28,200). When launched, the Mi 5 carried a price of RMB 1999 onwards (approximately Rs 18,800). As a successor to last year’s Mi 5, the Xiaomi Mi 6 brings in an apt combination of design (albeit ‘inspired’), powerful hardware, along with a dual camera setup; all at an extremely aggressive price point.