After several weeks of detailed and less detailed leaks, Xiaomi’s Mi 6 smartphone launched at the tail end of April. Couple of months ago, we did a wild rumor article that you can read here and by looking at the final product, we can see that we were not far off. Actually, not at all.
Let us start with the phone’s appearance. The Mi 6 leaked through and through ahead of its debut, but most of the leaks showed just the black version. The “Hero” version that Xiaomi is promoting in its official photographs and renderings is quite an elegant blue and gold combination.
There are no major surprises when it comes to materials and build quality. Mi 6 features a metal frame with a glass front and back, quite the popular design with Android manufacturers over the last couple of years. There is a twist however – while most of the other phones feature an aluminum frame, Xiaomi Mi 6 comes with a polished stainless steel construction that the company says requires a 50-step manufacturing process with over 270 operations needed to create the frame.
The glass on the back is curved on all four sides, as opposed to the glass on the Mi 5, which was only curved on the laterals. Xiaomi seems very proud of the “precisely crafted” construction of the Mi 6, and made extensive use of traditional wristwatch imagery to highlight their dedication to quality. Besides the blue and gold version, the Mi 6 is also available in black, and a high-gloss Silver Edition. Even though Silver Edition probably looks amazing, and can serve as a mirror, we do not want to think about the fingerprints that finish will collect.
Xiaomi Mi 6 specs and features
Mi 6 features:
- 5.15-inch LCD display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
- 6GB LP-DDR4 RAM
- 64GB or 128GB NAND Flash storage
- Fingerprint sensor
- 12MP wide +12MP telephoto dual camera
- 3,350 mAh Battery
- Stereo speakers
- USB Type-C; no audio jack
The Xiaomi Mi 6 features a relatively small 5.15-inch “high color saturation” LCD display, with features like blue light reduction, glare reduction, and a one nit “ultra-dark night” mode that should not blind you when you try to use the phone in pitch black. Unlike the competing phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8 or LG G6 – which all tried to maximize the screen to body ratio, the Mi 6 comes with generously sized top and bottom bezels, and houses a fingerprint sensor embedded beneath the glass. The Mi 6 is said to be “splash resistant,” which means that the device is rated below the IP67 or IP68 (water resistant / waterproof) standards that are featured on some of Xiaomi’s competitors.
Spec-wise, we are looking at the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with the Mi 6 being one of the first phones featuring this new processor, along with the Galaxy S8 and Sony’s new premium lineup. As expected, the processor will be coupled with 6GB of RAM.
The Xiaomi Mi 6 features a 3,350-mAh battery that the company says should last for up to a full day, when used with MIUI’s battery optimizations features. We do appreciate the honesty, becuase seeing some other phones with 5-10% smaller batteries and promising longer life simply have nothing to do with real world. Another interesting feature is ‘2×2’, dual Wi-Fi technology, which should provide a real boost in transfer speeds and coverage compared to more conventional 1×1 Wi-Fi. These features are well known on the Wi-Fi routers we have in our homes, but now these features are starting to appear in the world of mobile devices.
The phone features dual cameras that are mounted on the back. Somehow similar to the LG G6, the Mi 6 features a 12 MP wide-angle lens and a 12MP “telephoto” that offers 2X lossless zoom. The camera is capable of some software tricks, including the obligatory beautification mode and a portrait mode that artificially blurs the background to simulate depth of field.
The only bad, and wrong prediction we had was the price. With Mi 6, Xiaomi believes they’re now a high-end, rather than a value manufacturer and as such are starting to change their pricing policies. Mi 6 will set you back for US $600 (64 GB version), or $700 for the 128 GB model. Both price brackets are really close to Google’s Pixel phones, HTC One 11 etc. For that kind of money and no expansions, no audio jack etc – I would rather wait for the OnePlus 5. However, if you want to take a closer look at the specs, or buy this phone, you can do it here.