The Xiaomi Redmi 6 and 6A run MediaTek SoCs.
Both phones are part of the company's affordable line-up.
You get 18:9 screens on both phones, and a fingerprint sensor on the Redmi 6.
Xiaomi launched three Redmi 6 series smartphones in India today, and the starting Redmi 6A model is priced at Rs 5,999, which is same as the previous generation best-selling smartphone for the company, the Redmi 5A. The Redmi 6 is the successor to the Redmi 5 and its 3GB RAM + 32GB storage variant starts at Rs 7,999. This time around, the Redmi 6A will only come with 2GB RAM, while the Redmi 6 will have 3GB RAM, although internal storage varies according to the variant. I got a chance to use the Redmi 6 and Redmi 6A at Xiaomi’s India launch event in New Delhi and here are my initial thoughts on the two budget smartphones.
In terms of design, both Xiaomi phones have many things in common, but internally these are quite different. Xiaomi has also moved away from Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets for the Redmi 6A and Redmi 6. Both these phones now come with MediaTek Helio 12nm chipsets, similar to the variants in China.
Upfront, both the Redmi 6A and Redmi 6 look identical. The display on both devices is the same 5.45-inch HD+ display with an 18:9 aspect ratio and 720×1440 pixels resolution. With the 80.7 percent screen-to-body ratio, Xiaomi has achieved a good compact form factor for the phone phones. Both phones are identical in terms of size as well.
At the back, the design similarities continue, but with slight changes. The Redmi 6A doesn’t get a fingerprint sensor like its predecessor, but the Redmi 6 does have the fingerprint sensor and it also comes with a dual-camera setup at the back.
Under the hood, the Redmi 6 and Redmi 6A are little different. The budget 6A comes with a quad-core SoC from MediaTek called the Helio A22, while the 6 gets an octa-core Helio P22 chipset. The two cater to different segments in India, even though the price difference is just Rs 1,000 between the higher variant of the Redmi 6A and lower variant of the Redmi 6.
The Redmi 6A comes in two variants 2GB/ 16GB and 2GB/ 32GB. On the other hand, the Redmi 6 packs 3GB RAM with 32GB and 64GB internal storage options. Xiaomi has kept the 3 (2+1) slots option standard in both smartphones. These now come with two dedicated Nano-SIM card slots along with one microSD card slot. The microSD card can be up to 256GB.
In our limited time with the device, both phones could handle multitasking really well, but we wouldn’t call it our final verdict as yet. Xiaomi is shipping these with MIUI 9.6 but with a promise of MIUI 10 upgrade soon.
In terms of camera, the Redmi 6 is a whole different device. It boasts of a dual-rear camera with 12-megapixel + 5-megapixel lens of 1.25-micron pixels. Xiaomi claims to have taken advantage of artificial intelligence (AI) in this, and has included features like AI Portrait which is essentially Bokeh/ Blur effect for your images.
The budget Xiaomi Redmi 6A packs single rear camera of 13-megapixel with PDAF, EIS and f/2.2 aperture. On the front, both devices pack a 5-megapixel selfie camera with features like AI Portait and more. We could only test these cameras indoors, and for that limited observation we can say that these cameras looked good for the price, although we will still be testing these further in our review.
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The Xiaomi Redmi 6A and Redmi 6 are two affordable segment phones that have a history of great sales with predecessors. We really liked the compact form factor of these devices, although the design appeared a bit outdated to us. Xiaomi has tried a different make of processors this time around, and in our limited time we found these processors to be decent enough for the price. The cameras in particular looked good to us, but we will be testing them soon in our final review.
The Redmi 6 will be the first device in the lineup to be made available starting September 10 at 12:00PM via Flipkart and Mi.com. The budget Redmi 6A will be made available later through Amazon India and Mi.com on September 19 at 12:00PM.